Octurn Organization in Runetalras | World Anvil
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Octurn (Ock-turn)

The Octurn is a pantheon of nine deities that is official state religion of the Kingdom of Thaxnoria. The Octurn is often depicted as a unified pantheon, however, each of these deities each have their own sphere of influence, such as Azuth being the god of wizards and magic, Chauntea the goddess of agriculture and harvest, and Kelemvor the god of death and the afterlife. Each deity also has their own cult or followers who hold specific beliefs and practices related to their deity.

Where the Cult Thrives

The Octurn is the dominant and only official state religion of the Kingdom of Thaxnoria . Followers of the Octurn are less common within the Craglands and Uvani Hilllands where worship of the Morndinsamman and Tempus and Radiant Lady are respectively more common.

Tenets of the Faith

The followers of the Octurn believe that the deities Azuth, Chauntea, Kelemvor, Oghma, Selûne, Sune, Torm, Tyr, and Waukeen are all aspects of the same deity who is so powerful and divine that it cannot be comprehended by mortals as one entity. The Nine that are One are a cohesive faith, however, there are those who identify more with one specific aspect of a deity rather than the faith as a whole. The faith can also be understood as a synthesis of the orthodoxy of the nine aspect deities.

The Octurn does not contend that the Nine are the only deities, but that the others are either evil beings or deceivers who only seek destruction and to garner worship for their own selfish ends.

Whilst the Octurn worship the Nine that are One, not all deities receive active worship. Kelemvor receives little worship as it is a deity of death, however, the worship of Azuth has never truly been popular, as he is a deity of magic long since tainted by the crimes of the Age of Blood . As such, few temples exist to Azuth , and statues and shines can oft be found defaced or taken down. It is widely believed that worship to Azuth is only permitted as he is the ancestral deity of House Gathral.

The Faith of the Octurn put forward that amongst the great virtues are loyalty, honour, mercy to the deserving and faithful, and charity to the downtrodden. They also believe in the divine right of monarchs - specifically House Gathral - and consider loyalty to them righteous. The Octurn on the other hand contend that gambling, worshipping false deities, fornication outside of marriage, adultery, polygamy, polyamory, and homesexuality are grievous sins; with its priests preaching against them regularly. The Octurn also teaches that kinslaying and kingslaying - regicide - are vile sins and being accused or guilty of either carries significant stigma.

Other beliefs include that it is considered a great crime and sin to harm a priest of the Octurn; and that a fair trial should be held for the accused, although the right of trial by combat exists for nobles, knights, the Cult also retains the right to perform its own trials for its members.

The number nine is considered holy. Septons speak of the nine aspects of divinity during prayer. Nine oils are used during a child naming ceremony, as part of the knighting ceremony, and when anointing a king.

Temples

Temples and Churches to the Octurn are common in Thaxnoria, and they fall into two main categories: grand and functional. Grand churches are extravagant structures that serve as locations for important rituals and ceremonies, and are typically found in larger cities. They are decorated with gold, silver, silk, and incense, and are meant to impress the populace with their size and grandeur, demonstrating the superiority of the Octurn. In contrast, functional churches are more common and are found within communities. They serve the community by blessing unions, sheltering the vulnerable, treating the sick, burying the dead, and teaching the young. They are modest in design and possess little finery. All churches hold within them shrines and statues to each of the Nine that are One.

The most holy temple of the Octurn is the Great Cathedral of Octavius in the city of Rhamear's Grace, where the leader of the Cult, the High Octon, is based. This temple is considered the spiritual centre of the Octurn, and is where many important rituals and ceremonies take place, including the crowning of the High King of Thaxnoria.

Priest

The priests of the Octurn are responsible for leading worship, performing rituals, and spreading the teachings of the pantheon. They are typically chosen from among the most devout followers of the Octurn and undergo extensive training in the tenets and practices of the faith. Priests may be responsible for a single temple or church, or they may serve as itinerant priests, travelling from community to community to spread the word of the Octurn. They are expected to be knowledgeable about the tenets of the faith and able to provide guidance and counsel to the faithful. They are also called upon to perform important rituals such as marriages, funerals, and other ceremonies. Priests typically wear distinctive vestments which are typically white and bear rainbow symbols.

Training

The training of the faithful is far from uniform. In cities the Octurn’s larger temples are used to take in orphans and those who seek to dedicate themselves to the Octurn, where they are housed and educated - this education is the most that the smallfolk could hope to obtain normally. Outside of cities, in the majority of Thaxnoria, members of the Octurn are poorly educated; with the leaders of local temples and churches handing down the poor education they received to orphans and those who seek to dedicate themselves to the Octurn. It should be noted even this poor education is better than that most of the smallfolk receive.

Servants of the Octurn

Males and females who devote themselves to the Octurn are known as the devoted. Upon taking their vows they set aside their last names, even if they come from noble families, and some even take a new gods given name and they become acolytes. Above the devotees and acolytes are the clergy and high clergy. It is rare for women to be accepted in the clergy to be a priest, although more common in temples of Chauntea , Selûne , and Sune , it is unheard of for a woman to be accepted into the high clergy. Priests within the clergy lead worship, and are the leaders of temples and churches in small towns, villages, and hamlets. The high clergy, made up of high priest and faith administrators are leaders of larger temples and churches and are a part of the administrator aspect of the church; They play little role in active worship, save for on the most holy days or ceremonies, and instead dictate the use of the Octurn’s wealth and resources, as well as determining the Octurns dogma and canon. In villages or hamlets which are too small to support a temple or church, a priest from a neighbouring village might visit. Other times, a wandering priest, a priest who travels from village to village without a specific temple at which they serve, might visit these small villages. These priests perform holy services, marriages, and forgive sins. While the priest is visiting the village, the people must provide him with food and a place to sleep.

High Octurn

The head of the Faith of the Octurn is the High Octurn, they are the conduit of the aspect deities upon Runetalras. The High Octurn is usually chosen by the Council of Clergy - made up of the highest ranked of the high clergy - who typically choose a member of their own rank to take the office. The High Octon serves as the foremost source of canon and dogma throughout the church. The Octurn and High Octon are firmly tied to the Thaxnorian state, being involved in important state ceremonies and the High Octurn ceremonially anointing the High King of Thaxnoria.

Militant Orders

In years long since past the Octurn was able to form militant orders and organise them at their will. However, since the Second Thaxnorian Civil War, when House Gathral was restored to the throne, limits were placed upon the Octurn. Today the only militant orders of the Octurn allowed to function are the Balancers of the Scales and the Rainbow Guard. The Balancers of the Scales are limited to one thousand persons, with no more than one hundred permitted within a single city. The Rainbow Guard are limited to at most fifty active within the largest temples and churches of the Octurn. These measures were enforced by House Gathral as a result of the militant orders' role in the Thaxnorian Civil Wars.

Servants of the Damned

The Servants of the Damned are an order within the clergy of the Octurn. They dedicate themselves to the aspect deity Kelemvor , the Judge of the Damned. It is the duty of the Damned to tend to dead bodies, prepare them for funerals, carry out sacred rites and perform the burial. During this time the Damned wear masks, made of cloth, leather, or metal for it is considered ill fortune to look upon the work of the Judge of the Damned.

Afterlife

The Faith of Octurn contends that once our mortal bodies are snuffed from mortal planes we are taken to the Nine Heavens. The faithful believe that there are nine heavens, one for each of the aspect deities, which are synonymous with the Celestial Heavens. Within which one's ancestors and loved ones dwell feasting and singing in an everlasting paradise. Sinners who do not repent or continue their sinning, on the other hand are taken to the Nine Hells or Abyss to suffer eternally.

Funeral customs

The Servants of the Damned attend to the deceased. They prepare them for funeral rites by removing organs and blood, whilst stuffing the corpses to preserve and hide the smell of decomposition. Funerals for dignitaries, nobles, and royalty can last several days with prayers and rites held several times a day. When the deceased dies far from home, it is considered customary to return the corpse to the family so that it may be buried in one's ancestral homelands.
Titles: The Nine that are One, the Many Faced God   Alignment: Lawful Neutral, Lawful Good, Neutral, Neutral Good   Symbol: Nine-pointed star   Domains: Arcana, Forge, Grave, Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Order, Tempest, Twilight, War
Type
Religious, Organised Religion

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