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Author Topic: The Ciosans ~ Religious Cult  (Read 11242 times)
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Takór Salenár
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« Reply #15 on: 09 June 2011, 04:38:20 »

Talia, you need to finish your commenting!
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« Reply #16 on: 09 June 2011, 07:00:13 »

Hi Ta'lia

Quote
Quote
Little something I came up with. Had a little fun making this; I hope it's OK.

You think you can come up with a little something if it concerns religion?  
...No, Ma'am...

 grin

Thanks for the comments; I'll just go through them here.

Yes, I wrote that the belief died out, and there are a couple of things in that myth that I want to change - that, and the spelling of Hanranns from Hannrans (although they could be variants, the Compendium should have one consistent spelling and I always type Hanranns). I also though it was very important to stress that their religion is not a relic from 13000 years ago, and is not a mirror of beliefs held by Ciosa and his fellows, however much they believe that it is, and that they are preserving the true faith. I hope that makes sense - it is corrupted.

It seems to me that while many Glandorians will spread out, many will remain, and the best place for a pure, traditionalist bloodline is where there are the most Glandorians who don't hold with these Darians: that is, the Cape. Any exploratory Glandorians would have to outmarry, inbreed or die out fairly soon. I will also look at history in more detail, but this was my justification for it. Traditionalists stay in place; and a small cult has a centre.

Onto the two Gods...

First, I am currently the only person working on Glandor. I've created what I can, what I must etc. as anyone will; but equally, I'm not claiming it as my own. I haven't made a formal request, but I'm perfectly happy to ask for ideas etc.. I'm planning on updating my ramblings on the Glandorians to add more on the Gods when there is more; as it is, I haven't created them further than names, symbols and a little more, and all of that is recorded.

I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you mean about restricting developers. I've created what was needed to the depth that I needed it; if I've blundered here, I apologise. I do want to have freedom to add more to this; I'm hoping that I will be able to add to Glandor (note "Glandor" not "Glandoria") as in my opinion it is a very important part of the history of Sarvonia, as the catalyst for Avennoria and thus shaping the culture of Manthria.

As I say, I have no desire to limit other people in their freedom to develop in Glandor by taking it for myself; but I have no objection to being more firmly there than an entry hither and thither.

And also, I think I have to say you haven't read your real-world myths recently :P
Quote
Brother and sister, so no children?
Zeus and Hera; Kronos and Rhea; Uranus and Gaia; Osiris and Isis?

In all seriousness, having thought about this a little, I think that the two are really identified with their elements - personification of these natural forces. I also have Fate, an older being, beyond nature, who weaves - I unashamedly use the unoriginal image of fate as a weaver, but perhaps a carpenter or other such trade? - the threads - or joints and sets the planking and structure - of life, and so would be the closest to a "creator" deity that exists. Continuing the metaphor, imagine two colours or woods - one is sea, one land - and these construct or weave the world. This being understood, I would then say that when they have sentience, one is Hanranns and the other Meanra.

But this is deep and theological, and far too much so. The Glandorians would say that Hanranns is lord of the earth and Meanra lady of the sea, and that is that; they are those forces. I doubt anything of this would survive; though we could have a little theological rambling from some ancient records, perhaps?

Regarding history, I'm not sure what you want me to do. The religion of the Glandorians was worship of Meanra and Hanranns. The religion of the Darians was the worship of the Twelve. Over time, the numbers of Darians and mingling of the peoples led to the almost-complete exinction of the Glandorian beliefs, but a few families held onto them. They kept them, and over 12000 years they changed, and now the belief is definitely different. In essence, I didn't want to tie this and the actual Glandorian religion together inextricably; there is room for me or another developer to establish differences.

I don't like the idea of a prophet; as you see, I put that in the Myth section, but I think that a belief can exist perfectly well in a group without dying out, and the chances of revival are quite slim.

Enough for now; I'll wait for more comments.

One last note though; I'm perfectly happy to work with you on the Avennorian religious section, but I doubt I will do much re. to Twelvern. Better for a true expert on those Gods to do it than me. I'll provide you with thoughts on these two though, if you want.

Ath
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« Reply #17 on: 09 June 2011, 21:50:53 »

Ath: If you're looking for a trade for Fate, perhaps a shipwright?
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« Reply #18 on: 09 June 2011, 22:04:32 »

That's what I was going for with a carpenter. Thanks, Valan! :) That was the idea I had, but I didn't formulate it very well or definitely. Shipwright.
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« Reply #19 on: 16 June 2011, 19:42:25 »

Ahhh! Now I understand MUCH better, what you have in mind! Great!

Before I start over again, two words to your ideas about the Glandorian deities.

Quote
In all seriousness, having thought about this a little, I think that the two are really identified with their elements - personification of these natural forces. I also have Fate, an older being, beyond nature, who weaves - I unashamedly use the unoriginal image of fate as a weaver, but perhaps a carpenter or other such trade? - the threads - or joints and sets the planking and structure - of life, and so would be the closest to a "creator" deity that exists. Continuing the metaphor, imagine two colours or woods - one is sea, one land - and these construct or weave the world. This being understood, I would then say that when they have sentience, one is Hanranns and the other Meanra.

But this is deep and theological, and far too much so. The Glandorians would say that Hanranns is lord of the earth and Meanra lady of the sea, and that is that; they are those forces. I doubt anything of this would survive; though we could have a little theological rambling from some ancient records, perhaps?

I like that! The Ciosans would not know anything about your Moira, but the Gladorians would? :)
You could link Moira vaguely to Ava, all what  the early migrating Pre-Glandorians kept, changing the Dreamress to a carpenting (lol) Fate-Goddess?

Hey, I want you to do that religion! :D

Oh, sorry!  I would love it,  if you would be inclined to develop the Glandorian religion, and then while you are on the way anyway, the tribe itself also?

Back to the Ciosans:


Ciosans

Overview

The Ciosans are a cult of Avennorian traditionalists who still worship the ancient Glandorian God Hanranns and Goddess Meanra, as well as venerating almost to a state of being a demigod Ciosa himself, the founder of Avennoria from whom they take their names. They are separatist, desiring to split Avennoria from Santharia, and believe that Ciosa is not dead but sleeping, and will rise to lead them in accomplishing this goal. While their beliefs are probably somewhat twisted from those held by Ciosa himself - how they could not be is difficult to understand - they insist that only they worship the true Gods, in which at least they sound like followers of the Twelve and the Northern Gods.


Maybe it would help, if you changed the names of the gods slightly (Menra, Hannrans?) and write, that their belief is rooted in the old Glandorian belief, makes it easy for such stupid people like me ;)

Your half sentence ,how they could not be is difficult to understand‘ is a nice addition, but a bit.. erm.. difficult, a double whatever? A stopper, breaks the flow, for you start to think about it.
And, are their beliefs not certainly different, not only probably, if they venerate Ciosa also? And, would the belief not have changed somehow, just due to the great timespan which separates this belief from the original? Without contact to the original?


Prevalence

The Ciosans, for obvious reasons, inhabit the area of old Avennoria, and are particularly highly concentrated around Gebl's Nose Cap and other areas where Glandorian descent is most marked. Some Ciosans live further afield, but they are a rare breed, and usually out of touch with the cult.

*cough cough* Don‘t think too well from your contemporans, especially not if they happen to read this entry as their first on the site? ;)

Please explain the ,obvious reasons‘, tell us why they did not spread out. Maybe they wanted to be close to their ,origin, the place they landed, close to the grave of Ciosa, or just not go out where these Darians lived to not come into contact with them? Maybe they settled/had their estates only east of the Caeytharin Mountains?

I wonder, why the rare breed has not died out meanwhile, especially when they have no contact with the rest? How could they survive, if the rest has difficulties?


Belief Outlines

The Ciosans worship Hanranns and Meanra, God and Goddess of the ancient Glandorians, as their deities, and have also practically deified Ciosa. Hanranns is worshipped as the masculine God, of war and other manly pursuits, while Meanra is worshipped as a sort of mother Goddess, but also as a capricious and dangerous mistress of the seas and the weather.

Would it not be an idea, to differ here slightly from the original Glandor belief, maybe a tiny bit of influence (not admitted) from the Twelve? You can of course decide anytime, what belongs to which belief, if necessary small adjustments can be done later also. But here you would have to tell us clearer, that it is not the original anymore.

The full designations of the two are as follows: Meanra, Goddess of the Sea, and of the Gift of the Sea, which is Life, and the Breath of the Sea which is Wind; and Hanranns, God of the Land, and of the Gift of the Land, which is Strength, and the Breath of the Land, which is Language. Both are seen as very primal deities, with strong overtones of power and even violence - storms, wars, earthquakes and the like. Hence, the cult's members tend to be very much in that vein - loud, brash, not mild like worshippers of Nehtor, for example.

Your lovely poetic description sounds wrong in my ears for a compendium entry. Maybe you could phrase it like this:
The designations of the two are as follows, in the words of the poet/priest.. Xxx: „Meanra is the Goddess of the Sea... „ Both are seen....



The central tenet of Ciosan belief, beyond their belief in their deities, is that Ciosa is asleep, not dead as people say, and that one day he will rise and lead Avennoria to glory her darkest hour. Since the unification of Santharia, they have believed that this means he will rise to lead them in secession, as the destruction of the Kingdom of Avennoria - as they see it - is truly her darkest, most dismal hour.

Organization

The cult is split into two groups, the Priests of Meanra and the Soldiers of Hanranns, each of which has its own hierarchy. The cult is led ultimately by the High Priest of the Order of Meanra and the Captain-General of the Soldiers of Hanranns, working in what it referred to as a "tokonigmerk", a Glandorian word meaning duumvirate, or two leaders ruling side by side; however, most day-to-day affairs in each of the divisions is overseen by the relevant leader - the High Priest or the Supreme Captain, as the case may be.

The Priests are a fairly simple body, with a small number of senior priests who run the group as a whole, while the Soldiers have a series of Captain ranks above the simple "Soldier of Hanranns". The elite soldiers of the branch, however, make up Ciosa's Guard, a significant minority of the Soldiers, whose members in effect are a rank above their given rank - for example, an Undercaptain of Ciosa's Guard would be more important than an ordinary Undercaptain, and the equal of an ordinary Captain. Only members of Ciosa's Guard may bear arms within a temple of the cult - even the Captain-General has to leave his weapons outside unless he is also a member of the Guard.

Both men and women can be members of the cult, though the Soldiers are exclusively male; women join the Priests if they join at all. While the cult has a fairly male dominant worldview, it is more concerned with the purity of someone's racial background than their sex.

Soldier Ranks

Listed in order of most to least senior. The ranks are roughly divided into the "lower" ranks - ordinary Soldiers and Undercaptains - the "middle" ranks - Captains and Overcaptains - and the "senior" ranks - Commanding Captain and Leading Captain, as well as the Captain-General:

Captain-General   -   The most senior member of the Soldiers, and joint leader of the cult
Commanding Captain   -   Next most senior, with great authority over the Soldiers
Leading Captain      -   The lowest-ranking of the senior Soldiers
Overcaptain      -   The more senior of the middle-ranking Soldiers
Captain         -   The lower of the middle-ranking Soldiers
Undercaptain      -   The first rank above an ordinary Soldier

People

Appearance

The Priests tend to wear robes, dyed either blue - the colour of the seas - or white, while the Soldiers wear armour - sometimes just of padded cloth - and carry weapons with an air of competence. Soldiers wear a leather thong around their neck that holds insignia of authority - Soldiers of higher rank have wooden strips attached to the thong as a symbol of their rank, and members of Ciosa's Guard have an additional circular amulet strung on theirs, stained with the blood of a sacrificial animal.

There is nothing in the way of compulsory ritual scarring in the cult, but some more fanatical members of the Priests practise such things as tattooing - usually on the shoulder or the back of the hand - or blood sacrifice. The blood sacrifice is a one-time act of dedication as a general rule, and leaves the Priest with a scar approximately a handspan across over his or her heart. Those priests who carry out the sacrifice more than once, in extreme fanaticism or a desire for greater favour with the Gods, will cut the other breast so that the number of scars on each side is equal, and any further scarring returns to the left and begins again. The most scars ever recorded was an astounding total of nine - five on the left, four on the right - and, unsurprisingly, the perpetrator died of blood loss trying to make a tenth scar. We can only wonder at his dedication.

Personality

In general, members of the cult are highly arrogant and very prejudiced against those of non-Glandorian descent - some are utterly obsessed with bloodlines, and spend long days or weeks tracing their own or others'. A burning hatred of the Twelvern pantheon and their worshippers is also evident, as the Ciosans blame the worship of the Twelve for turning so many of Glandorian ancestry away from their ancestral God and Goddess, and this loathing is particularly intense with regard to those of the Twelve, and their worshippers, who are viewed as specific rivals to Meanra and Hanranns - Grothar and Baveras for Meanra, and Armeros for Hanranns.

The other defining characteristic of the Ciosans is their steadfast opposition to the United Kingdoms of Santharia. The cult's origins, and their belief in the superiority of their bloodlines and practices, preclude any acceptance of another nation ruling Avennoria, and the cult is, fundamentally, in favour of a split with Santharia and the reinstatement of Avennoria as a sovereign nation.

Coat of Arms

If there is a coat of arms for the cult as a whole, it is unknown; more common are the emblems of the Priests and the Soldiers individually. The Priests' coat of arms is set on a blue field and consists of a cutlass blade suspended, point down, over a ship. The Soldiers' emblem is a bare hand clutching a naked cutlass by the blade, set on a red field. The hand enters from the right of the field - the left for an observer - and the blade points up.

Worshipping Practices

The practices of this cult are to a large extent secretive, but seem for the Priests to involves fairly routine sacrifices of livestock, involving the cutting of an animal's throat with a single swift cut and the pouring out of the blood on a wooden altar. Sometimes this is done in order to bless objects - a weapon, or an amulet - and all of the Ciosa's Guard pendants are dedicated in this way. An object blessed like this must be left untouched, in the open, on a white linen cloth until the blood has washed or worn off; the cloth must then be burned in order to complete the dedication of the item.

The Soldiers have no worshipping ceremonies of their own, but rather worship in drill and battle - they see their prowess and dedication as their sacrifice, and serve their God in training for and the act of war.

Temples

Ciosan temples are wooden, and relatively low key, though it is common for the altar itself to be outside - animals are always sacrificed outside.  There are no grand, soaring temples, and the buildings of the Ciosans are never made of stone.

You could add here, were some of them are. In Ciosa, or at their estates also? How many approximately?

Festivals/Celebrations

Both of the important celebrations of the Ciosans take place in the month of Singing Bird, as it is believe by the cult that both of the significant events in Ciosa's life took place in that month.

On the third day of Singing Bird, the cult celebrates the supposed anniversary of Ciosa's birth with singing and dancing by all, displays of military prowess by the Soldiers, and the induction of new members by the Priests, as well as several sacrifices. The new Priests are daubed in the blood of the sacrificial animal, and must leave the mark alone for the next week.

The Soldiers induct new members on the twentieth day of the month, which they believe to be the anniversary of Ciosa's arrival at Gebl's Nose Cape. They also formally announce membership of Ciosa's Guard on this date, and the schedule is filled with displays of physical and military ability - sword demonstrations, wrestling, even staged battles with blunt swords - and sometimes races and other competitions of athleticism.

Where are these festivals held, are they openly, or more secretly? I assume, that they are not well received with the authorities of Ciosa, maybe tolerated, but on a secluded place, the supposed landing perhaps?

Myth/Lore

The Ciosans believe that their faith was founded by a man named Fjorkolf Nikskun as faith in the old Gods was fading to be replaced by the Twelvern. It is claimed that Meanra's hiveling appeared to him, as it did to Ciosa when he landed in Avennoria, and, overcome with religious ecstasy, he swore to keep the old faith alive, forming a cult of devout people and attracting many because the Gods themselves spoke to him.

Other tales include miraculous stories of warriors gaining a desperate strength as they pray to Hanranns and barren women bearing twins after sacrifices to Meanra - but these are fairly standard tales, applicable to any Gods of appropriate areas with only a minor changing on names.

Importance

The cult is noteworthy for its determined opposition to Santharia, both before, during and after unification, and its status as a vocal and extremely conservative faction of Avennorian society through its history, though it has lost influence in recent times. The Soldiers often fought in Avennorian battles as the highly-trained and well-disciplined core of professional soldiers in armies formed for the most part of peasant levies - provided they were willing. The Ciosans have always been very difficult to coerce into anything, due to their fanatical devotion to their ideals.

History

The cult is believed to have formed not, as legend has it, from the words and actions of one man, but from a gradual and natural grouping together of like-minded traditionalists. Originally a solely religious grouping, dedicated to worship, the followers of Hanranns became more and more militaristic, until by around the time of the unification of Santharia it is believed that the divide between the Soldiers and the Priests was finalised into more or less its present form. The Ciosans have opposed all deviations from Avennorian tradition, and were bitterly opposed to the establishment of Santharia.

In recent centuries, the cult has become less and less prominent, as its militaristic and extreme approach appeals to fewer and fewer people, and the prowess of the Soldiers is no longer needed in war. However, there are still those for whom the Twelvern do not hold the allure of these two old Gods, and the cult seems to be far from dying out.


A good entry! History is enough for now, but it would be cool to have more at a later time! :)

 thumbup


Ah, yes, please formulate some sentences with dates which could be added to the history table?
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« Reply #20 on: 16 June 2011, 21:13:16 »

Hey Ta'lia,

Thanks for that; I'll get down to it in the post-Latin exam euphoria! Just going to say that "my Moira" is not going to be referred to as such :P I think the idea of keeping him/her/it as a solely Glandorian concept is a good one - he/she/it doesn't really fit my image of the cult, and it provides a nice concrete example of the difference between the beliefs.  thumbup The possible link to Ava is also good, if only as modern scholarly speculation.

I was planning on making "Hannrans" a variant of "Hanranns" and likewise we could do so with Meanra; I think, though, that the Compendium would have a unified system for spelling their names? I think such a thing is quite believable, and adds verisimilitude.

The "obvious reasons" only referred to the "area of old Avennoria". If I rephrase that just a little, I think that will make it clear and solve your problem.

The designations - better religious word, anyone, about what I mean? - of the two are their official titles they have in the religion, sort of like the formulaic phrases of Christianity ("The Lord and Giver of Life" etc.). They aren't Compendium original, but neither are they a direct quote from any one priest. I may be able to rephrase it if it's not clear - thanks for pointing it out.

And: more detail in a couple of sections. Sure.

Ath
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« Reply #21 on: 16 June 2011, 21:24:41 »

The word you search for is epithets I believe?
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« Reply #22 on: 16 June 2011, 21:27:12 »

Perhaps...Epithet seems a bit one-word-y in sense to me. I might get around it by writing "In full, they are addressed as ..." or the like.

Epithet...I'll mull over that one. "Designation" doesn't work, I know.

I'll let you know :D

Ath
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« Reply #23 on: 16 June 2011, 23:51:02 »

Edits made. grin
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« Reply #24 on: 17 June 2011, 00:12:27 »

Ok, I skimmed through it and think it is done.

One proposal concerning the 'names'

In full, with all their honorifics and epithets, the pair are known as "Meanra, Goddess of the Sea, and of the Gift of the Sea, which is Life, and the Breath of the Sea which is Wind"; and "Hanranns, God of the Land, and of the Gift of the Land, which is Strength, and the Breath of the Land, which is Language"

What about these 'goosefeet' as we say in German (the English name evades me right now and I'm sick of using LEO)?.
And you don't think the rare breed without contact has died out meanwhile?

Anyway, I blarrow you, if Azhira does not like something, you have to come back :)
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« Reply #25 on: 17 June 2011, 00:14:34 »

"Goosefeet"?

Died out -> No, probably not, but I will make small red changes to reflect it, and you can look then.

Ath

EDIT: Goosefeet = Quotation marks/Inverted commas (Thank you Valan)
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« Reply #26 on: 17 June 2011, 16:37:44 »

Did that, just for the record.
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« Reply #27 on: 17 June 2011, 18:21:00 »

It is fine now, there is just one thing I missed and do not really like - the name of your Norn, Fate.. it is too obvious. Mind changing it to something more less earthen? But it is up to you.

I personally tend to draw from earthen examples also, but mix them up..

The pool:

Norns, disir, idisi, fates, moirae, parcae

Why not make up a nice name out of these, so that you still can see, where from the name comes ? An easteregg, so to say?

It is not necessary though, that you do it now, but when you should write up the Glandorian religion, I mean..  don't want to push you to much though...  grin
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« Reply #28 on: 17 June 2011, 18:24:50 »

Fate is a translation of the Glandorian; as Fortuna, the Roman goddess, and the word means that as well.

Not very well expressed I know...The Glandorian word for fate is the name of their goddess Fate. There. That's the idea.

So I will think of a name. But the Tharian equivalent is Fate.

Ath
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"Well, I did nothing as a girl, so there goes my childhood." - Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee, 1934.
The Life and Works of Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
Kalta'hnk - My ramblings on anything to do with the Glandorians - The Glandorian Men (Proposal)
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