For my book series, The Incarn Saga, I needed to create a polytheistic religion for the Theriomorphs. The belief system had to be complex and somewhat relatable so that readers could understand why this race of beings clung to their faith. In order to do this, I pulled ideas and concepts from numerous mythologies, especially Ancient Egypt, Greco-Roman and Norse.
Over the years, I developed a certain intimacy with world myths and legends. After a time, clear patterns seemed to arise. For me, all world religions, both dead and those still faithfully followed, try to explain how everything came to be--especially us--and what happens after death. They also attempt to bestow morality and push their followers on the path to develop their best selves.
When creating a fictional religion, the first question is where to begin? For me, there were several clear categories, even archetypes, that repeatedly popped up in polytheistic faiths. The king of the gods, the warrior, the trickster, the ruler of the underworld, the god of love--they all serve some purpose in explaining life. Through these greater beings' actions, the universe was formed, laws of nature established, society instituted.
In a world where Theriomorphs live and transform into animals, their gods must also embody these same abilities and so much more. Just as there were twelve Greco-Roman Olympians, I established twelve identities for the Theriomorph pantheon. In Subsequent posts, I will write about each of these characters and how I developed their personas. Each god is important and has a reason for being, a purpose in the mythos, and an identity clear and defined.
I will do my best to avoid spoilers and focus on what inspired these amazing beings. Stay tuned for my next blog: Issaura, Goddess of War.