Today the world building topics are Religion and Time. These are both the most important and the least important for any world.
This world has multiple religions. Each religion has a different view of the divine. Religions shape morals and virtues, and how the inhabitants view themselves. Morals are a strange thing. People aren’t born with an innate knowledge of what to do inlife, or how to act. It only makes sense, then, that people would turn to religion as a guide for how they should behave. That’s easy enough to see with the world we live in. Nearly everybody learns the golden rule growing up. Nearly every religion has this same rule, in some form or another. When you get further into the details of differing religions, you see that each has its own set of morals and what it feels is “right.” This can range from Evangelicals who feel that same-sex love is a sin because of an archaic passage from the old testament to vegetarianism as a way to avoid hurting other living creatures,commonly found among Hindus. So, what does this mean?
Well, this means that when you’re crafting a religion, one of the things to think about is what morals you want in your world. What do you want the gods to stand for? Do you want to have a full pantheon to cover all of the aspects that one can find in the divine? Are there different gods for each race? Different taboos are often religion-centric as well. These taboos can have minor consequences on your world-building in some ways. For example, maybe you just want to make things more interesting by adding details such as characters who avoid certain kinds of metals or stones because they’re strictly forbidden in their religious texts. These taboos can also have major consequences on your story. For example, even in the modern day and age there are a lot of prejudices against albinism in some African countries. You can imagine the consequences for such a character.
When crafting a religion, it only makes sense to think about the cultural impact said religion will have. Holidays, prayer, rituals, religious pilgrimages, the way that people keep track of time (as in our AD system), taboos, fasting, celibacy, religious bathing/cleansing… These are just a few practices that exist within different religions. Many are so ingrained in our culture that people don’t even think of them as “religious” any more. Also remember that the same religion can have many different interpretations, leading to different branches and sects. They can be quite different, and they may not get along that well. This is another thing that is often forgotten. Throughout history there have been many different types of religions. Some have a single god. Some have an entire pantheon. Some see gods as people. Some see gods as animals. Some gods are both people and animals, depending on the story that’s being told. Some religions see gods as having no form. Some religions teach that god is the universe. Some say that there are no gods, but there is power in everything.
Is your main religion science or a lack of religion? Why is this so? Religion is sometimes a bit of background knowledge. It may never come into your story, or it might be the focus. Still it is something you should know.
Look at your calendar, Is the way your world laid out similar to ours? Our world is on a 24-hour day. We have a 7-day week and a usually 30-31-day month. There are worlds with 20-hour days, or 48-hour days. There are worlds with tenday weeks. Time controls everything we do. Often the time is controlled by sun and moon rotation, but you could have a world that had a magical accident. Your world has flexibility. Though this information can help your story to form.