Gen Mai

The Path

As we travel along the Path, we get closer to the day when the gods return and remake the world.
— A Koushan Mai priest
 
Gen Mai is the polytheistic religion of the Koushan Mai people, as well as several dragon clans. Its name translates to The Path, and is symbolised by a spiral.   The religion of Gen Mai can trace its roots back to the age of Renewal, over five thousand years ago, though it was nameless at that time. The religion of the Renewal would be unidentifiable as Gen Mai as it is now; it was a time when direct contact with the gods was possible and the concept of the Path was not conceived of.   Gen Mai in the early days focused on the worship and appeasement of the gods. There are many myths of tasks completed on the whims of these immortal beings.
  After the gods were sealed away on the Divine Plane and the Etrean Age began, Gen Mai grew into the form it takes today. It was said that the gods withdrew from the land because they were disappointed in how the Koushan Mai lived their lives. The Koushan Mai believe that if they follow the tenets of the Path, the gods will one day return and remake the world into paradise.  

Priesthood

  Most priests of Gen Mai are dedicated to their temple from childhood. The temples take in all a community's orphans, who are then raised into priesthood. Some families also dedicate their children to the temple when they are young if they cannot support them.   There are no gender restrictions amongst the priesthood, though a few gods have a priesthood comprised completely of men, women, or ashan.  

Places of Worship

  In earlier centuries, the Koushan Mai built beautifully intricate temples carved from stone and wood. Each temple was dedicated to a specific god or goddess.   In the current year, only a few secluded temples remain. The others have been plundered, their stones pillaged and used to build castles for the Seruic and Caillan people.  

The House of Silence

This temple, dedicated to Seiran, the goddess of secrets and stars, is hidden in the mountains of the Teeth. The main chamber of the temple is open to the elements allowing the priests who live there to stargaze on clear evenings.  

The Buried Sanctuary

Deep in the forest, entangled in the roots of ancient trees, lies a temple that is half buried in the ground. This place is dedicated to the twin child gods of death, Fain and Lilika.  

The Tower of the Watcher

Dedicated to Hakan, the god of the sun, this temple is built into the side of a sheer cliff of a mountain in the Teeth. It is tall and thin with a stained glass dome at its tip. When the sun shines, the interior of the temple is flooded with colour.

Core Tenets

 
  • Live your lives in accordance with the values of the gods.
  • Protect the weak and vulnerable. Only then are you worthy.
  • Fight only when there is no other option.
  • Death is not to be feared. Reward and punishment are given in life.
  • All souls are reborn.

The Sacred Spiral

  The spiral is a revered shape in the Gen Mai religion. It represents the form of the Path, the route to the gods returning to Etrea and remaking the world into a paradise. The very centre of the spiral represents the Return.   The direction of the spiral is also important. If the spiral is going in a clockwise direction, it symbolises the religion itself. This spiral is used to decorate the temples and the vestements of the priesthood, as well as in a lot of religious jewellery.   If the spiral is going in an anti-clockwise direction, it symbolises protection. It is believed that an anti-clockwise spiral will draw the eyes of the gods. This is also a common motif in Koushan Mai jewellery, as protection is at forefront of a lot of minds. As such, it also is a symbol that is incorporated in many of the tattoos that decorate their bodies.
The Nightlands
Geographic Location | Nov 4, 2020

The afterlife of the Koushan Mai, the realm of Lilika and Fain.

 

The Pantheon

These images will be replaced with custom art when I have time  

Hakan

God of the Sun, Judgement, and Justice

cloudy-1869753_1920.jpg

by Pexels

Kore

Goddess of the Moon and the Night

Lel

God of Fate

mountains-55067.jpg

by 8385

Rhod

God of the Dawn

mountains-100367_1920.jpg

by giani

Eodin

God of the Dusk

Seiran

Goddess of Secrets and Stars

Medan

God of Battle

Lilika

Twin Goddess of Death

Fain

Twin God of Death

Damek

God of Mountains and Sky

Masika

Goddess of Sea and Storms

Costin

God of the Forest and Beasts

Aletris

Goddess of the Harvest, Flowers, and Insects

Espen

God of Healing

Perhonen

God of Love and Faith

Keren

Goddess of the Hunt

Fisk

God of Travellers and Luck

Elestren

Goddess of Fertility, Childbirth, and Children


Cover image: by Julien Tondu

Comments

Author's Notes

This article was written as part of WorldEmber 2020.


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3 Dec, 2020 06:15

Ooh. Awesome. The sister article of the one I just finished!   "It was said that the gods withdrew from the land because they were disappointed in how the Koushan Mai lived their lives."
I'd suggest a bit more active of transformation within your sentence: "The gods withdrawal turned to myth, Gen Mai, as the Koshan Mai believed their faults the cause of the disappearance, transformed." Or something.   I love the images and list of gods at the bottom of the article. It's pretty interesting to take a quick gander at.   That's all I really have to say for this one, but it was an interesting read nonetheless.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 12:35

Thank you for the comment, Jac! Yeah, I really struggled with that sentence so I'll think of a good way to rework it. :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
3 Dec, 2020 06:48

Well fleshed out, survives the verisimilitude tests and solidly written. What's not to like?   Could perhaps benefit from a few more in-text links or tooltips the first time a new name or term is mentioned (such as with the ashan).

Author of prize-winning RPG settings Dark Shadows and Cinders of the Cataclysm. Designer of the narratively focused Celenia D10 RPG System.
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 12:33

Thank you so much, Toblin!   Yeah, I agree - I'll be filling it full of stubs after WE. I'll see if I can put a few more tooltips in there though! :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
3 Dec, 2020 08:07

The pantheon section is stunning - superb work Emy <3


Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others. Check 'em out!
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 12:32

Thank you! It took way longer than I thought it would, haha. <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
3 Dec, 2020 10:28

The three temples you describe sound absolutely gorgeous, the House of Silence especially. This is a really intriguing religion, and I love that its shared with some dragon communities.   Also can I just say, that is a lot of gods! I'm looking forward to reading about them in the months to come :)

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 12:31

Thank you so much! I'll definitely be writing some temple/god articles in the months to come. I'm looking forward to being able to do custom art for all the gods!

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
3 Dec, 2020 11:13

Well, now I have a standard set for how religious articles should read.   Grabs step stool and struggles to reach the standard.   I really like how you've gotten the imagery of the spiral done. It's symbolism and dual uses is great!

PatheticBarrel, Logo by Sai
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 12:29

Thank you so much! The spiral was a relatively late addition but I love it! :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Grandmaster Bandoro
Christopher Bandura
3 Dec, 2020 11:40

Nice article! Definitely a lot of detail that make this religion stand out quite a bit. Love the description of the temples

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 12:28

Aw, thank you so much! :D

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
3 Dec, 2020 12:28

This is so well put together. It's a beauty of an article! Really a work of art on its own.

— The wolf of Tales of Justice, Creator of Legends of Elohey, Star Wars: Shards, Fiven Chronicles and more!
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 13:46

Thank you so much! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Master Brinsmead
Caitlin Phillips
3 Dec, 2020 16:22

I was already really excited to read about Gen Mai, but my mind has been blown by this. The gods being sealed away on the Divine Plane. The tenants making my heart ache. Just everything about this is so fascinating!

Cait x
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 18:28

Thank you! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
3 Dec, 2020 19:39

This has all the makings of a doomsday religion. I mean, the gods may make a paradise but a paradise for whom? Out of curiosity you say man woman and Ashan. What is ashan? I really need to delve into this world XD as always the writing is superb. I loved how you detail the temples still standing and their tenants really build intrigue around the religion. The listing of the pantheon is much appreciated as well. Gives a face to the faith as it were. Well done.

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
3 Dec, 2020 19:56

Thank you, Dylon! I talked a little bit about ashan in the Koushan Mai ethnicity article, but they are basically a third gender (sort of nonbinary, as it were).

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
3 Dec, 2020 20:03

Oooo I see, that's pretty cool! I should take a look at that article then. Definitely wanna know more

Sage Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
5 Dec, 2020 06:40

I remember reading in an other article that they belief that both reward and punishment are given in life. I love the idea of the sacred spiral as well, and I kind of wish I could meet the Koushan Mai. I also love the pantheon section. I'm looking forward to reading more of your articles!

Author of Ealdwyll, a fantasy world full of mystery.
Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
5 Dec, 2020 13:08

Yes, that was the Nightlands, the afterlife of the Koushan Mai. :) Thank you so much! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
17 Dec, 2020 22:15

"When the sun shines, the interior of the temple is flooded with colour." I love synesthesis! <3 This one sentence made my heart skip a beat, and I literally felt a gushing wave of splitted light. Also, you will have a lot of gods to write about. :P

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
17 Dec, 2020 22:21

Yay for synesthesis! :D And yup, and this is only ONE religion, hahaha.   Thank you! :)

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
30 Dec, 2020 13:47

I loved how one of the tenets specifies that you are only worthy once you protect the weak and vulnerable. Also, I loved the double use of the spiral depending on the direction of it!   Great work Emy!

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
30 Dec, 2020 15:07

Thank you so much! <3

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
HuginRonin
Juan Belío
5 Jan, 2021 18:31

Great article! I've been scouting through some people I wanted to read from and learn somethings and I can confidently say that I like a lot of your ideas. The format is really nice (with all the big images of the pantheon) and I enjoy that things have evolved through time. I'll be thrilled to read more about these divine beings ^^ I'm just getting around working on my main pantheon and this has surely helped to get an idea on how to structure the articles

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
5 Jan, 2021 19:03

Thank you so much! :D I love reading about pantheons - good luck with yours!

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
18 Feb, 2021 20:01

lovely work

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
18 Feb, 2021 20:10

Thank you! ^_^

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea!
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