What bugs me is how the known pantheon, with all its dead and not-so-dead gods, is described as comprehensive, and leaves no room for minor/regional/racial deities.
What it does leave room for, however, is minor/regional/racial aspects of deities, which can accomplish much the same thing - I believe that the Huana have already been stated to revere Ondra under a differ name/likeness, though I can't recall the actual name right now. Conversely, it also isn't inconceivable that a given culture would see distinct deities as aspects of the same divinity (e.g., Gaun, Berath, and Rymrgand is a singular death god that goes through seasonal phases or is seen through different aspects based on the life that one has led), which can have significant impacts on how such deities are approached and interpreted.
Take the Glanfathan : most of them worship Galawain, god of the hunt. Some of them worship Hylea or Wael. Galawain is worshipped by hunters everywhere and Wael has a big library-temple inside Defiance Bay. So that means Glanfathans and Aedyrans, or Dyrwoodans, share the same gods.
So what if they worship the same gods? That obviously doesn't equate to considering each other to be part of some happy extended religious family - nor should it, given how few of these deities mandate harmonious coexistence. There can be significant differences in interpretations of the faith/dogma or even the origins/nature of the deity in question (consider the Eothas vs Gaun and the tensions that the developers have mentioned as likely to occur between Eder and Xoti in regards to disagreements about their shared deity). Even where such differences do not exist or are less significant, conflict can arise through competition for the gods' favor or it may simply be the deities' will that these nations clash with each other.
They also share the same language, or at least aedyran is easily spoken by everyone in Twin Elms. So why exactly does everyone thinks Glanfathan culture is so weird and foreign ?
The fact that they can speak Aedyran is likely a consequence of Aedyr's colonization efforts as opposed to them sharing languages from the start. As for why there would still be such estrangement between the Dyrwoodan and the Glanfathans, I don't see how that's hard to understand given generations of conflict and resentment between them. The Dyrwoodan sense that Glanfathans are strange would have more to with aspects of Glanfathan culture, such as tribal organization, the fact that humans are a minority among them
if there are any Glanfathan Folk at all (there are, I just forgot), the fact that they're semi-nomadic in contrast with the Dyrwoodan emphasis on agriculture, and a divergence in centuries to milennia old beliefs and traditions that a couple of new gods would hardly be a replacement or necessary explanation for.
There's this ruin protection things, but that's actually Woedica's policy, not Galawain's...
Not really. Woedica favors Aedyr, and Aedyr has always been about pillaging the Glanfathan ruins for all they're worth. Woedica doesn't want people mucking about with animancy, but that doesn't mean she has a problem with the nation she prefers benefiting from Engwithan artifacts that were created through animancy (or that she's against her agents actively practicing animancy to vilify animancy for that matter) - she reserves the right to practice her double standards and play favorites as the rightful queen of everything.
If the Dyrwood vs Glanfath dispute regarding the Engwithan ruins has a religious dimension at all, then it is tied to the Glanfathan's reverence of the Builders and not the decrees of any god in particular. Which brings us to another point: for weird culture-specific faiths, you don't need gods at all. Faith is the source of priests' powers and their faith can as easily be linked to ancestor worship, Animistic beliefs and rituals (not to be mistaken for Animancy, which could easily spark a transcendentalist faith of its own centered around casting off the yoke of mortality, unlocking latent powers/knowledge from past lives, etc.), nationalistic religions tied to shared origins and destinies based on cultural identity, the worship of god-kings or queens, or even self-worship for the wildly narcissistic misfits out there.
want to feel how different their cultures are, not just accept it as a fact because the writers said so.
I actually agree with this. I just don't agree that inventing new gods for different areas/peoples comes anywhere near cutting it or is even a particularly valuable way to approach the cultural differentiation process.
Edited by blotter, 09 March 2017 - 03:55 PM.