Danos Organization in Nideon | World Anvil
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Danos is the state religion of Alaj, and rarely found in other countries. Adherence to the state religion is dependent on what province one lives in. In most provinces, citizens are allowed to follow a different religion for a small fee, though in some provinces, citizens are required by law to adhere to the Danos faith. Ironically, the two provinces run by Danos temples, rather than Alajan nobility have the greatest religious freedom, with citizens welcome to follow their religion of choice without consequence.

Rites and Rituals


Ear Piercing

When a Danos child turns three, regardless of gender, they have an ear-piercing ceremony. This is usually done only with the family and clergy present. The child lights three candles to signify the Goddess of Darkness lighting their path and says a prayer to her. The clergy also says a prayer and then pierces the child's ears. The new earrings mark the child as belonging to the Goddess of Darkness and warding off evil. Children are encouraged not to cry out at this time, lest the Goddess believe they are crying out against her. After this ceremony is complete, earrings are a common birthday gift for Danos children.  

Coming of Age

Most Danos temples have built within them, a labyrinth, usually in a center room or basement, so there are no windows. At the age of fifteen, a child is brought to the labyrinth by Danos clergy. They are required to navigate the labyrinth using a series of symbols which are carved into the walls and collect a piece of metalwork which is housed at the center. They return to the metalwork to the clergy, who uses it to interpret the child's future.
Though the labyrinth is built in a room without windows, the child is usually blindfolded, and in stricter sects they are also forbidden from speaking while in the labyrinth. Speaking is seen as a sign of failing to complete the ritual, and therefore never attaining full adulthood. In some reformed sects, the child is blindfolded, but the labyrinth is lit, and the child may give up by removing the blindfold. The amount of time a child is given in the labyrinth before the clergy pursue them varies sect to sect. In the most orthodox sects, the clergy does not pursue the child unless the cry out, meaning a lost child could theoretically die of hunger and thirst if they become lost in the labyrinth. In these sects, death is seen as preferable to living without achieving full adulthood.   After completing the labyrinth, the child traditionally creates a piece of jewelry from the metal work. This marks the child as an adult to other members of the Danos faith, and for those who understand how to read the metalwork, provides insight into the person's position in life. In many modern day sects, a hole is drilled into the piece and it is strung on a necklace for the child.  


In Danos tradition, it is common for one lover to "kidnap" another. Though this was intended only to be a play of pretend between people who were mutually interested, as well as an excuse for young people to go somewhere alone together, in some Alajan provinces, the tradition has been made illegal as it has lead to actual kidnapping cases.  


Engagements in the Danos tradition tend to be lengthy, as it is considered good luck to marry alongside another couple. Thus, an engaged couple will often wait until they know another they can share their wedding with. Couples who marry together are considered to be bonded and are tasked by the goddess to look out for one another and encourage each other in the faith. Usually couples who share a wedding are good friends, and it is common for couples to enter the wedding ceremony with the wrong partners and then switch, as if giving each other away. The couples then stand on opposite sides of a table as a member of the Danos clergy prepares tea. The partners then serve the tea to their spouses and drink together. Any or all members of the group may offer a toast at this time, but the sharing of the tea is considered the wedding ceremony. After the tea ceremony, the couples are presented with gifts, usually first from each other. Though weddings most frequently involve only two couples, any number of couples may share a wedding.   The Danos religion does not dictate what genders may or may not get married, though a person may only have one spouse. Furthermore, the Danos religion recognizes a variety of gender identities, and some of the most honored people in their holy texts are of genders other than cis-male and cis-female.   Divorce is discouraged in the Danos tradition, but just as no person should be co-erced into marriage, talking someone out of a divorce is viewed by Danos followers as a sticky subject. The exception to this is bonded couples. If a married couple is considering divorce, the couple who shared their wedding are tasked with mediating the situation to ensure that the divorce is the right decision for the spouses. Traditionally, this mediation lasts a year. If, by the end of that year, the bonded couple are unable to encourage the spouses to stay married, the divorce goes on. In some cases, however, the bonded couple can help speed up the divorce process, if they feel the marriage has become toxic and the spouses would be better off separated.

Death Rites

When someone dies in the Danos faith, their body must first be ritually cleansed. Then the body is wrapped in a clean cloth. The color and type of cloth is dependent on who the person was in life--red represents clergy, white represents others, silk represents someone of import, and cotton represents others. The body is then placed on a funeral pyre and the family stands vigil overnight, speaking prayers to the goddess throughout this time. At first light, others begin to arrive, and at sunrise, the pyre is lit. Mourners continue to arrive and watch until the fire is put out.

Fast Cremation

Followers of Danos recognize that at times, the care which goes into an ordinary funeral service is not possible. Therefore, there is a "fast cremation" process. This is most often used in times of war, but is also used during other circumstances, such as pandemic, in which the handling of the dead body may be dangerous.   For fast cremation, the ritual washing is skipped, but the body is wrapped in a cloth for transportation. A clean cotton is preferred, but followers may use whatever cloth is available. A clergyperson says a prayer over the body and it is burned as quickly and efficiently as possible. If a clergyperson is not available to do the prayer, any member of the Danos faith may do so.   If even fast cremation cannot be done, the body is best left in an area where it can decompose openly. The body must never be buried. Followers of the Danos faith believe that if a body is buried the person will suffer for an eternity in darkness, and this practice is only reserved for the worst criminals and heathens. Burial is so horrific to Danos followers that uncovering the buried bones of innocents is considered an act of service.

Relationship with Science

Ritual Foods

Religious, Organised Religion

Cover image: by Molly Mar


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