The religion of the Persópoulos Tribe was strongly influenced by the events of The Great War that culminated with the sealing of the The Morningstar on Zihæt. The primary founders of the religion were the first leader of the Persópoulos tribes on Zihæt, Ashur-nirari and the Spiritual Leader of the Persópoulos Tribe. Their teachings helped to shift the tribes from a worship of the gods of their old worlds, Ishtar and Ashur, to a recognition that the many immortals in this new world had given their existances to seal The Morningstar, now referred to simply as the Adversary. The religion focused on ensuring that the tribes understood this cosmic struggle, and would never lose vigilance. It developed an apocalyptic view that believed the struggle would occur again, and without intervention the Adversary would win. The religion also helped to pave the way for the understanding of the new peoples experienced by the relocated tribe. The native species of Zihæt and those powerful beings that came with them to Zihæt are all accounted for in this new worldview. Unfortunately, when the Persópoulos tribe withdrew from the island of Froúrio Nisi, a splinter sect left and remained now part of the e Voulgaropoulos Tribe. When the Voulgaropoulos Tribe was later exiled and came under the influence of the Adversary, the faith of the Persópoulos people was twisted into the L'église universelle.
Mythology & Lore
Following their arrival on Zihæt, the tribe began to adopt a religion focused on a supreme being, the Wise Lord. Despite evidence of the destruction or absence of traditional gods, the religion with its focus on a primal diety and other divinities was viewed skeptically by the native humanoid races of Zihæt, as well as many of the other Drákonian Tribes.
During The Great War, a spiritual leader began a career of composing hymns and evangelising a new myth with an apocalyptic view around the struggle against a great adversary. This prophet became involved with several of the key figures prosecuting the war and began to form a new worldview. He accompanied the tribe to Zihæt and continued his writing and teaching on Froúrio nisí. There, he was strongly affected by the knowledge that the Gods of this new world sacrificed their existence to complete the seal. Together with Ashur-nirari, they sought a spiritual path forward for the tribe that not only moved away from the old gods, Ashur and Ishtar, but also took into account their new understanding of the Cosmos. In the original worldview, the leaders of the faith envisoned a dualistic religion between the cosmos and the Adversary. It contained references to other powerful beings that aligned to protect the cosmos against the adversary, some sacrificing their lives to do so. After the death of the spiritual leader, the memory of their home outside of Zihæt began to fade. The new leaders without this context began to preach Zihæt as the primary "good" being protected from the Adversary. In this newer view, the powerful allies became Holy Immortals with mythical forms of dragons, giants and elementals that (temporarily) vanquished the Adversary. The concept of the Adversary being imprisioned on Zihæt also disappeared from the doctrine. New forms of dualism crept into the doctrine, spurred by the opposition of order to chaos included: the opposition of creative spirit by evil thought, and truth or cosmic order opposed by falshood and deceit. In the initial forms of the religion, the Great War was framed as a temporary victory for deceit and disorder, followed by victory and an opportunity for a new life on Zihæt. As the truth of the Great War passed into memory, this historical context evolved into the prophecy of a future trimph of disorder over good, followed by the redemption of good and beginning a new kingdom. After centuries had passed, this view had evolved into a dualistic view where a creator-god named Zihæt is the being actively opposed to the Adversary. In this new view, the creator god Zihæt is now synonomous with the world itself, with the idea of a living, sentient planet to be protected.
The religion is a complex faith centered on a dualistic cosmology of good and evil. The religion views the physical world of Zihæt as part of the material manifestiation of the primal diety. This impersonal primal creator-god is just and compassionate He is responsible for the creation of the heavenly bodies, including Zihæt and all that dwell upon it. The magical field of Zihæt is his spirit, and can be experienced directly. The Creator God has an antagonistic entity known as The Adversary. This Adversary is tangible and affects the world around us, primarily through manipulating other creatures to violence, or other base acts. The faith also asserts the existance of Holy Immortals, with mythical forms that aid the creator-god in his struggle against the Adversary.
Tenets of Faith
This creator-god is created the natural laws that set the cosmos in motion, but does not intervene in the day to day lives of his creations. Thus the concepts of free will exists within the frame of the overall cosmic battle between good and evil (that is experienced as fate). The faith encourages:
- Practice good thoughts, good words and good deads.
- Practice charity, spread hapiness
- The spiritual equality and duty of the genders
- Being good for the sake of goodness, and without the hope of reward
- Both water and fire are considered life-sustaining.
- Life is a temporary state in which a mortal is expected to actively participate in the struggle.
- The corpse is a host for decay (or disorder). The dead should be disposed of in a safe manner that does not pollute the good creation. As fire is a purifying element, the burning of corpses is common.
One of the impacts of their belief in a compassionate, just creator is that the tribe often believes that everything he created is pure and should be treated with love and respect. There is a strong environmental streak to the religion. The faith espouses egalitarian ideals — in particular, the recognition of women as “men’s partners in the common struggle against evil.” Such notions of gender parity are firmly rooted in the teachings and reflect the character of both the tribal roots and the ideals common of a just and compassionate creator-god.
Description of the practices used in worship are largely lost along with the records of the tribe itself. The only clear practices that remain via the splinter sect is that water (aban) and fire (atar) are agents of ritual purity, and the associated purification ceremonies are considered the basis of ritual life. The faithful often prayed in the presence of some form of fire.
Priests of the faith are known as Magi (singular magus). While the original usage of this word had no correlation with the Drákonic word for magic, these two have slowly merged, along with the practice of astronomy/astrology, alchemy, and other forms of esoteric knowledge. At the time of the withdrawl, no formal religious texts existed. Whether these beliefs have been codified into a sacred text afterwards is unknown.
Granted Divine Powers
No divine powers were associated with the Magi at the time of the withdrawl. It is not known whether divine powers have arisen as justification for supernatural abilities after that time, but it does seem likely.
Political Influence & Intrigue
A splinter sect left the tribe shortly before the disappearance of the tribe. This splinter group migrated to the northern islands and became aligned with the Voulgaropoulos Tribe. Members of the Voulgaropoulos tribe have accused this spliter sect of radicalization and increased intolerance of the tribe after their arrival.
The religion captured the truths of the great war, but many of the practitioners struggled to adapt to this new view. Shortly after the death of Ashur-nirari, a splinter sect began to equate the concept of the cosmos with either the god Ashur or Ishtar (or an amalgamation of both). In this, splinter view, the idea of a single all powerful entity that is omniscient, personal and interventionist. These views were largely rejected by the broader population and religious leaders, and the sect departed Froúrio Nisí to join up with the Voulgarópoulos Tribe prior to the withdrawl of the tribe from the island. It is this influence that has been widely thought to driven the drift towards a monotheistic religion within their new tribes, and ultimately the formation of the L'église universelle and the Holy Empire of Humanité. It is unclear whether the concept of messianic deliverance of the eternal soul developed in this sect, or subsequently within the L'église universelle as a means to justify tolerating the oppression on earth.