Updated: Sep 26, 2021
When writing fantasy worlds, it’s common—though certainly not required—to include beings of incredible power who may be perceived as ‘gods/Gods’ in their worlds. This week’s #AuthorNook question on Twitter was asked by me, Erika McCorkle, co-hosting with Laken for a month of world building-related topics. As one who has a deep interest in reading about powerful characters, it was my pleasure to read the various responses.
Some gods are real in their world while others are not, or the truth of their existence is a mystery. This week, we took an in-depth look at the works of a few authors whose gods are real and have a strong presence in their stories. Here I discuss the gods in my world as a whole; Ariana Allen discusses the gods in her recently-finished book, Of Rage and Astor; and L. Krauch discusses the Mother Tree in her book, The 13th Zodiac.
We hope you enjoy! Join the conversation in the comments if you wish. Feel free to ask the authors any questions you may have, or discuss the gods featured in your novels.
(Kira of the Wind)
In the Pentagonal Dominion, the ten entities of the Decatheon are very real, though whether they are ‘Gods’ is up to individual interpretation. Some people say they are Gods and worship them with all their heart and soul. But some other people are ‘atheists’ who do not believe in the concept of ‘Godhood’ and instead believe the Decatheon are just ten magically powerful entities. Each of the ten interacts with mortals in their own way, though in general, there are too many living people for any God to pay much attention to. Even Lucognidus, who can split his consciousness into 10,000 parts, cannot watch over and protect every soul in a world where the population is in the billions.
Lucognidus, the Mind God, works constantly. Though his body might be seated upon his Amethyst Throne, you can be sure his 10,000 selves are in the mortal planes, doing what must be done. Such Godly tasks include mind-controlling children away from danger, driving demons out of people they’ve possessed, or granting courage or wisdom to those who submit to him and plead for his aid. The Gods of the Pentagonal Dominion are not evil (usually…), nor do they demand worship (usually…), but they’re not ‘friends’ with mortals, either. If somebody wants a boon from them, a certain degree of supplication is required. Each God has several rituals and prayers which their followers may perform to ask for aid.
Some Gods are more capable with their powers than others, and can spread far-reaching magical ‘blessings’ that are applied to every soul as the soul is created. Flamboil, the God (or possibly Goddess?) of Fire, blessed all people and certain animals so they would not be harmed by intense heat. In the case of people, they can lose this blessing later in life by performing
certain actions viewed as heretical by their God. Fire-proof animals are safe from fire forever, though, to the delight of everyone who loves animals.
Erika McCorkle has been worldbuilding for 22 years and her gods have lived rent-free in her head for around 17 years. She is in the process of publishing her debut novel, Merchants of Knowledge and Magic.
You can find Erika on Twitter @KiraoftheWind1.
In my novel OF RAGE AND ASTOR, there are six gods in total: Illuria, Phoenix (fire), Leviathan (water), Ramuh (lightning and thunder), Titan (stone), and Seraph (wind). All but one (Illuria) exists in the human plane. Each god resides in their own nation: Igni (Phoenix), Mer (Leviathan), Voltea (Ramuh), Erteree (Titan), and Galedra (Seraph). Prior to residing on the planet, they lived in the palace in the sky, watching over humanity. They left to stop the Centuries War between humans. In a bid to quell the violence for good, they bestowed the gift of magic on people they deemed worthy. A select few are referred to as armista, a designation given to the closest and most loyal of followers.
My MCs Phoenix and Leviathan have a longstanding animosity between them stemming from the way the gods dealt with the Centuries War. Leviathan wanted to drown all life hoping a better humanity would arise. Phoenix shot down the proposal sparking the tension between the two. At 6’8’’ Phoenix is a gentle giant but also a tormented soul due to the Ignios Massacre—an attack by Leviathan that wiped out millions of his people. Leviathan takes great pride in the destruction, pain, and chaos he brought and has all intentions of inflicting even more. While many Mermati (people of Mer) support Leviathan, there are those who disagree with his actions.
Bonus/fun fact: The five gods who reside on the human plane are named after espers from the Final Fantasy series.
Ariana Allen is an NYC-based science fiction and fantasy writer who recently finished her adult dark fantasy novel OF RAGE AND ASTOR. Her quirky and unorthodox stories are heavily influenced by anime and video games. When she’s not writing, she’s watching her favorite anime series, playing video games, reading, drawing, or studying languages. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is currently in grad school pursuing a nursing informatics degree.
Once, there were four Titans:
Urth, the mother of Gaea,
Sky, the father of the heavens,
Fate, the overseer of life and death,
And Time, the keeper of the Eternal Clock.
The lovers, Fate and Time, ruled over all.
Together, they kept Gaea at peace,
Until one thousand years ago, when
Mother Urth and Father Sky created mortal man.
And shattered the Eternal Clock.
Time hated the children of Urth and Sky.
Thus, the Keepers were born.
Time assigned each to small pieces of Gaea,
Taking parts from Fate, Urth, and Sky.
Then, Time turned Urth into the Mother Tree
And dissipated Sky into the clouds.
The Keepers resented Time for what she had done.
For which Time banished them.
What her lover had done disgusted Fate.
To trap Time, Fate turned to the Keeper of the Stars.
Who Time shattered into twelve.
Creating the Zodiac—The heroes of mortal men.
Beneath the boughs of the Mother Tree,
Fate trapped Time for an eternity.
Angry and hurt, Time divided her own soul in two.
Thus the 13th Zodiac was born:
When I first approached reworking my comic book, I really had to start from scratch. The lack of plot wasn’t the only issue. The lack of history, mystery, and life needed to be addressed. One of the first things I created, aside from my MC and his LI, was the Gods.
Fantasy worlds often take from the world we know. Its mythology and religions often lend to new and exciting ideas. I was always interested in Greek and Roman myths. I borrowed from what I knew and forged what made sense for my world. As we all know, Greek and Roman myths have a lot of different gods. And they all represent a portion of a much bigger idea. I went a bit more simple and narrowed it down to four key elements.
Within the world of Gaea, there are four major Titans—Urth, Sky, Fate, and Time. Each stood for something and fell for what they loved.
Time kept the Eternal Clock—the source of magic within the world of Gaea. The Zodiac inscribed on the large ringed stone represented how time passed. When the clock was broken, the Keepers were born. Time shattered the Keeper of the Stars into twelve to create the Zodiac. But that is a story for another time.
Fate oversaw life and death. She kept the world balanced. The ebb and flow of existence rested on her shoulders. And if something tipped too far in the wrong direction, she corrected it.
Urth and Sky handled more physical attributes of the world—the sky, the earth, flora, and fauna. To them, something was missing, so Urth and Sky created Mortal man. Using the very earth she felt between her toes, Mother Urth formed the first mortal. Father Sky breathed life into the formed clay and this was how mortals were born.
Fate grew fond of these short-lived creatures and accepted them. Time—did not. Arguments ensued between the Titans, and out of rage, Time transformed Mother Urth into the Mother Tree and dissipated Father Sky into the clouds.
The passage of time wasn’t recorded until Mortal Man was created. On the 29th day of the 2nd month of the First Year, Fate tricked and trapped Time within the roots of the Mother Tree. Though, before she could die, Time ripped her soul into two and sent the shard into the In-between to be reborn. It is said that day was the first time the Mother Tree bloomed. Oleander flowers, the size of grown men, grew from the hanging vines. Every four years, when the blooms returned on the 29th day of the 2nd month, the survivors celebrated.
One thousand years to the day, a child is born with the symbol of Eternity.
Shortly after, Time would be freed, Fate would be divided, and the Prophet would be made to see.
These events all lead up to the beginning of The 13th Zodiac. The story is rich with its own brand of mythology and threads are woven throughout.
Originally, L. Krauch wrote The 13th Zodiac as a comic book in high school. Now, 20 years later, she sat down and turned it into a sprawling epic fantasy novel. Her day job is sticking things to newborns, and by sticking things to newborns, she means hearing screens. In her free time, she hangs out with her black cat, Luna, and keeps three small humans from killing each other. She and her husband have been happily married for 12 years and originally met in an MMO. To maintain her sanity, she now writes. And she may or may not have a thing for apples.
I do hope you've enjoyed this week's Author Nook! Please remember to join the #AuthorNook discussion on Twitter every Tuesday and the blog post here every Sunday to read more from featured #WritingCommunity authors and artists. - Laken 🌹