Random chat #1

I’m testing a new ‘section’ on the blog. I realized that not every entry has to be a deep discussion on a given topic. Sometimes it’s just as good to let random thoughts out of your head. Or in this case, my head. So it will be a semi-regular feature here for what’s good to have a blog if you can’t talk about whatever you want.

-I was talking with Brent about who would play our novel characters in a hypothetical film if money and time weren’t an objection (he wants Richard Armitage for Washington, I say that Jason Issacs would be a good Benedict Arnold and Lin-Manuel Miranda should do the soundtrack). Now considering the setting of my story, I think more than live action it would be an animated film so these picks could be the Voice Actors. Nonetheless here is my hypothetical cast:

  • Fionn: Chris Evans (Brent and my wife say that it should be Chris Hemsworth)
  • Gaby: Natalie Dormer or perhaps Daisy Ridley
  • Alex: Diego Luna (the accent is key)
  • Sam: Auli’i Cravalho or perhaps Caity Lotz
  • Harland: Peter Dinklage
  • Sid: Ryan Reynolds (I need someone that can portray sarcastic and hysteric with a hight pitch at the same time).

Wild dreams man!

-I will be traveling with my wife next week to the city of Vancouver for well-earned rest. As a side effect, I won’t be on the web as much as usual and I won’t be watching Star Wars: The Last of Us the Jedi until later this month, so please try to spare me the spoilers (I know, an impossible task, but had to ask).

-My wife asked me to watch Cherry Pop with her the other night, as it features alumni from RuPaul’s Dragrace. It has to be the second most weird, random movie I’ve ever seen, because nothing has surpassed so far the weirdness that was watching Jackie Chan singing about the friendship between Roman and Chinese soldiers alongside John Cusack -in eyeliner- in his action/musical/comedy/drama movie.

-I’m dashing to get a few pitches for the last PitMad tweet contest of the year. A good take could mean getting noticed by literary agents. Fingers crossed.

-On the topic of querying agents, I sent four queries, three haven’t replied, the one that did ask for a partial sample of 50 pages. Good sign I hope.

-On the final querying news: I sent my alt-history/steampunk/fantasy story about Romans, Greeks and trains ‘Steel Serpents’ to an SFWA magazine: ‘Beneath Ceaseless Skies’. Let’s hope it gets in.

-And finally, with the news of Disney buying 20th Century Fox film division (and all its properties), most people are talking about a potential return of the Fantastic Four to the MCU. But am I the only one that would actually prefer a Deadpool v. Spidey crossover? Just picture it:

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Santa Mickey, please make it so.

See ya in a couple of weeks and happy holidays.

The soundtrack of the day:

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Nerve wracking

I haven’t posted much here this month for three reasons: I’ve been nursing a throat infection, my sister-in-law got married (and what happened on that day could have came straight out of a comedy film) and more important to the blog at least, I’ve been working on getting queries ready to submit ‘Tempest Blades’ to agents.

And I have to say, this is nerve wracking.

I know the odds are not in my favour. If I were in the Hunger Games I might have been one of those tributes that die on the first day. And I’m not saying this to get sympathy. Truth is that the publishing business is a very competitive one where getting noticed is hard. Agents and editors have to go through hundreds if not thousands of queries of varying quality, wondering if this particular author/book is a good fit, for them, for their markets.

I go through similar process every six months or every year at work when I’m tasked to review applications for the Masters degree at my school. Specifically those relating my fields of study and those of my research group. It is not just matter of what’s written on paper. There are several factors to consider given that I would have to be working with this prospective student for two years till they graduate and pass their viva. It’s as much as a working relationship as any other.

It comes to the same with the author-agent relationship. It has to be right. And it comes to research, a lot of editing of the query letters and a good amount of luck. The query letter is your presentation card and has to be right. It’s like maximizing your chances and minimizing the odds of the

Now that I think about it, I already went through a similar process when I was applying to universities in UK for my Ph.D studies. I had to research universities, programs, potential supervisors and even the cost of life in the zone. Then write the introductory email to several of them (I submitted to at least a dozen) of which I only got three replies. And of those three I was accepted in only one.

After that I had to go through a lengthy process of interviews and research proposal writing. For not saying getting a sponsorship and my student visa while trying to finish my design degree… all in six months!

How I survived that given my anxiety and depression issues I don’t know. I just know I kept ploughing till I got it. The odds weren’t on my favor back then either. Not many design students from Mexico got accepted on Ph.D programs in UK back on the day, not many sponsors gave you grants for design degrees, my English wasn’t as good as it is now (or so I hope) and in the university that finally accepted me there were few available places for my degree.

And yet I got in. The second best thing to happen to me (the first one was getting married).

It was nerve wracking.

This time, like back then I have been researching agents that deal with similar books to mine. I have been following their blog post and interviews about how to write a query, created a spreadsheet with their submission requirements and in general tried to maximize my chances and minimize the odds.

And yet I feel like I’m standing on the edge of a cliff. I’m still feeling insecure about the readiness of my novel. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in it and the world I have crafted. I believe that the work I have put on it for the past two years should be enough to get a foot in. However at the same time I have to be realistic about my chances. I’m not a wünderkid. The odds against me are bigger this time than the last time and my novel might not cut the mustard this time. Maybe I already maximized my good luck credit.

And yet I have to try once more. Otherwise I will never do it. I have to believe in my novel because if I don’t no one else will. It may not be perfect. But hey I got nominated for an award for an idea I had so…

One of the agents I’m planning to query closes her querying next week so I have to take the chance now it never. I guess this entry is more an exercise into talking myself into doing it.

I will let you know how it goes. Maybe the old Victoria Luck still has some fuel in the tank.

And if by any chance you who are reading this are an agent, please consider my query. I know you might have tons of them to sort through but I promise, this novel has future.

Bone Peyote

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Two years ago I got my first rejection letter. I sent my horror story ‘Bone Peyote’ for a submission call for an anthology of Lovecraftian horror. Me being me, I decided to mix eldritch horrors with the ‘Day of the Dead’ celebration of my Mexico. It was easier than I thought, because:

a) I contend that Mexico is one of the most haunted countries in the world and…

b) If you have read anything about Aztec or Mayan mythology or some of the witchcraft rites around here in Mexico, you can see a lot of cosmic horror elements embedded in them.

Alas, the story got rejected.

But that rejection started good things. With some rework and editing, ‘Bone Peyote’ eventually saw the light published through Inklings Press. Technically that rejection letter was the motivation for the creation of Inklings Press. That rejection was as well the kick in the ass I needed to take writing more seriously and finish my novel (currently being edited in order to query agents and publishers). See, when I get rejections on my stories or design projects, I just become more stubborn. It’s a family trait.

But I digress… again.

‘Bone Peyote’, is not only based on the ‘Day of the Dead’ and cosmic horrors, but also in a few experiences I had during college with a good friend, when we talked about the occult and the mystical. As much as two naïve, aspiring comic book writers could get into it safely anyways. The story just takes those late coffee afternoon chats and amps it into a warning tale about messing with the veil that divides the dead from the living and works within the frame of Mexico’s lore and history.

For us in Mexico, the Day of the Dead takes place during the 1st and the 2nd of November. It is even a national holiday (yeah, wrap your head around that for a second). And so my story takes place exactly during those days.

I have to say, writing it was really fun (the first draft took me a day) and I had the wicked fun of ‘killing’ the character based on said friend (the perks of being a writer) while testing my skills at keeping tense atmospheres.

Talking about wicked things… now, this year, a few months ago (when I was still setting up this blog), the good folks at the Wicked Library recorded it as an audiobook a few months ago and put it available on their podcast. It includes an interview, for which I apologize in advance for my awful pronunciation. I’m out of practice. The results of their work on my story, for lack of a better cliche are bewitching.

You can listen to it here:

Wicked Library Website episode 720

I do recommend you to subscribe this podcast. It has countless hours of fun.

 Apple Podcasts | Android | Google Play | Stitcher | TuneIn

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So if you want to a cool story for these spooky days, please consider giving both the anthology and the podcast a chance.

P.S: Don’t carry out any obscure rite these days. It could be awfully dangerous. You never know what’s waiting outside the realms of the living. Bwahahahaha.

 

 

Worldbuilding Theia, part 1: Ionis Continent.

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Creating the map of your setting is not an easy task. Coming with shapes, names and geologically coherent structure is an intricate work of love. Thankfully I have a great illustrator -who is also a science buff- on my corner.: one Mr. Marco García.

He usually draws dinosaurs, cryptozoologist guides, and storyboards, but he agreed to help me with this, providing we stuck to geology and geography rules, with one exception (which is a magical place that violates the laws of nature on purpose). His input has been invaluable and even helped me to reexamine how some bits of my worldbuilding should go on.

The image above is the result of such collaboration. It is the location where the adventures of my characters from Tempest Blades takes place (at least the first novel-arc) It is not a complete map of the world (there are like 3 more continents still on the works) and of course the places pointed in the map are not the only ones in existence, just the ones used in the novel.

I have to say, I love the little details and the coherence between rivers, marshes, and mountains. Even the little, unnamed islands and the waves. As a first approach to this, I can’t be any happier. And if you want to see more of Marco’s work, go to his DeviantArt page.

P.S: I suck at names -no need to tell me that- and yes, some of those locations are based or inspired by actual places in our world that I have been lucky enough to visit. Including a reference to the university where I did my Ph.D.

Writing about bioethics in SPACE!

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I recall a time when I was a kid, during the height of the ‘Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles’ craze (of which I’m still part of), that I wanted to study genetics so when I grew up, I could create my own group of mutant turtles. I was a lonely kid back then so I wanted friends. Never came through because I suck at organic chemistry (much to the chagrin of my parents, both chemists). So I became the second best option, a writer (well, technically the third option, as you might know, I’m an industrial designer transformed into lecturer/researcher by trade and writer by passion, but I digress).

Beware, this might end being a rant.

Now that my science fiction story about bioethics in space “What Measure is a Homunculus?” is being published and available on Amazon on the 19th of October, in the Quantum Soul anthology, I can discuss about the topic of the story. No, I won’t tell what’s about beyond the rights of artificial humanoids used as weapons/foot soldiers, you need to buy the anthology.

But I can talk about what inspired me to do so. First, there was this article that talked about how scientists were trying to create a living being from stem cells without a father and mother (in terms of DNA donors whose reproductive cells create an embryo, not actual parents). From there to the creation of synthetic living beings we could a few generations removed, but it is still a possibility. And that made me think about the lack of legislation to protect the rights of such beings (even if it is just an amoeba).

There are few times when I can mix my day job, my Ph.D. and my real job as a writer in the same thing, which is the case of this particular short story.

Most of my sustainable design students know that I loathe Monsanto, as the epitomize most of what’s wrong with our current economic system. And that loathing is supported by the fact that companies like that think is right to patent the DNA of a living being. But it is not. It might be legal, but that doesn’t make it right, even if is the DNA of a mouse or a fly. DNA is what makes a living being it. It shouldn’t be beholden a property of a faceless company. For me, personally is tantamount to creating the precedent for a new form of slavery. Look, I’m not against researchers patenting stuff (I work as one after all), but while I see the case for patenting the technology to create such advances, I still think that is wrong to patent the DNA of a living being just for coins.

This makes me think that there is a need right now in literature and other media, one asking for more stories that put in the collective consciousness, on the debate table the discussion about bioethics. We need to sit down and discuss what we are doing, if we should be doing it, who should be doing it and for what reasons, instead of just using economic excuses. I think it is the time we redefine what we consider life and its intrinsical rights.

This whole rant, if you want to call it that, makes me recall what Michael Crichton wrote in the first pages of Jurassic Park, how the technological development moved from governmental labs into private sector labs and moving at such pace that there is virtually no oversight about what we are doing with this technological might. We don’t stop to consider that the question is not ‘can we do it?’ but ‘should we be doing it?’.

It’s not a discussion on technological progress. I think that progress is needed if we aim for a better world. But progress for the sake of it or the sake of the purses of people that don’t give a damn about the state of the world is madness. Science Fiction has always been a window to our potential futures, good or bad. Just like there is a recent wave of climate fiction, there is a need for a resurgence in bioethics fiction. Let’s as writers raise awareness of the topic because it relies upon society to do the changes needed. Let’s bring bioethics to the debate table before it is too late.

Upsss. I think I went into lecture mode. Sorry for that. My point was to explain from where it came to the inspiration for this story, so when you read it you know where I’m coming from. In any case, I invite you to acquire this new anthology by the fine folks of the SciFi Roundtable: Eric Michael Craig and Ducky Smith. I had the opportunity of reading several of these stories and I can assure you they are a good option for the science fiction fans looking for new voices in the genre. So go, give it a chance and read it.

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Buried Sins: of regrets and lost memories

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This week is the official launch of the sixth anthology from Inklings Press (disclaimer: I’m a founding member and I usually do the cover design for their anthologies). This one is entitled ‘Tales from the Underground’, already available on Amazon. Unlike the previous anthologies were the theme was dictated by the genre (fantasy, science fiction, horror and so on), the theme dictated the stories and their genres. This time it was ‘Underground’ as if it wasn’t already obvious by the title. That kind of stories that take place in the worlds beneath ours, be it stories of adventure and exploration, or stories of space sirens, ghosts, and fairies. Or as in the case of my featured story, ‘Buried Sins’, of the titular sins buried both in ruined cities and inside the soul of the main character.

I don’t know if this is my darkest story yet (Bone Peyote might want to debate that), but I think it fits within the ‘dark fantasy’ subgenre. That said, this story has a special meaning for me, so let me tell you why.

For starters, it takes place in the same world of my WIP novel ‘Tempest Blades’, roughly during the time of the first chapter of the said novel, but in a different continent, with different characters. I know I have previous stories set in the same world (‘Silver Fang’, ‘Cosmic Egg’) but they take place in the past or the future. ‘Buried Sins’ is the first one that takes place at the same time of my novel. Second, it gave me the chance to recover and I would say, rediscover a character (or two) that I had liked from my very earlier drafts from ten years ago and who got cut from the latest iteration of the Tempest Blades story. I thought that character had got lost from that universe, but in writing this story, he got a new lease on life and also helped me to bring back another character that had suffered the same fate (such character doesn’t appear in the story per se, rather it is an ancestor). Why? Because of he will appear in the sequel of the novel as one of the main characters (so yeah, that’s a bit of a spoiler I guess).

Third, this story helped me to give him his own personality, backstory (which this story is) and unique abilities, rather than the generic expy of a vampire he was when I started writing in college. Now he has a really interesting take, I believe, on the ‘demon’ inside as weapon and means of protection. And he has as well a personality, several lost memories and a proper backstory, key ingredients for a good character I think. Even if he falls into the ‘broody’ side.

Joshua, the main character of ‘Buried Sins’, is a man with blurred memories. He doesn’t know when he was born or who he was before he was used in experiments that make him the ‘monster’ he thinks he is. But he does know where he was born and the dangers lurking in a buried city full of nasty things. And he has to return there if he wants to save a friend of his, coaxed by unsavory people, even if that means unearthing the sins that are hidden within the thing that makes him a monster.

And finally and fourth: this is the first story where I truly explore, in a subtle way my battles with depression. I’m by no means an expert on depression. I can only talk about my own struggles with it since I was a teenager.

I started writing as a mean to deal with my depression. It was my way to explore and deal with many of those feelings in a healthier way.  Depression, contrary to what many people believe, never truly goes away. It lurks, buried deep down in your psyche, waiting for the proper moment to spring a flood of memories, regrets, and anxieties to hit you back. It is the ‘beast’ that you learn to live with. Pretty much like Joshua.

Nowadays, thanks to my wife, a support network of friends and family, writing and some therapy back in the day I’m feeling a bit better these days. That doesn’t mean I don’t get depressed (and with the current status of the world no one could blame anyone for getting depressed and anxious), but now at least I have options to deal with it. Joshua is on his way to start that path and that experience in this story will color his interactions with one of the main characters of Tempest Blades that is going under his own struggles with depression.

So as you can see, this is a very personal story for me and I’m glad I have the chance to get it out into the wider world. I truly hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed it writing it. And if you think about it, it is a sample of what you can expect from my novel once I get the chance to publish it.

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P.S: If you want the full experience when you read it, I recommend listening ‘Hurt’ by Johny Cash for three-quarters of the story and the Theme of One Punch Man during the finale. Yes, it’s quite the mood whiplash, but I like the combo because it ends on a more hopeful note than intended. Joshua, like any of us that suffer from regrets, is a person in search of redemption. The story is just the first part of that journey.

Archery doesn’t work that way.

Here is a little secret not so secret: I actually know how to shoot with a bow. A recurve bow to be precise. While I’m not practicing it anymore due the lack of shooting ranges in my hometown, I did practice archery for three years, while I was doing my Ph.D. at Loughborough University. I had the fortune that a friend of mine was my archery instructor as well as a fellow comic geek. So back in the day, we used to chat about how bad comics, movies, and tv shows get wrong the basics. I will share a few of those chats here from time to time because I’m that kind of annoying guy and this is my blog and not yours.

For context, I’m an industrial designer with an engineering background and my friend Birm is an actual engineer that has worked in a couple of big gigs. At the very least, we think we know a bit of physics.

So what’s wrong with this picture?

A lot.

And I say this as a big Green Arrow fan. Let’s explain why.

Me: Birm, have you seen those comic images where the archer is doing acrobatics on the air while shooting his bow?

Birm: Shooting whilst jumping? Nope, can’t say that I have.

Me: They say that an image tells more than 1000 words… *shows picture above*

Birm: That’s more like it, In real life, Green Arrow would then be flat on his back.

Me: so many Brokeback Mountain jokes here.

Birm: *roll eyes*

Me: Anyways, here is a second image.

Birm: Oh good grief.

Me: What?

Birm: Do comic book artists know nothing of momentum?

Me: Considering that they work with a fictional world where a super powered alien can catch a girl in mid-air without splitting her into thirds and thus automatically killing her, I would say that No, they don’t.

Birm: That’s because Superman alters his own gravitational field dammit. It can be explained away by pseudo-science, but ‘Word of God’ states these guys have no powers.

Me: I take that you have been watching the same argument on ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and reading TV Tropes.

Birm: Why yes, yes I have done both of those things.

Me: I guess we are going down a whole new level of geekdom

Birm: Well TV Tropes provides an excellent resource for giving names to things.

Me: Also provides a good way to lose years of productive life just by browsing it. Anyways, what is more, possible to do, the previous image or this?

Birm: Shooting whilst on a motorbike is possible, with a sufficiently skilled driver.

Me: well Dinah is a skilled driver so that is not a worry (except when she is in an awful mood). Now flying bike must present the same momentum issues than before, then again we are talking about a universe where Batman could just breathe in space just because he is BATMAN.

Birm: This is true, regardless of what the situation is, simple mechanics specifies that momentum must be maintained, so firing a projectile pretty quick in one direction will lead to a force in the opposite direction.

Me: Basic Newton’s law: to every applied force there is a reaction of equal value but opposite direction or something like that.

Birm: Yup.

Me: In a normal shooting we don’t feel it as our weight overcomes the force that an arrow could generate, however, the bow does get affected, as we explained in last month’s column about how to hold a bow.

Birm: Yeah, the main principle behind it is that the bow is creating a force forwards which is transferred into the arrow. Some of this force is dissipated into the arrow but there is still a lot of force trying to force the bow forwards. This is why a lot of recurve archers use a finger sling, instead of trying to hold onto the bow they just let it drop and let the sling hold it, so the forward force is allowed to throw the bow forwards a little and is then dropped in the downward direction.

Me: And in a normal shooting we are flat footed so our legs transfer the effort towards the floor.

Birm: Yup, what happens on these images it’s not possible to do this with a longbow, you have to hold on and use your weight and stance to dissipate the force, which isn’t possible when you have nothing to brace against.

Me: Something that is lacking on these images. Basically, in these instances, Ollie or Clint would get pushed backward.

Birm: Hmm, I’m not convinced about that, I think they would get pulled forwards.

Me: Following the bow and the string vector?

Birm: Yeh, the bow enacts a force forwards of the archer, which is what is transferred into the arrow to make it move, the rest of the force is then transferred into the limbs and down into the grip resulting in a net force forwards, it’s usually up to the archer to provide a rearwards force to counteract this.

Me: So if you shoot while jumping you might as well use a pointy hat and become another arrow.

Birm: Yeh, pretty much.

Me: Arrowman!!! The Amazing pointy vigilante… or circus act. You know? I think the problem has its roots on the gunplay from action flicks.

Birm: Yes, it’s possible to shoot guns whilst firing through the air but they operate on completely different firing principles.

Me: Well they do still have the recoil, so you still get pushed backward isn’t?

Birm: The problem with a bow is that your arm is at its full extension already so there’s nowhere for the force to go to.

Me: But in movies, people shoot a gun at full arm extension. I guess the issue is that it looks cool, regardless of how possible it is and with archers, the problem is even bigger as there are just a handful ways to make the look cool in a comic. In a film/tv/cartoon is easier due to the fluidity of the movement, the speed and the dramatic moment, think Legolas in LOTR, Green Arrow in Smallville and JLU or Robin Hood in the Costner movie (and yet there the writer takes a lot of liberties).

Birm: Depicting the action of firing a bow is difficult in comics as you either show the bow at full draw which looks dramatic, or you show it with an arrow flying off it, which looks a bit rubbish because it looks like the archer isn’t doing anything. That’s why you have silly things like Legolas in the LOTR films, sliding on a shield down a staircase.

Me: I guess this is one of those cases where we might have to cut some slack to the artist and allow suspension of disbelief as in comic format it would be hard to do it unless the bow has some magical properties like the one you are trying to build and the FX of the arrow would do all the job.

Birm: It’s definitely a case for suspension of disbelief, it’d be pretty difficult to take an archery based superhero seriously if they fell flat on their face every time they fired an arrow.

Me: It would make comedy gold though… or it would be a bit sad as the BBC Robin Hood show.

Birm: I still think that would be comedy gold.

Me: I can’t stop picturing someone doing that.

Birm: That would be brilliant.

Me: Human Arrow, the acrobatic archer/arrow, he shoots himself to stop crime.

Birm: Priceless.

Me: Let’s call a major publisher, we might get lucky if we pitch this. Maybe even a movie deal with Will Ferrell as Human Arrow.

Remember, in real life -and as a writer, if you have an archer in the story- you need a good shooting positioning to make it realistic. And don’t drink while using a bow unless you are planning to share it with us.

Faith in the Tempest Blades Universe Part 4: Freefolk religion & lost beliefs.

For Part 1: Faith in the Tempest Blades Universe Part 1: an introduction

For Part 2: Faith in the Tempest Blades Universe Part 2: Samoharo religions.

For Part 3: Faith in the Tempest Blades Universe Part 3: Human Religions.

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Freefolk religion.

After the fall of the last great Kingdom, the Kingdom of Ulmo, most of the organized religion of the freefolk fell into disarray, becoming a varied collection of ideas. It’s the less organized of the religions but probably one of the oldest if not the oldest. However, all the clans believe in certain core beliefs:

The Eight: the main gods and goddesses of the freefolk, of which the Trickster Goddess is the main one, not in terms of power but because she has bestowed her full attention on what she calls her children. Of her, we will talk later in detail.  The Eight are considered the first generation of the children of the Great Maker, the being that expelled chaos (as in entropy) from the universe. The Eight are the leaders of the Children –whom according to some legends from the Grasslands are the akeleth themselves- and each represents certain aspects and in turn, is represented by a mythical creature. This will be expanded in future posts, but of the Eight, the most revered are the Guardian, the Trickster, the Seer, the Healer and the Jailer.

Magick: is the gift from the Great Maker to the freefolk people, it is the blood of the planet and the stars and should be used for neutral or good aims. Magick is the innermost connection a freefolk can expect to achieve with the world itself. When it is corrupted then it calls upon the Eternal Ones, the eldritch beings living in the deepest of the Infinity Pits, or Hell.

Pilgrimage: Every certain number of years, a freefolk, a family or even a tribe is called into the Pilgrimage, a journey of self-discovery that makes that person or persons to walk the earth inside the World’s Scar from the Yumenomori Forest in the westernmost peninsula of Auris to the easternmost hill in the Grasslands of Ionis  and Balakef. In that journey, they are often tested by the Trickster Goddess herself in order to learn something about themselves and thus enhance their connection with the world –understanding that as reality itself- regardless if they possess or not the ability to channel magick.

The Tempest: the conflux of energies that separate the astral or spiritual plane from the living plane. Basically, the astral plane is where souls go after death but before choosing a final destination. The Tempest is that manifestation when the Veil that separates both planes is ruptured and travel between both can be done. The Samoharo dreamwalking is similar in that aspect.

The communion: the main goal of the freefolk religion is for its adherents to be in communion with the world around them so when they die, they go to the spiritual plane of the world, joining a network of memories that can be accessed through the Tempest and said plane.

The Long Moon: the mysterious object that orbits around Theia in conjunction with its moon. The freefolk believe that their erratic apparitions are omens from the Eight warning freefolk of events of magnitude.

The religious leaders of the freefolk are shamans that claim to commute with the world or reality itself through the use of special powder, storytelling, and riddles.

Lost beliefs.

The beliefs of the Akeleth and the Montoc Dragons:  Little is known about the religious beliefs of the Montoc Dragons or the Akeleth. It is plausible, based on the few records left behind in the Grasslands that they shared beliefs about the Great Consciousness of the Universe that begotten them. The Montoc Dragons claimed to be born from the stars themselves, while the akeleth apparently believed to be stars themselves in mortal form. Both mention the struggles against the Great Enemy, the Original Sin or mistake born from the same event that created the Universe.

Some scholars believe that the ancient religion that both species followed was the source for the rest of the faiths in Theia.  Each species -or individual groups- took elements that fitted their vision of the universe. This discussion comes from the fact that higher and lower dimensions are not only shared between all religions in the world, they share the same names and experimental proof that they exist. They are called Last Heaven and Infinity Pits. They are real and people have glimpsed them through history. The most common version is when an ‘incursion’ occurs. An incursion is when a creature from the Pits, usually through magick, materializes into the world to unleash havoc. Each religion and science as well have found ways to deal with them, with more or less success. But they all agree that the spiritual plane, Heaven, and Hell exist, even if no one can be sure what they actually are.