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Author Topic: Setting Seeds; Evil Gods  (Read 576 times)
The Captain of Crunch
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« Reply #15 on: August 14, 2017, 09:56:20 PM »

Some interesting ideas here. The idea of a Lovecraftian pantheon of functionally evil beings (I say functionally because they may be beyond morality) that are akin to gods within a world without true supernatural things.

Without getting too into real world theology, imagine if all the devils, demons, and boogiemen of myths were real, but none of the gods.

But to say that a world with nothing but evil gods wouldn't be able to band together as a civilization is a little harsh. As long as they aren't all powerful and aren't out to simply kill everyone, I think people's intrinsic altruism (at least to their own family/tribe) would win out to an extent. Societies may be brutal and harsh, but nothing is going to get a town to band together like a Balor a'calling.
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Spawn of Ungoliant
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« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 10:34:23 PM »

Xeviat

Mostly the "it's okay to murder, lie, cheat, steal ..." that they preach makes them evil. These devils are more like the "I'm not going to do what you say" style Satan, not the D&D Lawful Evil type devils.

So that's pretty interesting; it suggests that the gods in this setting aren't interested at all in dogma or doctrine. This would seem to suggest that organized religion devoted to them would be essentially non-existent, and they'd be opposed to hierarchical societies of all sorts. Big, organized cities, empires, and hierarchical societies full stop would consequently tend to be secular (possibly militantly so), provided everyone knows that the gods are real and opposed to rules and order.

I think one thing to figure out is whether the good gods are dead or just never existed. Those are two pretty different cosmologies.
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« Reply #17 on: August 15, 2017, 03:35:58 AM »

I tend to think of this kind of appeasement-based worship as making the most sense for the majority of people in a typical fantasy setting. Yes, you might get a handful of ascetics in remote monasteries who take religion in a more metaphysical, enlightenment-seeking direction, but for the masses religion means you sacrifice a lamb to the Storm Goddess every new moon so She doesn't wash your house away in a typhoon and you spend an hour at daybreak every day reciting the litanies of the Harvest God so He doesn't blight your crops.

There's certainly a literary precedent for heroes who follow, or at least have some kind of vaguely subservient relationship with, inimical deities - Crom ("I seldom pray. He doesn't listen.") and Arioch spring to mind from the classics of sword and sorcery.
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