The exact origins of Asaredu are unclear, for the Eronidas have no real record keeping of their time on Guldar. If folk telling is to be believed, Asaredu as a Religion was born out of a much earlier religion followed by the uncivilized Eronidas called the Call of Vakkar. Legend has it that the Eronidas once had two gods called Vakkar and Makkaru, who were lovers and created the Eronidas Race. Vakkar was a hunter, seeking always to provide for his partner Makkaru and slay the god-snake Yazarammun. Makkaru on the other hand was a caretaker who would always defend and stay by his partner’s side in his hunt. Together they had many legendary fights against the god-snake who was both their prey and their hunter. Eventually, the legendary founders Vakkar and Makkaru slew the god-snake Yazarammun and drank its god-like blood. Vakkar and Makkaru’s power was so great then that they created the four Elements and Death, each distinct god-like entities to serve their creation of the Eronidas. For a time the Eronidas worshiped Vakkar and Makkaru, while the Elements and Death did their bidding and created the world around them. For unclear reasons, their Daughter of Death, Da’amu conspired against Vakkar and Makkaru, her fathers, by tricking the other Element sons of Vakkar and Makkaru to expel them into a dimension devoid of life, sealing them away from the Eronidas afterlife. Da’amu succeeded, and while the other Elements were resentful towards her, the removal of Vakkar and Makkaru did result in their own power increasing, and they could not retrieve Vakkar and Makkaru without her cooperation which she was not willing to give. As such, Eronidas society gradually shifted from worshiping Vakkar and Makaru to worshiping the Elements and Death, whose realms and power was expanded in the vacuum left behind by the previous faith.
Asaredu is a religion centered around the tenets of honor, glory, and power, all of which gained fairly in the eyes of the Gods. Asaredu is not an organized religion, but rather a decentralized priesthood. The Elements have specific priests serving them called Raggimu (often called Oracle in common), while Death has a priest serving her called an Abru (often called Shaman in common). There is no religious hierarchy or descent, Abru and Raggimu take apprentices that they train for several years before they are sent out in the world on a pilgrimage to prove their honor, power, or glory for their God or Goddess.
- Bravery: Asaredu expresses the need to never back down when challenged, even by a greater foe, and to show discipline and fearlessness in even the greatest of adversity.
- Calm: Asaredu expresses the need for calmness and self-control, never to rush into anything without a level head, and never to let anger and wroth decide one’s motives.
- Lustful: Asaredu expresses the need for worshipers to seek out and experience the bounty of their ambition and the fruits of their power. So long as they earned it, they should enjoy it.
- Ambitious: Asaredu expresses the need for its worshipers to always be ambitious, to seek out opportunities, or to turn any situation to one’s hand for some advancement.
- Diligence: Asaredu expresses the need for diligence, but in particular cleanliness, hygiene, and proper self-case and exercise. Unhealthy individuals are shunned.
- Forgiving: Asaredu expresses the need for its members to forgive, but never forget. No actions may be done in oblique revenge, but accountability must always be maintained.
- Greed: Asaredu expresses the need for its worshipers to be self-sufficient and self-advancing. It abhors the idea of taking bribes, charity, donations, or other forms of pity.
- Honest: Asaredu expresses the need for its worshipers to always be honest and never utter a lie, for lying is taboo, and sabotage, deceit, espionage, or underhandedness is evil.
- Arrogant: Asaredu expresses the need for its worshipers to commune with the self and know their best qualities, and then put them on display to let all others know.
- Just: Asaredu expresses the need for rulers and bureaucrats to be lawful, and citizens to follow the law and obey the structure of command and rulership to the letter.
- Honor: Honor is perhaps the most important aspect of Asaredu faith. Without Honor, someone is outcast. One cannot talk or touch an outcast, or help them, ever.
- Narrative: In Asaredu, worshipers live a life of glory, honor, power and pleasure, and then die. If they lived a life by the qualities of the Gods and Goddess, they ascend to the afterlife which is a valley of eternal battle and feasting and lyceums. Asaredu is not an exclusionary religion, any Race can worship and be seen as equal in the eyes of the Gods and Goddess, so long as they are acknowledged as Eronidas.
- Canon Evil: Canonical Evil in the eyes of Asaredu is called the Venom of Yazarammun. When Vakkar and Makkaru drank the god-blood of the god-snake, its evil venom transferred to them, and through them, to the Elements and Death, and through them again into the creation of the Eronidas. As such all Eronidas are in part tainted by the vices of Yazarammun, all opposites of Asaredu Tenets. Worshipers who stray too far from the tenets or display dishonor become Honorless, or Pariah. Evil in other Races is acknowledged as mimicry of Yazarammun by other Races, implying that Yazarammun had some relation to the creation of other Races.
- Identity: Asaredu has no notions of gender, sex, sexuality or gender-identity. There is no religious communion or marriage protocols, and in theory, adultery, bigamy and polygamy are all perfectly accepted and through some interpretations even encouraged by the Tenets. The only caveat being that all these should be done with the strictest of honesty. While adultery is permitted, adultery while lying about it or simply not informing other lover(s), is not. A liar is a dishonorable scoundrel, and so adultery is a quick way to become a Pariah.
- Conversion: Asaredu does not have missionaries or an active spreading tradition. While any worshiper will be willing to explain the religion to those interested, they will never attempt to convert anyone unless they show interest on their own accord. Asaredu is not a religion that claims others as false, rather it is apathetic to them, and simply expresses how Asaredu is superior because the Gods and Goddess are just stronger, and because its followers just more honorable. Converting away from Asaredu is however not permitted and a betrayal of the Gods and Goddess. It is also not permitted to force-convert by the sword. Syncretism is impossible however, because while the Gods and Goddess tacitly acknowledge the existence of other gods, they say to hold them on equal grounds to them, would be shame and Dishonor.
- Sins & Taboo: The worst cases of sinning or taboo for Asaredu are engaging in any sort of espionage, deceit, or subterfuge, lying, attacking someone from behind, using violence against the weak and helpless and defenseless, destroying literature, not bathing, and ridiculing someone’s physical appearance. It is possible to be re-communed by the Oracles and Shamans, however this usually requires some feat of honor or glory or power, and may be rejected by other Shamans or Oracles.
Gods and Goddess
While worshipers still somewhat acknowledge Vakkar and Makkaru as their creator gods, they also acknowledge that these gods are trapped in a world without life, and that there is no way for them to ever come back because Da’amu won’t let them. As such, only these five Divine Beings are worshiped, each with their own patron identity. Each of these gods and goddesses are generally considered siblings, but their social relations shift a lot because they weren’t necessarily born but created with godlike powers. As such, some of them can have relations different than siblings at various times and depictions.
Da’amu, Death Master
Da’amu is the most contentious of the five Gods of Asaredu because she tricked the other Gods into working with her to expel Vakkar and Makkaru to a land without life. Da’amu craved more power and the only way to achieve this was to eliminate her fathers, so she hatched a plot which involved the other Gods offering the doorway to this alternate land to Vakkar and Makkaru as a gift, a great new godly hall to feast. Only when she opened the doors and trapped Vakkar and Makkaru inside, did they realize what was done. Da’amu however convinced the Gods not to wage a war in heaven on one another, when she showed how much more power they each had, and thus an uneasy truce was established where they all benefited from the new situation.
Da’amu is contentious, because she is generally seen as a traitor, but also a painfully necessary element of life, namely ambition, as well as a guardian against the apathy of Vakkar and Makkaru. When her fathers defeated the god-snake, they became apathetic and lazy, preferring each other’s company in ever more complex faux-realities and fantasies while ignoring the plight of the common people (and more specifically, the Eronidas). As such, while Da’amu is a murderess and a mistress of death who engaged in the sin of patricide in effect, she is also seen as the necessary evil to ensure the future existence of ambition and life furthering itself, as without her, all would be a gray monotonous forever-now, where nothing ever changes and nothing ever progresses. Da’amu is presented as an ever-ambitious, self-assured and prideful woman, who always prefers to use shock and awe to submit those who do not acknowledge her superiority, before disappearing in mystery.
Da’amu is always depicted as a female-presenting physically imposing goddess with green and black clothing and long flowing black hair. Her divine markings are the bramble thorns of the rosebush, a deceptive beauty with a painful sting. She is acknowledged as an Ordial entity that has a connection with the Ordial dimension, but resides in Aloria to act as a Goddess for Asaredu. It is commonly believed in modern times that Da’amu exiled Vakkar and Makkaru to Bintaar, but that is not quite the end of it. Supposedly, after exiling them, she also still remains in contact with them, and feeds them the souls of worthy Asaredu worshipers who work towards her causes, eventually sending them into Bintaar to join Vakkar and Makkaru’s Stand.
Da’amu’s symbol is the never-ending cycle, three rings wrapped around each other. Her worshipers use both this, and the tattoo shapes as homage. Da’amu is praised with the act of killing, usually on the battlefield but also in duels to the death. It is believed that every death added to a counter increases her favor, though it should be noted that she is not the Goddess of wanton murder. Every kill must be purposeful and to advance the person’s ambitions and goals in life. She is also said to command the ancestor spirits of the Eronidas, capable of calling upon them to assist the living in their hours of need. Da’amu is often depicted in conflict with Diparu, though it is a form of love-hate conflict where the two are depicted as enemies to lovers to enemies and so forth. Da’amu appears very rarely to worshipers.
Buru, Water Master
Buru is by far the most active of the Asaredu divine entities, frequently mingling with the Eronidas population, and even siring some children from mortals who the Eronidas call Wave-born. Buru is the elemental master of all things water and the ocean, controlling the rain and the weather and feeding life and water to the land. It is as such that he also doubles as the God of fertility both in the natural and anatomical sense. Buru is considered a caring, but very critical God who is extremely critical of those who do wrong, or show a lack of skill and diligence. His major role in Asaredu worship is the guardian of diligence and discipline. This has resulted in the linguistic oddity, where if a person excessively criticizes another, an Asaredu worshiper will respond “Do not be such a boor”, which in Common refers to boring, but sounds close enough to the Vasar name Buru, and as such has become a tradition among worshipers.
Buru is depicted as a physically fit male, always bearded and always bald, with blue tattoos and bubbles drawn in the colored patches. His lower body is always depicted in some sort of Elastaan covering his legs, though converting those legs to the body of a shark or dolphin is equally done, to emphasize that Buru frequently lived in and near the water, and would emerge from the water turning his aquatic lower half into legs. Children of Buru (the Wave-born) can only ever be Eronidas, as Buru does not mate with non-Eronidas. These children are always born with webbed feet and hands, and a prehensile shark-tail, which is perfectly acceptable in Asaredu society (though they are all just aesthetic and non functional). It is important to note that these children, despite being born from a god-father, are not considered more holy or respectable. In fact they are held to a much higher standard because society believes them to have to live up their father’s example, so they are punished harsher for failing or showing lack of diligence and discipline.
Buru’s symbol is the drifting air bubbles, an eternal caution for those who would become lazy and undiligent, drowning in their own incompetence and wrongdoing. His worshipers use both this symbol (bubbles and waves) as well as the color blue and similar tattoos as Buru is usually depicted with. Buru is praised by hunting aquatic animals and showing mastery over the oceans, but also by siring plenty of off-spring, while those under his curse are considered barren. Buru is often depicted in conflict with Sarahu on account of his esotherical behavior and thoughtful pursuits, while he is often also depicted as completely enamored by Diparu. It is said that each time lighting hits water, Diparu has wound Buru around his finger again. As mentioned, Buru frequently appears around his worshipers, and is known to frequent the Eronidas Pol Cities in Daendroc, where he is seen nearly every year around his largest temple in Pol Burutanap.
Diparu, Light Master
Diparu is one of the more elusive Asaredu Gods who is known to like a bit of mischief and comedy. He is primarily the God of the Element of lightning, but is equally seen as the God of Earth. Among Asaredu worshipers, lightning is just a much quicker and hotter version of rock, and as such, the earth is considered the cooled-off expressions of Diparu. Additionally, light itself, such as from the sun or from a fireplace, is also considered under his command. Diparu is a vain and fickle God who shows his favor as quickly as he can take it away, and rarely if ever shows himself to mortals, last having been seen centuries ago. Diparu is the God of action and arrogance. He is by far the most boastful of the Gods, and not necessarily the one who can be most proud of his feats, as he usually acts through other Gods.
Diparu is depicted as a physically lean male with airy light hair, though he can just as well be depicted androgynous (in terms of what Eronidas consider androgynous). Diparu is considered the master of seduction (even if Buru is the master of fertility), as well as the master of feasts and the messenger of the Gods. Even though Diparu does not physically appear, many of the Oracles claim that they receive visions and dreams from him, or hear his whispers hidden among thunder and lightning where those not attuned to the elements cannot hear them. Diparu is said to ride lightning across the sky in a chariot, with two beasts pulling it. On the left is always Buru’s sky-shark, a beast belonging to a master who always longs for Diparu but can rarely have him. On the right is always Giru’s flying fire salamander, a beast belonging to a master who does not want Diparu, but always has him. It is said that the two beasts together produce steam, thus producing the clouds from which Diparu shoots his lightning (and incidentally, Buru also sheds tears of longing).
Diparu’s symbol are the three interlocked lightning strikes, a reference to the Asaredu act of Parattu which involves saying the word Parattu three times in quick succession after uttering a promise to someone. If Parattu is invoked, the promise cannot be broken, and if they should fail to succeed in the promise, then by Diparu’s demand, they become Dishonored and Pariah. Worship of Diparu is done by creating dazzling displays of light and faux-lightning, but also Magic usage, as Diparu is also unofficially the patron of Magic. Magic has a somewhat complicated meaning in Asaredu. While Magic itself is considered dishonorable, succeeding in ambitions through Magic washes away dishonor. So long as a Mage is able to effectuate their goals through Magic and does not fail, they do not become dishonored. Should they fail however, they are double cursed. Diparu is sometimes depicting Buru but always denying him, and trying to be around Giru who is mostly apathetic to him.
Giru, Fire Master
Giru is the more self-contradicting of the Asaredu gods, being an entity full of contradictions and somehow still having a notable following. Giru is the primary representative of the Element of Fire, and as such commands heat but also the heart-beat of life and hearts. Giru can best be described as “a bit much”, as he is a very passionate god who frequently erupts volcanos and destroys lands with earthquakes, bursting fire from the chasms and across the skies. He is passionate and worth, cruel and has a sharp tongue, and usually has to be held back from inflicting his cruelty on Asaredu worshipers (and those of other faiths). Yet, he is also the God of Honor, one who never attacks the weak, one who demands a fair fight, and one who is never unfair to others outside of his legendary fits of rage.
Giru is depicted as a colossally muscular and hairy male presenting Eronidas with sharp facial features and char-coal blackened eye-sockets. His body is covered in tattoos depicting flames or maple-leaves, depending on one’s interpretation. Diparu does appear occasionally, but never in a good sense, as he is usually accompanied by calamity and natural disaster. It is believed among the Eronidas in particular that Giru was responsible for the eruption of volcanoes on Guldar, a natural aspect that continually terrorized their people even before they fled the continent. Among Dragon Worshipers, some have deigned to claim that Giru is actually Qaarn the Fire Dragon, something that Asaredu worshipers are very flippant about. They neither confirm nor deny it, implying that all Gods are inherently shapeshifters (as Buru does shapeshift quite a lot) and that they can appear as whatever they like, even Dragons (essentially claiming it is more like Qaarn is actually Giru instead of the other way around).
Giru’s symbols are the rectangles of strength, building blocks of civilization and of equality, as each corner is equal to the other. Giru is frequently worshiped through duels (the non-deadly kind) such as wrestling or just arena duels in general. Giru’s name is also invoked on the battlefield for ferocity and honor. Many Asaredu worshipers keep Giru shrines in their homes in the hopes it will protect them from natural disasters in their area. This is usually some sort of eternal flame on a slow-burning oil lamp, or a bowl filled with sand that always has Eucalyptus incense burning. Giru’s appearances are usually paired with panic and horror, even among the stalwart Eronidas, as historically it has always been paired with calamity. Giru is often depicted in conflict with the father of contemplation, Sarahu, while he is often depicted as the (somewhat reluctant) lover of Diparu. Despite treating Diparu more like a pest, it is actually believed that Diparu’s attempts to seduce Giru distract him well enough from scouring the world in fire and makes hearts beat faster all around the world.
Sarahu, Sky Master
Sarahu is the most studious and least capricious of the Gods and Goddess, preferring a life of analysis and study, calm contemplation, and solitude. Sarahu is an extremely unique God, because he is widely known to reside on a particular mountain in the Eronidas states in Daendroc. Though reaching him is extremely difficult for the non-faithful, the faithful are guided up the mountain by the Oracles who have built fortresses all around the mountain to ensure Sarahu’s isolation. Sarahu as such is a divine entity that is tongue-in-cheek even acknowledged by other entities like Void Gods and Arken, as his divinity is hard to defy when met in person and he has frequently clashed with them. Sarahu is depicted as an aging but still very physically imposing male-presenting Eronidas, always in the scholar’s skirt and carrying the beads of remembrance.
Sarahu is the God of the Element of Air, the cold and snow. Even though snow is technically frozen water, it is said that snow is actually the wildness and unrestrained interloping of Buru cooled down with the sagely wisdom of Sarahu. Sarahu is cold in demeanor, caring very little to communicate with those outside of his mountain’s higher plateau’s, and even then generally unwilling to help or provide any kind of service unless someone can present him with something he does not know yet (of which there is little). Sarahu is well described in many books, even in Regalia, where Eronidas scholars have painted him in his 18 feet tall glory, meandering around his cave, filled with frozen books and tomes, and devoid of any light, because Diparu thinks reading is boring and time-consuming, and as such refuses to light up Sarahu’s books.
Sarahu’s symbol is the frost crystal, speaking of the inevitability of cold to take all, and for the ice to preserve and extend, and keep what is yet to be known. His body is covered in wind and cloud-like tattoos, a style often mimicked by his worshipers. Sarahu does not have any active worship practices, though his worshipers try to live up to his example and become endlessly educated in a never-ending lifestyle of study. Jade is of particular interest to Sarahu’s worshipers. Even though they are traditionally made of Malachite, when Jade became more universally available through Dexai, it made having beads of remembrance very accessible even at a low price. As such, those who consider themselves scholars in Sarahu’s image always bear a necklace or bracelet or belt of beads strung together. The beads of remembrance are like an identity tool for Sarahu’s Scholars to identify each other. These beads can be very small, but some also make them very large and heavy as a way of saying that knowledge weighs heavy on the mind. Sarahu frequently feuds with Giru because of Giru’s hotheadedness. He is often also seen working with Da’amu, because she is the only way to communicate with Vakkar and Makkaru who Sarahu still wishes to speak with.
Asaredu have temples, but only ever for one God, because worshipers believe that the gods would become envious of each other if placed in the same temple. Every Polon usually only has one temple, but smaller shrines dedicated to the other Gods. Da’amu is never allowed to have a temple inside a Polon, rather, Da’amu temples are called Necropolon, and are built outside of the city. Here, the Abru (or Shamans) are not permitted to reside inside the Polon, and as such reside in the Necropolon from where they administer their mortuary services, as well as their oracle predictions for Da’amu. The Raggimu (or Oracles) of all the other Gods are included in Polon society and roam freely, but are barred from ever entering a Necropolon. The Raggimu are respected in Asaredu (Eronidas) society while the Abru are mostly avoided unless they are needed for something or just out of base courtesy. Citizens of Polons bring offerings to Abru such as clothing, food, and jewelry, because it is feared that Abru can cast curses of Da’amu on those who do not respect them. When Asaredu have any kind of problem in life, they visit the Raggimu and ask for an oracle, which then has the Raggimu enter some sort of trance to commune with the Gods. Whether this communion is real or just imagined is never quite clear, though sometimes the Gods do legitimately speak. Whether they do or not is wholly relevant however, as the Raggimu themselves are trained in the practices of social care and social work by their mentors, able to say the right things to soothe a grieving or anxious mind. Abru on the other hand are useful to consult when it concerns anxiety over a dead relative or lost soul, as Abru can usually confirm whether someone has died, or commune with the dead if they are either in the Asaredu afterlife, or in Bintaar.
- Asaredu has a notable number of Ailor worshipers, in Regalia, but also in Daenshore. As a religion, it connects very well with the Regal Culture. Asaredu worship in general also prescribes loyalty to the Emperor of Regalia while being a citizen.
- Asaredu Oracles and Shamans have been having difficulties in the Regalian Empire to acquire their opiates usually used to enter a trance. As a result, some shrines have moved to be near noxious vapors where the gasses produce hallucinations instead.
- Asaredu is incompatible with Dragon Worship despite the tongue-in-cheek possibility of Giru being a Dragon. Asaredu has distinct life values that are taboo among Dragon worshipers, and Dragon worshipers acknowledge non-divine entities in the eyes of Asaredu worshipers. But, those who worship Qaarn do have some level of respect from Asaredu worshipers, as a bare minimum.
- Asaredu worshipers acknowledge the Bintaar dimension and anything that comes from it as inherently tainted and likely evil, but also a great bane to conquer and in some cases even master. Many of the Abru are Ordial Mages, and Undead do exist among their ranks. Undead are inherently filthy and unclean, but Undead in the service of Da'amu are tolerated. The Bintaar dimension belongs to Da'amu, while the other Gods exist in the living world.