Wakshe Religion
Introduction (rough draft)

Yorian religion has a 'crude' understanding of star systems: Dectura is heaven. Surrounded by walls to keep the unrighteous out. Thus Yori circles heaven as a penitent circles a temple. But across the vastness of space lies the slave pits of Korsu ... hell!

The gods of Dectura all take turns guarding the entrance to Dectura. And they all have different ideas on what makes a person worthy. The role of the Advisors is to help the people navigate these conflicting agendas. Tino is also a god but he has been banished from paradise. Like Yori, he too circles Dectura, trying to get in. He may someday succeed, so appeasing him is also prudent.

To modern day Yorians, Dectura is a gas giant, to be sure, but only physically. On the spiritual plane it is still a paradise. Thus the spiritual plane can be seen as a sort of parallel dimension in which the paradise Dectura is co-located with the gas giant Dectura. Further, the physical world is a metaphor for (or created by) the spiritual world. Some Yorian theologians describe the physical world as the 'dreamlands' of the gods.

As Yori passes through the plan of Dectura, the rings (Skyline) that surround Dectura as a wall vanish for a moment. This is when any funeral services are performed: the walls to heaven are down and the soul can enter (assuming it is judged worthy). There are also unsubstantiated claims of rare momentary reflections off the ring edge that people seeing these experience religious visions.

Fifty years ago the ascendant god was Tricore. Tricore promoted growth, of building a better future, of trade and prosperity.

Then the ascendant god was Chaarni. Chaarni promoted enlightenment enlightenment through exploration and the pursuit of truth.

But now Zelodeous is in charge: he is a reaction to the decadence and complacency that comes from over-reliance on technology, a reminder that no matter how powerful the people become (through technology) they must still honour the gods. Zelodeous promotes piety through the virtues of self-reliance, anti-materialism, hard work, and self-sacrifice for the good of the community.

But Zelodeous is linked to Tino. Tino is all about the self: the importance of pleasure as part of a balanced existence, and of sometimes putting one's own needs ahead of the needs of others.

If Tino doesn't follow Zelodeous then the next god (or godess) will probably be Ampora. Ampora's agenda is about protecting the people from external threat through a superior military. It is not fair to call her a godess of war as that would falsely imply a certain level of aggression. While the best defence is sometimes a good offence, Ampora has no goals other than defence.

Zelodeous has decided that Tino and Ampora must battle to the death to be his successor. He has decreed that the pious must seek out a weapon capable of killing a god for this battle the "Lance of Zelodeous".


Mythology

In the beginning there were many gods. They created the worlds and populated them. One world was paradise and the people who lived there were innocent and happy.


But while some gods were good, others were evil and a great war broke out. One day the Devil entered paradise and captured many of the people, taking them back with him to Hell as slaves. These slaves built a great city in Hell, the City of the Damned. And the Devil made the people brutalise and oppress each other, the weak and stupid were killed, the strong became warriors in the gods' war, and the most successful were given exalted positions of power over the rest of the Damned ... and were known as Lords. The worst Lord was Korsu, who was vile and cruel and without mercy. And Korsu became First Lord, the one to whom all other Lords paid homage.


After a time some of the Damned rebelled. The one known as Skubum did not want to fight, did not want to kill for another, not even a god. Working in secret he drew others, like-minded, to his cause. Then, while the Devil was away fighting, he stole a ship and fled the slave pits of Korsu into the wilderness. With him went his followers and their families. And they numbered ten thousand souls.


Korsu was enraged, and feared the Devils' displeasure. He dispatched his warriors to destroy Skubum and all those who followed him. But Skubum had timed things well, for many of Korsu's warriors had been sent to fight at the Devil's side in the gods' war, and the ten thousand escaped into the dark void.


Many years passed. Many generations were born, grew old, and died. Then, one day, Goshau (a descendant of Skubum) found the Oasis. The oasis had its own gods, and these gods took pity on the people. Goshau went and talked to these new gods, at a place called the Valley of Tears. There the gods of the Oasis agreed to allowed the people to make the Oasis their new home.


The new gods were different to the old: They hid themselves and often worked through the forces of nature. And while they warred with one another, they do not expect the people to fight for them ... only to pay tribute to whom ever is ascendant. Those who dishonour the gods of the Oasis risk being turned away, of returning to Korsu's slave pits.


But life was not easy at that time. To help the people the gods of the Oasis gave Goshau much knowledge. For forty days and forty nights Goshau was gripped by a divine trance wherein each god appeared before Goshau. When he awoke Goshau wrote down all that he had seen and been told, and these writings were called the A'chim Papers. A lot of these writings were complex and confusing, so Goshau formed a council of the brightest people to examine them and to ensure they were properly used. A band of holy warriors was formed (called the Chosen) to guard this and to do its bidding.


The current god in ascendance is Zeludeous (the "Deep One of the Undersea"), who took power from Chaarni ("he who moves the sand dunes") in the Imperial year 1104. Zeludeous is an angry god who calls for a return to traditional ways of life. Change brings disorder and chaos. And the use of gadgets in everyday life leads to weakness of character and loss of self-sufficiency. Zeludeous wants people to work with the environment rather than fight against it. Of course, offworlders (for all their technological sophistication) are little more than ignorant savages.


Zeludeous has a younger brother, Taino, who promises protection from Zeludeous' wrath.



"The Start Of Things"
Paraphrased from the A'chim




Vocubulary

A'chim: Powerful truth, an epiphany

Daugu: A traditional communal farm house. Still found in some of themore remote rural areas of Scarland, the word conjures up a sense of "home", "safety", and "belonging".

Fomatet: The Devil

Grakoma: City of the Damned

Jaibok: Innocent children

Korkorrale: Despair

Teth: Paradise

Vech: Hell

Yori: Oasis, respite, break

Zhan: First Lord

Zerp: The People (alt. Zerphani)

Zud: Pit


Phrases

"Hail Zeludeous": a daily salutation (like saying "hello").

"Taino save us!": muttered in exasperation, when frustrated.

"In his name": a pledge, sometimes said before a difficult or dangerous task (such as combat, etc).

"Vech!": a simple swear word. Variations include "Go to Vech!"

"May you know Korkorrale": a curse used when really angry.

"You are Jaibok": an insult, meaning accused is an idiot (ignorant and naive). Variations possible.

"The present is made possible by the ghosts of the past. And because there is a present there will be a future. The past, therefore, is where the future begins.": parable.


Traditions

Community:
The whole is stronger than the sum of its parts. Group members are expected to be loyal to each other, eating and socialising together. With some crimes a community may be seen as guilty rather than an individual ... and the community as a whole is punished. (In such cases the punished community rarely turns on an individual.)


Education:
Ignorance is immoral, knowledge is empowering, skill is admired. Those not destined for academia leave school earlier than the Imperial average but devote at least 4 years to an apprenticeship.

Crime is the result of ignorance. Even a murder or rapist can be redeemed through re-education (and thereafter carries no stigma for past crimes).


Conservation:
Food and water are valuable. Waste should be recycled where possible. Even in war, destruction of enemy water or food supplies, farms, fields, livestock, etc, is sacrilege.

"Dead Water": The dead are neither buried nor cremated. They are ground up and scattered over fields as fertilizer.


Hospitality:
There is a strong tradition of hospitality, especially in desert communities. Hosts are expected to be generous and share food and water with visitors. Visitors must be gracious and not abuse the privilege, but must accept even the most humblest offering as something of high value.

Gift giving (even simple lending) is ritualised. The item is presented in both hands with a formal stance, it should be accepted reverently and with a head bow of thanks.

Meals are typically communal buffets ... guests choose first, then priests, then everyone else.


Cheating:
The purpose of competitions is to prove who is better at some task. Winning in and of itself is worthless. Therefore, cheating is pointless. Life is a competition ... so cheating at life is pointless.


Day and Night:
By convention Yorians follow the Vilani day cycle: 4 equal periods ... work, rest, work, sleep. The rest period can be spent dozing, meditating, praying, performing domestic chores, and/or a variety of indoor recreational activities.


 

   
   

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