Religion, Gods and Faith

If the gods did not have a stake in the world but were merely figments of our imagination, then why is it that there is clear evidence of their interference in our history? Even to this day, their champions walk among us!
— Guþra Fænkuðr, minister of the Scales

Religion and faith are very central parts of arjinian civilization, almost entirely regardless of culture or ethnicity. Any member of the Trifolk Alliance will be, in some way, religious and a believer in the gods.

 

The Gods of Dunia

There are several gods in the world, all representing one aspect or another. They are believed to be corporeal, physically bound entities. They can usually be seen, but are believed to be able to take incorporeal form and to also be "present" in spirit. Whether or not the gods are all knowing is debatable and it varies between faiths and individuals. But it is agreed that the gods are not omnipotent, their power limited in some way. How it is limited also varies with who tells the story, but they are considered to be extraordinarily powerful entities, far beyond that of any mortal, but still limited and unable to perform extreme feats such as moving mountains, draining the seas or even striking individuals dead on the spot.

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The Covenant

It is believed that the gods have a covenant with the mortals. One wherein the faith and worship of the mortals bring the gods power. Pledge your faith to a god and their power increases. Perform actions in line with the god's teachings, bring them offerings and perform worship and their power increases further.

This covenant is rewarded by the gods by returning some power to their worshippers. The more faithful the worshipper, the more power they receive. Among the most fanatical and faithful you will find the champions. These mortals are believed to be the chosen ones of the gods. Chosen for their devotion, strength, intelligence or wisdom, whatever the god in question desires. These champions are usually blessed with powers beyond those of mere mortals. Able to perform certain miracles and use certain powers to further the god's goals. They are, truly, the "hand of god".

The Disunion

The gods and goddesses of the world are not allied to one another. Nor are they considered to be a family. The gods are usually in opposition of one another, vying for greater celestial power. They are constantly plotting, warring and trying to gain the upper hand on the others. Alliances will usually only last for as long as it's beneficial to them and they are always expecting to be betrayed, even by the most trustworthy. "Lesser" gods will usually serve other, stronger gods, as underlords. It is said that the feudal system used by mortals is modeled after the pantheon of the gods.

There is not really one god who is stronger than everyone else, through sheer existence and power, but as gods gain strength from worship some are going to be stronger than others through the number of worshippers they have. It is said throughout history that lesser gods have banded together to wrest a stronger god from their throne, only to install one of themselves as the new high lord, rewarding those who assisted them. And such is the ebb and flow of the gods.

However, the gods have agreed to not engage directly with one another, as their power could potentially be enough to devastate the world. A direct confrontation between gods could be an enormous cataclysm, likely to leave none of their followers alive in the wake of destruction. Therefor they plot, scheme and use the mortals as tools. As pieces in a game, if you wish, to further their own strength and agenda. However, the gods are more than capable of slaying one another. In fact, a weak enough god could even be slain by a mortal, given enough cunning. No one is immune to a dagger to the heart.

Major deities

There are a myriad of gods, but only a few of them are considered major gods with their own grand following.

Ayla, The Ice Princess

Ayla is depicted as a white-skinned, tall vindral-like woman with blue hair and a plain blue dress. She is considered to be the patron of winter and is traditionally connected to the fay and that her realm is the giant forest of Winterweald. Worship of Ayla is rare among the people of the world, stemming from the connection to the fay.

Basalík, The Golden Goat

Basalík is the god of prosperity. He is depicted as a double-headed goat, commonly made out of pure gold. One head is evil and malevolent, usually with an open, fanged mouth. The other head is friendly and often wears ornaments on the horns. Basalík is a god that must be appeased with sacrifices, but if he is, he provides great prosperity to those who offer to him. Some cultures practice Kykr sacrifices to Basalík.

Charos, The God of Strength, Honor and Success

Charos is depicted as a strong lion, clad in armor and wielding some form of huge weapon. He is the ultimate symbol of might, honor, bravery and war. His followers are instructed to be strong, honorable and dominant. He teaches that strength and power is not given; It is earned or taken. One must prove that one is worthy to lead.

This usually means that cultures where his teachings are the norm are very violent, but also generally have a complicated system in place to dictate what you may duel over, or when it is allowed to kill someone. Simply murdering someone, especially in cowardly ways, such as with ambushes, assassinations or poisons are looked down upon as dishonorable. But challenging someone stronger than you and defeating them is considered to be a feat of magnificent strength and is usually encouraged. This has led to leaders in charosistic cultures to often be skilled warriors or strong mystics, able to defend themselves from those who would seek to dethrone them and take their power.

Eri, The Goddess of Justice and Balance

Eri is the arbiter of justice and balance. She's the one, true goddess and thus the only one that can be truly called a god. At least to her followers. Others may obviously not agree. Eri is depicted as a tall, young and beautiful woman wearing a blindfold, and holding the Flame in one hand and the Scales in her other. The flame represents the fire of justice that will consume the evil and the unjust, while the scales is a reminder to the faithful that everything they do will be weighed by the goddess. Her species and clothing usually varies with depiction, and there is no traditional canon for what species she is or which culture she belongs to. Therefore her appearance usually changes with artist and location.

She is focused on justice and balance, and while this concept might seem easy to grasp, it's not as clear as one might think. Justice, in the eyes of the goddess, may not be what the judicial systems of the world would consider to be justice. Her followers are called Lysians, after the name of the faith: Liðr Lys, the path of balance.

Minor deities

Grísta, The Dark One

Something of a minor goddess, Grísta is the queen of darkness, death, deceit, poisons and evil. She is generally not considered to be someone to be worshipped, but someone who exists to claim the souls of those who are wicked. Her existence is explained to be the result of the evil and deceit among the mortals, a punishment from the other gods. Or perhaps she was created by the evil of the mortals? Grísta is never depicted clearly, instead being shown as a hooded or dark figure, sometimes with glowing eyes and carrying curved, or even wavy daggers. She is sometimes said to be the patron of assassins.

Ohria

Ohria is technically a major spirit, a so called Særiþír, in the Lysian faith. Said to have been born out of Eri's need for justice and vengeance against the unjust, her sense of justice took form and became Ohria.

Vroya

Vroya is the captain of Charos' Rachatlha, the winged warriors who scour the battlefield to find those worthy to enter Mak'ta'kel, his fortress among the skies. She is said to be a beautiful, winged woman with armor that glistens like the colors of the rainbow, long, blonde hair and symbols of honor and strength engraved upon her skin. Her sword, Bristlh, she swings against her enemies with shouts of battle and from it's blade brilliant rays of light shoot to pierce her enemies.

Spread

This mythos, while told in different words and with slight variation here and there, usually promoting one god over the others, is spread throughout the entire civilized world. As far as the people of the trifolk alliance are aware, everyone subscribes to this faith.


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