Updated: Jun 5
Creating the Pantheon of The Forbidden Scrolls
With just two days (TWO DAYS!!!!!) until "The Forbidden Scrolls" releases, I thought it would be fun to give you a little insight into the religions of Teren'vei and how they all interact with each other. The Triad of the Gods will play a big part in the story of "The Forbidden Scrolls," and will continue to do so into the subsequent entries in this trilogy.
With any fantasy novel, world building is a key component of a believable tale. A place has to feel lived in, with a history that predates the story that is about to be told. This helps establish not just the setting, but also the stakes. This world the writer creates is the one the protagonist or protagonists are struggling to save. There has better be something special worth fighting for.
Whether you are a devout follower of one faith or another, or someone who doesn't follow any particular doctrine, one would have to be intentionally blind to the power that faith can have on otherwise common people. Wars have been fought over it in our own world. Zealots claim to follow religious teachings when they cause violence and disruption (even though every major religion on Earth has the same Golden Rule).
Now one could argue that in a perfect world, all the major religions on Earth would work together to make the world a better place rather than fighting with each other throughout the ages. But that's our world. Nothing here is perfect, nor should it be. Expecting perfection will always bring disappointment.
But stemming from this idea came the concept for the pantheon of gods in "The Forbidden Scrolls." I wanted to explore the idea of religions that actually worked together in an imperfect world, fighting to make it better. And with a fantasy setting (which is kinda my thing), It gave me a chance to explore this idea in depth without making it about any one religion here on Earth or another. That's the beauty of an allegory.
Early on in the book, we're introduced to Alavarre, "The Lady of Divine Light." Later on in the story, the other two gods of the "Triad" are introduced. They are Dormond, "The Underking," and Sha'vante, "The Great Mother." Alavarre is the goddess of the sun. She is the god that most of the humans on Teren'vei worship, because their days in the sun are less numerous than that of the other races. Her symbol is that of a blue and silver shining sun. Dormond is the god of the earth, and as you might have guessed, is revered by the dwarves. His symbol is of a gold embossed mountain. Sha'Vante is the god of nature, and is worshiped primarily by the elves. Her worshipers wear a symbol of the silver embossed "Tree of Life."
There is some crossover with regard to certain individuals of each race and which god they worship. There is a major character in the book that is an Elf who is a High Priest of The Church of Alavarre. But on the whole, the majority of the members of each race follow the gods as assigned above. It is believed that each race was born of their specific god and took their forms. So when a priest calls a fellow human a "child of Alavarre," they mean it in the literal sense.
However, the Gods are (as the title of the blog says) a triad. They work together to better the world. As such, the followers of one religion or another are taught to acknowledge the necessity of the other gods, and to work in harmony with their followers. Though, to be fair, geography often gets in the way of the various races working together in complete harmony. This need to work together is explored more as we get deeper into the book, and indeed, the series as a whole. So I'm not going to get too in depth here to save you from the spoilers.
The fact is, Religion is hardly the only subject that I touch on in this book. There is the inherent racism of the people of Felbreach, the city where the main character Juliya is from. But I'll save that particular deep dive for another blog. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy "The Forbidden Scrolls" when it drops on Tuesday. Maybe it'll even give you a little something to think about.