Dragon Worship

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Dragon Worship
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Religion
Pronunciation Dragon Worship
Origins Unknown, presumed over 7000 years ago
Deities
Rhaakhr, Asaph, Saaima, Anlon, and Qaarn
Subsects
Various Foundation Thrones and other Goddesses and Gods

Dragon Worship or Dregodar is commonly believed to be the world’s oldest Religion, which at the same time is one of the smallest Religions in the world, even being outclassed by the Ailor-lead Cult of Evolution and some of the more obscure Unionist Sects. The nickname Dregodar dates back to the earliest Dragon Worship cults among the Altalar during the days of the Allorn Empire, a name specifically used to refer to their cult. While Dragon Worship is thousands of years older than the Altalar, the last major group of people who worshiped the Dragons were a sect of Altalar, hence it carries their name. Dragon Worship is a somewhat unusual religion in that while it is absolutely based on providence and present (arguably) divine and sentient Dragons, the Dragons have never acknowledged their divinity or desire to be worshiped. Simply put, while the Faith of Estel is based on Avatars of the Gods who demanded worship, the Dragons are aware that they were or are worshiped, but are very ambiguous about the idea of them being worshiped, or at the very least have never confirmed the want to be worshiped. This does not mean that Dragons have never interacted with Dragon Worshipers in a positive light. In fact, while they do not ask for worship, they have on many occasions helped those who worshiped them with specific tasks or requests, or heeded the prayer of those in need. Still, no Dragon at any point proposed their own divinity or the duty of the faithful to worship them, which makes Dragon Worship the only religion to have that nuance.

Dragon Worship

Dragon Worship does not take place in specific temples or holy sites like occurs in other faiths. In fact, the entire idea of idolization of Dragons is considered taboo among Dragon Worshipers, because one of the core beliefs of Dragon Worship is to acknowledge the flaws in their own gods as imperfect beings. And because their gods are imperfect beings, so too is their creation (the worshipers) imperfect, and in need of improvement. Dragon Temples certainly do exist, though they never really serve the same function as say, a Unionist temple would. While one goes to a Unionist temple for communal praise of the Everwatcher and the Emperor, a Dragon Temple is more about community and coming together, and helping each other through whatever ails exist. This is why many Dragon Temples throughout particularly Anglia and Kintyr where Dragon Worship has a notable presence, also double as hospitals and healing centers or soup kitchens and orphanages. Many buildings are not even clearly visible as Dragon Temples, because their identity was cleverly hidden in the masonry, with only few emblems recognizable at entrances for those initiated in the symbols. For many centuries, Dragon Worshipers were persecuted, first in the Allorn Empire when it turned against the Dragons and started killing them, and later by the Ailor as they started stamping out non-Unionists religions in favor of aggressive conversion. Enclaves of Dragon Worshipers continue to exist in Anglia, Kintyr and the deep forests of Daen, as well as the northern reaches of Ithania, but by far, is the smallest religion in the world with only a few thousand followers at best.

Dragon Worship is primarily preached by so called Matrons (which can be either male or female) and exist in rough regional areas. For example, during its zenith, Dragon Worship had a different Matron for each Realm, however in modern times, perhaps only three Matrons still exist, with two likely in hiding. Other regions like Farahdeen also saw a religious shift away from Dragon Worship and into its own distinct religion that acted more like an evolved form of Dragon Worship, such as Shambala. Another important distinction to be made is that Dragon Worshipers do pray, and that the practice of praying in Unionism may have actually been inspired by it. Praying in Dragon Worship is the idea that a person may ask for aid in a difficult task or problem they cannot solve themselves, in the hopes a Dragon will listen and act. Finally, Dragon Worship has a complicated relationship with the concept of infallible divinity. In Unionism, to deny the will of the Spirit, as in the Faith of Estel to deny the demands of the Avatars or Talea, is heresy. In Dragon Worship however, there is some nuance. Dragons are commonly said to be “Resolute and Rightly Wrong”. What this means in practice is that so long as a Dragon does not make an absolute statement or demand, Dragon Worshipers have room to negotiate with the actual interpretation or intention of what a Dragon did or said. For example, if a Dragon attacks a coal mine and destroys it, the worshipers may invariably declare that it was the miner’s fault, the coal’s fault, the mine was badly built, or a Demon lived in it. The worshipers may even attribute a mistake to the Dragon, to believe that it attacked the mine because it thought there was a Demon, even if there was not. If however the Dragon had come down, assumed a humanoid form, and commanded that the mine be closed because a Demon had infested it, then the Dragon Worshipers are not permitted to disagree or disobey the instruction of the Dragon. Dragon Worship as such allows for some wiggle room of interpretation, and even disagreeing with what a Dragon does, but one may never disobey or deny an Order when it is given from the Dragon’s mouth in clear wording.

Dragon Hierarchy

This image shows the orientation of all the Dragon Thrones. It is important to note that the Purple Crown Throne technically rules all Thrones, but acknowledged that sometimes they simply cannot due to the difficulty and nuances of politics among Dragons, and have to cut their losses. As such, the primary Realms are depicted as nominally autonomous, even if they all fall under the Purple Crown leadership.

The Hierarchy that exists within Dragon Worship is one of duality. The primaries are the major gods and goddesses, Rhaakhr, Asaph, Saaima, Anlon and Qaarn. The primaries are the major gods much like the Pantheon of Estel has 8 major gods. Supporting these five Dragons however are the secondaries or supporting Thrones. Each primary has 3 secondaries (except the Crown Realm, which has 4), and each of these pairings are considered a “Realm” which are thematically grouped together. These distinctions are based on what Dragon Worshipers have gleaned from real Dragon politics and interactions, and many of these distinctions are also geographical. For example, the Crown Realm has Dragons which are all rumored or known to have centered around the Archipelago and the lands within close vicinity, while the Sky Realm has Dragons known between Farahdeen and the Sihai lands. A primary is always chosen as a Dragon Worshiper’s preferred god or goddess to live up to. Worshipers attempt to emulate their wishes for the world and embody their virtues, while also acknowledging their vices and attempting to minimize them. Secondaries are never worshiped as primary gods and goddesses, but can be rotated between in a supporting role for their primary. It is not possible to worship multiple primaries or secondaries belonging to different primaries than one’s patron primary. This is considered taboo and unfaithfulness to the chosen patron dragon.

Dragon Deities

Rhaakhr, the Purple Crown

Rhaakhr represents the Purple Crown as the leader of the Purple Throne, becoming also the main deity of the Crown Realm. As a primary, Rhaakhr’s virtues are leadership, politics, and duty, while his vices are capriciousness, antics and vagueness. Rhaakhr is often depicted as a large and brawny purple and blue dragon with thunderbolts of lightning under its hands and feet. It may also be depicted as an Ailor with long black hair and bright purple eyes and fair soft features, clad in black robes and wandering the forests or farmlands. Prayer to Rhaakhr is done with traditional shrines and statues of Dragons, in fact any Dragon statue will do, even statues depicting the other Thrones. Rhaakhr is often worshiped by leaders, generals, politicians, and thinkers and philosophers, as well as diplomats and explorers. Those that worship Rhaakhr seek to be better people who may turn their resources and power to the better good of all, and to create order and structure where there is chaos and discord. They also acknowledge their own flaws of loneliness and mistrust, vices created by positions of power.

Purple Foundational Thrones

The Purple Foundational Thrones are Yellow Sea, Gray Stone, Silver Tongue, and Emerald Time. These are each represented by: Yellow Amaar the female dragon of dance and joy but foolishness, Gray Ulm the male dragon of fortitude and never giving up but weakness, Silver Zaalaanzaal the female dragon of speech and language but misunderstanding, and Emerald Ylon, the male dragon of time and growth but also wasting time. The Purple Foundational Thrones are often depicted as supporting Rhaakhr, flawlessly working with him to secure their mutual goals of peace and order between all Dragons, and all the lands. The Purple Foundational Thrones always have one more Throne than the other Realm Foundations, on account of the Crown Realm being the most central Dragon Realm that governs all others. As such, the Purple Foundational Thrones should always be treated as supporting Dragon deities.

Asaph, the Violet Creation

Asaph represents the Violet Creation as the leader of the Violet Throne, becoming also the main deity of the Creation Realm. As a primary, Asaph’s virtues are foresight, planning, innovation, while her vices are mistakes, stubbornness and uncompromising. Asaph is often depicted as a snake-like dragon with four wings and two legs coiled up in a bowl or crater, or in a more humanoid form as a young-looking female Dwarf turning rocks into creatures and putting them in crates. Asaph is unsurprisingly worshiped by traders, performers and primary industry workers like farmers and herbalists, but also cattle herders and other animal-loving people. Prayer to Asaph is done while tending to her creation, meaning Asaph worshippers are not allowed to pray to her until they find a wounded animal or insect or person, and nurture it to health. They believe they may only pray to Asaph and have her hear them while tending to her creation in need. Those that worship Asaph seek to create better things and better the lives of others by the things they make or the ideas they bring forward. They however also acknowledge the vices of philosophers, inaction and stubbornness to dogma, and attempt to avoid narrowmindedness.

Violet Foundational Thrones

The Violet Foundational Thrones are Green Forest, Rose Metal, and Burgundy Heart. These are each represented by: Green Hulmark the female dragon of nature and growth but also chaos, Rose Tian the male dragon of bounty and wealth but also spoilage, and Burgundy Ayaal the female dragon of utility and function but also abandonment. The Violet Foundational Thrones are less cooperative than the Purple Foundational Thrones, and more divided. As the Creation Realm stands for the different primal disciplines of creation, the Foundational Thrones have neatly divided the different areas of creation between them, with very little cooperation or overlap. As such, the Violet Foundational Thrones are sometimes worshipped on an equal level to the Violet Creation Dragon Asaph.

Saaima, the White Sky

Saaima represents the White Sky as the leader of the White Throne, becoming also the main deity of the Sky Realm. As a primary, Saaima’s virtues are tolerance, kindness, self-sacrifice, while her vices are laziness, sloth and slowness. Saaima is often depicted as a Dragon with an immensely long body that coils and turns and twists into a maze of lines. She is also alternatively depicted as an old wrinkled but dignified Sihai woman with immensely long white hair that folds several times around her towards the bottom of her robe. Saaima always has her eyes closed or is depicted in a state of rest or sleep, though with one hand raised in a stopping motion so as to shield others from something, even while she sleeps. Saaima is often worshiped by priests and healers, but also bureaucrats and soldiers for the guarding light that she brings. Saaima prayer occurs with a small shrine with a depiction of her, flanked by incense and a porcelain or ivory bowl filled with wine, upon which a single white Goose feather floats. Saaima worshipers believe that the goose feather drifts, where the direction distinguishes Saaima’s will. The feather floating towards her statue means her approval of the wish or prayer, it floating away from her meaning disapproval. If the feather floats left it means yes, and if it floats right it means no. If the feather sinks it means absolute calamity, and if it simply rotates in place, it means Saaima does not deem the person worthy of an answer, challenging them to be better. Those that worship Saaima seek to become more selfless and kind to others, to be the trustworthy shield and confidante others seek out in times of trouble. They must also be vigilant to her vices of becoming a victim and blind to true pain and horrors, as well as a savior complex that often forms in the wake of her ambitions.

White Foundational Thrones

The White Foundational Thrones are Blue Arcane, Black Desert, and Orange Veil. These are each represented by: Blue Haas the male dragon of mystery and power but also corruption, Black Kash-Tooral the male dragon of soldiery and defense but also ignorance, and Orange Mvu the female dragon of separation and purity but also defeat. The White Foundational Thrones are treated more like advisors and trusted friends by Saaima of the White Sky Throne, and as such, they are always strongly depicted as supporting deities. That being said, while Saaima is absolutely the main deity, the words and intentions of the Foundational Thrones of the Sky Realm are heeded as valued advice also, even if it contradicts the teachings of Saaima.

Anlon, the Teal Deep

Anlon represents the Teal Deep as the leader of the Teal Throne, becoming also the main deity of the Deep Realm. As a primary, Anlon’s virtues are secrecy, disruption and deceit, while their vices are seclusion, mistrust and diversion. Anlon is often depicted as a massive wingless dragon with six legs and a long neck and tail, as he coils around a sphere representing the world. Another way to depict them is with an upper-body of a Mai-Allar and the lower body made of a torrent of water or a water cyclone. Anlon is the lord of trickery, deceit, and secrecy, and any prayers made to them are often hushed under the breath without any edifices. Anlon is often worshiped by rogues and spies but also trial-makers and public speakers. Those that worship Anlon seek to better the world by controlling it with misdirection and smoke and mirrors. Power is the only metric for those that worship Anlon, though they must also remain vigilant to unpopularity and isolation that comes from their positions of deceit and illusion. Anlon is also significant as the only well-known Dragon with a lack of gender pronouns, and is sometimes described as gender-fluid when they appear to worships.

Teal Foundational Thrones

The Teal Foundational Thrones are Cyan Coral, Rubine Decay, and Bronze Mind. These are each represented by: Cyan Maffa the female dragon of quirkiness and whimsy but also cannibalism, Rubine Pharta the male dragon of sustenance and nurture but also rot, and Bronze Duurh the female dragon of puppetry and insight but also frailty. The Teal Foundational Thrones are often depicted as wanting to have their own agenda, but being under the control and domination of the Teal Deep Throne, and as such not being able to fully express themselves. As such, the Foundational Thrones are sometimes worshiped on the same level as Anlon, but there is always a clear distinction between primary and secondary Thrones.

Qaarn, the Red Core

Qaarn represents the Red Core as the leader of the Red Throne, becoming also the main deity of the Core Realm. As a primary, Qaarn’s virtues are strength, endurance and eternity, while his vices are naivety, witless and foolhardiness. Qaarn is often depicted either as a large wing-less dragon with many scales and horns, or a bipedal Eronidas with red skin and a long scaled mantle with black scaled armor. He is often depicted as old, with a white-scaled beard and long hair, a warrior long past his prime but with experience from the battlefield and having seen enough to be wise. Qaarn prayers are made to an open flame, but can also be made to singing coals or molten steel. Qaarn is frequently worshiped by metallurgists and other craftsmen for his close connection to the deep riches of the earth. Those that worship Qaarn seek to better the world with knowledge and wit, but also with world-wiseness and experience gained from traveling and doing things. They must also remain vigilant to the vices of abandonment and forgetting, as Qaarn is prone to when he is not around to exercise his control.

Red Foundational Thrones

The Red Foundational Thrones are Brown Bog, Ebony Curse, and Magenta Will. These are each represented by: Brown Tuuth the male dragon of disease and pestilence but also renewal, Ebony Ruunh the male dragon of revenge and usurpation but also healing, and Magenta Palin the female dragon of freedom and free-will but also revolution. The Red Foundational Thrones are by far and large the most independent of the Foundational Thrones, and some worshipers even get away with primarily worshiping them as opposed to Qaarn, due to Qaarn’s general perceived lack of control. The Foundational Thrones of the Core Realm often just do as they please with little oversight and also have agendas of their own detached from Qaarn. Ruunh in particular has some interesting attachments, because it is commonly believed among the Dragon Worshipers that Draga Ifrit of the Cult of Evolution is actually Ruunh touched by the Void or trapped by the Void, most scholars are not in agreement. As such, those that worship Ruunh are often mistaken for Draga Ifrit worshipers and vice versa. To Dragon worshipers, those that worship the name Draga Ifrit are not non-believers per-se, but it is also true to say that nearly any Dragon worshiper that worships Ruunh is generally mistrusted by the Dragon community at large. Either way, there is considerable friction between other Dragon Worshipers, and those that worship Ruunh or Draga Ifrit, or those who believe they are one and the same.

Festivals

Dragon Worshipers have a festival for every month of the year, that are shared between all Dragon Worshipers no matter what Dragon Realm or God or Goddess they worship. These are often rare opportunities for Dragon Worshipers to exchange ideas and all worship every Dragon as equal just on that one day, as it is permitted to hold all Dragons in equality only on the holy day of the month. Every month on the 15th a Dragon Festival takes place with a different theme:

  • 15th of January is the Festival of Before Spring. This Festival is often made to welcome the coming of spring, even if it is stil more than a month off. Due to the weather in the Regalian Archipelago in particular being somewhat off from the rest of the world, spring flowers can be greeted in January. As such, it is common for this festival to feature a lot of flowers and Dragon Worshipers giving curated flower arrangements or bouquets to each other, while offering to help garden in each other’s gardens.
  • 15th of February is the Festival of the Younglings. This Festival often corresponds to the time when all children from Cycle of Creation are born or have been born, and as such, this festival celebrates not only their birth, but anyone under the age of 15. A frequent activity during this Festival is to bake cookies and hand them out to children, while baking cake with draconic decorations and handing them to adults.
  • 15th of March is the Festival of Communal Song. This Festival features many Dragon Worshipers coming together in a large grass field wherever as many of them can congregate together for a day of communal song and choir singing.
  • 15th of April is the Festival of Gladiators. This Festival features the ritual fighting of many different warriors seeking glories in the name of the Dragons in the All-Faith Arena. It is actually very common to invite warriors of other religions as well to include them in the battle, primarily to show them the graces of the Dragons also, but also to show off Dragon Warriors and posit them as stronger than other religious warriors.
  • 15th of May is the Festival of the Cycle of Creation. It is commonly seen as the Dragon Worship version of the Love Festival celebrated by other cultures and religions, as much of the themes are the same. For the entire duration of the 15th of May, single Dragon Worshipers seek out other Dragon Worshipers to procreate, while loved ones treat this day as a particularly holy day to conceive children.
  • 15th of June is the Festival of Mourning. It is common for this festival to feature processions in the streets of towns and cities where Dragon Worshipers carry candles to the graveyards of other religions, and make displays of flower wreaths and candles to remember those that died, no matter what their religion or culture or citizenship was.
  • 15th of July is the Festival of the Stars. Dragon Worshipers come together at night for star-gazing, while many of them also bring food and drinks and all of them have a large communal barbeque or feast under the stars and the moonlight.
  • 15th of August is the Festival of the Sun. Dragon Worshipers often travel to caves, using a large selection of mirrors and shiny objects to reflect light from the outside into the cave and to light up the darkness with natural sunlight by letting it reflect and cascade off of reflective surfaces. It is believed that during this festival, the Dragon Worshipers must bring light to darkness in preparation for winter.
  • 15th of September is the Festival of Water. Dragon Worshipers travel cities and towns with balloons and bottles of water, and attempt to splash each other (or non worshipers) with water as a form of blessing and wishing good-luck and good-will to them. In many ways however, it could also be seen as a festival to prank each other, which is why many Dragon Worshipers may come home to a bucket of water precariously balancing on a doorway.
  • 15th of October is the Festival of Nurture. Dragon Worshipers come together in communal kitchens and produce one large potluck where every person contributes something to the stew, be it meat or some kind of vegetable of spice. These events also feature a lot of colors, as it is common to have dyed chalk which is smeared across people’s skin and clothes to mark them as worshipers of particular Dragon gods and goddesses.
  • 15th of November is the Festival of Demise, in which Dragon Worshipers pay homage to the Dragons that have fallen in past centuries due to what they perceive as the evil and corruption in creation. Previously this Festival was the Festival that celebrated the creation of Dragons, but since they went extinct around Cataclysm, it was changed to a festival to remember their senseless death. Even with the return of Dragons, this Festival remains unchanged as the worshipers deem it important to remember the slaughter as something that should never happen again.
  • 15th of December is the wildcard Festival. Matrons decide themselves what the theme of this Festival is, and every year has a different theme. This Festival is also a bit more unusual, as opposed to a single day celebration on the 15th, it is a longer lasting celebration from the 15th to the 22nd, with the most intense celebration occurring on the 18th.

Trivia

  • Dragon Thrones actually have multiple Dragons. For example, the Purple Crown Throne has 7 Dragons in it with names, however only the leader, Rhaakhr, is acknowledged as a God for that Throne. Each Throne as such has a leader, which is generally seen as a physical embodiment of all Dragons within that Throne.
  • Dragon Worshipers can change their preferred Dragon Throne, but tend to generally stick with one for their entire lives. Changing a Throne is not seen as something shameful, but continually doing it over and over is. It is also considered shameful if it is done on a whim, as opposed to a major life event.
  • It is sometimes believed that Dragon Worship is compatible with Shambala, Frisit Worship or Vultdragon Unionism. It is distinctly not however, due to the fallible divinity principle of Dragon Worship. This very idea is repugnant to all other organized religions, and as such, it is not possible to be a Dragon Worshiper and faithful of another religion at the same time.
  • Infantilization or imitation of Dragons where not part of racial Abilities is considered taboo among the Dragon Worshipers. Anyone that uses Magic or some sort of Void or Exist born power to imitate Dragons is considered insulting to Dragon Worship and Dragons.

Accreditation
Writers MonMarty
Artists MonMarty
Processors HydraLana
Last Editor OkaDoka on 10/12/2021.

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