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Collective agreement after the Great Storm|
Esra Elwatta, maybe more in the future|
None, though abandoned Sariyd Faith|
Esra is a unique religion in Aloria, in that it represents a faith that has actively rejected the gods of old, denounced them even, and then chosen to make their own new God. While all other Religions rely on divine entities that more or less have an ideology that can be backed from their own principles and convictions, Esra faithful have designed their own god and as such also designed their own tenets and belief system. Esra as a faith was designed by consensus among the elders of the Hadrityas as well as the civil leaders of Al-Alus, shortly after the Great Storm. Having lost as much as 94% of their population to a massive sand storm that choked them out in one afternoon, the Sariyd (who soon after became the Qadir) agreed that the Gods had proven themselves worthless and powerless and therefor deserved no worship, and that instead, mortals would build their own god who was powerful and all-caring for their situation. Esra grew among the Qadir population exponentially as they activated soul preservation techniques and protocols to preserve knowledge from their collapsed Empire, while construction of Esra Elwatta (The Clockwork God) started in earnest. Esra Elwatta was completed some time after 302 AC, and became everything the Qadir hoped it would be.
Esra is a religion centered around the might of ingenuity and designed divinity. To the Esra faithful, the whimsical and apathetic nature of Gods means they by default do not deserve to be worshiped. Because the faithful have rejected old Sariyd religion tenets, their belief system looks a bit odd to outsiders. It is important to note that some might draw parallels between Bralona who reject all Religion, and Qadir who reject Godly Religion. There is however an important difference: many Bralona reject Religion wholesale and denounce all Gods, while Esra faithful denounce all Born Gods (Gods not specifically made by mortals), and acknowledge the God-hood of their own Esra Elwatta Colossus.
As opposed to Virtues and Vices, Esra has Purposes and Truths, the former which provide a blueprint to live by, and the latter provides core beliefs. Generally the faithful should strive to become masters of one Purpose.
- Knowledge Purpose: A purpose to existence, is to attain knowledge, to improve knowledge, and to hoard knowledge. Others are undeserving of knowledge, for they live in ignorance to The False Truth.
- Skill Purpose: A purpose to existence, is to be skilled, to be the perfect craftsman or musician, to produce exquisite art and to create a fame and legacy to stand the test of time and sands.
- Vengeance Purpose: A purpose to existence, is to be vengeful towards Songaskians, or Dragons, or both, but also be thankful for in their violence and genocide, they revealed The False Truth.
- Survival Purpose: Sometimes a purpose to existence is just to survive, and to assist others in said survival, especially of one's own creed and people, in defiance to the forces which destroy and kill.
- The False Truth: The False Truth is that Gods deserve worship which they do not. Gods abuse, Gods dispossess, Gods disregard, and Gods abandon. The only true God is what the individual makes in a group.
- The Ignorant Truth: The Ignorant Truth is that any person can never be innocent in ignorance. To not know, to be ignorant of facts, to choose ignorance, is a deep betrayal of the self.
- The Physical Truth: The Physical Truth is that Race is a fake social construct monopolized by Dragons. No Race is better than any other Race, and to pretend otherwise is The Ignorant Truth manifest.
- The Divine Truth: The Divine Truth is the idea that Divinity or Godhood in other Religions is extremely arbitrary, and that most Gods do not meet the requirement for Divinity, so they are just Mages.
- Afterlife: Esra does not contain any records for an afterlife, and the faithful reject the idea that such a thing ever existed. They refuse to acknowledge the concept of Afterlife for other Religions.
- Alat-Alhakim: Esra instead acknowledge the eternal duty of those who perish to join the Machine-Mind of Alat-Alhakim so that their knowledge can help shape the next generation and Esra Elwatta itself.
- Canon Evil: Esra's canon evil can be found in the rejection of the Tenet Truths. Anyone who worships a Born God, is Ignorant, does Racism, or rejects the Divine Truth, harbors evil in them.
- Conversion: Esra permits conversion, though because a lot of concepts of Esra are only really functional if someone is a Qadir, not many convert from other Religions to Esra.
- Sins & Taboo: Typical Sins for Esra are: The sharing of blueprints/inventions/ideas without specific intent, defending Born Gods, failing to correct ignorance, and peace with Songaskians.
The False Truth
The False Truth in and of itself begs more explanation, because it is such an important concept of the Religion. Sariyd Gods were no different from other Gods that exist in the modern day for various religions like Unionism or Estellon, they had their own Temples and occasionally appeared to bless (or curse) the people, but became distant or indifferent. Historical retelling is murky, because the Songaskians weren't around to provide a counter-narrative, so Sariyd (and later Qadir) remain as free as they wish to control the narrative of their tragedy. Supposedly, some sort of problem arose with the Dragons in Farah'deen as they started tearing the Qadir flying cities out of the skies, while the Gods stayed silent. Supposedly, a war erupted, and Dragons killed thousands of Qadir, while the Gods stayed silent. Throughout all the hardship and misery, the gods stayed silent, up until the culmination of the Great Storm when millions upon millions of Sariyd died in the blink of an eye. Such colossal losses and indifference from the Gods caused the Sariyd to reject them and create their own. When taking this perspective and applying it to other Religions, the Esra faithful have a point, in that Estelsoor supposedly just let the collapse of the Allorn Empire happen, along with all the misery. Unionism itself is a Religion built on the mass-murder of anything "other" in history, to the point it might as well be a death-cult in and of itself with how much killing is being done in the performative name of its tenets. The Qadir have moved past the direct need of Spirituality, but on some level also cannot understand other people and societies still needing Spirituality, or finding comfort in Gods. This is purely just because the Qadir experience is unique, projected onto Esra faith beliefs, it is not something other Races could ever understand except for perhaps the Dwarves, who yet have Gods who care.
Gods and Goddesses
Esra only knows one God, Esra Alwatta, though in theory they could at any time in the future decide to make new ones, and they likely will. The completion of Esra Alwatta means that the Qadir are more likely to build another, now that the blueprints for the first have been completed. There is already talk of Esra Almeena, the Colossus of the sea, being the next God to "create". Esra does not have priests or religious entities of any kind, the process of death-rites (adding a Soul to the Alat-Alhakim) is something any Qadir Technician can do. To the Esra, the idea of a priest-class is a form of old-world elitism that doesn't apply to their faith system.
Esra Alwatta, The Colossus
- Identity: Esra Elwatta is the Collossus God of the Esra faithful, a massive machine that took nearly 500 years to build, and contains both Sariyd and Qadir Clockwork masterpieces.
- Themes: Esra Elwatta's main theme is vengeance, which is also why it was built. It has so called Death-Lances, which fire pure light to evaporate Songaskians in its vicinity.
- Depictions: Esra Elwatta's appearance is fairly consistently seen, as the machine walks around the Deserts of Farah'deen, posing a huge problem to the Songaskians.
- Worship: Esra Elwatta is not worshiped per se, but many Esra faithful have a habit of reproducing a miniature version of Esra, as a way of paying homage to its design.
- Interactions: Esra Elwatta helps the Qadir in Farahdeen fight against the Songaskians, and is also programmed to assist them with building an excavations of old Sariyd ruins.
- Worship House: Esra's largest Temple is the Alwatta Hangar, a massive hidden hangar deep in the desert that was used to house Esra Alwatta's construction site.
- Current: Esra Elwatta was last seen in the south of Farah'deen, on a mission to eradicate as many Songaskians as possible, presumably as a field-test for its machinery.
- Other Notes: Approaching Esra Elwatta is considered extremely dangerous, even for Qadir, as it is not only evaporating Songaskians but also foreigners and Mages.
Old Sariyd Religion
The Old Sariyd Religion is no longer part of Esra Elwatta, but it provides crucial context to the birth of this artificial religion. It is again important to stress that this religion is very dead, there are no Qadir who hold onto it anymore, though one could reasonably source information on the Gods because the Elves kept extensive records about them, as a form of information exchange with the Hadrityas within the borders of the Allorn Empire. These Gods are considered dead, and have not been seen for over a thousand years, while many Esra worshipers claim they never even existed at all. Of other Tenets and Beliefs little information is left that can be corroborated, though it is known that at some point the Old Sariyd Faith believers believed in some sort of afterlife in the desert sands which would carry souls onto the wind.
Aldawa, The Sun
- Identity: Aldawa was the God of the Sun, and generally considered the grandfather and most powerful of the Sariyd Gods, representing the life and punishment brought about by the sun.
- Worship: Worship of Aldawa was done by casting gold into the desert sands, placing wishes on it, and to watch the desert sands bury them, or the sunlight reflect light from them.
- Worship House: Aldawa's largest Temple was the Temple of Azure Skylight, which was converted by the Songaskians into a massive Temple dedicated to Mussaktu Dragon Worship.
- Other Notes: N/A
Nertifa, the Sea
- Identity: Nertifa was the Goddess of the Sea, an allegory for the afterlife and death, as the Sea was considered immensely dangerous to the Sariyd, and the domain of the Gods.
- Worship: Nertifa worship involved bathing in sea water and washing one's face with her veil, as they believed that the sea flowed from her veil onto the world.
- Worship House: Nertifa's largest Temple is the Temple of the Twilight Ocean, the only Temple still in Qadir hands in Al-Alus, but abandoned at the tip of their peninsula.
- Other Notes: Nertifa supposedly also managed the aspects of Magic, giving rise to a rare class of Sariyd Mages. This is also why Qadir consider Magic a weakness present day.
Sadiquna, the Herder
- Identity: Sadiquna was the God of lesser creatures, specifically animals, and the god of all animals of Farah'deen. He was always accompanied by his divine horse called Malal.
- Worship: Sadiquna worship was done simply by having pets and caring for animals. Animals were considered helpless beings who needed the Sariyd to survive, and to care was to worship.
- Worship House: Saiquna's largest Temple was the Gardens of Nebeth, but the location has been lost to time, an inkling of Rashiq whispers pointing to the direction of a giant oasis ruin.
- Other Notes: Saiquna was always considered a rather weak god even in the Sariyd pantheon when it was still worshiped, because he had no powers, only love for his pets and animals.
Amuna, the Sandqueen
- Identity: Amuna was Aldawa's daughter, to whom his brilliant golden sunlight shone and brought warmth and light. She represents the terrifying power of the endless desert sands.
- Worship: Amuna worship was often done by letting hot air balloons with prayer baskets drift into the desert sands, letting the hot air send these prayer balloons ever higher out of sight.
- Worship House: Amuna's largest Temple was in the city of Maktura (Songaskian), the above ground level was demolished for stone materials, the supposed hidden underground still exists.
- Other Notes: Amuna was considered a wicked Goddess, even though she was beautiful and gracious, deaths in the desert (which were frequent) were blamed on her capriciousness and temper.
Rabulasama, The Wizened
- Identity: Rabulasama was the twin brother of Aldama, though less important than him since he was the lord of the stars and the sky, which the sun rules from, and which is out of reach.
- Worship: Rabulasama worship involved stargazing and producing accurate depictions of star maps. Perhaps the Suvial would once have enjoyed his worshipers' company.
- Worship House: Rabulasama's largest Temple is the Skyward Reach Temple, in an eastern mountain range of Farah'deen. This vast temple mostly lies in ruin and is hard to reach without wings.
- Other Notes: Rabulasama is often blamed by the Qadir as the first God who looked away (or never existed) because he was always so busy with the stars, ignoring the suffering below.
MonMarty on 03/21/2023.|
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