Chapter 5 ~ Theology
Whilst on my travels, I came into contact with many forms of faith and religion. It is with regret that, through my own atheism, I paid them so little attention, as in my final years the topic has come to fascinate me. With this in mind, I recruited the aid of Alexander Horne the First, an expert in the belief systems of Tyrrania. With his assistance, we were able to combine our collective knowledge to present you with the following summary of Tyrranian faith.
· Ahimoth ·God of Life and Death
Ahimoth is regarded as the giver of life and the bringer of death. It is Ahimoth who ultimately determines whether a soul is pure, and whether it will pass safely into the Afterlife. Ahimothians live their lives according to his scriptures, which demand servitude to him, hoping to appease the God and ensure that their eternity beyond life is a pleasant one. Ahimoth is morally neutral: he encourages his followers to live good lives, but he is known to punish fiercely and has a reputation for being very unforgiving. This trait has earned him the nickname 'The Stern Judge', and is known to deter some Tyrranians from subscribing to his religion. Many of those who follow him do so out of fear rather than anything he might stand for.
· Adilah ·Goddess of Justice and Wisdom
Adilah is a Goddess with a following throughout Tyrrania; many worship her in conjunction with Ahimoth, believing that her virtues will help them live a life pure enough to ensure them safe passage to the Beyond. But Adilah also has a strong independent following who worship her alone, and whilst she may only be the second most-worshipped deity in the land, her values of fairness, knowledge and morality earn her the reputation of the most benign deity. She is considered much more kind and forgiving in her judgement than Ahimoth; though her teachings focus upon order and justice, those who break the rules can be forgiven if they are able to learn from their mistakes.
· Carminda ·Goddess of Beauty and Song
Carminda and her followers value the beauty of the world above all else, and see all creation in its pure form as beautiful. Their values of beauty and song have earned them an association with birds, which are considered sacred animals to the followers of Carminda. Her alignment with visual pleasures earns her a varied following, from painters and sculptors to carpenters and craftsmen. So charming is Carminda that even the followers of other deities have been known to offer her whispered thanks upon beholding particularly breathtaking views.
· Destina ·Goddess of Fate and Order
Destina is regarded by her followers as fate itself personified: she is the one who decides what route a life will take, and it is her power that ensures the road is not strayed from. Her morality is considered neutral, as Destinites believe that she will enforce fate regardless of how the outcome will effect the individual. Destinites believe that fate is pre-determined, and thus it is common for them to dismiss the idea of Ahimoth’s judgement. They believe that Destina has a plan for them that will ultimately end well: they must learn self-control and persevere with the cards she deals them in order to attain her rewards. As such, Destinites are perhaps the most disciplined worshippers; they often favour meditation over prayer.
· Fusius ·God of Strength and Power
Fusius is a controversial deity, renowned for the ruthless and self-serving nature of his teachings. The God believes that all individuals should fight for themselves; be it for their survival or their happiness. Where Fusius is concerned, there is no strict ‘right’ or ‘wrong’; he endorses doing whatever it takes to become stronger and more powerful. It is the belief of Fusians that the teachings of their God falls in line with the natural way of the world: the weak fall to the bottom, whilst the strong rise to the top. In a world where danger lurks around every corner, it is easy to see why so many people are willing to turn to Fusius for power. Whilst the faction is berated by other faiths, the Fusians believe that all life naturally craves power; it is just within their brave nature that they are willing to admit it and realise their desires.
· Ith ·God of War and Hunting
Ith’s legacy began on the island of Ithelm, where the barbaric people there believed he dwelled within the flaming mountain; they prayed to him for success in their hunts and battles. Though the people of Ithelm remain his strongest followers to this day, worship of this God has found a place in the more civilised mainland over the last few hundred years. It is for this reason that Ith is often considered to be the youngest of the Gods. Despite his relative youth, however, it is easy to see why soldiers and huntsmen from across Tyrrania might turn to Ith in times of need. Even those not loyal to him have been known to carry armour or weapons imbued with his blessing into battle.
· Lynessa ·Goddess of Fertility and The Land
Lynessa is associated with growth and health; she is the one women pray to for help conceiving children, and the one farmers pray to when their crops struggle. If Destina is considered to be a personification of fate, Lynessa is Mother Nature. She and her brother, Rhiver, are often worshipped in conjunction with one another. She lacks her brother’s kind heart, however, and her followers are often obliged to make personal sacrifices in return for her blessings. Every Winter, her followers celebrate their servitude to her by constructing large bonfires, into which they cast crops and produce in the hopes of earning her favour once again for the following year.
· Rhiver ·God of Peace and Nature
value is peace between living things. His teachings encourage those who follow him to avoid killing or harming living things, though it is not prohibited entirely. Rhiver does not set rules that must be followed as he does not wish to be worshipped as a God; instead, he wishes to use his power to help guide people towards better lives. One could kill and eat a boar and still be considered a devout Rhiverist, as long as they ensured that the animal was treated with respect and saved from suffering. Whilst some dismiss Rhiverists as naive and idealistic, those who follow this religion are generally recognised as good-willed people.
· Zorion ·God of Freedom and Will
Zorion is hailed by his followers as a god standing for independence, but his detractors would label him a force of mischief and chaos. In some respects, Zorionites share the same self-serving purpose as the Fusians, with one exception: their actions need not necessarily benefit themselves. Rather, those faithful to Zorion simply believe in acting on one’s free will, and rejecting the rigid structures of religion found in other faiths. Zorion asks nothing from his followers except that they do as they please, praying to him only if they wish; usually for protection in their endeavours. Zorion tends to attract the more roguish outsiders of society, as the religion is generally frowned upon as immature, irresponsible and disorderly. Because of this, Zorionites have a particularly tense relationship with the Destinites.
· The Great Mothers ·The Old Gods
Across all histories, faith in various deities has waxed and waned. In one age, life itself may seem to revolve entirely around a particular deity; in the next, few may believe that same God had ever existed at all. The Old Gods, or the 'Great Mothers', are such beings lost to the passage of time.
The term 'Great Mothers' most often refers to three beings in particular: Yan, Rol and Tum. It is said that Yan, the oldest and wisest sister, created the earth and shaped it into Tyrrania, but it was too dark for them to appreciate it. The next oldest, Rol, gave birth to the Sun, which lit up the planet and allowed the sisters to marvel at its beauty. Tum, the youngest of the three, was overcome with emotion and wept in awe, her tears of joy flooding the planet with oceans, rivers and streams. They created lifeforms of increasing sentience, culminating in the eventual birth of the Humans. For some time, the Mothers did nothing but watch proudly as their creation blossomed.
That is, until Dar arrived. The fourth and youngest sister, Dar was abandoned by the Great Mothers in another plane of existence, and they believed her to be gone for good. However, Dar had been following them through the cosmos for millennia, and the Mothers had stopped for long enough to create Tyrrania that she was able to catch up. Enraged, Dar threatened to destroy Tyrrania, but together her sisters were able to defend their creation; though not before Dar was able to curse the land, introducing the concept of greed. She promised that, with greed now in their hearts, the once-perfect Humans would eventually destroy everything that the Mothers had created.
And so Dar left. Realising that their perfect world was no more, the Mothers soon followed suit; setting off in search of an equally suitable corner of the cosmos in which to rebuild what they had lost.