Difference between revisions of "Unathi/Cults"

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==The Grand Stratagem==
 
==The Grand Stratagem==
 
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[[File:The Grand Strategem logo.png|thumb|Lhossek skull, a popular symbol of the Strategem.]]
 
According to those involved, The Grand Stratagem dates back to at least 55 000 BCE, with the first related artifacts show up around 35 000 BCE. Often called “The Elder Cult”, it’s a popular movement in the harsher environments of Moghes, the Deserts and Diamond Peaks. The Grand Stratagem leans heavily into the philosophy of self-growth: it postulates 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, but thrive and lead their kin to prosperity and greatness. Stratagem followers recognize the need for great leaders in peace and war, and they sing praise to heroic acts and mighty chiefs of the past, aspiring to become like them one day.  
 
According to those involved, The Grand Stratagem dates back to at least 55 000 BCE, with the first related artifacts show up around 35 000 BCE. Often called “The Elder Cult”, it’s a popular movement in the harsher environments of Moghes, the Deserts and Diamond Peaks. The Grand Stratagem leans heavily into the philosophy of self-growth: it postulates 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, but thrive and lead their kin to prosperity and greatness. Stratagem followers recognize the need for great leaders in peace and war, and they sing praise to heroic acts and mighty chiefs of the past, aspiring to become like them one day.  
  
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==The Fruitful Lights==
 
==The Fruitful Lights==
 
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[[File:Fruitful Lights logo.png|thumb|Three Arrows - a quality mark used by some Fruitful Lights Temples.]]
 
The final piece of Unathi cult is the Fruitful Lights. The Fruitful Lights is another more center focused cult 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 cult 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 cult 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 cults 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.
 
The final piece of Unathi cult is the Fruitful Lights. The Fruitful Lights is another more center focused cult 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 cult 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 cult 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 cults 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.
 
== Hand of the Vine==
 
== Hand of the Vine==
 
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[[File:Hand of the Vine logo.png|thumb|Hrukhza bush root is a widepread motif in arts practiced by Hand of the Vine followers.]]
 
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 cults followers.
 
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 cults followers.
  
 
==Precursor==
 
==Precursor==
 
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[[File:Precursors logo.png|thumb|Precursor sites are often denoted by sundials on local maps.]]
 
For Unathi faithful, the existence of powerful spirits other than Ancestors wasn't something far-fetched; for those reliant on the wondrous technology left behind by the old ones, this was out of question. Already seen by many as an ancient powerful race, Precursors were elevated to demigod status by some clans, while a few unsophisticated Unathi even confused them with the Ancestors. While moderately widespread, Precursor worship is not universal, and the notion of them being an equal to Ancestors may seem ridiculous to more self-centered races of Moghes, especially those following the Strategem.
 
For Unathi faithful, the existence of powerful spirits other than Ancestors wasn't something far-fetched; for those reliant on the wondrous technology left behind by the old ones, this was out of question. Already seen by many as an ancient powerful race, Precursors were elevated to demigod status by some clans, while a few unsophisticated Unathi even confused them with the Ancestors. While moderately widespread, Precursor worship is not universal, and the notion of them being an equal to Ancestors may seem ridiculous to more self-centered races of Moghes, especially those following the Strategem.
  
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==Markesheli==
 
==Markesheli==
 
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[[File:Markesheli logo.png|thumb|The much-dreaded Cup of Knowledge.]]
 
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 cult. 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.
 
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 cult. 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.

Revision as of 17:54, 26 March 2020

This page details the different aspects of the Unathi cults - the conflict-oriented Grand Stratagem, inquisitive Fruitful Lights, altruistic Hand of the Vine and the misterious Markesheli. Each cult has it's own philosophy and ideas, although ultimately they are based on the traditional Ancestor religion.

The Grand Stratagem

Lhossek skull, a popular symbol of the Strategem.

According to those involved, The Grand Stratagem dates back to at least 55 000 BCE, with the first related artifacts show up around 35 000 BCE. Often called “The Elder Cult”, it’s a popular movement in the harsher environments of Moghes, the Deserts and Diamond Peaks. The Grand Stratagem leans heavily into the philosophy of self-growth: it postulates 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, but thrive and lead their kin to prosperity and greatness. Stratagem followers recognize the need for great leaders in peace and war, and they sing praise to heroic acts and mighty chiefs of the past, aspiring to become like them one day.

Humans often immediately think this cult is mostly about war, but that’s just scratching the surface. While wars and battles are the prime example, the Grand Stratagem teaches that its followers should be prepared to conquer all other conflicts that put the individual’s livelihood in jeopardy. Through that, they will be made better.

Unlike other cults, the Stratagem does not place great importance in material results of their activities; after all, greatness isn’t measured in the amount of woodcrafts produced (looking at you, Fruitful Lights), but in how steady the master’s hand is.

There are some differences in local tradition, mainly between Diamond peaks and desert versions of the cult. The Peak variant is more focused on hierarchy; one of the main tenets of this is that there are those who lead and those who obey - natural-born leaders and natural born servants. While the vassals busy themselves with farming and supplying their overlords, the highland elite practices their skills in martial arts and crafts, to protect their “weaker” subjects.

Desert Strategem followers are more egalitarian in that aspect, but also somewhat less refined. While the Peakies prefer to maintain balance between body and mind, the desert unathi gravitate towards the former, with strength and resilience praised as great virtues.

The Grand Stratagem is a popular cult 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 cult 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 cult 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 cult 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.

The Fruitful Lights

Three Arrows - a quality mark used by some Fruitful Lights Temples.

The final piece of Unathi cult is the Fruitful Lights. The Fruitful Lights is another more center focused cult 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 cult 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 cult 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 cults 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.

Hand of the Vine

Hrukhza bush root is a widepread motif in arts practiced by Hand of the Vine followers.

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 cults followers.

Precursor

Precursor sites are often denoted by sundials on local maps.

For Unathi faithful, the existence of powerful spirits other than Ancestors wasn't something far-fetched; for those reliant on the wondrous technology left behind by the old ones, this was out of question. Already seen by many as an ancient powerful race, Precursors were elevated to demigod status by some clans, while a few unsophisticated Unathi even confused them with the Ancestors. While moderately widespread, Precursor worship is not universal, and the notion of them being an equal to Ancestors may seem ridiculous to more self-centered races of Moghes, especially those following the Strategem.

This cult 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 cult 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 cult 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. For Unathi faithful, the existence of powerful spirits other than Ancestors wasn't something far-fetched; for those reliant on the wondrous technology left behind by the old ones, this was out of question. Already seen by many as an ancient powerful race, Precursors were elevated to demigod status by some clans, while a few unsophisticated Unathi even confused them with the Ancestors. While moderately widespread, Precursor worship is not universal, and the notion of them being an equal to Ancestors may seem ridiculous to more self-centered races of Moghes, especially those following the Strategem.

Markesheli

The much-dreaded Cup of Knowledge.

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 cult. 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.