Some of the Religions of Kårroť

Itsansohren is the traditional polytheistic religion of most of the Varikèvi plains. It has a long history that most people do not know about, but everyone knows that the modern organized religion was the creation of the caesaropapist Emperor Kaleþoklèn the III (also known by street people as Mad Kal), when he reorganized the various local variations of the Varikèvi religion and took almost all of the secular and spiritual authority of the priests away. When the Varikèvi empire slowly dissolved and balkanised into the modern governments known today, the priests regained some of their spiritual authority and started working with the post-Varikèvi governments to keep a standardised religion. There have been schisms within the religion, but due to persecution only two heterodox sects have survived up to the present day: Qrìshren and Fìšlanhren. The name of the religion comes from the name of its principal god: Itsanso.

Vedmanan is the dominant religion of Faqeg, Mesagono, Ourinaso, Sinakra, and Tinakra. It followers worship one god, Itþùlu, who separately revealed himself to the people of Ourinaso and the people of Tinakra. The people of this religion believe that the purpose of these revelations is to make men aware of their creator and to make fulfilling their purposes easier. The religion spread fast, and so did the kingdoms that followed them. Within two decades of the religion’s existence, all of Ourinaso obeyed the rule of the Fekani of the Eastern Mountains, and Raü’s alleged “Sixty-four fours of four” cities were split between two kingdoms, Sinakra and Tinakra. Very soon, the countries recognised the similar belief systems of each other, and the religions merged. With the Tinakran conquests and raids in Faqeg, the religion became so popular that the local forms of Itsansohren completely vanished. This religion was also brought to the Gedèŕz, and about 45% of its population practice the religion. Vedmanan is also the most popular religion in the New World, but not as politically and culturally dominant as the native religions. There are two sets of priests, the popular priests (meaning that they are elected to represent the views of the faithful of particular areas) and the consecrated priests who are trained by other consecrated priests, whose traditions were made by the prophets. The head of the popular priests are the Council of the Faith, which consist of the representatives of the religious in every country. They are in charge of church doctrine, which they vote on in meetings. The head of the consecrated priests is the Arbitrator of the Council of the Faith. His job is to make sure the faithful and their priests do not break from church doctrine, as well as vetoing any doctrine voted on by the Council of the Faith which Itþùlu does not agree with (it is said Itþùlu can contact the most important consecrated priests, but this event has never happened). The Council of the Faith also holds meetings on accepting new positions in the council (such as voting on whether the area of an independent country should elect its own representative or stay subordinate to another country). New doctrine proposed in the council cannot contradict strict literal interpretations of holy documents. There are three holy scriptures – the Book of Ourinaso, the Book of Raù, and the Book of Joining – each representing an equally important part of the religion. The Book of Ourinaso contains the religious writings of the followers of Ourinaso’s prophets, the Book of Raù, the prophets of Tinakra, and the Book of Joining is about the formation of the syncretic religion combining Raù and Ourinaso beliefs.

One of the most popular of the aforementioned traditional religions is Weŋraiž. Weŋraiž is the predominant religion of Èŋtras. It is the main religion of the southern part of the country, but has almost no believers in the northern area. It is a proselytising religion which believes in a universal spirit that is made up of all spirits in the world. This universal spirit is called Weŋraiž. A soul, according to them, has three aspects. There is the cognitive aspect, motive aspect, and the living aspect. Plants and mushrooms are considered to have only the last one. Animals have the motive aspect, but not the cognitive one. Only humans who accept the practices of Weŋraiž have the cognitive aspect. These humans are called the Weŋraiž community. Believers say that when they die they become beings of power within Weŋraiž. When those without the cognitive aspect die, they cannot give purpose or direction to the universal spirit. Some non-believers grow hateful and jealous of the ancestors of the Weŋraiž community and exit the universal spirit. They become powerful demons, who have the cognitive and motive aspects, but lack the living aspect. They often try to steal spirits from the Weŋraiž to regain the living aspect, but only the will of the all of the Weŋraiž can repair their souls. The dead of the Weŋraiž community work together to give direction to the universal spirit and use it to make the world a better place. Thus, by worshipping ancestors, the members of Weŋraiž are trying to get divine help from Weŋraiž by appealing to members with personal connections. Radical sects such as Jegdnaþžo say that the only way to prevent demons from arising is to to get rid of other beliefs by conversion and killing those who refuse conversion. Ironically, these sects are accused of demon worship for rejecting the works of Tsixe Hardlɨ Kunra ma-Tsiet. The Weŋraiž community has an interesting relation with Vedmanan, as each recognize a similar set of beliefs. However, the idea of ancestor worship is seen as “polytheistic” by the Vedmanan, and the contrasts between Weŋraiž and Vedmanan rites of conduct make Vedmanan a “pagan” belief in the eyes of the Weŋraiž community.

Tsixe Hardlɨ Kunra ma-Tsiet

This post is about my fictional world, Kårroť [ˈkaʊ̱̯ɹ.ɹɔt͡ʃ] (KOWR-rawch is the best English approximation). It deals with one of the least developed areas of my conworld (not that any place is particularly developed). In fact, the names Tsixe Hardlɨ Kunra ma-Tsiet, Litur, Weŋraiž, and Sextɨnra, as well as all of the clan names, were invented in the course of writing this post (however, at least half of the ideas were not new).

Translation from Funer̀ik Mùhùh Academy1 Biographical Dictionary of Anthropology, 924 DK:

Tsixe Hardlɨ Kunra ma-Tsiet2 [ˈtsi.xe ˈhaɾ.dɮɯ ˈkun.ɾa ma.ˈtsi.et] was an ethnically Litur monk, theologian, and religious anthropologist from pre-colonial Èŋtras. He is known for writing fairy tales several hundreds of years before people such as Kanoubien Metmèrei3 supposedly “invented” the genre. He wandered throughout Èŋtras, recording the stories of the various religions of its Northern regions as well as participating in the great theological debates of the time. His work is of much interest to students of Èŋtras’ cultural evolution. While Èŋtras has been associated with ethnic and religious violence for centuries, Hardlɨ never slandered the Northern Èŋtrasian peoples and always kept to the versions of tales which he heard on his travels. In fact, one well known scroll (Variations of the Revenge of Kgŋwuŋni) copied from his work (Culture of the Tdnwiž) records 24 variations of a single story, including every stuttered syllable and grammatical error marked with red ink. His resting place, a little north to Sextɨnra, is a major pilgrimage site in the Weŋraiž4 religion and also the location of the famous Temple of the Heroes. The heroes refers to the humble monks who helped revitalise faith in Southern Èŋtras, of whom Hardlɨ is the most famous of. Many Northern Èŋtrasians also pay respect to Hardlɨ, despite not being part of the Weŋraiž community. He is a popular folk figure throughout the country and in neighbouring regions. Stories often involve Hardlɨ performing miracles for impoverished people and battling ferocious demons. Most of the stories involve him entering a small village without giving his name, helping the locals, and giving his name before mysteriously disappearing. His works include the following:
  • Exorcism for winter rot
  • Prayer to the ancestors of the Tsixe for bountiful harvests
  • Prayer to the ancestors of the Ranu to end crop rot
  • Prayer to the ancestors of the Haþdɨ to end a flood
  • Prayer to the ancestors of the Tsixe for a safe birth of a son
  • Prayer to the ancestors of the Žaimen to heal a baby
  • Prayer to the ancestors of the Ranuɨ for bountiful harvests
  • Exorcism of demons plaguing the Oughin
  • Exorcism of demons plaguing the Ghisil
  • Exorcism of demons plaguing the Tdnwiž
  • Note on the beliefs of the Barbarians
  • Tales of Ghisil, Tdnwiž, and Adnel
  • Exorcism of ancestors of the Adnel for purposes of conversion
  • Renaming ceremony of the Adnel
  • The failure of the Adnel mission
  • Praises unto Henraeiž (Weŋraiž)
  • Merit of false exorcism
  • Spiritual role of the ancestors’ souls
  • Spiritual status of pagans
  • Culture of the Tdnwiž
  • Naming Henraeiž
  • Study of the language of the Tdnwiž for purposes of preaching
  • Study of ritual across nations
  • Ways of northern barbarians
  • Ways of western barbarians
  • Comparison of totem-worship and praise of ancestors
  • Prayer to the ancestors of the Tsixe for bountiful harvests
  • Prayer to the Tsixe of Sextɨnra, so that they may elect a new chief
  • Nature of spirit and substance
  • Against Ranuɨ Riþoɨn Sitetsi ma-Žion
  • Nature of spirit and substance in terms of laymen
  • Importance of unity in missions
  • Benefits of a solitary lifestyle
  • Exorcism of demons possessing the chief of Sextɨnra, the priest of the Ranuɨ of River Èŋtras, and the elders of the Ranu
  • Virtue
  • Rapprochement with and apology to Ranuɨ Riþoɨn Sitetsi ma-Žion
  • Funerary rites
  • Prayer to the ancestors of the Tsixe for guidance in marriage
  • Origin of the Southern Tribes
  • Tolerance
  • Against accusations of monolatrism