Difference between revisions of "Unathi/Cults"

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==The Grand Stratagem==
 
==The Grand Stratagem==
[[File:The Grand Strategem logo.png|thumb|Lhossek skull, a popular symbol of the Strategem.]]
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[[File:The Grand Strategem logo.png|thumb|Lhossek skull, a popular symbol of the Strategem.|150x150px|alt=]]
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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According to those involved, The Grand Stratagem dates back to at least '''55 000''' BCE, with the first related artifacts showing up around '''35 000''' BCE. Often called “'''The Old Cult'''”, it is popular with those in the harsher environments of Moghes, the Deserts and Diamond Peaks. The Stratagem preaches that, at some point in the future, the patron spirits of the world are bound to clash with great cosmic evil, to usher in a new era. Since each and every unathi will participate in the upcoming battle, is is only prudent to start preparing for it the earthy life.
  
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.
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To secure a worthy status in the better world, the followers of the Grand Stratagem seek to achieve the most of their time on Moghes; as such, the cult leans heavily into the philosophy of self-growth and self-improvement. That goes to the extreme; violent conflicts and struggle, hardship and destitution are seen by the faithful ones as mere trials, by which they will prevail.  
  
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.
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In their quest, Stratagem followers seek reassurance not only in future, but also in their past. For them, the perfect role models are the mighty Kahhnepos of the past, which the Strategem faithful seek to emulate; the songs and poems of the heroic acts of old are popular with the cult members.  
  
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.
+
Despite some claims, the Stratagem by no means relishes is superfluous mysticism or escapism; the air of superiority it gives to their followers makes them impervious to petty superstitions or gossip. However, the teachings of the cult do not place great importance in material side of Unathi life; the faithful of the cult are content with the spartan conditions they live in, as far as they have enough to support their young.  
  
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.
+
In popular imagination, the Champions of the Grand Stratagem are uncouth, rugged individuals who seek the heat of battle or brave the dangers of the natural world; when they aren't doing that, they learn and meditate with their comrades, or seek the only comfort that is fit for them, - the company of their wives and children.  
  
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.
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There are some differences in local traditions related to The Grand Stratagem, - mainly between Diamond Peaks and Great Desert versions of the cult. The Peak variant is more focused on hierarchy; one of its main tenets 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. At the same time, 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. A major, ceremonial aspect of the Desert variant of the cult are the so-called "'''Pits'''." Pits are often in the center of clan communities and are meant as a sort of gladiatorial arena where Unathi can test themselves against each other or captured fauna. On the day of the summer solstice, known as the Day of Rebirth, Desert clans celebrate those who have survived, and learn from those who have not. Many Unathi will place items that remind them of the dead of their clan in the ritual bonfires as an act of remembrance and respect.
  
 
==The Fruitful Lights==
 
==The Fruitful Lights==
[[File:Fruitful Lights logo.png|thumb|Three Arrows - a quality mark used by some Fruitful Lights Temples.]]
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[[File:Fruitful Lights logo.png|thumb|Three Arrows - a quality mark used by some Fruitful Lights Temples.|150x150px]]
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.
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As the populations of the early city-states grew, so did the demand for farming tools and weapons. The guilds emerged as tight-knit groups of skilled craftsmen, with mentors passing trade secrets to the apprentices. Over the years, their lore was accumulated, and [[Unathi/Timeline#Restorers’ Timeline|finally codified]] by Algrhass Dhakiss around '''982''' BCE. On that day, the Fruitful Lights were officially born.
 +
 
 +
In fact, The Fruitful Lights cult existed since '''9,500''' - '''9,400''' BCE, when a large temple in Si'gek Nels'thar was estabilished, funded by local guilds. The Jhoges and members of said guilds were dedicated to researching the material world - looking into the inner workings of each entity and the forces behind them. Through this, they believed, they could archieve higher attunement with the spirits of the world, and create a harmonious society based on it.
 +
 
 +
Although initially the cult members did not seek to proselytize, Fruitful Lights teachings spread quickly to the most urbanised parts of Moghes - both Poles and major city-states and fortresses everywhere. The followers of the cult practice alchemy, astrology, medicine and other crafts; due to primitive methods and fundamental misconceptons, those lengthy studies were often in vain, although some resulted in practical achievements, especially in the field of material studies. The scholars of Fruitful Lights mapped the world and the sky; described every single type of mineral on Moghes with all their real and attributed traits; drew connections between the position of stars and planets and the past, ongoing and future events; created countless works of art; improved metallurgy and much more, - all while leaving behind thousands of tracts on different topics. A typical Fruitful Lights cultist will have several books in their posession, along with a collection of items related to the issue that interests them; their clothes may be adorned by hundreds of amulets, pendants and other trinkets that are said to amplify their natural abilities, - or might be used in other most practical ways.  
 +
 
 +
While the Fruitful Lights don't have religious leaders per ce, the masters of certain recognised crafts command enough respect to be followed by the adepts and students of said craft. The cult itself is centered around temples maintained in the city-states and other locations by affiliated guilds. Although the cult membership is essentially restricted to the general public, the sages of Fruitful Lights are held in high regard by the populace, including the members of other cults.
 
== Hand of the Vine==
 
== Hand of the Vine==
[[File:Hand of the Vine logo.png|thumb|Hrukhza bush root is a widepread motif in arts practiced by Hand of the Vine followers.]]
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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.|150x150px]]
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.
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One of the more recent movements, Hand of the Vine appearance in 3,400 BCE roughly corresponds with the beginning of desert recolonisation, - at this point in unathi history, savanna clans began to migrate back to the lands they one came from, to escape overpopulation and the tyranny of the senior families of their clan. A loosely-affiliated group of semi-nomadic shamans, Hand of the Vine acolytes teach that the, with the helf of spirits, Moghes can be reformed and transformed into a paradise world, - enough not only to sustain, but to move Unathi to prominence.  
 +
 
 +
Those who follow the doctrines of Hand of the Vine preach unity and benevolence towards the natural world. Instead of consuming, they are dedicated to the spreading and breeding of all plant and animal life. The cult members draw parallels between Moghes and its women, believing that nature is passive and feminine, - and thus in need of a protective yet guiding hand.
 +
 
 +
While the cult itself is far from being ubiqutous, its traditions and rites have gained massive traction among rural population of Moghes - that is, the majority of its inhabitants. Hand of the Vine Acolytes travel the world is small groups, carrying bags with thousands of seeds, which the call "Her Hands" - they are welcome in all settlements, where they feasts and rituals dedicated to Moghes, Ancestors, fertility and peace; although the stuck-up leaders of the Strategem and Fruitful Lights may look down on them, Hand of the Vine shamans are respected by the general population. Moreover, the colourful theatrics of its festivals make it attractive to children and females, who are eager to participate, especially since Hand of the Vine treats them with more respect than other cults.
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==Precursor==
 
==Precursor==
[[File:Precursors logo.png|thumb|Precursor sites are often denoted by sundials on local maps.]]
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[[File:Precursors logo.png|thumb|Precursor sites are often denoted by sundials on local maps.|150x150px]]
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 proud 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.
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Although not a centralized or uniform cult, Precursors worship is mainly centered around the artifacts left behind by the ancient inhabitants of Moghes. Followers of the Precursors vary in their beliefs - some think that learning and understanding the Precursors (and what happened to them) will ultimately make the Unathi wiser, while others simply revere Precursor ruins and related items, which they believe have magical properties.
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Due to its association with Precursor sites, Precursor worship is most commonly practiced by Unathi of the Poles and peoples of the Desert.
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==Markesheli==
 
==Markesheli==
[[File:Markesheli logo.png|thumb|The much-dreaded Cup of Knowledge.]]
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[[File:Markesheli logo.png|thumb|The much-dreaded Cup of Knowledge.|150x150px]]
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.
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6,100 BCE - ''First mention of Markesh.''
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~5,226 - 5,220 BCE - ''First expulsion of Markesheli (from savanna and desert settlements)''.
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5,101 BCE - ''Most Worshipful Company of Restorers comes into being under the name of Morrkhrama Society.''
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4,800 - 4,600 BCE - ''Events of the Cult War. Markesh cultists overrun several settlements; the Moving city of Old Lhemo destroyed.''
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4,311 BCE - ''Second expulsion of Markesheli (from the poles).''
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2200-2210 - ''Markesheli rebirth.''
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4,267 - 4,243 BCE - ''Markesheli slaughtered in the Peaks en masse.''
 +
 
 +
Markesheli of these days should be some kinda overly ascetic mystics that flourish in large city slums
 +
 
 +
Because they are striving to learn the firbidden secrets of old, the truth that will set everyone free, not for everyone, not for normies, yada yada
 +
 
 +
The city-state leadership allows them to exist because it vents some of the discontent
 +
 
 +
Maybe they'll expect one of their own to be reborn into Markesh
 +
 
 +
Well, as I see it, initially they were roaming preachers that promoted all sorts of nasty sacrifice, suicides, etc They left some apprentices alive to spread the cult further and learn more, so that they too can become masters one day and devastate another village with their uhh
 +
 
 +
Indecent... behaviour
 +
 
 +
Due to how slowly the news spread initially (and things inevitably got distorted), they archieved some results, and also notoriety
 +
 
 +
The Strategem was least affected, because there can't be two supreme cults at the same time(edited)
 +
 
 +
However, since then, population and economic balance shifted towards the poles
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 +
The cult rose up again, although in a more tame new age form
 +
 
 +
The Cult of Markesh stands apart from other religions of Moghes in any ways. First mentioned in 6,100 BCE, it was almost wiped two millenia later - and it managed to come back, although in a somewhat changed form''.'' It used to be a scorned cult, ant it remains one; however, since the first contact with alien races and the discovery of [[Ouere]], public attention was largely diverted from their activity. While Markesheli do not depart entirely from the tenets of traditional religion, they often interpret it in an uncharacteristic and even shocking way; the breaking on public norms have become the norm with this cult.
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According to Markeshi legends, a Precursor named Markesh, who survived the catastrophe which turned Moghes into a wasteland it is, was stuck between two worlds, that of the dead and that of the living. Markesh was doomed to walk the sands of Moghes for all eternity. One day, Markesh found an an egg; from this egg, hatched by Markesh, came the Unathi. Markesh the Father taught the first unathi all he knew from his agonising existance, and once he was through, he finally ascended to the afterlife. Followers of Markesh believe that one of them will be reborn as the Father, and will end his childrens' suffering by leading all unathi to a "'''Land Once Went'''".
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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 21:19, 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 showing up around 35 000 BCE. Often called “The Old Cult”, it is popular with those in the harsher environments of Moghes, the Deserts and Diamond Peaks. The Stratagem preaches that, at some point in the future, the patron spirits of the world are bound to clash with great cosmic evil, to usher in a new era. Since each and every unathi will participate in the upcoming battle, is is only prudent to start preparing for it the earthy life.

To secure a worthy status in the better world, the followers of the Grand Stratagem seek to achieve the most of their time on Moghes; as such, the cult leans heavily into the philosophy of self-growth and self-improvement. That goes to the extreme; violent conflicts and struggle, hardship and destitution are seen by the faithful ones as mere trials, by which they will prevail.

In their quest, Stratagem followers seek reassurance not only in future, but also in their past. For them, the perfect role models are the mighty Kahhnepos of the past, which the Strategem faithful seek to emulate; the songs and poems of the heroic acts of old are popular with the cult members.

Despite some claims, the Stratagem by no means relishes is superfluous mysticism or escapism; the air of superiority it gives to their followers makes them impervious to petty superstitions or gossip. However, the teachings of the cult do not place great importance in material side of Unathi life; the faithful of the cult are content with the spartan conditions they live in, as far as they have enough to support their young.

In popular imagination, the Champions of the Grand Stratagem are uncouth, rugged individuals who seek the heat of battle or brave the dangers of the natural world; when they aren't doing that, they learn and meditate with their comrades, or seek the only comfort that is fit for them, - the company of their wives and children.

There are some differences in local traditions related to The Grand Stratagem, - mainly between Diamond Peaks and Great Desert versions of the cult. The Peak variant is more focused on hierarchy; one of its main tenets 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. At the same time, 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. A major, ceremonial aspect of the Desert variant of the cult are the so-called "Pits." Pits are often in the center of clan communities and are meant as a sort of gladiatorial arena where Unathi can test themselves against each other or captured fauna. On the day of the summer solstice, known as the Day of Rebirth, Desert clans celebrate those who have survived, and learn from those who have not. Many Unathi will place items that remind them of the dead of their clan in the ritual bonfires as an act of remembrance and respect.

The Fruitful Lights

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

As the populations of the early city-states grew, so did the demand for farming tools and weapons. The guilds emerged as tight-knit groups of skilled craftsmen, with mentors passing trade secrets to the apprentices. Over the years, their lore was accumulated, and finally codified by Algrhass Dhakiss around 982 BCE. On that day, the Fruitful Lights were officially born.

In fact, The Fruitful Lights cult existed since 9,500 - 9,400 BCE, when a large temple in Si'gek Nels'thar was estabilished, funded by local guilds. The Jhoges and members of said guilds were dedicated to researching the material world - looking into the inner workings of each entity and the forces behind them. Through this, they believed, they could archieve higher attunement with the spirits of the world, and create a harmonious society based on it.

Although initially the cult members did not seek to proselytize, Fruitful Lights teachings spread quickly to the most urbanised parts of Moghes - both Poles and major city-states and fortresses everywhere. The followers of the cult practice alchemy, astrology, medicine and other crafts; due to primitive methods and fundamental misconceptons, those lengthy studies were often in vain, although some resulted in practical achievements, especially in the field of material studies. The scholars of Fruitful Lights mapped the world and the sky; described every single type of mineral on Moghes with all their real and attributed traits; drew connections between the position of stars and planets and the past, ongoing and future events; created countless works of art; improved metallurgy and much more, - all while leaving behind thousands of tracts on different topics. A typical Fruitful Lights cultist will have several books in their posession, along with a collection of items related to the issue that interests them; their clothes may be adorned by hundreds of amulets, pendants and other trinkets that are said to amplify their natural abilities, - or might be used in other most practical ways.

While the Fruitful Lights don't have religious leaders per ce, the masters of certain recognised crafts command enough respect to be followed by the adepts and students of said craft. The cult itself is centered around temples maintained in the city-states and other locations by affiliated guilds. Although the cult membership is essentially restricted to the general public, the sages of Fruitful Lights are held in high regard by the populace, including the members of other cults.

Hand of the Vine

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

One of the more recent movements, Hand of the Vine appearance in 3,400 BCE roughly corresponds with the beginning of desert recolonisation, - at this point in unathi history, savanna clans began to migrate back to the lands they one came from, to escape overpopulation and the tyranny of the senior families of their clan. A loosely-affiliated group of semi-nomadic shamans, Hand of the Vine acolytes teach that the, with the helf of spirits, Moghes can be reformed and transformed into a paradise world, - enough not only to sustain, but to move Unathi to prominence.

Those who follow the doctrines of Hand of the Vine preach unity and benevolence towards the natural world. Instead of consuming, they are dedicated to the spreading and breeding of all plant and animal life. The cult members draw parallels between Moghes and its women, believing that nature is passive and feminine, - and thus in need of a protective yet guiding hand.

While the cult itself is far from being ubiqutous, its traditions and rites have gained massive traction among rural population of Moghes - that is, the majority of its inhabitants. Hand of the Vine Acolytes travel the world is small groups, carrying bags with thousands of seeds, which the call "Her Hands" - they are welcome in all settlements, where they feasts and rituals dedicated to Moghes, Ancestors, fertility and peace; although the stuck-up leaders of the Strategem and Fruitful Lights may look down on them, Hand of the Vine shamans are respected by the general population. Moreover, the colourful theatrics of its festivals make it attractive to children and females, who are eager to participate, especially since Hand of the Vine treats them with more respect than other cults.

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 proud races of Moghes, especially those following the Strategem.

Although not a centralized or uniform cult, Precursors worship is mainly centered around the artifacts left behind by the ancient inhabitants of Moghes. Followers of the Precursors vary in their beliefs - some think that learning and understanding the Precursors (and what happened to them) will ultimately make the Unathi wiser, while others simply revere Precursor ruins and related items, which they believe have magical properties.

Due to its association with Precursor sites, Precursor worship is most commonly practiced by Unathi of the Poles and peoples of the Desert.



Markesheli

The much-dreaded Cup of Knowledge.

6,100 BCE - First mention of Markesh.

~5,226 - 5,220 BCE - First expulsion of Markesheli (from savanna and desert settlements).

5,101 BCE - Most Worshipful Company of Restorers comes into being under the name of Morrkhrama Society.

4,800 - 4,600 BCE - Events of the Cult War. Markesh cultists overrun several settlements; the Moving city of Old Lhemo destroyed.

4,311 BCE - Second expulsion of Markesheli (from the poles).

2200-2210 - Markesheli rebirth.

4,267 - 4,243 BCE - Markesheli slaughtered in the Peaks en masse.

Markesheli of these days should be some kinda overly ascetic mystics that flourish in large city slums

Because they are striving to learn the firbidden secrets of old, the truth that will set everyone free, not for everyone, not for normies, yada yada

The city-state leadership allows them to exist because it vents some of the discontent

Maybe they'll expect one of their own to be reborn into Markesh

Well, as I see it, initially they were roaming preachers that promoted all sorts of nasty sacrifice, suicides, etc They left some apprentices alive to spread the cult further and learn more, so that they too can become masters one day and devastate another village with their uhh

Indecent... behaviour

Due to how slowly the news spread initially (and things inevitably got distorted), they archieved some results, and also notoriety

The Strategem was least affected, because there can't be two supreme cults at the same time(edited)

However, since then, population and economic balance shifted towards the poles

The cult rose up again, although in a more tame new age form

The Cult of Markesh stands apart from other religions of Moghes in any ways. First mentioned in 6,100 BCE, it was almost wiped two millenia later - and it managed to come back, although in a somewhat changed form. It used to be a scorned cult, ant it remains one; however, since the first contact with alien races and the discovery of Ouere, public attention was largely diverted from their activity. While Markesheli do not depart entirely from the tenets of traditional religion, they often interpret it in an uncharacteristic and even shocking way; the breaking on public norms have become the norm with this cult.

According to Markeshi legends, a Precursor named Markesh, who survived the catastrophe which turned Moghes into a wasteland it is, was stuck between two worlds, that of the dead and that of the living. Markesh was doomed to walk the sands of Moghes for all eternity. One day, Markesh found an an egg; from this egg, hatched by Markesh, came the Unathi. Markesh the Father taught the first unathi all he knew from his agonising existance, and once he was through, he finally ascended to the afterlife. Followers of Markesh believe that one of them will be reborn as the Father, and will end his childrens' suffering by leading all unathi to a "Land Once Went".

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.