The Canticles of Sephias Item in The Sealed Kingdoms | World Anvil

The Canticles of Sephias

The Canticles of Sephias are an eleven volume set of religious texts penned by the mysterious Sephias Oaken. Taken together, the Canticles are considered to represent the religous cannon of the religion of Sephiasism.


The Canticles of Sephias, when adopted as a business leadership model within the main subsidiary of Aniki Labs, led that organization to fall in with the Cinnabar Hegemony against their former sponsors in the Cobalt Protectorate. This is the first time that the Canticles have been at the center of a major geopolitical conflict, as usually groups of Sephiasists start to wear out their welcome in their communities and lose the ability to gather new adherents in the fullness of time. Aboard the habitats of Aniki Labs, isolated as they were in the Armoa System, the subordinates of the thus-subverted managerial staff of the organization had no such external justification to question their faith. In this way, the Canticles of Sephias can be considered a direct contributing factor to the atrocities surrounding the Armoa Conflict.


As a mystery religion, all would-be followers of Sephiasism are allowed to read the first volume but are granted access to later volumes as they are initiated into the deeper mysteries of the faith. Each volume leads the the reader into deeper self-understanding, but also deeper self-absorption, as they increasingly find faults with those in their former social circle. Importantly, each volume is also sold at a cost as a means of funding church activities, siphoning exponentially more money from the pockets of adherents as they rise through the ranks of the faith. Few, if any, are ever intentionally exposed to the 11th volume.   Ultimately, the greatest danger presented by the Canticles of Sephias is that, despite all of its attestations to the contrary, the philosophy embedded within it is designed to grow and spread rather than to actually improve the life of those that believe it or those around them. Wherever they get purchase, the ideas found in this work inspire discord, violence, and conversion by force or trick. It appears that this social contagion effect was, in fact, Sephias' intention with this work. Readers in the know often note that the author employs almost every known exploit of human psychology to inspire cult-like devotion and a zeal to spread it to others, likening it to the most effective marketing campaigns of cults, multi-level marketing schemes, business leadership programs, and political parties.   Sephiasism, at its core, espouses a self-centered worldview that devalues others. Those who follow the philosphy of Sephiasism all the way to its conclusion inevitably find themselves less satisfied as people and more isolated from their community, but by this point, the religion doesn't care - the individual person has done his or her part to propagate the religion, and their continued well-being is irrelevant to the further propagation of that religion. A few clever people are able to realize this and take advantage of new adherents, gathering wealth and prestige at the detriment of their subordinates. Worse, certain verses in the Canticles of Sephias, when read with this knowledge, are found to actively encourage this exploitative practice.

Item type
Book / Document

Cover image: by Beat Schuler (edited by BCGR_Wurth)


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Jul 30, 2022 13:40

Classic cult tactics. Pay to enlighten. Very nice! :D

Creator of Araea, Megacorpolis, and many others.