Monday, July 11, 2011

Thoughts on Cosmology

Because I started doing research on Elves and Dwarves, and I've been working on my kinda-Christianity and kinda-Zoroastrianism religions, I found myself banging my head repeatedly against the concept of a cosmology for Enigmundia.

Now, because my first area of concern is based on Karameikos -- a land whose Gazetteer is built primarily as the most familiar type of D&D mini-setting in the overall setting of Mystara -- I'm also trying to make mine a starting point for a 'typical D&D' setting with a distinct character of its own.

In fact, creating a kingdom on one of the borders of a large empire with:
(1) a native population with its own pagan / syncretic beliefs
(2) neighbors (human and non-human) who have their own cultural, political, and religious beliefs; and
(3) a wise and cunning ruler with substantial yet limited resources and support

makes a strong argument for the practice of tolerance of many beliefs in the setting. That's not to say that there won't be clashes, but the Powers That Be will frown on those seeking to upset the delicate balances.

Actually, it's starting to sound a bit like Babylon 5, only instead of a space station, it's an entire country that is most definitely not neutral territory.

In any case, I've found myself awash in fairly dense and contradictory and confusing WikiPedia resources that I'd like to share with some of you:

Norse and Germanic Mythology
Alfheimr -- one of the nine worlds of Norse mythology, and home of the Light Elves. It has been characterized as mystical and benevolent but sinister and wicked at times.
Frey/Freyr -- brother of Freyja and also ruler of Alfheimr (it was given to him by the gods as a teething gift).
The Nine Worlds -- Midgard / Mannheim is one of them but other fantastic places to visit remain, even if differing sources don't agree on the lineup of worlds.


A Bible and The Book of Enoch
Always good for world-creation flavor, though I shall probably dip into Von Daniken's "Chariots of the Gods" and Sitchin's Earth Chronicles series at some point in time:

That's all for now. Keep those postcards and letters coming.


2 comments:

  1. The Book of Enoch is always fascinating. Not everyone gets a front row seat to angelic conflict or a road trip through Heaven. I remember reading it years ago in a collection of books called "Lost Books of the Bible." To its credit while Roman Catholicism does not see the book as inspired, it used it as a source for developing an understanding of the angelic and demonic world by ancient writers and saints.

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  2. It's true, and despite some minor difficulty in grasping what he's talking about sometimes it's very easy when reading with an eye to building your own cosmology.

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That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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