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Because Felarya is connected to so many dimensions, it quickly became a melting pot of cultures from countless different worlds. And with all those people coming to Felarya with their own beliefs and their sense of truth about the universe, religions naturally thrived. In no place is this more true than Negav. There, Othemites live next door to followers of Khord, and various smaller cults hide in the shadows, whether they worship a living being on Felarya such as the Seekers of Sineria or the Sleeping Darkness, two groups that want to revive Sineria and Déméchrelle respectively, or the groups that seek infernal power, worshiping and praying to demons for personal gains. Although those later cults are illegal in Negav, and most other cities, the Ps'isol magiocrats turn a blind eye to such behavior, reasoning that the more divided their people, the less likely they will revolt against them.
Religions however, do more than just affect politics on Felarya. According to the controversial theories of Archmage Talbeln Veridimus on Hell and Heaven, some angels and demons have modeled their societies upon the religions of the races on Felarya. When a person on Felarya dies, they are taken by an angel or demon to a section of Heaven or Hell that reflects their beliefs in life. Archmage Talbeln Veridimus's theory was further extrapolated by Qwi-te, a neko shaman spiritchaser, and his ‘firsthand’ tale of Heaven and Hell’s ‘grand illusion’. The two have been declared heretics by one hundred and thirty two religions.
Some predators follow their own religions as well, although theirs are much less structured than the smaller races. They usually consist of a series of basic guidelines to life in Felarya, passed from parents to children. There are some exceptions, such as the Predator Trinity, which possess a certain amount of organization. There have even been reports of predator priestesses performing strange rituals. Many of these rituals, and in fact entire religions, that the predators follow seeming to have an odd focus on eating.
Cult of Minalca
Minalca is the main goddess of luck on Felarya. Her protection is obviously very sought after and her cult is flourishing. Her priests are usually former adventurers who have survived the dangers of Felarya and decided to stop their dangerous profession afterwards, hence the common Felaryan saying: "If I ever get out of this one, I swear I'll become a Minalcan priest!" To spread their faith, Minalcan priests will regale their captivated audiences with tales of their exploits, and how they were (presumably) saved by the goddess. These "story telling sessions" are very popular, and give the cult a reputation for being laid back and easy going. Some of the high priests of Minalca possess a powerful but dangerous ability: they can force a streak of luck upon themselves. For a period of time they will be extremely lucky in nearly all circumstances: they will trip and dodge an arrow, a predator will miss them, a chest of gold will wash up on the beach next to them, etc. This luck comes at a heavy price however, and eventually, a horrendous chain of unlucky events will befall the priest, balancing out the good luck they just had. Because in Felarya bad luck is often fatal, few priests survive this chain, and if they do, they rarely use the luck streak ever again.
The Cult of Minalca is known to have good relations with Tomthumbs, whose sight is often considered a good luck sign among humans. Members of the cult are encouraged to help these little beings whenever needed. The cult is based in the Sanctum of the Shining Star in Negav and is led by the Grand priest Hiseb Nikomon.
Cult of Oth
The Order of the Doctrine of Oth, referred to by others in Felarya as The Cult of the Sun God (or, more derisively, "That Cult",) worships Oth, the radiant god and king of all suns. Othemites form a technologically advanced group and have grown so powerful in certain parts of the universe that they can mobilize a fleet of battleships comparable to that of a small empire. Their foothold in Felarya however, is far weaker and has been carefully kept in check by the Magiocrats. The Order is often regarded as a laughing stock by the other, better established religions. It is, however, also known for its fanaticism and the single-mindedness of its devotees. The House of a Thousand Suns in Negav serves as their center of operations and the seat of power for Archcleric Sythas Zhiaminos, leader of Felaryan Othemites.
Oth, also known as "The Light-Bringer" and "Master and King of Suns", is viewed as a creator and source of law and order. Othemites see themselves as responsible for dispelling anything they perceive as a source of chaos and evil, a responsibility handed down to them by their god. The Order's brand of at-times militant and forceful proselytism takes a number of forms, from preachers who deliver fiery sermons at the pulpit, to missionaries who travel out into remote settlements, to well-trained soldiers, scientists and inquisitors who seek to subdue or eliminate what they perceive as threats to their Order. Converts are warmly welcomed and rapidly trained and schooled in doctrine and dogma. Curiously, few of the faithful possess a copy of the sacred texts-- such as the Book of Illumination-- that form the core of Othemitic belief. Pamphlets and handouts often quote these scriptures, but most Othemites only know these texts through their what they have been taught by those higher up in the Order's hierarchy.
The power they wield on other worlds made Othemites used to take all things for granted and gave them very little tolerance for any opposition to their plans. On Felarya, Othemites are widely viewed as self-righteous fanatics, crazed zealots bent on domination. However, despite their fiery speech and the at-times advanced technology at their disposal, they possess a feeble amount of power in Negav and the rest of Felarya and are most often regarded as a joke. Still, their single-minded determination to fight a world they see as evil make the Othemites a considerable foe to face on one's own. They bear a great defiance toward giant predators in general and mostly naga, whom they considers creatures of the night and of great unholiness. That's mostly because in their first forays into the jungle, Othemites attempted to befriend and convert giant predators, that they felt would make powerful allies. These missions, however, quickly ended in absolute disaster and in the belly of said predators who found their proselytism an irritation, if an amusing - and filling - one. Othemites particularly view nagas with suspicion, having sustained their worst loses to that race; no species of predators, however, are beyond their prejudice.
"All, in all the universes, was darkness. Except for the Great Source of All Light, Oth. His light was bounded on all sides by the dark of wickedness, a darkness He found repulsive. Within the darkness were the shadows of souls that the dark fed upon. They were withered creatures, blind and cold. Oth shone His light upon them, beckoning them to His source. Many were frightened, their eyes overwhelmed by the brilliance of His light. But a few, a brave few, drew closer. Those that He called, and who heeded His call, were filled to bursting with light, and sent outwards. They traveled far into the darkness, and where they went, they radiated Oth's light. The darkness was pushed back, and those whom once were frightened by the light were awed to see their kin so radiant, and traveled back with them to be filled by this source."
This began on one world, ages upon ages ago. So many have been brought to Oth's light in that time, extending its reach from a tiny corner of a tiny world, across thousands of universes. Though it seems like so much has been done, there are still so many worlds where the darkness remains.
Such as Felarya. The more souls we teach to see this light, the further the darkness will be driven back, until it has been removed from this world entirely."
Martus Kaid, Othemite cleric
Followers of Khord
A discrete but powerful cult that worships Khord, god of the night, thieves, luck, gamblers and adventurers. Khord's realm is the night, where countless shining opportunities arise for the bold, the lucky, the agile, the stealthy and those who decide to act in the shadows and outside of the law's borders. The cult's real influence is rather hard to measure as its disciples are masters of trickery and deception and always hide their connection to the cult; for all you know, a perfectly harmless, loud and jolly bartender that you see everyday could be one of its leaders. Likewise, Khord himself is only represented as a silhouette of ever-changing shape. There is no known record of his real appearance.
The cult is mysterious and secretive, with unknown purposes but, all things considered, rather quiet and peaceful and not proselytic in the slightest. Every sane person, however, knows better than to upset the followers of Khord. It's a powerful and wealthy group, with very well trained and skilled assassins. Even the Othemites decided it was wiser to leave them alone after several of their highest priests vanished in one single night without a trace. The leaders of the cult are among the rare humans that have regular contacts with nemesises. They sometimes hire their services and some Nemesis are said to be part of the cult themselves.
Followers of Lataran
Lataran is also called "the last one laughing". He is the god of guile, trickery, games, riddles, illusions, thieves, and betrayers. He is represented as a frail, shady, laughing figure, always wearing a grinning mask and sometimes represented as a female as well. He represents guile in its most ruthless form, elevating betrayal to a form of art. His followers are people with a rather interesting outlook on life, their beliefs aligned with Lataran's teachings that any act is justified as long as it's cleverly done. From his teachings they have come to believe that, if you trick someone, you aren't the one to blame - the one who has been tricked is. Moreover, by tricking them you taught them a valuable lesson for the future. Thus, Lataran followers see themselves as scholars of sort, spreading their "wisdom" through cruel trickery and malignant acts, "enlightening" their victims in the process. Naturally talented with words, bluffs, and disguises, they are skillful con-artists and rarely who rarely expose their true nature. Needless to say they are widely seen as perfect jerks. They believe in theft but mostly for the beauty of the act. If there is an invaluable treasure kept by one of the most powerful nobles of Negav, you can bet your last skevol that, at some point, it will be a target for Lataran's followers. Lataran himself is rumored to have built the temple in the Forest of Whispers as a place for adventurers and other reckless people to take part in deadly games for fabulous rewards and his own enjoyment.
Arborian laborists form a small but devout cult. They worship the Giant tree as the creator of all life in Felarya and believe it to be the oldest thing to exist. They even dubbed it "Mother Fel", the Great Barky Creator. They believe it is so sacred, in fact, that they theorize that it brought the infamous naga Crisis to life, in order to ensure nobody would cause damage to it. Considering Crisis' enormous appetite, it's not hard to see why they believe that. Arborists also believe all of nature to serve the Giant tree one way or another. The trees and forest serve as her heavenly abode while the dryads within the forest are considered her seraphims and angels who've rooted themselves to further help the great tree. All of the arborists live in Negav because they don't think they are worthy enough to reside near the holy vegetal or its minions. Most people they see wander into the forest are considered heretics to them and deeply frowned upon. Arborists feel no remorse if they don't return, though they will never interpose themselves either. They are a peaceful and rather harmless group in general. High priests in the arborists' organization are the only ones considered worthy enough to head into the forest and leave blessings at the tree's base. Most don't return however, due to naga interference. When they die, and if they're good, Arborists go to Arbor Heaven, to be welcomed by "Mother Fel" herself, dressed in a garb of leaves and taking the form of a flying dryad. She sits on her knees and mingles with her "subjects" as she pours sap from her hands into an ever flowing lake. If her subjects drink it, it tastes like Cherry Cola.
Cult of Klonk
Klonk is the great god of falling objects, rocks, apples, branches, harpies on occasion, etc. He is worshipped by Klonkites, a small but devout cult. They believe Klonk is the force that keep everything moving in a general downward direction, essentially creating the force of gravity. He punishes the wicked by dropping things on their heads, and rewards the faithful by showering them with various objects of wealth. The cult of Klonk began some three thousands years ago when the Great Prophet Isaac was saved from three different predators on the same day, each time by different objects falling on their heads. He went back to his village, and founded the first Church of Klonk, and it is said the first copy of the Book of Klonk fell from the sky, landing directly on his righteous brow. Then Klonk himself spoke words of wisdom to him :
"The bigger thou art, the harder thou shalt fall." and "That which goes up must, in time, also come down."
Klonkites believe that those who follow the teaching of their god most fiercely would be able to walk into the Felaryan forest without any fear, protected by the power of Klonk and his many falling objects. Of course assuming you would be able to do this means you are too prideful, which explains why everyone who has attempted to prove this has never returned. Klonk takes the appearance of a mass of unending falling objects. Those that make it to his realm will find that all their desires will suddenly fall directly into their hands. Or onto their heads sometimes if Klonk's aim happens to be a little off that day.
Seekers of Sineria
A very small, but quite powerful, group of humans, usually enlisted by dridders, whose role is to seek rumors about, and scan human lore about, the location of the tomb of Sineria the dridder queen. These agents of dridders receive extremely harsh training in stealth and assassination techniques. Few even survive the training process, but those who do are held in high regard among dridders and are completely under their protection. A dridder killing a seeker of Sineria commits an atrocious sin in the eyes of a good part of their race, and better have an excellent reason for doing so.
In ancient times, Elves used to worship a large number of Gods and Goddesses. They composed a complex pantheon full of plots and intrigues that appeared to passionate elves but remained little known outside their culture. Nowadays that Pantheon has shrunk to about just about a dozen divinities, some of them worshiped only in some tribes and not in others. Interestingly enough, some Elven Divinities such as Araxiad or Thatalia became progressively mainstream in Felarya for a variety of reasons, and are now almost more worshiped by non-elves than by elves themselves! Many elves are hesitating between being flattered or offended that short-eared people somehow appropriated some of their divinities.
The predator trinity
Three goddesses worshiped mostly by giant elves, centaurs and some fairies. Little is known about them but they are:
Represented as a slender and tall dark green centauress, hair flowing in the wind and smiling with the exhilaration of the hunt. She is the goddess of hunt and patience.
Represented as a lascivious four-armed naga. She is the goddess of feast.
Represented as a scarlet elf with a curvaceous body and a bloated belly. She is the goddess of digestion.
“There are three goddesses, in our religion. Calvabrina represents the hunt. Her virtue, what she teaches us, is patience. Patience, skill… What you need to get your reward. The reward is the feast. Mhorn is the goddess of the feast. She represents pleasure, and the bringing together of the community. And then, after the hunt and the eating, you have digestion. That's Luban. Digestion is a force for life. It's what keeps us alive, strong, healthy."
Alitan, Priestess of Luban
- Credits goes to Silent eric for writing the introduction, to JohnDoe, for the Klonk cult, to Pendragon for the Arborian Laborists, to Mukatkikaarn for the Martus Kaid citation and great help at writing the othemites description, to Malahite for the luck streak idea, to French-snack for the Alitan citation, and to Chroias for the idea of Mhorn.