|Origins||The Great Storm|
|The Esrah Alwattah|
The history of the Qadir is a tumultuous one, filled with war and conquest, as well as being conquered. Their previous religion has seen a major change in the course of their history. It was once a polytheistic faith, with worshippers choosing to worship one, or many of the gods of the pantheon. However, after the fall of the Sariyd Empire, the Qadir thought their gods had abandoned them, preferring instead to create their own god in their place; the Esrah Alwattah. In more recent times, the Qadir have used their knowledge of technology to begin the creation of their god, gathering Soul Essence and combining their knowledge deep in the heart of the desert. Each Qadir practices their beliefs separate from one another, but all come together for the pursuit of one goal; to create the perfect god.
Prior to the Great Storm, the Qadir believed in a pantheon of deities numbering upwards of 2,400 gods and goddesses; representing everything from the sand of the desert to the bushes that grew in the jungle. The Sariyd Empire popularized these beliefs and continued to worship their gods until 121 AC, when the Songaskia toppled the once-great Empire of the Qadir people. The Qadir prayed to their many gods to help them fend off the Songaskian threat as they emerged out of the Great Storm, enslaving entire cities of people and laying waste to all who opposed them. Despite their desperate cries for help, their gods did not answer their pleas, and as the Sariyd Empire fell, so did their religion. In the years following these events the Qadir received no signs from their gods, claiming that they had been forsaken. Over time, even the most zealous of Qadirdeclared their once-beloved gods had turned their backs on their people, leaving only the Ardualnaar in Califaera holding onto their past.
The few remaining priests were looked at as leaders following the catastrophe that fell upon their people. With this power, they created a prophecy that nearly every Qadir follows to this day. They claimed that the gods had died, and the Qadir must use their technical skills and clockwork expertise to build a new, perfect, all-knowing god. This god would become known as the Esrah Alwattah. The Qadir people looked to the technology that remained through the fall of their empire, mainly the Almuttaq; large cubes that hold the souls of the ‘elders’ that guide the Qadir on the right path. While few Qadir ever obtain the chance to witness an Almuttaq, the priests operating them convey what is said to the population of Qadir through word-of-mouth.
After they reformed their pursuit of creating the perfect god, the Qadir set upon building out Hadritya; fortress libraries where the Qadir watch over their sacred technology and knowledge. Many of these Hadritya are found in the regions of Al-Alus and Mooriye, where the desert is generally too barren for the Songaskia to bother conquering in the first place. Legends tell of one Hadritya in particular that holds the Esrah Alwattah, located somewhere in the vast Farah’deen deserts. Very few Qadir actually know the location of this sacred city, or even if it exists at all, as finding it requires access to the Almuttaq that are locked away from the public.
Upon the rise of the Regalian Empire, the Qadir found an unsteady alliance with the zealous nation. While the Qadir people were in search of technology, the Regalian Empire wanted to take advantage of the Qadir’s innovations in order to best their foes; those being the Elves and Songaskia. From this unsteady alliance spawned a trade agreement; the Qadir receive parts and materials for their Clockwork machinery and the building of the Esrah Alwattah, and Regalia receives the technology that ended up aiding in the mass killing of the Bone Horrors following the Lo Occupation. Not only that, but the Hadritya were the only places that could still stand against the Bone Horrors, only furthering the Qadir in their zeal.
From this victory, the Qadir believe that the Esrah Alwattah and the Almuttaq have chosen them as the people to save Aloria and to create this perfect God. The vigor of those involved in the construction of the Esrah Alwattah and the collection of Soul Essence has exponentially increased with these victories following their centuries of oppression.
Despite near homogeneously following the religion, the Qadir people do not have a unified set of practices that identify them as followers of Esrah Alwattah. Most Qadir have a small Clockwork shrine in their home, sometimes disguised as a clock or an item as small as a pocket watch. Due to the vast separation of the Qadir people, most often as a result of the slavery imposed on them by the Songaskia, the allure of the Regalian Empire, or the appeal of wandering the deserts as a nomad, Qadir in residence outside of Hadritya have no definite form of worship that they all partake in. This religion is vastly centered around one’s individual need to contribute to the greater cause, which can be likened to the Great Way in Unionism. The most a Qadir can contribute to the religion is partake in the pursuit of technological advancement so they can one day build their Clockwork god.
Inside these Hadritya, however, a far more organized structure and exists. The Qadir people tend to go pay their respects to the Almuttaq at a temple before attending school or work in the morning. Priests, known as Kahin to those that follow the religion, go about their day, checking in on the various mechanics that occupy the fortress, and delivering any offerings, from the previous morning to the Almuttaq. These offerings can vary from being a loaf of bread to an invention that a Qadir within the Hadritya has created. If there is any guidance needed, they ask the Almuttaq for it, though this is rather uncommon, as it has been made clear by the machines that the most essential task is the creation of the Clockwork god. The Qadir that work within the Hadritya do not have direct access to an Almuttaq, only an altar, leaving the direct handling of the machine to the priests, priestesses and elders. The older the priests are, the wiser they are seen to be. This causes a hierarchy to form, where the older a priest is, the more ‘power’ within the temple they have. Generally, males are favored over females for maintaining the Almuttaq, though it is possible for a female to join the clergy. After a certain age, a priest will become an elder and be given the honor of joining the Almuttaq when they eventually pass away. Qadir that are visiting from the outside world are considered to be less holy, simply due to the unfamiliarity of them, and they aren’t even allowed near the vast caverns that protect the Almuttaq in most Hadritya.
The Qadir are quite knowledgeable about what happens when it comes to death and dying through their use of Soul Essence, which has been said to revive those that have died. While this may be true, the Qadir and their religious heads believe that the souls of all Qadir should be used for the greater good and fuel the Esrah Alwattah. This purpose and instruction causes the Qadir to be rather zealous in their pursuit of technological advancement as the more knowledge they acquire, the more useful they will be in their life after death as a piece of the man-made God. Those that take care of the Almuttaq are generally added to it once they pass away and if not, then their souls are stored in a Qatil for use in a different purpose. Usually they are kept to eventually be added to the Esrah Alwattah once it is complete.
- Esrah Alwattah:
- The Qadir believe that the Esrah Alwattah is the only path to salvation, for not only their people, but for the entire Alorian population. Their distinct hate for the Songaskia fuels the passion and belief that their previous gods have turned their backs on them, and that they must create their own. No one knows exactly where the Hadritya that contains the Esrah Alwattah’s Clockwork form is located (though the Khaneh Qadir claim it is housed in the City of Mooriye), but all Qadir bow before its potential power and unite under the same banner in order to further its progress and completion.
The Qadir don’t worship the Esrah Alwattah yet, as it isn’t completed or functioning, but consider the Almuttaq as a proof of concept, and they do worship them when they are inside their Hadritya, but otherwise, Qadir perform their prayers to holy symbols, such as clocks or other Clockwork machines kept in their home. These Clockwork machines are generally seen as symbols to the advancement of technology and eventual progress that the Qadir people hope to make.
- The Almuttaq are generally known to be one by one by one meter cubes that are vastly complicated in nature. They are made out of a metal that is unknown to modern Alorians, and the center of the cube is clear. The clear part of the cube is not made out of glass, but instead another material that is supposedly unbreakable. Despite not having any magical powers, all Qadir, if they look in the clear area of the cube, can see the Soul Essence glowing within. It requires no external power, and so the priests that maintain the Almuttaq believe that the souls’ energy powers the machine. Some Qadir believe them to be artifacts from the Seraph, while others hail them as technological feats and believe that the Qadir are capable of replicating them. While there are just a few Almuttaq in existence, spread throughout the deserts of Farah’deen within the Qadir strongholds known as Hadritya, these complicated machines have determined the entirety of the Qadir’s path following their removal from the Sariyd Empire’s religion.
Worship is very personal to each Qadir. They don’t generally have places to ‘worship’ outside of Hadritya, and even in the Hadritya they only have altars where they leave small offerings to the Almuttaq at the beginning of the day, which is then cleared by those that care for the Almuttaq. Since their people are so scattered, it is common to find a Qadir with some sort of small gear or Clockwork machine that they hold very dear to them, and could probably even see them paying their respects or bowing their head with this in their hand. Other Qadir disguise their altar as a large clock generally located in places of gathering within the home. This keeps suspicion from other governments, who tend not to understand their religion or respect it at all, or only to a minimum.
- While not outright heretical, believers of the Esrah Alwattah hold Magic to be a force of the gods, and unable to be controlled by mere mortals. While Mages have appeared throughout Qadir history following the Great Storm, they usually found themselves cast out from society due to their mysticism. However, those that were able to control Soul Essence seemed to be exempt from this social stigma, believed to be more in tune with the goals of their artificial god.
- Praising the Sun:
- Stemming from their hatred of the Songaskia, the worshippers of the Esrah Alwattah oppose symbols of Shambala and anything that would provide praises to the Sun as an entity worthy of praise. While worshippers do acknowledge the Sun as a source of energy, they do not believe it is the source of all life, subscribing to the belief that their dead gods were the origins of all.
There is no one symbol that the Qadir people follow, as the scattering and different social standing of them cause different symbols to be used to represent who they are, and sometimes the Qadir just meld into whatever culture they are living in. Generally speaking, Clockwork gears tend to represent and be a big part of their religious symbolism if there are any. Pistons and other machinery have also been used.
- The Khaneh Qadir practice a much more extreme version of the Esrah Alwattah, in the sense that they take a very heavy emphasis on Soul Essence. They believe that death is the final great act a worshipper can undergo, as their Soul Essence will be either absorbed into the Almuttaq they follow, or used in a Qatil for their technological advancements. The Khaneh are also more structured in worship that their mainline Qadir, in that they have a priesthood dedicated to tending the Hadrityas temples and the Almuttaq inside. Finally, they revere the Adanniš-Ištēn, which are a series of sixteen great priests through which the Almuttaq speaks, dispensing wisdom to the living priests to communicate with the faithful, guiding them in their quest to complete the Esrah Alwattah.
- For more information on their system of belief, click here
- Non-Qadir tend to have a hard time understanding Qadir worship, as the very concept of creating one’s own god is foreign, and not to mention incredibly heretical to many. However, in the Regalian Empire it is often likened to the Great Way of Unionism.
- The Qadir prayed to their gods when the Songaskia came from the deserts, but with no answer from their gods, the religion that held the Qadir together was broken with the very kingdom that kept it intact.
- Despite efforts to replicate Almuttaqs and create more, thus far, the Qadir have failed every single time.