|Origins||Cult of the Knowledge Arken|
|No central deities|
The Narathim is a self-professed religion of intellectual agnosticism that places self-exploration, discovery, knowledge and teaching others above all else. Considered by many to be an organisation or personal doctrine rather than a true religion, the Narathim religion was born through occult practices in the Library of Naraht, from which rumors circulate of sacred rituals performed in secluded halls. The Narathim, as a melting pot of cultures and with a central culture as intellectual wanderers, regard themselves as the intellectual saviours of the world at large.
Thought to predate the Cataclysm as an ideology, though not as a formal group, the Narathim proclaim themselves to always have unofficially existed in any place where scholars have congregated. Though this is widely unknown, the first official Narathim gathering took place in the year 30 AC. A sizeable group of intellectuals, composed largely of followers of the Knowledge and Scripter Arken, broke off from the main cults following these Arken, and fled to an area in Corontium close to present-day Arvost. Here, they founded the Library of Naraht, the first official gathering for the Narathim that would eventually become their official headquarters. For the first several decades they merely existed as a secluded group of intellectuals that were, for the most part, entirely self-sufficient. It was not until 86 AC that their official reforms began in three phases, each led by a different man.
The first was Castador Ramos, a Daendroque immigrant to the home of the Narathim, who was one of the founders of what would become modern-day Narathim. At the time of his induction into the Narathim, the order lacked traditional structure and a defined purpose, which appalled Castador almost as much as the arrogance of those who had supplanted themselves into Narathim leadership. Ramos, through a series of smaller reforms, eventually founded the central teaching of acting as “Shepherds”, who he proclaimed were the “Common Men” of Aloria. Ramos declared that there was no need for hierarchy; the Narathim were a settlement of barely one hundred. This belief would be mangled near the end of Ramos’ life, when he was declared the First Primae and renamed Ramos Dai. Ramos Dai became the first person to have their beliefs solidified into an official subsect of the Narathim.
The second was named Oslaf Varos, the son of a gifted blacksmith who fled to the Library of Naraht after being accused of adultery in 150 AC. He was the first to introduce the idea of innovation to the Narathim. While Ramos had done a good job in unifying the Narathim behind a singular goal, Varos decided that they should always strive to improve themselves and the world around them. He created innovations such as simple waste collection, irrigation, and aqueduct systems for the Library of Naraht that widely increased their productivity and population capacity. While not as widely known as Ramos, Varos later created the Kir Kas hierarchy and was declared the Second Primae by a unanimous vote of the Narathim.
The final reformer was Azin Kafir - a disgraced son of a high ranking Songaskian nobleman and a notable pit fighter - who fled to the Library of Naraht in 211 AC. While he was there he revolutionized the hierarchy of the rudimentary fighters that the Narathim had either paid or recruited to help defend their headquarters. He showed the Narathim of the time that they ought to keep themselves healthy and well fed. He introduced the idea of acting only in defense to the warriors that he trained and acted as the first Ka’jin to the Narathim as a whole. Later in his life, he resigned himself to mercenary work and collections of foreign knowledge, where he was persecuted by the court of his younger brother Afif. Afif, who had corrupted their father’s kingdom, told Azin that he was to renounce his new religion and return to the Masaya as a slave to his brother. When Azin refused, he and all of his students were put to death. Azin was declared Kafir Jin, the Martyr, and unanimously and posthumously elected as the Third Primae.
The Narathim have not elected another Primae in what is approaching one hundred years, but the position is certainly available for one person who shows their devotion. For now, they are content to sit on their principles of the Narthim Edicts and spread knowledge where they can as their numbers slowly start to grow.
In the antiquity of the Narathim, their beliefs followed a singular track and they all kept to the same sort of system for evaluation of topics such as morality, the basis for knowledge, the goals of life, and the presence of a possible afterlife. The collective views on stated general topics remain in the modern era, but the path an individual takes is determined by whose teachings they follow. The Primae, which is discussed in the Narathim Heirarchy section, are the most devout and notable of the Narathim and often inspires their own teachings and subsections of the Narathim belief, though they are all unified under a few central ideas.
The Edicts of Narathim
- Never usurp another religion, one must believe what brings them comfort.
- Never guide someone away from something, unless that something is ignorance.
- Never take the life of another creature, whether man or beast.
- Never make choices that are self-destructive, or damaging to your own ability.
- Never stagnate, unless stagnation is necessary to accomplish a goal.
- We are all ignorant.
Apostles of Ramos Dai, The Shepherds
Ramos Dai, called The Shepherd, is the first individual to have his teachings recognized as their own subsect of Narathim or have them added to the Narathim Edicts. The teachings of Ramos Dai are encompassed by the idea that a Ramos Dai should always strike to teach and to be taught. Ramos Dai are often teachers, philosophers, political and military advisors, and any other profession that involves dealing in theoretics or instruction. Ramos Dai also taught that everything is ignorant, that no single person ought keep a wealth a knowledge to themselves, and that it is the job of the Ramos Dai to guide other Narathim and the Common Man.
Curiously, Ramos Dai often follow another Religion while operating under the guidance of the Narathim Edicts. A Ramos Dai can, for example, also fulfill the role as a Unionist Reverend so long as he does not defy Narathim Edicts. This is a common practice for Ramos Dai because it is taught that the Common Man, and even Narathim, ought to follow what they find comfort in while remaining loyal to the Narathim Edicts.
Guiding Principles of Ramos Dai
- Always seek to disprove one’s own truths, for there is intelligence in ignorance.
- Always seek to guide your brothers and sisters of Narathim, and the Common Man.
- Always offer council or guidance, but never force it on someone unwilling.
- Always aspire to learn more, and reflect on what you know.
- Always allot yourself four waking hours for meditation, learning, and self-discovery.
- Always stay true to the Narathim Edicts.
In order to identify oneself as an Apostle of Ramos Dai, an individual must make a pilgrimage to the Library of Naraht and spend one week in fast and meditation in absolute darkness and silence. Apostles of Ramos Dai must also take an Oath of No Harm, similar to what is required by the Medical Union. There is no hierarchy among the Apostles of Ramos Dai, individuals either choose to exist in the Library of Naraht or adventure outside to spread their knowledge.
Appearance Guidelines for Ramos Dai
- Ramos Dai, regardless of gender, always wear metal studs in their ears as earrings. This is to symbolize that they must always be mindful of the weight on their shoulders as guides.
- Ramos Dai must always wear loose, freely flowing clothes and sturdy shoes. This is to facilitate ease of travel, as one must come from far and wide to educate the masses.
- Ramos Dai, and all Narathim, must wear a stone slate pendant with a single rune engraved on it to symbolize their devotion to knowledge. The origin of these runes are unknown, and they are indecipherable. Each rune is hand picked during their tenth birthday by the Primae Kas’tir, and they must make their first pilgrimage at the age of ten to receive this. If they join the Narathim later in their lives they are still expected to make at least the one pilgrimage.
- Ramos Dai may never cut or dye their hair, or trim their beards if they are men unless it is for the purpose of maintenance. Cutting hair any more than a quarter inch at one time is considered disgraceful. Body hair can be cut down and maintained, but the hair on their head is seen as an extension of their wisdom.
- Ramos Dai must always wear a bracelet made of a ductile metal, to symbolize that they are always able to be shaped and changed.
Apostles of Varos Kir, The Creators
Varos Kir, called The Creator, is the second leader to have their teachings recognized by the Narathim. The teachings of Varos Kir incorporate the use of the knowledge one gains through their studies and states that while the Shepherds are the ones whose purpose is to teach and guide, there are those Narathim who wish to use their talents for constructive purposes. The Narathim that eventually become Varos Kir are those who invest their time in the world around them as well as those who create things to assist the Shepherds in teaching or fill a purpose. One of the central teachings of Varos Kir is that everything, from the small blade of grass to the largest mountain, has a purpose. Varos Kir are often mathematicians, alchemists, scribes, astronomers, clockwork engineers, blacksmiths, and anything else that deals in more scientific or tangible knowledge.
Varos Kir are often considered wildly eccentric, but not necessarily always. Varos Kir often follow personality extremes, either being wildly eccentric and open or closed off and tightly knit together. Varos Kir should always strive to be a part of major projects in research or development and should endeavor to collaborate in groups with others and not singularly.
Guiding Principles of Varos Kir
- Always seek to be industrious, idle hands are of no benefit to anyone.
- Always seek to innovate existing knowledge or technology, as nothing is ever perfect.
- Always seek to solve the problems of the world, where it is your place too.
- Always seek to record every aspect of what you do, so that it can be shared.
- Always seek to work with others, as we will be blinded in solidarity.
- Never remain stagnant for too long, but take breaks when necessary.
- Efficiency is paramount, refine your process.
- Always stay true to the Narathim Edicts.
In order to identify oneself as a Varos Kir, an individual must present a solution to a problem of the modern world to a collection of their fellow Varos Kir at the Library of Naraht. It is unnecessary for this to be a feasible solution, but must be made reasonably and follow a logical chain of thought.
Appearance Guidelines for Varos Kir
- Varos Kir, and all Narathim, must wear a stone slate pendant with a single rune engraved on it to symbolize their devotion to knowledge. The origin of these runes are unknown, and they are indecipherable. Each rune is hand picked during their tenth birthday by the Primae Kas’tir, and they must make their first pilgrimage at the age of ten to receive this. If they join the Narathim later in their lives they are still expected to make at least the one pilgrimage.
- Varos Kir may wear their hair and beards however they wish, but they must always be kept very neat and orderly. Varos Kir are seen as the official leaders of the Narathim and should appear orderly.
- Varos Kir must wear clothing that fits them near perfectly, and it must always be handmade by a Narathim unless it would benefit them in matters of diplomacy.
- Varos Kir must retain a very rigid set of social mannerisms, and always present themselves as figures of posterity.
- Varos Kir must always conceal every inch of their skin from the neck down while they are in public places.
There is a simple hierarchy within the Varos Kir which is outlined below.
Kir Kas’tir The Kir Kas’tir is the unanimously elected leader of the local Varos Kir researchers, and is selected from the existing council of the local Kir Kas. The Kir Kas’tir is re-selected every year on the first day of the year by the local Kir Kas. Their obligations are that to seek to always be innovating technology around the Narathim Libraries and locales and to give council to every Varos Kir that comes to seek guidance. He is responsible for entertaining research ideas brought to him and for handling the finances the Varos Kir have set aside for research purposes. There are both local Kir Kas’tir, and the Primae Kas’tir who is the collective leader of the Varos Kir.
Kir Kas The Kir Kas is the Varos Kir council and is responsible for maintaining the grounds of the Narathim libraries and locales. Kir Kas are usually aged members of the Varos Kir who are either incapable of actively inventing things or injured members of the Varos Kir. They are selected by the existing Kir Kas, but if it is a new area or a new group of Varos Kir the Kir Kas are always unanimously elected in groups of threes and to have a Kir Kas there must be a minimum of 5 Varos Kir in the electing group. There are both local Kir Kas, and the Primae Kir Kas which is the governing body of Varos Kir underneath the Primae Kas’tir. The Kir Kas are also responsible for occupying all the leadership positions within the Narathim Libraries and the Library of Naraht.
Apostles of Kafir Jin, The Martyrs
Kafir Jin, called The Martyr, is the third and final person to have their teachings recognized by the Narathim. The teachings of Varos Kir incorporate the use of natural talents as a way of both gaining knowledge and discovering new things. This is specifically in reference to combat-oriented talents and physicality, as the Apostles of Kafir Jin are predominantly Spellswords, religiously motivated fighters, and those who focus on both martial and an intellectual pursuits at the same time. While Generals and Admirals belong solely to the Ramos Dai, Combat Officers and those who engage in combat are guided by the principles of the Kafir Jin. Kafir Jin are the only Narathim permitted to engage in defense or offensive activities for the purpose of gathering knowledge for the Narathim, though rarely ever should a Kafir Jin act offensively.
Not called the Martyrs for nothing, Kafir Jin are the devoted protectors of intellectuals that devote themselves to either the Narathim or other institutions of scholarly pursuit. However, while they are trained in combat disciplines Kafir Jin may only act in an offensively for defensive purposes and may only take the life of another being when it is necessary in self-defense.
Guiding Principles of Kafir Jin
- Always seek to defend those who cannot defend themselves.
- Always seek to inspire others to better themselves, we must never regress.
- Always seek to root out treachery and deceit, there is no honor in either.
- Always seek to better yourself, and others if possible.
- Always keep a weapon cleaned, sharpened, and on your person.
- Never act offensively, unless required for a defensive purpose.
- Never purposefully take the life of any living being, whether man or beast.
In order to identify oneself as Kafir Jin, an individual must travel to the Library of Naraht or seek out a Ka’jin to endure a series of intellectual, moral, philosophical, martial, and personal testing. Kafir Jin is the order that is held with the highest amount of scrutiny out of all the Narathim because of the discipline one must display to qualify to become a Kafir Jin. On top of this, a Kafir Jin must always seek to be improving and learning tactics. They are expected to have a grasp of a primary weapon, a sidearm, shield, or secondary weapon, and either an understanding of military theory, leadership or another tertiary skill that benefits the first two.
Kafir Jin retain a few Appearance Guidelines
- Kafir Jin, and all Narathim, must wear a stone slate pendant with a single rune engraved on it to symbolize their devotion to knowledge. The origin of these runes are unknown, and they are indecipherable. Each rune is hand picked during their tenth birthday by the Primae Kas’tir, and they must make their first pilgrimage at the age of ten to receive this. If they join the Narathim later in their lives they are still expected to make at least the one pilgrimage.
- Kafir Jin of any discipline must always wear their hair short, and cleanly kept.
- Kafir Jin of any discipline must, at all times, keep a small, ceremonial dagger on their person. This is a symbol of their readiness to defend themselves and others.
- Kafir Jin must always wear cotton undergarments and clothing that allows them to be ready to leap into combat in a moments notice.
- Kafir Jin must have a brand with the symbol of their Order burnt into the skin above their heart.
There is a complex hierarchy within the Kafir Jin that determines how you are involved and how you can increase your standing:
Sahn -> Sah’ja -> Sah’jin
- The Sahn are the recruits of the Kafir Jin and serve as Sellswords for the Narthim. They act as bodyguards for hire and return nearly one hundred percent of their profits back to the Library of Naraht or their local Narathim organization. The Sahn is the recruit level, and they always study under a single Sah’ja. Sahn are all about honor and loyalty.
- The Sah’ja are those who have trained at least 3 individuals in the Sahn discipline, have been recognized by either the Primae Kas’tir or a local Kas’tir, or must participate in a special mission. Sah’ja must serve under a Kas’tir regardless of which they choose.
- The Sah’jin are those who have devoted the entirety of their lives to serve the faith. To become Sah’jin, a Sah’ja must have been recognized by a Kas’tir with at least 8 people under them, or must have undergone another, more advanced special mission. Sah’jin must serve under a Kas’tir regardless of which they choose. Sah’jin remain Sah’jin for life, unless they are disgraced, and are bound by a pact of blood to their Kas’tir.
Vaji -> Vaj’da -> Vaj’dai
- The Vaji is the recruit level rank for the normal warriors of the Narathim. Often composed of criminals, societal rejects, and other reformed delinquents, the Vaji is the easiest to join and often a good alternative to prison assuming one can remain under the service of the Narathim for the remainder of their life.
- To become a Vaj’da, the requirements are the same as listed about for Sah’ja.
- To become Vaj’dai, the requirements are the same as listed above for Sah’jin, minus the blood pact and replaced with lifelong companionship in the realm of marriage or consortship.
Kaji -> Kaj’di -> Ka’jin
- The Kaji are the most secluded and occult-like warriors of the Narathim, and also retain the lowest numbers because of their odd practices. The Kaji are the spellswords of the Narathim, and are entirely devoted to personal development of physical, magical, and intellectual talents. Kaji as a whole participate in ritual tattooing, scarring, and self-flagellation. Kaji believe that there is knowledge in pain, and aspire to learn from their pain. They are recognized as the finest and most disciplined of the Narathim warriors, though not always at the recruit level.
- To become Kaj’di, one must show good levels of control over themselves, their desires, and the pain that they feel. Kaj’di must endure a series of painful trials at the hand of the Primae Kas’tir in the Library of Naraht. They are then given a ritual blade that they must hold during a period of one week while they fast and meditate.
- To become Ka’jin, a Narathim must affirm that they have complete control over their desires, themselves, and the pain that they feel. Ka’jin often have very high tolerance for pain, but not so much that they will never feel it. The role of a Ka’jin is to act as an advisor over other Kafir Jin or for a powerful individual or institution, which is also how they become one. Ka’jin are bound by an Oath of Devotion to the individual they are advising.
OOC Note There are no Narathim NPCs in Regalia that can be used for the purposes of becoming Kir Kas or Kir Kas'tir, everything must be done IC using player characters. A character can never be above a Sahn, Kaji, or Vaji right off the bat. They must start at the recruit ranks and go from there IC.
Other disciplines within the Narathim can exist, but none have been recognized universally as of the current year, 306 AC.
The Common Man
The common man is, quite simply, the name for any individual who does not follow the Narathim Edicts. Narathim do not proclaim Common Man individuals to be below them, but rather they understand that the path of the Narathim is not for all. The Narathim believe that they, as a people, are predestined for the path of intellectual superiority. Narathim commonly take on a religion of the Common Man, such as Unionism or the Faith of Estel, as a secondary religion if they find comfort in the individual beliefs.
Silven, especially Knowledge and Scribery, are welcome to join the Narathim as they do not discriminate on the basis of anything and believe that all beings are capable of advanced thought. In fact, there are a number of Knowledge and Scribery Silven under the service of the Narathim. Many of these Silven grow up not knowing that their eye colors are any different from normal and many of the Elder Narathim have a deep-seated fear of Arken. Because of this, many Silven do not actually know what they are beyond a manifestation of planar essences.
Outside Their Home
Narathim are famously resourceful and quick-thinking individuals. Since the days of Ramos Dei they have been adventuring outside of their home in the Library of Naraht and seeking out other civilizations so that they can act as guides. Narathim identify themselves by the pendants they wear around their necks and can often be found in any corner of Aloria in whatever role fits their chosen Apostleship. Narathim who do not follow an Apostle can be found in even more places, often hiding away under the guise of other religious figures. Narathim often greet each other by placing their first three fingers in the middle of their forehead and the bringing them forward towards the person they are greeting in a sort of salute.
The symbol for the Narathim overall is eye that is opened incredibly wide with a rune in the center of the pupil. This eye hovers in the center of an opened book. The origins of the symbol are unknown, but said to be tied to Ramos Dai.
- The Symbol of the Ramos Dai is an open book with a shepherd’s crook crossed over it.
- The Symbol of the Varos Kir is a series of three gears locked together in the palm of an open hand.
- The Symbol of the Kafir Jin is an eye that is wide open with a dagger in the background.
- It is rumored that the Knowledge Arken is holed up in the bowels of the Library of Naraht, guarded by sightless Kafir Jin who are capable of fighting off intruders without the need to see at all. This has never been confirmed, however.
- None of the terminology used by the Narathim has any traceable origin and often considered by scholars as a compound of nonsensical sounds derivative of certain cultures.
- Many famous intellectuals are accused of being Narathim, though little proof is ever provided. Even then, very few people care because the Narathim are so pacifistic.