Tekel is a polytheistic religion which has been practiced in Yzel since the beginning of the country, although some claim it started before this point. According to this belief system, the world is controlled by several gods, who each have a different role in nature. The fate of the world is in the hands of one god and the rest are part of the wider pantheon. Approximately 75% of the population practices Tekel. Gods decide a person’s station prior to birth and this is where they are meant to be. It is possible that Clohdus intervenes and the person is not born correctly. In these events, the gods will force the person into their correct place later in life. This does not happen often as the other gods want the world to run smoothly and thus counteract Clohdus. The place of Scale within the Tekel tradition is often stated to be as the son of Padka and Braet, taking the role of his ‘mother’ as balancer and father as orderer into one person. Uneism states that Padka never had children aside from Coalate and Srirah and thus Scale is not part of that pantheon
Mythology & Lore
- Padka-The original god and first lord of fate. It is a genderless, formless being who can change its appearance at will. In general, it appears as a humanoid creature. Alone, and wanting others to converse with, it created Coalate and Srirah to act as partners with the running of the universe. Its role is to create the lives of all living creatures and set the world on an orderly course
- Srirah- One of the first gods created. His role is that of the sky and weather, along with ethereal concepts such as spirituality and emotions.
- Coalate- Born at the same time as Srirah. Her domain is the land and sea. She is also in charge of concrete concepts (math, science, etc)
- Raesay- Violence, war, defence, strategy, litigation. She was born from the energy released during Srirah and Coalate’s first major fight. Conflict
- Braet- Peace and understanding. Unlike his sister, he was born from the energy released when Coalate and Srirah made up. He is the patron of peace and the deity prayed to when conflict, large or small, arises. His role in the pantheon is that of a father figure while his wife, Coalate acts as the mother.
- Clohdus- Second god of fate. He is a separate being from Padka, although some consider him a younger sibling to the original god. In general, he sees the rest of the pantheon as playthings and enjoys twisting their destinys in order to intertwine them. Unlike his ‘sibling’, age has left him a bit senile and cracked in the head, leading to greater and greater stakes in his games. Padka’s creates order while Clohdus represents the randomness of some events.
- Kahx- Son of Coalate and Srirah before Braet was born. His role is as a civilization builder and he rules government, society, and agriculture
- Ahooai- Son of Raesay and Braet, older brother of Chi, patron of priests/temples, the blind, ritual, duty, bestower of divine power, oracles. The myth of how he lost his sight has been passed down for many years. (Loss and Gain
- Chi- young love, children, spring, she is very innocent and watches over the most vulnerable, younger sister of Ahooai
Padka created the first gods in order to keep it company and set the world in motion. Clohdus destroyed the source of all magic and this created the six elements seen in the world today.
Tenets of Faith
The basic tenants of Tekel are as follows:
- The gods are the supreme beings of the universe and everything is governed by them
- Attempting to change the will of the gods is evil
- As the younger gods defer to Padka, so should younger people defer to their elders for guidance
- Elders should follow Padka's example and lead without exerting domineering control
- Fight for your home and peace will follow
- Loyalty to the gods is paramount, and loyalty is the greatest virtue
- As the gods work with one another, so should people treat others with dignity
- The morality of the gods is not for humans to understand
The ethics of Tekel are primarily based on obeying the gods and not angering them. This is considered good and will lead to a righteous life. Each god has their own set of ethics that practitioners will follow and the main tenant of each god is collected into an overall moral philosophy.
- Padka: find peace through knowing what can be controlled and take care of one's own life and community
- Clohdus: allow oneself to think beyond what is directly presented
- Srirah: emotions are meant to be felt and acknowledged, but do not let them overpower you
- Coalate: care for the physical world through understanding its laws
- Raesay: stand for one's beliefs and defend your home
- Braet: peaceful resolutions should be explored before aggression and once an enemy falls, they are to be treated with respect
- Kahx: follow the laws of the nation and society will prosper
- Ahooai: use magic to better yourself and the community
- Chi: protect and cherish the weakest and innocent
HolidaysThe first of each month is celebrated for a different deity. Beginnings are very important and the start of a new year is particularly significant, celebrated in honor of Padka, while the end of the year is reserved for Clohdus. Coalate and Srirah are celebrated twice (once in their own months and once together at the midpoint of the year). Chi is given two months in the spring season, once for himself and once for the planting month. Ahooai is also celebrated twice in his own month and during the fall equinox when the divide between humans and gods is weakest
Regular WorshipAnimal and plant sacrifices are standard during group worship, which is the usual form. Solitary worship is generally frowned upon as the universe is run by a group and thus groups are seen as a stronger force to commune with the gods.
- A common tradition for those facing impending doom or forced choices is to say "A coin for Clohdus", and throw something precious into the water. If Clohdus feels your gift was precious enough, it is believed that he will twist fate to give you a chance for an equally precious new opportunity. Yet most tales of these stories end in tragedy.
- In more elaborate cults, such as Clohdus' Athletes, followers of Clohdus will host elaborate parties of sex, drugs, theater, gambling, magical performances, and various other forms of merry making. Each attendee takes a random mask and must pretend to be a character, whose name and traits are all decided by the various guests they meet. For instance, you have just entered the party when someone grabs your arm and says "Brother Markus, have you seen our mother?", that is now your character. You are Markus, you have a sibling, and they are seeking your mother. This constant game of "yes and" is said to call upon the fate defying powers of Clohdus, and it is said that those who truly embody their new characters and who never break to show their true life will be granted favor.
DeathBraet and Ahooai will come to take the dead away. They will evaluate the soul of the deceased and determine if they deserve to join the gods in paradise. If the soul is found to be worthy, they are granted entry into the gods’ world. If not, they must remain in the world, performing good acts in order to purify themselves before they are allowed to rest. In this tradition, funerals are about saying goodbye to the person and sending their soul back to the gods, particularly the god of orderly fate, Padka The body is cleaned completely and all hair shaved so they are as much like when they were born as possible. Ahooai, the god of priests and rituals, is invoked to help the deceased's journey and to assist the living in completing the ritual correctly. Priests handle the body rather than family and recite religious texts while the body is prepared for buriel. At the end of the preparation, a small wooden carving of a ship is placed on the chest. A light sheet is wrapped around the body and then they are buried with family.
OverviewAll gods have their own priests and rituals associated with them, although many are similar to one another. These include prayer and, if applicable, the practice of essence magic in whatever form is most associated with a particular god. For example, priests of Srirah are concerned with air essence due to their patron's dominion over the sky. Ahooai's priests have more peculiar rituals that are further documented below.
AhooaiPriests of Ahooai have a particular series of rituals that they go through. Ahooai himself is blind, having lost his eyes completely during a battle with another of the gods, and always wears a silver cloth over his eyes. Losing his sight granted his other senses much greater power and he became more attuned to the magic of the world than the other gods. He now assists in guarding the elements and ensuring that the world is kept in order. Those who worship him also wear a silver cloth. Becoming a full priest involves each initiate sewing their own eye covering and exposing it to each of the six elements. After this, they are to return to the main temple and lay it in the hand of the statue of Ahooai. The covering remains there for three days and the initiate will sleep on the temple floor, devoting the days to meditation. No other rituals are held in the main temple during these days to give the new priests time to focus and complete the ritual.At the end of the three days, they take the cloth and give it to the Azre-kem, high priest, who ties it around their eyes. The cloth will remain there for the rest of their lives. Certain fanatics, particularly the Fpriahooai Deyun, have been known to practice scarification during the meditation period. They will use a knife exposed to each element to either carve the area around their eyes or remove their eyes entirely. This is extremely rare and the main branch of Ahooai's worship frowns on the practice.
Political Influence & Intrigue
Most Yzelian citizens are followers of Tekel and thus is has gained significant political influence. Priests are, ostensibly, not meant to influence the politics of the kingdom, but those who are connected to Padka are often consulted in order to seek advice from the highest divinity. In Eoion, while they are now looked upon as a curiosity, there was a time when practitioners of Tekel were persecuted due to the belief that they were more loyal to Yzel than the empire. This was mostly based on the fact that they did not worship the Dea, such as Ilya Shiroko, and thus were seen as subversive.
The Fpriahooai Deyun is a sect that worships Ahooai almost exclusively.