THE CULTS OF MARI

DESCRIPTION - ORGANIZATION - WORSHIP - MAIN CULTS

Looking from the outside we can say that Murmillions have two Gods in which they believe but they only worship one. We said "looking from the outside", because a Murmillion scholar will always argue with you on this matter, as one of these Gods has a very problematic status. This God is invested with the "task" of creating the world, but he is thought of being absent and even more than that: a Murmillion would be capable to tell you (in their specific paradoxical formulations) that this God actually doesn't exist, but nevertheless he created the world and he keeps standing as a reason for which this world exists. Thus we may consider this God more as an abstract principle, though still a God we could say...

The God that Murmillions are actually worshiping is called Mari. This one usually is invested with a feminine form and is thought of having many different manifestations. For almost each of these manifestations, Murmillions have dedicated a special Cult and almost entirely through these Cults their social and cultural life is regulated.

Description. The Cults of Mari are not opposing each other, as Murmillions believe that each individual has a special way of relating with Mari. The Cults are meant to meet each and everyone's needs. As long as a Cult has a sizeable enough number of adepts it can gain the official recognition from the other Cults. Also if a Cult runs out of adepts, it may be canceled (though its records are to be kept in the Book of Dreams).

Organization. All the Cults have the same pyramidal organizational structure. On the top of the "pyramid" stands the high-priest, the ultimate authority inside that Cult, the Kunran (as
Murmillions are naming them).

Under the direct authority of the Kunran, we find the four Masters entrusted with organizing the different activities of a Cult. Thus we have a Sermon Master - who deals with everything that relates to the sermons, a Master Librarian - who keeps the Cult's Library and leads the glyphwritings and researches of the Cult, a Master Healer - who deals with health issues but he also has as subordinates the Teachers, and we have also a Master of Iron - responsible of the Cult's workshops.

A Cult building is usually structured in six wings: a sermon hall, a library, a school, a workshop, the clerical apartments and the clerical offices. Healers never work in these buildings, as the Cults assigns them in other locations. Also many Cults have decided to assign their healers in the same place, and thus, to work together.

Each Cult is sponsored by one or more Families (the larger and most powerfull of those Families granting the Cult with the location for their main building, in that Family's drak), therefore each Cult represents a certain political interest.

The main decisions regarding the general theological issues are taken by a Council of the Cults (where each Cult is sending its representatives - be that the Kunran or just a trusted person). This Council though has also another role, which can affect
Murmillion life directly: it has the power to elect the Murmillion King/Queen. When a King/Queen dies, each Family or group of Families propose one person to be the King/Queen, and thus the Cult Representatives (officially, they take this decision by theological considerations) have the power to proclaim one of these persons as King or Queen for life.

The task of organizing this Council and keeping the track of its works and decisions is given to a special organization, named The Arkhaeon Guild.
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Worship. Generally Murmillions believe that one should relate to Mari mainly on a personal level, the Cults though have added some other activities that are now considered to be ways of worship too. Thus there are three forms of worship according to the Cults: interpretation of glyphs, smithing and attending the Sermons.

Main Cults. Below the three most important Cults are summarized:

Without exception, all the Cults are preaching a disregarding attitude towards death. But strangely again, they do not preach an after-life. There is no "after-life" for Murmillions, they believe that each individual has an essence but this essence is something that must be reached. When it is, there can be no more issue of death (as Menemronn showed them). Dying before reaching the essence resembles to what we may call a "second chance". Death means the encounter with the Dark One, the Unspoken, death means denial. But through this denial the conditions for their existence are again fulfilled and thus they think they get a "second chance". Though (and this is what is strange) they see no link between past individuals and present individuals. They are manifestations of the same essence, yet completely different individuals. This is a quite complicated issue and maybe requires a separate analysis - for the one that really wants to completely understand the Murmillion way. Nevertheless I can draw one worrying conclusion out of this: the more beaten/defeated or unhappy Murmillions are, the more they become open towards an aggressive warlike attitude and seemingly insane fanatical acts. Return to the top

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