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 SUGGEST! Gods/Religions

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Garganium
33rd Caucasian Mage
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Join date : 2009-12-22
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PostSubject: SUGGEST! Gods/Religions   Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:44 pm

Rescued from old forums,
(SYNTAX)
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EDIT: I wanted to make a few revisions after some thinking...

Nevarandi Pantheon:

Ibana-Ka, genderless deity of magic, creation, destruction, cycles, fate, and time. Ibana-Ka is included in every shrine dedicated to another god, even if the recognition is almost in passing. Ibana-Ka often leaves mortals to their fate. Ibana-Ka is often left offerings of appeasement, but the god rarely takes action in the mortal world. Ibana-Ka appears in Nevarand society as a human without gender-related features, holding a shock of wheat in one arm and a scythe in the other arm. Those who are not nuanced to the Nevarand pantheon think these are symbols that make him an agricultural god, yet this is untrue; they are symbols of life, and death; the cycle that all things come and pass.
IBANA-KA IN NEVARANDI RELIGION: In the midst of nothingness before Nevarand was wrought, Ibana-ka spoke the words of true creation and true destruction. The sands, waters, sky and heavens were born from his speaking, and the End-of-All-Things at an unknown time was created, and unseen. Gods, men, and beasts (non-humans, according to Nevarandi attitudes) were born. The gods were born out of the magic that wove the cosmos, humankind was born from sacred water, and beasts rose from the sands of the earth without souls. Ibana-Ka is passionless and rarely lifts a hand to harm or help mortals.

Atr-Ha, god of the sun, sky, birds, heavenly day, and strength. Atr-Ha is also known as the Fiery Lord, Merciless One. Atr-Ha is greatly revered among athletes and men in general... he is not strictly a god of men, but he is known to be a notorious womanizer. The sun rising after the moon was thought to be him, chasing Tafibi across the sky in an eternal hunt. He also tests the strength of mortals who wander the desert. He is thought to be a rival of Onet. The god Onet claims to have power over the lives of mortals, which is a claim that Atr-Ha also holds. Where Onet claims to grant life or death with the gift of water, Atr-Ha pushes mortals to succeed to die by the heat of the merciless sun. Atr-Ha is often depicted as a muscular, naked man running across the sky, or as a bearded man draped in gold robes.
ATR-HA IN NEVARANDI RELIGION: Do not beg me for mercy, for your pleas of weakness shall never reach my ears. Only the strong and the wise shall survive my tests in the desert. The weak and the foolish will be consumed by my flames and light. The strong and the wise only exist because I have driven them to survive, and to thrive among the elements.

Tafibi, goddess of the stars, moon, heavenly night, magic, and secrets. Tafibi is also known as the Cold Mistress, the Silver Lady, the Storyteller, and the Concubine. Tafibi is praised by scholars, thieves, travelers, and seekers of secret wisdom and knowledge. Tafibi is the sister of Hemut-Red and Gemma-He, and often works with them to pull the fate-strings of mortals. Her workings are similar to Atr-Ha, in that the cold of the night pushes the strong and the wise to survive. However, she doesn't reward mere endurance of the cold desert night, but she rewards those who find a creative way to fight off death. She is often depicted as a woman clothed loosely in silver silk, laying down on the night sky, sleeping.
TAFIBI IN NEVARANDI RELIGION: Any fool can be strong, any fool can try to solve life's problems by following common knowledge... but life's rewards come to those who think and act creatively, those who do not follow the common herd and walk the path less traveled. Look into my stars, for lore long passed are kept hidden within. Secrets give you power over your enemies, secrets bring great wealth and knowledge.

Nanpen, god of cities, royalty, nobility, justice, law, money, and balance.

Onet, god of rivers, the sea, water, the wilderness, crops, travel, messages, and animals. Onet is one of the most widely revered gods, as drinkable water is ultimately scarce in the wasteland. He is also known as The Merciful Giver, and also as The Judge of Life and Death. He is often depicted with an urn of freely flowing water, or standing with one foot in the land of the dead and one foot in the world of the living, holding a silver bowl of water.
ONET IN NEVARANDI RELIGION: Those who fall in the unforgiving, burning wilderness are those whom I withheld the sacred waters of life. If you travel and find water, then I have decided that you are fit to live. Those who are strong and cunning may unwrap the hidden treasures of the desert that give life. Water is life, water is power. Use my gift of water wisely.

Amosat, god of death, magic, fate, peace, and balance. Amosat is rarely worshiped by the Nevarandi, as it is thought that getting his attention would bring an untimely demise. The few who do worship him do so towards his fate aspect - those few, indeed, are rather bold. He is a serene god who is unmoved by bargaining or begging from mortals on the verge of his embrace. He is often depicted in art as a tall, thin man wearing dark red robes with skeletal hands.
There are a few cults far from civilization that revere him. They study philosophy, death mysteries, and will sometimes help the dying pass on painlessly. They are oath-bound not to heal, as healing works against the goals of the god.
AMOSAT IN NEVARANDI RELIGION: Live well, live wisely, live boldly. I, god of fate, may smile upon the bold... and I might not. Your end is coming, and I follow you everyday. I am your closest friend, for I never leave your side. I am with you from your birth, and I will be with you at your end. Come, let me embrace you... in death you will find serenity. Peace in life is a false peace; no such thing comes until your end.

Esamep, goddess of women, childbirth, family, hearth, crops, animals, and cities.

Gemma-He, god of writing, speech, magic, time, suffering, secrets, knowledge, and wisdom.

Baen, goddess of war, death, strength, horses, lions, and cities.

Hesir, god of war, destruction, entropy, death, and disease.

Hemut-Red, god of thieves, travel, secrets, cities, and fate.

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Religion

Church of Avelnius


Theme: Divine magic is sacred and must remain in the hands of the few. Wielders of other magic circles are blasphemers, and they shall be judged and executed.

God(s): Avelnius (patron), Phillibys, Lallione, Icantonar, Dysitius. These gods are referred to as the Sacred Watchers.
Religious Center: Phillibycia, Desia.
Hierarchy: Ieros Pirkayia (Sacred Flame), Master Lightbearers (four), Master Inquisitors, High Clericy, Inquisition, Xiphos (holy warriors), Low Clericy (Priests, Acolytes), Opadi (common believers), Khamenos (unbelievers).
Honorifics: Ieros or Chosen of the Five, used in reference to the Sacred Flame; Kirios, used respectfully to anyone above common believers; Prostatis, in reference to the Xiphos; Dikastis, in reference to Inquisitors and Master Inquisitors; Photismos, in reference to the Master Lightbearers. Common believers are formally referred to as friends, children, or siblings.

Holy Text: The Alithia, a compendium written by the Sacred Watchers. The Alithia is comprised of four books:
Avelnium is about the sacred works of the five gods, the purpose of the Church, the mission of the believers, and the fate of the unbelievers. This book is about the being and works of Avelnius and his plans for the world.
Phillibaetor sets forth the tenets of the Church, and contains the laws that all must be made to follow. The Book of Phillibaetor describes the sins of using non-divine magic, how the other circles wreak havoc on the world, and the weakness of moral fortitude in mages.
The Omorphies are passionate, graceful prayers and poetry from a Lallione Cleric in praise of the Sacred Watchers, of creation, in condemnation of non-divine magic and mages, and of the moral strength of the believers. The Omorphies are recited every day by all believers, from the Ieros herself all the way down to the lowliest Opadi. Verses from the Omorphies are uttered at dawn and dusk, at weddings, births, funerals, before battles, before undertakings, condemnation of evildoers, in thanks, and for many other reasons.
Diavasis is a collection of proverbs, observances, morals, and teachings that are often used to educate the populace and to give hope to the people.

Practices: The Church of Avelnius teaches that non-divine magic is evil, and that divine magic must remain in the hands of those who are selected as worthy by the Sacred Watchers. Though their chosen religious center is in Phyllibycia, Desia, their Acolytes move throughout the countries to spread the Church's teachings. The Ieros leads all aspects of the religion, has almost limitless power within the Church. The Ieros is careful to exercise these powers outside of the Church, as their anti-magic attitudes are frowned upon and rejected by many countries that permit magic. However, the Church has gained power in some areas, and the Ieros is often included in extra-Church politics, economics, and other forms of power. Upon the death of the current Ieros, the next in line is elected from among the four Master Lightbearers. Upon completion of this election, the new Ieros appoints a new Master Lightbearer. The Ieros rarely appears in public. The current Ieros is Xyle Protae (ZY-Lee PRO-tay).
There are four Master Lightbearers, and each represents Phillibys, Lallione, Icantonar, or Dysitius. They all assist the Ieros in religious and administrative duties, and if required, will ride into battle alongside the Xiphos. They direct campaigns to win power in cities and countries.
The Master Inquisitors perform administrative duties regarding crippling the political power of wizarding guilds, magical communes, and mages in power. They organize individual Inquisitors, and sometimes collectives of them, to hunt down mages in secret. Publicly, they claim to look out for the safety of all the lands... in secret, they assassinate, manipulate, torture, and destroy.
The High Clericy directs religious teachings and leadership to the public. They organize the duties of the churches and clerical administration.
The Xiphos are trained warriors dedicated to the faith. They serve the Master Lightbearers directly, but they often work with the Inquisitors. They rarely act in the place of an Inquisitor as they lack the finesse and cunning required for such a position. They enforce the laws of the religion, the will of the Lightbearers and the Ieros, they protect communities that belong to the Church of Avelnius, and they root out evil, sorcery, and enemies of the Church.
The Inquisitors seek out mages and other "evils" to destroy them. They are cunning, ruthless, and efficient in their duties. They are greatly feared by the populace and by Khamenos.
The Priests remain dedicated to a chapel in a town and teach the people. The Acolytes travel broadly and proselytize, and often spread religious propaganda. They often use marauding mages, the Nightlands, the former Nevarand Empire, and magically-created monstrosities as examples of how non-Divine magic is evil and must be stopped. If they gain enough of a following in a town, they will install a chapel that houses a modest staff of a priest, acolytes, and sometimes a Xiphos. Mages in town and in the countryside are then driven out, and sometimes assassinated.
The Opadi are common, non-staff believers.
The Khamenos are those who do not follow the teachings of the church. They can be any who are ignorant of the Church's teachings, political enemies, mages, demons, and non-divine extra-planar creatures.

Relics: Siopi crystal daggers, Holy Torches (5, one for each of the Master Lightbearers and the Ieros), Isikhos Chains, the Spear of Avelnius, Sword of Phillibys, Raiment of Lallione, the Icantonarium, and Hammer of Dysitius. The Siopi daggers are owned by very few: the Ieros, Master Lightbearers, Master Inquisitors, High Clerics, a few Inquisitors, and fewer Xiphos each possess one. The Ieros and Master Lightbearers each own one of the five Holy Torches. The Isikhos Chains are more common, and are carried by all Inquisitors. The five relics of the gods are hidden in a protected, secret shrine.

Holiday(s): Keriphota, a festival held during the day of summer solstice. From the first hour of the day until the final hour of night, candles are lit all over homes, chapels, and towns in celebration of another year of life. Praises are given to the gods, prayers for safety from evil are uttered for the year ahead, blessings are asked for, animals are sacrificed, games are played, and much more. Communities work the week prior to Keriphota to prepare for a massive feast that will last all day and night. The feasts are treated as gifts from the Sacred Watchers, to reward their followers for their faithfulness. The food is extravagant and abundant. Women who conceive or give birth on this day are thought to bear blessed children. These children may be marked for special ranks in the church later in life. On the day of Keriphota, all civic positions are ideally ignored; mayors, elders, and nobles eat and commune with peasants, vagabonds, and beggars.
March of Blades, held on the night of the Winter Solstice. Winter Solstice, being the longest night of the year, is also thought to be the most evil. Blades of all kinds - knives, scythes, swords, and axes - are hung at all entrances of the house (if a person or family were poor, they could hang one blade over just the front door) to ward off evil. The blades represent the Sword of Phillibys. No one leaves their homes upon nightfall; doors are locked, window shutters are closed, and all entrances are sealed. Ironically, thieves like to steal the blades that are hung up.

Critics: Not surprisingly, critics of the Church are comprised of mages, scholars, and wizardly sympathizers. They argue that all magic is connected, and that the Church's aim on eradicating the use of the other circles of magic is self-destructive. They also argue that the church manipulates people who are ignorant, uneducated, and illiterate into believing wild speculation, embellishments, and half-truths.

---

The Sacred Watchers

These gods do not assist mages working outside of the Divine circle of magic.


Avelnius, patron god of the Church of Avelnius. He is the god of wisdom, truth, justice, law, order, fate, and light. He is honored before the other four gods, and a small altar is dedicated to him in every chapel that is built in honor of one of the other gods. His symbol is a vertical line running across a circle, representing his spear held across the light of the sun.

Phillibys, consort of Avelnius. She is the goddess of justice, law, order, war, cities, and family. She was the founding ruler of Phyllibycia, and wrote the Phillibaetor before ascending to godhood. She is treated as a protector deity, and is honored by the Xiphos and Inquisitors. Her symbol is a sword held over a shield.

Lallione, goddess of life, death, love, beauty, art, nature, music, children, and motherhood. She inspired one of her priests to write the Omorphies, which were included in the Alithia. Her symbols are the mature oak, and the downturned crescent moon below the sun.

Icantonar, god of writing, knowledge, philosophy, prophecy, dreams, medicine, money, astronomy, and remover of obstacles. He is a quiet god who reveres the pursuit of knowledge. He is often prayed to for assistance with various problems. His symbol is an eye at the center of an eight-pointed star.

Dysitius, god of strength, agriculture, virtue, journeys, crafts, trades, and the afterlife. He is mostly honored by commoners, traders, and craftsmen. His symbol comprises of two crossed hammers.
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PostSubject: Re: SUGGEST! Gods/Religions   Sun Jan 03, 2010 6:46 pm

Religious Factions Within the Church of Avelnius

Orthodox Avelnians are the most numerous members of the church. They are conservative, and believe that the Alithia must be followed strictly. They tolerate few changes and believe that the laws of the Sacred Watchers have priority over the self, and the common world of the unbelievers.

Sotarios are the most uncommon members of the church. They revere Lallione, and believe her compassion must be exercised in order to bring the highest good to the world. The greatest hallmarks of their faction consists of their attitudes towards magic and other aberrations: they don't execute mages who are peaceful, but they will permanently seal away non-divine abilities. They still view non-divine magic as evil and will still participate in book-burnings, destroying artifacts, and defaming mages publicly, but they prefer a more peaceful approach to their adversaries. They are viewed as radicals and borderline heretics. Their compassion gives them the highest ratio of divine healers.
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