Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Hill Cantons Cosmology “Appendix N”

One for the “showing my work” file, some of the inspiration points that went into the religion and cosmology series. Another post on the terrifying inimical gods of the Anti-Cantons may be in the making.

Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword and Three Hearts and Three Lions, Douglas Bachmann's Dragon article in #40 (the Weird and its cosmic juxtaposition to human civilization, the association of humanity with Law, the waxing/waning of gods being tied to the amount of human worship and the reduction of “Faerie”)

Jack Vance's Lyonesse, Dying Earth, and Planet of Adventure novels (absurdist satire of religious mores, weird gods and weirder religious doctrine)

Leiber's Lankhmar stories especially “Lean Times in Lankhmar” (more satire, petty gods and apotheosis)

Counter-Reformation Catholicism, Mediterranean hero-cults, Hellenistic and Roman sun-cults, Theosophy, Jewish neoplatonism and mystical traditions, Piper's Lord Kalvan, Early Christian theological disputes (Sun Lord sects, Ha-Vul the Antagonist and to a lesser extent the Silent God)

Hussites (and Taborites), Mormon feminist views on the Heavenly Mother, William Blake's poetic mythology around the Triple Goddess (The Celestial Lady and her secret heretical societies)

Slavic folklore and pagan mythology (Pahr Old Gods, folk customs, and a number of godlings)

Hindu and Native American creation myths (World Turtle)

M.A.R Barker's Create a Religion In Your Spare Time for Fun and Profit and Mitlanyal (general inspiration, the concept of distinct aspects for gods)

Gary Gygax's article on Five-Fold Alignment in Strategic Review.

Robert Graves's White Goddess and Mary Renault's Theseus books (the Mistress of the Mountains and the religion of the Kaftors)

Occultist and Slavic Neopagan theories and art  (Hyperborean origins)

Clark Ashton Smith's Hyperborean cycle (Youndeh and other elements)

The Eternals comic Jack Kirby (space gods, duh)   


  1. Another author who like Vance spends a lot of tiem satirizing religion is Edgar Rice Burroughs. Most of the cults in the Barsoom and Amtor stories aren't as sophisticated as Vances but their sort of erqually used to point out the general foibles of those sorts of belief systems.

  2. Dunsany is pretty on-point re: increasingly prosaic civilization vs. "beyond the fields we know"

    1. Trey pointed out that he was surprised that I hadn't listed Glorantha and Dunsany in the inspirations. Both most certainly were (the former especially the first two cult books from Chaosium Runequest more than the latter).