|Notable Beliefs||Sacrificing the Weak, Corruption of Innocence, Self Empowerment|
|Notable practices||Loud and Energetic Group Prayer, Use of Possessed Individuals, Blood and Burnt Sacrifice|
Dark, bleak, and brimming with untold power, the Void has long been a central pillar of Alorian magic. It comes as no surprise that some turn to it in their time of need instead of the gods of orthodox faiths. Void Worshipers, who call themselves “Void Savants,” do not believe that their faith is inherently evil. In fact, they believe that the Void acts as an infinite source of power that can be tapped into to propel the mortal world into the next stage of progress through transforming the old. Void Worship is considered vile and highly illegal in all societies, cultures, and states, with the sole exception of the Kathar homeland where it is the only accepted religion. Void Worship generally encourages its users to engage in a cut-throat form of survival that involves personal growth and betterment at the expense of many others. As such, it should come to no surprise that Void Worship has some of the most depraved and decadent means of worship of any Alorian religion. To the Void Savants, the powerful survive while the weak die off; that is the way of the world.
There is no true historical point where one can discern when Void Worship was born, nor can a real timeline be established. Void Worship, at least as it is understood by contemporary scholars, has existed as far back as the Seraph Civilization. As such, it is generally assumed that Void Worship has been present in every millennia and even century, though took a different form each time. This has ranged from the chaotic worship of magical essences to a structured and organized religion with its own priests, though all of these have been poorly recorded. In the entire timespan of its existence, Void Worship has been attacked by established orders all over the world, who all collectively attempted to erase any evidence of this religion ever having existed. As such, there is very little historical data available before the formal rise of Void Worship among the Kathar following the collapse of the Elven Empire.
The first real record of a structured analysis of Void Worship was made in 53 AC by an Altalar scholar named El'quero Odeira’a. Odeira’a was able to spend time with the Kathar in disguise, and managed to make a full record of their faith to publish to the rest of the world. In this first analysis, the pantheon of Void Worship was properly declared and explained, but it didn’t quite underline Void Worship as it is generally seen in present day. In fact, Void Worship appeared to be an ever developing faith that could absorb other faiths into itself. What this meant was that when the Kathar made sufficient contact with a people who had an organized religion, their religion was compared to Void Worship in the context of what deities they worshiped, and if compatible, some of their deities would be adopted through a process of what the Kathar called the Struggle of the Ancients. The Struggle of the Ancients underlines one of the core tenets of Void Worship, namely that all faiths are real, but all gods are either dead or twisted into the beings they call Figures of Godhood.
Void Worship has continued to persist across Aloria, with local cults existing in every major populated center. The faith itself is even growing among the Elven populations of Daendroc who have grown disillusioned with the silence, and even rage, of their own gods. Void Worship is also particularly alive in the slums of the Regalian Holy City and undercity, often hiding from the watchful eyes of the Imperial Inquisitors in the dangerous tunnels beneath the streets. Certainly, all the major nations on Aloria attempt to destroy Void Worship wherever they can find it, though Void Worship is perhaps to be considered the most resilient faith in the world, waning and waxing with the prevalence of Magic.
Beliefs and Worship
Central to Void Worship is the Struggle of the Ancients. It is generally understood that the Kathar came up with this belief concept, though it is also assumed that earlier iterations of Void Worship also had something similar. According to the Kathar, the Struggle of the Ancients started when Void Essence was introduced into the world. The Kathar claimed that the gods had long abandoned the mortal plane; according to the Kathar, they considered it stagnant, weak, and a failing creation made in their image. As such, Void Worship stands at a curious position where it acknowledges practically any religion it comes into contact with as real, but then proceeds to corrupt it for adaptation into its own dark iteration.
This is where the Struggle of the Ancients comes in. As mentioned, the Kathar acknowledge all divine beings, but believe that when Void Essence appeared in the world, these ancients made use of it and allowed it to corrupt them to become even greater gods. Then, when they were moved to compete with one another, a great war occurred wherein the various pantheons of Alorian worship waged war, both on one another and within themselves . In the end, a select number of gods survived the Struggle of the Ancients to become the Figures of Godhood, corrupted mockeries of their former selves that act as a Figure to a certain aspect of life, or a means of progression and transformation into something better and more powerful.
Choosing a single Figure of Godhood as patron or guardian is central to Void Worship. Void Savants engage in cultist rituals and sacrifices to their Figures of Godhood in the hopes of being blessed by their touch. They believe that the world should embrace the Void as a fuel to progress, and that it is a tool to make everything that is weak, stagnant, and a failure into something better, stronger, and more worthy of existence. Many Void Savants also continue the Struggle of the Ancients amongst themselves. Even though two cults of different Figures are members of the same Void Worship faith, they still wage war on one another as much as Unionists do unto other heresies. The exception to this is the cult of the Black Betrayer, who are usually on the sidelines, manipulating the other cults.
Figures of Godhood
The Figures of Godhood are corrupted or transformed versions of their former self, often in a mocking reversal of their original intention, that represent a certain way of living that provides for progression and transformation into something more evolved. Each Figure of Godhood has a different path and goal for their worshippers, meaning that there is no real central and common state of being “evolved”; rather, there are many, some of which exclude each other.
The Bleeding Crown
The Bleeding Crown represents the Void God of Rule, power, domination and control. As its name implies, the Bleeding Crown is often depicted as a crown covered in blood. It is also represented as a skeletal spirit whose crown is constantly leaking blood. The Bleeding Crown is one of the more enigmatic Figures of Godhood because it has no distinct or clear evolutionary goal or progress, it simply requires its followers to excise power in whatever way they can. Worshipers of the Bleeding Crown are usually slavers or owners of large numbers of slaves, and this equally represents their source of power. Bleeding Crown Worshipers cannot nominally be detected as their mark of worship is performed on their slaves instead of themselves. Bleeding Crown worshipers are cruel people and even crueler slave drivers. The typical worshiper of the Bleeding Crown has a dulled conscience, no pity or compassion for their fellow people, their only desire the power they crave never ending. Bleeding Crown worshipers usually physically and verbally abuse their slaves, whipping slaves or making them wear a crown of brambles and seek to gain ever more, as they are used in practically all forms of worship. They also carve Void iconography and symbolism into the skin of their slaves. Bleeding Crown Worshipers have a never ending thirst for authority and power, and can use the Curse of the Bleeding Crown to topple their opponents to gain an edge in the political playing field.
The Weeping Beast
The Weeping Beast is very similar to the Verdant Ember in that it represents the Void God of Beasts and Fauna, or more specifically the mutated end products of Void Essence when coming into contact with Aloria's animals. The Weeping Beast is usually represented by a bust of a goat or ram with curled horns with various Void Script inscriptions in its forehead and engraved on its horns. The Weeping Beast is worshiped usually with the skeletal remains or skulls of horned goats surrounded by pentagrams of dried blood, surrounded by candles. Goats are ritualistically slaughtered in this circle for worship. Weeping Beast worshipers are often murderers or cutthroats.
The Broodmother is the corrupted form of the Velheimer Goddess of Fertility, Bella. The Broodmother is believed to have won the Battle of Ancients on the merit of producing vast hordes of offspring, and then consuming them for power. As such, it may come as no surprise that the Broodmother is perhaps one of the more repulsive Void Figures. She is always depicted as a grotesque female being in a near constant state of birthing, her lower body constantly moving due to the countless numbers of children that are struggling to be born, kicking and pushing against the inside of her belly. The Broodmother stands for perpetuity and lineage, but also for the complete abuse and disregard for offspring as property. It should come as no surprise that only women can be Broodmother worshipers, who are hateful beings towards children, finding pleasure in the ridicule and harming of them, though not the killing. Broodmother worshipers "feed" off the misery of children, as it is supposed to give them personal satisfaction and further their connection to the Void.
The Scarlet Scourge
The Scarlet Scourge is a piece of Void irony that characterizes the unpredictability and chaotic nature of the Void quite well. Despite the fact that Vampires are Void based cursed beings, the Scarlet Scourge seems to have developed alongside them as a means to use them for its own nefarious purposes. As such, to many, the Scarlet Scourge is the Void God of the night and darkness, but also of the Vampires.
The Prideful Scorn
The Prideful Scorn represents the Void God of Self, the emotions and energies of the people that live on Aloria. The Prideful Scorn is usually represented on a cloth or tapestry, a single red lidless eye surrounded by Void Script writings in an undecipherable language that are written by the artist while under the influence of opiates. The Prideful Scorn is in many ways a representation of the Arken that exist in Aloria, more specifically the greater Arken that are often mistaken or mixed up with the Elven and Kathar Pantheon. The Prideful Scorn represents the need for Alorians to evolve by giving in to their own prideful desires, and to become better versions of themselves. The Prideful Scorn worshipers usually posses such a Pride Tapestry which is hung in a secret compartment of the house where a shrine of candles is lit. Worship to the Prideful Scorn includes dripping blood of a foe from a piece of cloth or brandished weapon into a bowl and then burning it with incense. The Prideful Scorn worshipers all have a typical brand: A tattoo that spans the entire length of their neck from the base of their jaw to their clavicles, which consists of writing in Void Script in the same untranslatable language as the Pride Tapestry.
The Verdant Ember
The Verdant Ember represents the Void God of Nature, Primal Energies corrupted by the forces of the Void. The Verdant Ember is usually represented like a mangled rose bush twisted and piercing a humanoid skeleton as if it has grown from its rib cage, but then tore it to death with its thorns from the inside. The Verdant Ember is usually considered one of the more harmless forms of Void Worship where the followers believe that the next step of evolution is to merge and become one with nature. Verdant Ember worshipers houses are often indistinguishable from Yanar homes, as they have the same love and adoration for all flora. Yet, when a Yanar would enter such a home, it feels always slightly off or unsettling, some plants missing their flowers, some leaves cut up in strange ways and an ever-present sense of restlessness that cannot be explained. Verdant Ember worshipers are exclusively vegetarian, meaning they only consume the fruits and plants from their own garden. These plants are all blessed with Void (which while not detectable aside from the faint sense of unease in Yanar).
The Thousand Eyes
The Thousand Eye God is the corrupted form of Esrah Alwattah, the artificial god of the Qadir. The Thousand Eye God is believed to have won the Battle of Ancients on merit of its infinite knowledge, and its ability to steal information from the other gods. The Thousand Eye God is represented as a horribly mutated humanoid that is covered from head to toe in eyes that rapidly blink and gaze in all directions around the being. The Thousand Eye God represents the thirst for knowledge, the desire to know all, and the lust to consume the knowledge of others. To the followers of the Thousand Eye God, knowing all is the end-goal and to absorb the knowledge of others their main form of worship.
- Despite being a religion of ritual sacrifice and the shedding of blood, many Void Worshipers do not pursue cruelty for its own sake, much more often preferring to simply kill their sacrifices without causing them pain. Evilness, or wishing harm on others, is not a natural state of being for Void Savants, though it may become so after extended worship.
- Void Worship is often painted as being the "evil religion," but those who engage in it often start with simply wanting to be stronger so they can achieve something simple. It is the addiction to the power that comes afterward that turns men to insanity.
- Despite the fact that the Void is heavily linked to the Archdemon, Void Savants do not recognize the Archdemon or Arken as their gods. Rather, they are seen as vessels of the Figures of Godhood and as messengers of their divine will and blessings. The Archdemon is seen as the first among many servants of the Figures.