Knappism is a monotheistic religious sect created when adherents to Rostran Esotericism encountered tales of the Forgist Creator deity and incorporated aspects of him into their own spiritual channeling practices. Artisans, teachers, and parents are the primary supplicants to the Knapper of Spirits, though individuals from all walks of life are apt to seek The Stern Father's strength from time to time.
Mythology & Lore
Manifold Sky and Creator of all living beings within it, the Knapper of Spirits is indirectly the author of all hardships within. He does this not to punish his children - the sentient peoples of the Manifold - but so that they might live and grow in the face of these hardships. By enduring countless cycles of hardship, a Knappist hopes to ascend to a state of spiritual perfection to rival that of the Knapper of Spirits himself. The Knapper of Spirits is depicted in Knappist lore as a powerfully-built male Rostran artisan with two extra pairs of arms emanating from behind his broad shoulders. These extra arms are sometimes portrayed as being much larger than his normal pair, even rarely reinterpreted as long, white gulls' wings with grasping feathers in lieu of fingers. His epithets include "The Stern Father" and "The Refiner of Men."
Tenets of Faith
As apostles of the Knapper of Spirits, Knappists are a stoic lot even by Rostran standards. Knappists are expected to exhibit the virtues of endurance, focus, and adaptability in the face of hardship; trials of the spirit are to be regarded as opportunities for personal growth. As the Knapper of Spirits is a masculine force, male Knappists are called upon to be authoritative - but loving - fathers, mentors, and teachers. The Knapper of Spirits encourages a constant state of self-improvement, whether in the physical, intellectual, or spiritual sense.
Like all sects of Rostran Esotericism, Knappists worship by attempting to channel some aspect of their chosen spiritual beings - in this case the Knapper of Spirits - within themselves, seeking to embody some aspects of those entities or simply call upon their aid. By channeling the Knapper of Spirits, Knappists seek to embody the Creator's virtues, gain the fortitude to endure troubles, and gain the wisdom required to provide guidance for future generations. Small, hand-carved tools and figurines are the preferred implements in Knappist channeling rituals, preferably knapped from obsidian or chert. Pearls, ironwood burls, and other products of growth in the face of stress are also potent ritual objects. During the execution of a Knappist ritual sigil, dried salt fish and spicy herbs may be consumed to promote self-reflection on times when the practitioner's mettle was tested. Channeling circles dedicated to The Stern Father are inset with triangular patterns; these evoke the spirit's strength, as the triangle is regarded as the strongest shape in nature. The practitioner's own blood and sweat may serve as offerings when inlaid into the channeling sigil's lines, but only if shed due to the practitioner's own exertion on whatever matter which the practitioner wishes to gain the Refiner of Men's aid in (i.e. an exhausted soldier may offer the sweat on his hand in a prayer for strength).