Common Heresies in Valtena | World Anvil

Common Heresies

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Written by Gerritab vol'Akh-Uszd

Great creation is made from the divine, and we imagine the divine in our likeness. Our time on Valtena is ultimately one of separation from our makers, and we share in their imperfection. Since the early thinkers of the world, the nature of who we are and what exists beyond our understanding has been debated. It is only through the wisdom of Speakers that we can know real truth. Despite their writings and agreement across hundreds of years, ideas continue to exist that run counter to what is known to be true. Some mysteries of the world might never be known, and even the gods don't have knowledge of things that came before their existence. I set the heresies on the nature of the world apart from those regarding beliefs about a single god. Disagreements over the exact nature and scope of a single deity is common, and it is nearly impossible to claim that one form of thought is more or less right than another. Indeed, among religious scholars, the only truth we can always know to be true is that the gods are real and that they were the first creations. The heresies I'm presenting concern the nature of the primordials, Osirtal's sacrifice, the nature of the gods, the nature of the world, and the nature of great creation (reosirke in Intawen meaning higher life). Out of necessity, I will refer to concepts in their original form, and they are best understood using the language that the early thinkers used to conceptualize the world.  

Heresies about Primordials

Before creation, there were primordials. Three uncreated truths to which the world will one day return. Chaos master of the Void ruled for untold eons and will rule again. Mother who sees the fate of all and knows our every desire. Father the steadfast companion for without Him, there can be no future. Ages passed until the moment came when Mother cut a piece of Father and Herself to create Daughter, the first creation. She is the divine soul made to fill a purpose in time. Seeing Daughter's form as light in the darkness, Mother was glad.

Verdalik - Verdalism

Perhaps one of the most controversial heresies to exist is the rejection of multiple primordials altogether. Verdalaf believe that there is only one primordial being known as Wael, the One. The One created the world and the gods, but the gods aren't divine beings. Rather, they are a different kind of being that lacks form and only interact with the material realm through Speakers. They worship Wael as the supreme creator and reject worship to the gods entirely. They believe that there is no free will and that everything that happens is by the One's will.  

Ankhuirii - Two Fates

Rather than recognizing four distinct Primordials, Ankhuirii states that Huirtal and Stirkal were the first two Primordials and that Tovirkal was another aspect of Huirtal. They believe that order and chaos are two ends of the same concept. Osirtal was created by Huirtal, but that she was created with chaos already a part of her. Most followers reject the idea of free will, though a small minority believe in Osirtal's sacrifice as rejecting the chaotic side of Huirtal. It was one of the earliest heresies to arise among the early thinkers and quickly gained popularity. They hold the belief that the capacity for evil has always existed and that life as a truly pure form has never existed.  

Welletovirii - First Chaos

While mostly forgotten in modern times, it used to be very commont to believe that Huirtal and Tovirkal were the first primordials. They are the only uncreated deities who are locked in an eternal struggle between order and chaos. Tovirkal is the ruler of the Void, and in an effort to fight back against him, Huirtal created Stirkal and Osirtal to stand in opposition to him. Time by its very nature is orderly, and the soul in its purest essence is stable potential. Welletoviraf believe that Osirtal sacrificed herself in the great battle against Tovirkal, and the force of the collision banished him deep into the unknown depths of the Void.  

Heresies about The Sacrifice

Ageless Daughter asked Mother, "Mother of infinite wisdom who has bequeathed wisdom upon me, what is my Fate in the Void?" Mother peered into the future and wept at what She saw. "Daughter of all life, the Void will be ruled by Chaos, and He will make you His bride. He will come as a great force through the Void, and I cannot stop Him. I am without power because it is His Fate." But Daughter did not weep. She prepared Herself in secret for the moment when Chaos would come. Her Essence was pure, and She would not become Chaos's bride. When the moment finally arrived, She came before him and spurned His demands. He became a great force and engulfed Her, but instead of giving in to His power, She shattered and exiled Him far into the unknown corners of the Void. Mother cried out seeing the broken Essence of Daughter. She gathered them up and saw a new future full of life in the Void.
— Mysteries of the Void

Urbessadii - Without Sacrifice

Without Osirtal's sacrifice, the world as we know it wouldn't exist. Urbessadii rejects this first sacrifice that ultimately changed Fate and created free will. Instead, they believe that Osirtal broke herself into pieces before Tovirkal arrived and that Huirtal found the many pieces later. This preserved the purity of life, and the souls we inherited from Osirtal are just as pure. Evil exists in the world because Tovirkal exists in the world. Subsequently, Urbessadaf reject Tovirkal's exile into the Void. Tovirkal found Valtena shortly after its creation but before the creation of reosirke. His servants exist in the world corrupting it and tempting us to carry out Tovirkal's will. Each person is born pure, and bad deeds and events only come about because of external corruption. The soul can become tainted over time by giving in to Tovirkal, and those who are particularly wretched become Tovirkal's servants in the flesh.  

Nifjoltii - Fourteen

During the time Osirtal spent in secret, she cut away fourteen pieces of herself. These pure shards would be used to create the fourteen gods of creation. They believe in Osirtal's sacrifice, and the remaining pieces became the lesser gods and reosirke. The gods of creation took the tainted pieces and formed great creation from them. While created life is flawed and tained by Tovirkal, the gods themselves are not. They retain the pureness of Osirtal and wouldn't have been capable of creating life without being pure. Nifjoltii states that the highest state anyone can become is god-like but never truly a god. They deny the divinity of demigods and see them strictly as great heroes worthy of reverence but not worship. The lesser gods are viewed as great creation without flesh. They are the servants of the god of creation who made them and deserve honor due to their proximity to a god of creation.

Heresies about Gods

Mother molded the broken shards into new beings, the largest of these She called thermagris. The smaller pieces became thervarim. In each of them, She saw Daughter's memory, but it was now tainted by Chaos. In each of them, they knew light and dark.
— Mysteries of the Void

Breagik - Breagism

The gods aren't truly divine beings created from Osirtal's shards. Rather, they were once great people who became mythologized and worshipped as gods. Every living being is just as godlike as the next. Worship is reserved either for the Primordials alone or they don't worship the gods at all. At most, Breagaf believe that the gods are people who have done great things and are worthy of respect, but not reverence and worship. They see Speakers as very devoted and charismatic individuals and reject the understanding that they are uniquely blessed by the gods. The characteristic marks of a Speaker are seen as pure coincidence or the influence of the Primordials.

Heresies about the World

The first born god held the purest shard of Daughter. She said to Mother, "Mother, I am unhappy in the Void. There is no outpouring of life here. What do you see in my future?" Mother replied, "My child, purest form of Daughter, you and every other reminder of Daughter are outpourings of life. Go and create because that is your future." In her infinite wisdom, She did not tell the first born that Chaos would return to destroy and corrupt everything which had been created. The first born journeyed away from the others as a shining light in the darkness. When she was alone, she shaped a piece of herself into a material form. She shaped the mountains and seas and rivers and valleys. When she was satisfied with her creation, she returned to the others and exclaimed, "Come and see! I have created something to fill the Void!" Mother and the rest of the theras followed the first born back to the material world. Upon seeing it, Mother saw that it was good and came to reside in that place along with the other theras.
— Mysteries of the Void

Edeiraik - Edeiraism

Though fairly short lived on its own, Edeiraik has had a lasting influence over many other beliefs about the nature of the world. Edeira and her followers believed that the world was created by Tovirkal, and that material creation is inherently influenced by Tovirkal. This wasn't seen as incompatible with Osirtal's sacrifice, and gods coming to the world in material form is seen as a byproduct of Tovirkal's influence. Their spiritual forms wouldn't be able to exist in the material world, and we can't become spirits because we live in the material world. Many later thinkers combine Edeira's teachings with Ank Talasii, and see her as an early thinker of that belief. However, in her own lifetime, she never went as far as to suggest that people should seek to shed their material bodies.  

Polinik - Polinism

The Polins were a mostly isolated group in the western part of Evirs. They believed that the world was created by Osirtal during her time preparing to stand against Tovirkal. She wanted to create a refuge untouched and unknown to Tovirkal. Later, Valtena found the world and called it her own. Not knowing any better, the others believed her. Almost entirely in contrast to what Edeira taught seventy years later, Polinik described the world as an inherently good place that was teeming with life and abundance. They embraced it and saw returning to the earth as a way to purify the tainted soul. Unfortunately, their beliefs and practices died out with them, and only a few texts remain about their unusual understanding of the world.  

Heresies about Great Creation

The thermagrisas approached the place where Mother resided. They carried their creations each made in the image of their maker. The earth rumbled, and they trembled when they entered the great palace. "Mother! We have created life, but see how dumb it is! They do not look upon us as we look upon you, and they care only for their own kind. We have crafted them to be like us so that we may always inhabit this place." Mother looked down at the creatures presented to Her as they crawled around and explored at the strange palace. She breathed into the mouths of each one, and they looked up with wonder and understanding. They reached up towards their makers with reverence. "I have given them therimos so that they may begin to understand theras. Their children will also have it, and their children after them. They are now three parts, distinct and inseparable," said Mother. And she sent them away to populate the world.
— Mysteries of the Void

Norovoii - Finiteism

The Norovoaf hold the very unusual belief that there are only a set number of souls in the world. This number was set when the reosirke were created, and souls are reincarnated time and time again. Though generally regarded as a fringe belief, it rose to prominence during the Khiralian Revolt. As is common with the Norovoaf, believers often claim to be reincarnations of famous people and Speakers. There are also disagreements whether people can be reinarnated into a different species or only the same species. Those who believe that all souls are the same in substance claim that species doesn't matter. The opposing belief among the Norovoaf is that reincarnation only happens within the same species.  

Retuletalii - Third Substance

Retuletalii teach that when Huirtal breathed wisdom into the reosirke, the three substances of flesh, soul, and therimos (divine wisdom, literally divine breath) turned into a new kind of substance called therakmas (divine body). They recognize that the body remains behind after someone dies, but they see it as useless. The soul and therimos can't be returned to the body. They respect traditional burial customs, but they see it as beneficial for the living only. Retuletalii was primarily common among humans and beastfolk.  

Retu Talasii - Three Substances

The Retu Talasii believe that the body, soul, and therimos were created distinctly and remain distinct. They can be separated, though it results in a being that isn't fully sapient. Lesser creatures lack therimos, and the gods lack a body. A body that lacks a soul is an undead slave which can be created by necromancers. None of these positions are incompatible with the correct belief. Simply, they don't go far enough to recognize that the three parts are also unified. This was a common belief prior to the Dragon Kings. Now, it's only a commonly held belief in Akea.  

Ank Talasii - Two Substances

According to historical records, Ank Talasii was a very commonly held belief. It stated that there were only two substances--body and spirit. Reosirke possess a different kind of spirit than lesser creatures. The body and material world are embodiments of Tovirkal, while the spirit which is inherently formless, is pure. While Osirtal's sacrifice corrupted the purity of life, through meditation, fasting, and rejection of the flesh, the spirit can be freed from the body. The goal of all beings thus should be to shed a material form in order to resurrect Osirtal who was shattered. Believers often claim to have transcendent moments and out of body experiences. The separation of body and spirit is achievable within one lifetime for the devoted.
Table of Contents
Ank: two
Bessad: sacrifice
Breag: name of a philosopher
Edeira: name of a philosopher
Huir: fate
Huirtal: embodiment of Fate, Mother
Jolt: ten
Nif: four
Norovo: finite
Osir: soul, life
Osirtal: embodiment of Life, the divine soul, Daughter
Polin: ethnic group native to Evirs
Reosirke: higher life
Retu: three
Retule: third
Speaker: individual born with a supernatural connection to a deity
Stirkal: embodiment of Time, Father
Tal: embodiment, substance
Therakmas: divine body
Therimos: divine breath, divine wisdom
Thermagris: greater divine
Thervarim: lesser divine
Tovir: chaos
Tovirkal: embodiment of Chaos
Verdal: name of a philosopher
Wael: name for the one primordial, associated with Verdalism
Wel: one
Welle: first
-ii/-ik: doctrine, belief suffix
-af: someone who has a doctrine suffix
-as: plural suffix
-le: ordinal number suffix
ur-: without prefix
Additional Reading

Cover image: by DigitalCurio


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