Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Terrae Vertebrae: Notes on the Sub-Continent

The following is taken verbatim from my notes. Derivative it might be, but I didn't want it to be a direct pastiche of Hindu myth - as, I understand, the RPG Arrows of Indra is. Therefore, I took the setting back to the same roots as Vertebrea and went from there.

The Sub-Continent
All this ranges into the (Psuedo) Indian Sub-Continent. I haven’t conceived a definitive Hinduism-esque faith. But....on the basis that all faith in Terra Vertebrae works its way back to the Elder Races, after a fashion.....

OK, so the Manifest Vision and the Unified Vision in Vertebrae were the Dwarven and Elven influence divided by geography. Let’s play with that, and have the same influence divided by caste/class. So: Faith among the peasantry and lower citizens goes down the village guardian spirit – localised god of place Dwarven semi-Shinto route. But the ‘Brahminic’ priestly-monkish caste come up with vast unifying theologies leaning towards Pantheism – like the Elves. Nobles, richer merchants, &c. walk a line between the two camps.

Reincarnation is a little more complex than otherwise – necromancy, ghosts &c suggest some form of afterlife.  So, this is a doctrinal dispute.

What Gods do they worship? I shan’t invent the Hindu Pantheon from scratch. But to the ‘Brahmins’ most any god would be valid, after a fashion. Rustic peasants worship nature spirits. Merchants worship figures embodying concepts (a limited number thereof). Warriors worship Hero-Saints and Supermen, tallied to specific concepts – with the notion of a God above them all, who they learn about from the Priests.

Religion is taught and delivered to the masses in separate ways. A village has a wise man who teaches prayers and leads them. A regiment of troops might have a keeper of the icons and resident tale-teller to talk about not-Rama and Pseudo-Hercules. Merchants and Shopkeepers will place statuettes in their booths and will approach a Priest if they want to know more.  Priests will cater for all comers and would not hesitate to bless a standing stone or a battle-totem. Some priests will tailor their careers to a specific caste. But the ‘most priestly’ priests will be thinking in very abstract concepts of the Divine, and the Universe, and the Divinity of the Universe....

Politically, there are many fractured kingdoms. Just about right for the Mughals to wander in and unite things. 

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