The Codex of Life and Death
The Codex of Life and Death is the primary religious book of Sunemrah; it concerns Sunemrah mythology, most of its religious practices, and includes numerous later additions handling ceremonies, prayers and other revisions. They are a sister piece to the Codices of Order, which concern matters of structure and hierarchy within the faith.
The Codex of Life and Death outlines the creation mythos Sunemrah, as well as its perception on death and the after life. Later added, additions to the codex exist with most copies of the Codex, having them included as supplementary chapters on the faith and its practices. These secondary texts outline ceremonies, rituals and forms of prayer and while respected as core tenants are well known among priests, and officials, to be later additions; added after the formation of Sunemrah.
Widely respected with the Sunarian Empire, the Codex deals exclusively in religious and mythological matters and does not delve in any depth into law or structure of the religion like the Codices of Order.
Publication StatusWith only a few copies of it in existence, the Codex copies are kept locked away in the most important of religious sites within Sunemrah. Accessible only to high ranking members of the Sunemite priestly caste, the duty of memorizing the Codex and reciting it to lesser priests is one they hold incredibly sacred. Besides them, the emperor can in theory also request access to the Codex, which the priests are required by religious doctrine to provide; however, there is rarely a need for it, and such requests have only been made on a few occasions, across millennia. One reason for this, is that the emperor, or empress in more modern times, usually receives an education on the Codex of Life and Death, comparable to most priests. Not a public document by any means; the Codex is in no way a secret either, and is widely known and respected by even the most common of Sunarians. Its words are heavily respected as religious truths.
The Codex and its sister text, the Codices of Order, were written in the early years of the First Empire, with both the First Emperor, otherwise known as Akenit I, and the high priests of Sune, taking part in their writing. Their basis stems from the older ideas of Sunarian Polytheism, combined with revolutionary new ideas, meant to establish Sunemrah as the imperial religion. The biggest of these changes would be without a doubt, the evolution of Sune, the former patron goddess of Sunas, into a global, creator goddess, at the center of the new religion.
Today, the Codex, alongside the Codices, are some of the most influential religious documents known to exist; and are widely respected holy texts.