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nuh-the-deva

Dreamer
If you were creating a pantheon of gods, what two or three aspects/gods do you think should DEFINITELY make the cut? You could think of it as... who are your oldest gods/aspects?

I know some real and fictional cultures have dichotomies like life/death, fire/water, light/dark, air/earth/sea, male/female/neuter, ect. I'd like to know what you think...

Of course many aspects overlap but if your pantheon had, say-- a god of bubbles as the creator/parent of all others, I'd love to hear how that came about.

I can go first.

My creator is a sad dreamer adrift on a barren rock. Her tears become the stars (first aspect) who convince her to break the rest of her body apart to bring life to the rock she sits on. Her left and right eyes become the sun and moon (second and third aspect), so that she can always see what is happening in the world.

There are other aspects/gods, including animals, but these three are the oldest. They can push their influence over the rest. The oldest culture in my world holds these three aspects (stars/sun&moon) in the highest regard while most of the other cultures usually take one or two of them as their primary "gods" (or worship other terrestrial gods in opposition to these three).
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
I do have pantheons, and have had them in many of the game worlds I used to manage.

In my current story, I said early on there were seven gods, but actually there are more that would be recognized.

They have loose spheres of control. One is the war god, the people are in a besieged culture. A light God, a Sea God, a Goddess of life and health, The sun and the moon are treated like deities, an underworld god, an earth god, and a sky god. There are also other lesser gods, such as the war god has a daughter who would be divine as well.

If you travel away from the main culture, there are other cultures and they also have gods.

And then there are those who believe in nature and animal spirits, such as the great tiger and the great bear.

And along side of all of that is what is actually true that the characters dont know, and the reader may not need to know.


I dont know what a story 'should' have. I try to pick gods that seem likely for the culture I am writing about. Norse and Greek gods influence thinking on this in most of the lands where it comes up. But Native Americans, and other cultures may get used as a model as well, like the Sumerians or Babylonians.

Most cultures have the big four, Sun, Sky, Earth and Sea, and one of them is usually the head god. Many cultures go further and have love and war, storms and harvest, death and life.

The Goddess you gave as an example seems more from an Asian culture to me. Asian culture are much more likely to have things like the goddess cried and her tears became something significant. While there may be Asian-like cultures in my story worlds, so far, they have not come up.
 

nuh-the-deva

Dreamer
Seven gods. Did you start with seven for any specific reason? It's a good number. Breaks down into a few different groupings/cliques if you're into that.

It's interesting you say that Asian-elements haven't come up, but mentioned tiger and bear spirits. My story has a country split between tiger (royalty) and bear (commoner) worship that are inspired by the Ainu and Korean gods/creation myths.

Of course bears and tigers aren't only asiatic, just thought it was funny.

Time is a flat circle 😄

I also like Native American/First Nations folklore as a model, particularly in how frank they can be in explaining things like how a very specific animal came to be or in how different deities teach people how to...be people.
 
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Queshire

Auror
The Goddess you gave as an example seems more from an Asian culture to me. Asian culture are much more likely to have things like the goddess cried and her tears became something significant. While there may be Asian-like cultures in my story worlds, so far, they have not come up.

Well, there was a somewhat famous Japanese goddess that produced food out of her, ahem, orifices. Of course the myth she features in had the moon god get disgusted by this and kill her. That got his sister the sun goddess mad at him since no matter how disgusting it was killing your host still wasn't cool and as a result she sentenced the moon to not share the same sky as the sun.


I'm at work at the moment so I'll have to wait before I can talk about my spirits & gods.
 
Don't get me started. The background story for everything I write is the Gods War.

A rebellion against the gods who have ruled the world since human/elven/dwarven memory.

And there is a god for everything that has people praying to it. God of Fire? Everyone believe there's a godly power in fire.

God of Frogs? Eh, not too powerful, but there's a swamp tribe that sacrifices a virgin to him every year, so he exists.

So what does a god do? They all revive three days after being killed. That's the main reason why they rule uncontested.
The Gods War actually starts when someone presents the world with a way to prevent these resurrections.

Also, they can use power that is in the air around them to cast spells fitting to their affinity. That power is fuelled by prayer. They are basically one-trick mages with an enormous mana pool.

As for the oldest/powerful/important gods in this war:

God of War basically leads the warring faction of gods.
God of Fire eviscerates an army once, then gets caught and used as a magic battery. Accidentally contributes to the creation of the first five dragons.
Gods of Light and Darkness never directly fight, but their angels do. And their angels make a baby that will later be known as the God of Power.
Goddess of Youth/Fertility gets caught early in the story and conceives a child in captivity - which should not be possible for gods. That child will lead the rebels to victory and rule the world as a non-aging dictator for a while.
God of Death dies in the first night. His absence has has major repercussions in the centuries to come.
God of Destruction dies in the first night. His blood will be used as a weapon throughout the whole war.

So yeah. I can pull a god for anything out of my text, whenever I need one for the story. But some are named and important and etched into the legacy already.
 

Gurkhal

Auror
I think sometimes there are good reasons to kill the host.

While true, being disgusting probably isn't a valid reason. You can always just leave the party if the host smells bad or whatever.

*****

For myself I've come to stop thinking of my gods, or at least I try to, as War God, Weather God etc. and focus more on their personality, traits, relation with other gods, habits and so on and for what situations humans may think that this or that god would be willing or able to help.
 

Insolent Lad

Maester
In that my cycle of fantasy stories is based around the idea of infinite universes, I've been able to play around with all sorts of ideas, from rigid, thoroughly allegorical pantheons to quite messy (and rather human) ones. Any and all gods exist 'somewhere,' at least in potential, so they are not created by their followers but discovered. One thing I have tried to avoid with them is the hoary fantasy cliche of chaos vs order, though I suppose that too must exist. Just not in my books.

The primary fantasy world in which the bulk of my fiction is set is connected to this world of ours by portals and most of its human inhabitants are descended from folk who found their way from our to theirs. Therefor, most of the pantheons do echo ones that are known here—sometimes in mix and match fashion. It doesn't matter how much they might be garbled and twisted. There will be a pantheon somewhere 'out there' that matches the changed beliefs.

It may be noted there is no known creator god of all these. Some gods believe there might be one, others are, for want of a better word, atheists. But every universe has some sort of creative force, sometimes a god, more often not (well, in infinite existence, 'more often' is meaningless, isn't it?). Or a shaper god who gave it form. Or gods who had nothing to do with anything and just took up residence.
 

nuh-the-deva

Dreamer
While true, being disgusting probably isn't a valid reason. You can always just leave the party if the host smells bad or whatever.

*****

For myself I've come to stop thinking of my gods, or at least I try to, as War God, Weather God etc. and focus more on their personality, traits, relation with other gods, habits and so on and for what situations humans may think that this or that god would be willing or able to help.
So then did all of your gods come into existence at once, leaving no real "first" or "oldest known" god?
 

nuh-the-deva

Dreamer
In that my cycle of fantasy stories is based around the idea of infinite universes, I've been able to play around with all sorts of ideas, from rigid, thoroughly allegorical pantheons to quite messy (and rather human) ones. Any and all gods exist 'somewhere,' at least in potential, so they are not created by their followers but discovered. One thing I have tried to avoid with them is the hoary fantasy cliche of chaos vs order, though I suppose that too must exist. Just not in my books.

The primary fantasy world in which the bulk of my fiction is set is connected to this world of ours by portals and most of its human inhabitants are descended from folk who found their way from our to theirs. Therefor, most of the pantheons do echo ones that are known here—sometimes in mix and match fashion. It doesn't matter how much they might be garbled and twisted. There will be a pantheon somewhere 'out there' that matches the changed beliefs.

It may be noted there is no known creator god of all these. Some gods believe there might be one, others are, for want of a better word, atheists. But every universe has some sort of creative force, sometimes a god, more often not (well, in infinite existence, 'more often' is meaningless, isn't it?). Or a shaper god who gave it form. Or gods who had nothing to do with anything and just took up residence.
I like the idea of gods being discovered. With the understanding that they seem to perpetually exist/there is no age hierarchy: Is there a god that was discovered first in your primary fantasy world (or is most active, most prominent, ect)?
 

Gurkhal

Auror
So then did all of your gods come into existence at once, leaving no real "first" or "oldest known" god?

They came into existance, mostly, as slaves or offspring to the first primodial creator god. He's more commonly called "the Great Tyrant". Which probably explains how he ran the cosmos.
 
I like the sad dreamer adrift on a barren rock idea…

I’ve so far written about and researched Celtic, Norse and Greek deities and Gods / Godesses and love how real and relatable they tend to be in comparison with the monotheist Gods. The Goddesses in particular are relatable to me, being a woman and all, insofar as story telling goes.

Of the ones I have created, I’ve gone with an ‘all-mother’ type Goddess who ‘creates’ all humans, but as any mortal mother she has no control on what they do with their life or who they become, and then there is a God / Goddess of the underworld / realm of the dead but is so far undecided.

I’ve also created three sister who are based on the Norns, but aren’t Gods exactly, they are ancient all knowing beings tied to fate.

Probs not very imaginative.
 

pmmg

Myth Weaver
Probs not very imaginative.

Don't beat yourself up. Most of the world did not even make up these.

The creative part is not really who and how many, but what they all mean to the story and how it all plays out anyway.


I am hesitant to go into depth on my own creations in a forum post, but I do enjoy placing them in the world and showing how and when they matter.
 
If you were creating a pantheon of gods, what two or three aspects/gods do you think should DEFINITELY make the cut? You could think of it as... who are your oldest gods/aspects?

I know some real and fictional cultures have dichotomies like life/death, fire/water, light/dark, air/earth/sea, male/female/neuter, ect. I'd like to know what you think...

Of course many aspects overlap but if your pantheon had, say-- a god of bubbles as the creator/parent of all others, I'd love to hear how that came about.

I can go first.

My creator is a sad dreamer adrift on a barren rock. Her tears become the stars (first aspect) who convince her to break the rest of her body apart to bring life to the rock she sits on. Her left and right eyes become the sun and moon (second and third aspect), so that she can always see what is happening in the world.

There are other aspects/gods, including animals, but these three are the oldest. They can push their influence over the rest. The oldest culture in my world holds these three aspects (stars/sun&moon) in the highest regard while most of the other cultures usually take one or two of them as their primary "gods" (or worship other terrestrial gods in opposition to these three).
I have boring 4 gods. Fire, air, earth, water, but it’s also tied to like air is justice and laws, fire is war and tactics, water is healing and calm, pretty generic but I’m still proud of it.
 

Insolent Lad

Maester
I like the idea of gods being discovered. With the understanding that they seem to perpetually exist/there is no age hierarchy: Is there a god that was discovered first in your primary fantasy world (or is most active, most prominent, ect)?
There is no first/creator god in the world/universe where most of the stories are set. It is one of those worlds set into motion more by a primal force that may or may not be in some sense conscious. Many worlds are so, with the gods being part of the creation, rather than creators themselves. And many have been around so long they don't actually remember their origin.
 

nuh-the-deva

Dreamer
Don't beat yourself up. Most of the world did not even make up these.

The creative part is not really who and how many, but what they all mean to the story and how it all plays out anyway.


I am hesitant to go into depth on my own creations in a forum post, but I do enjoy placing them in the world and showing how and when they matter.
I would be more hesitant if I were confident that I could get all my story to paper. But I don't want them trapped in my head when I die, so I put them here and there.
 

nuh-the-deva

Dreamer
There is no first/creator god in the world/universe where most of the stories are set. It is one of those worlds set into motion more by a primal force that may or may not be in some sense conscious. Many worlds are so, with the gods being part of the creation, rather than creators themselves. And many have been around so long they don't actually remember their origin.
"With gods being part of the creation" It's gods all the way down haha
 

nuh-the-deva

Dreamer
I have boring 4 gods. Fire, air, earth, water, but it’s also tied to like air is justice and laws, fire is war and tactics, water is healing and calm, pretty generic but I’m still proud of it.
I would stop reading at "boring" but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. I like elemental gods/aspects. Especially in seeing what are considered the primary elements in a story/world. (Like metal and wood being element in Chinese lore.)
 
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