Forgism is a monothiestic religious faith common among verdials, especially in Petalcap Vale, though it has a limited number of adherents elsewhere within the Manifold Sky. Forgism, as the name implies, teaches that the world was 'forged' in both senses of the term: that the world was created by a deific "Creator" with "fiery energy" from raw "worldstuff," as one might treat a raw ingot of metal, and that the world is an artificial forgery of the "true state of nature."
Mythology & Lore
Forgists believe that the Creator forged the world for various purposes: to deceive the children of man, to preserve the previous world, to extract the world of forms into the world of entities, and to heap glory unto his own cleverness. The Creator is now no longer present in the world, observing his creation only from the outside, but may occasionally make adjustments to ensure the continued perfection of his world. Historical accounts differ on the question of whether the Creator physically hammered the worldstuff back to create the Manifold Sky or, alternatively, achieved it merely by speaking "the words" that instructed the worldstuff how to shape itself while deceiving the first sentient minds into perceiving his new material reality. Metalworkers, miners, carpenters, and sculptors tend to believe the former, while glassblowers, educators, writers, and musicians tend to believe the latter. Regardless on stance, all Forgists believe that the Creator directly and intentionally shaped the manifold with "fiery energy" into the form it now holds - a throwback to the beliefs of the extinct Ordaureum belief system that predated Forgism.
The Forgists believe that the world was hewn, or "forged," from some greater unit of material known as "worldstuff," in a subtractive fashion; to the Forgists, the negative space that makes up the Manifold Sky is just as important to the structure of the universe as its tangible, material aspects. Forgists point to the unlikely physics of the Manifold, such as the unlikeliness of cuboid geological forms or gravity that only points towards the faces of said cubes, as justification for their belief in the artificiality of the world. Beyond the Manifold lie the greater cosmos, which might be conceived of as both a void and a sea of roiling, chaotic possibility waiting to have order imposed upon it. Forgists share the Unexpector belief that all life originated outside of the Manifold - on some sort of convex topological structure - but holds little interest in exploring what that origin might be, as the past is both unreachable and (most likely) yet another object of the Creator's artifice.
Tenets of Faith
Forgists believe that there is an underlying truth to every deception, and that there is a "true truth" to the universe that simply remains unseen to mortal, subjective entities. At the same time, an illusion invested with enough faith can become partially true over time; Forgist philosophy is the origin of the phrase "self-fulfilling prophecy" within the Manifold. To this end, Forgists are called upon to attempt to divine the underlying truth of things, persevere with their creative or scientific efforts, and always retain an optimistic zeal for their goals. Lies, illusions, and deceptions are only considered sinful if they are used for malicious ends, as the world itself is a deception made so real that sentient beings can persist within it.
Forgists view acts of creation and artifice as acts of worship, with particularly devout members of the religion achieving meditative states though handicraft. The practice of crafting things as a matter of religious devotion before other concerns is known as manuintimation. By shaping objects in the world - especially when the quality one's own work approaches, or is indistinguishable from, nature - the Forgist celebrant seeks to achieve a state of apotheosis not unlike that of the Creator himself.
Forgism lacks an officially organized clergy, with Forgist philosophical treatises (especially Universal Artifice and the Hymns of the World-Forger) spreading organically amongst the artisan and scholarly classes of the Verdial people. Particularly well-read members of the faith, known as Forgemasters, become parishioners and gather discussion groups to spread the word of Forgism. Pubs, factory break rooms, and libraries are frequent meeting places for the faithful. A few isolated sects, like the Order of the Golden Forge, minister to those looking for a more structured religious experience.
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