Hi, it’s Mark from Amazing Gaming Productions. I am the creator of Tales from Trinity City, a dark sci-fi tabletop RPG. You create a super hero who explores the last unoccupied human city. You can check out my current lore book here.
Today, we’re going to look at how to write about ancient history and it’s affect on the world’s we are creating.
Ancient history affects our daily lives in profound ways. If you don’t realize how important myths and legends are, let me tell you it’s important for all societies. Myths and legends lead to written language, because we want to preserve those tales. Those written tales lead to religion – which is the beginning of codifying laws.
Why would your created world be any different?
Let’s delve into it with this blog post
Myths and Legends
Every culture in the world talks about the creation of the world. Some immortal God organized their chaos of existence and set it into order. Even today, our ideas about the Big Bang doesn’t deviate from that much. The universe came into existence in a massive release of energy. From nothing comes chaos, and then the laws of physics organize that chaos into order.
What does your cultures say about what created the universe? Was it chaos creating the natural world? Was it a deity, or a pantheon of deities who organized it? Was it the remnants of a great battle? When did this happen – according to the myths?
Once sapients have their origin story, they will write why they suffer. While God (or the gods) created a perfect world for sapients, the sapients mess it up somehow. Whether it is eating of the fruit of the tree of good or evil, or opening Pandora’s box. This brings chaos back into the world for people to deal with.
What stories does your culture have for those events? Who caused them? Why happen? What was the consequences of those events?
After this, we get new heroes – Noah saves humanity by building the Arc. Hercules performs his great feats. Beowolfe faces the demon. Moses gives us the law. Jesus comes to teach love and liberty.
They always bring profound change. Can you imagine a world where law is being introduced. Men use to rule over each other – but now there is a law that no one is above.
What heroes of legend does your world revere? What did they bring to the people? Laws, hope, freedom, peace? What did the face? How did they overcome this impossible force?
These stories start out as oral traditions, but people want something immortalized. Once a culture starts writing, they will write out these stories. That way these heroes can inspire the next generation.
Myths and legends are influential. Even today, we have comics and movies giving us the likes of Thor and Loki, Hercules, Perseus and Medusa. Those stories keep inspiring people, and will continue to do that for the thousands of years to come.
If the world is modern, or futuristic, are these stories still told? Have their meanings changed over time?
In the Orc world, there is the legend of Logar. He helped bring the Orcish people together. Many were always fighting, even amongst themselves. But Logar helped the Orcs find peace with themselves.
He showed them how to raise cattle and tend fields, so they were not always at war for resources. The Maker gives us the things we need to ensure we have enough – we don’t need to attack and kill each other.
While this helped the Orcs find stability, there were 12 chiefs who hated him. They loved the power they had through war with each other. They betrayed and killed Logar. But the people rose up and killed the chiefs. Logar’s disciples have ensured his legacy!
While Orcs are sharing his story as fire side chats, there are orcs working with humans to make them books.
Once you have spoken and even written stories, a religion will soon be born. Yeshua Bon Yosef started as a teacher in the holy land – preaching about the Kingdom of God. His disciples took his message around he known world after his crucifixion. They gave birth to the Christianity we know today!
Judaism has a similar history – Abraham, a man filled with faith of a vision, gave his faith to his children. They brought it to their children, and it became Judaism. All religions start out as oral stories, myths and legends. Then the people codify it as religious texts which helps the next generation.
That’s exactly like the Orc world – Logar told people stories, and then his disciples retold the stories. Now, parents will tell young orcs the story of Logar and what he did for the Orcs. Shamans now consult the spirit world for the will of the Maker on important days in Logar’s life.
Religions, by definition, are deciphering what myths and legends means to us on a daily basis.
So, what kinds of religions will spring up from the myths and legends of the past? What do they teach? What do the believers observe on a daily basis? What holidays do believers observe? How are holidays/holy days observed? Are there agreements and unity amongst all the religious believers? Is it like Christianity today – many different sects under one umbrella? Who are the leaders of the religion? What requirements does the beliefs have for the leaders? Is there a day every week for rest and worship?
When it comes down to it, ancient history is all about religions, myths and legends. The myths of the past helps create written language, ideals and traditions we live by, uniting us. Without religion, we wouldn’t know one restful day every week, or the fact humans need vacations – like week long pilgrimages to honour God. Holy days (holidays) show us we need times to take it easy.
All worlds, sci-fi or fantasy, need to have a history that has helped mould the world.
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