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Cult of the Three Suns

Gods of the Uluswa


As most things in this world, our gods come in three. Inu, the first sun, rules in the world deep beneath the ground, where we live before we are born. Anak, the second sun, reigns over the world we live in- they are our lord and ruler, and we bathe in their glory. Then there is Borah, the last sun, who sits among the stars in the hall of the glorious.
— A Käban teaching their religion to a Saohri priest

Once in a century, the horizon of the Lands of the Wind will shine thrice as bright, three suns hanging in the sky. These are Inu, Anak and Borah, the gods of the Uluswa, coming together in the In-Between. Each of these gods rules over one of the three realms which make up the Uluswa's cosmology, overseeing the souls of those who live within them.

Three Gods, Three Realms

Graffiti of the Three Suns
Danatelians know little of the Uluswa, and know even less of what the Uluswa believe. In recent years, a few scholars have endevoured to question the few Uluswa residing in Sequet about their religions and practice. The Uluswa will happily answer the questions they recieve, but will make no effort to make their answers intelligible to the ignorant Danatelians.

The Uluswa seem to think of the body as a vehicle for the soul while it inhabits Anak. Before it is alive, the soul resides in Inu- after death, it either returns to Inu, or it ascends to Borah (note to self - I must ask Ganash what determines this).
— Notes of a Danatelian scholar

Inu, Anak and Borah are the names of both the gods and the realms they rule over. Each of these realms is understood as the essence of the god. Each of them also possesses a sun: that sun is the manifestation of the god's divine self. As such, "Anak" refers to the world of the living, the god themselves, and is also the name of the sun. The multiplicity of usage for a single word is among one of the many technicalities which confuse Danatelian scholars, but those who consider themselves experts claim it is simply a matter of getting used to the logic of the language.

Inu

For Danatelians, life begins at birth. But for the Uluswa, life begins long before, as souls are never born, and simply exist in Inu before coming to life, which the Uluswa believe is located deep beneath the earth. Inu is the god of beginnings and endings, of renewal and cycles- cycle of life, cycle of water, cycle of time. They try to protect the world from the hardships created by Anak.

Anak

Anak is the world of the living. It consists of countries and continents, and is filled with many different forms of life. For the Uluswa, all living beings possess souls, and as such all living beings are seen as kin. Anak is the god of travel and ephemeral things, of history and chaos. They are the god who tests mortals, to give them a chance to prove their worth.

Borah

For the Uluswa, life is about proving one's glory, so that their soul may ascend to Borah after their final death, which is located in the sky, and the many stars are thought to be the souls of the glorious. Borah is the god of luck and hard work, glory and dreams, good food and festivities. It is them that Käban communicate with through prophecies and oracles.

"Gabril? Gabril. Gabril! Wake up you old fool, look at the sunrise!"
"By Deïmon the Bright. There's three of them! I thought that Uluswa talk was superstition- glory be to the Ever-Burning!"
— Dialogue between two lost Danatelian travelers

The appearance of three suns on the horizon has been observed by many who dwell ing Sequet, or spend any length of time in the Lands of the Wind. Even more surprising, is that when told to citizens of the Danatelian Lands they will claim that no such miraculous event happened- that it must be a trick of the mind, an illusion. The Uluswa claim it is because the gods show themselves only to those who worship them, even though all will be judged equally upon death.

Glory

by Dabir

Glory is gained by acting in the favour of one's tribe. These acts of favour can take many shape- most often they involve defending herds and villages from predators and pillagers, by defeating them and chasing them away.

Glory to Kunra! Horsesmen, run with me!
— Warcry

The truth of the matter is that what is considered as glorious may change from tribe to tribe. Some tribes place a particular importance in prowess in combat, and as such will often attack and loot other tribes to earn glory and wealth to their own kin. For others however, it is one's ability to avoid violence and foster peace that is praised.
In most tribes, an Uluswa's own personal hardships are also taken into account. Glory is measured on the basis of what is possible for one to give to the tribe- Uluswa are not expected to participate in tasks they are unable to. Instead, it is about what they do in the realm of what is possible for them.

Death and Ascencion

Upon death, the body of an Uluswa will be burned in a large pyre on a clear night. The Uluswa believe that the soul of the deceased is carried with the rising smoke, who will bring it to Borah where it will be judged. If deemed worthy, it will become a star- it not, it will be sent back to Inu where it will be reborn once more.

Smoke
Vehicle | Jul 6, 2022

Souls are not believed to always be reborn as humans. Instead, one might be reborn as a plant, or an animal- but there is no hierarchy of living beings. The lion who manages to kill sheep to feed his pride will be just as worthy of joining Borah then the shepherd who was killed protecting its herd.

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Comments

Author's Notes

This religion is inspired by the natural phenomenon known as "Sun Dog" !


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Grandmaster nnie
Annie Stein
8 Jul, 2022 08:16

It was interesting to see this partially through the lense of an outsider perspective on the Uluswa faith, it's a neat insight into both their culture and, to a lesser extent, that of the Danatelians.

Creator of Solaris & The Morning Realm -— On the Shoulders of Giants entry: Refugees of Mercury
8 Jul, 2022 18:28

Thank you for your kind words Annie <3 ! I'm really glad to hear it come off that way :D

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
2 Aug, 2022 23:26

I've read so much about the Danatelians in your world, it's interesting to see you focusing on another of your cultures. I've always enjoyed the dreamlike qualities of your world and writing. You've really turned that up a notch with this article.

Come see my Summer Camp 2022 articles! Read my "On the Shoulders of Giants" challenge article: Talinos.

11 Sep, 2022 17:43

Thank you so much for the kind words, dreamlike is what I'm going for and it means the world to hear I'm succeeding! This is one of nicest things anyone has said to me about my work, so thank you <3

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
8 Aug, 2022 20:17

I must confess I, like the Danatelians, find the three gods, their realms, and their embodiments (?) somewhat confusing. What I was able to grasp sounded quite interesting, particularly in how souls and beings are not considered superior or inferior to one another. Are there any beliefs as to why or how one soul ends up in one body or another?

11 Sep, 2022 17:48

Thank you for your comment! I will say I had to stop myself going full lecturer mode and drawing schemes explaining the theological relations between the gods, partly because the religion being hard to grasp for the Danatelians and ourselves is a part of it- hopefully that means I've succeeded in making a confusing religion (in a good way)!   And to answer your question, the Uluswa have no set belief about who gets to go in what body. Because there is not hierarchy, there isn't a "better" kind of body to get, as all have a role to play, so most will say it is random. For a minority of Uluswa though (the warrior kind) there might be more of a hierarchy, because glory through combat is more easily gained by being a lion rather than a blade of grass, so they might have some kind of systematisation of rebirth!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!