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Moanism (Mo-ə-niz-əm)

Moanism is a dualist folk religion primarily practiced by the Halmiv people of Western [continent]. Practitioners of the faith venerate Moa, the God Born of Salt, and view themselves as Moa's chosen warriors in the fight against Havu, the first man and the God of Night. Though the religion's core beliefs and practices are generally universal among believers, Moanism can take many different forms among different communities of practitioners according to local tradition.

Mythology & Lore

According to Moanist belief, the world at the beginning of time was of three parts: the black dome of the sky above, its mirrored counterpart of stone below, and between them a great sea, empty of anything but salty water, extending in all directions unto the edges of the world. Moanism divides time into four ages, and the first age was one of emptiness, of the swirling of the great sea between an empty sky and bare stone. But in the eons of the first age the salt of the sea slowly coalesced, and gave form to Moa, the God born of Salt, and Moa slumbered long beneath the waves. But a time came when they at last woke, and the second age began.   When Moa woke and stood up, the size of their form was such that they touched all three parts of existence. When they stood tall, the ocean's waves lapped at their navel so that all their body below, save the soles of their feet on the stone beneath, was touched by the sea, while all above was touched by the dark, still air. And when Moa looked about and saw all the world to be composed of three plain parts, they were not satisfied. So they sought to learn with careful study all the ways of the three parts of the world, so that each might be bent to their will. And with life unending and years uncounted of solitude, Moa did this. First, they changed the boundary between sea and stone, so that there might be hills and valleys beneath the waves, and therefore the floor of the world should be more interesting to look upon. Then they sought that there should be contact between the upper and lower hemispheres, and so they raised parts of the stone beneath yet further so that they reached above the waves of the sea, and so dry land came into being. But Moa found all these things to be unsatisfying, for when they looked upon what they had done they saw black sky, and black water, and black stone. So looking above they thought to set lights which should cast color onto the world, and they filled the sky with twinkling stars. But the stars were far too dim for seeing. So Moa set a greater star into the sky, brighter than all the others but dim enough to maintain some of the darkness in which the world had been formed. But the pale light of the moon did not satisfy Moa, for though they loved the darkness which they had known for so long and therefore had sought to maintain it with the dim lights of the stars and moon, they found the dimness did not reveal the color which Moa desired to see, yet only hinted at it in shades of grey. So Moa cast a third light into the sky, brilliant, radiant, and the darkness was chased away and the weak stars were outshone, and the moon glimmered only faintly in comparison. And Moa looked about and saw that the sky was blue, and the sea seemed to them green, for though we now might call it blue it to Moa, who was at that time only newly seeing color truly, to be different enough to be a distinct color. But though the tones of the sky and sea were pleasingly new, the stone which they had raised was still grey, little different from how it had looked beneath the dim moonlight, and Moa was not satisfied.   So moa sought to change the surface of the earth so that it was of many different colors. Some stone they made black, in memory of the darkness before the sun, and some they made blue or green, inspired by the sea and the sky. Then they saw the white salt of the sea, that from which they had been born, left behind by the beating of the waves on the shore, and inspired by it they made some stone white. But then Moa thought to make a color of their own, completely different from all the others which they had seen and used. So Moa made pale yellow stone, and saw it was unique within the world. But then they sought an even more drastic difference, and they created red. And then, taken with the pleasure of color, Moa created orange, a shade sitting between the other two they had made, and then purple. And they thought to make new forms of earth for these new colors, so they made sand, inspired again by the salt of the sea, in white, then in black and deep purple, then in orange and yellow. And they made these so that when seen together the sand was of a color, and yet when the grains were viewed closely there might be a dozen colors or more. Then Moa made a hundred more colors, first pink by lightening their red stone, then a new green by shifting the shade of the sea, then others by altering those they had seen already in new ways. And Moa placed some of these in the sand or stone as they thought appeared most pleasing, and of other colors they created gemstones, matching not at all the stone around them and seeming all the more beautiful for it. But brown they thought deserving of a unique purpose, for though it was dull it could be matched with a great many brighter colors, and yet unlike grey it was more interesting for Moa to look upon, for it was a color they themself had made. So Moa made soil in many shades of brown, from so dark as to seem almost black, to so pale as to be bright as the sand and salt. And they cast the soil all across the stone they had made. But in doing this Moa began to find the act of creating all things directly to be unsatisfying, for just as the wonder of the world revealed in light had begun to fade, to look upon all things and find them to be exactly as they had been at the moment of their creation was an activity which no longer satisfied Moa's desire for things to be new.   So they thought to create a thing which might grow of its own accord, and so develop from nothing into something without the intervention of the one who had now become God of all things. And after it had grown, this thing might become the genesis of an offspring of other things, and eventually it might wane and cease to be, and so make room for the new things to grow, and create, and dissapear in their turn, and so the world should be full of many things, changing of their own accord for Moa's pleasure. So Moa created plants of many forms, and from the first seedlings they grew, and spread new seeds, and eventually died and rotted away even as the new seeds began to sprout. At the same time also Moa created rain to water the soil, and wind to drive the rain clouds about, so that the plants should be watered to suit their need, for according to the ways of the world a living thing must drink to survive. And with each generation the trees and grasses and flowers and all other manner of growing things were multiplied in number and spread across the land, and in those places where the rains came often they changed their form to be great and lush and take advantage of the abundance of water. But in those places where the rain fell rarely, the plants adapted instead to be small and hardy, and to store water well but use it stingily. And Moa looked upon the green things which blanketed the world and was pleased.   Yet even so Moa began to feel a desire to share the beauty of the world they had created. And they thought to make things which might see and hear, even as Moa saw the colors of the plants and the rocks and the waters, and heard the wind in the trees and the waves on the shores. So they created small creatures, which saw and heard and moved of their own accord, and they were short-lived and scuttled about upon the earth. And Moa also gave to them the ability to taste, for according to the ways of the world these mortal creatures must eat to maintain their life, and so Moa thought to give to them another means by which to enjoy the world in which they had been set. And when this was done, Moa turned to the seas and created creatures of like size to the others to swim about and fill the empty water, and in the air also they created beings which buzzed about on tiny wings. Then Moa thought to make creatures of a larger form, so that even from their great height the God of all things might look down and see animals moving about. So Moa created the beasts of the earth, and the fish in the sea, and the birds in the air, and some of these things were scarce larger than the insects which had preceded them, and yet some towered greatly even above the tops of the trees, so that all the diminuitive creatures were as specks to them, even as those things in turn were as specks to Moa when the God stood at their greatest height. And Moa looked on the plants and the animals as they multiplied and spread across the earth, and for a time Moa thought themself satisfied.   And yet as time passed, Moa found that they lacked something. For the great God of the world had no equal, no person with whom they might share the wonders of their creation, and speak to with a mouth high in the clouds, and at once walk with using feet scraping the bottom of the sea. For all the creatures of the world were small in comparison to Moa, and died quickly even as Moa lived endlessly. And these creatures were so small and simple of mind that to attempt at communication with them was a fruitless endeavor. So Moa thought to create one more being, immortal and of like form to themself. And as Moa contemplated the nature of this being they thought of the darkness which had covered the world before the sun, and even as they found pleasure in the colors of the world revealed in light, they at once felt a yearning for the darkness in which all things had begun. So when Moa created their immortal companion, they were called Man, but also Havu, which means night, for upon Havu was placed the eternal duty to chase away the sun with shadow, so that it might sink beneath the horizon on one side of the world. And yet the sun should traverse completely across the dome of rock at the base of the world, and in so doing rise again over the horizon opposite to the place of its dissapearance, and chase away the shadows Havu had set. And Havu accepted this task and performed it always dutifully, and a third age of the world began. And Havu spoke often with Moa and looked about at what had been made, and they were pleased by it.   But in the making of Havu, Moa had counted not upon jealousy. For as Havu looked upon the world and spoke with Moa, and governed also the day and night, they began to feel ill at ease, for it seemed to them that the governorship which Moa claimed over all creation was undeserved. For Moa had created Havu to be their equal, and yet had not given to them the power to create, and would not teach it to them either. Yet at once Moa had placed upon Havu a duty to fulfill, while Moa themself had no such duty. And therefore Havu desired to take mastery of the world for themself, and remake all things according to their will. So they began to study in secret the ways in which the world worked, in like manner to Moa's studies at the dawn of time, so that they might come upon a means of taking control of creation. Yet Havu was hurried in this task, for they feared that if Moa should learn what they did in opposition to the God's wishes, then they should be cast down and be made like as to the small things which lived and died upon the earth. It took an eon for Havu to master even the single art which they required to complete their task, for indeed Moa had spent countless eons in study to develop their mastery over all which was. But an eon is not so long a time for an immortal, and Havu was crafty and concealed their purpose. And when at last they were prepared, Havu drew a single great blade of stone from the deeps of the earth, and setting it near to hand they sought out Moa's presence. And when Moa came Havu revealed their treachery and struck once with the stony blade, and Moa was knocked to the earth so that they lay upon the shore of one of the world's continents. Then Havu struck a second time, and Moa's head was cleaved fully from their torso, and the body slid beneath the waves while the head lay yet upon the dry ground. And Havu struck once more, and scattered the slain God's head into countless grains of salt, which covered the ground upon which they fell and created a great salt flat. And at once the body was claimed by the sea and dissolved to join the same waters from which it had been formed.   And yet one detail at first escaped Havu's notice, for after their first stroke fell and yet before the second, Moa saw what had come to pass and acted swiftly. They created yet one more creature to walk the Earth, diminuitive as were all the others, but these were modeled after Moa's own form, as had been Havu. So as Havu was the first man, so were these called the second men. And even as Havu had been given a duty, so too did Moa place a duty upon the second men: to stand against Havu's machinations, and thwart by whatever means his aims to claim mastery. For due to their study Moa knew that they were as much a core part of the world as were the sky, the sea, and the stone, and so given time they should be eventually reformed by the swirling salts of the sea, and reclaim their dominion over all. So the second men were granted intelligence exceeding all the other beasts of the earth, so that they might stall Havu's study by learning also the secrets of the world and using them to counter the God of Night, maintaining the world until Moa should at last be reborn. And in their last moment Moa revealed all this to the second men, and the second men accepted their duty willingly, for they knew then that if Havu should gain mastery over all things, then the world would be unmade and remade differently, and the second men would cease to be. And so, as the fourth age dawned, they began their study of the ways of the world. And the second men found that Moa had granted unto them such wisdom as would permit them, even in their short lifespans, to learn such sorceries as could either hasten Moa's return, or else hinder Havu's cultivation of power. And though many have since strayed from their duty, the knowledge of the ways of the world is still preserved by some and passed down through the generations, and so the defense of the world is maintained until Moa shall come again.
Religious, Other
Alternative Names
Halmiviyyah Faith
Related Ethnicities

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