Natural Order Tradition / Ritual in Vazdimet | World Anvil

Natural Order

Citizens of the Hydell Order are expected to uphold the Natural Order, a set of strict religious beliefs dictated by the Ascended Conclave detailing how devout True Descendants are expected to view and honor the Afterlife and those who have passed beyond The Veil.  

Tenets of Faith

The True Descendants' relationship with the Afterlife is expected to remain one of respect, acceptance, and contrition. Through remaining true to the Natural Order, even in death, the devout not only pave the way for their own eventual Ascension but that of their own descendants.   These beliefs are taught from an early age, with special assistance from government programs such as the Descendant Youth.  

Ascension

Adherants are taught to strive for recognition from the Ascended Conclave, to earn their own chance at ascension. Those found Worthy are elevated into the Ordained Ascended upon the death of their natural form, in a ceremony known as the Rite of Ascension.   The Ordained Ascended are held in the highest regard among the devout, in recognition of both their successes and their sacrifice. The Ordained stand eternal watch over the Natural Order from the mortal plane, serving the Conclave in defense of the Afterlife until the day the souls of all devout True Descendants are reunited with their loved ones once more – a long-awaited event known as the Final Ascension.  

The Afterlife

Those devout not decreed Worthy prior to their deaths are still eligible for salvation, by submitting themselves to the lessons of the Afterlife.   The Natural Order teaches that souls who piously accept their fate and serve their time in the Afterlife, offering up their experiences in repentance for their failures in life, will be made Worthy. Per the teachings of the Conclave, once enough True Descendants prove their Worthiness, the souls of the devout will Ascend and be reborn to the mortal plane, reunited with their loved ones at the Final Ascension.  

Blasphemy

Not everyone wishes to accept death, either their own or that of a loved one. To wish for another life is understandable, although public discussion of the desire is strongly discouraged. But to succumb to the temptation – dooming themselves or their loved one to a second life as a Resurrected – is blasphemy of the highest degree.   The Natural Order teaches that each attempt to circumvent the soul's required penance within the Afterlife, either through resurrection or an existence as an Afterlife Intelligence, results in the loss of a piece of the soul. Repeated resurrections cost more and more of a soul and their identity, until they have lost so much they will be unable to rejoin their loved ones at the Final Ascension.  

Enforcing the Natural Order

Adherence to the Natural Order is not considered optional. Each soul standing against the tenets of the Faith also serves to delay the Final Ascension, requiring more devotion from the faithful, more sacrifice from the Ordained Ascended, and more Worthiness from those who pass beyond the Veil.   Devotion is therefore enforced, with lethal force if necessary, which is often the case especially when dealing with the Resurrected. Local governments police their own populace, enforcing the Natural Order alongside their own municipal and fractional laws.   Those outside the Order's reach – whether due to citizens' rebellion against the Order's divine governmental institutions or foreigners' blasphemous cultures and technologies – instead face the True Descendants' zealous beliefs on a more galactic and militaristic scale.  

Militant Order of Descendants

The Militant Order of Descendants is charged with the defense of the Hydell Order's citizens from external – and internal – threats. Most fleets patrol Order space with the help of the Orbital Fareway System, standing guard over their valued planets to defend against the many incursions of the Sparnell Confederation. These fleets have also been called upon to support local law enforcement, squash rebellions, enforce the Order's rules on forcefully acquired territory and citizenry, and impress the more successful Hydell businesses with the use of their generous tax "donations" to church and government.   But some fleets are required for more proselytizing work.   These offensive fleets are charged with imposing the Natural Order upon those societies who have chosen not to join they Hydell Order in their mission, bringing them back into the fold or ending their current blasphemy, through any means necessary.   The Sparnell Confederation and Mordena remain the most prominent targets of the Militants' violent missionizing, due to their heavy use of both reconstruction clones and Afterlife Intelligences. They've been known to attack other targets as well, most notably planets of The Freeholds, as higher quantities of believers will help bring about the Final Ascension faster. These are soul saving missions, and so the end justifies the means. Present day discomfort matters little in the face of eternity.   The Militants have learned to avoid attempting to annex territory from the Space Defense Legion after the conquering of Kriea and the ensuing war. The Legionnaire's beliefs on death – that the Afterlife is merely the next phase of existence, to be embraced – are compatible enough with the Natural Order to avoid the label of heresy. The Legion's long-standing war with the Confederation was also a deciding factor, as the Militants found themselves straining under the attention of both the Active Defense Legion and the suddenly less-distracted Sparnell Armed Forces.  

Hauntings

Those deceased still determined to remain with the living, largely due to strong emotions and occasionally unfinished business, tend to try and stick around. The Afterlife is not a new location but rather a higher dimension with a higher spiritual resonance, still allowing those beyond The Veil to see the mortal plane. Souls determined enough to remain behind often find a way to manifest at least portions of themselves through the Veil.   Most societies have methods of working with these souls. The Sparnelli and Jannadael have Afterlife Planner to help these souls plan the next phase of their existence, either assisting to put their affairs in order or to return via clone or AI. Legionnaires and even the Kin utilize grief walkers, specialized therapists who work with the deceased and their families. Freeholder methods vary, depending upon planetary resources, but each have adapted at least a variation on Soul Call for communicating with these souls to help them move on.   All of these methods stand in conflict with the Natural Order, resulting in higher than average hauntings across Order territories. Citizens are advised to ignore any errant manifestations of the dead, or in extreme cases, to reach out to their local government for resources or resolution.   The faithful are discouraged for asking what methods are used to obtain these resolutions.  

Soul Shatter

Less souls means less opportunities to swell the ranks of the Worthy, thereby bringing to pass the Final Ascension. Certain souls, however, actively work against the Natural Order and therefore harm the potential futures of the devout. Furthermore, repeated resurrections are believed to gradually rob a soul of their very identity, meaning those who partake in the practice are sacrificing their eternal future in an effort to run from their own selfish fears.   This means that while the Soul Shatter spell is to be avoided when possible, it is recognized that sometimes a Shattered soul is a mercy, for both the individual and the true believers.
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Cover image: Planet Moon Solar by LoganArt

Comments

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Sep 25, 2023 11:22 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

'The faithful are discouraged for asking what methods are used to obtain these resolutions.' D:   They scare me. I am very curious if the Conclave are true believers or not. Like I am sure that some are, but I wonder if all of them are.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Sep 25, 2023 12:05 by Morgan Biscup

The Conclave is going to be a lot of fun to dig into. You'll likely get to see some of that with His Eminence Malgin when we dig into that whole story.

Lead Author of Vazdimet.
Necromancy is a Wholesome Science.
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