Saturday, July 2, 2011

Countdown to A Sign in Blood - Day Three

Wow, halfway there! I'm on pins and needles, guys! If you missed the prologue on day one, you can read it here! And you can read a little about the world of A Sign in Blood on the day two post, here.

Remember to comment, if you're interested in a free ebook! I'll be giving away five free copies on the 4th!

The mythology is a very big part of the world of A Sign in Blood. It is the backdrop for the story, and mythology is one of my favorite things to build for any story. I think that a people's mythology says a lot about who they are, about how they see the world and what they value. Building a culture's mythology helps me to better understand the culture I'm writing, so it's an important step for me.

With A Sign in Blood, the plot is heavily influenced by the mythology of three different, interconnected cultures, all of whom have a different take on the same stories, ancient stories from when the gods walked among mortals and the havoc they wreaked. The twin urges of creation and destruction set in motion by sibling rivalry and played out across the face of the world.

The scars are still present, even though the brother-gods, Myador and Barakou, trapped one another in a standoff long ago. Their worship still impacts both nations, although one is all but underground while the other is in decline. Myador and Barakou are the sons of Eskri, the divine mother. While the Bensas place Eskri as the highest deity, the Devsari favor their creator Myador, and the Nirafel favor their creator Barakou. The rivalry between their deities locks Tredalor and Malithior in an eternal struggle, pits them against one another and builds hatred between them.

The war is over, mostly because centuries after the supposed deaths of their gods, both nations have tired of the bloodshed, of the constant drain on resources and lives. But it's now, after finally settling into a wary peace, that the gods threaten to return. Myador's body is missing, and while many dismiss it as nothing, a story, or a figment of the imagination, Chadri can't help but feel its more. After all, her father is the one accused of stealing it.

But these aren't the only gods, and in the absence of Barakou and Myador, the other deities have established themselves in much more subtle and less destructive ways. The Nirafel have a particularly interesting relationship with their gods. Their nation is ruled by a Conclave of the military and priestly castes, and these two high castes control all five of the city-states. However, though Barakou's temple is still among the priestly castes, their mourning of the sleeping god leaves them without a vote in the Conclave. While they are still considered "high caste," they are in a strange limbo between being priests and not being priests. This puts them in a precarious political position, and that doesn't sit well with the current High Priest of Conclave, Deom'Walia.

The politics of Malithior are far less tied to the religions of the people, but Myador was a deity of war and rulership, and his worshippers tend to accumulate power. After the end of the war with Tredalor, the soldiers had to go somewhere, do something. Some threw their lot into the political arena, and some of those want the war to start again. After all, centuries of hatred cannot be brushed away overnight, or even over twenty years of peace.

So the mythology reaches into other sectors of life, into other parts of the country. It influences both country in numerous ways, and drives people in both.

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2 comments:

Chrystalla Thoma said...

I love mythology that is religion, that impacts real life and is not just in books. Your story feels like an account of a time long ago, when the gods were alive and worshiped - and yet the story is alive too. Excellent work!

Marion Sipe said...

Thank you, sweetie! I love mythology, always have, and it's so much fun to incorporate it into a story and see how it influences lives and events. It always surprises me, too! :-D