Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => Cosmology, Myths and Religions => Topic started by: Rayne (Alýr) on 16 December 2011, 13:29:40



Title: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 16 December 2011, 13:29:40
INTRODUCTION

Human religious practice in Santharia is constantly growing and evolving. While the twelve gods and goddesses, collectively called the Twelvern or the Aviaria, have remained more or less the same, the Aviarian religion itself has found different manifestations through time and among tribes.

Today, almost all human tribes worship the Twelvern, and the religion itself has come to assert itself with major temples to the Twelvern spread throughout the kingdom, coupled with an institutionalization that has helped the religion grow in societal and political power. Most of this change occurred during the Clerical Period in Santharia history (610-825), a period in which several archbishops rose to power in the kingdom.


PURPOSE

This thread is meant to develop and explore the influence of religion in Santharia. At this point, my goal is to foster discussion, encourage development, and reach decisions; while the information here collected may eventually form into an entry, the purpose at this stage is to merely adumbrate the actualization of the religious environment in present Santharia.

This discussion is massive! The topics for this discussion have been broken down, though this grouping may evolve with discussion. To allow newcomers to easily access and participate in the discussion (and for easy navigation in general), please make sure you specify the topic in which you’re participating.

You do not need to respond, in a single post, to all the questions posed here; you may be selective and reply to those on which you have an opinion or idea.


TOPICS

  • TEMPLE LOCATIONS (#post_locations)
  • TRIBAL RELIGION (#post_tribal)
  • INSTITUTIONALIZED AVIARIAN RELIGION (#post_iar)
  • SANTHARIAN SAINTS (#post_saints)
  • ROLES OF RELICS (#post_relics)


Just for reference:
  • Principles of Avanian and Twelvern Belief  (http://www.santharia.com/dev/index.php/topic,14581)
  • Santharian Timeline, first rough drafts (http://www.santharia.com/dev/index.php/topic,10783.0.html)


TEMPLE LOCATIONS

Where are the major temples for each god/goddess?

WIND
  • Eyasha - Largest temple is in Caelum
  • Grothar - Main temple is in Carmalad, smaller temples at Strata and Vista Castle
  • Nehtor - Nehtor: Largest temple is in New Santhala, previous largest temple was at Voldar (Elves also have one near Elving)

WATER
  • Seyella - None mentioned yet
  • Baveras - Famous temple in Marcogg
  • Jeyriall - Second-most important temple located near Nyermersys, most famous temple located in northwestern Sanguia.

FIRE
  • Armeros – Largest temple in Cemphiria; a famous temple in Voldar, and a large one near Dasai
  • Etherus – Largest temple in Jernais; also has temples at Carmalad, Santhala, and Bardavos
  • Foiros – Largest temple in Salsair

EARTH
  • Queprur - Largest and most famous temple is at Nyermersys
  • Urtengor
  • Arvins


TRIBAL RELIGION

What is the religion-in-practice for each human tribe? Who do they worship, why do they worship them, and how do they worship? Do they have different names for the gods/goddesses? Note that in most cases these derivations will likely be relatively minor, as Santharia probably has some sort of institutionalized religion that maintains some regional/tribal consistency (or has forced some).

Erpheronian (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/erpheronians.htm)
  • Primary: Armeros, Foiros
  • Secondary:
  • Tertiary:

Centoraurians (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/centoraurians.htm)
  • Primary:
  • Secondary:
  • Tertiary:

Caltharians (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/caltharians.htm)
  • Primary:
  • Secondary:
  • Tertiary:

Helcrani (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/helcrani.htm)
  • Worship Ava (needs elaboration)

Eyelians (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/eyelians.htm)
  • Primary: Grothar, Jeyriall
  • Secondary:
  • Tertiary:

Kyranians (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/kyranians.htm)
  • Primary: Arvins
  • Secondary:
  • Tertiary:

Shendar (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/shendar.htm)
  • Primary: Baveras, Grothar and Foiros

Avennorian (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/avennorians.htm)
  • Primary: Baveras
  • Secondary:
  • Tertiary:

Stratanians (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/stratanians.htm)
  • Primary: Foiros, Baveras
  • Secondary:
  • Tertiary:

Serphelorians (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/serphelorians.htm)
  • Beliefs (http://www.santharia.com/religions/religion_serphelorians.htm) already elaborated.

Sophronians (http://www.santharia.com/tribes/humans/sophronians.htm) (Extinct)



INSTITUTIONALIZED AVIARIAN RELIGION

How is institutionalized Aviarian religion (IAR) manifested in Santharia? What is the internal structure of this institution, how does it operate, and how does it affect the politics of the Santharian Kingdom as a whole?

We’ve currently been referring to the top-tiers of IAR as “archbishops.” Is this a name we want to keep? If not, what should we change it to?

Do the “archbishops” preside over the worship of individual gods/goddesses? Or over groups of gods/goddesses (i.e. all the Fire gods, or all the Water gods)? What qualifies an archbishop for this role (years of service in IAR, special connection to the god/goddess, heredity/associations?)



SANTHARIAN SAINTS

Santharia is in need of saints/patrons. Should saints be associated with a particular God, or only a particular profession or activity (i.e. traveling, cooking, smithing, etc.)? What sort of saints should we have and, if they should be associated, to which god/goddess?

For reference: Patron Template (http://hhttp://www.santharia.com/dev/index.php/topic,13822.0.html)



ROLE OF RELICS

How would relics affect religious practice? Would they be common? How might they be created, how would they be viewed by IAR, and how might they affect military practices?

For reference, Mina brought up an interesting bit of information from Wikipedia:
Quote
The practice of carrying relics into battle is a feature that distinguishes medieval warfare from its predecessors or from early modern warfare. The presence of relics was believed to be an important source of supernatural power that served both as a spiritual weapon and a form of defense; the relics of martyrs were considered by Saint John Chrysostom much more powerful than "walls, trenches, weapons and hosts of soldiers


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 16 December 2011, 15:26:34
You've got great plans, Rayne :)

The time now before Christmas and the holiday is a bit inconvenient ... see me not before mid of January.


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Deklitch Hardin on 17 December 2011, 05:48:18
Kyranians have traditionally revered Arvins above the others in the Twelvern, I believe.


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Mina on 18 December 2011, 05:05:55
Had a quick look through the gods' entries for locations of temples. 

Eyasha: Largest temple is in Caelum
Grothar: Main temple is in Carmalad, smaller temples at Strata and Vista Castle
Nehtor: Largest temple is in New Santhala, previous largest temple was at Voldar; Elves also have one near Elving

Baveras: Famous temple in Marcogg
Jeyriall: Second-most important temple located near Nyermersys, most famous temple located in northwestern Sanguia
Seyella: None mentioned yet

Armeros: A famous temple in Voldar, and a large one near Dasai
Etherus: Has temples at Carmalad, Santhala, and Bardavos
Foiros: None mentioned yet

Arvins: No specific temple mentioned
Queprur: Largest and most famous temple is at Nyermersys
Urtengor: None mentioned yet

I don't know if all of them could be considered major temples though. 

Is there any sort of hierarchy amongst the gods?  As far as I know, the pantheons of real life religions usually have some sort of leader at least, but that seems to be completely absent here.  Perhaps the Twelve are collectively at the top of a divine hierarchy, and there are many other lesser gods, such as Dalireen? 

Quote
We’ve currently been referring to the top-tiers of IAR as “archbishops.” Is this a name we want to keep? If not, what should we change it to?
How about "High Priest", or is that too plain?  The term "archbishop", I think, has a very specific Christian feel to it. 

Quote
Santharia is in need of saints/patrons. Should saints be associated with a particular God, or only a particular profession or activity (i.e. traveling, cooking, smithing, etc.)?
Does Anilya count?  She's called the Patron of Magic in the entry. 


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 18 December 2011, 23:54:13
TEMPLE LOCATIONS

@Mina: I have added the information to the main post, though we probably need to decide which of the larger temples constitute the temple from which the 'high priest' or 'archbishop' commands power. I feel like this gets complicated with Armeros, since we've specified that the major temple to him would be in Cemphiria. It sounds like Armeros was kind of built to be in Voldar, what with the major temple and the order and whatnot. I forget why we moved Armeros out of Voldar...

In terms of a hierarchy--this seems to vary from tribe to tribe. I assume that the Erpheronians would probably pin Armeros at the top, while others, like the Kyranians, worship Arvins as the top, as Deklitch mentioned. However, there will probably be some gods that do not form as major heads of tribal religious practice. I don't think we'll know those, though, until we get the tribal practices worked out.


TRIBAL RELIGION

@Deklitch: Thank you for the insight into the Kyranians, Deklitch! Do you know if there's a hierarchy to worship that includes Arvins at the top, some other gods in the middle, and others at the bottom? I assume there's a connection between their worship of Arvins and the qualities and characteristics of the Kyranians? Do you imagine them worshiping Arvins in any particular way?


INSTITUTIONALIZED AVIARIAN RELIGION

@Mina: I agree--"archbishops" sounds a bit too Christian to me. "High priest" is certainly a good replacement. I wonder if we should consider coining a Santharian term for this title. What are your thoughts?



SANTHARIAN SAINTS

@Mina: Yes, Anilya counts. The original template for saints was created by Azhira. I don't think she is associated with any God. Should she be? She seems tied to fire... but perhaps saints should merely be used to cover those parts of live no already covered by the major gods?


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 19 December 2011, 07:52:14
Huhu, just a quick look!

I think there exists a solution for the  names of the "archbishops" already , I still like what we came up with back then:

Quote
THE CLERICAL AGE (610-825)

The Clerical Age is a time where the 4 elemental "archbishops" (better name needed)have heavy influence on the political agenda and finally instruct a puppet king. In the course of this Age the time shift back again.

Power centers of the "archbishops":
- Sanctuary of the Twelve in Elsreth , overseen by the (vashamethar)
- Sanctuary of the Twelve in Milkengrad (pheramethar)
- Sanctuary of the Twelve in Chrondra (dominating, so it became capital eventually (motamethar))
- Sanctuary of the Twelve in Varcopas (maramethar)
- Fifth: Northern Rimmerins Ring, highest elevation in the mountains - "Sky Fortress", here the meetings take place between the so-called "archbishops"
- The Voice: sorain (the speaker)
- Archbishop: methar (plural: metharín)
- Bistum: arameth, plural: aramethín (vashameth, pherameth, marameth, motameth)

I always thought already of Takor Salenar of being a "methar"

The words we derivated the above titles from, maybe ;):

methór    noun (m.)    name (title); title ??
sky    noun (f.)    ypheró  (pheramethar)
water    noun (f.)    már  (maramethar)

I can't remember why we called the other two like this, maybe Art does. But the other two have been derivated from fire and earth, see map.


Maybe somewhere should be explained, what a 'methar' is, but otherwise I would prefer it to 'high priest', for I think it is something else, a methar is more, he has the politcal power also.


****

There is a famous temple of Foiros just outside of Strata

The shendar venerate all 12, but mainly Baveras, Grothar and Foiros, the Stratanians in Strata mainly Fioros, Varcopas Baveras and Bardavos wants to be on a footing with all twelve :)




Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Deklitch Hardin on 19 December 2011, 11:13:00
Quote
TRIBAL RELIGION

@Deklitch: Thank you for the insight into the Kyranians, Deklitch! Do you know if there's a hierarchy to worship that includes Arvins at the top, some other gods in the middle, and others at the bottom? I assume there's a connection between their worship of Arvins and the qualities and characteristics of the Kyranians? Do you imagine them worshiping Arvins in any particular way?

The following is taken directly from the Kyranian Tribal entry:

Quote
Eywing
The most important Kyranian festival is the Eywing, a festival dedicated to Arvins, God of the Hunt, dating back until the Kyranian king Caldar Eywing, who was shown the right path by the Huntlord. It is a highly religious holiday for those that worship the Lord of the Hunt and help to maintain the balance between the hunters and the hunted. For four weeks before the first day of spring, common folk and nobles alike gather and sacrifice depending on the hunter's status. If those on the hunt make a kill they will offer up the tradition fraction of the organs and those that aren't successful do not eat wild game or hunt for a month.

Those that don't hunt, but instead practice another trade, one that depends on Arvins' blessing or not, will craft something as an offering for the Huntlord such as: tapestries with his image, a sculpture made out of wood or other materials, metal plates, weapons, armour, and more with something resembling an aspect of Arvins, and many other such items depending on their trade. It was often recorded that criminal activity lowered during the month before spring every year. Some believe that it is because the guards are more watchful at that time, while others believe that the fugitives that worship the Listening Lord make a pact of peace for the month before the first day of spring. Back in the days of the Kyranian Kingdom the ruler was also known to give pardons to those running from the law for certain crimes if the accused stepped forward on the day of the feast.

On the first day of spring there is a large feast in the castle common and all the common folk are allowed into the courtyard to join in the feasting. At the feast those that didn't succeed eat only the vegetables and fruits provided as all the meat at the celebration has to be hunted food. After the feast they abstain from eating meat for a week in honour of the hunted since they have been the hunters all their lives.

Quote
Council of Elders
<SNIP UNTIL LAST PARAGRAPH>
On a rare occasion, the council would use its greatest and worst power. If they believed the King's heir was not fit to rule for certain reasons they could call for the tests, which pitted the closest relative against the heir. Suspicions say that at those times the tests were no normal affair, but a contest closely watched and altered by Arvins, Lord of the Hunt, so that the victor could go on to rule the kingdom and the lands could continue in peace as they were. Only once in recorded history was the victor been the current heir.

Quote
People. Many people today still hold with the rustic image that comes to mind when thinking about the Kyranians. Even their city folk are outdoor people and their lower class are known for their cattle farming and some horse breeding. They are also hunters and worshipers of the Huntlord Arvins. Their nobility is known for their plain clothing and working class ways as they spend a good deal of their days working under the sun, whether it be weapon training or perusing a craft, such as wood working. Though the only people that don't fit into that image are the flamboyantly dressed merchants who draw the attention of those in the marketplace by their "out of the ordinary" styles and colours.

From the Coat of Arms section:

Quote
The coat of arms consists of a black stag's head on a dark green background with a gem in star-form placed between the antlers. The stag represented a central symbol in Kyranian heraldry, as the tribe had always interpreted itself as being closely related to the God of the Hunt, Arvins, who was said to have favoured these people in the very beginning of their existence. The gem on the other hand shows the one found by Cyroan Thromgolin at today's Lower Fores, which helped him to decide on the location of his first independent settlement of the tribe. Together the stag's head and the gem were meant to demonstrate prosperity and wealth, nowadays mainly the reference to Arvins has remained.

And from the history tables:

Quote
963 b.S.    The Visions of the Kyranian Caldar Eywing
A prophecy said to be given by Arvins, the God of the Hunt, to a boy named Caldar Eywing spreads throughout the Kyranian villages. The prophecy states that the Kyranian kingdom will once again rise if only they will erect an altar at the ruins of the ancient Sheyaur castle, once erected by Cyroan Thromgolin. Thousands of Kyranians follow the young Caldar to the ancient ruins of Sheyaur on top of the Ilian Plateau and erect twelve pillars and in the center they build an altar and pray for days to Arvins.

On the twelfth night, Caldar, who is treated as a saviour of the Kyranian kingdom, sees a white stag in a forest near the plateau. Interpreting this as a sign from Arvins he hunts and shoots the stag through its heart. Upon bringing the body of the stag back to the altar some of its blood touches the altar. As soon as this happens Caldar falls in trance and later claims to have seen an apparition appearing to him that prophesied that the Kyranian nation would once again prosper when it follows the ways of nature.

963 b.S. to 823 b.S.    The Rebirth of Kyrania: The Kingdom of the Pillars
Caldar Eywing
Caldar, heeding the prophecy he has witnessed on the pillars of the ancient Kyranian fortress of Sheyaur, builds a palace on a hill adjacent to the woods where he shot the stag overseeing the Steppe of Kruswik. He declares the woods sacred and erects a pillar with the runes of Arvins blessing those woods. His followers seeing the faith and belief of Caldar build these same pillars and erect them at all of the crossings of roads and in the center of their hamlets worshipping Arvins. Soon the kingdom is rebuilt with the youth Caldar named as king. The Kyranians align themselves with nature and with Arvins following the codes of hunting, farming and warfare. During these years the Kyranians leave their mountain strongholds and repopulate the Steppe of Kruswik with their herds of cattle and sheep and build several important towns.

As was prophesied the Kyranian kingdom prospers with the kingdom full of holy woods, growing hamlets, towns, unusually large yields of crops and animals, even after the curse of the Dereswungen blood line.
      
As for your other questions, I don't know that any of the other gods/goddesses are revered more or less than any of the others in the Twelvern by the Kyranians, I just simply get the feeling that they revere Arvins most of all.

I'd imagine that there'd have to be at least one Arwood somewhere in the lands of the former Kyranian Kingdom, and that there would be groves or similar elsewhere around Santharia (eg the one I included in the Homestead Burough of Ximax).


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 19 December 2011, 12:01:48
INSTITUTIONALIZED AVIARIAN RELIGION

Hey Talia! I hope you will stick around, as I have so many questions! What is "The Voice"? I like Methar as the title. Some of the details in the Clerical Age may have to change, since we can't really have a large temple to one of the Twelvern in Milkengrad, due to the religious beliefs of the Helcrani (who worship Ava). We have decided that the larger temple to Armeros could be in Cemphiria, so that may be the new "fire" center.

Also, having elemental power regions is somewhat problematic, as methar are unlikely to hold sway with all the gods of an element, particularly as some of them are conflicting (i.e. Armeros and Etherus). The methar are more likely the chosen corporeal representative of a single god or goddess, though if this is the case, we may need to re-imagine the religious borders of the Clerical Age. It would mean that each element would have one strong representative (perhaps the head of an Elemental Council--i.e. the Elemental Council of Fire, The Elemental Council of Water, etc.). Fore example, perhaps the methar of Armeros was the representative head of the Elemental Council of Fire.

Or perhaps there is some other solution...

It's important to keep in mind, too, that the breakdown of the elemental regions does not necessarily correspond with where the major temples are located. The earth methar, for example, is located south of fire's, and does not include Nyermersys--where the largest temple to Queprur is located.


TRIBAL RELIGION

Thanks for the information, Dek! You've definitely done a lot of research. To be honest, I really need to go through the tribal entries... though I haven't had the time as of yet. But I'm impressed with the amount of research you've done! You might consider doing a tribal entry on Kyranian beliefs. You've done so much work so far!


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Mina on 19 December 2011, 22:14:49
Quote
It sounds like Armeros was kind of built to be in Voldar, what with the major temple and the order and whatnot. I forget why we moved Armeros out of Voldar...
I don't think we ever decided that; more like we completely overlooked it.   :buck:  Well, the entry only specified that the Voldar temple is famous, which doesn't necessarily mean that it is large or high-ranking.  It should still be possible to have the seat of power in Cemphiria if we want to.  It would just mean that the Voldar temple is probably famous for reasons that don't have to do with its importance. 

Quote
In terms of a hierarchy--this seems to vary from tribe to tribe. I assume that the Erpheronians would probably pin Armeros at the top, while others, like the Kyranians, worship Arvins as the top, as Deklitch mentioned.
I think that might not work very well in the context of IAR, which seems to be too centralised to have variations in something as fundamental as this.  I think a more likely variation would be what Dek said, that the tribes might revere certain gods more than others.  This doesn't necessarily have anything to do with their position within a hierarchy though.  Tradition, and possibly relevance to daily life, is probably more important in determining which gods are worshipped a lot, and which receives less (or even no) worship. 

Quote
I wonder if we should consider coining a Santharian term for this title. What are your thoughts?
Well, "methar" sounds great, though I'm not so sure about using a Styrash term.  I'm thinking that the Elven clergy, assuming one exists, is probably separate from the Human one. 

Before that, I did consider suggesting eléyr "voice" for the title of the highest ranking priest of a god, eg. Eléyr Armerosís "Voice of Armeros" would be the title of the highest ranking priest of Armeros.  I wanted to go with "mouth" (Mouth of Sauron!), but apparently there's no Styrash word for "mouth" yet. 

Quote
Yes, Anilya counts. The original template for saints was created by Azhira. I don't think she is associated with any God. Should she be? She seems tied to fire... but perhaps saints should merely be used to cover those parts of live no already covered by the major gods?
That makes them sort of minor gods, doesn't it?  That might work with this new concept of Humans becoming gods.  Could be that being a Patron is a step on the way to becoming a full god.  As for not being associated with a specific god, the entry does make it sound rather controversial, and mentions that some associate her with Foiros.  In any case, it seems that Anilya isn't fully accepted by the clergy.  I assume that a more regular Patron would be strongly associated with a specific god, probably dealing with a very specific aspect of the god's domain. 

Quote
I'd imagine that there'd have to be at least one Arwood somewhere in the lands of the former Kyranian Kingdom, and that there would be groves or similar elsewhere around Santharia (eg the one I included in the Homestead Burough of Ximax).
I agree.  I've probably mentioned it somewhere, but I intend for the forest where Caldar received the prophecy to have become a major Arwood.  I haven't quite decided on its precise location though.  I'm currently having it across the river from the Ilian Plateau, but that might be too far away considering that the ruins that Caldar and his followers were visiting were at the top of the plateau. 

Quote
Also, having elemental power regions is somewhat problematic, as methar are unlikely to hold sway with all the gods of an element, particularly as some of them are conflicting (i.e. Armeros and Etherus). The methar are more likely the chosen corporeal representative of a single god or goddess, though if this is the case, we may need to re-imagine the religious borders of the Clerical Age. It would mean that each element would have one strong representative (perhaps the head of an Elemental Council--i.e. the Elemental Council of Fire, The Elemental Council of Water, etc.). Fore example, perhaps the methar of Armeros was the representative head of the Elemental Council of Fire.
That seems reasonable.  On the other hand, there are only 3 gods per element, so it's looking like each "Elemental Council" is only going to have 3 members, which isn't much of a council.  Could there be some way to increase their membership? 

Quote
It's important to keep in mind, too, that the breakdown of the elemental regions does not necessarily correspond with where the major temples are located. The earth methar, for example, is located south of fire's, and does not include Nyermersys--where the largest temple to Queprur is located.
Hmm, I'm not sure the elemental regions are necessary, or make sense at all.  Why would the Elemental Councils/Methar restrict themselves to a certain region?  It's not like they're in conflict with each other, unless I'm mistaken about what's going on.  I suggest that we not divide Clerical Age Santharia into elemental regions, but keep the four elemental power centers as the seats of the Elemental Councils. 


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 19 December 2011, 23:27:25
INSTITUTIONALIZED AVIARIAN RELIGION

I found the quote from Artimidor regarding Voldar as not being a good place for the religious power center:
Quote
Milkengrad is not good, but the archbishop should still be in Vardýnn. So I'd say let's move him/her somewhere else - places like Voldar and Jernais are not the best options as they have already a certain history and place in the province. So how about, say, the next larger town around, e.g. Thyslan?

I'm not sure what this means, but maybe we can ask Artimidor? It seems as though, based on what's already on the site with a major temple residing in Voldar and the Order of Armeros being prominent in that city that a lot of history has already been woven in.

Quote
Well, "methar" sounds great, though I'm not so sure about using a Styrash term.
This might be OK, since so many words/titles are derivatives of Styrash, and because I believe the religious text is originally written in Styrash.

Quote
On the other hand, there are only 3 gods per element, so it's looking like each "Elemental Council" is only going to have 3 members, which isn't much of a council.  Could there be some way to increase their membership?  
If every major temple to a Fire God sent their representative to the Elemental Council of Fire, that might do it, but there may be complications with how many members should be allowed to attend. Maybe this is an aspect of politics we want to entertain, though?

I need to rush out for a bit! -- will respond to the rest later! This is all great insight!



All right! Just a few more notes:

TEMPLE LOCATIONS
Let me know when you decide a location for the Arvins Arwood. I'm going to assume it'll be somewhere in Xaramon!


SANTHARIAn SAINTS
I'm hesitant to make patrons into minor gods, though the more I think about, the more I find it hard to draw the line. In this regard, Dalireen might be considered a patron. How do we draw the line, or do we? Do we say that gods are, by nature, consistently divine while patrons were at one point corporeal beings?


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 21 December 2011, 02:30:05
Concerning Anilya:

She was meant to be a patron of magic and mages (specifically fire) and is not accepted by many clergy. Many Ximaxian magi accept Anilya as an example of power and skill with fire magic and venerate her. She is not a deity, and was never meant to become one. Her cult is primarily associated with the Volkek-Oshra tribe.

The concept of patrons was made for those who do not necessarily worship the gods, but instead have a "hero" that they look up to. Ximaxian magi do not venerate or recognize divine power, but need a "higher power" to look up to. Thus Anilya was created.

If we take Arti's suggestion that human gods were once human and elevated to godhood, then perhaps Anilya could one day be a god (and this is what clergy of Foiros fears - that Anilya will replace Foiros. That is why they persecute the Anilya cult).


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on 21 December 2011, 05:35:09
Re: Dalireen, with the way I've been working characters like Mian and Klas and the direction Manix was taking with the hobbit beliefs discussion and Liran, I think a rejigging of Dalireen into a patron more along the lines of the others would be appropriate.


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels on 21 December 2011, 06:21:55
Hi Rayne, I read just your post , a quick answer:

Quote
What is "The Voice"?

The voice is a person of a high religious rank who intermediates between the clerical hierarchy/methar and the King. See the entry of Shianna (Tiandor's sister)


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I like Methar as the title. Some of the details in the Clerical Age may have to change, since we can't really have a large temple to one of the Twelvern in Milkengrad, due to the religious beliefs of the Helcrani (who worship Ava). We have decided that the larger temple to Armeros could be in Cemphiria, so that may be the new "fire" center.

No problem

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Also, having elemental power regions is somewhat problematic, as methar are unlikely to hold sway with all the gods of an element, particularly as some of them are conflicting (i.e. Armeros and Etherus). The methar are more likely the chosen corporeal representative of a single god or goddess, though if this is the case, we may need to re-imagine the religious borders of the Clerical Age. It would mean that each element would have one strong representative (perhaps the head of an Elemental Council--i.e. the Elemental Council of Fire, The Elemental Council of Water, etc.). Fore example, perhaps the methar of Armeros was the representative head of the Elemental Council of Fire.

That doesn't need to be the case, if you see the methar not so much as an spiritual/religious leader only, but a political force. So he can well venerate one fire god more than the others, but it should not prevent him from presiding over all three gods. There could be three "sub-metharin" out of whihc the methar of an element is chosen, and maybe it has to be another's god methar each time etc... Stuff for a lot of stories and intrigues.


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Or perhaps there is some other solution...

It's important to keep in mind, too, that the breakdown of the elemental regions does not necessarily correspond with where the major temples are located. The earth methar, for example, is located south of fire's, and does not include Nyermersys--where the largest temple to Queprur is located.

Maybe we overlooked something, don't remember.

It could well be, in fact I think it will be the case, that the political constellations, the divisions of the areas after the elements  have changed anyway since then, and that this construction is a mere historical one. I would like to keep the name methar though and all its derivates, but they could have a (slightly) different meaning by now. There could be metharin (?) for every god(=the highest priest for a god) or just one or.... any combination which suits you.


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr on 21 December 2011, 23:12:05
I know I've not been around much lately - school has really picked up - but I did want to say that the Avennorians would probably venerate Grothar only a little less than Baveras. The Glandorians probably saw a parallel with Meanra in Baveras; Grothar, however, controls the winds and so holds that part of Meanra's domain. As for a tertiary deity, I don't know. I can't see an immediate figure leaping out.

My two sans.

Athviaro

I promise I will try to do the Glandorians if I have the time. I have a fair bit of work to do over Christmas.


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 22 December 2011, 04:39:34
Some random notes:

Styrásh titles in human religion
As for Styrásh names being used for human archbishops. Styrásh is the Latin of Santharia, with the only difference being that Styrásh isn't a actually "dead" language in 1671.

The Ximaxians grabbed Styrásh terms for their magical expressions in their hubris that they can do magic just like the elves, and that they therefore use the same terms as they did to explain things and make them workable for humans. They are of course wrong, because the elves wouldn't analyse magic like the humans do, but have a much more direct approach, and so the humans have twisted the elven words and made them fit to their own intentions.

Human clergy probably did a similar thing. While the exact roots of why they use Styrásh terms might be lost in history, it is most likely that the world was dominated by elves at the beginning at that there were much less humans. So it could be that the humans learned from the elves, then their religion changed in a kind of rebellion against the old ways, the human in them broke through, and they made religion their own. So they might have still used these terms since then. Or they took these terms intentionally, in order to devalue the elven ways - they use the words, but twist their meaning, like the Ximaxians did.

Elven clergy
Not elaborated yet, but I would suggest that there's no so such system an organized system like "elven clergy" - the elves are much more intuitive than institutionalized and things work very different there.

Temple locations
As Talia already pointed out: The Age of the Clerics all was hundreds of years ago! We can easily create historical events where whole temples were destroyed due to earthquakes (ah, the Gods obviously had something against a temple there!) or the wrath of people, even sects who burnt it down. So what existed hundreds of years ago mustn't necessarily be the case today. We only need to find ways to get rid of something once it is defined that it was historically there...


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Valan Nonesuch on 22 December 2011, 04:53:56
Depending on how dark things are allowed to get, a few suggestions.

  • Heresy requires the temple be destroyed and never used again
  • Rioting leads to the death of all the clergy members and the destruction of the temple after they fail to resolve a problem
  • Destroyed in the Dragonstorm or pilliaged during one of the Sarvonian Wars (contents obviously returned to a "proper" temple on the relevant side of the border) or  contents burned for warmth during the Year of Darkness,
  • Temple sealed after one event or another (outbreak of some hideous plague, etc)


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 24 December 2011, 08:55:24
Oi, there's a lot of discussions going on. With topics like this, I think it's extremely easy to lose focus and get lost in all the digressions. If it's all right with everyone, I would like to get your opinions and ideas on a one key question first: What is the organizational structure of Institutionalized Aviarian Religion?

I would love it if we could put together a 'organizational chart' of the titles and heirarchy of IAR. It would be nice, too, if we could outline how a person comes to gain a certain title or position. With this in mind, maybe we can seek to find an answer to some sub-questions:

1. We know the speaker is at the top; how is this person chosen? What is the extent of this person's power?

2. What is a methar? Is the head of each god/goddess's worship is a methar? Or is a methar a term used for the person in charge of the worship of an 'elemental group' of gods/goddesses (e.g. the Fire Methar is in charge of worship over Armeros, Foiros, and Etherus)? Or is a methar the one in charge of the worship of a god/goddess in a certain region. In short, what should the priority be between these categories: Gods/Goddesses, Elements, Regions.

3. What are the sub-groups below methar, all the way down to neophytes of the faith?


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Mina on 28 December 2011, 04:06:29
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1. We know the speaker is at the top; how is this person chosen? What is the extent of this person's power?
I'm not sure that the Sorain is at the top of the clergy.  This seems to be the information we currently have regarding the position:

Quote from: http://www.santharia.com/people/shiana_princess.htm#Biography
Voice to the King (1662). Priestess Shiana was elected Sorain ("Voice to the Santhran") of the Metharín, the high elemental clerics, in the Kingdom of Santharia. Now she was officially what she already had been during the king's reign: advisor in clerical matters to her brother, the Santhran.

It seems more like an intermediary between the clergy and the Santhran than the head of the clergy.  Apparently it's an elected position of some sort; I'm guessing that the Metharin are the electors, since they are the ones being represented by the Sorain.  As for their powers, I'm guessing it's not that great, but maybe they have a seat on the Council of Linked Hands? 

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2. What is a methar?
From the quoted passage, it would seem that they are the heads of the elemental groups.  At the moment though, it doesn't feel so natural to me to group the gods according to elements.  Perhaps they should be tweaked a little.  Anyway, I would guess that the Metharin are also, collectively, the leaders of the religion. 

As for elemental regions, I would prefer not to have them at all.  That would avoid the problem of having the head temple of a god be within the region assigned to another element.  "Elemental capitals" should be alright though. 

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3. What are the sub-groups below methar, all the way down to neophytes of the faith?
Since a Methar is probably the head cleric of an elemental group, I guess the next step down would be the head cleric of a specific god.  Below that, I'm not so sure.  Perhaps a couple of levels of regional leaders for each god, and then the leaders of individual temples? 


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Rayne (Alýr) on 30 December 2011, 00:32:54
All right. Cogitating on this, I suggest the following breakdown:


The Voice: The representative of the king who attends meetings of the High Council of the Gods, and serves as religious advisor to the king. Their power and influence within the religious hierarchy is primarily de facto and frequently changes depending on the temperament of the individual. (I'm not sure about this being an elected position--because of the highly political nature, it may make more sense to make this an assigned position, one determine by the king or his advisors; whoever this person is, s/he is basically the eyes and ears of the king in council meetings, and his 'voice' in determining religious affairs. The position is very much a two-way street in this regard!)

High Council of the Gods: The collection of all 12 methars, each representing one of the Twelvern.

Methar: The representative for each god or goddess; the position is elected from the council of each God/Goddess by the members of the council for that God/Goddess (i.e. the Seyella Methar is determined by those members of the Council of Seyella).

Council of [God]: The councils from which the methar of each god/goddess is chosen, as well as serving to determine how a specific god/goddess should be worshiped and where new temples should be built.

High Priests/Priestesses: Members of the Council of a chosen god/goddess. High priests and priestesses generally have a great deal of influence in the kingdom and are head of a large temple to their specific God/Goddess.

Priest/Priestesses: Generally lead worship of a God/Goddess under the High Priest of a large temple or else as head of a smaller temple.


I also like your suggestion, Mina, of basically not trying to fit round pegs into square holes. I think the religious 'regions' created to the clerical age can be more based around where the primarily (elemental) religious temple was/is located, rather than trying to build all our Fire God temples within a rather small region.


Title: Re: Religion in Santharia Discussion
Post by: Mina on 30 December 2011, 14:53:45
The Voice: Hmm, you seem to think of the Voice as the Santhran's representative in the clergy, whereas I thought that they were the clergy's representative in the Santhran's court.  Well, Princess Shiana does seem to be a bit of both.  As for how they are chosen, I imagine that the clergy will want some say in it too.  How about if the High Council of the Gods chooses the Voice, but the Santhran and/or Council of Linked Hands has the power to veto it and force them to choose again? 

If I understand you correctly, right now the hierarchy looks something like this:

High Council of the Gods, made up of the 12 Metharin
12 Councils of [god], one for each major god, made up of High Priests
Individual temples, headed by High Priests with other Priests serving under them

It looks like there's no longer anything like the Elemental Councils suggested earlier.  I'm alright with that, but I assume that they still did exist during the Clerical Age, and is probably something that will eventually need to be explained? 

Could we have a few more levels between the temples and the councils of each god?  I'm thinking something like Christianity's ecclesiastical provinces and dioceses, but under different names, of course.  They could be the clerical equivalents of provinces and duchies, except perhaps reflecting older political boundaries instead of current ones? 

Also, how would temples to more than one god be classified?  If I'm not mistaken, that's what Sanctuaries of the Twelve are.