Evintarian Unionism: Difference between revisions
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|pronunciation = Yoon-yen-is-m
|pronunciation = Yoon-yen-is-m
|origins = Emperor [[Theomar]]
|origins = Emperor [[Theomar]]
|deities = The Everwatcher
* [[Emended Unionism]]
* [[Emended Unionism]]
Revision as of 21:02, 1 August 2022
|The Everwatcher and various other Gods and Goddesses|
The origins of Unionism are well recorded as it is one of the youngest religions in the world. Unionism was originally founded as an Ailor-only religion by the prophet Emperor Theomos I Ivrae-Kade, of the Regalian Empire following its founding. The prophet spoke about a divine entity called the Everwatcher contacting him in a series of visions, before appearing to him in person, to speak to him about the fate of all living things under the stewardship of the Ailor Race. Emperor Theomos then wrote the holy chronicle called the Creed, which acts like holy scriptures, containing all the religious laws and concepts dear to Unionism. Following the prophet’s death, it was ordained that the Everwatcher would select Emperors of Regalia as its Vessel through which it would speak and guide destiny. Each successive Emperor has made small and large changes to Unionist doctrine by editing parts of the Creed, meaning this holy scripture ended up being a document that evolved as time passed. The core concept of an Ailor-dominant world eventually made way for the concept of a Regalia-dominant world, inclusive of all other Races and creating a more acceptable secular basis for the religion. Unionism is fairly unique in comparison to other religions, in that it suffered several schisms, major events of theological conflict between its worshipers that resulted in the community splitting each time. As such, there are 4 distinct Unionist beliefs now: Dogmatic, Evintarian, Emended and Vultragon. Each of these have their own structures, beliefs, and hierarchy, though all invariably worship the Everwatcher, and work towards a common goal, of Regalian hegemony and rule over all the world and its people and for the Emperor of Man to become the Emperor of All.
To fully contextualize this page, it may be necessary to read Unionism as the default faith. This is a Schismatic faith, meaning the people who worship this religion likely have ancestors who split off from the original faith several centuries ago. The Schismatic belief is the core belief that resulted in their expulsion from the main dogmatic community. For Evintarian Unionism, this is the concept of Exelixi, or: belief that the sin of creation causes all born subjects of Unionism to be born defective or imperfect, and that one must search to Evolve from this broken state. Within Evintarian Unionism, there are three distinct Thema through which this is practiced. The first Thema is Soma, or the body. Soma Evintarians believe that Evolution should only be achieved through mental training, education, and physical fitness and exercise. Unlike Dogmatic Unionists however, they do not inherently object to the other Thema. The second Thema is Entoli or command. Entoli Evintarians believe that Evolution should be achieved through meta-evolution such as the practicing of Occult powers to gain power and further the cause of Unionism. The third Thema is Enosis, or Union. Enosis Unionists believe in using trans-dimensional energy to enhance the body. This differs from Entoli in that Entoli Unionists only use essence, while Enosis Evintarians make permanent changes to themselves through for example mutations and bodily enhancements.
These concepts are considered anathema in the other Unionist Schisms (though Vultragon Unionism is very tolerant of the Occult passively existing), because they believe that there is no circumstance in which Unionists can reasonably guard against all the negative side-effects of trans-dimensional essence, or the usage of Magic. Dogmatic Unionism by itself in fact believes that the Occult is a stain on the soul, and by default means that the host is already corrupted with sin, that the very act of being a Mage is to be a sinner. Note, just because Evintarian Unionism is very pro Occult experimentation with self-enhancement, it does not support blind progress for the sake of progress and the collateral be damned. Evintarian Unionists have some very far-reaching Demon-hunting practices, and they are quite skilled at fishing out those in society who have fallen to the vices of Demons and forgot the most important aspect of Evintarian Unionism: Which is to always remain in control. This is why Evintarian Unionists are revolted by Cahal and Vampires, because they are no longer in control of their own whims and actions, enslaved to their addictions and Affliction. In summary, the schismatic belief of Evintarian Unionism is that because the sin of creation makes one’s parents flawed, or the ruler corrupt resulting in malnutrition, or the teacher undisciplined resulting in bad education, that birth and childhood are always flawed. As a consequence, so long as a person can remain in control of their own body and mind, seeking outside powers to enhance and compensate for the flaw of creation (by becoming stronger, faster, bigger, smarter, and not necessarily being defined by what “humanity” means) is encouraged. Evintarian Unionism is essentially Transhumanist before it is pro-Occult. The Occult is merely a means to an end.
Evintarian Unionism is a religion centered around the tenets of evolution, piety, obedience and ambition, to live by the example of virtuous forebears. Evintarian Unionism is an organized religion with a centralized priesthood and structure, though each schismatic group is different. Because each group has different core concepts and tenets, each of them will be discussed on a separate page.
- Bravery: Evintarian Unionism requires that all Unionists show bravery in the face of demons, adversity and the natural vices that all living things are born with.
- Wroth: Evintarian Unionism requires that all Unionists defend the faith with arms if need be, and that all should be willing to shed blood for the faith.
- Moralism: Evintarian Unionism permits recreational carnal pleasures, but only in wedlock or with to-be-wedded individuals, with all honors.
- Ambition: Unionism requires that all Unionists contribute no matter how big or small, to the great dominance of the Regalian Empire.
- Diligence: Unionism requires that those with merit and skill are rewarded and raised to better positions of power to reward their duty to the Empire.
- Vengeful: Evintarian Unionist requires that all adherents settle scores where need be. Forgiveness being permitted, but never to forget transgressions.
- Charity: Evintarian Unionism requires that all Unionists create equity for the poorest and weakest, so that even the infirm can contribute through charity and help.
- Honest: Evintarian Unionism requires honesty and truth, professing the need to never lie to one’s superiors, lords, bosses, or commanders in faith and arms.
- Pride: Evintarian Unionism requires that all Unionists be proud of their destiny, their purpose, and themselves, and seek to always better themselves.
- Evolution: Evintarian Unionism believes in the flaw of creation and that all adherents should find ways to self improve whether physically or mentally, with inventive new ways.
- Loyalty: Evintarian Unionism demands absolute loyalty to the Emperor and the clergy serving under him, and to no-one else. All secular forces are corruptible.
- Great Way: Unionism requires all Unionists to constantly strive to contribute to the Great Way, to find opportunities to further advance the Empire and its people.
- Vessel: Evintarian Unionists only ever consider the Vessel of the Everwatcher male, the first male descendant from the last Emperor, meaning the next should be Reynaud Kade.
- Narrative: In Unionism all faithful (and even unfaithful) contribute or detrimentally affect something called the Great Way. The Great Way is a promise made by the Everwatcher, that the Regalian Empire now carries the Mantle of Creation, a concept that they must protect life and existence itself from the ruinous powers of corruption and evil. The promise is that one day, if Unionism succeeds, the whole world will be ruled by the Regalian Empire as one state, and all living things will be subject to the Emperor and Vessel of the Everwatcher. When that time comes, the Everwatcher shall unchain the gates of the afterlife where all past Unionists have gone, revive the dead, and bring about a paradise without sickness, death, or sadness. Those who are denied entry into the gates of the afterlife, are instead re-incarnated in the mortal world after their death to try again to prove their soul is worthy.
- Canon Evil: Canon Evil in Evintarian Unionism is a little different, because it does not expressly consider the mindless Demons of other dimensions to be evil. To Evintarian Unionists, the first layer of evil is the same as Dogmatic, the sin of creation, or the fact that all living beings were created with flaws to overcome. The second evil however is the flaw of creation, or the inadequate care provided for children in their formative years, which makes them incapable of facing the cruelty of the world as the Everwatcher demands. The greatest evil however, is anything that attacks the mind, free will, or self awareness. Mind Control, Vampirism, Cahal, and to some extent Slizzar, are the worst transgressors of this aspect of evil.
- Identity: The Unionist Creed has no words or thoughts on the matter of gender, sex, sexuality or gender-identity, though the topic of homosexuality is somewhat contentious among Ailor. There is nothing strictly against homosexuality, but a theological argument is made that every Unionist has a duty to sire the next generation of faithful, and to be celibate, same-sex loving, or simply choose not to have children, is seen as a selfish act and one that detrimentally affects the Great Way. As a result, many same-sex Unionists adopt, or find other ways to have children.
- Conversion: Unionism is a religion that has invariably been applied with the sword, or with word, and both interpretations are somewhat correct. Unionists believe that a person, even one who is not Unionist or pretends to be Unionist, can still work towards the Great Way if pointed in the right direction. This is why the Confessions of Melennar are important, because this preacher created a common understanding that as a Regalian Unionist ruler, one’s non-Unionist subjects can still work towards the Empire’s cause, while not believing in the Everwatcher, and their soul can still ascend to the Unionist afterlife if their own religion or a-religiosity will not claim them. As such, conversion by the sword is also fully acceptable, because it forcibly induces someone into the Great Way, though it has become more controversial and less acceptable as of late.
- Sins & Taboo: The worst cases of sinning and taboo for Unionism are blasphemy against the Emperor, desecrating holy sites, attacking clergy and temples (not of other religions), rejecting the Everwatcher, neglecting child-raising and parental duties, using opiates, becoming a Vampire or Cahal, and being a traitor or saboteur against the Regalian Empire. Unionism does acknowledge confessionals, but Celates can issue a Writ of Sin, a public denunciation and excommunication of a Unionist (or Unionist) to declare them anathema to the religion. It is possible to reverse a Writ of Sin through a Writ of Harmony, but only through some act of self-sacrifice or service to the Emperor.
Gods and Goddesses
Evintarian Unionism has a concept referred to as Trans-Divinity, just like Dogmatic Unionism, but Evintarian Unionism takes it a step further by saying that divinity can also be in objects, something the other schisms reject. Trans-Divinity means that whatever their faith understands to be divine, is fluid and constantly changes based on interpretations. By standard, the Everwatcher is always the indisputably most important entity in Unionism. The Living Emperor is also a living Divine Being who should be worshiped as a god, though it is not illegal to acknowledge his sin of creation flaws from time to time. Below the Emperor and the Everwatcher are the God-Emperors and God-Empresses. When an Emperor or Empress dies, they are no longer divine, as the Vessel passes on to the next heir, but some Emperors or Empresses are raised up in the afterlife by the Everwatcher and sent back to Aloria to guide the people, during which process they are made Divine Beings. Finally, on the lower end of the spectrum are the Heroes of Unionism, which are also considered Divine Beings. Heroes are raised to divinity by the Silent Council even while they are still alive, and continue to be worshiped after death. This all means that Unionism, as time goes by, gains more and more Gods and Goddesses, while other religions are fairly stagnant. Furthermore, it also means that it’s theoretically possible for other religions to merge into Unionism if their Gods and Goddesses can be proven to be real, and prove their divinity or past divinity. Unionists can combine a variety of Divine Entity worship. By default, all Unionists worship the Everwatcher, however, whoever else is worshiped additionally is up to the individual. Some worshipers choose only a single patron deity, while others choose a collection, or leave just a few out. There are no hard rules to Divine Being worship, in general they exist more as examples to live by, instead of a strict pantheon that demands worship. Evintarian Unionism has some different Gods and Goddesses than Dogmatic Unionism, because it developed separately over the centuries.
|The Everwatcher, is the supreme Divine Being of Unionism, the source of all creation, and the final destiny of all things. The Everwatcher was the first thing that was created in the beginning of times and created all other races, creatures, land, and all that was and will be. The Everwatcher is not traditionally depicted in any way shape or form. The Everwatcher is the same for all Schisms, though the Schisms have internal disagreements about who should be the Vessel of the Everwatcher. Generally speaking, Dogmatic and Evintarian Unionists support the current lineage, while Emended and Vultragon Unionists support the erasure of Ivrae legitimacy. The Everwatcher is the highest supreme being which lends divinity to the Emperor-Vessel, and which also sends the God Empresses and God Emperors back to the land of the living, and also imbues certain people born with god-like powers to fulfill their role in the Great Way. The Everwatcher is eternal; it sees all and knows all, though it only works through agents so as not to blind the living from the trials of the Great Way, which are theirs to prove.
Worship of the Everwatcher is never done specifically by praying or asking for its blessings, but rather simply by being a good Unionist. There is only ever one direct interaction between a Unionist and the Everwatcher, and that is in the moment of their death, for their soul to be weighed against their role in the Great Way. If they are left wanting, the soul will be returned to Aloria to be re-incarnated, given another chance to prove itself. If they pass, the soul will join the Everwatcher in the Unionist afterlife. Matters regarding the Everwatcher are always the highest forms of heresy if claimed in contradiction to established theological doctrine. While the Everwatcher does grant blessings to individuals who are born all across the Empire, because it has determined some religious purpose for them at birth, the Everwatcher never speaks through anyone except the Vessel.
Thomos, Prophet of All
|God Emperor Theomos, or just Theomos (called Theomar in Common), was the first Emperor of Regalia, Emperor Theomos I Ivrae. Theomos was the founding Emperor of the Regalian Empire and the creator of the Unionist Faith, writing the first version of The Creed. As God Emperor, Theomos represents fatherhood, leadership, ambition, devotion and piety. He was known as an Emperor with exceptional charisma, capable of swaying even his most ardent opponents. He is also remembered as an excellent father who had a loving family and acts as an example to all those bringing about the next generation of Unionists.
Theomos is often depicted holding up his hand, with the palm to the viewer. This is to emulate his proclamation of Unionism. He is always depicted very dignified, and clothed in his royal purple and cream yellow robes, his favorite colors in life. Shrines to Theomos usually feature a golden bowl in which promises of good lives and good wishes for children are deposited by fathers, or good wishes and promises for fairness and kindness from one employer to employees. As such, Theomos shrines featuring this bowl and his likeness can be found in the home, or in workplaces, where Theomos’s name is invoked for the good fortunes of the business and the good wellbeing of its leadership, who in turn invoke the wellbeing of the workers and productivity.
Theomos has historically appeared only during very significant events of religious importance, when the continued existence of Unionism hung by a thread, or when the power and influence of the other God Emperors or Empresses would simply not suffice for a task given by the Everwatcher. As such, Theomos has never truly appeared before any one particular person having a problem, but rather appeared in pivotal moments of the Empire’s general history to provide blessings of protection and reinvigorated power. Theomos’s Cloister Trial involves several tests of morality and making the right decision in a tough situation to test the ethics and fairness of the pilgrim. Theomos’s Cloister Trial is at the Arch Temple of the All-Beacon, with the inner Faith Chamber containing his Sarcophagus.
Ness, Lady of Forgiveness
|God Empress Nes, or just Nes (called Ness in Common), was the wife of Emperor Henri I the Honorable, as his wife Empress Nessaria I of House van Sherburne. Empress Nessaria is best remembered as being an indignant wife to her husband early on, resenting the marriage with Emperor Henri I. Through her early years, she committed many sins of unfaithfulness to her husband in spirit and name. This led to her being punished with being blinded, after which she wore her signature silver butterfly wing eye covers and coronet piece. Despite being vengeful after being blinded, it is said that the Everwatcher gave her sight back after she discovered love for her first born child when she found love in motherhood. She spent many years a devoted mother, only to have her children violently taken from her, and still she found it in her heart to forgive the assassins, giving them blessings as they wept for forgiveness at her feet. Nes is the representative Goddess of forgiveness, acceptance, repentance, absolution, but also the Downtrodden, the Forgotten, the non-Ailor, and the Half-Ailor who feel abandoned.
Nes is always depicted in her mourning dress with her signature butterfly eye-covers and accessories. Butterflies strongly represent Nes, a being and symbol of forgiveness of Unionists, and for those seeking repentance. She often carries a golden Unionist Eye chain, along with a golden rose and two sets of rose-thorn stalks. These items are meant to represent her objects of the many facets of forgiveness through faith, repentance through loss, and the beauty of absolution. Sometimes her statue has three infants around her pedestal to signify motherhood, and sometimes it has three chained criminals to signify the forgiveness she gave. Offerings to her are silent candle vigils, or the repentance those who have wronged seek to the priests of Unionism. Ness frequently appears to those who believe in Unionism but need the strongest forgiveness or cannot go on without help to learn to live with their grief, guilt, or torment. Nes appears relatively often, even seen walking the streets of Regalia seemingly going nowhere.
Nes is often worshiped by criminals, judges, those who are poor and feel forgotten and downtrodden, those seeking redemption and forgiveness, and those who seek the strength to forgive others. Nes’s Cloister Trial involves priests drawing out the sins and crimes of the individual in confession, after which they are confronted with the circumstances and challenged to find peace and love for themselves despite them. If they are proved worthy by the priests, they are allowed into the Faith Chamber of the Arch Temple of Salvation, where five sarcophagi stand, for Nes and her four beloved children (As Emperor Leomar I, her youngest son, was also buried there after his natural death).
Tzarvin, Oracle of Knowledge
|God Emperor Tzarvin, or just Tzarvin (called Juvin in Common), was the 11th Emperor of Regalia, Emperor Henri III Ivrae de-Sange. Tzarvin is commonly remembered as the most pious and religiously pure Emperor, who lived an ascetic life of inner peace and perfection, and outward serenity and virtue. As a God Emperor, Tzarvin is the god of piety and virtue, the perfection of learning, and thinkers. Tzarvin was known to be an Emperor with exceptional wit and knowledge even at an early age when he could easily debate and out-smart his teachers and superiors. Tzarvin was also an exceptional philosopher and thinker who would spend long periods of his rule contemplating the meanings of everything, and make modifications to the Creed to reflect a more pure lifestyle.
Tzarvin is often depicted in simple garb with only minimal decorations and dull colors, bowing, kneeling or in some form of submissive stance. This is to emphasize that Tzarvin never considered himself above everyone else, and served knowledge and virtue more than anything. He is depicted tall and frail, with a bald head and a long robe that may sometimes also contain several scrolls and items that intellectuals use to ply their crafts. Shrines to Tzarvin are usually put into an alcove inside a larger bookcase, surrounded by knowledge and learning. Candles are lit to his will in front of his statue, while incense is let to absorb the knowledge of the books, in the hopes that Tzarvin will give the offering person the means to learn faster. Tzarvin shrines can be found in any library or school. Tzarvin rarely appears, but all divine appearances have been reported in libraries, for Tzarvin to hand the willing exactly the one book they were looking to embark on their journey, while that book was not even in the library to begin with.
Tzarvin is often worshiped by priests, librarians, scribes, teachers, tutors, researchers, alchemists, philosophers and thinkers. Tzarvin was largely responsible for the creation of the Dogartan Schism, as many Celates in Anglia started imitating him, though it is not officially recognized as a Schism because of how smooth and regional the transition was. Juvin’s Cloister Trial involves several tests of wit at the Arch Temple of Greater Understanding, before pilgrims can reach the inner Faith chamber containing Juvin’s Sarcophagus.
Almaros, Jester of Justice
|God Emperor Almaros, or Almaros (called Almar in Common), was the 13th Emperor of Regalia, Emperor Allamaria I Ivrae Heiligenblut (surname differs as he was a Wirtem Emperor alongside his older brother Lilienmar III). Emperor Allamaria I was also the second son of Emperor Henri III, making God Emperor Almaros the son of God Emperor Juvin, while he is also the grandfather of God Emperor Allestos. Almaros is remembered for several things. Firstly, he is remembered as a rambunctious adolescent, spending much of his early years being a boisterous and wild man with many conquests and broken hearts. He spent money like no tomorrow, and offended many foreign dignitaries with his crude behavior, equally letting many of his stewards and guards land in prison, taking the blame for his juvenile actions. As rule came closer to him however, a series of visions of the past and future caused him to completely reform his life. Where there in the past was celebration and endless nights in leisure, there now was endless nights studying and codifying law to create a semblance of order and justice. Almaros is the representative God of Justice, Law, Honesty, but also of Leisure, Entertainment, Vanity, and Ego.
Almaros is often depicted as a suave and handsome young man, always with either a blindfold or some kind of unraveling cloth disappearing from his eyes. This cloth is meant to represent the blindness of justice, but also the fact that Almaros was blind to the truths of duty and fate for so long in his life, until he saw the light and reformed. He is also always depicted with a scale, the symbol for the Regalian Judiciary, that weighs the value of crime and punishment for those who are subject to Almaros’s laws. Almaros’s shrine equally has a scale, one with a golden feather, and another with a small box. These items normally weigh roughly the same, however anyone wishing to bring offering or pray to Almaros, writes a plan or thought on a piece of paper, inserts it into the box, and then lets the scale weigh the value of this thought. If it is heavier than the feather, it is unlawful or sinful. If it is lighter than the feather, it is lawful and righteous. Almaros is not known to appear before anyone, but the Silent Council still acknowledges him.
Almaros is often worshiped by justicars, bureaucrats, lawmakers, but also entertainers, Musicians, dancers, romancing couples, and those looking for the perfect partner. Almaros’s name is often invoked for good blessings to a Courtship or wedding. Almaros’s Cloister Trial involves several tests of restraint and self control as the pilgrims are led from one seduction to the other, until they finally pass into the final Faith Chamber in the heart of the Arch Temple of Eternal Justice, where the Sarcophagus of Almaros rests with his favorite scales on top that are said to weigh the heaviness of a soul as they enter the chamber.
Allestos, Lord of Domination
|God Emperor Allestos, or just Allestos (sometimes also nicknamed the Bear-Claw), was the 15th Emperor of Regalia, Emperor Allestrain I Ivrae de-Sange. Allestos ascended to Godhood after his death from an arrow in the back that penetrated his heart on the field of battle while holding off a hundred soldiers by himself allowing his own soldiers who had been cornered by the enemy to escape certain death. Allestos is best remembered for being a beast of a man, alongside his best friend Arch-Chancellor Alexandros the Giant, the both of them forming an inseparable warrior duo on the frontlines as the Empire expanded. Allestos was the first frontline commander and warrior Emperor, and was an undefeated warrior who seemed to get that much more skilled with every champion he defeated. Allestos is the representative God of Conquest, Rule, Brotherhood, and Fame.
Allestos is often depicted either in his massive bulky armor, or in some state of removal of this armor to emphasize his god-like physique, in a victorious or intimidating stance. He is depicted tall and glorious as an example for all Ailor to strive to physically, and for the many victories he brought Regalia despite his short time on the throne. Allestos is often also depicted with two large claymores, or scabbards holding his favorite swords: Blutkraft and Sangria, weapons that passed into Artifact Legend after his death. Shrines to Allestos feature larger wardrobes or tables than most other shrines, allowing the owner to cover the surface with a cloth, and put their weapon in front of the shrine to ask for Allestos’s blessings. The cloth is often wrapped over the weapon, with the cloth then doused in some form of alcoholic beverage, as Allestos was also known to be a heavy drinker, before the liquid is washed off and the item removed from the Shrine. It is believed that Allestos continues to lend strength and right of conquest to Unionists to this day. Allestos has appeared historically after the end of major battlefields, not to fight, but to mourn the losses on the battlefield with the survivors.
Allestos is often worshiped by kings and queens, princes and princesses, commanders, generals, gladiators, but even many in the criminal element, due to his inherent connection with victory and conquest of others who are weaker and less willing. Allestos’s Cloister Trial involves several mental tests of self-sacrifice and willpower at the Arch Temple of Perpetual Glory, before pilgrims can reach the inner Faith chamber containing Allestos’s battle armor, as his body was never recovered from the battlefield and rumored to be preserved in a perfect state somewhere.
Ellis, Mistress of Victory
|God Empress Ellis, or just Ellis (called Elia in Common), was the wife of Emperor Allestrain I, as his wife Empress Eolaria I of House Cadar. This makes God Empress Ellis thus the wife of God Emperor Allestos. Ellis is the representative Goddess of fighting, combat, warfare, victory, love and loss. She is remembered for having been at the very frontline of every battle she participated in, letting the generals do the planning, and just punching her way through the enemy lines with her legendary shield Draackenbuster and her spiked war-glove called Porcelain-Face, both of which passed into Artifact Legend after her death. Ellis was the only spouse ever suitable for Allestos, rivaling him in size, and reputedly being able to knock-out punch an Eronidas with one heavy punch to the face.
Ellis is often depicted with her fist up, sometimes with or without her spiked war-glove, but always with her shield Draackenbuster by her side. She always wears a muscle-fitting bronze armor with a long crimson dress (which she did not wear into battle) complementing her crimson hair. Shrines to Ellis feature her as a statue guarding a small locket box underneath that has a small key-hole. Owners of the shrine put their secrets and diaries inside, along with notes of the names of their loved ones to protect them from harm. It is an unspoken law among Unionists never to steal documents from shrines of Ellis, in order not to evoke her wrath. It is also believed that putting things inside this small locket box will aid Ellis in protecting them from harm, especially loved ones. Flowers are sometimes also offered to a statue of her likeness as a sign of adoration or love that she had for her husband, even in death. Ellis has appeared historically in select battlefields while the Empire was expanding, leading a divine charge.
Ellis is often worshiped by soldiers, sailors, knights, regalian guards, mercenaries, but even criminal thugs on the street who simply wish to strive for the strength and power she had, as well as the endurance to continue on even in the face of loss and suffering. Ellis’s Cloister Trial involves several rooms of increasingly difficult duels of combat against other Pilgrims as a test of strength, before the final victor of the tournament is allowed into the inner Chamber of the Arch Temple of Unyielding Perseverance (though locally known as the Arch Temple of Punching Harder). Inside this inner chamber, lies the sarcophagus of Ellis, next to an empty sarcophagus which is meant for her husband, though for who this sarcophagus was, is unknown.
Esper, Liberator of Chains
|God Emperor Esper, or just Esper (called Vess in Common), was the 26th Emperor or Regalia, Emperor Vilgemar I Ivrae de Sange. Esper was the Emperor who rid the Empire of corrupt politicians and served as the last Emperor before the Regalian pessimism, heralding the last period in time during which the Empire was truly content and there was true hope for the future instead of a constant battle to stave off apocalypse. Esper is the representing God of happiness, liberty, liberation and freedom, more specifically the breaking of chains and bondage, as he liberated an unprecedented amount of indentured servants and slaves from cruel masters, and spent a large amount of time interfering with foreign nations who tyrannically repressed their local people. Esper is also remembered for being a general fun-loving person who could never be caught in a bad mood.
Esper is always depicted as a very youthful looking young man (though he is equally often depicted as androgynous or of ambiguous gender as he enjoyed breaking gender expectations), as he still looked youthful even towards the end of his life. He wears the traditional garb of the palace entertainers, a group of people who he had good relations with, and is always standing in some sort of playful position or pose that elicits some sense of playfulness or youthfulness. Vess’s statues often double as ponds or fountains, with water reaching from some object he is holding, or his hand, with flowers being very common in and around the water. Prayers to Esper are usually made by releasing wishes and prayers into budding flowers, and then inserting said flower into the water and letting the petals open up as time passes, believing the wishes to be released into the world with Vess’s blessings as the flower flowers before it wilts. Esper has rarely appeared, though every time to smash the chains of groups of slaves, or free them from a burning barn or barrack.
Esper is worshiped by party-goers, children, those who treasure freedom and liberty above all, journalists, bartenders, inn-keepers, indentured servants and slaves, particularly for their liberation from bondage. Vess’s Cloister Trial involves challenging the pilgrims to entertain or provide happiness for those struck with mental illnesses or depression, who often gravitate to the Arch Temple of Joyous Everwatch to seek help for their despair. If the pilgrims succeed, they are permitted into the Faith Chamber of Esper, where a single sarcophagus stands surrounded by a sea of broken chains, each belonging to a slave he helped free, tens of thousands of them.
Alexandros, Mentor of Compromise
|God Emperor Alexandros is the 28th and 30th Emperor of the Regalian Empire, with a short period of Interregnum and Cedromar I’s rule before his abdication. As Emperor Alexandros is still alive, he is seen as the Divine Vessel, not quite the same as a God Emperor or God Empress. Emperor Alexandros rules during a time of great upheaval and chaos, as the world rapidly changes around the Empire, and the Empire has trouble catching up or staying ahead of these changes. Emperor Alexandros is the Divine Vessel of change, reform, compassion, compromise and mentorship. His most common perception among the people of the Empire is of a mentoring Emperor who seeks to rule more by implicit consent than with absolute authority, always seeking compromises and challenging the peerage to think of the commoners first, and their wallets later.
Alexandros does not have formal shrines dedicated to him, as having shrines built for the Divine Vessel is very uncommon, because the Divine Vessel will lose its status as soon as the Emperor dies and is not elevated to God Emperor. Instead, Emperor Alexandros is praised through art, with statues and paintings in particular, with every major government institute or office having a large life-size or greater than life painting of the Emperor in full regalia. Alexandros is also seen as a compassionate and caring Emperor for the Occult, the first Emperor who has shown overt positive attitudes towards the Occult and even tolerated them to climb to high government offices in the Empire, something thought impossible mere decades before his rule. This is why Alexandros is particularly seen favorably among Evintarian Unionists.
Alexandros is yet often invoked by mentors, diplomats, government bureaucrats, and particularly those campaigning for more equity for the Occult of the Empire. Even within Crookback the Emperor has some support, as he is equally the first Emperor to not just dismiss the Occult corrupted and the downtrodden, and has reformed the state to allow them to live with some modicum of dignity. As such, Emperor Alexandros is sometimes also called the Dignified Vessel. Alexandros does have an official Temple, but it is not specifically built for him in Etosil. The Temple of the Vessel-Vigil represents all living God Emperors, and as such, this Temple is used to worship Alexandros.
Freiderikos, Prince of Evolution
|Prince Freiderikos (Prince Frederick in Common) is the son of God Emperor Alexander. Though he is not the heir, Prince Freiderikos is considered a Divine Being by the Silent Council for reasons that they haven’t been very public about, but they have assured the Arch Celates and Celates that they have evidence of his divine power. Prince Freiderikos is a living Divine Being, though he is not much known as a public figure as he mostly keeps to himself and avoids the public eye. It is said that Freiderikos is dutiful to name and father, sacrificing himself at the earliest opportunity to make even just marginal advances, but also a symbol of bodily evolution without Magic. Soma Evintarians have particularly attached to Freiderikos because of his Url Symbiosis, and his life-long training as a Viridian Knight and warrior-mentor to others. Freiderikos is thus the God of sacrifice, obedience to parents, bodily transformation and forever training.
Freiderikos does not have any formal shrines, though statues of him are quite common on the roads of the Etosian isles, yet a bit rarer in the Archipelago. Freiderikos usually stands as a statue on top of road markers in Etosil, with a variety of offerings cast next to the marker to his name. Worship in his name is done to ask for protection from injuries during training, for obedient children who do not cause trouble, for strength in body through training, and to bring honor to one’s siblings and family. As a result of Prince Freiderikos, Evintarian Unionists have stopped eating beef, though this is a relatively new development and not everyone does this.
Freiderikos is invoked by Evintarian knights, personal trainers and parents for good will. Worship of Freiderikos tends to be stronger the further away from the Archipelago, with Evintarians in Regalia paying him not as much attention, as there is still some contention among the lower Celates if he has actually shown any divine powers, or whether this is just a ploy from the Soma faction of the Evintarians to push for Url Symbiosis as a means to overcome the flaw of creation. Freiderikos does not have a formal temple, though one of the shrines in the Temple of the Vessel-Vigil dedicated to his father does have a statue and several benches dedicated to him.
Amandaros, King of Ancestry
|Amandaros, King of Ancestry, is one of the integrated Divine Beings in Unionism, originally conceived in Void Worship. Amandaros was adopted in Evintarian Unionism when the Silent Council was approached by Void Mages who had developed some means to reliably summon the blessings of Armas in siring stronger offspring. Armas’s children then went on to perform many deeds of great service to the Great way in Etosil, particularly in the warfare department, and continued on to have many children of their own thus furthering the cause. Amandaros does not actually ever appear himself, but his essence is imbued in a series of masks, through which his blessing can manifest a homonculi of sorts that provides his blessings. Amandaros’s homonculi appears as an attractive male or female, depending on the summoning process.
Children born from Amandaros’ blessings tend to be born stronger, healthier, and more energetic and physically active (and attractive), with the same lust for life as Amandaros himself. Children born with Amandaros’s blessings are called “Touamand”, which means born of Amandaros. Amandaros is known to be a very passionate and pleasure-seeking deity, but never acts without consent or express summoning by the faithful, and thus is virtuous in his morality. Amandaros is the god of fertility, life-lust, happiness, celebration, and progeny. Through Amandaros, the Soma and Entoli Evintarians have developed the process of careful selection of marriage partners to ensure healthy offspring with plenty of genetic skill (as the Evintarians believe that in part, skill and talent is transferred genetically). Amandaros also solves celibacy problems, as his blessing can come for both single men and women.
Amandaros has a single temple in Etosil and a single temple in Hellatia called the Temple of Birth. Rather than actually being a temple however, it is a massive maternity ward with hundreds of midwives and surgeons working there to ensure safe and comfortable birth of children. This is a practice centuries ahead of the common child-birth practices of other religions and cultures which can often be quite traumatic or be fraught with error and complications. The Temples of Birth however have large wards and private rooms where rich and poor are afforded the same high quality treatment and counseling to help them through pregnancy.
Yvasi, Master of Change
|Yvasi, Master of Change, is a Divine Being of Evintarian Unionism that isn’t specifically an integrated Divine Being, but more generally an entity from Bintaar. This entity is not fully understood, but the Silent Council knows for sure that it is not a hostile or death-inducing entity. Yvasi is in fact, a mask, and not a person, that was granted godhood. Yvasi is the god of overcoming change, of bodily change, of a brighter future, and loving one’s self. Yvasi is a mask that travels around Etosil, it usually chooses a willing host upon which it lives until the host dies of old age, and it is transferred to another host. While wandering around Etosil, it corrects what it sees as the flaw of creation, but more specifically how some Evintarian Unionists believe they were born in the wrong body. Avoiding alchemy or Magic, Yvasi changes a person’s height, biological sex, birth-defects, but also provides mental guidance to soothe anguish over any of these things.
Primarily, Yvasi gives blessings that change aspects about the body to make the person more comfortable living in it. This does not mean Yvasi is a nilly-willy cosmetic surgeon however, it establishes whether a change is truly desired, or whether it is a matter of social pressure. For example, Yvasi will not ask questions for those with gender dysphoria because it demands that everyone accepts and celebrates that Trans people are valid and deserve love. It will however distinguish someone who has been bullied for their eye color or hair color, and attempt to coach the person to accept and love this about themselves (or truly evaluate why they want it changed) before allowing them to request a change.
Yvasi appears as a Szabadok Mask (a mockery of the Szabadok repressive culture), and usually attaches to female hosts. What exactly happens to the hosts is unknown, it is generally assumed they enter a state of dreaming or pass away and are granted access to the Unionist afterlife for their service to Yvasi. Yvasi has no Temple, because it prefers to move around. There are however a large number of shrines dotted all over Etosil and Hellatia which it travels between, and these shrines have a reliable visitation schedule.
Kithemon, Guardian of Minds
|Kithemon, Guardian of Minds, is a Divine Being of Evintarian Unionism that isn’t specifically an integrated Divine Being, but more generally an entity from the Exist. This entity is not fully understood, but the Silent Council knows for sure that it is not a hostile or death-inducing entity. Kithemon is in fact, a statue, and not a person, that was granted godhood and seeks to always help those who come to him for assistance, preaching to others the need for a caring state and ruler. The statue appears like a physically imposing male, with a bear-pelt on his head, and holding a golden orb in front, and a gold-decorated sword behind his back. Kithemon is the god of mental fortitude, mental protection, privacy, experimentation, inspiration, and art. He is worshiped by artists and the wardens of Purity (no relation to the Wardens of Purity who are terrorists in the Regalian Archipelago) who ensure that Demons do not take a hold of the Enosis and Entoli Evintarians.
Kithemon stands, always and forever, perched on a cliff overlooking the Etosian city of Kitharos, a picturesque artist city on the northern shores of Etosil. It is home to many parks with beautiful statues, however the Kithemon statue one day started talking, its eyes glowing in white-blue. The Kithemon statue will frequently entertain visitors to short conversations, giving them divine inspiration when they feel stuck with either art or experiments with genetics or mutations, but also abhors mind control like no other. It has reliably picked out anyone under the influence of foreign agents from the Void or Exist and even Bintaar, and as such, has an important role among the Wardens of Purity to take suspected apostates to his presence to unmask them.
Kithemon does not have a temple, rather, his cliffside is adorned with many marble statues and the whole road up to it is wide open and visitable by Evintarians only. It has never been known to move, but says it one day wishes it could walk into the sea, though refuses to elaborate what this means. Kithemon is considered divine, because many of its advisory words, and its revealing of corrupt individuals have helped and even saved the entire Etosian state on numerous occasions, believing him to be well and truly a patron of the Evintarian faith’s holy birthright. This is also why the statue of Kithemon is a symbol of Etosian heraldry.
Evintarian Unionism has a structure very similar to Unionism. At the top of the religious community stands the Silent Council. The Silent Council is called such because it does not actually communicate with the Arch Celates or the public at large, and nobody really knows who the Silent Councilmembers are, the Etosians believing that only anonymity will protect them. The Silent Council speaks through the Supreme Speaker, the only person in the wide world who knows who the Councilmembers are. He in turn commands the Arch Celates, who in turn command the Celates. The Evintarian Unionist community is known to be well armed, while in Dogmatic Unionism, the Celates are largely pacifist, Evintarian Celeries have militias, and Arch-Celates are usually generals and admirals in the Evintarian state, as they had to protect themselves from extermination at the hand of the Dogmatic Unionists for decades before finally being annexed by Arch-Chancellor Vlaas. Most of what one would traditionally expect the Celates and Arch-Celates to perform (social care, preaching etc.) is actually performed by the Laikos. While Celate-preachers are not unheard of, 9 out of 10 of them have government or military command, and as such the Laikos perform most of the missionary and social duties. A Celate who does not perform military or ruling tasks, is called an Celefis, which is an honorary distinction of piety.
- Goddess Taal (which is a Divine Being in Dogmatic Unionism) is not traditionally presented in Evintarian Unionism. They do not expressly deny her divinity, or her relation to the Everwatcher, just that she is not worthy of worship because her argument is flawed and weak with ignorance, which Evintarians consider a crime to Juvin.