Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Musings on Racial Religions, Part 2

Art by Aaron Miller
Monday, I talked about a number of alternate religious beliefs that could be tied to three classic fantasy races (Dwarves, Elves, and Halflings). Continuing down that path, I've been toying around with a few more alternate religions & philosophies for two more races: Gnomes and Orcs.

New Age Gnomes
After their exile from the Realms of the Fey and their exodus to the Material Plane, the now mortal gnomes were exposed to a number of new ideas and concepts that peaked their curiosity. Religion was one of those ideas. While the idea of religion intrigued the ex-fey, they found themselves rather turned off by the restrictive dogma and the arbitrary divisions separating similar faiths. Therefore, the gnomes have taken different elements and ideas from the different religions and philosophies of the known world and have melded them together into a strange, new faith all together. Unlike other religions, gnome mysticism has now official structure what-so-ever and each gnome is responsible for their own, personal spiritual awakening. While there are some common elements and beliefs that most gnomes share (We live to experience the wonders of life, overtly-strict dogma causes one to miss the bigger picture and be close-minded, and that there is always something new to discover), each gnome is encouraged to develop their own version of spirituality and faith, adding new beliefs and ideas as they venture out into the world. 

Hero-Worshiping Orcs
The life of an orc is usually brutal and short. They are born to a world of blood and violence and usually die a painful death at the end of another's blade. When they close their eyes for one last time, their bodies are collected (to either be burned or cannibalized, depending on the situation) and their life is forgotten, as if they never existed in the first place. However, there are a small handful of orcs who for one reason or another have left a lasting impression on the world. These orcs are known as the Ur-Gosh, or "Hero" in Orcish, and are venerated as deities. Each tribe has their own set of Ur-Goshes, each with their own epics that are passed down through the generations, from one orc skald to the next. The orcs believe worshiping the Ur-Gosh will grant them luck and inspire them to do something so great they will join the ranks of the Ur-Gosh when they die and be remembered throughout the ages.