54

I think my answer may be a tad tinted by my atheism, as I believe every faith and pantheon operates as a function of how a culture interacts with nature, the difficult-to-predict, and the unknown, but I would say a good starting point would be the environment your fictional society inhabits. For example, Ancient Egyptian gods are numerous yet orderly, ...


36

The problem here is that by giving him a clearly understandable (even if evil, misantropic) goal, you're making your Fenrisúlfr more human-like. Sure, we can say - by rough sketch - that it wants to eradicate life. But to be truly "so far from human comprehension" we need to cut off any human understandable explanation from his actions. Your question ...


19

Similarities are not the same as cliches. Various pantheons have a lot of overlap because they draw on universal aspects of humanity. Food. Fire. Home. Love. Children (and childbearing). Protection. Etc, etc, etc. How these things manifest will change culture to culture. A nomadic group won't need gods for agriculture. A group on the equator doesn'...


14

Don't focus on making your Gods be unique. Make the cultures worshipping them unique. Let me explain. Faith is a reflection of how a culture views and interacts with the world. The truth is, God's can only be that unique. Here are the main themes: War, fertility, celestial objects, an animal, a season or month, an element or an object connected with an ...


13

Well, a start could be that you can make Fen occasionally do things that we lowly mortals perceive as 'good'. After all, incomprehensible does not always need to screw over a mortal, at least in the short term. An example that I myself have written is the Rakh'vash. Consider him a mixture of Azathoth and Shuma-gorath, the Embodiment of Chaos. He speaks to ...


12

The easiest way to accomplish this is to imitate the style of real-word mythology. There are various different sources, which all have different styles and different symbolism. In the Western world, probably the most well-known stories are those of Greek mythology, Nordic mythology, and of the Old Testament. Given that you have an oracle as part of your ...


11

I really like the -ar plural, and I think you should keep it regardless. You don't always have to obey the rules of English if your original word isn't. English is rife with loan words from other languages, so there's plenty of precedent. Look at cherub and cherubim (the correct plural, I believe from Hebrew). As far as the translation, do what works for ...


11

Legends are defined by the cultures who created them Legends reflect the values of their culture. Sacred hospitality and the inevitability of fate were popular themes for the Greeks. The Norse Eddas focus on personal sacrifice for power and knowledge several times. Russian fairy tales celebrate kind fools. Some cultures revere tricksters, other demonize ...


9

You may want some of the traditional gods. War is pretty much a universal in human culture, as is love, brotherly love, luck, sexual attraction, in some forms "good" and "evil", death, birth, hunting, etc. Gods represent archetypes of human emotion; Aphrodite is the irresistible woman; Satan is the irresistible tempter. Gods also represent the "cause" of ...


8

Not even the writers of the classical period could agree on a common canon truth. There are plenty of stories which contradict each other. For example, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus according to Homer but the daughter of Uranus according to Hesiod. If you would like to add to this ancient shared fictional universe, enjoy the same creative freedoms ...


8

Some Pantheon aspects are little known but rather fun to work with because the initial concept is poorly understood among the non-faithful, and sometimes even the faithful. While religions are typically divided into Monotheism (one God) and Polytheism (More than One God), there is a third classification about the number of Gods called Monism (spelling is ...


8

The Word "Legend" Evokes an Expectation Putting Legend into a title is fine, but it's a promise to your audience of something a bit larger-than-life. Given a title like "The Legend of [Protagonist]", I would personally expect something medieval, with a light touch of magic - like the Arthurian legends, with knights and quests, etc. But it ...


7

Given Joan of Arc and Loki on the stage, your setting is modern-day magical, you have a 600+ year old woman and a God. The reader will consider it a rip-off, a bait-and-switch if you don't reveal the magical nature of this world early in the first act. It will NOT be "entertaining", it will look like a deus ex machina if you don't show the magic ...


7

Doing this in-character is actually easier than doing it with the audience. Having characters rationalise answers that "make more sense" is easy, especially in the case of a Norse god walking the waking world. The final revelation is that much sweeter when they suddenly understand what they've been missing for the last however long. Hiding things from the ...


7

The first thing you need to do is drop all biases about what any of those terms mean. The term "Demon" already implies that you view this religion directly as evil, but to these people the religion isn't evil at all, otherwise why would they follow it? Good and evil is a perspective, so one of the clearest ways to resolve the issue is to use terms that ...


6

Apart from Campbell's "The Hero's Journey", another source of archetypal knowledge is folktales. You could take a look at the work of Vladimir Propp and his analysis of Russian folktales. Both Campbell's and Propp's works describe a structure common to many stories of each category: the repetition of three, leaving the normal world, the appearance of a ...


5

Amazon's content guidelines are notoriously nonspecific. Offensive Content What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect. I assume there are multiple reasons for this: Offensive material is hard to narrow down to a set of well-defined guidelines (your question demonstrates an edge case for a seemingly-simple "no bestiality" rule). ...


5

Do you think actual myths in the real world each sprang out of nothing? Everyone copied everyone else. Go read The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campell, or at least The Power of Myth since Campbell is pretty dense. You will very quickly see that most myths nicked from previous mythologies, added new names, tweaked the setting, and maybe mixed in ...


5

It's your story. Myths are stories. Change them however you want to. For instance, there have been several stories written using the Norse mythology. Each of them treated everything differently. There was "Day of the Giants" by Lester del Ray. It's an excellent read, with two modern (at the time of writing) twins taken into Asgard. One was a mercenary, ...


5

Well, you are going to have to start asking yourself questions and provide answers. Why do men exist? In your premise there is absolutely zero role for a male, and if God created women in her own image, why do women need men to conceive a child? In Christianity, God takes a rib from Adam to give him a mate and helper. Why did your God deny women the ...


5

In middle school my Beowulf essay was about how killing Grendel and its mother were justifiable acts because they were preying on humans, but the dragon was attacked in its lair for profit. I think we see the same flaw in the story – it suffers from sequelitus: Beowulf 1 – Mysterious stranger fights mysterious monster. Tight script, low budget (keeps the ...


5

I, personally, believe that while people may comment 'Hey! He's named after that Beowulf myth!' I doubt they would automatically assume that your character is or has to be the SAME as the original Beowulf. To go a bit further, is your Beowulf a purposeful retelling of the original? Is he the original Beowulf, but you've decided to dump him into a different ...


5

The Arthurian legends are in the public domain. You can use the names, places and storylines as much as you want. To quote this Quora source: Sure you can. Camelot, King Arthur, the Holy Grail and the Round Table are all in the public domain. You can use as much or as little of any of them as you like in whatever story you want to tell. No-one is going to ...


4

Absolutely. Not only do the canonical texts disagree as Philipp stated, but the ancient Greeks themselves typically based theatrical performances on their myths, sometimes with parodic intent. So doing variant versions of the stories have existed as long as the stories themselves have. I would urge you (and it appears you are doing this) to educate ...


4

As Cyn stated above, different readers will bring different background to your book. But don't be concerned overmuch with hiding everything from your readers: people love puzzles and they love to be 'in the know' about something that other members of the cast are unaware of. Case in point: I know the word 'Wednesday' is derived from 'Woden,' i.e. Odin, ...


4

A story is usually ordinary, believable, interesting only to the extent you care about the characters or the happenings in it. A legend is bigger than that. It lasts, it is passed down, and as it passes from mouth to mouth it shifts a little. "This chair was made by my great grandfather for his first child and has been with us ever since" is a story. "This ...


4

On the other hand, to reveal that a hero always had a Machiavellian side, would require depth, and thus question their value as absolute reference. My question is: in the context of a mythological tale, how to expand the dimensionality of the hero so that he can be turned into a scheming villain, without losing its value as absolute reference, nor altering ...


4

One element of religious texts is the antiquated language. Since the text has been canonised, it has not changed while the language moved on. If you look at the Book of Esther as an example, it is very much "just a story". God's name isn't mentioned once in it. And the Book of Lamentations is five independent laments for the fall of Jerusalem, grouped ...


4

I'd say the central component of a religious text is an element within it that is magical and unexplainable, and somebody is a subject of that (whether they like it or not). The pagans believed everything had a soul and agency, not just all animals but rocks, the sky, trees and plants, rivers, mountains, the moon and sun ... everything. The river could be ...


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