|Notable Beliefs||Divinity and size are synonymous, virtues are weakness,|
|Notable practices||Consumption of Ssastfa, no prayer/worship/sacrifice|
Nessrassian, or in short Nessa, is the religion mostly followed by the Slizzar coming from Hadar. This form of worship was already established by the time of the Allar arrival and continues to be the main religion of the Slizzar to present day. Slizzar tend to be very resilient against religious conversion due to their life philosophies. The faith of Nessa is centered around the personification and deification of the sea serpents that live deep in the oceans, that are occasionally spotted on the surface. The Nessa faith has known a single period called the Slithering Age, which occurred shortly before the Chrysant Wars. This period was dominated by the Slizzar idea that their gods had come to deliver them to the throne of the world. This era lasted only for several years throughout the Chrysant Wars, as it ended with the defeat of the Naylar fleet at Feng Huang. The faith of Nessa is a small almost cult-sized religion nowadays, owing largely to the fact that there are very few Slizzar left on Aloria.
Central to the faith of Nessa are the deep sea serpents. The large creatures are somewhat a being of myth, though their existence is rooted in reality. The large sea serpents sometimes reach the surface, in some cases even dead sea serpents have been found washed ashore though badly misfigured. The Slizzar worship them as gods as they essentially look like colossal versions of themselves (obviously without limbs), believing that size is a definition of divinity. The Nessa pantheon is divided into several gods each representing their own vice. As a general trend, none of the gods represent kindness, virtue, or any trait that Ailor would otherwise view as positive. In the faith of Nessa it is believed that these virtues are weakness and the only measure of success is climbing to the top of the food chain with traditionally Slizzarin ways. Yet, the snakes in a way also represent kindness and good things, teaching the Slizzar moderation in their ways and intelligent use of their talents. The snake gods are referred to as “Ssepston,” who are depicted as immortal, though they die often and are reborn.
The Snake of Pride, Isskarno
Isskarno is seen as the largest sea serpent, black scaled with red eyes and a large spiked crown on his head. Isskarno professes the need for Slizzar to always believe in their superiority over others and to strive to become the top of everything. Isskarno is often depicted eating the other Ssepston to make himself bigger or to become the only snake god. In traditional folklore, it is believed that Isskarno was the first and only Ssepston at one time that ate all the other snake gods. Then through the intervention of Ssaliden, the eaten snake gods were reborn as godlike beings. Ever since, Isskarno tries to eat them again to revert this birth of the other gods. Occasionally he succeeds, however, they are always reborn by the will of Ssaliden. Despite the entitlement that is seen in Isskarno, he is also revered as the vigilant guardian, an unwilling hero trying to undo the world of wrongs.
The Snake of Greed, Ssaliden
Ssaliden is seen as the smallest sea serpent, green scaled with yellow eyes and stripes across her back. Ssaliden professes the need for Slizzar to take what belongs to them and more. Ssailden is often depicted stealing things from the other snake gods, more specifically Isskarno. In folklore, it is believed that when all the Ssepston were eaten by Isskarno, Ssaliden managed to steal a part of Isskarno’s godhood and then granted it onto the other sea serpents. Despite Ssaliden’s greed, she is also seen as charitable, as she often grants her stolen things to others around her.
The Snake of Vanity, Karidssa
Karidssa is seen as the most elegant snake with vibrant crimson scales, red eyes, and long tendrils flowing from her crown. Karidssa professes the need for Slizzar to always look the best and be the most beautiful creature in existence. Karidssa is often depicted charming or distracting Isskarno from eating or his possessions. It is often said that Karidssa was the one who distracted Isskarno during his digestion, allowing Ssaliden to steal part of his godhood and grant it to the sea serpents in his stomach. When she was reborn, she finally also gave godhood to Karidssa, making her the only Goddess granted divinity outside of Isskarno’s stomach. Despite Karidssa’s vanity, she is capable of acts of great selflessness, and in a way, represents the innocent maiden.
The Snake of Betrayal, Kakonissa
Kakonissa is seen as the most mysterious sea serpent, white scaled with solid black eyes. He has a single black stripe running from his nose to his tail along his back. Kakonissa professes the need for Slizzar to backstab, betray, and plot their way to power. Kakonissa is often depicted betraying the other sea serpents to Isskarno as Kakonissa led Isskarno to them, allowing him to eat them. Unfortunately, Kakonissa was also eaten by Isskarno. Kakonissa then told Ssaliden how to steal the divinity of Isskarno, which she proceeded to do. Despite Kakonissa’s treasonous nature, he is often depicted as a patron of wisdom and learning as well.
The Snake of Power, Vailess
Vailess is seen as the most passive sea serpent, blue scaled with solid white eyes and long thin strands of hair flowing from her crown. Vailess professes the need for Slizzar to control the minds of others, to bend the free will of nature to their own. Vailess is the magical snake, also the patron of Slizzar mages. Vailess was one of the snakes eaten by Isskarno, and reborn divine, though she has a surprisingly absent role in the whole tale of divinity. It is heavily implied by folklore that Vailess was actually the snake that orchestrated the entire event, whispered secrets to Isskarno that made him want to become the only sea serpent, nudged Kakonissa to betray the locations of the other snakes, and orchestrated the actions of Karidssa and Ssaliden. Because of this, Vailess is often worshipped as the most important Ssepston, embodying the pinnacle of Slizzar ambitions. Despite Vailess’s ability to control the minds of others, she always does right by them and never abuses her power, therefore also embodying justice.
The Slizzar don’t formally have scriptures that transfer the knowledge of their faith. Instead, they have a strongly hallucogenic alchemical mixture called Ssastfa, which is consumed during rituals, after which the consumer will experience intense visions of the sea serpents in their various folklore behaviors. The mixture's effects on other races range from just being weaker than they would be if a Slizzar used it to causing unconsciousness. The actual information bestowed by these visions is extremely limited, and often the visual interpretation differs strongly for every individual. Slizzar believe this further reinforces the idea of individuality.
Slizzar don’t formally pray, worship, or even offer up sacrifices to their gods like the other races do. Instead, they worship their gods through their actions and their ambition. Over the course of a Slizzar’s life, they choose a specific deity as their prime Ssepston, after which they receive a mask that embodies that Ssepston. This mask is usually adorned with the colors of a specific sea serpent and other various decorations to embody them. Then, when the Slizzar engages in acts which are glorified by the sea serpents, these acts are seen as homage to the snake gods, bringing the Slizzar closer to divinity. Ultimately, the Slizzar believe that if their race has ascended enough to the image of the snake gods, the snake gods will come to the surface and herald the age of Slizzar domination.
The faith of Nessa doesn’t formally have a calendar. Worship of this faith is individual, therefore Slizzar never gather to worship, nor do they celebrate religious holidays together. One thing that does hold importance to the Slizzar is the new year during solar eclipses or partial solar eclipses. The Slizzar Calendar believes a new year starts after a solar Eclipse, believing Isskarno consumes the other Ssepston, and then has them reborn again, heralding the new year. During the day of the solar eclipse, thousands of Slizzar come together at the sunken temple of Ssasrakand and sing in a melodic, angelic harmony to the sea snakes in an attempt to summon them again as Miko Missa did. This however fails every time, and so the desperate ritual had simply become a cultural tradition and religious celebration.
The formal Symbols of the Faith of Nessa are usually snakes, fully or partially eclipsed suns, or a sun with a snake’s tail coiled around it. Most of the Nessian symbols are simple and often misunderstood to be simple jewelry, so it is not uncommon for Regalians to walk around with Nessian worship symbols.
It is unclear when the Faith of Nessa was formed, as the complete origin of the Slizzar is uncertain. The faith has always been attached to them, defining both them and their culture. The earliest Human records of the Faith of Nessa can be found around 130 AC, when Regalians first made contact with the Slizzar of Hadar. The Slizzar and Allar had already integrated, but the individual faiths were very much apart and easy to distinguish for outsiders. Around this time, the faith was centered around the great holy temple of Ssasrakand, the fabled site of the religion which housed the full skeleton of a sea serpent. Ssasrakand was intensely guarded by the Slizzar up until the Chrysant War, when the place fell in ruin.
The middle period up to the Chrysant War saw a strong cult form around Isskarno and the Slizzarian line of Missa. The Slizzarian line of Missa was a long line of prophets who believed they could command the sea serpents from the deep and were in fact living descendants of Isskarno. They eventually spawned Miko Missa, the Slizzar that would eventually become Empress of all Naylar, only to fatefully lose her Empire and much of her race at the hands of Regalia.
Following the collapse of the Essa Empire (or Chrysant Kingdoms as they were formally called by the Allar and Humans), the Faith of Nessa crumbled and collapsed. The Slizzar population had been severely diminished and much of their religious sites were destroyed. The holy temple of Ssasrakand was plundered, not by Humans, but by Allar, who used a large variety of magics to plunge the entire temple underwater and destroy the holy effigies of the sea serpents. It was later the Regalians that looted most of the remains of the sea serpent skeleton, scattering the holy bones across the Empire as trophies.
In more recent years, the faith of Nessa has suddenly found a new host: the Humans themselves. Through second hand survival from Slizzar, the faith has become popular among some fringe Humans and Elves who work and serve the underworld of Regalia. In such a way, it is prophesied by scholars that even should the Slizzar ever come to an untimely extinction, their faith will live on as a Human cult.
- Lana Asska is one of the faithful who came to Regalia, spreading the Faith of Nessa among Humans. This cult is very small but still sizeable enough to have their own secret base.
- It is said that the Faith of Nessa is the smallest global religion in existence, counting less than 10,000 worshippers.
- The Slizzar actually believe that they as a race are the by-product of Ssailden stealing the godhood of Isskarno. She spilled the godhood accidently, or at least part of it, giving birth to the first Slizzar.
- Recently, the Nessrassian religion has founded several military orders with holy warriors for their snake gods. This follows a trend to a stronger militarization of the religion in recent times.