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Author Topic: Guideline to Santharian Cosmology, Mythology and Religions Development  (Read 26333 times)
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« on: 28 January 2007, 20:26:09 »


      Technical Guidelines

      Entry Proposals


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      How to Use the Development Icons

      If you do an entry, always make sure to use the appropriate development icon when you post it here on the Forum at the first post of the thread. Change this icon by editing the first post at the thread once the status changes as well. The icon may also be changed by a Moderator or an Administrator.

      ... Entry is still being edited, not really ready for comments yet

      ... Entry is done, waiting for comments now

      ... There's a major question concerning this entry, where an answer is necessary. You can/should put the topic of the question in brackets in your post title.

      ... Entry is ready for upload. Don't add this posticon, if there wasn't at least one of the veteran members who gave you the ok to do so.

      ... Entry was already integrated by your dear webmaster. If you can't see it on the site yet, it's probably because the update is still in progress.

      ... Post is meant as an addition to an entry or contains details on necessary adjustments.

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      General Development Rules

      If you're an (aspiring) member of the Santharian Dream and would like to add stuff to our Cosmology/Myth/Religions section, please post in this Forum by opening a new thread. People will then comment on your new addition and if the entry is approved it will eventually move to the site in one of the coming updates.

      However, in order to design gods, priests or religions etc. for the Santharian Compendium the following rules need to be taken into account. If you still aren't sure what you should put in certain sections, please read through some entries first and see how others have done their entries. Here are some general rules for starters:

      • How to write names

        If you describe something, always write the first letter of the thing/being and in this case the gods/religion in capitalized form (e.g. "Sea Horse", "Fylia", "Darkwind") throughout the entry. On the other hand always use lowercase letters if you mention other things/beings which are mentioned within the entry and are not the subject of the entry ("fylia", "darkwinds" or "black rose"). Please note, that it is the Injèrá! (sun)

      • Describe everything in "medieval" form

        Always remember that words like "vitamins", "chemicals", "genes", "fossils" etc. usually are unknown terminology to medieval researchers as are „timespace“, „black holes“ or whatever you could come up in cosmology. (The dream is not a science fiction world). So keep away from these things, and also don't try to explain everything in detail what researchers of the 20th century have found out. Researchers of the Middle Ages weren't really "scientists", but mainly investigated what they could see, watch and thus describe. We have alchemists in the "medieval" world of Santharia, no chemists, which is an important difference, as alchemists are still lacking the profound background chemists of nowadays have. Astronomy is quite different from earth as well. Not only that an astronomer is always an astrologer (like it was on earth), we have a different constructed world.

        In the same respect I guess we can't emphasize enough that though evolution and belief don't necessarily have to contradict each other in our world of today, it was impossible to think of such things thousand years ago. Especially in a fantasy world like ours I think that we should forget about evolution in the Darwinistic sense completely. We have other explanations why the original landmass split into various parts (Gods/War of the Chosen) and a typical evolutionary theory doesn't fit too well to our mythical concepts.

      • Keep it as Santharian as possible

        Also try to make your entries as unique "Santharian" as possible. If you describe a god of the icetribes e.g., consider by whom he is worshipped, in which area etc. . If you write about the abilites of a priest, take into account what is possible and what fits for Santharia or wherever he will work. Don‘t try to outdo the Ximaxian mages. Create a myth which is developed out of the people who believe it and don‘t try to impose a cool idea you have on tribe to which it will not fit.

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      Guidelines on How to write Cosmological Entries

      Needs still to be added

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      Guidelines on How to write...

      • Entries about Myths
      • Legendary Artefacts
      • Mythical Persons

      • Entries with a mythical subject can vary widely. There are several possibilites to write a mythical orientated entry.
        That can be a story about (e.g.) gods, a legendary artefact related to gods or a submission about a single mythical person . If you want to write about a mythical person who belongs to group like the patrons or guardians, please use the respective template.

        There are three ways of writing an entry about a myth.
        • The easiest is surely to add a paragraph to a submission where you describe a beast, a plant, a location or anything else. This myth, or sometimes it should be more called lore, can be fairly short. You can find an example here
          You might want to add a short myth or lore at the entry for a person living in historical times, then you need to use the Guide to Design People.
          Or you describe an artefact which is legendary, but you want to write only a short section about myth/lore. Then you need to use the artefact template which you can find in the Miscellaneous forum.

        • Then you have the choice to  write a whole myth yourself, that means narrate a story, use the approbate language and capture your reader this way. One example is the story about Etherus and Belmira The difficulty lies here in finding the right style. This can be a story involving a lot of people and gods, but as well a tale about a special artefact or a myth about a famous or feared person of former times.

        • The last option is to write about a myth or mythical artefacts. Here you have to not only tell us the myth or describe the artefact, but to give us information where it is told, who tells it and why it is narrated, how the myth (not the artefact!) came into being and so on. You can present the myth in quite a dry way, just mentioning the „facts“, but it is of course preferred, if you narrate it to us.
          Person‘s entries of somebody who lived in the very far past where it is very unlikely or  nearly impossible to obtain any fact need a different treatment as well.

          Please use the template if you are going for the third variant.

      • The Templates:

      • Mythical Narration

        • Overview:
          The myth is surely known under a heading (eventually subheading) . Put it here along with any other names it may have including its meaning. Tell in short where and by whom the myth is told, mention roughly who plays a role in this myth and hint at what happens.

        • Prevalence:
          This is the "where" section. Put in here in which region of the world of Caelereth this myth is told, who tells it and to whom it is narrated.

        • History/Origin/Purpose
          How far back can this myth be traced, has it a defined origin? Why did this myth come into existence?  Has it changed over the time? Why was it told? Does the narrator want to achieve something with telling it? Is a ‚moral‘ message hidden - or obvious?

        • Importance
          Why is this myth important? Has it had any influence on society or otherwise?

        • Narrating the Myth:
          Here you can tell us the content of the myth, the story itself. It is preferred to narrate it as it might be told around a campfire, but a drier version which only mentions the facts is possible also. If the mythical story is very long, you can write an extra library entry and present here just a summary.

      • Mythical Artefacts

        • Overview:
          Has the artefact a second name? Have the names a (hidden) meaning?
          Describe in short what it is, include a few interesting details about its appearance, his creator , his history or whatever an interested reader might want to know along with the main reason the artefact is important.

        • Description:
          How does it look like? Describe it as closely as possible, but take always into consideration that it is a very old, mythical object and therefore you don‘t have it lying before you. There might even exist different descriptions, so you need to use here terms like „it is said“ or „rumours go“ or maybe „ an old parchment tells us“ and so on.

        • Powers:
          Describe here the powers of this object, what was it used for? But don‘t tell its story here! Have the powers or properties  changed over the time? Again, you don‘t know anything for certain!

        • History/Origin/Purpose
          How far back can this myth about this artefact be traced back, has it a defined origin? Do we know (or speculate) why did this myth come into existence?  Has the myth itself changed over the time?  Does the narrator want to achieve something with telling the story about tis artefact? Is a ‚moral‘ message hidden - or obvious?

        • Importance
          Why was this myth important, why is it still important for us? Has it had any influence on society or otherwise?

        • Narrating the Myth:
          Now tell us finally the story about this mythical artefact, preferable in the way a grandmother entertains her grandchildren. Here you don‘t need to mention all the properties of this artefact, some might be common knowledge amoung the listeners.

      Author: Takór Salenár

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      Guidelines on How to Design a Religion

      A religion represents the complete concept behind the belief in a God/Goddess or a multitude of Gods. In order to design a religion you should have the following scheme in mind:

      • Overview
        The usual overview stuff. Try to put in the most important things concerning the religion in this section. Make sure that the reader sees from the first glance what the religion is all about, without having to dig into all the details.

      • Prevalence
        This is the "where" section. Put in here in which region of the world of Caelereth this religion is common, how much it is spread in general.

      • Belief Outlines
        Mention here the main content of the religion: Who is worshipped why and for which specific purpose.

      • Origins
        Everything has a beginning, and so do religions. Was there a founder, prophet, messiah, a prophet who "created" the religion or who became a godly mission? Or has the religion developed historically from other religions to finally stand on its own? All this information here, please!

      • Gods Overview
        Provide a short list about all the Gods, who are part of this religion. Add a few sentences at each deity, so that the reader gets a general idea about the differences of the Gods.

      • Worshipping Practices
        How are the Gods worshipped? Are there certain rituals, practiced daily, weekly, monthly? Are there certain celebration days? Are shrines built and where specifically? Can you tell us some details on how the clerics are chosen, how they worship the Gods etc.

        Author: Artimidor Federkiel

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      Guidelines on How to write Gods and Goddesses

      If you are going to create a new (obviously a local) deity for your  people or tribe please consider using this outline so that we have a consistent format. Have a look!

      • Names
        The primary name , the AKA's and epithets.

      • Overview
        General responsibility and personality of the deity, to which tribe does he/she belong, where is she worshipped? Are there others in his/her realm?

      • Appearance
        How is the god concepted? How depicted in paintings, murals, sculptures, or other art forms? (Is he depicted at all?) Are there typical aspects that are always the same? Are there conflicting or contradicting depictions in different areas or among different tribes?

      • Personality
        Has the god or goddess a temper? Is she wild and easily annoyed, or is he a loving and caring god? Or both? At the same time or depending on the circumstances, the mood, or the attention she gets?

      • Symbols
        What colours, animals, things, concepts, parts of the cosmos, stars, shapes, etc. are associated with this god? What things are favoured by him or her? How do they fit into the overall sphere of the deity’s influence?

      • Feastdays & Celebrations
        Are there special days, weeks, or months,  observances and rituals performed? Any rites or actions that must be done at a certain time or on a certain date?

      • Temples/Templedesign
        Are there any?  Where are they located? How are they built? Any special appearance or materials used? Architectural details. Priests, priestesses, monks, sages, hermits, or other special devotees (assassins, mendicants, seekers, etc.) of this god? Any shrines, statues, herms, cairns, altars, springs, or natural places associated with this god and set apart as sacred to him or her?

      • Mythology
        Are there any (mythical) books in which the god is described? Is a certain day, month, element or something else dedicated to him? Are there kin deities, godly foes or friends? (This is the older stuff)

      • Lore
        Are there special stories/legends related to this god. What did/does he or she do for the cosmos? How is he/she still active in the world? Any interaction with single person/tribes or the other races? (This is the younger stuff)

      • Importance
        Area of responsibility. Who specifically worships him/her? How is the god’s attention attracted? How is he/she worshipped or given gifts? How does the deity fit into the everyday life of the average person? Does it differ among the races, tribes or genders?

      Author: Bard Judith, edited by Takór Salenár


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      Guidelines on How to Design Priests

      • Name

        Cleric of ‚insert god or goddess‘, other names?

      • Overview

        Give a general overview on the clerics. When you look at this overview you should see at once

        - the main characteristic of these priests
        - their duties
        - important differences to other priests
        - where they can be found (geographically)

      • Appearance

        Please give a description of the clerics. What do they wear in private, what in public, what at ceremonial occasions? Do they have special colours? (Their god‘s colour? Look at the god‘s entries!

      • Symbols

        Do they use the symbols of their god/goddess or do they have something in addition?

      • Personality (optional)

        Is each cleric different or do they have some comman features, be it that they are especially friendly, good to animals or cold and repellent?

      • Abilities

        What are they able to do after they have reached priesthood?

      • Apprenticeship

        When starts apprenticeship, when do they learn to achieve special levels of their education, when are they able to do certain tasks?

      • Duties

        What are their daily/weakly/annual duties? What are apprentices allowed to do?

      • Organisation, Structure of the Cult

        Add a few sentences, how the priests are organised. Are they found mostly in temples or do they wander around? For a more detailed work you need to write about the cult itself.

      • Territory (optional)

        Tell where the priests can be found if it is too long to describe it in the overview properly.

      • Importance

        Why are especially these priests important for society ?

      • Orders and Sects

        Are there any orders or sects and what are the differences to the main priesthood. A paragraph or two should be enough, otherwise you need an extra entry.

      Author: Takór Salenár

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      Guidelines on How to Design Patrons

      • Name

        The primary name , the AKA's and epithets.

      • Overview

        Give a general overview on the patron on top. When you look at this overview you should see at once

        - who this patron is/was
        - what he/she did
        - where this all happened
        - and why there is a Compendium entry for this patron

      • Appearance

        How is the patron concepted? How is he/she/it depicted in paintings, murals, sculptures, or other art forms? (Is he depicted at all?) Are there typical aspects that are always the same? Are there conflicting or contradicting depictions in different areas or among different tribes?

      • Personality

        What kind of person was this patron, friendly to everyone or heroic and more set apart from the normal people?

      • Mythology  or Biography

        Are there any (mythical) books in which the patron is described? Is a certain day, month, element or something else dedicated to him? Are there kin deities, godly foes or friends?

      • Becoming a Patron

        How did this person become a patron? What events led to this status? What deeds and miracles were performed that gave this person a cult following?

      • Lore

        What symbols or events represents this patron? Are there special stories/legends related to this patron? What did/does he or she do for the cosmos? How is he/she still active in the world? Any interaction with single person/tribes or the other races?

      • Rituals/Celebrations
        Any shrines, statues, herms, cairns, altars, springs, or natural places associated with this patron and set apart as sacred to him or her? Are there any rituals and celebrations honored in the patron's name?

      • Importance

        Area of responsibility or influence. Who specifically respects him/her? How is the patron’s attention attracted? How is he/she revered or given gifts? How does the patron fit into the everyday life of the average person? Does it differ among the races, tribes or genders?

      Author: Azhira, edited by Takór Salenár

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      Guidelines on How to Design a Cult or Sect

      As the understanding what a cult or sect is differs from reader to reader, a short Caelerethian definition shall be given first.
      A „Cult“ is a particular system of religious as non-religious veneration of gods, special persons, items or (atheistic) ideas. The organisation as the members themselves can be denoted as „Cult“ . These people are bound together by the common veneration of  the same god/person/idea and in most cases have common rites, festivities, celebrations, though these can vary in some cases from region to region.

      A Cult can be

      • a mainstream cult like the "Cult of Queprur“, describing the practice of one of the gods related to the "Religion of the Twelve“ in Santharia
      • a smaller cult only present in special locations or bound to a race (i.e. The Worshipers of Dalireen - Hobbits in Santharia)
      • one of many cults of one religion (i.e. The Cult of Fire as one the Cults of Mari)
      • a religious social group outside of the mainstream religions. (The True Vision Cult, are not off-shoots of current religions, but smaller groups of their own beliefs.)

      A Sect is:

      • an off-shoot or group that has broken off from the main religion. These groups can be ones considered heretical or outcasts from the main religion, but are based, at least historically, on the main religion.

        For both, Cult and Sect, the template can be applied, though some suggestions what to write might not be applicable on every submission.

        • Overview

          Give a brief description of the cult or sect, its territory and its people, is it a mainstream cult or a persecuted sect? The overview should be as short as possible, but give the reader sufficient information so that he does not need to read the whole entry.

        • Name (Optional)
          If there is more to say about the name or if the cult has several names, give here a more detailed analysis, otherwise include the information in the overview.

        • Prevalence
          This is the "where" section. Put in here in which region of the world of Caelereth this cult is common, how much it is spread in general. Are the members found in a specific city or remote location? Does the cult still exist or was it only an episode in history?

        • Belief Outlines
          If you are writing about the belief of a main cult, a very short summary and a link to the main religion entry and to the god/goddess entry will suffice. If you are describing a new (or until now not yet existing) cult, this chapter should tell the reader everything of importance. If a variation of the mainstream religion or a sect is described, the differences to this main religion should be pointed out clearly.

        • People - Appearance and Mindset
          Who are those people? Do they look different to the rest of the community? Have they different clothing (if any...), hairstyles, scarring/tattooing, etc? Again, mainstream ‚cultists‘ don‘t need to be described as thoroughly as special groups. The priests of the main religions have their own template, the clerics or representatives of smaller sects or cults have to be included though.

          Differ the members of the cult from other ‚normal‘ people through their daily behaviour (not rites or ceremonies), do they have a different approach to daily life, are they set apart somehow? (Those who venerate Queprur mainly differ surely from worshipers of Dalireen)

          Food (optional)
          Do these people have restrictions, what food concerns? Are they avoiding meat or live primarily on it? Are special animals forbidden to eat, because they venerate it or are the symbol of their god?

          Weapons (optional)
          Are these people famous for using a special weapon or are they preaching non-violence?

        • Coat of Arms - Symbols
          Is there anything, a sign, a gesture, a symbol, a flag which would immediately associated with the cult or sect? Are there secret symbols or signs which are only used to communicate to others members, especially secret signs which show, that you are a member of that group?

        • Organization
          Describe here the organization structure (if any) and the roles of the members and leadership.
          How is this group ‚governed‘? Is it strictly hierarchical or are equals dealing with each other? Is it possible for every one to ‚climb the ladder‘ or is this restricted to certain persons only? How much is the single person included (or forced) into daily activities? Is he free to participate or are failures punished?

        • Worshiping Practices:
          What kinds of regularly rituals, practices, gatherings does the cult/sect do? Are they linked to the governing structure?

        • Festivals/Celebrations:
          Does this cult/sect celebrate any special holidays? Festivals? Sacrifices? How intense is the participation of the members? Are any excluded from special ‚events‘? Are these festivals commonly accepted or doubted by some?

        • Temples/Housing:
          What kinds of temples does the cult/sect worship in? Do they prefer a specific type of housing or environment? Temples and housing does not mean that they worship in a physical structure of stone/wood. If they worship outdoors in woods, on a mountain top or desert, describe that.

        • Trade-Production: (Optional)
          Is there anything only this group creates, produces, is famous for? (see Cult of Fire)

        • Myth/Lore:
          What kinds of mythology surrounds the cult/sect? What sort of lore is associated with them?

        • Origin and History:
          When did this cult or sect come into life? (It may not be possible to pin that down). How where it origins? A historical event? (A war, a natural catastrophe, a lightning)? Was there a special person or group who initiated it or became the focus of veneration? Did it split from a main stream religion and why? When did it split, was it tolerated at first, but persecuted later? How did it this cult or sect develop later? Was it an underground group for years? Did its members decrease and rise again? What where the reasons? How was its influence on religion and politics? And so on...

        • Importance:
          What makes this cult or sect important? In what ways are they famous (or infamous)? Where did it influence society?
          Why  is it worth to get an entry in the compendium? Where lies the common interest in knowing more (about) it?

        Author: Azhira, edited by Takór Salenár

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        Entry Templates for Downloading

        In order to facilitate working on Cosmological entries you can download predefined templates. The templates are textfiles, which contain all the necessary and optional sections of the entries and are already formatted so that they appear as coloured bold captions once you post it at the board. You only need to add your text below the section and remove sections you don't need, and post the result.

        If you left-click on a template you'll open it in a new browser window. From there you can mark the contents in the new window (right-click and "Mark All" in Internet Explorer for example), then open a new topic and paste it in. Or you can right-click on the template, save it on your hard drive and work offline.

        And here are the available templates, ready for your disposal. Note, that each template contains TWO possibilites to copy/paste - the simple version with just the headings and below the one with the suggestion text.

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        Exemplary  Entries

        Exemplary  entries are contributions, which are recommended for everyone to read prior to starting an entry on your own. You don't have to read all of the suggestions of course, but the more the better to get a look and feel what is possible and what is recommended in terms of style and detail depth. These entries represent how it should be done in the most ideal case, containing cross-references to other entries, lots of ideas and in depth description details, lore that can inspire other entries, and so on. Some of these entries needed weeks or even months to finish them, but you can also clearly see the work that has gone into it!

        Please note that not everybody can start with an entry that is as good as one done by members who know larger parts of the site by heart as they have stayed here already for years. Try to start small, but take the given suggestions as references in quality and depth you should strive for to achieve. A Cosmological entry or a Gods entry is much more complicated than designing a beast or a plant, requires more research and more time to write it down, will be discussed more hotly and you might have to rewrite it more than once but after all it's also much more rewarding once you have it finished.

        And here are the examples you might check out in order to make your own entries more perfect:

        Advanced examples
        (qualifying as masterpieces):

        Introduction to Santharian Cosmology by Artimidor Federkiel (Cosmology)
        The Santharian Calender by Artimidor Federkiel (Cosmology)

        - (Myths, Mythology ) still coming

        Armeros, Santharian god of War (Gods) by Bard Judith (Gods)
        The Hobbit Deity Dalireen by Rayne Avalotus (Gods)

        The Aeoliran Religion by Artemis (Religion)
        The Aseyan Religion (Korweynite Belief) by Koldar Mondrakken (Religion)

        The cults of Mari by Koldar Mondrakken (Cult)
        The True Vision Cult by Tarquet Galbar (Cult)

        Smaller, but still very well done entries:

        The Avéquis Lighthorse by Vesk Lyricahl (Mythological beast)
        The fylja by Bard Judith (Myth-Apparition)
        The Mad Dancing Faeries by Smith in Exile (Myth, Apparition)
        The Domovidgies by Fluffy Ramblers (Myth, Apparition)

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        Guidelines on How to Post Own Proposals

        This thread was made in order to harbour all kinds of proposals for stuff you find referenced on the site, which should be made into a Cosmology or any other  entry belonging to this forum.

        For example if you write an entry and mention a myth, sketching it in two or three sentences, but haven't the time to do it yourself, just post the details here, so that other people can pick up the idea and work e.g. in this case on this special myth.  

        If you post something here, make sure to do it in a certain syntax, though, so that it looks for example like this:

        ************** ************* ************** **************** ***************
        Afrasnyr, First God of the Ice Tribes
        Referenced by: Takór Salenár
        Search Link: See Ice Tribes of Northern Sarvonia
        Recommended Reads:
        Any other Gods/Goddess Entry already on the Site (See Exemplary Entries).
        Watch out for other Ice Tribe Gods in the making!
        According to the mythology of the Ice Tribes Afrasnyr, the hermaphrodite chaos god, was tired of being alone for eternities and therfore decided to fight with his own self. During this struggle he split himself into the 15 gods which lived inside him (or alternatively who were actually him).
        ************* ************* ************ *********** ************** ****************
        To sum it up:

        • The name of the myth (or mythical beast..) should be in yellow and bold and his profession/function.

        • Below you should write "Referenced by" so that everyone knows who has made the entry where the reference word/name is mentioned.

        • The other sections should be in orange.

        • Also essential is a Search Link. In order to get such a search link, click here first. Then type in what you're searching and click on Submit. - Now copy the URL from the page which appears now and use it at your post.

        • If you think another entry is necessary to know or is recommended to know, add these as well. But that is optional.

        • At the Details section specify anything an entry should definitely contain. Not necessarily required, but helps everyone a lot to know what you mean.

      « Last Edit: 20 June 2011, 22:55:35 by Ta'lia of the Seven Jewels » Logged

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