Sunday, April 8, 2012

Religion and Myth

Since I’m still struggling to make time for most things that are not my kid, I’ve decided to go back through my old notes and publish some of what I’ve already written about Kimatarthi as posts. I’m going to start by doing a short series on myth and religion in my campaign setting.

Religion in Kimatarthi is based on the worship of spirits exist everywhere and inhabit all things. They are thought to bring good fortune and ill, and must be kept happy. While there are many common practices, such as leaving small offerings of food, there are just as many unique and bizarre practices that can be observed. Many people worship house gods, which are often ancestors or other deceased figures that people would like call to for blessings. Families, tribes, and cities often have totem spirits. Spirit shrines small and large are set up at places of business, public areas, auspicious locations, and anywhere else – like that oddly twisted log alongside the road.

What a good place for the superstitious to build a shrine!

But on top of this spirit worship, there are three figures that draw sizable organized followings, spirits named Keyera, Zoli, and Kojak. Keyera is believed to be the Mother Spirit, Creator of the world. The followers of the Church of Keyera are by far the most numerous throughout the land.

While Keyera birthed the world, her spouse Zoli gave it order. Worship of Zoli, the practice of Zooloyoyo, is highly formalized and usually particular to the elite classes.

Myths about Kojak vary—some say he is the son of Keyara and Zoli, others that he is their father, still others that he is their servant—but he is always seen as a great and beneficent figure. The Church of the Giving Cow places him at the center of their practices.

I’ve always enjoyed myth, and creating myths is one of my favorite parts of creating new worlds. The sort of myths that you create for the world says as much about your campaign as anything else, and if played right they can bring a lot of flavor and plot to the games. I’ve got several pages of notes about each of these practices, and (rather than write something completely from scratch) I’m going to use that as fodder for my next several posts. Stay tuned…

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