One of the most exciting parts of writing fantasy is world-building. Developing an entirely new world, with cultures and creatures and rules very different from Earth, is a blast.
My second novel, Pantheon, takes place on an island where the gods (11 of them) are all very real. Rather than being gods of things, like a god of the sun, the gods differ only in their own personal opinions about why mankind was created and what its purpose should be.
Their opinions are reflected in their worshippers, who are given powers related to their god’s ideal.
Here’s a list of the 9 principal gods, their beliefs, and the gifts bestowed upon their faithful. The 2 gods not listed here have special roles in the book – you’ll have to read it to discover what they are. 😉
Ambrosia – Immortality
Ambrosia believes that humans, as intelligent beings that can comprehend their own mortality, are cursed by death. She thus makes all her followers immortal – they do not age or get sick, though they can be killed.
Since the world is unsafe, Ambrosia’s worshippers isolate themselves within a citadel on the coast. The promise of immortality brings many but the loneliness of the lifestyle ultimately turns many away.
Vera – Reincarnation
Vera believes that, through reincarnation and experience from past lives, mankind may elevate its consciousness above that of the gods themselves. Her followers are reborn in an endless cycle with the memories of all their past lives.
Only a child of two of Vera’s followers can bear a reborn child, however. Sometimes, this means a queue forms so someone may not be reborn for many years after their death, and then they need to be raised from childhood again.
Adora – Worship
In Adora’s eyes, the gods are like mankind’s parents and deserve filial piety. Thus Adora commands her followers to convert others to her ranks. Though historically this has been done violently, in the modern day, Adora’s followers are given healing powers and wings that enable them to reach the scenes of tragedy or the aftermath of battles to tend to the wounded. Those saved by Adora’s grace are often guilted into worshipping her as reparation.
Fatua – Whimsy
Fatua believes mankind to be nothing more than a plaything for the gods. She has few worshippers but she appreciates any opportunity to meddle in the lives of mortals. She can be both kind and cruel, depending on her mood, but desperate people seek her or her followers out to have their wishes granted, knowing full well that she is as likely to do so as she is to kill them, drive them mad, turn them into animals, or any other such nonsense.
Lubida – Pleasure
Lubida sees mortality as a gift, as loss, fear, and the lurking threat of death make every happy moment sweeter. Emotions are therefore the most valuable mortal trait. Her worshippers experience a vastly widened range of emotions. Their natural state, when everything is just fine, is incredibly happy, but it takes very little for them to swing to the other end of the spectrum. Worshipping Lubida can become an addiction, with devotees rejecting her in bad times but inevitably returning to her altar once the negative emotions subside.
Horae – Freedom
Horae is a stern goddess who believes that mankind deserves to be left to their own devices. Horae provides limited protection to all those that worship no other gods; she protects them from unwanted divine interference. Most of the gods do not challenge her. Horae’s followers are given powers to neutralize the powers of the other gods – known as Justicers, they wander Mundir, keeping the other gods and their followers from using their powers against non-worshippers. They are respected, feared, and hated by some.
Nex – Death
Nex believes mankind was a mistake and the gods were better off without them, thus she seeks to eradicate them. She cannot do this directly, however, as each of her peers protects their followers and Horae protects all others. Nex, therefore, preys on those who renounce the gods. In return for their worship, she makes them insatiable, unstoppable killers who are made stronger for each person they kill.
Alitur – Nature
For Alitur, mankind was never meant to be more than a natural part of the animal kingdom, and society and civilization are mistakes. Alitur’s followers abandon cities and live in the wild where Alitur helps them enter into symbiotic relationships with their environment. Alitur is an active creator of new species, so the wild places that she controls are very dangerous for all but her followers.
Eamon – Love
Mankind is a greater species than the gods, partly for their mortality. Eamon grants her worshippers telekinesis so they never need to work. She requires a unique level of devotion, however: her faithful must remove their own arms to receive their powers, which makes it very difficult for them to move on to worship another god.
Purchase Pantheon here.