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 Religion
Dun
Posted: Apr 20 2011, 08:42 PM


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religion
..overview
..the creation story
..the six declarations
..the rites
..important figures
..temples
..monasteries
..pilgrimage

overview
  • There is only one prominent religion in the Island Nation: Pryism. Religious cults exist as minor religions.
  • Pryists follow the declarations of The Seer, Pryyo, the son of twin spirits (deities).
  • In Pryism, emphasis is placed upon the community rather than the family or the self. However, great value is placed upon self-reliance and personal strength. To be a martyr is one of the greatest honors.
  • The sea is worshiped much like a relic or idol connecting believers to the spirits.
  • Magic is said to originate from the union of Pryyo and Tristella, though whether magic is a gift or punishment is a point many disagree about. Some believe the fact that magic came from the union of The Seer and The Martyr means it is a gift from the spirits. Others believe that magic is a curse brought about by The Seer devoting himself to a single person.
  • Pryists believe in an afterlife in paradise for the faithful and passage into eternal darkness for those who fail to adhere to the declarations.
the creation story
    It is said that in the beginning there was nothing but the spirits. From their state of independent existence, it is said that Aro created the earth and Alra created the sky, both filling these creations with creatures to enjoy them, the twin spirits came together to create the sea. In the sea, they placed many plants and fish and mysteries. Finally, when all of this was done, they took all they had learned and gave the world humanity. They transformed some of their fish into merpeople to inhabit their sea, but then they decided they wanted their new creation to be able to enjoy the sea and the land. The merpeople went to the shore and slept then shed their scaly fins and learned to walk. Believing they could not create any beings more flawed and perfect, the spirits retired to watch their creations from above.

the six declarations
    1.. There are two spirits which govern the earth, skies, and sea. Pryyo is their son.
    2.. The whole is greater than the part.
    3.. You must not steal the products of the earth, seas, or skies.
    4.. You must not violate the sacred bond between married souls.
    5.. You must speak the truth, no matter the consequence.
    6.. You must pray daily and without shame.
Believers are expected to openly acknowledge the divine authority of The Twin Spirits and The Seer (Pryyo). They are expected to value the entire community above themselves and refrain from participating in thievery, adultery, and deception. They should pray at least once a day, and the devout pray publicly.

the rites
    1.. The Rite of the Child- As infants, Pryist children are bathed in the sea and blessed by a priest who requests guidance and protection for the child in its years of fragility and ignorance so that it might survive until it is able to fully understand the declarations and act upon them.
    2.. The Rite of the True- As one passes into adulthood, he is expected, in a public ceremony, to declare his faith and commitment to the spirits as a follower of Pryyo's declarations. This rite is often performed with others, with the exception of noble adolescents.
    3.. The Rite of Passing- At death, believers are not buried but placed in a shallow boat and sent out to sea. Fire is set to the boat either as it is being sent out or with an archer's flaming arrow after it has gone out a distance. While this is a written rite acknowledged by all temples, the poor rarely have this funeral rite. Some are merely cast into the water (as this is intended to return their soul to the spirits). Others are buried in the earth, though this is typically considered a horrific thing.

important figures
  • The Twin Spirits, Aro and Alra: The male and female, twin gods are credited with the creation of the world and its inhabitants. Aro is the pure image of masculinity, representing the warrior, strength of mind and body, and honor. He began the creation of the earth. Alra is the pure image of femininity, representing the mother, strength of heart, grace, and the arts. She began the creation of the sky. Together, the twin spirits completed the earth and sky and filled the oceans before completing their world with humanity.
  • Pryyo, The Seer: Pryyo is the son of Aro and Alra, born from the sea. He was sent to the earth to spread the six declarations and begin the unification of humanity under the guidance of the spirits. He chose the Islands of Escova as the birthplace of Pryism and gave magic to the world through his wife, Tristella.
  • Tristella, The Martyr: Tristella was a beautiful young woman of Escova chosen by Pryyo to be his wife. Through their union, they created not a child but the magic of the world, accessible by those with The Gift, who came afterward. Tristella became a martyr after attempting to spread the six declarations to invaders, who bound her hands and feet and cast her off the cliffs of northern Escova to drown in the harsh sea below. In his anger, Pryyo destroyed the people responsible for Tristella's death.
  • The priests and priestesses: These are religious authorities within the temples and monasteries who tend to places of worship, instruct monastery students, and counsel worshipers. To become a priest or priestess, one must spend many years studying at a monastery and be given the title by the High Priest, stationed in the Great Temple at Maristheum. Click here for priestess and priest clothing.
the temples
    Temples are places of worship and sanctuary for Pryists. They are typically stone buildings overlooking the sea or set beside a body of water. Temples are expected to have a peristyle facing the nearest body of water and a large, open space for worship within. Shrines to the spirits and Pryyo are always present, and Tristella is frequently represented. Priests and priestesses tend to the temple's upkeep and counsel visitors. Occasionally they will lead a prayer.
the monasteries
    Monasteries are essentially places of learning for the religious elite and those who are taken in for education (often the younger sons of nobles). Those who wish to become priests or the occasional priestess begin in a monastery, where they study theology, logic, poetry, grammar, and rhetoric in addition to other, minor subjects. Sometimes female noble daughters enter a monastery in the hopes of gaining power over the monastic lands or becoming a temple priestess, as religious authority is one of the greatest honors for a woman in Escova.
pilgrimage
    Because idols and conduits (ie. the sea) are given great importance by believers, pilgrimage is an important rite of sorts for the most devout of Pryists. Those who wish to go on a pilgrimage visit the supposed site at which Tristella was martyred. This site is protected by a large monastery in the south of Escova along the cliffs.
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