When was the last time you read a fantasy story in which religion played a large role, not only for the story as a whole, but for the main character’s personal journey? John and I are not the most well-read of individuals, but it certainly does seem that most main characters are of the “enlightened” variety, above the mundane, backwards, stubborn, rigid, and foolish laymen who believe in “the gods.” If there is any faith element, it is mere background noise most of the time, even if “the gods” end up being undeniably real, or even if there is literal magic in the world.
Doesn’t this seem odd? The character is in a pre-renaissance society, where literal magic exists in an undeniable and clearly visible way, and they’re all like “religion is the opiate of the masses, man” (takes a hit from his medieval e-cig).
Now of course we don’t all have to have pious main characters who take the prominent religion of their culture super seriously. But blending religion intelligently into your story can go a long way toward adding flavor to your world and depth to your characters, even if the story doesn’t revolve around a religious order as such.