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Thread: Religion in Tuneric

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    Religion in Tuneric

    Religion plays an important role in the politics and everyday lives of the people of Polarus. On Tuneric espescially, its influence has been felt very strongly over the last millenium. The common folk believe that The Pantheon controls all aspects of their lives, and that only by demonstrating the appropriate amount of fear, adulation, respect, and admiration, can one hope to navigate all of life's daily perils.

    The Pantheon consists of twleve deities, each with their own domains and portfolio of worshipers. Some are worshiped openly, while others are paid silent sacrifices in order to protect the people from their wrath. Each has his or own feast days, which may be observed by the masses, or just a select few devout followers.

    Clergy

    While most people of Tuneric worship individual members or more of The Pantheon, few are called to serve. These righteous individuals are stalwart servants, indoctrined in their faiths, and function both as educators and lobbyists for their masters. These characters are available as player options, though each church has a certain hierarchy that they must adhere to. Players interested in playing a cleric or priestess in Tuneric, are encouraged to speak to a staff member before creating their profile.

    The Pantheon



    Name: Swaren, the god of light
    Realm of Sovereignty: god of the sun, light, health, and rebirth/renewal
    Appearance/Representation: Swaren shines with fiery blonde hair and golden-yellow eyes. He normally garbs himself in light golden armor, chainmail, and boots.
    Worshipers: Swarenzites—devout followers to Swaren who reside in temples of worship and maintain the building and facilitate worship ceremonies. Swarenzites are generally referred to as priests and priestesses of Swaren. The High Priest of Swaren conducts the ceremony of worship in conjunction with the High Priestess of Swaren.
    Locations of Worship: Temples located in major cities as well as minor chapels in noble castles/palaces. Temples are generally kept up by a local Swarenzite who acts as head priest/priestess of that particular chapter.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: Swaren is worshipped every morning with the rise of the sun. Swaren Day, otherwise known as the summer solstice (June 22), the longest day of the year when the sun shines for the longest amount of time is a day of feasting and celebration for Swarenzites. The masses generally join this feasting and worship on Swaren Day in lieu of daily morning devotions to Swaren. Daily worship seems to have been designated for the Swarenzites anyway.
    Patrons: Generally most of the population is welcomed to worship Swaren.




    Name: Mink-Asa, the dark goddess
    Realm of Sovereignty: goddess of the moon, stars, death, disease, and despair
    Appearance/Representation: Mink-Asa normally appears as a woman with long, raven-black hair and cream-colored eyes. She’s slender but normally wraps herself in a midnight black cloak. Her feet are never seen.
    Worshipers: Minkers—devout followers of Mink-Asa. Minkers are generally looked down upon in society as they are secretive and dark. They are fabled to practice the dark arts thereby invoking disease upon the face of the land. Minkers do not generally have a temple to call a home as Mink-Asa is feared more than revered by the masses. There is one great temple located in the capitol city, Hebron, where the Dark Day of Mink-Asa is observed. There is no defined hierarchy as the Swarenzites, but there is one high priestess, Ultima Minker, who presides over the observation of the Dark Day of Mink-Asa.
    Locations of Worship: Minkers normally congregate in groves of trees at dusk to praise and worship their deity and welcome her from her slumber on a nightly basis.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: The Dark Day of Mink-Asa, otherwise known as the winter solstice (December 22), is the darkest day on the face of the land. During this time, only the most devout pilgrimage to Hebron to worship and sacrifice in Mink-Asa’s temple. If Mink-Asa is satisfied with the sacrifices, then the land will be spared of disease and pestilence. If not, then the people will suffer in terms of death and disease.
    Patrons: The masses do not normally choose to worship Mink-Asa, although there are some exceptions.




    Name: Ruzbin
    Realm of Sovereignty: god of war, weapons, fire, smiths, and hate
    Appearance/Representation: Ruzbin sports black and red leather armor, silver chainmail and black boots. A cape, red as gushing blood, is attached over his shoulders with skull brooches. Ruzbin’s hair, black as night and constantly roiling with chaos, serves as a stark contrast to his blood-red eyes, filled with hatred and fire.
    Worshipers: Ruzbin is not a terribly popular god in times of peace if one counts the opinion of the masses. However, he is still revered by most smiths and metal workers even when there is no war. There are priests of Ruzbin who conduct ceremonies of worship, but usually these priests have another job, such as being a blacksmith or a knight. However, once war breaks out, the masses all jump on Ruzbin’s bandwagon, praying for his favor to win battles, but they can’t be bothered to show up at the temple at normal intervals.
    Locations of Worship: Ruzbin has a small temple located in Hebron. During peacetime, the temple is kept clean and tidy, with worship rarely conducted for massive audiences. However, once conflict and strife abound, the temple quickly becomes a haven for cobwebs and spiders since Ruzbin’s worshipers are busy elsewhere and the masses are busy praying in the streets for victory.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: There is no true established method of worship for Ruzbin. Some smiths pray daily for his hand to bless them during the making of their works in metal. Other times, knights and soldiers may bang their swords upon their shields, invoking the god’s presence before a battle. For desperate measures, it is not uncommon to sacrifice an animal, or even a child, to Ruzbin for victory in battle. There is a tourney held in Ruzbin's honor every year. It is held on April 20th and it is called Ruzbin’s Tournament Day. The victor is bestowed the title of Ruzbin's Champion for the following year and is crowned by the previous champion with a small golden crown. This purely symbolic crown is passed from champion to champion, year after year.
    Patrons: metal workers, smiths, soldiers, knights




    Name: Moreesa
    Realm of Sovereignty: goddess of the oceans, sea life, ships and sailors
    Appearance/Representation: Moreesa, complete with her aquamarine hair, seashell bra, and seaweed skirt, is born of the sea and forever will remain with the sea. Her body is streamlined, like a fish and her hair surrounds her head like an aura, as if she is underwater at all times. Her eyes, deep green and shimmering like a virgin lagoon on a summer’s day, smile upon those that traverse the oceans. Moreesa wears trinkets, bracelets and anklets made of tiny shells strewn together. Everything about her floats, her hair, her skirts, her necklaces...they all seem to wave and billow in some unseen breeze.
    Worshipers: Moreesa doesn’t do well in huge temples far inland. In fact, most of her influence can be seen on the coastal areas and along shorelines.
    Locations of Worship: Followers of Moreesa generally conduct worship services on sandy beaches, looking out towards the oceans.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: Moreesa’s followers don’t adhere any strict traditions or ceremonies. Mostly, they pray to the goddess, requesting bountiful blessings of fish for consumption as well as calm seas in times of travel. It is not uncommon for fishermen or sailors to sacrifice a land-dwelling animal to Moreesa in return for safe passage. Moreesa does have one designated festival during the dog-days of summer. When the days are at their hottest, the ides of August, worshipers and followers of Moreesa gather on the shorelines to be washed by Moreesa and her good graces. This is called Washing Day. Patrons wade into the water to be washed by the sea of the goddess. The more daring, and supposedly the more devout, wade in completely nude, stripping everything man-made from their bodies before welcoming the waters of the goddess. The more modest keep some stitch of clothing on.
    Patrons: sailors, fishermen, anybody else whose livelihood is dependent upon the sea




    Name: Silvica
    Realm of Sovereignty: goddess of the forest, forest animals, and the hunt
    Appearance/Representation: Silvica is slender and beautiful, her doe-brown eyes, huge and round, successfully steal the attention away from her shimmered locks of light green hair, seemingly emulating the leaves of a tree dancing in the wind. Silvica wears brown leather armor, carries a bow in hand, and a quiver on her back. The handle of a hunting knife is always sticking out of her boot. She is usually seen surrounded by animals and small birds perch upon her bow.
    Worshipers: True, devout Silvica followers dwell deep in forests, living off what the forest provides them. The masses worship Silvica by praying to her before the hunt, asking her blessing over whatever may be caught.
    Locations of Worship: Foundations for chapels are not constructed, rather they are bestowed by the goddess. A small cluster of trees is all it usually takes, and with some human intervention, a chapel is made. The pillars of the chapel are trees. Ropes are strung throughout the branches and vines of thick foliage, called Silvica’s heavens, grow up and over the ropes, covering everything with their leafy reach and shading everything beneath. Silvica’s heavens sprout during the late winter months, on the cusp of the dawn of spring. By the time the Dawn of the Year rolls around, Silvica’s heavens have grown and sprawled out across the chapel, covering it and shading the interior. It is strange that the heavens only grow to a height of about 30 feet. Some say it is because their leaves prefer the shade provided by the upper canopy, but Silvica’s followers know it’s because she tells them to stop growing to make her chapels perfect.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: The Dawn of the Year is the festival designated to Silvica and worshiped by almost all land-dwellers. This is a celebration of the new foliage that covers the branches of the forest as well as the return of the migratory birds, breathing new life into the forest. The Dawn of the Year is marked by the spring equinox (March 22), indicating a new year is at hand. Worshipers gather in the forests, or even a small grove of trees, to thank the goddess for the gift of the forest. It is not uncommon to partake of the bounties of the forest, including mushroom tea or flower tea.
    Patrons: hunters, trappers, loggers, anybody else whose livelihood depends on the forest.




    Name: Yuscat
    Realm of Sovereignty: god of the open land, plains, the harvest, farming and farm livestock
    Appearance/Representation: Yuscat is broad of shoulders and tall of limb. Being the patron god of farmers, Yuscat appears himself to be a farmer, with rough, big hands, a wild mane of dark hair and eyes the color of bright green apples. He wears no armor, nor even a shirt, but he is always clothed in a pair of burlap pants, black belt and black boots. Yuscat is normally depicted behind a plow, pulled by two massive horses. Sometimes on rare occasions, he drives a team of big-horned oxen yoked together.
    Worshipers: Many people worship Yuscat based on the sole reason of food. He is a very popular god to all, working classes and nobles alike. Priests and priestesses of Yuscat live in the temple and keep it up throughout the year. They are usually farmers themselves, cultivating the land around the temple for sacrifices and their own sustenance.
    Locations of Worship: Temples are constructed, usually overlooking farmland or open fields, out of brick and mortar. They are not in the cities. There is an altar in the center of the temple that strongly resembles a plow where sacrifices are burnt.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: Yuscat asks that one of the harvests be sacrificed to him in the form of a burn offering on the altar, which looks very similar to a plow. Yuscat isn’t picky about which harvest his followers choose to designate, but whatever is brought must be fresh picked or gathered. Usually, the Festival of Harvests fall on the vernal equinox (September 22) and apples are generally burnt on the altar in praises of Yuscat. Grapes are also gathered the whole week before the festival and are brought forth and thrown into a massive bin. A select ten, designated by a wreath of laurels on their heads, are chosen to be Yuscat’s Messengers and wash their feet and stomp the grapes in the bin, essentially the first steps of wine-making. During this time, the wine in the casks from the year before are brought out and enjoyed by all as they indulge on additional harvests. After the wine in the bin is stomped by Yuscat’s Messengers, it is placed in casks and left to ferment, to be watched over and maintained by the priests and priestesses of Yuscat throughout the year.
    Patrons: farmers, ranchers




    Name: Iubita
    Realm of Sovereignty: goddess of marriage, birth, love, passion, beauty
    Appearance/Representation: Iubita is the embodiment of beauty. Her hair, auburn red, and her bright blue eyes shine over married couples and pregnant women alike. Iubita is wrapped in a shimmering silk of white at all times and her bare feet patter softly where ever she may walk.
    Worshipers: Iubitors is the name gifted to priestesses of Iubita; they also act as midwives on behalf of the goddess. Though there are plenty of followers of the masses, only the temple-dwellers are given any sort of title. Iubita welcomes all with open arms as followers, but usually only females choose to become Iubitors. Males in the religious order are not generally favored by the populace as they cannot truly empathize with women in labor when playing the role as a midwife.
    Locations of Worship: Iubita has one major temple in Hebron, with smaller versions spread throughout the land. Iubitors live in these temples and maintain them.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: Priestesses, designated as midwives, will travel to the location of the mother-to-be to assist in the birthing process. During a problem-ridden pregnancy, a woman may request to have an initiate live with her to assist at all times. Said initiate will act as a servant for the woman until labor, at which point the initiate will summon a bona fide priestess to deliver the unborn child and drizzle the mother-to-be’s head with oil, also known as Iubita’s Blessing. If delivery is successful, the initiate will remain in the household for the first two months after the birth, invoking Iubita’s presence in the child’s future life. Once this trial is complete, the initiate returns to the temple and may soon be inducted as a full-fledged Iubitor. Iubitors also preside over marriage ceremonies. When a couple chooses to marry, they request a Iubitor to come perform the ceremony at the couple’s place of choosing. Couples are welcomed to conduct a simple ceremony in Iubita’s temple. However, nobles usually host the ceremony at their own residences. A Iubitor will present the couple before Iubita, drizzling the blessing oil over their joined hands as a symbol of the goddess’ blessing over the union. The bride and groom exchange their own gifts before the Iubitor, a sign before humanity that they recognize the goddess’ blessing. The bride normally gifts her new husband a personalized, embroidered kerchief and the groom typically gifts his new wife some sort of jewelry, most notably a ring of significance.
    Iubita’s Celebration on July 20th is a great feast held in the goddess’s honor and to welcome newly married couples and newborn children into the world of Tuneric. The new couples or babies are all brought to the temple and receive the goddess’ blessing again in the form of drizzled oil on their heads. Afterwards, a city-wide feast is held in the streets, and those with oil on their heads are decorated with ribbons and flowers by dancers skipping about in the streets, looking for oiled heads.
    Patrons: persons who are already or will become married, mothers and mothers-to-be




    Name: Vopsa
    Realm of Sovereignty: goddess of music, painting, and all other fine arts, building and construction
    Appearance/Representation: With a voice like a songbird, Vopsa carries a lyre with her where ever she appears. Her hair, so blonde that it’s almost white, is her trademark trait and her golden eyes miss nothing. Sometimes Vopsa is seen with a paintbrush during autumn times and it is fabled that she paints the trees in browns and golds to spite her sister Silvica.
    Worshipers: Vopsa is not an extremely popular goddess, but she is worshipped nonetheless. There are a tiny number of people who act as priests and priestesses of Vopsa.
    Locations of Worship: Vopsa’s temple is located in Hebron and is the only temple that has been built for Vopsa in the known world.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: The one time of year that everybody jumps on Vopsa’s bandwagon is during the Carnival of Vopsa, which starts on May 15th. Carnival is basically a five-day long celebration of the arts, from painting to music, from sculptures to theater. Competitions of playwrights and actors are held on a main stage for the right to perform for the king and his court on additional holidays throughout the upcoming year. Musicians compete for this same prize on a lesser stage. Winning sculptures and paintings are displayed proudly throughout Hebron, Vopsa’s temple, and the king’s castle. A masquerade ball is also held in Vopsa’s honor, the apex of Carnival on the last night, that being May 20th. Anybody is welcomed to attend Vopsa’s Masquerade Ball, as long as they have a mask to wear. Each attendee is required to decorate his or her own mask and they are judged by the vocal approval of all attendees. The winner’s mask is displayed in Vopsa’s temple until next year’s winner is chosen. The original owner will then receive their mask back, some say infused with the breath of Vopsa. These masks may be sold as muses.
    Patrons: bards, thespians, playwrights, painters, carpenters, masons




    Name: Vifor
    Realm of Sovereignty: god of volcanoes, earthquakes, massive storms, wide-spread floods, colossal calamity
    Appearance/Representation: Dark and brooding, Vifor stomps upon the land with his big black boots. It is said that when he is angry, he stomps and it shakes the land violently. When he yells, the volcanoes erupt. When he throws things in fits of rage, storms churn. Vifor wears dark clothes, which matches his obsidian-black hair and sable eyes. Vifor carries a double-sided battle-axe across his back.
    Worshipers: Vifor has but a single temple in Hebron, though there are wide-spread priests and priestesses throughout the land. Priests and priestesses hold the positions for life.
    Locations of Worship: The only temple in Hebron has a handful of priests and priestesses that call it home. Other places about Tuneric do not have a temple, per se, but roaming priests and priestesses accept sacrifices to appease Vifor.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: Vifor is a violent god and only accepts violent sacrifices. Child sacrifice is not uncommon and only the most devout will submit to such a sacrifice, unless it’s a Dorintz baby, which is readily sacrificed by unwanted parents. Priestesses of Vifor are known to conceive and produce a child strictly for sacrificial purposes. Normal sacrifices consist of small animals and burning items such as a pile of clothes, a shed or even a funeral pyre. Sating Vifor through fire and death will keep his wrath from manifesting across the land and sea. During the Observance of Vifor’s Power, which is the holiday held every 20th day of October, priests and priestesses sacrifice a grown bull to Vifor and share in the meat with all those who attend the Observance. Partaking in even a mere bite of the meat will keep all sorts calamity at bay for the upcoming year...or so the masses believe.
    Patrons: anybody who doesn’t want to be negatively impacted by these events




    Name: Plex
    Realm of Sovereignty: god of wind, clouds, rain, and change
    Appearance/Representation: Plex commands attention with his light blue eyes, which matches his hair exactly. Both are chaotic in appearance and constantly flicker around, unable to sit still. Plex is lithe and slender, ever-changing in his whims and direction. He carries no weapons and is dressed in a wrap of white silk.
    Worshipers: Priests and priestesses devote certain blocks of their time to Plex. Once they feel their calling has come to an end, the priests or priestesses return back to their normal lives.
    Locations of Worship: Small temples dot the lands of Tuneric, from coast to coast and places in between. Plex’s reach is far and wide as winds dance on the surface of Tuneric constantly.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: There are no stone-set rituals or ceremonies designated to Plex on a daily basis. The only thing that remains the same is Plex’s Fete, which falls on February 2nd of every year. To celebrate the god’s control of the sky elements, the god is worshipped just before the spring rains roll in, which usually happens around the middle of February. If Plex smiles on Tuneric, then the rains fall as water. If Plex is angry, then it becomes snow instead. The temple of Plex in Hebron usually hosts the official feast of Plex’s Fete. There are small feasts throughout the land to accommodate those who are unable to travel.
    Patrons: sailors, fishermen, farmers




    Name: Dorintz
    Realm of Sovereignty: god of jokes, pranks, lust, and general mischief
    Appearance/Representation: By all accounts, Dorintz is a handsome bastard. Black hair reaches just beyond his shoulders and dark blue eyes dance with mirth and mischief. He struts about in black breeches and black boots, preferring to leave the shirt behind. Even though he’s scantily clad, Dorintz carries plenty of blades on his person...just in case. They’re always hidden in his pants or boots, or who knows, maybe even his hair.
    Worshipers: Dorintz normally employs male priests in his temples as females in Dorintz’s order are frowned upon. Some say he wants to defy Iubita at all steps so he does everything opposite.
    Locations of Worship: Dorintz has a temple in Hebron, run by the head priest, known as the Head of Dorintz, presiding over the rest of the priests, known as Hands of Dorintz.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: Priests usually denote one night of every month in the arms of a whore as sacrifice of their time to Dorintz. As Dorintz is the least powerful god, his methods must be enticing enough to draw in the masses. Therefore, the Bacchanal of Dorintz is about as bawdy as a festival can get and takes place outside the city gates on November 25th of each year. Everybody shows up in a mask and dances about the Ribbon Pole, which is usually a massive post erected specially for this occasion. The Ribbon Pole, standing about 30 feet tall, is embellished with all colors of ribbons dangling from the top and flowing all the way to the ground. The masked women may choose a masked man as a mate and they usually copulate, honoring Dorintz with their actions. If a woman is unwilling, she usually returns to the city before this split of the crowds. It is up to the participants if they wish to be unmasked or not. If a child is conceived, it is not uncommon for the mother and her husband, if she has one, to give it up to sacrifice to Vifor. Other gods and goddesses frown on Dortintz as he seems to breed chaos and marital strife with his worship methods, but of course, he only laughs in their faces.
    Patrons: jesters




    Name: Jaynara
    Realm of Sovereignty: goddess of time: the future, the present and the past
    Appearance/Representation: Jaynara is a solemn goddess, spending most of her days guarding the past from the present from the future. Jaynara’s brunette hair can never hide the fact that she has three eyes, the third planted right in the center of her forehead, shining black as obsidian, representing the unknown future. Her other two eyes, the white one, representing the known past, and the grey one, signifying the present in the making, sit normally on her face. Jaynara normally garbs herself in grey, complete with a hooded cape and grey boots.
    Worshipers: Jaynara has a small following of priests and priestesses.
    Locations of Worship: There is a tiny temple in Hebron designated to Jaynara. It is kept and maintained by the followers of Jaynara.
    Method of Worship/Designated Holidays: Devout priests and priestesses pray to Jaynara three times a day to invoke her blessings...the morning for the past, high noon for the present and at night for the future. There is a single feast held in Jaynara’s honor on the first day of every year. Known as the Jubilee of Jaynara, the feast has three courses, each served with its own beverage. The attendees dance after each course with a different partner each time, signifying the past, the present and the future. The Jubilee of Jaynara has everything in three’s. Gathering on the first day of the year allows the attendees to contemplate over the past year, live in the present of the day, and ask Jaynara’s blessing in the future year.
    Patrons: anybody
    Last edited by Gwendolyn Hunter; 03-25-2012 at 08:39 AM.

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