Religions & Faiths
Delotianism (The Holy Church of Delos) - The Delotian Church worships four primary gods that correspond to the four elements: Phoras, god of water; Daera, goddess of fire; Baelon, god of earth; and Ryes, goddess of wind. Delotianists believe the world was created by Delos, the Allgod, who divided himself into the elements to create the world. Most clerics, called hierophants, are quite familiar with all four of the gods; individual religious orders focus on particular deities. The Church is led by the Imam, who is seen as the living prophet of the Allgod. The Church is politically entwined with Delotian nobility, and the Imam traditionally crowns a new Sultan. Many nobles of the Empire hold religious as well as political titles. Many see the Church as corrupt and merely a device to uphold the class system. A particular order of rogue clerics, called mandrites, advocates the ending of the class system, but they are largely ignored.
Tais Meilon - A broad religion with no formal church and only a few temples. It is followed primarily by Konass, though a few others follow its tenents. Tais Meilon holds that there are two great powers in the universe, Chaos and Order. Chaos is the havoc of nature, characterized by storms, beasts, and unexpected astrological events. Order is civilization, the personification of cities, commerce, sailing, and the zodiac. There are 8 constellations of the Tais Meilon zodiac, each corresponding to a virtue: ambition, commerce, thrift, bravery, pride, civilization, culture, and acumen. Practitioners of Tais Meilon believe it is their duty to civilize the world, bringing Order to Chaos. Some wildness is to be desired, however, so long as it is controlled. Benefactory wildness provides rare goods to be traded, providing the virtue of commerce. Many practice Tais Meilon as a philosophy rather than a religion, and thus there are few rituals or shrines. In Viin Keledos, there are three temples: one in Raalia, one in Kael Aras, and a small one on the tip of the Oester Penninsula. The two urban temples are unmanned and consist of large shrines to Order and the zodiac virtues. The small Oester temple is occupied by a hermit, who some see as a sage and come to for advice.
Pasharan - A religion exclusive to the Ara-atan and unknown outside of Pasaar. It is deeply imbeded in Ara-atan culture; Ara-atan do not see a separation between the secular and religious, but that faith is a part of the world. Pasharan believe in many spirits of varying importance, but all are linked to the Oversoul, the great being that is the universe. Pasharanists believe the world has always existed, but its people wandered for generations without vision or hope. The Oversoul had mercy on the Ara-atan and sent divine wisdom to select individuals, the shamans. This event is known as Thela-shas. The Oversoul gave the shamans knowledge of all the spirits and of itself, and the shamans taught the Ara-atan their divine wisdom: settlement, magic, farming, rites. Pasharan has three holy rites: the Rite of the Harp, the Rite of Smoke, and the Rite of Blood.
Tour'nah - Ancestor worship practiced by the Ourani. Each Ourani family has a shrine in their home to the ancestors. The shrine is dominated by one or more pairs of Tour'iphel, ancestor wings. Ourani believe these weapons hold the spirits of their progenators, and they will use these weapons in holy combat (most comabt is holy to Ourani). Ourani pray to their ancestors daily, and it is said prayer to the ancestors in combat enhance the strength and sharpness of the 'iphel. Tour'nah followers believe combat is a matter of honor; to refuse combat or fight without Shae (a concept of vitality, strength, and ferocity) dishonors one's ancestors. Tour'nah is practiced by a number of Ourani tribes on Selidus and nearly all Ourani on Chizen.
Rathanal - Religion practiced by the Kapok Empire. It is poorly understood by most. Rathanal (which means merely "religion" in the Kahtor tongue) practitioners worship a nameless fire-earth god that is almost constantly displeased with the inhabitants of Galan. To sate the wrath of their god, the high priests of Rathanal make weekly living sacrifices. With an advanced calendar, different days call for different sacrifices: one day may be a virgin, another a strong warrior, still another an elderly woman. Those who are sacrificed are considered holy and honored. They are chosen a week before the appointed time, and that week becomes a festival for the selected holocaust with family and friends gathering around to bid farewell and send prayers for the sacrifice to carry into the afterlife. Sacrifices are made almost exclusively into an active volcanic crater, said to be the gateway to their god's domain.