A.K.A. Religion and spirituality in Tellurin, part 1
After last week’s lovely vacation from worldbuilding … it’s ba-ack 🙂 If you recall, last instalment, I talked about the specifics of how the magick works. Part of that dealt with the nature of Ferathainn’s talent: her ability to communicate with the spirits of things. We’re going to take that metaphor in a different direction this week.
The two main religions in Tellurin, The Faithful and The Holy Mother Church are based on Auraya.
Once upon a time, on the eastern coast of Tellurin, the Parimi, Espanic, and the Haldane peoples lived in harmony with the Caldone. Though all from tribal origins, all but the Caldone had settled into stable, agrarian territories that grew into allied provinces.
The Haldane were great artists and philosophers. Their main tenet was to live every day to its fullest, to be joyful in the moment, and to follow their bliss. This led them to strive for excellence in whatever profession they pursued.
The Parimi were of a similar disposition, but they were epicures verging on hedonism (eat, drink, and make love today, for tomorrow, you may die).
The Espanic expressed their philosophy in a different way. They were great engineers, navigators, and scientists.
All Tellurin knew of the gods, but there was no codified religion yet.
In those days, Auraya, Auremon, and Tryella were active in the affairs of the Tellurin. Auremon and Tryella weren’t interested in thanks or recognition, however. Their efforts were altruistic. Auraya loved the adoration and her partner and daughter were more than happy to let her take credit for their good deeds.
One of the Haldane began to collect tales of divine providence and intervention, and wrote them down. He signed each story, The Faithful Scribe. This collection became the Kas’Khoudum, or book of light.
The Parimi took these writings, and developed the set of practices that became The Faithful religion. Mostly, they gathered at the full and new moons to share tales of wonder, to sing songs about them and to recite poetry based on the tales. They shared food and drink. In short, it was a big party that made everyone in attendance happy. The Haldane and Espanic took to this form of gathering like bees to pollen.
Word of The Faithful gatherings spread beyond the borders of it home provinces and others began to adopt those practices.
The Cadone, however, were still largely a tribal culture. Though they had cities, these were military strongholds and training centres. They raided and attacked their neighbours, taking the conquered people as slaves. When they observed The Faithful gatherings among their slaves, they thought it was pure debauchery and the Kas’Khoudum, a work of heresy.
Their Auraya was a warrior queen, champion of the bold and fearless. They had established The Holy Mother Church in her name as an administrative branch of their great armies. They determined that The Faithful had to be stamped out.
Though they drove the Parimi, Haldane, and Espanic peoples from their homelands and pursued them across the continent, Auraya intervened and chose one of The Faithful, Alain de Corvus, to be her Kas’Hadden, or hammer of light.
He saved the refugee peoples, turned back the Caldone, and the Parimi, Haldane, and Espanic settled peacefully on the western coast of Tellurin.
Over time, the religion of The Faithful became ritualized and the practice less joyful.
Yllel, trying to influence The Faithful for his own nefarious purpose created his own book, the Rada’Khoudum, or book of darkness (misleadingly translated as the book against darkness). This was a book of ceremony and ritual, including a number of spells that when used, would actually bind and drain Auraya’s power, eventually weakening her.
After the Cataclysm, Yllel directed his soul-slaves to place the Rada’Khoudum into the hands of the surviving Faithful. The Rada’Khoudum became the basis of modern Faithful practice and the Kas’Khoudum became a pleasant book of incredible tales, eventually laying forgotten and gathering dust on a shelf in the Great Library at Aurayene.
It might be helpful to think of The Faithful in the time of Initiate of Stone as analogous to the High Anglican Church in its early days, when multiple sects of Christianity were emerging and religious persecution was rife.
Think of the Holy Mother Church as Christianity in the time of the crusades, except that their collective target is any religion that is not HMC, magi, and any people not Tellurin. They’ve been waiting and planning for years to execute their holy war.
Next week: The other religions of Tellurin. You didn’t think I’d stop with two, did you?
Have a great long weekend!
Writerly Goodness, signing off.