Before I dive in, let me just say that this prompt is a wee bit different than usual, but it could be SUPER nice to help y’all with your worldbuilding.
So, I was going through my Bible today (it’s an archaeological study Bible), and I saw a section on a study on secret cults from the New Testament time. As I saw it, the gears in my head started turning.
Cults, false religions, mythology, legends, and even sins are all things that take place in the real world. As such, they will likely happen in our books too.
So, what cults and what false gods do you have in your books?
If you write fantasy and science fiction, these might seem like obvious things for you to make, but thriller authors could probably benefit from thinking about this as well…
Create a cult, religion, set of false gods, anything that could inspire a good guy or a bad guy to do what they do.
Maybe your cult is some subject of the Satanists and they go around killing people that threaten their order. This could be politicians, kings, reporters, ex-members, and possibly church leaders too. (Spoiler alert, Satanists can’t really get to church people in the same way they can get to non-Christians. It’s an IRL spirit realm rule. That being said, Satanists can do stuff to try to knock Christians down.)
That prompt could work for historical fiction authors, sci-fi authors, thriller authors, and even fantasy authors.
…And yes, I know using a real religion is a give me, but it can be a great launching point for you to start thinking about cults in your books!
Alright, next up, think about the many gods of history. Behind most (or all) of the gods are demons, but there are also elements, seasons, times, and actions that these so-called gods are supposed to preside over. So, what kind of little “G” god can you think of that you can plop into your story? A god of war? A god of trees? A god of space travel? A god of time? What about something interesting like the god of an underworld, but not one like Hades, but an underworld that’s more like the one described in A Journey to the Center of the Earth? (I’m talking about a lush, green underground biome that’s full of life.)
Maybe there’s a cult down in that underworld that fled Noah’s Flood, or Sodom and Gomorrah, or anything else like that. Because of that history, this cult could have a deep-seated hate for God and for those who are currently on the surface world.
Finally, you have the inventors of evil. The Bible warned us about people like this, and that’s why every sin that we have today isn’t listed in the Bible as a sin.
People are weird, and they like to think up new evils.
So, maybe you could make up some new sin that people do that your MC discovers and puts an end to.
All in all, this is a huge prompt, and I hope it gets you thinking! As always, it’s free to use however you so please!