This religion is one of three in Atheus. Feel free to steal it, or parts of it, for your own world.
The main tenet of Trinarianism is that there are three deities, none of which have gender (think of them as major forces), and each represent a side in a philosophical duel. The first deity is Cupidites, the second Afferes, and the third Venitiones. Each of these deities represents a way of life.
The Three Paths:
Liber Incepti (The Book of the Beginning- The first section of the Liber Tribus)
In the beginning, before the world was new, there existed Order and Chaos. For a time, this was all that was needed, but soon the two introduced another: love. Love brought in its opposite, to balance out existence. Love brought in hate, as well.
Order and Chaos had engendered Love as they interacted over the eternity they had existed. They had fallen in love. Order and Chaos, then, mixed their divine essences three times.
First, they produced a triplet. This triplet was Cupidites, Afferes, and Venitiones. They were collectively called the Three. Each was a genderless and formless deity.
Second, the produced the world. They produced Atheus, the land in which we dwell today. With the creation of the world came the creation of life. All the birds of the air and fish of the sea were created from that mixing, as well as the five sentient races. With this creation of life- the first life- came the creation of gender.
Third, they produced Mortes, the deity of death1. Mortes was produced the instant after the making of life. With the birth of Mortes came the creation of the Land of the Dead.
Order and Chaos looked upon all they had brought into being, and were almost satisfied. The world of Atheus seemed almost perfect. The two divine being could not agree not what was needed to improve upon it. They debated the topic, but they could not agree on the reason. Each was too set on what they though needed improvements. Order wanted more structure for Atheus, while Chaos wanted more turmoil. Their debates turned into arguments, and their arguments turned into hate.
Finally, the two divine beings engaged in war. While the two beings fought, the people of Atheus who worshiped Order and Chaos attacked one another. The blood of thousands wept into the earth as great armies clashed. Though the people had no technology
Cupidites, Afferes, and Venitiones looked on in horror. The Three knew that they had to stop this, though each for their own reasons. Cupidites, though he did feel bad for the horrors occurring in Atheus, saw this as an opportunity to gain more power- something he had wanted and had striven for for awhile. Afferes saw this as an opportunity to give something special to the people. Venitiones was morally against violence.
The Three went to Order and Chaos, and broke apart their fight. Holding the two at bay, the Three showed them what their hate had wrought upon their creation. Order and Chaos wept many tears, and left the world in the hands of the Three.
For many years, all was well in the land of Atheus. Cupidites, however, took this opportunity to plan, since Cupidites was ambitious, and wanted more power for himself. Cupidites saw how the people were cold during the winter, and suffered, and came upon an idea.
He brought order to his formless self and took the guise of an old human male during the winter. He stumbled into a human camp, and told them in a loud voice of how he had been visited by the deity Cupidites, and how the deity had taken compassion on them, and had showed him Fire. Cupidites demonstrated the creation of fire. The humans warmed themselves by the fire, and found that it was good. And so the tribe turned to worshiping Cupidites.
The invention of fire, and which divine entity had granted it, spread throughout the tribes of Atheus, and more and more turned away from the other deities of the Three and towards Cupidites. Thus Cupidites secured more power, and was happy.
Afferes and Venitiones discovered of what Cupidites had done, they realized that they had to do a similar measure to keep the balance between the Three. Therefore, they each gave inventions to the peoples of Atheus.
Thus, between the Three was a race to bestow the most and the greatest technological innovations onto Atheus. This continued until they realized that none of them was making any progress, and the peoples of Atheus were suffering because of this attention. For the tribes with more innovations had more power, and thus were able to slaughter their enemies and become more powerful. Therefore, the Three met and made an agreement: they would no longer interfere with Atheus.
And so, things were good for many centuries.
1 Mortes has a gender, but which gender is under debate by the Trianarianists.
Cupidites is all about striving. It does not matter in what direction you strive, but that you do strive towards this goal. The hows and the whys are inconsequential. Selflessness is not prized unless it furthers your goal. The same goes for its opposite, selfishness, though selfishness is more encourage because it is more likely to further your goal.
Afferes is about the other people in your life. Selflessness is prized. Philanthropy is prized. Teamwork is prized. What is heavily discouraged, however, is giving too much. If one gives too much of his possessions or time to one group, then the person will lack the resources to either give to a more needy person or to recuperate the losses to give again later on.
Venitiones is about virtue, about meeting your moral standards in life, no matter what forces try to get you to give them up. Stubbornness is encouraged, unless it is on worthless subjects. Honor is about being a good person, and staying a good person according to you, to your society.
Liber Reperati (the Book of the Rebirth- the second section of the Liber Tribus)
The disappearance of the Three brought much consternation upon the peoples of Atheus. The loss of direct contact with their deities shocked the people. Though at first this only brought increased prayers and worship towards the Three, in a futile attempt to bring them back, the people of Atheus turned away from the Three, and started to worship false idols.
The Three, however, had paid no attention to these goings on. As they had sworn an oath to not interfere with Atheian doings, there was little point in watching the affairs of the people.
Thus, the Three paid no attention to Atheus. Indeed, the only deity to do anything with Atheus was Mortes, who had to guide the souls of the dead to their final resting place. Therefore, it was Mortes who first discovered that the Three had been abandoned by the people.
Mortes approached the Three, each in turn, and told them of how the people were worshiping false idols. Thus the Three learned of these events, and needed to devise a plan to stop them.
Cupidites, Afferes, and Venitiones searched all of Atheus for any who still believed in them. They found none. Wherever they searched, not a single believer was found.There was a single chance, however. The Three could only reveal themselves to a believer, and not a very strong one at that. The believer only needed to acknowledge that there was a chance that the gods could exist.
Adonis was a human man with an interest in the past. He had been sent by his king to an old ruin that had been discovered by a group in the wilderness. This ruin was an old temple to the Three, constructed several centuries ago, when the Three had been worshiped throughout the land. It was half submerged, beneath the land, and was almost hidden by vegetation. Only a crack permitted entrance.
After he and the entourage provided by the king arrived at the ruin, they set up camp. Adonis then slipped through the crack and stepped forth into the temple. His companions slipped some supplies in towards him, and left him to his business.That afternoon, while Adonis searched the old temple, a storm developed at the site. A chaotic thing, its lightning lit the sky, its thunder split the ears, and its rain liquified the earth. As fate would have it, a calamity happened. A single bolt of lightning hit a tree near the temple, and it fell towards the ruin and broke the crack, to Adonis's alarm. For the tree had broken the crack and caused it to collapse it. Both rock and wood sealed the entrance, trapping Adonis within the temple.
With naught else to do but wait for his companions to free him, Adonis continued to search the temple, now with anxiety marking his stride. At long last, he discovered the central nave of the old temple. Two of the three exits from it were long blocked by rock and rubble; the third exit was the one he had just entered from.
Adonis came to one of the walls, and wiped the dust and grime off of it. Drawn on it was a depiction of the Three, with their names engraved beneath their effigies. After realizing what this meant, Adonis wondered whether the Three could exist.In a flash of light, the Three spoke to him. They shared to Adonis their names, and told Adonis all. Throughout the night, they spoke to Adonis of holy things. Thus, he came to believe in the Three, and became their Prophet.
After the storm subsided, the men that had taken shelter in the camp began to free Adonis from his prison in the morning. An ordered endeavor, they quickly shifted the tree and removed the rock. Adonis emerged from the temple radiant in his new found knowledge. He spoke in a loud voice, and told them of what had happened to him in the temple. His entourage began to believe in the Three.
Adonis came out of the wilderness, preaching of the Three in all the towns and villages they passed through, converting more and more to the faith.
Though it in unknown when exactly the belief that angels or devils exist came about, for there is no mention of devils in the Liber Tribus, nor any other holy text (besides some letters from the Trirex (see below) and other, very recent, missives), most Trianarianists do in fact believe in them. Some say they were invented by some corrupt Trirex to increase tithes and tribute heading his/her way, and other say that they were a reaction to the Lunists and the barbarianism's polytheism.
The general consensus on angels and devils is that they were both spawned by Order and Chaos, respectively. This occurred back in the beginning, before the mixing of Order and Chaos's divine essences, and the creation of the Three, Atheus, and Mortes. Some say that the mixing of Order and Chaos's essences was influenced in part by the Angels and Devils running around the cosmos.
Angels and Devils have created a pocket realm to live in, an alternate dimension, and in that realm they brawl. The two sides loath one another, and they are in near constant warfare. The fighting is so bad that it constantly threatens to spill out onto Atheus, using the other world as a sort of cosmic backdoor to sneak attack the enemy. Whenever this does happen, the peoples of Atheus suffer and die.
The Three are said to stop this from happening, and keep the two sides fighting in this other realm.
Liber Foedi (The Book of the Covenant- the Third Section of the Liber Tribus)
The Three watched the actions of their prophet Adonis, and saw that they were good. Thus they decided to make arrangements among themselves for the coming centuries, for they knew that if they let things go on as they did in the old days, history would repeat itself and they would lose their worshipers. Therefore, the Three met to decide how to counter this seemingly inevitable turning from them by the Atheians. They soon arrived at a decision.
First, they sent a messenger to Adonis, in the form of an eagle, and called their prophet to the old temple where he first heard the word of the Three. Adonis, after hearing the eagle give him this message, immediately went forth to the temple.
Upon arriving at the ruined temple, Adonis gave orders to those that had followed him that he was not to be disturbed. He then disappeared into the temple.His entourage waited there for 33 days. When Adonis did emerge from the ruined temple, he bore with him three gemstones. One gemstone was a ruby, another was a sapphire, and the last was a citrine.
Adonis then began to speak to the congregation at his feet. 'The holy Three have bestowed upon me the knowledge of a great many things, during the time I communed with them. I shall follow their wishes and spread the knowledge they wish to be spread throughout the land.'
The prophet looked around the area, and lo, he saw that the old temple was sited on a hill, and the hill was one of three, and a river ran through the hills. Thus, he said: 'This shall be a holy spot, for Trianarianism was reborn here. These woods shall be cleared, and on the northern hill a palace shall be built. The palace will be the home of the Trirex, who will be the head of Trianarianism, and will bestow the words of the Three as the Three wish. On the southwestern hill shall be built a tower of light, to call all to hear the word of the Three and believe. This tower of light will 333 feet in height, and have three sections, each 111 feet. The first section shall be a nonagon, the second section shall be a hexagon, and the third shall be a triangle. On top of this last section the beacon of light shall be placed. In the center of these hills a city shall grow. We will today set forth a town, and the town will grow into a city, and we will call that city Triastu, the City of the Three, or the Hallowed City.'
Having said these words, Adonis led his congregation down to the center of the clearing and began construction of the town. Soon, the town was constructed, and it was named Triastu. More and more Trianarianists settled the area, and the town grew into the city, and it was named Triastu.
By this time, Adonis had grown old. He filled his days with writing, and he filled many a scroll with the words of the Three, of which he was but a mere conduit. When it came time for him to die, he told of how the next Trirex should be called forth, and died.
Adonis was buried on the northern hill in a stately tomb of marble. The next Trirex started construction of the palace of Trianarianism over the Tomb of Adonis, as well as laid the foundation of the Tower of Light, of which Adonis had both spoken of and written about.
The three gemstones that Adonis had brought forth from the old temple were incorporated into Sanctus Solium, the Holy Throne, the seat of the Trirex.
In every Trianarianist community, there is a temple. This temple is always constructed in a similar format. It has a central hub, usually a circle, with three towers spaced around the circle evenly. Most temples have the central hub be a single story in height, while the towers will be two stories, but cities with large Trianarianist communities may have larger temples. Each tower is dedicated to each deity of the Three. The temple will usually also have a basement, where the preist lives. If a basement is impractical for the conditions, either a second story will be added to the central hub or a separate building will be constructed.
These temples have two main duties, besides functioning as a home for the priest. The first is Anointings. When a child becomes an adult at the age of 18, the new adult is eligible to choose one of the three deities and follow them. When a deity has been chosen, the adult and the priest goes to the tower of the deity chosen. The priest performs the ceremony, and the adult becomes an Anointed of (Deity), or, in proper terms, Unges (Deity). Priests are the sole exception to this rule. They are not Anointed, so as to not give one particular deity any additional influence in any part of the world. This means that priests are forced to reincarnate (see Afterlife).
The next duty is the bimonthly meetings, where all the Trianarianists of the community come together on the first of each month, listen to a sermon that the priest has prepared, and then share what they've done to follow the deity that they chose during their Anointing. There is no need for all the Trianarianists to share during this meeting, but its expected to say something. Its okay to leave during this point, though it is somewhat rude for small congregations (for bigger congregations, leaving halfway through is understandable). Also, between the sermon and the sharing is the offering, where the congregants give the priest money for performing his services.
It is possible to switch deities after having chosen. Doing so requires going to your priest, and conducting three ceremonies: one in the tower of the previous deity, to ask forgiveness to the deity for abandoning them, one in the central hub of the temple, to cleanse yourself of the previous deity, and one in the temple of the next god, to become the Anointed of (the new Deity). A person who does this incurs some degree of shame and social shunning. Leaving the community and not telling your new one about your switch is generally a good idea.
Another point to make clear is that none of the deities are evil. Each are fully capable of performing evil acts. The same goes for their followers. There are just as many good Anointed of Afferes as there are evil Anointed of Afferes.
Trinarianism holds that when a person dies, they are accompanied by the Mortas, the God of Death, to the Land of the Dead. There, they are rewarded with the reason they followed the path they chose. And not the ostensible reason- the true reason they chose that Way of Life. The degree to which they followed their deity, and did the sorts of things their deity prized, the better that reward is. If the reason you chose your path was World Peace, and you only somewhat followed the path, you would be in a world with some World Peace- wars would be rare. But if you followed that path with the utmost devotion (efficiency in succeeding in the reason you got in is not penalized) then there would be complete world peace.
People who choose not to follow a path are reincarnated to try again, as are people who switch to another deity and die before they can make progress in it.
For the historically interested, in the original Trinarianism creed, there was no god of death, but mixing with the other religions resulted in the adoption of that god.
Also, this religion is not necessarily the one true religion. The priests of Trinarianism say that it is the only one, but it might not be. No one in Atheus can prove that their religion is true, just as it is with the real world (no offense meant to any religious readers).
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? Responses (23)
A few very practical viewpoints very unlike any existing standard religion. You might want to proofread it though, for instance this part;
(efficiency in succeeding in the reason you got in is not penalized) then there would be complete world peace.
I reworked that bit, axelrowes. Which might explain your .......
I was commenting a what an idea spring board Gossamer had left for you. Writing 'you might want to proof read', both brilliant, insightful and articulate.
I like anything that proposes an alternative to the weary old Good/Evil and Order/Chaos axes.
However, this seems to have distilled the definitions of these principles down to 'caring about yourself', 'caring about something else', and 'caring about some Kantian principles'. The problem, I think is that people are inclined to combine all three of these things. I selfishly care about myself, but I am altruistic towards my family, less so towards my friends, and a set of morals (honor?) dictate how I behave towards people otherwise. (Although some would argue that I behave however I want and then assign the morals post hoc.)
I also have a hard time imagining how altruists can be evil as often as ambitious egoists. And this definition of ambition reminds me of Ayn Rand's objectivism, which I've only known to produce a terrible sense of entitlement.
I guess my objections are mostly philosophical.
These three words are already well-defined and burdened with connotation. I would rename them something that doesn't mean anything. Maybe the names of the three genderless gods? It'd add some exoticism, as well.
I also think this works better as a system for *centering* morality rather than *defining what is desirable*. Such as: the self-centered dude helps the drowning man because that's what he would want if he were drowning. The community-centered dude helps the drowning man because the village needs every citizen. The honor-centered dude helps the drowning man because 'it is just the right thing to do'.
The self-centered dude robs the bakery because he needs money for food. The community-centered dude robs the bakery because his children need money for shoes. The honor-centered dude robs the bakery because the baker is a coward and does not deserve it.
Your objections/ideas/criticisms all have valid points. Your idea of renaming the Three to something different, to flee the connotative meanings of the names is a good one, and I'll get to it.
And people do combine all three, though some are, naturally, more one than another. You give a good example about yourself: ' I selfishly care about myself, but I am altruistic towards my family, less so towards my friends, and a set of morals (honor?) dictate how I behave towards people otherwise.' But I ask you: are you more one category than the other? Because its okay in Trianarianism to give a lot and be Altruistic if you follow the Ambition path, and so its more of a personal choice which one best suits you than the others.
And yes, I should probably put a 'in practice' heading in there. Trianarianism was stagnating in my 'in work' folder, so I was getting slightly anxious unleash it upon the citadel.
This is very intellectual and abstract take on a religion. You have outlined a theological core but given little of the practice of it. Certainly these philosophies of life could be followed by somebody who is looking for direction, meaning or structure-but why make religion out of it?
What do the gods get out of it?
Do the Gods grant powers in your world? If there is no supernatural power associated with this religion what role does it play in society?
Does it effect the moral codes of the land?
I think we really should to write this up as part of a narrative, put this through the crucible of story telling, and see what comes out.
Overall nice one. very cerebral I like it.
In Atheus, the gods are either nonexistent, or don't feel like doing anything with the peoples of Atheus. A discussion on all three is here (if it links): http://strolen.com/guild/index.php/topic,6287.msg77310/topicseen.html#new
Yes, I'll go back and put in a 'in practice' heading. It never really crossed my mind to do that. I'll get on it.
And what do you mean by your statement of 'I think we really should to write this up as part of a narrative, put this through the crucible of story telling, and see what comes out.' Just like turn this into a story of 'Bob lives in this village, and is a Trianarianist. He decided to join that Way, and do that with his life. Blah blah Bob did this blah.' ?
Well I really enjoy your stories, the one about the smart sword, the serial killer and such all good stuff. I think that stuff, more than listing facts helps to crystalize ideas. Perhaps Bob had a crisis of faith, perhaps Bob is torn between God and Country....whatever. The overall question for everything on this site that is not a story is - Do these ideas revolving around ( in the this case the tri-faith) help you to tell stories?
I actually quite like this faith system in that it provides a somewhat refreshing take on morals/life principles. I particularly like the afterlife and myth sections. However, like some of the previous comments, I have some problem with the concept that there could be evil altruists.
Evil Altruists could simply be people who are very team-oriented villains. Say that member of the Supervillain Team that opposes the PCs in that Superhero game you play (as in, marvel and DC comics) that always supports his fellow villains in their ideas, encourages them into far more evil, devious, and PC-bone-shattering plots, and will be the one to bring the coffee to the next round table discussion. And at the same time as that villain is encouraging his teammates and helping them with their plots with funds and such, he has his own private plots- one of which involves the genocidal killing of all the Africans because they 'drain too much of our country's resources in peace-keeping efforts. Much easier just to send a couple of nukes there way and be done with the mess.'
Of course, this concept could be easily adapted to the fantasy setting in which Atheus lies. Change the Supervillain Team to cabal of necromancers, or a cult that partakes in human sacrifices while trying to summon the evil, tentacled demon Alshakadalika'tey.
Is that evil enough? And team-player enough? Altruists don't have to give to everybody. If they don't give a lot of stuff to other people, they'd have to be team-players.
And yes, Altruism is a difficult one to have evil people be involved in. But there are some.
Okay, if this is what you have in mind, then I think a evil cultist would fit right in. Sth along the lines of 'I'm doing xxx (evil action) b/c it will contribute to the cause of Cult xxxx and benefit all of my fellow members'. I guess this is sort of the opposite case of being involved in charity for selfish reasons i.e to make a name for yourself/broaden your network of connections/create a positive image etc.
btw, saw the edit and liked them. They are not substantial enough for me to revote but I do still think they improve this piece.
Update: Followed some suggestions. Added a narrative/example as axelrowes (might have) suggested. Changed the name of the Three as Forganthus suggested.
'axelrowes (might have) suggested'
are my comments unclear? If so I am sincerely disappointed in myself. I will try and make them more pointed and direct in the future.
Your comments were/are clear. My mind must have been abducted by aliens when I put that in because I didn't know whether you were saying that I should change the whole piece into tale of the then Bob and the now Mortimor progressing through his Trianarianist life, or do what I did and have Mortimor be more of a background, or just a comment about my awesome writing style and how I should use something like the former for the future and not to change Trianarianism in that manner. Yeah, it was getting kind of late when I put that it, so my mind was clearly in an alien space ship being put through various tests.
Leaving rambling nonsensical comments is a trap I fall into all too often. I am wary of it.
I like the new story thread. Yeah beaver don't technically eat wood, but they must swallow some wood during all their gnawing, can we really say that the beavers don't eat wood? It adds real hands on feel to the religion and more importantly implies a depth with regard to inner faith conflicts and mores. Shoes forged from nickel and tin.
So let me know if the comments are just nonsense or hard to follow.
I believe in the power and merits of voting and competition
I have a dream..
..that will be all.
Revote for rewrite. Afferes is a great word.
Update: Finaly, Trianarianism is fixed up! Because of the Cataclysm, some of the edits I had made (such as the deities' names, and the story of WhateverHisNameIs) were lost to the void. Which is why I wrote up the Liber Tribus bit. Oh, and the Deific Antagonist bit is new, too.
Although I find this sub more fully fleshes out Trianarianism compared to what I've read pre-Cataclysm, I have the following two questions:
1. I know a large part of this sub is the actual religious text but just wondering that given the set-up at the start, why is it important for the Three to stop ppl from turning away from their worship? As far as I understand it, they need to keep the balance b/w themselves and are interested in maintaining the world Atheus (i.e. make sure it doesn't get destroyed). But as the sub currently stands, it doesn't lead me to have any pre-disposition as to thinking that the Three actually cares abt getting worshipped.
2. The Deific Antangonist section, I was somehow expecting a set of opposing deities for the Three but instead it's just abt the re-discovery of Trianarianism and then it branches off into angels and devils. I also get the impression that the Lunists and the Barbarianism's Polytheism (which you haven't released yet) might be the actual 'antagonists' so maybe just change the heading to prevent such mis-leading impressions?
Meanwhile, my gut feeling tells me that I'm still leaning towards my old vote. I appreciate the effort put into this particular piece and they have all improved the sub from previous versions. For example, in this current version, I like the fact that in practice section has been expanded quite a bit. But sorry to say that I cannot say that the improvements are substantial enough for me to upvote this particular piece.
1. They need to keep people worshiping them so that the whole world keeps reincarnating again and again. Which, depending on the Trianarianist you asked, might lead to no further innovations and changes with the people themselves. The same person might feel the artistic motivation to make a piece of art, for example, and find that they just plagiarized the work they did in a previous life. Of course, that belief is held only by a part of the faith.
The other answer would be that they felt abandoned. Like a friend just walked out on your life after you made a petty mistake. Like all their efforts keeping the angel's and the devil's war away from Atheus was not being recognized. Which brings us to question 2
2. I'll admit it, the two reasons I added that section was because the Liber Tribus needed three sections, and I wanted the last section to fall in the 'in practice' heading, and that the Trirex needed something to say 'Believe or DIE! and have a reason for that death. Which is why I mention the other two faiths of Atheus (if you ignore the cults). 'If you don't convert from Lunism the scary angels will get you! And did I mention the devils?'
Your three opposing deities idea is good. I'd incorporate it, but I don't think it would actually work. If you took the opposites, you'd get the Lazy one, the Selfish one, and the Corrupt one, and they wouldn't be able to oppose anyone very well. The Lazy one would just laze, and the Selfish one wouldn't work with the Corrupt one to take down the Three. And if it came to a fight, the Selfish one would go down quickly (one versus three never works well) and the Corrupt one'd flee.
So to summarize this, the Angels and Devils are the enemy on the Deity level, the Lunists and the Barbarian's Polytheists are the enemies on the everyday level.
Read through it, and it did warrant a higher score, good to see that the cataclysm wasn't all bad.