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The Cult of Terb

We hereby declare sacred all of Terb's most manifest creations and areas of expertise and thus also those things he has selected to be superior to all other items.   Selected quote from the Manifesto of Terb
    The Monks of Terb are crazy. It is essential to the understanding of their religion in general. Not for the violence, or the obsessive compulsive way in which they follow the particular dictates they have decided to adhere to, although those are fair points to that argument.   They are crazy because they act in continual defiance of their own god's stated commands, and in fact have created an entire document devoted to why they will not listen to him. And yet they still worship him.    

How One Becomes a Monk of Terb

      Most people are bit perplexed at how someone would join such a religion. There is no clear answer to this question. Most of the people who end up joining are
  • Rather loud and opinionated to start with
  • Inclined toward violence when thwarted
  • Those who enjoy a good pickle (there seems to be no other correlation with the other sacred objects of Terb)
Their best recruitment tactic seems to be the very holy wars that annoy everyone else so much. Quoted from someone who actually managed to leave the cult, describing how he was drawn in:  
It was this whole battle, dude, and I was just like, hey, those pickles look good. And I was down for a good fight, and after that I was one of them.
  The camaraderie is something of a factor. For all that they fight everyone else, the monks don't fight each other. In fact, not interfering with each other's own personal belief in Terb is one of the core tenets of their faith.   Also, to be fair, they get a lot of tolls by enforcing usage on "Terb's holy roads," an indeterminate category that changes from day to day. Usually the monks manage to live at a comfortable middle-class level just from that, let alone the looting that they do.   Reaching out to a community organizer in my area for comment, I received this from her:  
Honestly, it's all about the pygmy marmosets. They're so cute! And also I'm really good with throwing stars. Fighting for Terb's glory is the easiest thing I've ever decided to do, even if he did threaten to smite me for attacking that heretic with the monkey the other day. But we all know he's a coward and he doesn't mean it.

Structure

Terb is technically at the top of the cult, but this is specifically stated in the Manifesto to be a figurehead position, and he has very little actual authority outside of the ability to smite people, which he does not do terribly often.   Beyond that, there is generally a local organizer for each sect. This person is essentially a secretary for the group, keeping track of who is a member, and making sure that they are aware of whatever holy war is going on that week. It is not the organizer's place to lecture one of the others on their adherence to the teachings of Terb (as interpreted in the Manifesto of Terb), as each person is meant to work it out on their own.   Everyone not within the cult, however, is to be fully held to the standards of the Manifesto as interpreted by loose democracy by those monks in the area.

Divine Origins

Terb is one of the many gods of Varios. He became thus after some kind of alchemical transformation many centuries ago, which gave him immortality and great power. It is something of a guess, but most theologians believe that he came to his chosen areas of deity at random.   His initial followers did so because he was a personable guy, fun to follow around, and one who gave commands to do entertaining and occasionally violent things. And then he grew bored, and wandered off for a bit.   In this interim time period, the cultists (who eventually grew to call themselves monks) developed their own ideas as to what Terb would want them to do. By the time Terb came back, it was too late to get them to change their minds. After much argument, he decided to leave them to their own fate, and that if they ran up against someone more powerful he just wouldn't protect them. The monks thought this was just fine, and the perfect opportunity to prove their devotion and the ultimate proof that they were right and Terb was wrong about how they were meant to worship him.

Cosmological Views

The monks of Terb are remarkably loose about their mythology and understanding of the world in relation to their religion. They follow any number of creation myths, and other gods, and it does not matter at all, because Terb is meant to be a very literal, present god who they occasionally argue with. The world can be understood through any lens, so long as one recognizes the power and might of Terb.

Tenets of Faith

See the Manifesto of Terb for a general synopsis. In short, they believe in the sacredness of Terb's chosen objects: the pygmy marmoset, pickles, throwing stars, pathways, and the color blue. It is up to the individual adherent which of those objects they chose to place the most importance in, and how strictly they judge their non-believing neighbors for not following whatever opinions the monk in question might have.   You could also just ask Terb, but he's not terribly clear about what his followers are meant to do, outside of that he wishes they would stop fighting with people who wear the wrong color, because he's tired of arguing with the other gods about his crazy followers.

Worship

The monks worship by fighting those who defy the will of Terb as interpreted by his followers. Bonus points if they do it with throwing stars or pickles. Preferably while screaming loudly about the glory of Terb.   As such, they call for a lot of holy wars. Really, due to the small nature of these battles since the monks of Terb never quite manage to organize into a larger force (thank goodness), it's more of a holy skirmish. Most other religions, and indeed most of their next door neighbors, are rather disgruntled with them.

Priesthood

There are no priests of Terb. All are equal. Some tend to shout a little louder at meetings and during battles, and so they are given a bit more authority, but other than that, no one's really in charge. This probably developed in part because the monks of Terb have a very high casualty rate, and I imagine it is hard to keep a clear chain of command.

Ha! There is no apologizing, there is only the shedding of your blood

Founding Date
1500s
Type
Religious, Cult
Alternative Names
Those crazy monks, the nutjobs in blue
Demonym
Monk of Terb (blanket term for all adherents, regardless of gender)
Deities
Divines

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Articles under The Cult of Terb


Comments

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Grandmaster Teyvill
Andrew Belenkiy
16 Jan, 2021 11:20

Love the fact that the monks are based on the notion of defying their god instead of worshipping them xD