Religions of Midvas Jan 22, 2019 23:33:35 GMT
Post by WildlingKing on Jan 22, 2019 23:33:35 GMT
Religions of Midvas
In this guide I will briefly go through the major religions of the different lands of Midvas. Those religions not touched upon here are covered in the “Lands and peoples of Midvas” thread.
Herians worship a pantheon of 12 major deities, and many lesser ones. Each deity has its priests or priestesses, temples and shrines. Which deities one prays to or seeks guidance from often depends on their profession and circumstances. Herians believe there to be three realms of existence: Midvas, the realm of the living, Nilvas, the underworld and realm of the dead, and Olvas, the realm of gods. Most mortals are believed to enter Nilvas after they die, but heroes may be allowed into Olvas to feast with the gods.
Heber, the King of Gods, god of prophecy, wisdom and warfare, husband of Lenia, lover of Saradis, father of Arodon, Garas and Avadis, and brother of Apatus, Volon and Zaros. Symbols for Heber include lion, oak tree and scepter. Heber is worshiped everywhere in the Herian world, but he is especially important in the Kingdom of Gatia, because they see their king as a descendant of Heber. Few priests dedicate themselves to Heber, because instead of living comfortably in a temple like most priests, a priest of Heber is expected to travel the land as a hermit offering guidance to everyone without expecting any riches as a reward. However, oracles of Heber are very common, and the most famous of them are some of the wealthiest people in all of the Herian world, made rich by all those desperate to learn their own fate.
Lenia, the Queen of Gods, goddess of childbirth, motherhood and marriage, wife of Heber, and mother of Arodon. Symbols for Lenia include peach, cow and poppy. Lenia is one of the less prevalent of the Herian deities, but she is still worshiped throughout the land, especially by mothers. Temples of Lenia are usually fairly small and modest. Carrying out wedding ceremonies and baptizing newborn children are the main duties of the priestesses of Lenia, but some of them also work as healers or midwives.
Arodon, the Prince of Gods, god of justice, light, truth, philosophy and knowledge, son of Heber and Lenia, husband of Asana, and father of Banaca. Symbols for Arodon include eagle, scales and sun. Arodon is one of the most prevalent deities throughout the Herian world, his temples being some of the grandest and his priests some of the most influential. Arodon is especially revered by Elenians, who worship him even over Heber. Priests of Arodon see it as their duty to spread knowledge and wisdom, as well as to resolve disputes between people.
Apatus, the goddess of agriculture, nature and seasons, and sister of Heber. Symbols for Apatus include wheat, scythe, pig and olive tree. Apatus is a goddess mostly worshiped by farmers throughout the Herian world. Temples for Apatus are usually built outside of cities or towns, and her priestesses live secluded from the rest of the world. Offerings are regularly brought to these priestesses by farmers, and in turn they pray for Apatus to grant them plentiful harvests.
Volon, the god of craftmanship, fire and invention, and brother of Heber. Symbols for Volon include hammer, anvil, fire and bull. Volon is a god worshipped by blacksmiths, carpenters, builders and other craftsmen all over the Herian world. Temples for Volon are built in cities and towns, most of them being fairly small with just a few priests. These priests offer guidance to craftsmen in exchange for offerings.
Saradis, the goddess of sea and winds, lover of Heber, and mother of Garas and Avadis. Symbols for Saradis include dolphin, trident and seashell. Saradis is prayed to by fishermen and sailors throughout the Herian world, and there is a temple built for her in almost every port, big or small. Priestesses of Saradis listen to the prayers of sailors and give them guidance in exchange for offerings.
Garas, the god of chaos and violence, son of Heber and Saradis, and brother of Avadis. Symbols for Garas include wolf, vulture and spear. Despite his bloodlust and chaotic nature, Garas is believed to be fiercely loyal to his father Heber. There are few temples built for Garas, and most of them are in Gatia. The priests of these temples are warriors, whose duty is to protect the temple and make blood sacrifices for Garas. Garas is often prayed to by soldiers before battle.
Avadis, the goddess of love, passion, pleasure, beauty and desire, daughter of Heber and Saradis, and sister of Garas. Symbols for Avadis include dove, apple and rose. Avadis is worshiped everywhere in the Herian world by lovesick people, but she is most revered in the city of Oranea, where there is a great temple for her. Priestesses of Avadis give guidance in the matters of heart for anyone who comes to pray to their temple, but many of them also work as expensive courtesans, which is the main income of these temples.
Zaros, the ruler of underworld, god of death, jealousy and curses, brother of Heber, and father of Vesel. Symbols for Zaros include serpent, dagger and skull. Temples for Zaros are built next to graveyards, and the duty of priests of Zaros is to carry out funerals and send the dead to afterlife with the blessing of gods. However, Zaros is also often prayed to by those wishing death upon someone else.
Vesel, the messenger of the gods who can enter all three realms, god of travel, diplomacy and commerce, and son of Zaros. Symbols for Vesel include raven, feather and horse. Temples for Vesel are built all over the Herian world, and the priests in them offer guidance and blessings for travelers, messengers and diplomats in exchange for offerings.
Asana, the goddess of hunt, wilderness and healing, wife of Arodon, and mother of Banaca. Symbols for Asana include the moon, arrow and owl. Temples of Asana are built deep into wilderness, where her priestesses fend for themselves, hunting and protecting their secluded temples. Usually they are approached by people with sicknesses that common physicians can’t heal.
Banaca, the god of wine, art, poetry and festivities, and son of Arodon and Asana. Symbols for Banaca include grapevine, goat and harp. Though Banaca is recognized as god everywhere in the Herian world, he is mostly worshiped in the cities of the Eteian league. Priests of Banaca have a reputation as fat and lazy drunkards, but they have their duties as well, most important one being the arranging and blessing of festivals. Artists and poets also often visit temples of Banaca, hoping an offering would grant them divine inspiration.
Lesser Herian gods include Nyssys, the goddess of poison and deception, lover of Zaros; Dyrokos, the god of trickery and thievery; Axor, the god of shields and guardian of Olvas; Rolkos, the god of wealth; Beloes, the god of cooking and baking; Hisva, the goddess of time; Erobo, the god of mountains; Nerefor, the god of drowning, shipwrecks and sea monsters, enemy of Saradis; Hoppos, the god of strength and athleticism, and many more.
There are also still some Sele people living on the Herian lands who have not integrated into the Herian religion, instead sticking to their animist beliefs.
The most widespread religion in all of the Barvian Empire is the worship of Mafanar the Great Spirit, called Mafanarism. It is a monotheistic religion, which regards Mafanar as an omnipresent spirit and the source of all life and magic. Mafanarism is believed to have started as a minor cult somewhere in Kasadia, but the Barvian King Arash the Great converted to it from the old gods when he conquered Kasadia around 150 AFK. Arash made Mafanarism the state religion of his kingdom, and with the spread of Barvian Empire in the following centuries Mafanarism has spread alongside it.
Mafanarist teachings tell that everyone has free will, and there is no predetermined fate. You may live your life as you please, but after death only uncorrupted souls will join the Great Spirit, while the souls of the corrupted will perish. Mafanarism is also very tolerant of other religions, believing that every deity imagined by humankind is a manifestation of Mafanar, and thus worshiping any god is at its heart worshiping the Great Spirit. However, Mafanarists themselves don’t believe that the Great Spirit can be depicted by man, and thus there are no statues or paintings made in his likeness. There are temples built for Mafanar though, in which his priests keep fires burning for the Great Spirit day and night. A symbol often used for Mafanar is a blazing red sun with a face.
Worship of the old gods of Barvia has been on decline ever since Mafanarism was made the state religion, but there are still some in Barvia Proper and its surrounding regions who worship them. The pantheon includes five major deities, the most important of them being Radasaha, the sky-god, Father of Heavens and god of wisdom and truth. He is usually depicted as a wise old king with a long white beard, holding the sun and moon on his hands. Radasha is usually prayed to for wisdom, and he is often equated to Mafanar by those who still worship him. Another important deity in the old pantheon is the goddess Mithina, the Mother of Earth, and goddess of mountains, rivers, lakes, agriculture, seasons and childbirth. She is usually depicted as a bare breasted woman holding flowers and fruits in her hands. Mithina is still quite commonly worshipped by farmers in Barvia, and idols of her are often present in childbirths. Third deity in the old pantheon is Zaratha, the god of war. He is usually depicted as a horseman with a spear on his hand. Zaratha used to be a god especially favored by war lords and conquering kings, but since the establishment of Mafanarism as the state religion his worship has gone nearly extinct. However, there are still some warriors who pray to Zaratha before battle. Fourth deity in the old pantheon is Tisna, the goddess of love, passion and marriage. She is usually depicted as a beautiful woman wearing a golden circlet and a white shroud. Idols of Tisna are still sometimes present in Barvian wedding ceremonies. And lastly, the fifth deity of the old pantheon is Yasaha, the god of justice and diplomacy. He is usually depicted as a naked and beardless man, holding scales in his hands. In some remote parts of Barvia priests of Yasaha may still acts as judges in trials and disputes, but for the most part his worship has perished.
Ever since the lands of the old Mysaran Empire were conquered by the Barvians, Mafanarism has been on the rise in the region. However, the old pantheon of gods from the ancient times still has its fair share of worshippers. It is a very large pantheon, its many deities having their origins in Mysara, Sataria, Terethia, Heleia, Dasaria and Mehyria. Seven of these deities are considered major.
Mazak is the King of Gods, and the god of life and magic. He is still worshipped everywhere that the Mysaran empire once reigned, though he is most prominent in Sataria, where Mazak’s cult is believed to have originated thousands of years ago. Mazak is often equated with Mafanar, even by priests of Mazak.
Imada is the Queen of Gods, and the goddess of love, mercy and passion. Her worship has waned during the time of Barvian rule, but she still has temples that are visited by those praying for love or mercy.
Nuhur is a warrior god and protector Mysarans. The Mysarans believe that their people was specifically chosen by Nuhur who led them to victories on the battlefield. While Nuhur is still prayed to by some Mysaran warriors, its worship has significantly declined ever since Mysara was conquered by Barvians.
Danamir is the Mysaran god of agriculture, worshipped by farmers everywhere that the Mysarans once ruled. Kyzha is the Queen of Underworld and goddess of death. She is believed to judge the dead in afterlife, and is often prayed to by those grieving a lost loved one. Gelen is the god of healing and medicine. Nerven is the god of chaos, fire and plague, worshipped only by his dark cultists.
Mafanarism has taken root in Abara during the Barvian rule, but the old Abaran religion from the Lost Age still has its presence as well. However, it has also been influenced by Mafanarism in the sense that it has veered more towards monotheism by mostly abandoning the worship of its lesser deities in favor of Elwe, the supreme god of the Abaran religion. Originally Elwe was the god of sky and seasons, but some aspects of lesser Abaran deities have later been attached to him, making him also god of agriculture, wisdom and justice. Elwe is also sometimes equated with Mafanar, though Abaran priests believe Elwe to be his true name.
The prevalent religion in Gazyra is the Nine Cults, centered around the nine major Gazyran deities. Unlike the rest of the Barvian empire, Mafanarism has not taken root in Gazyra. The nine High Priests are the religious leaders of Gazyra, and they hold significant amount of influence in the politics of the province. Gazyrans believe that those who live a life that pleases the gods may join them in afterlife, whereas those who have lived a sinful life will reborn and have a life where their sins from earlier life are punished.
Alam is the creator god of Gazyran pantheon, and god of sun. He is perhaps the most important of all the Gazyran gods, worshipped and prayed to throughout the land. He is depicted either as sun or as a wise king with a golden crown. Eser is the protector god of Gazyra, a loyal warrior of Alam and defender of the Gazyran people. He is depicted as an eagle, often sitting on Alam’s shoulder. Hissa is the goddess of motherhood, childbirth and healing, sometimes seen as the wife of Alam and mother of Eser. She is depicted as a moon or a beautiful queen holding an olive branch. Wasja is the goddess of afterlife, justice and mercy, believed to weigh the hearts of the dead in afterlife to determine their fate. She is depicted as a cat. Korom is the ruler of afterlife, and god of death and rebirth. He is depicted as a ram. Zoskar is the god of beasts, hunt and wilderness. He is depicted as a crocodile. Mahur is the god of agriculture and rivers. He is depicted as a bull. Avuhes is the god of war. He is depicted as a lion. Kefa is the goddess of chaos and darkness. She is depicted as a snake.
Gazyran religion also has dozens of lesser deities.