Gav Mowai or "The Truths" is an ancient faith which originated with the unicorns of Anhövol Forest. Most human practitioners have long since forgotten its roots, though some of the Savi üshme language survives in their traditions.
Mythology & Lore
The Name of Truth worshipers identify Justice and Deception of the Order of the Scales as alternative names for their Goddess of Names and God of Truth. Pantheon:
- Nünka - The Goddess of Names
- Mowa - The God of Truth
- Banga - Goddess of Theatre
- Gada - Goddess of Jesters
- Cada - Goddess of Prophecy
- Götella - Goddess of Thieves
Gav Mowai began as the teachings of the Savi üshme, recording their history and beliefs about the origin of creation. As the teachings passed to humans and unicorns became more scarce, humans reinterpreted the history into mythology and metaphorical storytelling. Now, the stories about unicorns and their heroes are believed to be metaphors for humans of great strength or fame.
The universe was void and chaos before Nünka and Mowa came. Nünka named the elements while Mowa spun them into being, founding them in the truth of all that is. As they shaped the universe, they found themselves in conflict with other gods and goddesses. War broke out over the creation Nünka and Mowa had made and they banded together with their daughters, Banga, Cada, Gada and Götella to protect their world. In the end, they were victorious over the others and Nünka smote them nameless. The polished bones of those deities became the spiral horns of the unicorns, bringing to life a new creature in Nünka's creation. Unicorns explored the world and brought about many wonders using the magic inherent in their deific bones. They created the great gear-wound estate and many other incredible clockwork inventions, but longed for someone to talk to the way they could talk to each other. They sought intelligence in clockwork and were disappointed by the coldness of the metal people they created. Finally, they implored Nünka and Mowa for companions. The gods gave them humans as an answer to their pleas, shaped from the dust of the earth and red ribbons of blood. As humans were more fragile than unicorns, the unicorns had to protect their new companions. They banned the formation of human or unicorn-shaped machines. As humans grew in number, unicorns watched them like proud parents until the humans began to forget them. After centuries of living together, humans no longer saw unicorns when they looked at their long-lived brethren and unicorns faded into myth and legend. At the end of time, the goddesses will reach back through history and collect their faithful heroes. They will be ensconced in places of honor with the goddesses for all time.
Tenets of Faith
- Deadly Sins: pride, malice, and faithlessness
- High Virtues: honesty, loyalty and generosity
Most Truthers worship through joyous meditation at home. Often families of like faith will gather in one home for this meditation ceremony, usually without the presence of their local cleric unless he or she is residing with one of the families at the time. Meditation consists of singing of hymns and songs of praise and repeated prostration toward the center of the building, usually in a rough circle depending on available space.
RitualsTruthers celebrate a single coming-of-age rite called biluwa or "choosing." When a girl turns 11, she presents herself before her local thaa and announces what she would like to pursue as an adult. The thaa blesses her choice and encourages her to study all that interests her before declaring her a woman. This ceremony is largely representative, as most girls don't leave their parents' homes until at least 17 or 18 years old and very few pursue their biluwa declaration for long. Marriage occurs between people who love each other and wish to spend their lives together. Truthers make no judgements on the gender or preferences of married people, nor is there a limit on number a marriages, as long as everyone involved is informed and consents to the arrangement. Weddings usually involve the families of all parties, many songs and poetry readings, spontaneous dancing and feats of acrobatic poetry. Divorce is allowed particularly if trust is broken between married people or if truth has been distorted. Death is celebrated by cremating the body of the deceased and parting out the ashes to his/her most beloved family and friends. Over the course of the next week, these participants will privately mourn and celebrate the life of the deceased before scattering the ashes in a place with personal meaning. The names of the deceased are recorded in family ritual books, which are also used to track family lineages.
- Hö - Sunrise on the 300th day of the year celebrates the life of Katla Hükha, a hero who lived in 15 AW
- Wu - Sunset on the 325th day of the year celebrates the death of Itri Sargon, a saint who died in 87 AW
- Nöma - Noon on the 102 day of the year celebrates the life of Kathryn the Sweet
Clerics are known as "thaa" (pl. thaas). They are community leaders and spiritual conduits to the divine. When a follower has a desire they wish to express to one of the goddesses, they seek out a cleric and the cleric will listen to their prayer before discussing it with the petitioner and then submitting the prayer to the proper goddess. Clerics also know the needs of their petitioners and can organize the meeting of those needs. In addition to caring for their communities and passing along prayer requests, clerics also act as interpreters of myth, prophecy, and scripture. When a petitioner brings word of a potential prophecy, the cleric prays about it, communing with the goddesses' font of truth in order to bring the meaning back to the people. They also teach worshipers the meaning of scripture passages from the numerous technical scripts which the clerics study during periodic trips to Bais Fend. Many literate clerics will also write additional commentaries on these scriptures and pass them among the clergy during pilgrimages. Clerics take vows of poverty and chastity when they answer the goddesses' call. They frequently have no dedicated home and either live with their petitioners or inside the church building itself, if there is one. They can be of any race or gender.