Wednesday, April 25, 2012

V is for Vantism

Alongside technology and politics, religion forms a significant thread through Ghosts of Innocence.

Vantism is the dominant Imperial religion, founded by the prophet Mikhael Avantis. Followers of this ascetic religion believe in the unity of all life, and subordination to a higher purpose. They practice meditation, and believe in strict observance of duty.

This suits the Emperor nicely.

This encouragement, in turn, happens to suit Shayla nicely as some outlying regions are steeped in religion, and even Imperial soldiers hesitate to tread on the toes of the local priests and temples.

In order to enter the Imperial palace, Shayla has to intercept and switch with a newly-appointed public servant, Brynwyn. She makes good use of the religious cover amongst devout followers to hide her tracks, as Brynwyn completes a week-long Meditation of Thanksgiving.

The story is littered with references to the Vantist holy books, with occasional quotations and a few awkward moments as Shayla assumes the identity of the highly devout Brynwyn.

From sea to cloud to rainfall, 
from field to crop to table, 
we take from the earth and we give back to it. 
In the circle of life we are united, 
and we offer thanks for the life-giving gifts brought to our table today. 
May the nourishment of the body nourish the soul.

(Vantist Grace)


  1. I like the detail here. Detail, in the right amount, is essential to create a believable setting- whether or not all of the detail used in any givven body of work.

  2. Interesting table prayer. Do you have any details of the referenced holy books fleshed out? You saw everything I have for mine so far. I do have the general blessing detailed in chapter 1 of my story, but I don't have any of the other rituals defined.

    Another great post.


  3. Another aspect to the amazing world you have built. Is this published now? If not, do you have a date that it will be available, Botanist? :-)

  4. Torggil: I think there always needs to be more detail than is used in the story. That's what gives it the illusion of depth (and storytelling is an illusion, after all!)

    J: I don't have much fleshed out at all. The names of the two main books, the Pillars of Duty which I mentioned in my comment on your blog, and a few disconnected quotes.

    Teresa: Not published, sorry. I'm getting back to working on that once this April mayhem is over :)

  5. Okay, I am intrigued by this world you've created. Now that the Challenge is coming to a close, I need to head backward in the alphabet and find out more about your novel.


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