Suragi Folk Religion
Druids, who form the priests and officiants for the religion, answer to their clan's druidic circle, which exists as a larger order that handles all the larger issues.
The culture of the religion is heavily grounded in nature and its connection, it also places emphasis on familial ties. The core beliefs include the sanctity of birth, the spirit in all living things, and the veneration of the Moon Mothers Three (three female deities who birthed the important aspects of the world.) The followers of this religion also believe that each of the aspects of the world is a child of the Moon mothers.
Mythology & Lore
Kolis, (their solar systems sun), broke into three divine entities: the spirit moon Bruk, the blood moon Skakoth, and the soil moon Kran. These three became the moon mothers (moon wives) of the universe and set about creating their new realm. Bruk is the love that binds the other two Moon Mothers together. She is also the leader amongst the three. Kran is the solidity and security of her wives. She also gives life. Skakoth is the lifeblood of her wives. She does the mediating and is a perfect balance of violence and life-sustenance. Skakoth and Kran created the concept of birth and womb. At this stage, the world was still and lifeless. Skakoth and Kran's child Fjar, the concept and action of birth, the rest of the world could now be created. The next child, the spirit bears were the children of Skakoth and Bruk. They served as her emissary, and form a reminder of her presence on earth. Skakoth and Kran then created Ur the beasts of the realm which would serve as the order and balance of Kran and Bruk's daughter Fjeh. Fjeh is nature and life incarnate. The son of all three moon mothers was Raykoth the rain. Raykoth comes from the heavens (like his mother Bruk), gives life (like Kran), and can destroy as well as create (like Skakoth). Bruk and Skakoth created his sister Ray the sky. Bruk and Skakoth created Throsh (fire) after asking for a seed from the Kolis. Bruk then aided Ur in her birth of Brukthur (commonly known as the Siriam bear). As a gift of thanks, Ur asked Bruk to place her spirit in the cub. Brukthur now serves as an extension and emissary of Bruk in the mortal realm. The last children created was an effort of all of the Moon Mothers Three. Brunhildr and her mates Guknash, and Varuk were the first orcs created. In these creatures, Kran, Bruk, and Skakoth all placed their aspects into them. Brunhildr, the first Alpha created, was blessed by Kran with the power of protection and the ability to sire forth life. Guknash, the first Beta made, was blessed by Skakoth with the power of fluctuation and fulfilling roles should danger or imbalance befall her mates. Finally, Varuk (the first omega in existence), was blessed by the Spirit Moon Mother Bruk with the power of the same love and birth that binds her and her wives together. The three were all given the task of bringing forth life in the new Mortal realm.
The religion first originated in a simplistic form from the northern quarter of the continent after Pangaea. By the time it dispersed all over the continent, the key elements of the three moons of Aurus representing a root aspect of the natural world, the more surface level of the mortal being the children of creation, and the creation of the three dynamics representing an aspect of the three moons. The religion took a more recognizable shape in the latter half of the first century when the myth began to include the Moons not as impersonal entities but as goddesses. The myth about them all being in a relationship took hold in several clans up north, who had traditions of poly marriages. All the ethnicities had the renewal tradition, but Bruk bears were only revered amongst Suragis where the bear was present in their region. In both Suragi practices, a village has one druid per dynamic to carry out functions pertaining to their subgender's needs. That druid is also in charge of worshipping their assigned Moon Mother. In a clan, the druids worshipping per subgender would belong to their own Druidic circle (made up entirely of their dynamic) that is under the leadership of the eldest member of that druidic circle.
The world and space are two separate realms between which the Moon Mothers Three can travel. The three moons of their solar system are understood to be the Moon Mothers Three. Lastly, a root aspect of the mortal realm, in which all living things dwell, are all children and/or grandchildren on the Moon Mothers Three (Also known as the Moon Wives Three). The three moons and their movements, for this reason, impact all the natural functions in the living world. For instance, the joint movements of Bruk (Sirim) and Kran (Bestos) are observed during the Breeding/Mating Season since they represent the love and life meant to take place during that season. Lastly, since the moons each represent a dynamic, a member of that dynamic worship and venerate their assigned Moon Mother.
Tenets of Faith
The Moon Mothers Three are all Omegan and feminine in nature, thus they feminine and Omegan amongst their populations are to be respected. The mortal realm is your kin, so care for it as you would yourself. (Panuraic): Brukthur (The Siriam Bear) is the emissary and extension of Bruk, the Spirit Moon Mother on Earth. Do it no harm and you will prosper. In addition to caring for life in our realm you must bring forth life in our realm. The druids are your authority and guide to worshipping the Moon Mothers Three. Participation in renewals is to bring life and health to not only your village and your clan but the Moon Mothers Three. Only speak of life and health around this time, for their health depends on it.
Ethics Regarding Subgender: Since each dynamic has a role to fill that closely mirrors the role and function of the Moon Mothers Three, stepping outside of your role is often seen as some form of sin. This, however, doesn't stop homo-dynamic relationships from occurring, nor are they looked down on in the same capacity as an omega refusing to mate or birth cubs. Pious acts revolving around gender include birth, mateship, and becoming a druid. Abusing another individual due to their subgender also counts as a sin, since it devalues the core aspect that the individual's Moon Mother bestowed upon them. Abuse of command, such as using it for manipulation or personal gain, and at the expense of the omega, is one of the most grievous sins one can commit since it mocks and abuses that which was meant to protect Moon Mother Bruk's chosen dynamic. The punishment for offenses such as abuse, or trans-dynamic individuals is banishment. Rape or murder is punishable by death. Banishment is a severe punishment since it cuts off one from their pack. The pack link is one that is extremely binding, and finding oneself cut off from it is similar to severing a finger from a hand. The mental fallout from being cast out is strenuous on the individual. Ethics Regarding Wealth: Wealth and resources are not outside the realm of this religion's governance. If one finds themself more wealthy, it is considered pious to give resources to the less fortunate within their communities. Wealth isn't necessarily measured in precious, but in pelts, cattle, jewelry, and size of household. While some households are polygamous, most of them are multiple Alphas with one or two Omegas. The more Alphas an Omega mates, they are seen as wealthy since they have more power and security working for them. Of course, some Alphas have multiple Omega and Beta spouses. The more cubs in a household, the more prosperous. There is a stratification of food and trade. Most Betas end up wealthy since they handle all the trade for their villages, while food security is handled by the other two dynamics. The druidic circles are given a third of the profits, leading it to be a very prosperous position and title. They redistribute the wealth amongst the poor of their communities, so generosity is a praised trait, while stinginess is an offense punishable by fine and fee. Ethics Regarding Environments: The environment is treated as kin amongst this religion's followers. They make their homes and livelihood amongst forests and plains. As such, anyone that takes more from nature than they need is deemed sinful and is reprimanded or communally punished. Building homes larger than one needs and hunting more animals than necessary count towards this. Lastly, Renewals, biannual ceremonies that take place during the equinoxes, are the most pious act of devotion any orc can give. The ceremonies are thought to give the Moon Mothers Three power before their upcoming sleep in the winter and a boost to awaken them in the spring. Not participating, if one is of age, is seen as a heinous sin and is read as contempt for the Moon Mothers. Offenders of this variety are killed outside the village unless they can provide reasoning as to why they skipped out on the ceremony.
The first thing any devotee does in the morning is to take a ritual bath before eating any food they have for that day Depending on one's subgender, they have different customs and rituals that apply for day to day life. Betas meet with their villages Moon Mother Skakoth druid for morning prayers and get their assignments for daily tasks in the village. These include assisting Alphas or Omegas in tasks such as building and farming. A special delegation of Betas handles trade expedition while others plan out the upcoming hunting expedition. Omegas also meet with their druid for morning prayers and assignments. A special few are chosen to accompany the Alphas in their hunting expeditions, while others are chosen to train for potentially joining the militias. Others farm and bring in their first fruits to the druid Alphas also meet with the druid for Moon Mother Kran and then go about their assignments. When all the tasks are done, the druids call the entire village together at the end of the day for prayers, recitation of myths and legends, and assignments for the next day. Special rituals include funerals, the Renewal Ceremony, childbirth, Naming Ceremonies, and Coming of Age Ceremonies. Funerary rites begin by sending both the Skakoth druid and the druid of the deceased's Moon Mother to pray over the body. They then wrap the dead in vines from the forest, after gutting out all the internal organs. The corpse is then taken to the edge of the forest and burned. Corpses of the dead are cremated since their spirits are thought to be sent into the spirit realm once the body is burned. The Druid of the Spirit Moon for Moon Mother Bruk to welcome of the spirit back, while the druid of the deceased's Moon Mother prays for the essence to be dispersed amongst future cubs. The belongings of the deceased are then redistributed amongst the family. Renewals are biannual ceremonies that take place during the equinoxes. The ceremonies are thought to give the Moon Mothers Three power before their upcoming sleep in the winter and a boost to awaken them in the spring. The entire village goes into the forest at night, each member finds a tree and kneels at its roots. They then push their palms deep into the soil and chant. The forest lights up with the energy from the worshippers. At the end of the ceremony, a hum comes from the skies, a sign of the Moon Mothers Three's gratitude. Birth is the second biggest ceremony. The entire village waits outside the soon to be mother's den. The druid(s) (a druid in under Moon Mother Bruk will wait on the dam if it is an Omega. If the dam is a Beta a druid in the order of Moon Mother Skakoth will call in the help of a druid under Moon Mother Bruk). After the cubs are safely delivered, it is bathed in deer blood and the den's baths. The dam feeds the new cubs before they are taken out to greet the village. Three days after the cubs are born, the druids hold a naming ceremony. The cubs are taken to their respective druids, named for characteristics they exhibit, the month they were born in, and their dynamic. The village holds a feast for the couple (or couples). Afterward, the druids give the family extra provisions, such as meat and clothes, and give them a couple of months off from clan duties. Coming of Age ceremonies depend on one's subgender, though all undergo an ordeal in the wilderness. For Alphas, they go through their first breeding season which they must spend alone in the forests surrounding the village. There they must carve out a living for themselves and survive the whole season. While they are in the wild, they must hunt down a direwolf, cure and preserve its meat, and skin and prepare the pelt. If they do survive, the village welcomes them back and the meat they preserved goes towards feeding their family. They are then considered an adult like the rest of the clan. Omegas face a similar trial, yet they must hunt down a brukur instead. Betas hunt down a spearstag instead. After each cub comes back as an adult from the trial, the druids throw a feast to welcome them back.
Druids are typically appointed by special connection to their Moon Mother. Signs of the connection can be higher fertility, different colored eyes, or longer tusks. Some, however, can be appointed by signs of extreme devotion to their Moon Mother. After they are appointed, they must go through a trial of worthiness. For a Druid of Moon Mother Bruk, the trial tests their sympathy and ability to show compassion. For a Druid of Moon Mother Skakoth, their trial tests their ability to keep a cool head under pressure and find a compromise. For a Druid of Moon Mother Kran, their trial tests their ability to protect those they hold dear, and their resolve to do whatever necessary. If they pass their trial, they are given a pelt of their patron animal and initiated into their role as role by the other druids of their Moon Mother in the clan. The patron animal of Moon Mother Bruk is the Brukur (Siriam Bear). Moon Mother Kran's animal is the Direwolf, and Moon Mother Skakoth's animal is spearstag. The pelt is worn as their sugthur, signifying their primary identity as a child of their moon mother.
Granted Divine Powers
Druids are thought to have influence over the patron animal of their Moon Mother, the children of their Moon Mother, and the power of prophecy. These powers are granted after initiation, in which the druid must spend three days and nights in the forests without shelter or aid from their pack. This is thought to strengthen their connection with their "first siblings", nature and creation itself. For druids under Moon Mother Bruk, they are given the power of long-term prophecy, influence over Brukurs, and extreme fertility. They also are blessed with medical knowledge about all subgenders. Druids under Moon Mother Kran are typically warriors, blessed with immense strength, influence over dire wolves, and the power of immediate foresight. Finally, druids under Moon Mother Skakoth fill in the roles that the other druids are too busy to fill. They pick up the slack and become whatever each dynamic needs them to be.
Political Influence & Intrigue
Within Orc clans, this religion acts in place of a government. Of course, clan heads still possess the final say, but the druids control the militias and armies. The also mete out punishments and rewards, as well as truces and trade agreements. This creates a form of dependency on the druidic order.
The Druidic Order of Moon Mother Bruk- Made entirely of Omegas The Druidic Order of Moon Mother Kran- Made of Alphas The Druidic Order of Moon Mother Skakoth- Made of Betas They are the mainstream faith and form a special place of worship for each dynamic, yet they work together collaboratively to keep peace and order amongst the village they are in charge of, and the clan at large.
Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild