If you're a
member of the Santharian Dream and would like to add stuff to our
please post in the
section of the Santharian Development Message Board. People will then
comment on your new addition and if the entry is approved it will eventually
move to the site in one of the coming updates.
However, in order to design something belief-related for the Santharian Compendium the following necessary rules should be kept in mind. If you still aren't sure what you should put in certain sections, please read through some entries first and see how others have done their entries.
Keep it as Santharian as possible
Also try to make your people as unique "Santharian" as possible. Try to use names which represent the culture they come from, not simply random, exchangeable names. Also if you describe a person there should be a reason why this man or woman got his/her own entry in the Compendium, so try to make clear why this person has become such a celebrity.
CULT/SECT SPECIFIC RULES
As the understanding what a cult or sect is differs from reader to reader, a short Caelerethian definition shall be given first: A „Cult“ is a particular system of religious as non-religious veneration of gods, special persons, items or (atheistic) ideas. The organisation as the members themselves can be denoted as "Cult". These people are bound together by the common veneration of the same god/person/idea and in most cases have common rites, festivities, celebrations, though these can vary in some cases from region to region.
A Cult can be
- a mainstream cult like the "Cult of Queprur", describing the practice of one of the gods related to the "Religion of the Twelve" in Santharia
- a smaller cult only present in special locations or bound to a race (i.e. The Worshippers of Dalireen - Hobbits in Santharia)
- one of many cults of one religion (i.e. The Cult of Fire as one the Cults of Mari)
- a religious social group outside of the mainstream religions. (The True Vision Cult, are not off-shoots of current religions, but smaller groups of their own beliefs.)
A Sect is
- an off-shoot or group that has broken off from the main religion. These groups can be ones considered heretical or outcasts from the main religion, but are based, at least historically, on the main religion.
For both, Cult and Sect, the template can be applied, though some suggestions what to write might not be applicable on every submission:
If there is more to say about the name or if the cult has several names, give here a more detailed analysis, otherwise include the information in the overview.
This is the "where" section. Put in here in which region of the world of Caelereth this cult is common, how much it is spread in general. Are the members found in a specific city or remote location? Does the cult still exist or was it only an episode in history?
If you are writing about the belief of a main cult, a very short summary and a link to the main religion entry and to the god/goddess entry will suffice. If you are describing a new (or until now not yet existing) cult, this chapter should tell the reader everything of importance. If a variation of the mainstream religion or a sect is described, the differences to this main religion should be pointed out clearly.
Appearance and Mindset
Who are those people? Do they look different to the rest of the community? Have they different clothing (if any...), hairstyles, scarring/tattooing, etc.? Again, mainstream ‚cultists‘ don‘t need to be described as thoroughly as special groups. The priests of the main religions have their own template, the clerics or representatives of smaller sects or cults have to be included though.
Do the members of the cult differ from other 'normal' people through their daily behaviour (not rites or ceremonies), do they have a different approach to daily life, are they set apart somehow? (Those who venerate Queprur mainly differ surely from worshippers of Dalireen.)
Do these people have restrictions, what food concerns? Are they avoiding meat or live primarily on it? Are special animals forbidden to eat, because they venerate it or are the symbol of their god?
Are these people famous for using a special weapon or are they preaching non-violence?
Is there anything, a sign, a gesture, a symbol, a flag which would immediately be associated with the cult or sect? Are there secret symbols or signs which are only used to communicate to others members, especially secret signs which show, that you are a member of that group?
Describe here the organization structure (if any) and the roles of the members and leadership: How is this group ‚governed‘? Is it strictly hierarchical or are equals dealing with each other? Is it possible for everyone to 'climb the ladder' or is this restricted to certain persons only? How much is the single person included (or forced) into daily activities? Is he/she free to participate or are failures punished?
What kinds of regularly rituals, practices, gatherings does the cult/sect do? Are they linked to the governing structure?
Does this cult/sect celebrate any special holidays? Festivals? Sacrifices? How intense is the participation of the members? Are any excluded from special '
'events'? Are these festivals commonly accepted or doubted by some?
What kinds of temples does the cult/sect worship in? Do they prefer a specific type of housing or environment? Temples and housing does not mean that they worship in a physical structure of stone/wood. If they worship outdoors in the woods, on a mountain top or desert, describe that.
Is there anything only this group creates, produces, is famous for? (see e.g. the Cult of Fire)
What kinds of mythology surrounds the cult/sect? What sort of lore is associated with them?
When did this cult or sect come into life? (It may not be possible to pin that down). How/where does the cult has its origins? A historical event? (A war, a natural catastrophe, a lightning)? Was there a special person or group who initiated it or became the focus of veneration? Did it split from a mainstream religion and why? When did it split, was it tolerated at first, but persecuted later? How did this cult or sect develop later? Was it an underground group for years? Did its members decrease and rise again? What were the reasons? How was its influence on religion and politics? And so on...
What makes this cult or sect important? In what ways are they famous (or infamous)? Where did it influence society? Why is it worth to get an entry in the Compendium? Where lies the common interest in knowing more (about) it?
If you follow these guidelines I'm sure developing People is much easier and will produce better results. - Happy developing!
Information provided by Talia Sturmwind