The Two-Faced Cult Organization in Totania | World Anvil
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The Two-Faced Cult

Worshippers of Janus

The Two-Faced Cult, also known as the Worshippers of Janus, are the followers of the double featured God, Janus. Some call them a cult, others find them instead to be a religion of great respect, and Janus says these both are apt descriptions of what it takes to follow him. The major domains are Duality, Transitions, and Portals/Doors, along with being the patron God of the Mammen people.  

The Hall of Endless Doors

Janus traded in one honor for another, something no other God was able to do. For this, he does not have a Temple. Instead, he is said to wander Totania and appear to those who need his help, showing up when things are soon to get dire or when all choices are coming to a head. When one is at a transitional point in their life, Janus appears and utters a simple phrase:
"You are at a crossroads!"
— Janus
He then outlines the choices ahead of them. Often it is points in ones individual growth, the moment that he knows will lead to them changing irreparably. However, he also appears in moments where the world is on the brink of change, appearing to the one who is most important to the change about to happen. Be it someone who can save the world, destroy it, or simply who would benefit the most from seeing the unfolding events.  


Janus does not have a Temple, but any people who need protection from Janus or who seek his blessing may find themselves entering through a door into the next best place: his Heaven. Janus's heaven is Limbo, an intermediate realm between the other realms. Filled with doors that lead to every possible plane of existence, those who enter limbo find themselves there only as long as they need to be, as long as the transitional period requires between danger and safety.   Limbo is said to be a grey realm of nothingness, though others say it is a vibrant world much like Totania itself, or even better. An ideal picture of Heaven, the second group says. The duality is an intentionality from Janus, who refuses to stick to one thing.  

Origins of the Church

There are varied stories that tell of Janus's coming to Totania and how he manifested.
Ishtar by Jarhed
  The most common tale, the one given officially by the Two-Faced Cult, is that one of the first Mammen was a man named Thrantoz. At this point, many other religions were building temples for their Gods, with the Temple of Phrixus serving as inspiration as the oldest structure in Totania.   Janus, however, was not one for a grand structure dedicated to him, and while some places would eventually build shrines and temples to honor him, Thrantoz was said to consider another possibility.   Incarnating Janus physically on Totania. A duality between God and mortal in the form of Janus living on their planet, living among them. This, Thrantoz believed, would be the holiest of all honors they could give to their God.   Thrantoz performed a ritual, summoning Janus into his body, which would shift between its Mamman form and the Godly form of Janus himself. This also was the act that founded the Two-Faced Cult as it would later be known.  


Some dispute Thrantoz ever being an actual person, calling him a form of Janus's duality-induced delusions, or a being he created simply to house his divine being in a mortal form. If that was the case, then the Two-Faced Cult was founded by Janus himself taking on a mortal form to live among his people, for he did create the Mammen and brought them to Ruzrugh, a crossroads in the world as the central point between the continents of Elone and Udai.
Janus by Jarhed

The Other Cheek

Janus is called the double featured or two-faced God because he is two people. Some question whether it is actually another soul, perhaps a twin of Janus or the oft told legend of the founder of his Church being the other person.   No one knows for sure, and Janus's split answers can never give the truth. All that is known for sure is that there are two names given to the two: Janus and Thrantoz.   Thrantoz and Janus often bicker, and when they are not arguing amongst each other, they are in united thought against one another.   The two faces will never agree, and all questions posed to Janus will be twice-answered, once from Janus's mouth, again with the opposite truth from Thrantoz. Some say one lies, though others argue that they simply both speak their own truths, and it is up to interpreters to understand which is right for them.  

Beloved of the Beloved Goddess

Janus (and, by association, Thrantoz) are said to be the true lovers of the Goddess of Fertility and Dreams, Ishtar. She calls him by a third name, Dadaces, and yearns eternally for him.   It is said that all dreams are a manifestation of Ishtar's longing for Dadaces. Positive dreams are when she feels love for him, and nightmares are when she is angry or upset that he is not there with her.   Janus, however, is torn between love and contempt for the Goddess. His duality refuses to allow him clarity, and he is forced away by his own mind.


Janus has a holy text, like most Gods do, though his is said to be strange. Instead of being a front-to-back book, his holy text has two fronts. One can read from one side or the other, where they may find semi-contradictory ideas, yet as they reach the center the teachings begin to converge into a unitary thesis on religion and the domains of Janus. This holy text is known as "Jioni."  


Entropy by genuinetrickster
Janus teaches of the duality of the soul. He claims that all living creatures are made up of two people: the past self and the future self. Only at major points of transition can one truly notice both selves, yet they are ever present, tugging the present self in both directions.   One person often leans more towards one of the two selves, yet they cannot disregard the other forever, as eventually the past catches up to the present, and eventually the future comes to pass.   Janus's faith is all about striking a balance between the two sides of oneself, not disregarding what one is. Some see this as splitting the self, a terrifying notion for those who believe they have a strong sense of self, as followers of Janus sometimes seem like two entirely different people. Yet Janus says this is the true self, and that:
"No one alive is a whole, but instead two halves put together. We must find the place where two halves join as one, and stand united in that space."
— Jioni


Janus speaks of transitional periods in ones life with a reverence that few others treat it with. Many fear transition and change, but Janus says that they are the most holy moments in life. Times when people are unafraid to diverge from where they had been, what they had been, who they had been. Moments where they are most willing to open up to the divine.
"In transition, we find the place where mortal life collides with the holy afterlife, where one is most vulnerable, divinity comes to them most easily."
— Jioni
Many pray to Janus in these moments where change is coming, and he guides them to peace in their choice. He never makes the choice for them, but instead helps lead them to a place where they feel safe and comfortable making it for themselves.   Many people who transition between genders find Janus a comforting force, for he preaches acceptance for them, welcoming them into his embrace and saying there is nothing abnormal about who they are. Plastered on both of the covers in the Jioni are the words:
"Trans Rights! If you don't think so, fuck off!"
— Jioni
One can find many Priests of Janus who began to follow him because they found the most acceptance in his worship. For in Janus's worship, one in a state of transition or one who has transitioned finds they, too, are worshipped for their bravery, courage, and willingness to face duality and change.  

Portals, Gates, and Doors

Janus teaches of the importance of all forms of transport from one area to another, be it a portal, a gate, or a door. The Jioni teaches that one must never be afraid to open a door, even if they are aware something horrifying is on the other side, for doors lead to opportunity.   Transitions are found on the other side of doors. In this way, Janus says that doors are the most central part of his faith, and they thus became the symbol of his religion. Portals are his Item Magic, Gates are said to contain his spirit, and Doors are the holiest of symbols for his people, often a set of double doors being seen as his sign.  
The Door of Opportunity
The Door of Opportunity is a famous tale in the Jioni, where Janus says that there was once an old man who lived alone. Often, there would be knocks at his door, but never would he answer it. He remained in his bed, catching birds outside of his window to eat. He believed anyone outside was out to get him and so refused to open it.   Yet outside of his door was only opportunity, those willing to help the old man get back onto his feet. If only he had checked, not being unwilling to step into a new transition in his life, he would have lived to see the sun. Instead, he died in his sleep, never seeing the new day rise.  

Splitting of the Self

A ritual undertaken by the followers of Janus, the Splitting of the Self is when one takes a ritualistic split dagger of Janus, which is a weapon that has two blades and a hilt at the center, and cuts their entire bodies from the head to the toe right down the center, splitting themselves directly down the middle into two beings. The first blade is used first to make the initial incision, the second is used to cut fully into the flesh.   After this, one fills the incision with holy oils and prays to Janus. They are told to stand before a door that holds great meaning to them (the door to their bedroom, home, job, etc) and not open it until they feel their life fading from them. Then, and only then, may they open the door to find the part of themselves they neglected waiting for them.   Here, they confront the other self until they have accepted them. Here, a follower of Janus becomes the other version of themselves. Some say this secondary them takes primary control for a time as they learn to balance the two sides of themselves. Then, eventually, they become a fully balanced individual, having been split and broken apart and now uniting in duality.  


Priests of Janus have no requirements. They must simply be those who believe in him and are willing to spread his teachings. For Janus says there is no definitive follower of him, but that all who find themselves believing in his teachings may give him worship and spread his word. Many undergo the "Splitting of the Self" but one is not invalid simply because they do not undergo the surgery. All in transition are valid, all in duality are valid, and all who understand the doors are valid.   The Head Priest is often one who lives long and, after the year 119, it has been the Devil known as Entropy, a chaotic double force that was also one of the Divine Heroes who saved Nerodil. He is a Prophet of Janus who can speak to Janus at all times and carries out his will most closely.

Cover image: Janus by RovaRed


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