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Ambar: Snow & Ash

Religion

a part of “Ambar: Snow & Ash”, a fictional universe by Yonbibuns.

In a world where old prophecies suddenly come to life; where kings squirm, and a great darkness approaches, against all odds, an involuntary band of misfits must rise up to face it. [Private]

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This conversation is an Out Of Character (OOC) part of the roleplay, “Ambar: Snow & Ash”.
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Religion

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Yonbibuns on Thu Jan 17, 2019 5:15 pm

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Elves

Elvish religion is based on the belief that the world is the physical manifestation, of a dream of The Great Spirit – the prime deity of elvish religion. The Great Spirit thus gave life to all things. The Goddess Namarië—lover to the Great Spirit—entered his dream and breathed magic into the world. As the Great Spirit had ignited the sun in the sky, so did Namarië give the moon its glow, and set it to chasing the sun across the sky. Therefore, the sun and moon are sacred to the Elves. The sun is a symbol of life, as it gives life to the sacred nature. The moon is sacred, as it is a symbol of the immortality of the elves and magic. But of course, you cannot have a religion with only two benign deities, can you? No.

The entity responsible for all bad things in the world, is by the elves named Morgon. “the Other”. Morgon does not exist in the physical world, i.e. The Great Spirit’s dream. He lives in something called Morgon’s Plane, Morgon’s Nightmare or simply just the Nightmare. It has many names. He seeks to overtake the Great Spirit’s Dream and corrupt it. He is responsible for evil, death and darkness, and therefore, whenever these things occur in the world, it’s a result of Morgon seeping through and corrupting the Dream. His nightmare manifests itself as evil things in the world.

In order to prevent (or maybe just post-pone) the end, the physical manifestation of the corruptive nightmare, must be purged. How this is done, however, elvish religion and lore says nothing about.

Seven beings - the Rimärin Vel [Harbingers of Doom] - are the physical manifestation of Morgon’s Nightmare. The Rimärin Vel must be defeated, if the dream of the Great Spirit must remain (relatively) uncorrupted. If not, the Rimärin Vel will wreak havoc, raise the armies of the dead and bring total darkness to the world.

As Namarië was so in love with the Great Spirit and his dream, she was the one to grant immortality to the elves. Morgon’s version of this gift is twisted, as his is that of undeath.

Elvish Rituals coincide with the full moon, and the summer solstice. On the longest day of the year, the elves celebrate the Festival of the Unconquered Sun, a time of wondrous frivolity and joy. The elves drink copious amounts of wine, sweet ales and have a great time. The full moon obviously occurs more often, and is therefore reserved for lesser rituals that are more frequent in general. Like weddings, funerals and things like that. It is also customary for most elves (depending on how strong your faith is), to make a small offering to Namarië at Moonwells. These Moonwells are frequent throughout Rinarwin. It is also customary to drink from the Moonwell during the night of the full moon.



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Dwarves

The Dwarves believe that the Maker keeps everything in the world in balance. He is responsible for creation, as he hammered the world into shape, and sculpted the dwarves from stone, where after he gave them life. He is the patron of the dwarves and their craftsmanship. His sister is responsible for everything arcane - including magic. His brother is responsible for death and darkness. And this brother has always been jealous of the Maker’s power. The Dwarves believe that the Heralds are agents of the Maker’s brother, and he is using them to spread death and darkness in the world, contesting the Maker. The prophecy is carved into a great wall deep in Kaer Valnar, where its runes clearly state that the brother of the Maker will try to overthrow him and plunge the world into darkness, and that he will do so by sending forth the Heralds and capturing his own sister, to force her to twist her gift of magic and grant it to the Heralds.

The Dwarves call the Heralds Grókar-Daez [Bringers (of) Darkness] in their own language.

Everything was created, molded, forged, crafted by the Maker. He is responsible for creation. According to the dwarves, he hammered the world into shape, after molding it from his own breath, blood and sweat. The dwarves he made from stone, elves from the trees and the orcs from the ground. Humans he shaped from the salty sea. He is the source of the dwarves’ skill and craftsmanship.

The maker has a sister. She is simply named “the Sister”. She is responsible for everything arcane in the world. Including magic.

His brother is the one who is responsible for death, darkness and all things grim in the world. He has always been jealous of the Maker’s power. Thus, jealousy is frowned upon in dwarfish culture. It is not a good thing, to covet something that someone else possesses.

The dwarves believe that the Heralds are agents of the Maker’s brother. They name him Murghul. Death. Murghul wants to use the Heralds to spread his darkness in the world. The prophecy of the Heralds is carved into a great wall, deep in the bowels of Kaer Valnar. Its runes clearly prophecies that Murghul will attempt to plunge the world into darkness, and that he will do so by sending forth the Heralds, and undo the work of his brother. That is how the world will end.



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Orcs

Aroq’ahn Vazek is the Rakhan-orcish name for the Heralds, and it means Arokh’s Riders. Aroqh (Arokh in common tongue) is the Orcish god of chaos. In orcish religion, he is the one who brings about the end of the world, through the Heralds (Arokh’s Riders). Aroqh will unleash his seven riders upon the world, to signal the beginning of the end-times. As the orcs are well known for their reverence of the dead, they have great fear of the Aroqh’s Riders, for they have the ability to raise the dead. Aroqh has always desired the goddess of hunt, Gulfin and according to prophecy, Aroqh will rape Gulfin and their offspring will be the god of death. This cannot happen, however, until Aroqh and Gulfin both take physical form. And this is the task of Aroqh’s Riders; to facilitate the summoning of Gulfin and Aroqh into the world. This is prophesized to happen, by the Riders spreading chaos and unrest in the world. Then Aroqh’s connection and influence will become greater, and eventually he will be able to enter the world, and drag Gulfin with him.


According to the orcs, the world was created by the Mother. She created the world, the mountains, trees, rivers, oceans. But she was not content with what she had created. It was void. Bereft of life. So she sacrificed herself, and let her essence and spirit seep into the world. That is also why orcs quite literally mean ‘Mother Earth’. Her essence and spirit gave life to everything.

There are many gods in the orcish Pantheon, though:

Aroqh – God of Chaos
Gulfin – Goddess of the Hunt
Marozh – God of War and Strife
Grumbol – Craftmanship
Duroqil – Goddess of Victory, Prowess and Success
Mairakh – Goddess of Fertility
Rub’hak – God of the Seas
Sarcrul – Goddess of Hidden Things (incl. magic)
Miraqh – Goddess of Justice and Peace.
Arbol – God of Law.

The 11th God of the orcish Pantheon will be the god of death, born by rape from Gulfin, by Aroqh. He will not have a name.



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Humans

The most widespread religion in both Stormgard and Vesia, is the belief in one single God. This God has no name, for he must not be named! This stems from the study of magic, actually. Magic is a creation of God, naturally. But when you study magic, you’ll eventually be studying something called “Naming”, which is the process in which you gain deeper knowledge and understanding of a specific subject or element of magic. Thus, you can control it. It would be sacrilege and blasphemy, to try to control God! Therefore he must not be named.

This God has created everything. He has not, however, created good and evil. These concepts are entirely made up, by the peoples in the world. This of course, gives rise to plenty of interpretations of what is right and wrong, and what is needed to gain entry to the great Beyond. The great Beyond is the pristine world, where your spirit will be guided to, by God, if you have lived your life satisfactory. When you die, God will judge you and either guide your spirit to the great Beyond, or condemn you to eternal punishment.

According to the Holy Church, you must not kill, steal, commit adultery, etc. The Church also has a ‘rulebook’ of sorts, called the Tennants of God.

There is a branch of the Holy Church, that serves as its military arm. Among the people, these are collectively called the Hammer of God – a title the church itself does not use. These are also called Paladins, however.
By royal decree, one third of the Royal Guard of Stormgarde, must be comprised entirely of Paladins. The Crown and the Church are very closely connected.

According to this relatively new religion, the Heralds are 7 monarchs of the ancient world, that turned away from the Light. They were so consumed by their lust for power, that they became evil and twisted, and are waiting for the right moment to strike, where there will be enough sinners and people who have strayed from the right path.


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The Light is a sort of magic. A type of magic that is not taught by anyone except the church, and the church is very protective of its secrets. It is rumored to build on dwarfish magic (what little they know), as well as elements of what is taught at the Arcanum and the University. Paladins are the only ones trained in this magic. Some of it is taught to the priests of the Holy Church, which is why they are skilled healers.

There was also an older religion, which you can still find among the smaller villages in the far north of Stormgard, and the far south and south-east of Vesia.



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Magic in the world of Ambar, is different in each culture. That means, the way people view magic, what they think of it and what it is used for. And its origin, as well. Each race believes that their version of what magic is, where it comes from and how to use it is right, even though there are several striking similarities.

The elves believe that magic is a gift from Namarië. That is why, when you are studying magic, you are named a Student of Namarië. Blood magic, necromancy, etc. is strictly forbidden in elvish society. One of the very few things, that will get you killed. They believe that blood magic (etc.) is a result of Morgon’s corruption; it’s a corruption of Namarië’s gift to the elves.
I elvish society, people who use this sort of corrupted magic, are viewed agents of Morgon, and they are said to assist him in entering the Dream (the World).

In human society, magic is not believed to be the work of their (or any other) deity at all. It is just as normal as anything else in the world. Perhaps not everyone is equally adept at it, but it is still there. You have to study it, though. And quite intensely. It is not easy to become what the less adept might call a “spell-chucker”. If you want to study magic (officially), you go to the Arcanum in Arn’s Rock, Vesia, and the University in Fellmark, Stormgarde. The names of these institutions are different, yes, but they teach basically the same thing.

Blood magic is also forbidden in both human kingdoms. The Holy Church, however, has the right to study it, by consensual license granted by both Vesia and Stormgard. They (officially) study it to better be able to perform healing magic.

Un-official study of magic is illegal.

In orcish culture, magic is not nearly as common. Those who wild its power, are called ‘warlocks’. Magic, in orcish culture, is rarely used to help build things, grow things or mend the sick. Orcs simply don’t know how to. Magic is therefore mostly used as a weapon. There are no laws against blood magic, necromancy, or the like. Which is odd, given that orcs have such respect for the dead. This is also why there aren’t very many warlocks wandering the roads of Ogrin Koor, or any other settlement in the vast Orcish Empire. Orcs who want to become warlocks venture into the mountains, where they study in small enclaves, under older and wiser warlocks. Usually one or two orcs are chosen in each tribe.

Orcs believe that magic is what remains of the essence of the Mother. As a result of all this, magic in orcish culture can be very gritty and bloody.

The dwarves don’t really use it. They never have. It has never really been a big part of orcish culture. But it is found among the Master Crafters – the legendary smiths and builders of the dwarves. In order to earn this title, they have to study some magic. They used it to imbue weapons, fortify their walls and structures as well as enhance armor etc.

While blood magic is forbidden in almost every kingdom, this does not mean that no one practices it. Those that do, do so with the knowledge that they will probably be killed if discovered, and live as outlaws and outcasts mostly. While especially the the Iron Crown of Stormgard and the Holy church worked hard to eradicate any enclave of blood mages that might exist, about a century and a half ago, blood mages still exist. They must have improved their skill at hiding though, for it has been a very long time, since a greater group of blood mages have been found.
Ambar: Snow & Ash
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"For these words, he won't come around here,
and his eyes won't see."

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Yonbibuns
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