I’ve been doing a lot of thinking regarding this aspect of my writing, and it is by no means in a complete state. It is not something so easily untangled. But I would like to write here, as a means to better explain to myself and to any of my readers, what is so far settled about such things in my writing.
Demeteria is the main world in my writing, and I might tie in the worlds of my other two projects into the same universe, as has been stated previously, but because Demeteria has been my main focus then using it for my examples simply works best and easiest.
There are eight divines, or gods (so as not to infringe on Elder Scrolls’ Eight Divines), called the Prime Fae. I take a lot of inspiration from Celtic Myth, but I would like to note that there is very little similar between my Fae and the Fae or Faerie in Celtic pagan belief. The names are used though, including Sidhe, but represent something unique to my story and are not fleshed out in the same way as in Celtic lore. That being said, I do use the name Danu as one of my eight gods. Danu, Thanatos, Seraphim, Erebh, Ignis, Ventanis, Terranis, and Aquanis are the eight Prime Fae. They created beneath them two levels of lesser fae, known as the Fairy/Faerie. They are a limited number of individuals set to guard over the various aspects of the eight elements the Prime Fae reside over (yes, eight — Fire, Earth, Wind, Water, Light, Darkness, Life, and Death). Aside from the Faerie, the Fae also created everything in the Cosmos, from each individual planet, to each plant and being of life and spirit.
Again, using Demeteria as the basis … The Humans, of Haven primarily, regard Danu as the goddess of growth and fertility. Not just a matron of the progress of human life but of plant life, and worship her at times of harvest as well as at times of conception, gestation, and birth. The Elves regard her as the mother of all living things. They especially revere her as their mother, for she is that in fact. Danu is responsible for the creation of the Sylvan race, but when the Sidhe killed off the Sylvan, the expelled magic from their deaths created the Elves. Danu cried when the Sylvan died, and allowed further growth of plantlife when the Elves came to be. Thus, they celebrate the Spring season as their birth(April showers bring May flowers). None of the other races revere Danu in any special way, but merely as a sister to the other Fae.
Thanatos is recognized as more than just the Grim Reaper. True, he ferries –though not literally– all spirits that pass on to the after life, however, he also is responsible for the creation of all spiritual beings. In a sense, he could be said to be the one responsible for allowing people to even have after lives, for without him, would their souls exist in such a way? He isn’t really revered in any of the civilizations, but he is recognized for what he is. Some fear resides in that, of course, for who isn’t afraid of death?
Terranis is a god of living stone, and is responsible for fashioning the earth of every world within the cosmos and the birth of the Dwarven race. Dwarves regard him as the soul of the planet itself, and the gems and ore they find in the world are fragments of his armor which shattered in some war that has vanished from memory of even the eldest beings of the world. The Dwarves craft with it, but not merely in order to fashion objects or armor to their taste, but in homage and honor of what a great warrior Terranis must have been.
Aquanis is the goddess of the sea, and is matron of all living things within the water. The Sea Elves are the only ones known to pay any homage to her, being lovers of the sea and sailing. I sort of see Aquanis viewed much alike Calypso –Pirates of the Carribean Calypso– the living, vengeful sea, yet in some ways alike the original Calypso of greek myth.
Ignis and Ventanis really have no followings, in my mind at the moment. However, they are the reason Dragons exist, so perhaps the Dradar will have some reverence for them.
Seraphim is inspired by the Seraphim in the bible in appearance alone. I view him more as the father figure of the Prime Fae much alike my mother image concerning Danu. He is the creator of the Human race, and is a kindly benefactor among the Fae. Erebh is the darker half, and is sometimes described as nothing more than a darker opposite to Seraphim, even right down to physical description, though in other times, his appearance mimics Thanatos. All Elves, though the High Elves mainly, view Seraphim as an embodiment of hope and goodness. The Marsh Elves are separate in that view. They agree, however equally revere Erebh as a reminder that even in the light, there is darkness. However, many among the Marsh Elves do not believe darkness to be a bad thing. Dinaer Dusksinger is a prime example of that.
Like in real life, there are many belief systems. I believe that while these beings are the true deity of the universe, there are also those that do not believe it to be true, despite the more prominent and physical evidence of such in the world. Such as the chapel that holds the Tome of Truth and the existence of the spirits of the former Sylvan people. The Orcs for example revere spirits, and may be seen as those that revere Thanatos, however they specifically worship spirits of the wolves and the pack. Their society is built around pack order and emulates such nearly to the letter. And the Trolls have a very ritualistic/hermetic society, viewing the spirits themselves as gods. In that degree, they may actually be revering the lesser Faerie race, but they will never refer to the spirits as such.
And two of my antagonist characters –Kyo and Yami– will still refer to Shinto belief, even apart from their original world of origin. Does Izanami and Izanagi exist in this cosmos? Perhaps. Erebh would be the founder of evil, and is the creator of demons, rather than Izanami, but just like the other Prime Fae, he was responsible for the creation of a portion of the lesser Faerie race, and it could be one of those lesser that becomes the embodiment of what Izanami represents. I will have to study more on Shinto religion, to get that right, but that is part of their specific beliefs.
I also have a series of holidays sketched out, needing to be expanded upon, but otherwise ready for mention in the story. Holidays such as wine festivals for the Elves, who prize their creation of wines and other sweet beverages and use them in their reverence of Danu. Orcish holidays regard the seasons and are named for phases in the packs maneuvers. And Troll holidays regard the rituals that take place for each change in life. Fertility rituals, wedding rituals, seasonal rituals, moon phase rituals, etc. etc.. I still have to come up with ideas for the Dwarves, Humans, and Dradar, but all things in time.
I’ve also made some recordings regarding my thoughts on working through cultural and religious development within the world, and I shall see if I can link that up in here, to share more of my ramblings on the topic. Till then, that is all for now.