The Galactic Underworld
Those few outside the Gan-shar who have heard of it either view it either as the realm of fighters who strive for perfection in their arts or as a criminal underworld. As a result the actions of the Erim of the Sila-a-san are often confused for the Ur-san of Urugal, but the desire for anonymity so so strong little work is done to correct the record.
Mythology & Lore
Originally, the Urugal was the An-sarran underworld where gods and monsters fought over the fate of the cosmos. Over time, as the Gu-tir grew in power and prominence the gods of the underworld became associated with their weapon of choice more than force of nature they originally represented. These eighteen gods are the patrons of the weapons and fighting styles popular among those first Lu-gan.
The Eighteen Gods of the Urugal
- Niri, Master of the single bladed sword
- Illar, Master Archer
- Urudu, Master Spearman
- Esheda, Master Maceman
- Mashzu, Master of the double bladed sword
- Nishgidda, Master of the ancient spear
- Shen, Master of the Shield
- Nishilig, Master of the axe
- Gulanish, Master of the great axe
- Nirmudul, Master of the dagger halberd
- Usan, Master of the iron whip
- Middu, Master of the bar mace
- Rimudla, Master of the pole pick
- Kaksita, Master of the Spiked mace
- Eshgag, Master of the trident
- Kaasum, Master of the rake
- Gium, Master of the rope
- Subuzur barehanded
Tenets of Faith
While the Urugal isn't a religion or a government in a proper and true sense, there are three articles of faith to which its members adhere.
San, Internal EnergySan is an internal power possessed by all things, animate and inanimate. It is most commonly understood as a strength that can be cultivated and matured with the individual and and power that can be harness from exterior sources. It is not a unified or unifying force in the same way that lightning is electricity but electricity is not exclusively lightning. Simply, it is the innate energy of a thing that reflects the qualities of the thing itself at its most fundamental nature.
Gan-shar, The world of CultivationThe world of cultivation is synonymous with Gu-tir, the martial forest. While it is often used interchangeably Urugal, even though not all the people who walk in the underworld cultivate their energy. Gan-shar literally means cultivated garden. It was originally contrasted with the wild, chaos of the martial forest. It signified the structured work of the sect as opposed to the random cultivation performed by those without a house. Over time, solitary Lu-gan became so rare that the distinction was lost entirely. When an Ur-san discusses the Gan-shar, they are talking about those who have worked to cultivate their energy and who practice their arts regularly. If not, then the powers will go wild and lose their structure. Most do not know the origin of the tern, though tradition continues the idea even now.
Sila-a-san, (the road to madness, demons, or scattered strength)The Sila-a-san is the opposite of the Gan-shar, and it named either in quite whispers or shouted threats. Once an Ur-san leaves the orthodox path, the called Erim, foreigners, and are said to leave the martial forest on the road to madness. In many schools, the Sila-a-san is the home of demons who seek to devour and corrupt those who go astray. Even when demons and the like are not invoked there is an idea heretical work of the lost Erim has driven them to madness and eventual destruction.
Stay in the forest, my child, for the path is lined with horror longing to take your mind and consume your force.
Sang, benevolence or kindnessSang is the heart of what it means to be an Ur-san, it is the willingness and duty to help those in need. It differs from Arthush (compassion) in that it is active. Compassion is felt, benevolence is enacted. An Ur-san who doesn't take action to relieve the suffering of others when they have the power to do so is frowned upon and if the inaction continues they may be considered a heretic or outcast.
Shu-dim-ma, loyaltyThe Ur-san understand loyalty differently from the way that word is commonly employed. Loyalty should never be invested in a state, person, or ideology. These are considered aspects of Sila-a-san, (the road to madness, demons, or scattered strength). Instead, loyalty is a measure of truth and honesty. Does the Ur-san keep their word? Do they lie, break oaths, betray others? Then they will be considered a heretic or outcast.
Para, courage or braveryPara is not the absence of fear, it is the cultivated ability to pass over or stretch beyond the obstacles that face the Ur-san. Dying in a fight that cannot be won is not bravery. Self-sacrifice to save others would be. It demonstrates the heroes capacity to rise above their own self interest to aid others. This is not the only or the most prized demonstration of Para. Most Ur-san will have to overcome numerous obstacles in the Gan-shar and stretch themselves to pursue their goals or fulfill their oaths. These are the most treasured stories and demonstrate deep levels of cultivation.
Lu-zi, righteousnessRighteousness may be the most amorphous aspect to the ethics of the Urugal. While it entails elements of the previous parts of the code, it also indicates a certain integrity or honesty to oneself and ones path through the Gu-tir. Adding to the confusion is that each sect has their own interpretation and code of righteousness that they expect their members to live up to. Doing so demonstrates both Lu-zi, but also Shu-dim-ma to the oaths they took to their sect.
Granted Divine Powers
While the specifics of arts taught within the various sects, schools, clans, bands, and companies of the Urugal are specific to them, there are certain shared arts that most, if not every group teach in some degree to their members. These are all based on the cultivation of San, strength, and internal power that they call on to work wonders.
Political Influence & Intrigue
Only members of the Sila-a-san support the power of empire, or join a state to take action. The Urugal is and always should be separate from the official power structures of the A-ru-a, the desert or wasteland of politics, but that doesn't mean that a righteous and orthodox Ur-san or sect to interfere in the unjust workings of such a power, or even assist an unfortunate who finds themselves in the employ of a state or business. If the power of the A-ru-a is not kept in check, its weeds cleared, and it flowers encouraged from time to time, then all will be lost in the galaxy. No right house in the Urugal is or has been in the employ of a State or Corporation, and the few born from such soil quickly left the desert for the forest where they could survive away from the harsh gaze of power. There are more rumors about the Gan-shar interfering with those of the A-ru-a than incidents of it actually occurring. Those on the Sila-a-san on the other hand have no compunction about interfering with or even working for or with the states and corporations of the A-ru-a.