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Saohri Temple

Faith of the Danatelians


Do not think the gods cannot hear you, child. They are the very world we live in, present in all things around us. The breeze that blows through your hair, the rain that feeds our fields, the warmth you feel in your heart when you see a pretty girl... The gods are always with you.
— A Saohri Priest

The Saohri faith is the main religion of the Danatelians, who brought it with them to Arda Almyed when they first arrived dozens of hundreds of years ago. To this day, most of the population of the Danatelian Lands follow the religion, with many cultural and regional variations. Only a few ethnic groups, such as the Dayiara and the Serulians, still follow their old religions. Through syncretism and assimilation, the Saohri faith has taken in many concepts and ideas from the local beliefs after the Danatelian Conquest, making the spread of the religion with local populations a lot easier. The Saohri Temple has played a major role in the history of the Danatelian Lands, and remains relevant to this day.

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by Edmund Dulac

Organisation and Hierarchy

The Saohri Temple was originally created by Agheb the Red following the end of the Age of Eternal Sun, and the expulsion of the Danatelians from the Sea of Dusk. Each of the seven major gods has their own suit of temples, each of them lead by a Sumia Kahin. The Sumia Kahin of the largest temple of each major god, located in the seven largest cities of the Danatelian Lands, are the Him'ya Sebe, litt. the Seven Wise. They are amongst the most powerful people within the Danatelian Lands, and it is said they have their god's direct attention.

Each temple is placed under the authority of a Sumia Kahin, who answer directly to the Him'ya of their god. A few priests of Aher the Green, as well as the Sabeyun, reject the authority of the Him'ya Sebe, leading to sometimes tense relationships between these various groups. And while officially there is little hierarchy within the Saohri Temple, as all Sumia Kahin are meant to be equal, unofficially the power differences amongst temples and priests are vast. The temples of the seven largest cities are powerful beyond measure, and play an important role in Danatelian politics, whilst the temples of smaller cities and villages can have almost no influence whatsoever on their local scale.


Main Assets

The Saohri Temple owns a lot of property throughout the Danatelian Lands, most of it fields and pastures used for agriculture. It is one of the most important economic powers of the country. Each temple usually has its own plot of land, and hires locals to work for it. Temples within larger cities, whilst they usually have gardens within their walls, rely a lot on donations from the wealthy and poor alike to keep themselves going. Most large festivals are sponsored by single individuals, for it is quite the honour to be able to do so.

Atranium Jewel

The main place of worship for the Saohri is the Temple of a Million Years, located a half-day travel away from Ignar, capital of the Danatelian Lands. It is often considered one of the biggest architectural wonders of the country.

The temple is popular amongst pilgrims, and it is said to have been built by Deïmon the Bright herself. It is also where the seven Sublime Priests meet to discuss of their affairs, and where the Saohri Temple officially welcomes their most illustrious guests.

Theology of the Saohri

The Saohri gods are divided into two main categories: the Suhbiate, who watch over the sacred order of the world, and the Lanihayat Muqadas, who make up the vast multitude of the world. For the Saohri, the gods are ever present. They are simultaneously their own being, with personalities and desires, and they constitute the very fabric of the world too. Aher the Green, for instance, is not only the god of nature but also the essence of nature itself. He is the cycle of life, the prey and the predator.

"The gods are everywhere and in everything: it is they who make up the world we live in."
— Saohri saying

The articulation between a god's domain and what they are is subtle: Aher isn't really present in every single tree or every single beast, but he is the incarnation of its essence, and one could not dream to exist without the other. The same goes for all other gods and their own domains.


Myths and Legends

The Saohri adore myths and legends, and there are plenty of stories going around, each with their own many iterations. They seep into every aspect of life, from children's stories to poetry and plays, songs sang by the burning furnace of a kitchen or smith's. Some stories are so well known anyone could tell them, while others are only remembered in the old pages of an elder's diary.

A few scholars have attempted to compile as many myths as they could, but none has ever come close to achieving that colossal tasks. Nowadays, the head temple of Samara the Enchantress dedicates an entire team to the collecting of myths and tales, and their work is far from finished.

Myths
Generic article | Jun 9, 2022

Temples of Aher

Priests of Aher are free spirited in nature. They advocate for an anarchist and sometimes even hedonistic lifestyle, depending on the particular temple.

Temples of Argus

Home to a great paladin order, the faith of Argus values loyalty and chivalry, encouraging mutual aid as much as possible.

Temples of Deïmon

These temples are often warm, welcome places, where people of all walks of life can commune together in the sunlight.

Temples of Kirïal

Mostly frequented at times of death, temples of Kirïal are peaceful places, where a calm soul and gentle mind are always welcome. Poets and artists find refuge within the calm gardens of Kirïal.

Temples of Matazel

Both the worship and temples of Matazel distinguish themselves from the rest of Saohri temples. Many aspects of the cult of Matazel surround the element of earth.

Temples of Samara

Home to scholars and curious spirits, temples of Samara encourage an inquisitive mind and value truth above all else.

Temples of Seûln

Worship of Seûln is mysterious, as is the goddess herself. Her priests are enigmatic, caring but distant, haunted by the moon's shadow.

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Cover image: by Koushik Chowdavarapu

Comments

Author's Notes

And with this, most of my work with this particular religion is done *pops bottle of champagne*! Now I get to have fun making up myths and all, I'm so very excited :)   As always, hope you enjoyed this article! Its definitely on the more technical side of the spectrum, but I'm very grateful if you made it all the way here.


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8 Dec, 2020 23:44

As always, this is just amazing. This is, at least to me, an example of how to create well made and attractive articles.

9 Dec, 2020 08:34

Thank you so much! Glad to know my time spent formatting is worth it :')

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
9 Dec, 2020 16:40

*joins you in champagne* Congratulations on the religion!   I'm looking forward to reading some more of the myths and legends associated with this religion. :D   I love the formatting you've got going on in this article. Its a nice hub article for the religion for sure. :D

9 Dec, 2020 17:08

Thank you :D!! I hope you'll enjoy them when they come :), and thank you for the kind words <3

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
16 Dec, 2020 22:31

I know that one of your foci during WE was gods & religion, and I think this article is a really good encapsulation of how well you have managed to achieve that goal!   *not to mention top-noth side-bar <-> main text allignment of course ;)

16 Dec, 2020 22:38

Hahaha, thank you <3! And yeah, I'm pretty glad of what I've managed to write so far. I think most of what I keep writing for the rest of WE will likely be related to these gods in some way or another.

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
Sage SailingOcelot
Sailing Ocelot
17 Feb, 2021 02:56

There's some very strong worldbuilding here, great work! I've added some of the articles on my reading list when I've woken up a bit more. I particularly liked the theology section with Aher. It's an interesting concept :)

~~~~~~~~ SailingOcelot
17 Feb, 2021 11:22

Thank you for the kind words! This was definitely a long project, but I’m really glad I’ve managed to set up the foundations of my religion. A few articles are currently being rewritten, and there are a few changes to be expected when I finally overcome my block ^^

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