Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Hot answers tagged

66

There are two parts to any religion. There's the god bothering, heaven and hell bible bashing aspect, and then there's the community. Religion isn't just about god and belief, it's also about community, identity and belonging. This is a very powerful aspect that should never be underestimated. It's really the community that controls your behaviour over and ...


44

You will likely have an easier time if you pick a Slavic language that uses a Roman alphabet. Like Czech or Slovak (which are very similar to each other). Then you don't have to deal with the unknown alphabet and words that are more removed from Latin/etc. Take Slovakia. It's got some pretty straight-forward place name conventions. I do a lot of genealogy ...


41

There are degrees. Disclaimer: I'm (mixed) Apache and Cherokee (which are very different cultures even by stereotype standards). Research is always good Archeologically confirmed structures and living conditions are not at all offensive, anymore than me creating "pasty-faces" who live in buildings with thatched roofs and wattle and daub walls. Do some ...


39

Ask Them, Not the Internet There is an easy way to avoid doing this. Talk directly to the groups you're concerned about insulting. Explain what you're doing, and explain that you wanted to make sure you didn't accidentally offend them. For example, the Navajo Nation's official homepage would be a good place to start looking for a point of contact. As ...


35

Thinner robes? Seriously the broad brimmed hat is great for sunny weather or wet. If the robes are heavy wool they'll be almost water proof and plenty warm, thinner wool for cool spring and autumn weather and linsey-woolsey, a, usually, 50-50 blend of wool and the flax fibre used to make linen for the summer months in cooler climates, cotton, linen or silk ...


29

Lots of desert people wear long robes; if the sun is punishing enough, you'll want to cover up even if you are quite dark skinned. Loose fitting airy robes help keep you cool in those sorts of conditions, and by way of a bonus stop you getting too cold too quick when the sun sets, as in deserts the nights are often cold. I won't try and ramble on here; ...


27

Counter-intuitively, the way I would go about that would be to construct your own simplistic conlang with Slavic flavour. First, Slavic isn't a single language, there are three major subgroups inside of it, and multiple languages, with phonetical and grammatical nuances of their own. Translating stuff to one language through Google Translate will give you ...


27

All human souls come from God, and remain connected to it through a metaphysical umbilical cord. A person is born with this cord, as it is transferred to them from its mother. When that person dies, that cord draws that individual to God, allowing it to subsume the soul. It then eternally feed on it like a living battery. Every human instinctually feels this ...


24

I believe you have two options here 1) make up something generally Slavic sounding 2) get a native speaker to help you out. As a Czech I see way to much weirdness already in the suggestions here on this page only (e.g. Novyruska or Novyruskia absolutely cannot work, Russia is feminine and novy is masculine, you need nová/novaya/depends on specific language,...


18

Let's first begin by addressing many of the misconceptions that this question seems to be stirring: Not everyone believes Hell makes people avoid doing evil; so, to prove or disprove this, you need a measurable effect of religious beliefs. While not every society follows the same idea of what evil is, certain crimes are nearly universal such as murder, ...


18

The premise is that fear of hell is sufficient to deter evil-doing. I'm not sure I buy this premise, at least in the long run. You're probably thinking of Christianity, but the Christian narrative doesn't support this premise either. From a Christian perspective, the Old Testament narrative is something like this: God: Hey Israel. If you do these good ...


15

They don't hide in public The problem with the spells that hide their form is that they can fail. If the people looking for the hag know what they are looking for, then eventually the spell will be seen through. Either through supernatural means (there are other witches working at this) or maybe through indirect means - finding which person is too heavy or ...


14

The Gandalfesque wizard is a European wizard. Robes make sense if you are in England. If you want a wizard from a hot climate, take a look at how people in that climate dressed historically when they wanted to put on a show and impress. These Javanese performers are not wizards (I don't think) but their outfits would be great for a hot climate wizard: ...


12

Have an Author's Note At the end of the book have a page or so like: The Sakha are based on several real-life cultures. First and foremost the Puebloans, from whom I copied.... The custom of [X] I got from the [other] people, and [Y] is completely my own invention. [Z] is an actual custom, described in [scholarly source] that I couldn't resist ...


12

Three pieces of tech that have been protecting humans from other humans for 5000 years. Hill forts. https://www.thefield.co.uk/features/iron-age-hillforts-21556 The women live on fortified hills. They can see people coming from a distance and they watch. It is a costly endeavor to try to storm one of these hill forts because the women are good shots and ...


11

Some runes don’t make sense to have always on Having a rune of disintegration tattooed on your fingertips is going to put a serious crimp in your love life. Etching the same thing on armour? Not so much. Armour can be bought and applied post-hoc Imagine you’re the lord of the manor, and you have occasional need of a militia. You buy a hundred Helms of Not ...


10

Invasive Toxic Mold Toxic mold has been known to cause memory loss, death, and symptoms like depression (which could play into why certain memories don't seem important anymore). If some vein of toxic mold developed into something much more potent, so it is able to spread quickly around and generate a lot of spores, it could conceivably kill much of your ...


10

What is "evil" from this God-battery's point of view? It values large soul counts. So anything which brings another soul into existence is good and anything that gets in the way of new soul creation is evil. Promiscuity and drunken Bacchanalia are good. Chastity, planned-parenthood and "headaches" are all evil. Murder which is classically considered ...


10

Honor and Shame Well, evil can be discouraged in several ways without necessitating a negative afterlife, though it is expedient to have one. However, it is not necessary, as evidenced by the ancient Semitic religions which had no real conception of the afterlife beyond a shadowy rest. For instance, most ancient Near Eastern cultures were very strict honor ...


9

Dinoflagellate toxin illness. In the late 1990s there was concern about an organism called Pfeisteria. These are dinoflagellates related to the organisms that cause red tide. Supposedly these are predatory, attaching to much larger organisms like fish, giving off the toxin to kill them, then feeding on the decaying remains. There was a bloom of these ...


9

The idea that a wizard wears a long robe is, surprisingly, a pretty old one. It's not a modern fantasy stereotype. At least since the time of a Roman toga there was an implicit connection between long loose clothing and the lack of necessity to fight or work for a living. In the 10th century the whole Europe started adopting Byzantine fashions, and we see ...


9

Lie. All the souls are gonna be God-Chow anyway. They die expecting heaven and instead get eaten. So why not let them expect hell for sinners as well?


9

Research, and do your best. If you can't, as Dayton suggested, actually contact the culture, do as much research as you can. People tend to be inherently understanding, and even though honest mistakes happen, as long as the majority of your work is 'correct' (so to speak) you'll avoid offending the majority of people. In the end, imagine yourself on the ...


9

Assuming that (1) we are speaking about humans and (2) by "ancient world" we are to understand the historical ancient world, that is, no pre-historical hunter-gatherers, then the way of life described in the question can be made stable over the long term, but probably not as the querent envisioned it. The problem comes from the huge disparity between the ...


8

The classic approach is for the abomination to have a human representative who acts as a proxy in day to day life. They can then keep their monstrous form hidden behind castle walls, only interacting with that single person who is well compensated for keeping the secret.


8

How can religions without a hell discourage evil-doing? The same way you discourage your children from doing evil: a combination of Moral teachings/parables, examples of the temporal and spiritual rewards that one receives for Good Behavior, examples of the temporal punishments one receives for Bad Behavior, and, finally temporal punishments for Bad ...


7

As Cyn already suggested, many names are related to the river it is close to. You can use the list below to sythesize your own names and then let them checked to avoid names that just sound slavic but does not make any sense in any slavic language. Something like "Your eyes September" ->(cz) Tvoje oči Září -> "Your eyes shine." The cities here got their ...


7

Lift them from real places. Here is a map of medieval Kievan Rus from Wikipedia. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/db/Principalities_of_Kievan_Rus%27_%281054-1132%29.jpg\ Good names: Halych, Kiev, Volyn, Smolensk, Polotsk. Also "Chud", which was a surprise to me. You could get names like this off of other maps of Slavic areas. Now ...


7

One word: Samizdat. I mean, seriously, illegal and shady printing and distribution has been a thing since printing has been a thing. Attempts to totally stamp out information distribution never work because, y'know, you can't watch everyone all the time and even a powerful totalitarian state will always have people prepared to risk everything to oppose it. ...


7

In Mormonism, they have different levels of heaven. A lower level doesn't necessarily mean hell, just not as prestigious as the highest level. Similarly in Norse Mythology, some people go to Valhalla to be waiters/waitresses for eternity. Obviously someone would rather be served then the server, but by no means is the Valhalla Server's life hell. A ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible