|Split from||Pallisican Religion|
|Members||112,007,907 (38.60 PSSC)|
The Stripping Path, otherwise known as Bassaridianism, is the most widely practiced religion in the Micrasian east, and is perhaps the most rapidly expanding religion in the world. Since its inception in the remote cities of the Strait of Haifa in central Keltia in the later period of the 33rd era PSSC, the Stripping Path has spread around the world with relative rapidity, owing in large part to the adoption of the religion by the Crown of Passio-Corum. A highly subversive and violent religion that in recent years has been fostered by the world's markets which rely upon the Post-Standardized Currency, the Stripping Path, whose practitioners are known officially as Bassarids, and pejoratively as "Strippers," is the subject of extreme controversy around the world, in particular in nations affiliated with the SANE alliance such as Natopia, which was disproportionately impacted by widespread religiously-motivated violence in Elijah's Rest during the Strait of Haifa Campaign.
Overview of Beliefs
To the extent that it recognizes the Triality of the Oversouls, or the relationship between the universal forces of order, chaos, and mystery, the Stripping Path is regarded by most scholars as a variant of the Pallisican Religion. It is not, however, regarded as a formal branch of the Pallisican Religion, for the primary reason that there is not within the Stripping Path a tradition which places an emphasis upon any notion of a struggle between the Universal Forces of order and chaos. In contrast to the religion of the Pallisican peoples, which promotes the destruction of chaos by means of the creation and preservation of order, the Stripping Path regards chaos as the supreme, indestructible, unavoidable governing force of the universe. Whereas in the Pallisican Religion, order is regarded as the absolute highest end, or the thing which most closely resembles the divinity which existed at the beginning of time, the Stripping Path regards the universal force of order as an ephemeral, illusory force, which in many ways serves to distract humanity, and other forms of life, from the actual nature of the chaotic universe. While the Pallisican Religion reveres the pursuit of order as the highest of all spiritual aims, the Stripping Path approaches the concept of order from a much different perspective, instead viewing it as an almost insidious illusion which prevents spiritual beings from finding meaning in a chaotic universe.
This difference in views relating to the exact nature of the Triality of Oversouls manifests most prominently in the fact that while the Pallisican Religion is an agnostic religion which does not formally recognize the existence of any particular god or set of gods, the Stripping Path is a theistic religion whose adherents worship Bacchus, an extra-Micrasian god who, the religion maintains, embodies the most prominent spirits of chaos: madness,intoxication, and violence. The worship of Dionysus is a fundamental component of the belief system of the Stripping Path; virtually all of the religions various ceremonies, rituals, and individual practices, honor each in their own way one of these three aspects of chaos, and are aimed at cultivating a relationship between practitioners of the religion and Dionysus. The worship of Dionysus is the element of the Stripping Path regarding which the authorities of the Pallisican Religion have historically expressed the greatest amount of aversion, even despite proclamations by the Oracle Ruler, Opyeme Amor, that it was the Pallisican Host Spirit which ushered the worship of Dionysus into central Keltia. The worship of Dionysus, furthermore, also contributes to a significant degree of lawlessness around the Strait of Haifa. Among the most devout practitioners of the Stripping Path, and the most radically committed of the worshipers of Dionysus, are the pirates who constitute organizations such as the Bacchian Vine Fleet, and the notorious priestesses of the Cult of Maskmakers whose illegal operations exercise considerable influence across the Haifan, as well as the Pallisican spheres of influence.
Provided the chaotic nature of the universe, which is defined by the breakdown of systems including that of the mortal coil, the dissolution of nations, and the occurrence of unforeseen and mysterious events, practitioners of the Stripping Path maintain that despite their most basic intuition, every human strives in futility until the moment of death, to resist the imposition of chaos by constructing for themselves a false barrier of perceived order and comfort, thus destructively inhibiting their own abilities to adapt to the chaotic world as it actually exists. Failing to recognize the futility of its effort to maintain the barriers of order which it believes surround it, that is to say, humanity binds itself to suffering. This self-imposed "binding to suffering," according to the Bassarid Faith, is the nature of the tragedy, which is described in the Wisdom of Silenus, and which defines human life as a whole. To this end, practitioners attempt to derive maximum spiritual and social value from the suffering which they experience, attempting at every opportunity to resist the urge to oppose the imposition of chaos. So as to accomplish this spiritual goal, practitioners emphasize the worship of Dionysus, the god of chaos, madness, and tragedy, who embodies the spiritual essence which enables man to derive true value from his suffering. With that said, there is to practitioners of the Stripping Path no clear distinction between madness and enlightenment. At the moment that one realizes the spiritual essence which is embodied by Dionysus, one loses their sense of individual self, and is rendered functionally insane. Thus, insanity is prided in Haifan culture, and the insane are revered as being spiritually attuned to the true nature of the universe.
The Infinite Vine, according to the Bassarid Faith, is the term used to describe the nature of reality as it is understood by those who have lost their minds in a state of enlightenment. Having lost a sense of personal self-hood, the insane - known in Bassarid traditions as the Wandering or the Rambling Ones - are regarded as being incapable of dying, and have thus achieved a state of immortality. While Dionysus is traditionally regarded as the Lord of the Infinite Vine, contemporary Bassaridianism holds that dominion of the Vine is shared between Dionysus and Aphrodite.
Recognizing the extent to which the economic system outlined in the essay "A Sustainable Economy" had contributed to the rapid growth and considerable stability and versatility of nations such as Passio-Corum, and the Maritime Markets, proponents of the Stripping Path during the era 36 PSSC increasingly began to regard the system of commerce devised by Opyeme Time, as having been divinely inspired by the half-brother of Dionysus, Hermes. To this end, practitioners of the Bassarid Faith during this period, in particular in the Keltian far north and in Apollonia, began to regard themselves as the chosen people of the god of commerce, and the patron of thieves. This belief was affirmed by the effective role which the Post-Standardized Currency played in bringing about an end to the Harpy War, and to the War of Lost Brothers as a whole.
An ancient of subject of reverence within the Pallisican Religion, Apollo is the only Bassardian god whose worship on Micras predates that of Dionysus, the premier god of the Stripping Path. Regarded as the embodiment of the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, the occult worship of Apollo within the Pallisican Religion has long contributed to extensive support for the scientific ventures led by the University of Port Brent and the New Zimian Space Exploration and Settlement Agency. The worship of Apollo, furthermore, has long played a central role in guiding the outward facing, radically expansion oriented political focus of the Pallisican and Haifan nations.
The patron goddess of Agripinilla, the capital city of the Bassaridian faith, Artemis is revered within the Stripping Path as the embodiment of the values and principles which have traditionally given rise to the matrilineal and matriarchal customs which define the political and social structures of Haifo-Pallisican society. While some nations have characterized the Bassarid religion as being misogynistic in nature, the religion regards itself as an advocate for women's liberation, and indeed most practitioners of the religion, and the majority of its leadership, are women. Most of these practitioners hold their relationship with Artemis on par with that of their relationship with Dionysus himself.
A late arrival to the Bassaridian pantheon, Aphrodite emerged as a major goddess within the Stripping Path in the 43rd era PSSC. In addition to her role as the goddess of sexual desire, Aphrodite is regarded in Bassaridianism as the goddess of productivity, expansion, war, and the the Passions which underlie the Bassarid religious worldview. Within Bassaridianism, Aphrodite represents the belief held by many modern practitioners of the religion that there can in fact be no distinction made between pure chaos and total order, and that furthermore, the only human experience which lends itself to a comprehension of either totality, or of the complementary relationship which exists between the two totalities, is sexual or romantic love.
|Theology (Micrasian)||Mother of the World Fungus||
Known in most parts of the world as the Green, the Mother of the World Fungus is, within the Stripping Path, the embodiment of the conquering force of nature which threatens the existence of all nations. The eternal struggle of all nations, the Stripping Path maintains, is the misguided struggle to overcome the Mother of the World Fungus.
|The World Fungus||The World Fungus is the essential, mysterious aspect of humanity which appears to prevent its complete obliteration at the hands of the Mother of the World Fungus. Modern Bassarid theology connects the idea of the World Fungus to the existence of the so-called Haifo-Pallisican race, which thrives on its ability to prosper in environments, and under conditions, which others associate with death and decay. In ritual practice the World Fungus is celebrated in the form of the Stand-In, a type of wedding guest who attends celebrations in place of another person who could not attend. The stand-in is expected to play the part of the person they are replacing, adopting their appearances, mannerisms, styles of speech, and even personal anecdotes. In the period following weddings, Stand-Ins are expected to formally relay the details regarding wedding celebrations to the person they represented, acting out their own parts as well as the parts of others.|
|The Host Spirit and the Oracle||As is the case in the Pallisican Religion, the Host Spirit is regarded within the Stripping Path as the supernatural entity which sustains the existence of the Haifo-Pallisican nation. While the Stripping Path acknowledges the existence of other host spirits, which sustain other nations and peoples, the Host Spirit itself is the spirit which sustains the Bassarid nation, and which manifests itself in the world through the actions of its chosen representative on Micras, the Oracle.
While the Pallisican Religion traditionally regards the Host Spirit as a benevolent figure, the Stripping Path portrays it as being dark and demented. This perception was affirmed by the brutality of the Strait of Haifa Campaign.
|The Harpy Oracle||The fifth ruler of the Pallisican nation, and the third of the nation's Oracle Rulers, Kan Zen is regarded as the first prophetess of the Bassarid Religion on Micras. As such, she is responsible for the rapid development and expansion of the religion in Keltia, Eura, and Corum, and for the unification of Passio-Corum and the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa.|
|Death the Entertainer||Death the Entertainer is the spirit of death, whose appearance forebears the coming of the Mother of the World Fungus. It is believed that prior to collapse, Death the Entertainer appears in the capital city of every nation in the form of a ravenous, murderous, horned clown. The notion of death as an entertainer is closely associated with the belief in the connection between Dionysus and tragedy.|
|The Other Hosts||The Other Hosts are the premier non-deified supernatural entities which sustain the non-Bassarid nations of the world. Although there are many host spirits which have existed throughout history, and which continue to exist. Particularly notable among the Other Hosts is the Craitgod, who is responsible for maintaining and updating the Map, and the Heavenly Light, who rules Jingdao.|
|The Map||Given their belief in the tragedy of life, some practitioners of the Stripping Path regard themselves as occupying a type of quasi-fictional existence which is not truly constrained by the perceived limitations of reality, such as death. Those who hold such beliefs also typically maintain that the basis of their existence is The Map, which is the graphic representation the world which they inhabit. This belief in The Map is closely tied to belief in an event known as The Schism, the event which gave rise to the Mother of the World Fungus, in which Micras was separated from the known universe after the temporal reality of the planet collapsed in upon itself.|
|Mistress Mugwort||The ruthless and wicked queen of the Realm of Sleep, Mistress Mugwort is regarded as the keeper of man's hopes and dreams. A jealous and angry spirit, Mistress Mugwort offers in exchange for the soul of man, the gifts of the flower of remembering, and the flower of forgetting.|
|Tar||Although not recognized within the Bassarid religion as a whole, some Bassarid cults in the region surrounding Lake Morovia worship the god of the Alperkin religion - known as Tar - as an aspect of Bacchus. Such Bassarid cultists may or may not engage in the ritual consumption of Noctic-Rabrev as part of their worship of Tar.|
|The Four Winds (Northerly, Southerly, Easterly, Westerly)||The Winds are the ethereal spirits which manifest themselves in the weather and wind patterns of the Strait of Haifa.|
|Sacraments||The Bacchanal||The Bacchanal are community-oriented religious festivals carried out by the Bacchanalia, which center around the initiation of new members into the Mysteries. The exact nature and characteristics of Bacchanalia festivals vary from community to community, and region to region.|
Following their initiation, new members of the Bassarid religion are anointed with a holy mixture of essential oils which includes the list of ingredients shown below. This mixture is known to sometimes leave chemical burns which if left untreated can cause permanent scarring. The permanent scars left by this anointing oil are called "Scars of .
In an addition to this anointing oil, practitioners often burn or diffuse, as part of ritual worship, a mixture of oils using the same list of ingredients as shown above, but in different proportions. This mixture is burned or diffused on a nightly basis by the most devout practitioners of the Stripping Path, but in general is reserved for celebrations and festivals.
In every day life, candles may be burned as an alternative to the aforementioned oil sacraments. Candles should be pine or cinnamon scented.
|Liturgical Calendar||Sprói (Spring)||
|Symbols||The Vine/Ivy||The Vine is believed to symbolize the presence of Dionysus in the world. The appearance of a new grape vine, or the emergence of flowers on an existing grape vine on one's property, is regarded as a demonstration of the favor of Dionysus.|
|The Serpentine Beast||Similar to the vine, the serpentine beast represents the reality of Dionysus. Serpentine beasts may include reptiles such snakes and lizards, fish such as eels and rays, insects such as centipedes and millipedes, and mammals such as otters and weasels. Reptiles in particular are highly symbolic in the Bassarid faith, insofar as they represent the dual-nature of Dionysus.|
|The Mermaid/Melusine||The mermaids who inhabit the Strait of Haifa are believed to be the descendants of the first pirates to inhabit the Strait's waters. Having repented of the sins of their fathers, the mermaids now constitute much of the retinue of Dionysus as he travels the Strait. Their queen, Melusine, is believed to be the most faithful companion and servant of Ariadne, the bride of Dionysus. According to Bassarid tradition, it was Melusine and her consorts who comforted Ariadne until the arrival of Dionysus on the island where she had been abandoned.|
|The Clam Shell or the Conch||Clam Shells and conchs are believed to be the homes of the mermaids. Pearls, furthermore, are believed to be mermaids who have transformed themselves so as to avoid capture.|
|The Agave Plant||The Agave Plant serves as a constant reminder of the fate of those people and nations who reject the Bassarid faith.|
|The Labyrinth and the Minotaur||The Labyrinth and the Minotaur represent the fundamental relationship, according the Bassarid tradition, between the forces of order and chaos. The labyrinth itself, to this end, represents order, insofar as it is designed and constructed to contain chaos, the minotaur. At the heart of order, the Stripping Path holds, is the consuming need to contain chaos.|
|The Goat||Goats are often ritually sacrificed during Bassarid religious celebrations, in commemoration of the rending of Dionysus at the hands of the titans.|
|Holy Planets||The planet Thalassa plays a central role in Bassaridian Astrology. Festivities celebrating the worship of Thalassa occur in early Autumn, following the arrival of the season's first rainfall in the city of Mylecia. These celebrations involve gatherings of costumed friends and neighbors, who come together to drink, and to share stories of the dead. During these celebrations, furthermore, altars to Dionysus are moved from private to public spaces, such as from bedrooms to living rooms, or from homes to communal worship areas. Large amounts of fish are eaten during these celebrations, and wine is typically consumed earlier in the day, often in place of coffee. In some Bassarid traditions these festivities are followed three months later by a three day fasting period in which altars to Dionysus are returned to private spaces, as members of the religion honor the planets Indigo and Momiji. These planets, which comprise the Indigo System, differ from the other major bodies of the Atos System insofar as they are believed to lack physical substance. They are not actual planets, but the ghosts of planets which were violently destroyed millennia ago.
In the early 40s PSSC, a belief began to emerge among Bassarid astronomers and astrologers that Micras is not a planet in the traditional since, but a type of portal in which multiple different realities and dimensions converge. This belief attempts to explain certain oddities, anomalies, and inconsistencies which have existed and been observed throughout Micras' history.
|The Aceti||Often portrayed in Bassarid dramatic theater as comic or tragic figures whose role in history is foretold by the gods, or by mysterious cosmic forces, the Aceti is a group of notable historical individuals who inadvertently, indirectly, and/or unknowingly contributed to the development and expansion of the Haifo-Pallisican sphere of influence. The most notable Aceti in modern times is the Constancian pirate Captain Poldark, whose effigy is a central party favor at almost all Bassarid celebrations.|
|Meditations||"Hed Appanal Il Däknos" (The Appeal to Darkness)|
|"Hed Appanal Il Sazht"(The Appeal to Illusion)|
|"Hed Appanal Il Wanalth" (The Appeal to Wealth)|
|"Hed Appanal Il Epï" (The Appeal to Prey)|
|"Hed Appanal Il Danaß" (The Appeal to Death)|
|Hymns||"Invocation of Dionysus"||The Invocation is a hymn commonly recited at Bacchanalia, which is meant to invoke the spirit of Bacchus. A recording of the Invocation, produced by the band Creatures of Corum can be heard here.|
|Famous Locations||Temple of the Arriving Satyr King||The Temple of the Arriving Satyr King is an underground temple near the city of Agripinilla, which is world famous for the gargantuan statue of an ejaculating satyr which stands above it.|
|33.96 PSSC (6216 ASC)||The Birth of the Stripping Path||The Stripping Path sweeps across the Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa, rapidly becoming the predominant religion of Haifans in central Keltia.|
|34.61 PSSC (6335 ASC)||Infiltration of the Pallisican Council of Courts by the Stripping Path||With the ascension of Kan Zen to the office of Companion of the Crown, the Stripping Path gains a foothold in the highest levels of the government of Passio-Corum.|
|34.61 PSSC (6335 ASC) - 35.07 PSSC (6418 ASC)||Expansion of the Stripping Path||Supported by agents working closely in secret with the Crown of Passio-Corum, the Stripping Path expands its influence into new lands including the island of Rouge, and Vaeringheim. This expansion begins to put pressure on nations along the Strait of Haifa, including Caputia and Natopia.|
|34.88 PSSC (6384 ASC) - 36.34 PSSC (6634 ASC)||Hammish Civil War||The Hammish Civil War contributes to the spread of the Haifan religion in central and eastern Keltia, where military and political leaders in the Maritime Markets capitalize on instability to develop the tactics which would later be applied during the War of Lost Brothers. The emergence of the Israati-Haifan Nationalist Movement following the war, prompts the newly established government of Caputia to fiercely oppose the Bassarid Religion.|
|35.19 PSSC (6441 ASC) - 35.24 PSSC (6450 ASC)||Assassination of Opyeme Amor||Crown Opyeme Amor is murdered after attempting to interfere in trade relations between the Strait of Haifa and Shireroth, by Companion Kan Zen, who soon after ascends to the Crown of Passio-Corum in what is regarded within the Pallisican Religion as the Miracle of Kan Zen. The ascension of Zen to the crown marks the conversion of the Pallisican monarch to the Haifan Stripping Path.|
|36.56 PSSC (6691 ASC) - 36.62 PSSC (6703 ASC)||Rochefort Genocide||The Caputian government renounces the Order of Rochefort following international scrutiny regarding the purported genocide of practitioners of the Stripping Path within the borders of the Kingdom, though it remains steadfast in its opposition to the religion, which it views as deeply insidious and repulsive.|
|36.69 PSSC (6716 ASC) - 36.92 PSSC (6739 ASC)||Strait of Haifa Campaign||The Strait of Haifa Campaign, the last major campaign of the War of Lost Brothers, contributes to the radical expansion of the Bassarid religion around the world. Bassarid cults are established by the dozen in northern Keltia, as well as in Apollonia and Benacia - regions where the religion never existed prior to the war. The campaign results in the establishment of the Bassarid Kingdom of New Normark.|
|36.77 PSSC (6730 ASC)||Port of Vines is Established||The Port of Vines is established following the ascension of Crown Zen to the position of Priestess of Agripinilla, allowing for the expansion of the Bassarid faith to all corners of the Pallisican sphere of influence.|
|36.81 PSSC (6737 ASC)||Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union is Established||The Bassarid Empire is established, in a move which serves to politically unify Passio-Corum and the Maritime Markets. The Crown of Passio-Corum formally adopts the Stripping Path as the religion of the state, prompting the formal establishment of Neo-Pallisican religions.|
|36.81 PSSC (6737 ASC)||Iron Cult of Leng is Established||The Iron Cult of Leng is established by enslaved Normarkians, marking the first major expansion of the Bassarid religion in Benacia.|
|36.87 PSSC (6737 ASC)||Emergence of Alperkin||A peculiar variant of the Stripping Path emerges along the northern shores of Lake Morovia. The emergence of this variant of the Bassarid religion results in the expansion of the region's illicit Noctic-Rabrev trade.|
|37.03 PSSC (6737 ASC)||Caputian Government Declares Memory of Stripping Path Damnatio Memoriae||Citing a deep-seated hatred of the Bassarid religion, and of the Pallisican and Haifan peoples and their nation, the Caputian government declares the memory of the Stripping path Damnatio Memoriae, and attempts with relative success to expel all Bassarids from the Kingdom. The decision places Caputia at the forefront of anti-Bassarid movements around the world. Its example, in coming years, serves to inspire nations such as Constancia and Raspur.|
|37.52 PSSC (6867 ASC)||Constancia Approves Expulsion of Bassarids||Following the example of Caputia, the government of Constancia passes legislation aimed at expelling from the nation all practitioners of the Bassarid religion. Similar to the decision by the government of Caputia, the passage of this legislation provides new insight regarding the insidious influence of the Bassarid religion in regions where it had not formerly been widely documented. The decision by the government of Constancia to sever ties with the Bassarid nation, furthermore, highlights insecurity within the Constancian government regarding the influence of the Stripping Path on the nation's people.|
|37.53 PSSC (6867 ASC) - 38.22 PSSC (6867 ASC)||Expanding Prohibitions against Stripping Path||The Stripping Path is outlawed in nations such as Kasterburg and Senya, which for its part describes the religion as a a "threat to intellectualism." The passage of anti-Bassarid laws in such nations serves to highlight the expansion of the religion in central Apollonia and southern Benacia.|
|37.65 PSSC (- ASC)||Greater Morovian Independence Initiative is Established||The Greater Morovia Independence Initiative is formally established after the Lake Morovia Blockade Fund defects from the Port of Jogi to the Independent Port of Lake Morovia. The Independence Initiative immediately launches a military campaign spearheaded by the Anti-Noctic League, which ultimately results in the capture and occupation of more than half of the lands claimed by the Alperkin nation.|
|157/02/37 PSSC (TBD ASC)||Betrayal of the Oracle||Fï Ríoja del Háifa, heir apparent to the position of Priestess of Agripinilla and Crown of Passio-Corum, dies shortly after being betrayed by Kan Zen.|
|163/3/183 PSSC (TBD ASC)||Kan Zen Abdicates||Kan Zen abdicates from her position as Crown of Passio-Corum and Priestess of Agripinilla, and appoints as her heir the former Bassarid Chief Intelligence Officer, and High Priestess of the Maritime Guild of the Cult of Maskmakers, Díapaza Bréidle.|
|38.68 PSSC (TBD ASC)||Stripping Path Legalized in Jingdao||The Chidao Emperor issues a decree which formally legalizes the limited practice of the Stripping Path in Jingdao.|
|39.04 PSSC (TBD ASC)||Stripping Path Emerges as Dominant Religion in Keltia||With the collapse of the government of Caputia and the affiliated Melusinian faith, and the expansion of the Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union into mainland Haifa, the Stripping Path becomes the undisputed predominant religion of the Keltian continent.|
|39.07 PSSC (7152 ASC)||Stripping Path Banned in Kalgachia||In response to the Haifan Civil War, the government of Kalgachia bans the Stripping Path from its borders. This ban, and the subsequent expulsion of Bassarid practitioners, results in a relatively small scale expansion of the religion across Benacia. Ultimately however, it marks the end of rapid Bassarid proliferation around the world. Although it remains one of the most widely practiced religions in the world, especially in the east, it fails to gain a significant foothold in the west, save for a few remote enclaves in Apollonia and on the island of Leng.|
|39.97 PSSC (7152 ASC) - 41.38 PSSC||The Host Absence/Silent Period||After a prolonged period of expansion across the east, the Stripping Path appears to enter into a period of dormancy as growth slows, and leaders withdraw from the public eye. This period of Bassarid dormancy is celebrated in certain parts of the world outside the religion's sphere of influence, while within the Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union some begin to worry that the Host Spirit has abandoned the people, and that society is therefore doomed. Those who express such concerns cite what they allege to be historical precedent relating to the various rises and falls of the early Passasian and Pallisican nations. Others, however, attempt to dispel this concern by arguing that the fate of society does not hinge upon the immediate presence or absence of the gods, but upon the willingness of its members to contribute to the continued well-being and livelihood of their friends, neighbors and community. This perspective is deemed heretical by leadership within the New Zimian Temple Authority, leading to tensions between certain sects of followers. These tensions contribute to the outbreak of open revolt in the nation's monasteries in Keltia, Eura, and Corum. The outbreak of these monastic revolts, and subsequent response by the Council of Courts and New Zimian War League, marks the high point of the period known as the Absence or the Silent Period, and the beginning of The Echoes.|
|41.38 PSSC||The Echoes||Bassarid authorities are slow to respond to the outbreak of rebellion in the nation's monasteries at the height of The Absence. In the Corumian monasteries, temple leaders appoint their own High Priests and Priestesses before the government or military respond, rejecting the will of the Temple Authority. In the Krey'Akusu - located in northeastern Eura - non-practitioners of the Stripping Path or the Pallisican Religion slaughter local monks and nuns by the dozens while temple leadership sits idly by, blaming the Empress as the devout are killed en masse. Chelkran Kesh, the capital city of the New Zimian Temple Authority - is itself plunged into chaos as the members of the Houses of Pallisican Chelkra and their supporters turn against one another in armed conflict.
Despite their delayed response, Bassarid authorities respond with overwhelming force in their effort to quell the monastic rebellions. The empress herself leads War League forces against rebels in the Pach and Mina Monasteries - in both cases laying siege to rebel strongholds. In Mina, the rebellion crumbles without any significant fighting. In Pach, resistance is much more significant, and War League forces, under the direct command of the Empress, are forced to assault the monastery directly in a campaign which lays waste to much of the region. Following the collapse of insurgent forces in the Pach Monastery, the Empress personally oversees the ritual sacrifice of all confirmed and suspected rebel leadership. The King of Eura soon follows suit, launching an extensive naval blockade against Krey'Akusu, and ordering amphibious assaults against rebel strongholds located throughout the archipelago. This protracted campaign results in widespread devastation across the Gulf of Zinjibar. Despite the devastation, rebel forces persist in their fierce resistance.
Whereas in Krey'Akusu and the Corumian monasteries the Bassarids deploy military forces in order to quell rebellions, the government adopts a different approach in Chelkran Kesh. Rather than attempt to re-take the city by force, the Council of Courts announces that it will establish new monasteries across Keltia, Eura, and Apollonia. The announcement results in a mass exodus from Chelkran Kesh, as feuding parties depart from the city hoping to expand their influence across the Bassarid frontier. All that remains in Chelkran Kesh following this exodus are those parties which maintain loyalty to the Empress and the newly appointed Lord of Temples.
The outbreak of monastic rebellions reverberates across the spiritual planes of Bassarid society. So too does the response by Bassarid authorities, which many regard as being disproportionate to the scale of the rebellions themselves, but which none are willing to openly criticize. For the first time, many practitioners of both Pallisican and Bassaridian religions begin to consider that the Host has returned in a spirit of anger and vengeance. A minority, in contrast, begin preaching that the conflicts are further evidence that the Host Spirit has abandoned society entirely. This difference in view continues to divide Bassaridians, though disputes and arguments now occur behind closed doors rather than in the streets, and in whispers rather than shouts. The government of the Bassarids is emboldened by this shift in the disposition of the people, and begins to adopt measures aimed at significantly reforming Bassarid society.
|Social||The Bacchanalia||The Bacchanalia consists of individual practitioners of the Stripping Path, and to groups of practitioners on a local or community level.|
|The Mysteries||The Mysteries refer to orders, or sects of Bacchanalia on a regional basis. These orders are often supported by involvement in brokerages featured on the Port of Vines.|
|Political||Mystery Priestesses||Mystery Priestesses are the political and social leaders of individual orders.|
|High Priestesses||High Priestesses are those religious official who ascend through the ranks of the Mystery Priestesses to become part of the personal council of the Priestess of Agripinilla.|
|Priestess of Agripinilla||The Priestess of Agripinilla is the head of the Bassarid religion.|
Senior Religious Figures
Priestess of Agripinilla
|80x80px||Amäz Sanak||N/A - 36.77 PSSC||
|Kan Zen||36.77 - 163/3/183||
|Díapaza Bréidle||163/3/183- Present||
Geography of the Stripping Path
Status by Country
|Alperkin||Variant Religion Present||The Alperkin Religion centers around the worship of a god which is believed to represent a variant of the primary god of the Stripping Path.|
|Alrig||Religion Present - Limited||The Alriggian Republic allows the Bassarid community, mainly merchants, to gather in two unmarked houses in worship, one in Driftwood, the other in Sint Anna. Like in Jingdao, no proselytization efforts are to be undertaken.|
|Constancia||Religion Outlawed (Present)||Although the Stripping Path is officially banned in Constancia, the religion nevertheless retains a following, due in large part to the efforts of the Ministry of Zartosht.|
|Florian Republic||Religion Present||The Stripping Path is one of three primary religions in the Florian Republic.|
|Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union||Religion Present||The Stripping Path is one of three major religions in the Bassarid Empire. It is, furthermore, the official religion of the nation's monarch.|
|Iron Cult||Religion Present||The Stripping Path is the major religion of the Iron Cult of Leng.|
|Jingdao||Religion Present - Limited||While the Tianchaodao is the only religion that is accepted in the public realm, the Heavenly Light allows the Bassarids to follow the religion of the Stripping Path in private. No proselytization efforts can be undertaken towards Jingdaoese citizens and the simultaneous worship of the Heavenly Light remains mandatory. The Stripping Path is the only religion to have received this special status, all other religions are outlawed in the Jingdaoese Empire.|
|Republic of Mercury||N/A|
|Natopia||Religion Present||The Stripping Path is present in the Natopian territory of Normark, as well as the isle of Leng.|
|Kingdom of Nova England||N/A|
|Kingdom of Nova England||N/A|
|Ralgon||Religion Present - Limited||The Holy Ralgon Empire, through a display of good will towards their new allies, allowed the small Bassarid community within Adrestia's borders to practice their faith, peacefully and in private. Adrestia is abnormal in which proselytization of another religion towards citizens is decriminalized, although still generally discouraged by authorities within Adrestia. It is illegal in the rest of the Holy Ralgon Empire to proselytize towards any citizens. A very small community of worshippers exists in Glacier City, where private, peaceful worship was also legalized beginning in late 1675 AN.
|Sanama||Religion Legal (Not present)||Constitution guarantees religious freedom, but the Stripping Path is actively unofficially discouraged by the national authorities. The three major religions - Somanes, Cedrism and Nazarenism - also aggressively work against its spread. The lack of a Bassarid community in the country strongly contributes to the religion being absent from Sanama.|
|Senya||Religion Outlawed (Not present)||The Striping Path is labelled as a "threat to intellectualism" and is categorised as a foreign thought system by the central government. Senya officially promotes and endorses state atheism. In territories of Senya such as Ranentsi and Tiana it is not outlawed, however it is not present within either.
Bassarid leadership rejects Senya's characterization of the Stripping Path, arguing that the religion and the spiritual beliefs behind the religion, have helped more than any other single religion to inspire and motivate a degree of scientific, political, artistic, and economic advancement. It is the position of the Bassarid government that Senya's characterization of the religion downplays the role which Bassaridianism has played in the advancement of mankind on Micras.
|Shireroth||Religion Outlawed (Not present)||Imperial Marshals are empowered to flay adherents of the religion, should they be identified in a court of law.|
Holy cities are cities which play a particularly important role in the Stripping Path, whether it be political, social, strategic, or otherwise. Generally speaking, such cities are designated by the authority of the Priestess of Agripinilla.
|City Flag||City Name||City Location||Notes|
|Mylecia||Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa||
|Rouge||Maritime Markets of the Strait of Haifa||
|100px||Tel-Amin and Lewisburg||Haifa||
|100px||Normaria||Iron Cult of Leng||
Geographic Distribution of Mysteries
The Stripping Path, at its most basic level, can be summarized as being a religion of coastal merchants and their supporters. The religion has, since its inception, thrived and expanded in coastal areas - especially in the east - in which there is a rich tradition, or a rich potential for trade and commerce. The religion's primary evangelists are merchants, traders, pirates, and smugglers. It is through the efforts of such people that the religion has expanded across the eastern hemisphere, and even into remote parts of the west. Today, the Stripping Path is the most widely practiced of all religions in Keltia, the second most widely practiced in Corum, and in Eura it is within the top three. In Benacia, the religion maintains a relatively small following, centered mostly around the Irong Cult of Leng. The practice of the religion extends across southern Apollonia. The religion, to this end, is practiced across the green, while it is tolerated and to some extent accepted in Apollonian nations such as Jingdao and Krasnocoria. The existence of the Stripping in all of these places is a direct result of the efforts of the radically faithful merchants and their ilk who have taken it upon themselves to travel far beyond the boundaries of the religion's established homeland. As they have traveled, with this said, it is the case that the Stripping Path has diverged into three distinct sets of beliefs. These beliefs are explained in the table below.
|Sect Icon||Sect Name||Sect Capital||Sect Description||Major Cults|
|Apollonian Bassaridianism||Apollonian Bassaridianism||Zidü Andre||Apollonian Bassaridianism is a variant of the Stripping Path which, in contrast to Keltian and Benacian Bassaridianism which worship Dionysus as their primary deity, emphasizes the worship of Hermes, the god of commerce and thievery. This form of the Bassarid religion is commonly practiced across much of southern and central Apollonia, in countries including Jingdao and regions surrounding the Florian Republic, which rejected the Stripping Path after the submission of its government to Raspur-aligned forces. In contrast to traditional, or Keltian Bassaridianism, Apollonian Bassaridianism has grown since the War of Lost Brothers - when the religion first emerged in Apollonia - into a generally moderate and peaceful religion which is practiced primarily by foreign merchants and local, rural converts.|
|Benacian Bassaridianism||Benacian Bassaridianism||Normaria||The most recent of the three major Bassarid religions, Benacian Bassaridianism blends the Keltian religion with elements of the ancient Dionysian religion which first emerged in the continent in the mid 19th Era PSSC. With this said, practitioners of Benacian Bassaridianism tend to worship Dionysus as the god of the underworld. Rituals and practices associated with this religion are typically extreme and dark in nature. Benacian Bassaridianism expanded very rapidly across the continent following the expulsion of practitioners of the Stripping Path from Kalgachia.|
|Keltian Bassaridianism||Keltian Bassaridianism||Mylecia||The oldest and most widespread of all variants of the Bassarid religion, Keltian Bassaridianism is commonly practiced across Keltia, Corum, and Eura. This religion, which is highly subversive, and which is regarded for its violent and insidious history, is one of the official state religions of the Haifo-Pallisican Imperial Trade Union. Since the 36th Era PSSC, the Crown of Passio-Corum has held the title of Priestess of Agripinilla, and has therefore served as the religion's highest governing official. With this said, it is paradoxically the case that of all three continents - Corum, Keltia, and Eura - the Bassarid religion has attracted the least amount of interest in Corum itself, where most Bassarid citizens hold fast to their commitment to the Pallisican Religion.||