I’m currently writing a game that is a mix of high/low fantasy. It’s set in the modern world, but involves two different undersea societies that are derived (in the story) from real life societies.
To explain briefly, the story involves two sea creatures that are capable of terraforming their environments and creating symbiotic bonds with other creatures. Some of these creatures are human beings that were stranded or shipwrecked in various times and places (for example, refugees, immigrants, pirates, sailors, and others).
One creature has been bonded with humans for generations, so much so that a new Atlantis-like kingdom has been formed around it. The humans living there have incorporated various mythologies and cultural artifacts from their origins into the kingdom. While most of them have lost any conscious connection to the Earth’s continents, they retain some elements of Phoenician, Greek, Roman, Old Norse, and other cultural artifacts. The mythology that has built up around the creature is intentionally supposed to mimic the mythologies of people who may have encountered it and become assimilated into its society, so these include Abrahamic, Norse, and Greek myths.
The other creature has more recent symbiotic bonds with humans, which makes things more sticky. The humans who may have found themselves stranded or shipwrecked in the later centuries (like, 17th century onward) could have been slaves, refugees, or immigrants, or involved in more recent world events. I want to write the characters respectfully, but I’m afraid of misportraying historical events that may have led to their place in the story, and I also don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable if they feel that I’m misportraying their cultures.
The point of the societies is that they themselves have absorbed and incorporated a range of different beliefs and turned them into their own sort of mythology, but I don’t know if that comes across as disrespectful. Does anyone have any advice?