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View Full Version : "Religions" in the WoT - help needed!


counterpoint
08-17-2014, 11:14 PM
First-time poster, here! Hello! Just finally finished AmoL last week, after starting the series in 1996. The end of an era... and a great era it was.

Anyways, I've been helping design a fre mod for the game Civilization V based on the WoT world. I've come to some difficulties and I thought I'd ask for help here, since you are all experts of all things WoT.

As a part of the game, civilizations adopt various religions that spread around and affect various parts of the game - their generic, though (Christianity and Islam are, for instance, interchangeable). As you can imagine, though, this mechanic is hard to translate into WoT terms, since there's only really one "religion" in Randland, and it's not practiced in any organized way (at least compared to real-world religious practice).

Instead, what I'd like to try to do is use the different "sects" and/or philosophies of the "Light" religion. You know, the different paths various people have chosen to follow the Light and the Creator (deciding against including the Shadow for now). Still, it's quite difficult to find enough (we're hoping for ten or so), and even harder to name some of the ones we find. Here's what we have so far:

- Way of the Light (the whitecloak world view)
- Way of the Leaf (certainly not a religion, but a world-view and way of life)
- Ji'e'toh (same as above)
- The Water Way (that is, of the Amayar)
- The Cult of the Dragon (is there a better name for this?)
- The Omen Reading of the Seanchan (PLEASE I need a good name for this)

Others I'm hoping to figure out a way to name/develop:

- The harvest-festival based, "white bread" faith of the Two Rivers and other places What could this be called?
- The overall world-view of the Sea Folk (something about Jendai?)
- The overall world-view of the Sharans

Again, these are basically generic "flavor" that get adopted by various players, and don't have to mean anything in-game - a Aes Sedai-friendly civ could adopt the Way of the Light, for instance. That said, we're trying to stay away from politically-oriented ones like Daes Dae'mar, since they'll probably pop up elsewhere in the game

Can you guise suggest any more that I've left out? I'm trying to research this myself, but have hit a roadblock. and, please, help me come up with cool and universe-appropriate names for these!

Thanks!

Terez
08-17-2014, 11:42 PM
Hi, welcome to Theoryland. :) Musician?


- The Cult of the Dragon (is there a better name for this?)
Just Dragonsworn.

The Omen Reading of the Seanchan (PLEASE I need a good name for this)
What's wrong with Omen-Reading? It's not entirely limited to the Seanchan; the cock crowing at night is supposed to be a sign of death in Randland proper, for example.

The harvest-festival based, "white bread" faith of the Two Rivers and other places What could this be called?
Paganism? It's not right, but I don't know what else to call it. I also don't know that it's necessarily limited to the Two Rivers; I think their main holidays are celebrated everywhere (like the Feast of Lights and Sunday). There's Listening to the Wind, though, which tends to be limited to places where Aes Sedai don't go.

The overall world-view of the Sea Folk (something about Jendai?)
Their world-view doesn't seem to be structured in the same way as, for example, ji'e'toh. When we talk about their ways, we usually refer to their hierarchy. That's pretty structured, but it doesn't resemble religion like ji'e'toh or even the Water Way. It's not a philosophy.

The overall world-view of the Sharans.
I don't know that they really have one. I have not read "River of Souls", and I've only read AMOL once, so I don't have a good grip on what was written about them (we didn't know much of anything about them before), but I do know that Brandon has said there are many factions in Shara, and Demandred only gained control of one faction (mostly the Ayyad).

You have things like the Guilds in Ebou Dar, and the Illuminators, but those are not philosophies either. There were the Watchers over the Waves who awaited the return of Hawkwing's armies (or whatever they awaited, since the Seanchan said they weren't watching for the right thing). Getting far afield here.

Weird Harold
08-18-2014, 01:13 AM
- Way of the Light (the whitecloak world view)
- Way of the Leaf (certainly not a religion, but a world-view and way of life)
- Ji'e'toh (same as above)
- The Water Way (that is, of the Amayar)
- The Cult of the Dragon (is there a better name for this?)
- The Omen Reading of the Seanchan (PLEASE I need a good name for this)

Others I'm hoping to figure out a way to name/develop:

- The harvest-festival based, "white bread" faith of the Two Rivers and other places What could this be called?
- The overall world-view of the Sea Folk (something about Jendai?)
- The overall world-view of the Sharans

There are several old discussions about real world parallels and inspirations that cover the religious inspirations of reincarnation beliefs and pacifism (among other aspects.) Perhaps you can find in inspiration by looking where RJ found inspiration.

- The Omen Reading of the Seanchan (PLEASE I need a good name for this)

IIRC, the Seanchan world-view is based on a mixture of Animism and Shinto just as the Culture is heavily influenced by Japanese mythology.

- The Water Way (that is, of the Amayar)

The Water Way and the Way of the Leaf are essentially the same extremist Pacifism. I'd combine them or list them as variations of a single religion (like Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, and Jewish are lumped together as "Judeo-Christian Religions" for some purposes.)

- The overall world-view of the Sharans

Look to Chinese History and the isolationism that prevailed for a couple of centuries. Like the ancient Chinese, Sharans don't really believe anyone else is truly human and fear contamination by outside ideas.

I've forgotten where the parallels for the Ayyad and their control over the rulers of Shara (Ancient Greece?) come from.

- The overall world-view of the Sea Folk (something about Jendai?)

The sea-folk have their own version of the Prophecies of The Dragon, called the Jendai Prophecies, but that isn't their "religion." In fact, it goes against their world view in many ways.

At a guess, from the relationship between windfinder and captain, their "religion" is "Duty to Ship, Fleet, Family, Self" -- almost more a military command structure rather than a culture.

Zombie Sammael
08-18-2014, 06:10 AM
Some suggestions for names:

- The Omen Reading of the Seanchan (PLEASE I need a good name for this)


The Way of the Ravens, perhaps?

Others I'm hoping to figure out a way to name/develop:

- The harvest-festival based, "white bread" faith of the Two Rivers and other places What could this be called?

The Common Way.

- The overall world-view of the Sea Folk (something about Jendai?)

The Way of the Sea.

- The overall world-view of the Sharans

The Sharans end up following Demandred, so perhaps something that reflects that. Their religion is at odds in some way, it seems, with the other cultures in Randland (no doubt in a similar way to how the Seanchan at first seem to be).

Hugh the Hand
08-18-2014, 06:54 AM
Interesting topic.

Are you leaving out following the Shadow? (Way of the Night)

How about those that strive for Balance?

Of course there could be one for those that follow Fain's darker than Shadow faith or Way.

And as for Names.. Way of the Raven, Way of the Leaf, Way of the Sea, Way of the Dragon, you can create an easy theme following that pattern.
Way of the Shadow
Way of the Ji'toth
Way of the Common Folk
etc

counterpoint
08-18-2014, 06:30 PM
Thanks, everybody, for all the suggestions!

I'm definitely interested in looking into the Watchers of the Waves, as that seems culty in a way that might be appropriate.

As far as the "Shadow," it's a tricky issue. There aren't really any "cultures" that are full of darkfriends - even the Sharans seemed to have been duped into it.

I do like the idea of the cohesiveness of "Way of *&#@" and such. It's too bad, really, that there are some philosophies that have codified names, and others that don't - makes for some inconsistency, unfortunately.

Certainly looking into the philosophical inspirations for those ideas would lead to some interesting concepts, but I wonder if we brought in too much that wasn't strictly in the books, the mod wouldn't have the WoT "feel" enough.

Thanks!

Kimon
08-18-2014, 09:57 PM
- The Omen Reading of the Seanchan (PLEASE I need a good name for this)



Augury