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 Post subject: Share Your Conreligions
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:00 pm 
Avisaru
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I think one of the things that attracts me to conlanging is that it gives me an opportunity to learn about features of real-world languages which I might not otherwise have been aware of. By the same token, since I find religious beliefs and institutions to be a fascinating topic of study, I'd be really interested to hear about the religions that others have dreamt up for their concultures. I figured others might be interested too, so here's a thread for it!

---

To begin with, here's a general outline of the spiritual beliefs and practices of the ʔuuleo, a people from the Akana setting who speak a language from the Steppe branch of the Western family. They mostly live in semi-permanent villages in a rugged region roughly resembling the northern coast of Spain in terms of climate and biota, and practice a mixture of agriculture and animal husbandry supplemented with hunting and fishing.


The ʔuuleo believe that the world is filled with saŋ', translated roughly as "souls" or "spirits," which inhabit living things and bestow them with motion, personality, and the ability to change and grow. Saŋ' are not though of as being immaterial, but are instead believed to be composed of vọʔ, a rarefied, invisible substance that permeates other matter like a fluid. Vọʔ is often compared to the wind or to ocean currents, which are invisible and immeasurable, yet capable of moving great ships. Indeed, the ʔuuleo believe these forces to be the work of an incalculable multitude of minor saŋ' present in the water and the air.

Just as a large man can overpower a small one, saŋ' can be more or less powerful, depending on the amount of vọʔ they possess. The saŋ' of plants are among the weakest, bestowing the power to slowly grow and change shape but not to move. Animals possess more powerful saŋ', allowing them to move, while the strongest are generally only found in humans, and grant them the ability to think and speak. However, just as the body of a man denied food grows thinner and lighter, vọʔ tends to gradually dwindle away under the strain of animating a body, and must be regularly replenished. The little spirits of plants can subsist on the saŋ' present in the air and water, but animals and people need to consume other living things in order to maintain their vọʔ.

In addition to vọʔ, the souls of human men and predatory animals are believed to possess an additional substance or quality known as ʔụk, translated as "power" or "strength". As opposed to the nourishing and invigorating properties of vọʔ, ʔụk bestows the power to kill and the authority to command. Charismatic leaders and successful warriors and hunters are believed to possess more ʔụk than ordinary men, and are treated with respect and fear in equal measure. It is believed that ʔụk is dangerous by its very nature, like a poison, and that men brimming with ʔụk can sometimes bring harm to people, livestock, or crops without even being aware of it. For such a man to merely regard another living thing with jealousy or anger might be enough to cause it to fall ill or suffer an accident. Accusations of this sort of witchcraft are common when unexpected tragedies befell a member of an ʔuuleo community, and are taken very seriously by village authorities.

Women and prey animals, on the other hand, are thought to lack ʔụk, and are therefore believed to be naturally incapable of killing or of assuming leadership roles. This provides a sort of justification for the position of Women in ʔuuleo society, which is in some ways similar to that of livestock. It's regarded as common sense that the women of a community must be protected and guided by their husbands or male relatives. Nevertheless, ʔuuleo leaders often turn to their wives and mothers for advice on matters not related to war or hunting, as women are generally thought to be subtler and cleverer than men.

In the event that a woman (or a being similarly lacking in ʔụk) takes a life or otherwise attempts to assume a traditionally masculine role, she is generally thought to be under the influence of a seemhŋ, a ghost or evil spirit. Seemhŋ are thought to be the souls of men who have been utterly depleted of vọʔ, usually as the result of dying from starvation or disease, or because their bodies were eaten after they died. Seemhŋ are wicked and destructive beings, believed to be responsible for many instances of disease, insanity, and all manner of accidental injuries. It is said that there are ways that a woman might attract the attention of a seemhŋ, and allow it to enter her and grant her its ʔụk. Such women can then transgress their "natural" social role, although they are not always condemned for it. ʔuuleo myths contain many stories of women warriors and chiefs, portraying them as strange and otherworldly, but also as powerful assets to their communities and scourges upon their foes.


The religious practices of the ʔuuleo are oriented around the veneration of ancestor spirits or sakr, who are believed to influence the fortunes of their descendants and, sometimes, of whole communities. Interactions between the living and the deceased are primarily mediated by priests, called sọlp, men who are identified during childhood and inducted into their role soon after coming of age. Sọlp are often those who exhibit unusual behavior as children, such as experiencing hallucinations, seizures, or particularly vivid dreams, or who survive a serious early-childhood illness, particularly a high fever. Any of these traits may be indications that the sakr have taken a particular interest in a boy, although it's up to the elder sọlp of the village to interpret the signs and select new initiates. After being selected, these youths undergo a period of training and trials meant to prepare them to open their bodies to the sakr.

During ceremonies, the role of the sọlp is to enter an altered state of consciousness, usually through a combination of intoxication and ecstatic dancing, during which they are believed to embody a particular sakr. Through the sọlp, a family can make offerings to their honored dead (usually food eaten by the sọlp), ask them for council, and receive blessings to strengthen them in times of hardship. Such ceremonies traditionally take place shortly after the winter harvest, with the sọlp of the community going from house to house to offer their services to each family.

Certain important sakr are regarded as the ancestors of whole villages, or even of the ʔuuleo in general. These larger-than-life figures are thought of in much the same way that other cultures might regard their gods, and and are venerated in large, communal ceremonies at specific times of the year. Such ceremonies often bring together people from many allied villages, and are occasions for trade, marriages, negotiations over territory, various games and competitions, and general revelry. Occasionally they might even mark the induction of a new village into the tribal federation, an alliance most commonly sealed with a large group wedding. Only the eldest sọlp in attendance is permitted to represent the sakr at these ceremonies.

In addition to embodying the sakr, the sọlp keeps the oral history of their village, officiates marriages, and presides over men's coming-of-age ceremonies. In the former case, each family to be joined by a marriage will generally consult a local sọlp in order to gain his assurance that their ancestors approve of the match. In the latter, the sọlp embodies an important sakr of a boy's family, in order to grant him the gift of ʔụk that will make him a man.

Although the sọlp are the primary spiritual leaders of an ʔuuleo village, the healer, or siip'r, is an equally ubiquitous type of religious specialist. Siip'r are always women, and all women are expected to learn at least a little of the healer's art from their mothers. When an illness or injury doesn't respond to the care provided by the women of the household, however, a professional will be called in. Siip'r are most commonly elderly women who had never had children, since bearing and nursing children is believed to deplete the surplus vọʔ that empowers their arts. These women use a variety of methods, including the application of herbs and other medicines, prayers to the sakr, and the laying on of hands, in order to channel life-giving vọʔ that might counter the condition afflicting their patient. Oftentimes they recommend that an animal be slaughtered on behalf of the patient, who is then fed particular parts of the carcass, depending on the nature of their affliction.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:41 pm 
Lebom
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I already have a thread dedicated to the Yonataorin religions: (viewtopic.php?f=4&t=43968&p=1107759)
But Here's Gradhphanism:
Gradhphanism is the religion of the fictional Islands of Arrdhila, in the Bay of Bengal.. The Arrdhilans were converts to Buddhism, but when Islam was introduced people started converting to Islam. A man named Gradhphan claimed prophecy of a syncretism between the two religions.
Gradhphanism teaches belief in one G-d, called Alaa. Men were originally the supreme angels, but a lower Angel called Shaitan corrupted them, causing them to enetr physicality and thus suffering.
Gradhphan taught that while there was a universal moral law (Atthangiko) based on the Eightfold path of Buddhism, sometimes Alaa would grace a nation with it's special ritual code Called its Arrkan. Previously, Alaa had sent Musa to the Yahudin, Isa to the Rromaa, Muhamad to the Arrabin, Budha to the Hinda, Krishnaa to the Tamish (Dravidians) Ruza (Laozi) to the Cina and Gonja (Confucius) to Joseon (Korea). Their religions, Gradhphan said, were not sopposed to be universal, but Shaitan made people think they were.
Gradhphan taught in his book, the Alaagantha, that the Arrdhilans had Eight basic Arrkans:
1. Shahada: The obligation to declare once a day that the only Deity is Alaa.
2. Salat: An Obligation to pray three times a day
3. Sabaat: That on Friday all men of age are to do their best to make at least one Salat with at least 7 others, in a specially designated temple.
4. Sakaat: A tithe to the poor
5. Saum: The Obligation to fast during the first six days of Holy Week, the six says when Gradhphan meditated alone before receiving his vision on the seventh day.
6: Id: The obligation to celebrate a feast day on the Seventh day of Holy Week.
7. Haaj: The obligation to spend at least one Id in a person's life at the island of Shmakhhmaathi, where Gradhphan had his vision.
8. Sakhaaraam: To abstain from meat and fish except on Id.
The combonation of Atthangiko and Arrkan was called "Shaariya"

Gradhphan also instructed his followers not make images of him, but to meditate on his non-pictographic seal. He also made seals for other nation's prophets so Arrdhilans could meditate on them before attempting to convert other Arrdhilans from"Other nation's Arrkans".

In adittion to the Alaagantha, his statements and incidents in his life were collected into Anthologies called Varitdheunkas, the popular of which is the "Graveside Varitdheunka"


He taught that after death all people were judged by Alaa: If they were especially righteous they would enter heaven (Nirrvaanaa) if they were especially wicked they would be sent to Hell (Jahenhnaam). Everyone else would be reincarnated until either they could enter Nirrvaanaa or Janhenhnaam or until the Final Judgement.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:58 pm 
Lebom
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Well, the thing with ʔụk doesn't make sense. Women are generally considered to have more powerful magic than men in traditional societies from everything I've read and heard (including violent magic that harms and even kills people), and that kind of attitude survived in Europe through women being considered witches more often than men. Google "magic and gender" and you'll find all sorts of things about men's magic, women's magic, and breaking gender norms (breaking gender norms is cross-culturally extremely common in relation to magic, both men becoming more feminine and women becoming more masculine, as well as third gender categories being considered stronger than male or female magic where they show up). Sorry for complaining, but I just like realistic magic systems in conworlds.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:12 pm 
Šriftom
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HoskhMatriarch wrote:
Well, the thing with ʔụk doesn't make sense. Women are generally considered to have more powerful magic than men in traditional societies from everything I've read and heard (including violent magic that harms and even kills people), and that kind of attitude survived in Europe through women being considered witches more often than men. Google "magic and gender" and you'll find all sorts of things about men's magic, women's magic, and breaking gender norms (breaking gender norms is cross-culturally extremely common in relation to magic, both men becoming more feminine and women becoming more masculine, as well as third gender categories being considered stronger than male or female magic where they show up). Sorry for complaining, but I just like realistic magic systems in conworlds.

Since when is ʔụk supposed to be magic in the Western conception of it? It does not even sound like magic at all to me.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:09 pm 
Lebom
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I wasn't talking about the Western conception of magic. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magic_(paranormal)

"It is believed that ʔụk is dangerous by its very nature, like a poison, and that men brimming with ʔụk can sometimes bring harm to people, livestock, or crops without even being aware of it. For such a man to merely regard another living thing with jealousy or anger might be enough to cause it to fall ill or suffer an accident. Accusations of this sort of witchcraft are common when unexpected tragedies befell a member of an ʔuuleo community, and are taken very seriously by village authorities."

That's magic if anything is.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:28 pm 
Smeric
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Comsidering that magic doesn't exist in real life, this magic is just as realistic as any other conception of it.
Who gives a flying fuck if it doesn't conform to the traditional conception of magic as you read it or as it is done in the Real World?
Magic can function like anything!
And actually, I perceive ?uk as being some soul-like essence of being that can be manifested.

tl;dr your complaint is silly and unfounded.

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Last edited by احمکي ارش-ھجن on Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:31 pm 
Smeric
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My most developed religion, Namism, is essentially Primitive Christianity (i.e., Christianity at the point when it was still regarded as a sect of Judaism); the term Namism comes from a Tnaqite term meaning "those who know the Name (of God)," which is regarded as something of a mystical secret (like a more extreme form of the Tetragrammaton).

Probably my most interesting religion in this conworld is one I haven't developed much yet, which is the monolatrous cult of the Moon-mother practiced by the Kibirites. This arose as I was working on the Kibirite language and found the words for "mother" and "moon" to be near-homophones (which is to say, homophones in all but one case). It then occurred to me how interesting it could be to conflate a lunar deity with the mother-goddess--so I did so. I then decided to make them monolatrous, regarding other gods as divine but unworthy of worship.

Aside from Namism and the cult of the Moon-mother, I have two varieties of polytheism (both pretty standard) and a dualistic religion that is something like a cross between Zoroastrianism and Taoism with a sprinkling of hermeticism thrown in. None of these have been well developed except Namism, since Namism is the belief system of my main character.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 9:11 pm 
Sanno
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HoskhMatriarch wrote:
Well, the thing with ʔụk doesn't make sense. Women are generally considered to have more powerful magic than men in traditional societies from everything I've read and heard (including violent magic that harms and even kills people),

Citation, citation, citation.
The idea of men, particularly hunters, warriors, and those in secret societies having some kind of vigour or power greater than that of others is extremely common cross-culturally. Iirc in this particular conculture the concept derives from the practices of tribes in papua new guinea, but it also sounds a lot like what happens in many african societies.
Quote:
Google "magic and gender" and you'll find

...a lot of very excitable people talking bollocks about ancient wisdom and mother goddesses. This is not, however, robust anthropology.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:40 pm 
Avisaru
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I suppose I should do more with conreligions...

My Sanmra are kinda like Japan, in that there's plenty of religious/ritualistic stuff going on in the culture, but people by and large do not consider themselves religious or part of a specific religious system. The basic principles are the idea of there being a spirit world that lies parallel the natural/physical world. The primary inhabitants of this world are natural spirits, called dini. The dini inhabit various parts of the spirit world and have limited abilities to affect things in the physical world. The spirit world is also where people's spirits go when they die. These ancestral spirits can't affect anything in the physical world, but they can intercede with the dini on behalf of their still-living descendants. Thus, praying to both dini and ancestral spirits is common, and reverencing and remembering them is an important duty of the living. (otherwise, they will forget who they are and no longer have any connection to their living family)

Sanmra who believe in a higher power beyond that generally believe in a "neglectful" deity; maybe a god created everything or gave life to the world or gave people intelligence, but it has moved on to other projects and forgotten Earth. A small minority of highly-religious Sanmra believe in gods who actually do directly influence life on Earth, typically ranging from three to five gods depending on the sect. Most people in these sects have a particular god or goddess that they are dedicated to; the cult of Iwi, goddess of nature and forests, is quite popular, as is that of Ani, god of the sea. Both are common to virtually all such groups. Monotheism is basically unknown in native religions.

Regardless of your beliefs, most holidays involve religious/ritualistic components, such as writing and burning prayers to the ancestors (that's how a prayer gets to the spirit world, after all--you use a bit of your magic, a bit of your body (commonly a piece of hair or a bit of fingernail, but blood is supposed to be the most potent), and a written prayer, then destroy it so it can pass over), speaking aloud about the ancestors, reverencing the dini of specific places, visiting a temple, etc. There's various superstitions that go along with this (such as beliefs about supernatural creatures), but this is the basics.

The Sanmra exist in the "real" world, so some would also practice real-world religions, such as Buddhism or Christianity.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2015 11:47 pm 
Avisaru
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HoskhMatriarch wrote:
Well, the thing with ʔụk doesn't make sense. Women are generally considered to have more powerful magic than men in traditional societies from everything I've read and heard (including violent magic that harms and even kills people), and that kind of attitude survived in Europe through women being considered witches more often than men. Google "magic and gender" and you'll find all sorts of things about men's magic, women's magic, and breaking gender norms (breaking gender norms is cross-culturally extremely common in relation to magic, both men becoming more feminine and women becoming more masculine, as well as third gender categories being considered stronger than male or female magic where they show up). Sorry for complaining, but I just like realistic magic systems in conworlds.


I don't have specific citations for this, but I feel pretty confident in saying that most if not all societies that believe in witchcraft (in the anthropological sense of "harmful magic") allow for the possibility of "witches" of all genders. Although I didn't explicitly mention it, the ʔuuleo are the same. Women are believed to be naturally incapable of violence, which includes violence by means more subtle than shooting a bow or swinging a sword. All that means, however, is that when a woman does commit an act of violence, including violence through witchcraft, it is thought to be a particularly unnatural event, and a sure sign that the woman has enlisted the aid of an evil spirit.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 3:11 am 
Avisaru
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On Maikros, the religions I've developed the most come from the continent of Salenzis, though there is also the Shorragite religion.

As for the Salenzian religions, there are two major systems that account for most of the population of Southern Salenzis: The Salenzian Tradition and the Sublime Temple. It is useful to speak of them together, since they emerged around the same time and served the same basic purpose - that is, to fill a perceived void in Salenzian culture. Furthermore, because of these, there was some intermixing in the early days, and so there are certain basic tenets that they share. Before I really explain them, however, some context is required: the Prophan Empire. Propha is a large island south of mainland Salenzis that was once the centre of the largest state Salenzis has ever seen. While they were keen to conquer and exploit resources, they weren't particularly into enforcing their culture onto the mainlanders - they didn't want barbarian tongues sullying their language, or barbarian feet sullying their temples. Of course, both of those things happened anyway, but nowhere near to the extent that forcing them upon people would have brought. The mainland Southern Salenzians of the time believed in many gods, and one aspect of this belief system that remains well known even two-and-a-half millennia later is that conflict between peoples represented conflict between the gods they followed. So, of course, since the Prophans so thoroughly conquered Southern Salenzis, the Southern Salenzians believed that the Prophan gods had conquered their own. The Salenzians expected to have worship of the Prophan gods thrust upon them - such is, after all, what their own tribes did when one conquered another. But it never came. Their own gods had been conquered, thus indisposed and not fit for worship, but the conquering gods would not have them. Thus, Southern Salenzian culture entered a kind of malaise, a period of great uncertainty, as they no longer had any gods, according to how their belief system worked. The time was famous for its great quests - people tried to find their old gods, free them, bring them back to life, or whatever they could think of. But none of this ever worked. No great flourishing of Southern Salenzian religion occurred, certainly no attendant rebellions against Prophan rule occurred. This was the cultural environment Southern Salenzis was in, come the Pax Prophana.

The Pax Prophana, as the name implies, was a period of peace, when the Prophan Empire ceased expansion. Because of the lack of focus on military matters, more attention was placed upon scholarly pursuits and infrastructure. Thus, Southern Salenzian thinkers had more resources, and the culture had been stewing in this malaise for some centuries, so certain ideas had bubbled to the top. Poets set about expressing disdain for the old ways, for the desperate quests, for the false hope and inevitable despair of searching for lost gods. Scholars set about formulating new ideas and engaged in great debates. While all of that happened, a new figure appeared - the Sublime Goddess. Seeing a people who were lost and looking for a new way, She decided to step in and began preaching Her own way. Many people joined her, but many also rejected her. She and her followers joined in the great debates, and that is where the intermixing of ideas happened. This formed the bedrock that these two belief systems sit upon.

One of the ideas in this bedrock is a philosophy known in the Salenzian Tradition as Collective Self-Reliance. While it is not named as such in the Codex Sublimis, the patterns of it are apparent. Collective Self-Reliance, at its core, is the notion that the community, the group, should not have to rely on outside influence to solve their problems. If your village is on fire, do not wail to gods who will not listen, do not sit in the hope that some champion will suddenly appear from on the hill and fix everything - go grab a bucket and head to the lake, or river, or well. The group, for these purposes, can be defined at many levels, from the entire world, all the way down to a few friends. While some matters are clear-cut - a single village is not expected to solve the problem of an invading army all on its own, as such is obviously a problem on the state level - other matters are not so, for example, a bandit presence in a region. Say these bandits are only terrorizing one village, but there are other nearby villages they could raid, too. Is this only the problem of the one village, or is this a problem of all the nearby villages, because the bandits could easily decide to begin attacking the others villages at any time. Poverty, as another example, is one of the most hotly debated topics in Collective Self-Reliance. Is it the problem of the poor families and individuals? Is it a problem of the cities they inhabit? A problem of the magistracy? A problem of the kingdom? As of the late Third Age, about one-and-a-quarter thousand years after the philosophy of Collective Self-Reliance first emerged, a consensus on the issue has yet to be reached, at least in the Salenzian Tradition. The tradition is extremely decentralized. It has no hierarchy - it is the product of centuries of squabbling amongst philosophers. Conversely, the Sublime Temple does have a hierarchy, with the Sublime Goddess at its top. It is Her decree that poverty is a problem of the culture - not merely one state, but all of those participating in Southern Salenzian culture. While laws passed by a king or ekklesia (a congress or parliament) may serve to ease the problem, She believes that a fundamental change in culture is what is needed to truly end poverty. While she would like to implement such a change, there are still many who disagree with Her, and so the debates continue. While Collective-Self Reliance is present in both belief systems, it has a higher place in the Tradition than it does within Sublimism, as the Tradition is where its origins ultimately lie.

Another idea in this bedrock, conversely one that has its origins in Sublimism, is that of equality. One of the most important passages from the Codex Sublimis is as follows: "Takest thou My hand. It beareth great power; thus shall thine." Though the Sublime Goddess' power is a lot more literal, being that She has incredibly powerful magic at Her disposal, here She offers to socially empower people, such that they can escape from oppression and dominance. The idea of equality gained traction in the Tradition because there were those who saw it as an extension of Collective Self-Reliance - things affecting the group of course are affecting each individual member of it, so they should ideally all have a say in what happens. There are, of course, those who disagree - in the late Third Age, most Salenzian states are kingdoms, with only one being a democracy, and this idea naturally points to democracy. Opponents of democracy in the Tradition therefore tend not to include equality in their formulations of the beliefs of the Tradition. Yet, such explicit opponents are in the minority. Most followers of the Tradition are neutral on the subject, typically out of placing more personal importance on smaller groups like the village or neighbourhood - the question of what form the government should take is a state-level problem. Sublimists tend to be more explicitly in favour of democracy, but the Sublime Goddess favours a peaceful approach to cultural change, so even though She certainly has the power base to cause successful revolutions to overthrow the monarchies, She is not willing to do so.

Then there are the areas in which the two religions very much differ - one such issue is that of the practice of necromancy. Sublimism expressly forbids it, while the Tradition has no formal opinion on it. Necromancy, on Maikros, is the school of magic associated with the element of Darkness, one of the two elements associated with the Underworld. The mana spirits of the element of Darkness are quite malevolent, such that in lay parlance they are usually referred to as demons. These spirits like to use their elemental connection to practitioners of necromancy to drive them insane, to cause mayhem on Maikros. While there are some organizations of necromancers who have developed techniques to block such mental intrusion, still not everyone trusts them, especially not the Sublime Goddess. That necromancers are the way in which Darkness spirits may interact with Maikros, whether through maddening whispers or portals between the planes, is why She condemns them completely, as she considers the Darkness spirits to be a great threat to the world.

Another difference between the two religions - already implied above, but I will now state it explicitly - is on the matter of gods. As stated before, these two religions emerged to fill a perceived void in Salenzian culture, left by the old gods that were conquered and lost. The Salenzian Tradition, then, through the principles of Collective Self-Reliance, has come to the conclusion that the Salenzian people don't have or need any gods. They need only themselves to accomplish whatever it is they wish. Generally speaking, the Tradition is not actually atheistic - it recognizes that other peoples have gods, and doesn't necessarily deny their existence. There are some in the Tradition who are atheists, but for most, the question is moot - it doesn't matter to them if other peoples' gods do or do not exist. The Sublime Temple, on the other hand, replaced the old gods with a new one. Sublimism is monolatrist - it doesn't deny the existence of other gods, but it explicitly states that the Sublime Goddess is the only deity to be worshipped in the religion.

Being that the Salenzian Tradition is alatrist, it doesn't have an associated mythology or cosmology. Sublimism, on the other hand, is rich with tales and metaphors. One of the most important metaphors is that of the Ancient Fathers, a by-phrase used to refer to the structures of oppression and domination present in society. Some of the strangest and most confusing tales in the Codex Sublimis come in the final section, the Visions. These are supposed to be things that the Goddess saw when She performed divinations. She is usually silent on the matter of the Visions, and there are rumours that not even She fully understands them. They are, of course, a matter of much debate amongst the Sublimist faithful. Here is an example of one of the Visions, the fable of Ranaxas and Vitu:
"Ranaxas and Vitu were wedded in coercion; the contracts were written by the Sixty-Eight Eternal Hours, otherworldly scion of the Ancient Fathers, whose true name is terror and heresy; their consummation bed was of four-hundred-and-thirty-two clouds through which they saw a myriad of images as the Hours contained them and forced them to couple. For these hours they did so, and Vitu was made to bear a child. The child was difficult inside her womb, and so she prayed to the Great Bird of Zarcos. She took the shield and sword of Ranaxas as offerings and shouted atop the roof of his home, towards the sky: 'I beg that you shall descend from on high, O Kandurinith, and that you shall give me such strength that I need to bring forth this child safe and healthy.' But the Great Bird knew of the influence of the vile Eternal Hours, and so through this conduit she gave him, smote her at once. Ranaxas was near her and saw this. He was stricken with such grief to lose his first wife that he quit his roof, and all of him was broken and unrecognizable upon the earth. Even though Vitu was smote, her child could not be - but her death severed its tie to her family, protecting them from its wrath as it emerged from Vitu's corpse in thunder and screams."

Another notable aspect of the Sublime Temple is its bed-priests. These men and women are sacred courtesans who provide comfort to the faithful - physical, mental, spiritual, they provide all. Bed-priests are the sort a Sublimist layperson will go to for advice and help, while the priests in the main temples who deliver sermons and manage rituals are more administrators than therapists.

Wow, this is a rather long post. I think I will stop here for now, and continue talking about the religions of Maikros later.

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Adúljôžal ônal kol ví éža únah kex yaxlr gmlĥ hôga jô ônal kru ansu frú.
Ansu frú ônal savel zaš gmlĥ a vek Adúljôžal vé jaga čaþ kex.
Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 12:16 pm 
Smeric
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Salmoneus wrote:
HoskhMatriarch wrote:
Well, the thing with ʔụk doesn't make sense. Women are generally considered to have more powerful magic than men in traditional societies from everything I've read and heard (including violent magic that harms and even kills people),

Citation, citation, citation.
The idea of men, particularly hunters, warriors, and those in secret societies having some kind of vigour or power greater than that of others is extremely common cross-culturally. Iirc in this particular conculture the concept derives from the practices of tribes in papua new guinea, but it also sounds a lot like what happens in many african societies.

And Native American as well, though it should be qualified that many Native Americans believed that men had magic to call animal spirits for the hunt but women had magic pertaining to healing and life-bringing. Hence the near-universal taboo against women's blood coming in contact with weapons--a weapon touched by life-giving magic isn't going to be effective at life-taking.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 4:49 pm 
Avisaru
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Matrix, that's a lot of neat ideas! I'm curious, though; is Maikros a setting where magic is clearly and verifiably real? And if so, are the gods actual individuals that a person could potentially meet and interact with? The way you write about the Sublime Goddess, it sounds like she's actually some sort of immortal being who personally founded and continues to guide her religion. Is that accurate?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:05 pm 
Avisaru
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I had a topic here I believe for the Sathan religion of Santhism, but I can share it here.

Selkaksy ("The spirit knowing way"), also known as Santhism, centers on a monotheistic God Santh, and five lesser divines, who aren't like angels created by Santh, but self-existing, and yet to say they are are "gods" (Doan) (even small g) would be blasphemous, so they use a different word. There are also a number of lesser divines who are offspring of the divines and creatures who were created.

Practices/Concepts
Tas (Debt) - Followers of Santh believe that good deeds and ritual purification must be done to please God adn the divines, depending on what they want (for example, rain for crops they would sacrafice to the lesser divine Shaseshui). This purification (|asilas) is seen as being of the whole self (kaseldar) of mind (ka), spriit (sel) and body (dar).
For mind (Ka) this is readings of the scriptures and meditation.
For spirit (Sel) is self-beating (a stroke or two with a rod or whip across the back). Also monthly spankings (with a switch) of their children to make up for any misbehavior that might have been unpunished for that month.
For body (dar) this is is ritual washing.

Reincarnation (sandathe, "Life circle")
Followers of the religion believe when they die their spirit ascends to Santh on their cremation. If they are found to have lived unworthy, evil lives they are sent to judgement in the center of the earth, a freezing, cavernous place. Those who are good are re-incarnated in new lives. They believe at the end of the world there will be a final sifting and the good will live in a paradise.

view on magic
The average Salthan follower of Santhism does believe in magic, though only in the form of charms and curses, enchanting items for a good or evil effect, through the influence of the divines, lower divines or creatures. They would view the idea of outright magic such as throwing fireballs from ones hand as nonsense, but instead see it as subtle influence (either for good or evil) on protection, sickness, crows growing etc.

The Five Divines:
Lykei - Female divine of travels, children, wind, dexterity, freedom and thieves. She is depicted as being a naked female Salthan, sometimes with a strip of cloth across her groin and from her hand that flows behind her, like wind. She is care-free, playful and innocent, even somewhat naive.
Rela - A male salthan wreathed in fire. He carries a flaming sword and a whip. He is the divine of rage, power, invading warriors, the sun, fire, and prosecuting lawyers. He is called "the punisher" and "accuser". He is known to have a violent temper, and some depict him as sadistic, One cult believes that he will overthrow Santh and himself become God.
Kakela - A male salthan who is just a giant head with arms and legs. He carries a shield. He is the divine of protection, fortifications, guards, earth and defense lawyers.
Kai - Female salthan divine of knowledge, wisdom, teachers, students and craftsmen. She wears a long robe and carries a scroll.
Gikar - There are a few depictions of this. Some say it is actually twins, Gikara and Gikari, a male and female. Some say it is one divine who has aspects of both male and female. Some say the divine can switch genders at will. This/these are the divines of love, romance, sex, persuasion, charm and seduction.

I won't list the minor divines and creatures here, but they can be found on the wiki page with more info on the religion.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2016 7:13 pm 
Avisaru
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CatDoom wrote:
Matrix, that's a lot of neat ideas!

Thanks!

CatDoom wrote:
I'm curious, though; is Maikros a setting where magic is clearly and verifiably real?

Yes.

CatDoom wrote:
And if so, are the gods actual individuals that a person could potentially meet and interact with? The way you write about the Sublime Goddess, it sounds like she's actually some sort of immortal being who personally founded and continues to guide her religion. Is that accurate?

There are three entities on Maikros that get referred to as gods which verifiably exist: Kaliana, the Sublime Goddess; the Onyx Dragon; and Kandurinith, the Phoenix King. Not everyone believes that the Phoenix King actually exists, as he only visits Maikros once every thousand years, but the Sublime Goddess vouches for his existence. As for the other two, there is no doubting their existence, but the few atheists I mentioned are present in the Salenzian Tradition do doubt their divinity. They claim that the Sublime Goddess is merely an extremely powerful human mage. Opinions differ between them as to what the Onyx Dragon is, because nobody really knows what he is. The most prominent such opinion is that, because he is made of stone, he is some kind of golem. Another one is that he is an ancient and powerful mana spirit of the element of Earth.

I'll talk about the religions focusing on the Onyx Dragon and Phoenix King in a later big post.

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Adúljôžal ônal kol ví éža únah kex yaxlr gmlĥ hôga jô ônal kru ansu frú.
Ansu frú ônal savel zaš gmlĥ a vek Adúljôžal vé jaga čaþ kex.
Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:40 pm 
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If the ʔụk thing bothers you so much, why not consider cultures which consider men to have something in them which makes them more human / partly divine / otherwise superior to women. I mean it's usually just semen, but ʔụk did instantly remind me of that. And look at how it's considered in-culture -- it's got a masculine bent to it (strength/power/authority/command/kill/violent), and the women are relegated towards traditional femininity (passive nurturers; can't lead; subtler and cleverer but ultimately weaker; taking on masculine properties is literally evil) with respect to it. There's nothing uncommon about this. If this was on a Wikipedia page or some article, I wouldn't contest that people actually believed it for a second.
Obviously I'm not really enamored with the concept, myself.


After much searching I must conclude that I either never wrote anything about religion in Tern or deleted it. Fooey. I guess I'll post something later.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 12:16 am 
Avisaru
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While the Salenzian Tradition and Sublimism are the two largest religions on Salenzis, there are a couple other major religions, but they are, for the most part, confined to one country each. These are the pantheons of Propha and Xenas, respectively. Something interesting about the two is that while they do differ in many respects, they pretty much have the same three gods as the most prominent beings in their pantheons. This has led to discussions between theologians of the two religions, and something of a mild partnership between their clergies. These three gods are something of an ancient tradition on Salenzis - it is noted that the Southern Salenzians also worshipped these three gods before they were conquered (of course, because the Prophans speak a different language, they didn't recognize it at the time). Furthermore, even the tribal peoples of the Northlands are known to revere these three, though they typically focus more on local gods, and save such reverence for large, inter-tribal festivals. This has led to the trio being called the Salenzian Trinity in recent times.

The Salenzian Trinity is as follows:

The Sky Mother - in Prophan, her name is Zea [zea], while in Xenosian she is known as Ieuva [jœˈva]. Her name has also survived among Southern Salenzian adherents of the Prophan Pantheon as Yowla [joˈɫʌ]. In the Xenosian pantheon, she is the Queen of the gods, while in the Prophan, she is merely the Queen of Maikros. Her mythology is very interesting, as it points to the ancient Salenzic peoples having some level of understanding of the water cycle. Water, associated with the Sea Father, is associated with sperm. So, the Sky Mother takes this water into the clouds, which are her wombs. Then the rain comes down, associated with menstruation and/or birth, to make the land grow. Thunder and lightning are also her domain. As they typically accompany lots of rain, thunder is said to be the screams of a difficult birth. Lightning is her swift wrath - she is impatient and does not like to be disturbed while in such a state of suffering. The winds are her voice. As such, her priestesses, known in Propha as the Midwives of Zea, engage in literal aeromancy - listening to the wind for prophecies. Those with the talent for magic also engage in aeromancy in the modern sense - controlling wind and lightning and such.

The Sea Father - in Prophan, he is known as Proteus [proteps], while in Xenosian his name is Noibgĕnnos [nwabʒəˈnɔs] and in Salenzian he is called Nepunu [nɛpuˈnu]. In Xenas, he is the King of the gods, while in Propha, he is merely the King of Maikros. He represents the sea and its bounty. He receives much prayer and reverence in both religions, especially from fishers and sailors. His widespread worship in Propha and Archipelagan Igion probably makes more sense on the surface than it does in Xenas, as the former two are islands, while Xenas is a northern country with only one coast. But as stated before, the Trinity has been in Salenzic cultures as far back as any record states, and thus had in all likelihood been very important for centuries or even millennia before such records. Archaeological, anthropological, and linguistic evidence is beginning to point to both the Salenzic peoples and their Zarcosic cousins coming from the east, across the Dotted Ocean, from the continent now ruled by the Talurmen Empire. So, a sea god being highly important from a very early time would make a lot of sense if this hypothesis is true. Within the religions themselves, there are myths relating to him of carrying the first people to safety during the creation of the world, which some say might be a cultural memory of such a journey. Being the King of Maikros in the Prophan view, he is of course associated with kingship and was invoked in coronation rituals. This has ended ever since Propha became a republic, but the clergy have been pushing for an invocation to be present in the swearing-in of newly elected Archons. As the clergy were associated with the nobility during the Revolution, there is a certain distrust of them whenever they try to stick their noses in political matters. Nevertheless, as long as the priests stick to the temples, the people of Propha are content to attend services and worship as they have for millennia. In Xenas, the Sea Father is the King of the gods - a much higher station than the Prophan version, yet he is of no greater or lesser import. In Xenas, though, he is not invoked in the coronation of monarchs. There is another god who holds that honour who I will speak of later. As most Xenosians don't live anywhere near the sea, his sphere has expanded somewhat to encompass all bodies of water. There are many rivers in Xenas, and of course there is the highly historic Lake Caumoi, along the shores of which Xenosian civilization first arose. Because of his association with water, those of his priests with the capability of magic typically become hydromancers. But he is also associated with life, so there are some biomancers in his ranks, and some even practice both schools.

The Earth Child - in Prophan, he is called Plouton [pluton], while in Xenosian, they known him as Oizus [wazˈus]. His Southern name has been forgotten, so Southern adherents of the Prophan Pantheon use his Prophan name. He is the child of the Sky Mother and the Sea Father. He governs the earth and its mineral bounties, and also is associated with life, mostly plants. Because of these, he sees worships from miners, farmers, and herbalists, but also those who deal with their products - craftsmen, bankers, taxmen, debt collectors. There is a story that he forged his mother's lightningbolts, but only loans them to her. That's why they always return to him when she uses them. He has some minor associations with hunting as well, to do with the surrounding plants. But his influence does not extend farther than that, as both religions each have a deity more directly and heavily associated with the hunt.

----

Aside from the Trinity, the gods of each pantheon differ greatly.
In the Prophan Pantheon, the gods are divided by realm, so there are the Celestial Gods, the Maikrosian Gods, and the Underworld Gods:

The Celestial Gods:
- Hermes Cyclon: Though he is the King of the Gods in the Prophan reckoning, he is very distant, not concerned with the matters of Maikros. His primary duty is to keep the cosmos moving. He doesn't see much everyday worship, but he does receive prayer from sailors, travellers, scouts, couriers - anyone who would navigate by the stars. He also has something of a following amongst scholars who wish insight into the workings of the universe.
- Hauos Heliou: One of the daughters of Hermes Cyclon, she is the Sun. She represents victory, valor, bravery, perseverance, and hard work.
- Hypna Selenes: One of the daughters of Hermes Cyclon, she is the Moon. She represents laziness and sleep, and through that also governs dreams.
Hauos Heliou and Hypna Selenes are said to be in an eternal race across the sky, which Hauos Heliou is always winning, while Hypna Selenes lags behind.

The Maikrosian Gods:
This is the category in which the Trinity lies, but there are other gods here, too, such as:
- Corophon: The god of fire, love, and war. He is usually depicted as a beautiful young man equipped with the spear, shield, and plumed helmet of ancient times.
- Artemis: The bountiful goddess of nature and the hunt.

The Underworld God:
There is only one god associated with the underworld - its lord, Aedon. He is bicephalic, the god of duality and the borders and ways between them. The primary duality he represents is of course that of the Maikros and the Underworld. But there is also the duality of the magical elements of Light and Darkness, associated with the Underworld - and the mana spirits that represent them. As Light spirits are actually the spirits of the dead, he also serves as a psychopomp. But the Darkness spirits are malevolent and mischeivous - many laypeople refer to them as demons - so Aedon has quite the bad side that people try their best not to get on.

The Prophan religion is also well known for venerating a multitude of saints, and the beautiful icons hanging in the temples. One of the most important saints is St. Melissa of Satremia, who is the patron saint of democracy. Not only is Satremia the city where democracy was invented in ancient times, but St. Melissa was a major leader of the Revolution, a priestess of Hauos Heliou who preached the virtues of the working class and despised the decadence of the aristocracy and much of the clergy. She especially hated Iason the Betrayer, the last King of Propha, an advisor who usurped the throne from his predecessor, Veron L - his ascendance to the throne was suspect from the beginning, and his declaration of the New Prophan Empire and subsequent invasion of Igion was reviled by much of the people of Propha. His failure to achieve victory was seen as a sign by St. Melissa that Hauos Heliou was displeased with him. She was one of the biggest voices that got people working to achieve a democratic state, much to the chagrin of her superiors in the clergy. While she was killed in the Revolution, the Revolution succeeded, and while there are still some in the clergy who find it blasphemous, she was declared a saint sometime afterward by a clergy newly infused with democratic members.

----

The Xenosian Pantheon doesn't divide its gods up like the Prophan one does, so I'll just list some:
- Ceoirnos: The tricephalic horned god of animals and hunting. He is the king of nature, keeper of the order of the wild. His tricephalic nature references the Trinity - he rules nature in their name. With his association with kingship, he is the one who is invoked in coronation ceremonies in Xenas.
- Nemna: Guardian goddess of holy places. Protector of all the worlds of gods and humans against the demons.
- Eugmos: The silver-tongued psychopomp who convinces the dead to follow him to the Underworld. He is so charismatic that he can convince the very world itself to do things - he is a trickster god, and the patron of mages.
- Poiounnous: Sun god of fire and healing, who rides a chariot across the sky. He is associated with hot springs. The husband of Reusmerda.
- Prinnarga: Bear goddess of war and victory.
- Rinna: The goddess of journeys, time, and rivers.
- Reusmerda: The goddess of fertility and abundance. The wife of Poiounnous.
- Oidirna: The goddess of the stars. The stars are said to come from the celestial river, which is the purest river in the cosmos, so she is also associated with cleanliness and hygiene.
- Figous: The raven god of secrets and knowledge.
- Soirande: The goddess of love and beauty.
- Iungouche: He is one of a class of deities known as Teues. Teues are local deities, protectors of regions and frequently patrons of historical major industries. This one is the patron of the Xenosian capital, Renga, and as such is associated with commerce and bureaucracy.

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Adúljôžal ônal kol ví éža únah kex yaxlr gmlĥ hôga jô ônal kru ansu frú.
Ansu frú ônal savel zaš gmlĥ a vek Adúljôžal vé jaga čaþ kex.
Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh. Ônal zeh.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 3:17 am 
Avisaru
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valiums wrote:
If the ʔụk thing bothers you so much, why not consider cultures which consider men to have something in them which makes them more human / partly divine / otherwise superior to women. I mean it's usually just semen, but ʔụk did instantly remind me of that. And look at how it's considered in-culture -- it's got a masculine bent to it (strength/power/authority/command/kill/violent), and the women are relegated towards traditional femininity (passive nurturers; can't lead; subtler and cleverer but ultimately weaker; taking on masculine properties is literally evil) with respect to it. There's nothing uncommon about this. If this was on a Wikipedia page or some article, I wouldn't contest that people actually believed it for a second.
Obviously I'm not really enamored with the concept, myself.


After much searching I must conclude that I either never wrote anything about religion in Tern or deleted it. Fooey. I guess I'll post something later.


A big inspiration was actually the ancient Roman concept of virtus, the ultimate origin of the English word "virtue." Built on the noun vir, meaning "man," it more or less literally means "manliness," but it also denoted excellence, courage, character, and general social worth.

Ultimately, however, it's a very old concept in the history of Western language speakers, descended from the Proto-Western word *kʷacu, meaning "strength." Proto-Westerners believed that young people had to ingest semen in order to acquire *kʷacu, and practiced ritual cannibalism to gain the strength of their enemies. Dewrad, the creator of Proto-Western, was presumably inspired by certain peoples in New Guinea, who hold very similar beliefs.

ʔuuleo coming-of-age ceremonies and ideas about cannibalism are very different from those of their distant ancestors, but the concept of a pseudo-spiritual masculinizing substance that provides a mystical justification for a strongly patriarchal society has proven very resilient in at least some parts of the Western cultural sphere. Needless to say, I don't think it's an admirable aspect of their culture, but I do hope it's at least an interesting one.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 7:45 pm 
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http://methru.blogspot.com/2016/01/some ... arrot.html

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:51 am 
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I am not at all done with the mythos, cultus or ritus so it will be a short describtion:

The sadenganyuck believe that the earth is controlled by two major deitys, Ning(day) and Krupp(night). They believe that the sea, land and sky are controlled by the three children of Ning: Xuma'âmpanyâck,god of the sea, Ina'inaxaiwana Inainyick,godess of the sky and Âmâmxângo Âmânyâck,god of the land. Those three are more culturally important than their parent and uncle. There are also a lot of lesser deitys, usually sons or daughters of the trinity.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:43 am 
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Disclaimer: I don't know if Caspian mythology is readable in its current state, let alone understandable. Criticism is much appreciated whether I agree with it or not. Mars years are double earth years and are written in the Gorian number system.

Year 1: Gihzn creates the world. She is the deity of proportion. She is neither male nor female, but is commonly represented as female. She is said to be the dunescape (xzbyuzhdozh) that defines the structure of the world. She does not answer prayers because she is the medium in which prayers are answered. She is not worshiped.

Gihzn created the world because that was necessary to maintain balance between existence and nonexistence. With the world, the Xyzdesh pantheon came into being. But at first the deities are mute and witless (bsh). As time goes by, more and more of them gradually learn sapience.

Year 12: The god Kisndyil had been sleeping afloat in magma. One day, he looked at the sun and said, "Wondrous art thou!" (Tylhyizhnpirtyi. Literally, many wonders follow because of you. But nobody talks like that in real life.) Upon realizing that he was capable of speech, he called himself Kisndyil, which means magma, and by extension, brilliance. As the other deities awoke, Kisndyil became their king.

He was passionate, brilliant and unstable. The other deities eventually came to resent his overbearing personality, and there were rebellions against his rule.

Year 123: All the other deities who were awake rose up in rebellion against Kisndyil, who in response stomped the world flat. The goddess Hezn who had been asleep inside a rock looked at this flatness and said, "Balanced art thou!" (Tylortyi.) She took the name Hezn, which means rock or bone, and by extension, justice.

Kisndyil could not stand up to her because he realized that justice is the skeleton of language, and imprisoning her would cause him to forget his name. Hezn is known for judging cases by heaping scorn and ridicule on the losing side, who are powerless to fight back. She stood up to Ksndyil, but could not prevail against him.

Year 1234: Kisndyil captured Pzhirn, the goddess of ice who had been working against him, and flayed her. The goddess Xyazden had been asleep in the gravel on which the flayed chips of ice fell. She looked at Pzhirn's exposed anatomy and said, "Precise are thy workings!" (Tylkyestyi.) She took the name Xyazden from the icy gravel where she woke up, which by extension means analysis.

Kisndyil could not stand up to her because damaging the power of analysis would mean losing his reason. Xyazden is known for dissecting anything she wants to understand. The other deities began looking to Hezn and Xyazden as Savioresses (Hyari) but justice and analysis could not defeat brilliance.

Year 12345: Kisndyil enslaved large numbers of spirits who amused him and forced them to do his bidding. Unfortunately for him, the goddess Orn had been asleep in the opiates he had ordered for the occasion. She looked at the show that Kisndyil forced the performers to put on, and said, "Lovely art thou!" (Tylxetyi.) She took the name Orn from the kind of opiates she woke up in, which is extracted from the essence of the Zhuspal flower. In Caspian, her name has the connotations of "wine".

Orn is the goddess of victory and the flowering earth. She is portrayed as a femme fatale who seduces both men, whom she kills, and women, whom she blinds and enslaves into her priesthood. When she became the third Savioress, she seduced and killed many of Kisndyil's generals. Kisndyil was powerless to fight back because victory herself was fighting against him. The Hyari defeated him several times, but he always clawed his way back into power.

Year 123456: The deities had power. Being immortal, what they did not have was an earth-shattering desire to live. This, they decided, was the source of Kisndyil's power. This is why the spirits created the Martians out of Kisndyil's blood. With the newborn infant's first indrawn breath, Kisndyil's star dimmed. The Hyari sealed the tyrant in the heart of the world, from which he repeatedly tries to escape. (Volcanoes.)

Year 1234567: This is the date from which years are first written down in Caspian records. To historians, this would be year 1 on the timeline.

The Caspian tribe has been subjected and humiliated by the Gorian confederacy. Their resources have been confiscated and their people are enslaved. The goddess Ulbun takes birth as the Caspian woman Kishas and appeals to the Gorians for clemency. The Gorians don't believe in Kishas' divinity and crushes her under a boulder.

Most of the Caspians watching are dismayed and turn away, but some of them rush forward and drink her divine blood. These lucky few become the leaders of the Caspian tribe. Many others are not lucky enough to get their hands on enough blood to drink, but wet their fingers in it anyway. These become the first scientist-sorcerors.

Forever afterwards, Caspian soldiers are infamous for drinking the blood of their fallen enemies, which they claim gives them magical powers.

Year 1379ADG: The Caspian Empire has reached the end of its classical era. After a long period of protoscientific explanations, the world of miracles is reappearing. The old enemy Kisndyil has sent emissaries to the mortals in the volcanic lands to the north, inciting them to rebel against the Hyari. Historians point out this is impossible because Kisndyil had been a chieftain in a relatively unimportant tribal confederation who had lived in the peripheral territories long before the empire existed, whose reputation had spiralled out of control in the mouths of epic storytellers.

Anyway, "Kisndyil" says that Hezn is just, but bullies the weak. Xyazden is rational, but coldly analytical. Orn is always victorious, but cruel in victory. Kisndyil may have been violent against rebels, but he has always cared for his loyal supporters. The Hyari are meritocrats, deities of the strong. The weak should worship a deity who rewards loyalty, not strength. This message resonates with the citizens of a dying empire, leading to the formation of a state called Kisndyil Xozhnxyrn (Kisndyil's Army) to the north.

Year 138ABEG: Prince(ss)ling Yuztye becomes an imperial general and leads a campaign against Kisndyil's Army. Their leader Byobadiz appeals to Yuztye about the righteousness of their cause. Yuztye appears unmoved and kills Byobadiz, but once she has finished dismantling Kisndyil's Army, she proclaims her own state, the Dawn Empire, Dzhetu Dyeshnorin. This new state is just as committed to opposing imperial Hyari worship as the old one, but it does this as a champion of tribal custom rather than other deities.

Rather than justice, analysis or victory for everyone, Caspians in the empire are required to worship specifically Caspian goddesses headed by Ulbun, whose blood was said to flow in the veins of the Caspian ruling caste. Science had already proved that ingested blood is not incorporated into the body in that way, but these new states were less interested in science.

Year 139BCEF: The Dawn Empire has failed to conquer the central territories of the Caspian empire, most of which coalesces into Xyzdesh, the Glass Community. (The opiate called orn is stored in glass containers, so glass is associated with victory.) However, both states suppress the Hishuzxa movement that had been promoting freedom from control by tribal elders.

Year 146789A: The Soviets land on Mars.

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If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way. - Mark Twain

In reality, our greatest blessings come to us by way of madness, which indeed is a divine gift. - Socrates


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:12 pm 
Niš
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Realmism is a relatively small religion with few believers. It focuses on other physical "realms". Realmism has no gods/deities, and no other form of celestial being or great creator. Instead it believes the universe was created in less than a second, flashing into existence in a storm of fire.

Realmism centers on the 52 "realms", other planets that can be accessed on certain days of the year. To access a realm a person must wait for the corresponding day. On this day a person will drink a different herbal drink depending on what realm it is that you wish to visit. Realm visits typically lasts 6-9 hours, though some people have managed to hang on for up to 21 hours. Once the day ends and night comes, you will arrive in your sleep.

For a planet to qualify as a realm, it must have some form of magic and at least five believers. Once these conditions are met a herbal drink needs to be developed so a person can reach it, this can take hundreds of years of a few months.

There are a few larger realms, these larger realms are more important due to population, planet size, and military power. Each realm has a ceremonial name.
The biggest realms are Blue Tongue(Yalta), Red Paw(Halo), Purple Stream(Luwon), Wild Tree(Undria), and Pearl Claw(Motapyr). These realms are the easiest realms to access.
There are several other smaller realms, such as Blue Water(Sorpear), and Water Color(Tosak).

When a believer in Realmism dies, they manifest as a spirit capable of leaping between different realms with no restriction. Spirits usually hang at their home planet or an exotic planet such as Blue Water or Pearl Claw. There are occasional "spirit towns" that can be found if you look hard enough for them. Spirit Towns are pockets in space that hold a village consisting of spirits, these villages typically have a population of a few hundred.

This is all the information i have on Realmism currently.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:51 pm 
Osän
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I must have missed this thread. I'll just post a few links:

http://www.frathwiki.com/Religions_of_Teppala
Not much there, it's more about the names of the gods than the religion itself.

http://kneequickie.com/archive/Tarwataf
This page is much longer, but it's for just one religion and if I was rewriting the page today I'd probably change much of what's written there.

http://www.frathwiki.com/Poswob_Ethnogr ... s_of_Faith
There are some deliberate insertions here and in the Tarwataf link which make the religion seem backward and superstitious. For example,
Quote:
(Mappamensam has...) even the power to deprive a person of salvation for any reason whatsoever, even if they were free from sin, by casting a spell named bae followed by a spell named šapta. These people are considered to have been killed and resurrected in an evil, tormented form that is considered acceptable to enslave. Then they mark the body with wounds so that everyone will know what had happened even if the slave escapes. This condition can only be relieved with more prayers to Mappamensam, and only if someone other than the one who is cursed is willing to do so. Thus, if granted the powers of Mappamensam, it is possible for a human to damn another human to Hell. This power is only available to women. This makes women very powerful in Poswob society.

In other words, it doesnt matter how good you are or what you do; the almighty goddess Mappamensam can just flick you and your pathetic little body into eternal Hell for no reason at all, and she can grant this power to other humans when she feels like it, so you'd damn well better obey the priestesses in the temple no matter what they tell you to do.

And if you slip up, it's a divine commandment that we will enslave you for the rest of your life, and when you finally get through that, do you think you've done your time? Nope, it's still eternal Hell, because we decided we didn't really want to remove the curse. Sucks to be you.
----------

I can try to think of traits that most or all religions on planet Teppala have in common:

1) People are "positive polytheists". Most religions recognize more than one god, and they believe that the gods cooperate with each other rather than fighting each other. This applies both within religions and between them. So, a tribe will never accuse another tribe of worshipping the wrong god, and nobody will ever go to war to eliminate "the infidels". Some religions are monotheistic, but even here, the monotheists believe that the polytheists around them are worshipping gods who support and cooperate with the one deity of the monotheistic religion.

(It is as if Christians decided that Horus, Zeus, Jupiter, Thor, etc were all real and still existed, and that they all either worshipped God or were one with God, as in John 1 "The Word was with God, and the Word was God.")

2) Most deities are female. Roughly the proportion of female to male deities is the reciprocal of what it is on Earth. Some religions bring this imbalance down to the material world by saying that women have the ability to communicate with the gods and males do not. This power imbalance reflects Teppalan societies in general: thus, female power in the spirit world is not an escape from the material world, but a faithful reflection of it. Human societies vary on a spectrum from roughly average (for Earth) to extremely feministic societies that seem like a caricature of modern western liberalism.

3) In real life Im a universalist, meaning that I believe that Heaven is real and that all souls go to Heaven, no exceptions, regardless of their behavior in their body on Earth. Hell, if it exists at all, is merely reincarnation into another body, and nobody will be doomed to reincarnate for all eternity; everyone gets to Heaven eventually. I'm strongly tempted to put universal salvation into my religions somewhere but I haven't done that yet. Even so, I think that most or all of the religions will agree with me that Hell is merely forced reincarnation and not a separate spiritual realm created solely to punish evildoers.

4) John 10:34 "You are gods." I've heard that I'm misreading this verse, but I like the interpretation I give it and on planet Teppala, most or all of the religions believe that the gods are actually people who have earned divine status from their time spent on Earth. A bit cart-before-the-horse, I guess, I should say that Teppalans generally believe in reincarnation, and that reincarnation can defy the laws of time, meaning that a soul can be simultaneously in a body on the planet and be a god ruling from the heavens.

5) Probably a lot of religions are panentheistic or pantheistic. The gods are humans, but yet, since they are souls, they can take the form of anything, even an inanimate object such as a mountain. Kʷarĕna was originally associated with a species of lizard, and at least some people actually worshipped the lizards, seeing them as incarnations of the goddess. When they moved to a warmer climate, different things happened: some people retained knowledge of the lizards, and gave them increasingly fantastic attributes, and although they continued to worship Kʷarĕna even in the snowy pine forests they now lived in, they believed that she had a temple in the tropics in which she resided in a single, discrete physical form. Other tribes believed this but lost the lizard imagery and came to think of her as a human woman of fantastic size who was worshipped in a temple in which hundreds of people stood around her body, facing upward to look at her face. From this, the gigantic size was also transferred to some (not all) of the other female deities, or at least to Mappamensam, who was in many ways the opposite of Kʷarĕna (but they still cooperated, instead of fighting each other).

Since the gods can take human form and other forms, they can die, but killing the body in which a god is incarnated does nothing to their power. (This is true in all Earth religions that I know about, but I admit I havent read all of the posts here and there may be some religions here or elsewhere in which gods *can* die, and in which the world is changed forever when it happens.)

6) Religions are heavily involved in politics, but this is mostly a consequence of Teppala not having politics the way we think of it: for the most part, your tribe is your religion and your politics, and you're allowed to change, but if you do that you become a member of that other tribe, not just their religion. Put another way, I wouldnt expect to hear on planet Teppala "Abortion is now illegal because Mappamensam revealed to me in a vision that it is hurting our ability to love and care for our young children." I think part of the reason why I want it this way is that, as per point #1, the hundreds of religions don't seek to make enemies of each other and it wouldn't make sense for one person to claim a divine revelation from a goddess like Mappamensam when all of the other tribes around her are also worshipping Mappamensam and did not receive that communication.

7) This is difficult, and its a bit ironic that I wrote this post and it felt incomplete, then I came back and made a magic 7 by adding one thing I forgot. Anyway, I believe that God can defy logic, since logic tells us that all things must have a creator, including (to use a math metaphor) the set of all things that have creators. (Thus you cant just back out of it saying that there is an infinite chain of creators ... who created the chain? for that matter, who created causality, mathematics, and logic itself?) Put another way, the world cannot have been created logically, so the ability to defy logic must exist, and God, being the supreme being, must be the entity that has that power. What's difficult is squaring this with the polytheistic religions that dominate on planet Teppala, or even the monotheistic ones that believe in the existence of the other gods but do not worship them. Something about the idea of a two-tiered deity hierarchy turns me off, but it's difficult to assign logic-defying ability to more than one deity. So I will either have to exclude that idea from the religions altogether or wait for a better idea that will make me feel more comfortable.

*sunglasses face* Actually I thought of something else: None of my religions seem to believe in demons or Satan-like characters (although the older links up above do say that they do). I think this is another reflection of my real-world beliefs: evil in the world is not caused by evil spirits, but either by the gods or by human free will. I think that assigning evil to Satan is a way of deflecting the difficult question almost everyone thinks about at some point in their life: why does God allow evil? If >5000 years of philosophy havent answered that I dont think I ever will, but saying "God didnt do that, it was Satan" is meaningless since God created Satan and has full power over Satan and every other evil spirit. For the most part, religions on Teppala skip straight to the meat of the question and just say that what humans want is not necessarily what the gods want ... but that, in the very long run, all human suffering will come to an end and everything that has ever been lost will be recovered, and everyone who has ever lived will join each other in eternal happiness in Heaven.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:23 pm 
Smeric
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I really need to redo this webpage. But here it is for now. The Vreski warding system which is (was) a far more pervasive folk belief than any of the organized religions at the time: http://vreskiwards.rikweb.org.uk/index.html


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 8:01 pm 
Sumerul
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Location: suburbs of Mrin
That's an amazing website Rik!

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ìtsanso, God In The Mountain, may our names inspire the deepest feelings of fear in urkos and all his ilk, for we have saved another man from his lies! I welcome back to the feast hall kal, who will never gamble again! May the eleven gods bless him!
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