Cedrism

From MicrasWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

Cedrism is the state-favoured religion of Shireroth, whose practice continues in many of the successor states. It has a staggering pantheon of gods all the way from Mors, God of Death, to Hypotomoose, God of Miscalculations. Originally, the Cedrist Temple of Mirioth, was presided over by a High Priest who had the final say in all of Shireroth's religious affairs. The temple subsequently fell into ruin during the long dark age of the religion's neglect and its authority has subsequently been usurped by the Temple of Mors in Shirekeep which enjoys the favour of the Kaiser and their Court.

A member of the faith religion is known as a Cedrist. The religion is named, not for its prophet, the inscrutable and downright eccentric Brrapa Lu'Eraro, but rather his acolyte Cedris, who was the first to attempt to put the faith's precepts and hierarchies into some kind of coherent and comprehensible order. It is a task that, even to this day, remains incomplete and a strain upon the sanity of all who attempt, in the spirit of piety, to undertake the task.

Cedrist Myth And Stories

The Good

  • The Transcendi: Mortals who do enough honorable things in their lives transcend the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth and enter the Celestial Temple. (presumably to do god-like things and tasks.)
  • The Gods: "This is all speculation, but I believe the gods are those who were once mortal and then became gods through the Path of Transcendence." -Cedris' Guide to Cedrism
  • The Celestial Temple: The Celestial Temple is the realm of the gods themselves, home of the Transcendi. Residing in the Realm of the Divine, the Celestial Temple consists of Great Halls in which the different Gods and Transcendi go about their business. The Celestial Temple has no set form, instead it takes on the form desired or envisioned by its occupants. Due to being governed by the Plane of Order the differing visions of people never conflict, instead the differing visions reconcile themselves and mesh in perfect harmony.
  • Valhalla: Valhalla is one of the individual Great Halls of the Celestial Temple and is the home of great warriors and tacticians. When a great and honorable warrior dies the Gods retrieve their soul and place it in Valhalla awaiting The End Times, when they shall be called upon. No soul is kept in Valhalla against its will and may leave at any time to reenter the Mortal Realm and continue the Path of Transcendence.
  • Brrapa Lu Eraro
  • The Sacred Orders:
    • Cult of Mors
    • Cult of Viviantia
    • Cult of the Sacred Detonation
    • The Imperial Cult
    • Cult of B'Caw: The Following of B'Caw is his Imperially sanctioned cult. By tradition the lineage of the House of Bukolos provides the Imperial Vicar for the Cult of B'Caw.
    • Cult of the Benac
    • Cult of Horjin: The Hunters of the Stag (Viatax Sitadi Axdivijink Regigoraauk in their holy tongue, Horjinic) are a diversionary animist sect of Cedrism who worship Horjin. They reside on the Isle of Naudia'Diva and are considered by some to be technologically backwards.


The Bad

  • The Descendi: The total opposite of the Transcendi. Those who do so much evil in their lives that it is conjectured that the demon-fish of Balgurd, believed to be an astral projection of daemonic creatures on another plane of existence, are lured by the 'scent' of moral corruption up to the mortal realm to claim their souls and twist them into pure evil. Curiously this phenomenon never troubled the Babkhans or Atterans in their home countries, nor have instances of such occurrences been reliably recorded beyond the confines of the continent of Benacia and the islands once under the sway of the Empire of Khaz Modan. Suggesting either a cultural factor in the belief or a territorial range for the daemonic predators. The souls ensnared in this manner are categorically beyond hope of redemption, and even the gods are loathe to step foot in Balgurd.
  • The Dæmons: Once believed to be Mortals who were so evil that they were beyond salvation, it was subsequently determined that they were in fact the subterranean inhabitants of the chthonic realm of Balgurd. The existence of these creatures was confirmed by the explorations of Aiomide Octavian in the year 15xx.xxxx AN.ASC. Dæmons are tormentors of human souls, devourers of human flesh and the inveterate enemies of humanity. It is strongly suspected that they bare some relation to the extinct Ohl'tar. The exact mechanism by which these creatures are capable of intruding into the mortal realm by both astral projection, and physical intrusion, is not fully understood but instances of both have been attested through out the history of the Imperial Republic and its preceding Empires.
  • Balgurd: The realm of the Dæmons. This is where the Descendi, the fish of Balgurd, and other Dæmons spend their free time, training and waiting for the time they may invade Micras.
  • Dæmon Fish of Balgurd: Where the fish of Balgurd came from is a complete mystery. What IS known though, is that one touch is all it takes for one to steal your soul and drag you down into Balgurd. Avoid them at all costs.
  • Legions of Balgurd:This is the legion of the Descendi that have accumulated in Balgurd. They are to be released at the end of the world to destroy the realm of man.

The Great Swords

  • The Sword of Vengeance: This is the sword that is passed on to every Kaiser. Little is known about it, sadly. It is said to be a secret, known only to a select few in the upper echelons of the government. Believed to have been lost in the daemonic pocket-dimension tentatively associated with Balgurd since the demise of the last anti-Kaiser, Tokaray al-Osman, under dubious circumstances of suspected maleficia.
  • The Sword of Fire: Forged by Agni in the Celestial Temple, the Sword of Fire was gifted to the Mortal realm long before the fall of the Khaz Modanian Empire, and the rise of Shireroth. The sword belonged to the Line of Emperors who ruled the Khaz Modanian Empire and was seen as a sign of the royal throne of Khaz Modan. Legend tells that the sword was lost several centuries before the fall of the Empire and was not found again until Kaiser Raynor I vanquished the dæmon creature, Rrakanychan and reclaimed the sword for Mortal Man. It is said that the wielder of this Great Sword would have the power to command flame and bend it to their will. Under the control of the dæmon creature, Rrakanychan the sword was used to set ablaze entire villages, forests and plains, reducing even the strongest fortified walls to rubble.
  • The Sword of Death: Forged by the great god Mors in the Celestial Temple, the Sword of Death was bestowed upon the ancestors of what is now the Line of Mortis and has been passed through the ages from heir to heir. The Sword of Death comes with both great powers and a great curse placed upon it by the Death God. The wielder of the sword is able to strike dead, instantly, any whom the sword's wielder chooses; save those protected by another Great Sword. The curse upon the Great Sword prohibits its wielder from ever striking the innocent and the meek. Should the wielder attempt to strike the innocent or the meek than the sword would consume the dishonorable wielder's soul and reduce them to ashes to be blown to the four winds.
  • The Sword of Life: Radiating a faint white glow the Sword of Life was forged by the Goddess Lumina for the Goddess Viviantia as a gift of friendship. To this day, the Great Sword remains in the Celestial Temple in the ownership of Viviantia, awaiting the day when it is needed in the Mortal Realm. It is fabled that the sword has the miraculous ability to return to life any freshly slain body it pierces and is removed from. Should the Sword strike a dæmon or undead minion of a dæmon, the victim's soul shall be removed and stored within the blade until the Goddess herself releases it.
  • The Sword of Light: Forged by Lumina in the Celestial Temple for her own amusement the Sword of Light is one of the lesser of the Greatswords. Its only power is that of illuminating at the will of its wielder. The sword can illuminate to any brightness, intensity or color.
  • The Sword of Madness: Forged either by or for the God Loki; the sword has the ability to drive its wielder to the edge of insanity, yet never fully drive them mad. It is said that some of the greatest prophets, oracles and men of wisdom throughout history have possessed this Sword.
  • The Sword of Chaos: This great sword was forged by the God Loki as a joke upon the Death God, Mors. The exact powers of this sword are unknown to mortal man, but it is said that upon using the sword and seeing its powers, the God of Death actually laughed with such power that his laughter could be heard even in the Mortal Realm.
  • The Sword of Wisdom: Created by the god Hasan, the Sword of Wisdom grants upon its wielder the wisdom to understand the deeper secrets of life and the universe. It is legend that the great prophet Brrapa Lu'Eraro is in possession of this sword and even given it directly from Hasan himself.

The Realms

  • The Mortal Realm: The realm we mortals are said to live in. Much still mystifies the inhabitants of this Realm, but those brave or foolish enough to delve into this unknown side of the Mortal Realm are said to possess magical powers.
  • The Dæmonic Realm: Known also as Balgurd, its twisted expanse is home to the chaotic masters and subservient dregs of daemonkind.
  • The Divine Realm: The unknowable paradise of the gods and the Transcendi.

The Planes

The greatest mystery remaining in Cedrism is the untold Prophecy of the Planes. The existence of these planes is known to all Cedrists, but their nature eludes all who seek such knowledge. All that really is known are the names of these three Planes.

  • The Plane of Chaos
  • The Plane of Order
  • The Plane of Balance

Sacred Spaces

While the whole of Benacia is considered the most holy dominion of the Mortal Realm, there are locations within the continent which hold particular import to the faithful.

Burial Rites

Historically, deceased Cedrists were commonly honored by the Rite of the Elements, in which the body would be laid in the fields on of their homestead and naturally inter itself back to the soil and beasts of the land. As their numbers grew, however, there were practical considerations which created the need among Cedrists for more discrete means to honor their dead.

  • The Rite of Eternity is used for those of noble lineage, and involves the use of dynastic catacombs or crypts (the largest and most famous being the Valley of Mors).
  • The Rite of Transference is employed by the Cedrist cults, and involves the ritual ingestion by the senior clergy of meat from a deceased member of their cult. In this way the essence of piety is transferred back to the living.
  • The Rite of Trinity is a simple cremation granted to pious commoners. The particulars of this ritual vary depending on the cult leading the ceremony.
  • The Rite of Balgurd is reserved for noted sinners, suicides, criminals, heretics, and rebels. Those bodies found deserving of this rite are interned in graves (usually sized for a large number of bodies at a time) and may receive no prayers or grave marker from the faithful.

Holy Days

Though local customs are known to vary wildly across Benacia's Cedrist communities, certain holy days are recognized by Cedrism's faithful regardless of culture or creed.

  • Day of the Dead - 12.I
  • Days of the King of H'graasreign - 4-6.II
  • Festival of the Undaunted Atos - 6, 12, 18, or 24.II
  • "Vivanxie Vivanxeon" or Cedrist New Year - 15.III
  • Oustfest - 15.IV
  • Fasmas Mass - 2.VI
  • "Nowrûz" or the Day of Fires - 7.VII
  • Feast day of Laguna - 13.VIII
  • Kaiser's Day 19.VIII
  • Fiesta de la Boom - 13.XII
  • The Days of Auspice - 1-24.IX
  • Eightsday - 20.XIV

Concepts

  • Reincarnation: The immortal soul passes, upon one's death, to a vessel deemed worthy of the deeds of the life which has ended. If those deeds merit neither transcendence to the Divine Realm nor banishment to Balgurd, the soul is given to a new mortal vessel. What new vessel one is destined for in the next life is dependent on the pain and hardship endured in all the lives before, with greater suffering garnering greater boons.
  • Merit: One's words and actions in life are weighed by the watchers of the Realms. It is this measure of merit which determines the ultimate fate of one's soul.
  • Path of Transcendence (Holy Wisdom): Those who do deeds of great benefit to their fellow man, live a pious life, and suffer quietly and with pride are to be rewarded with eternal glory and bliss amongst those found worthy of entry to the Divine Realm.
  • Path of Descent: Those who do deeds of great evil and inflict destruction upon others for the pleasure of none but themselves are to be rewarded with untold power and rage within the unreachable pits of Balgurd.
  • Path of Rejection (Heresy): Those who would slander the Cedrist and turn from their truths are fated to wander the Mortal Realm for all time, no matter the merit of their deeds, for the watchers are blind to these souls.

Hierarchy of the Priesthood

  1. The Kaiser
  2. Regem enim sacrificium mors: High Priest (King of the Sacrifice for death) of the Cult of Mors
  3. Regina sacramenta vitae: High Priestess (Queen of the Sacrament for life) of the Cult of Viviantia
  4. Imperial Vicar of the Cult of the Sacred Detonation
  5. Imperial Vicar of the Imperial Cult
  6. Champion of the Cult of the Benac
  7. Reverend Mother of the Cult of Sakat
  8. Reverend Mother of the Cult of Alejia
  9. Imperial Vicar of the Cult of B'Caw
  10. Thrones of the Cult of Mors
  11. Vicars of the High Gods
  12. Paines of the Cult of Mors
  13. Lords of the Cult of Mors
  14. Vicars of the Lesser Gods
  15. Masters of the Cult of Mors
  16. Temple Officiants
  17. Apprentice of the Cult of Mors
  18. Temple Acolytes
  19. Initiates of the Cult of Mors
  20. Initiates to Temple

Sacred College

The Sacred College is the highest doctrinal authority of the Cedrist Church and superintends all aspects of the faith including the moral behaviour of its congregations and the rituals of worship.

Because the number six is sacred to Mors, the Sacred College of the Cedrist Church, the highest ecclesiastical authority, comprises of the Kaiser, the King of the Sacrifice, the Queen of the Sacrament, and the Imperial Vicars for the Cult of the Sacred Detonation, the Imperial Cult, and the Champion of the Cult of the Benac. As Holy Wisdom is essential for the maintenance of proper order in a balanced universe, the Reverend Mother of the Cult of Sakat also attends the Sacred College as a non-voting member who advises the Kaiser and who can vote in his absence.

Heresies