This page details the different aspects of the Unathi Faiths, from the conflict oriented Grand Stratagem to those that want to bring a rebirth of life to their world, the followers of the Hand of the Vines. Each faith has it's own philosophy and ideas, but underneath it all you can see how they're connected.
Hand of the Vine
They are semi-nomadic groups who believe that the event which caused the death of Moghes was not a tragedy, but an opportunity for the Unathi to bring new life to the world and reform Moghes into the paradise that will lead the Unathi to prominence. Hand of the Vine has a very strong World-People view, as they are focused on growing and creating a ‘rebirth’ for Moghes, together, which will allow the Unathi to be better than ever before from this growth. They are dedicated to the spreading and breeding of all plant and animal life. Acolytes carry small bags with thousands of seeds, Followers like to refer to themselves as 'her hands', due to the belief nature is passive and feminine. As a result, females are treated with more respect, though are still expected to stay back and tend to existing gardens and fields while the men are expected to venture out and search for new life to spread across the world. Unathi from the Deserts and Savannas are the majority of this faiths followers.
This faith centralized around the ‘worship’ of the Precursors and their technology.. It is not a religion in the true sense, as they do not feel the Precursors are gods, but rather they simply wish to preserve all that they have done and make sure that their technology, architecture, and scriptures are not lost to history. This faith sits closer to the middle due its more broad ideology. Followers of the Precursors believe that learning and understanding the Precursors and why what happened to them did will ultimately make the Unathi wiser, and able to not fall into the same cycle. They revere the ruins and artifacts left behind by the Precursors, and arguments amongst the members of the faith who are higher caste are not uncommon when discussing how to go about researching or handling ancient artifacts. Unathi of the Poles and Deserts are the majority of the Precursors’ followers.
The Grand Stratagem
The Grand Stratagem is a popular faith in the harsher environments of Moghes, the Deserts and Diamond Peaks that leans heavily into the philosophy of self growth compared to the others mentioned before. The main concept of the faith is that through the experience of conflict, regardless of what form that conflict takes, the individual can grow better and stronger. Through this growth, they can not only survive in their world, but thrive. Humans often immediately think this faith is entirely about war, but that’s just scratching the surface. While war and battle grow and make the Unathi better, so does all other conflict that puts the individual’s livelihood in jeopardy, and the Grand Stratagem teaches that its followers should seek these moments of conflict, and conquer them. Through that, they will be made better. A major, ceremonial aspect of the faith are “the Pits.” Pits are often in the center of a Clan community and are meant as a sort of gladiatorial arena where Unathi can test themselves against each other or captured fauna. Every year, on the summer solstice, the Pit is closed to combat and a bonfire is built. This event, known as the Day of Rebirth, is to celebrate those who have survived, and learn from those who have not. Many Unathi will place items that remind them of deceased members of their clan in the bonfire as both an act of remembrance and to remind them to do better.
Markesheli is based on the idea that Markesh, a Precursor, survived The Fire, as they call it, but was changed into something else> The Fire granted him everlasting life, and a heart of agony, and Markesh was doomed to walk the Dying Sands for all eternity. Until one day, Markesh found a young creature, and in a heat of passion, brought an egg from it and gave it life and from this egg came the Unathi. Markesh was the father of them Unathi but he was a harsh father who did not like to be disobeyed and so once his children split for different lands and different ideas and lost their faith in Markesh, he left them to die. Because he had lost hope in his children. Followers of Markesh believe that if they live a life of agony, torture, and punishment, Markesh will see their suffering and lead them to his Land Once Went, or Paradise. The heavy focus on the Individual and World lies in the idea that the Unathi are a curse on Moghes, and it is each individuals task to rid himself so as to allow Moghes to prosper, and for Markesh to accept them. Temples do not exist for Markesheli, nor do great swathes of worshippers come out in support of him as to many Unathi, it is a scorned faith. Diamond Peak Clans would often throw daughters and sons alike into the Pits for worshipping Markesh, and most other clans would have them exiled or executed. A great meeting of Followers would be comparable to mass, ritual suicide.
The Fruitful Lights
The final piece of Unathi faith is the Fruitful Lights. The Fruitful Lights is another more center focused faith but instead of looking to the world like followers of the Precursors, it looks more to what the Self can do, and this focus is on Invention and Creation. They believe that it is the Unathi’s duty to create, invent, and build. The Precursors had already tried, but they failed, and it is the Unathi’s job to bring rebirth to the world through the reinvention of what the Precursors had made. followers of this faith are farmers, craftsmen, engineers and others who work with their hands to create a better environment around them. There are no temples, only workshops, and the faith of an individual is judged by the product that he creates. A craftsmen who built stronger, more durable homesteads for his Clan would consider himself closer to achieving his goals, and others would respect him more for his accomplishments, or his ‘merit’. They share a competition with the Hands of the Vine in the farming industry, and it has gotten to a point where espionage has been reported between clans of the two faiths to uncover what the others are doing. 'Religious' leaders are those who have mastered a craft, and their acolytes are their students. Men generally perform the more labor-based works, with females performing the arts and less physical tasks. Polar Unathi are often the Fruitful Lights most numerous followers.