Author Topic: Religion  (Read 11670 times)

Erythil

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Religion
« on: August 30, 2010, 05:48:08 PM »
Beyond cults of personality and sorcerer-kings, how much religion is there on Zalanthas?

In particular, is there any concept of gods?

It may be 'find out IC,' but I suppose I mean in the mind of the average person.

Lizzie

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Re: Religion
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 05:55:42 PM »
To the average city-based character, there is no such thing as religion or deities.
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Erythil

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Re: Religion
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 06:00:09 PM »
Just seems a little bit funny to me, given the age-old human obsession with the ultimate fate of the soul.

I know that on Athas all of the gods were dead, but there people worshipped primordial spirits and whatnot.

Zalanthas is entirely more grim than all that, though.

Shepard

  • Posts: 287
Re: Religion
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 06:03:44 PM »
There is no god, there is only (Tek/Muk)!

PRAISE YOUR (SUN KING/HIGHLORD)!

- As a note, in Allanak you devote to the Dragon.
- As another note, I would assume most tribals in general follow a "religion". More or less spirituallity.
- As a final note, I would think most religion's would be shut down quickly by either the north or south. But you might see more "cults" in Luirs or Red Storm.

- I have a sudden urge to start Scientology IG, give me 450 sid, and you're in!

TOOL

  • Posts: 751
Re: Religion
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2010, 06:06:17 PM »
Quote
The names of the powers, old folklore has it, are the seven great horns of God, and their names call the spirits to service.

Taken from the helpfile on magick power levels.  There is some reference to a God, however I've never really bothered to look up or ask anything more on the topic.  It might be just an outdated helpfile, though.

edit: I suppose I would simply take this as meaning either Mek or Tek is God, playing as a normal commoner.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 06:10:31 PM by TOOL »
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Marauder Moe

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Re: Religion
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2010, 06:11:45 PM »
Worship of one's city's sorcerer king is religion, no?

Quote
The names of the powers, old folklore has it, are the seven great horns of God, and their names call the spirits to service.

Taken from the helpfile on magick power levels.  There is some reference to a God, however I've never really bothered to look up or ask anything more on the topic.  It might be just an outdated helpfile, though.
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Potaje

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Re: Religion
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 06:28:29 PM »
Then there are the dragon thrall as well, from history. alive or dead unknown (find out Icly)
The funny little foreign man

I often hear the jingle to -Riunite on ice- when I read the estate name Reynolte, eve though there ain't no ice in Zalanthas.

Erythil

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Re: Religion
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2010, 07:03:25 PM »
While we're on topic, how widespread is the practice of meditation?  I know it exists in the north, but is it something only done by templars and nobles, or something anyone could feasibly learn?

Riya OniSenshi

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Re: Religion
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2010, 07:13:51 PM »
Searching for "Religion" returns 8 pages, by the way.
It's a fairly frequently discussed topic.
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Kankman

  • Posts: 843
Re: Religion
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2010, 07:14:27 PM »
Why meditate when you could be getting drunk, high, fucked, or some delightful combination thereof?

If you have spare time between grebbing, hunting, scamming, crafting, assassinating, thieving, or whoring, why spend it sitting and doing as close to nothing as humanly/dwarvenly/elvenly possible?

Erythil

  • Posts: 1227
Re: Religion
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2010, 07:18:59 PM »
A question easily asked in real life, as well.

I'm just curious, is all.  Didn't think to search past threads.  Maybe I'll play a crackpot guru someday.

Wolfsong

  • Posts: 1477
Re: Religion
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2010, 08:07:57 PM »
What -do- people think happens after they die? Does the concept of a soul exist? Are ghosts, etc., widely accepted as real creatures? (Zombies exist, for example. What is a zombie? Is it a soulless, reanimated corpse? A normal human/whatever body enslaved by magic? Is the original owner still present, not at all? Can souls be forced from bodies temporarily, would people practice any form of ancestor worship on top of emperor cults? Animal worship? Is one of the strongest driving forces behind a dwarven focus really the fear of becoming a ghost for dying prematurely, does elemental worship exist, what do the average commoners think in either city-state, and how does that differ from how the merchantile/noble classes think and act?
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Thorg

  • Posts: 236
Re: Religion
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2010, 08:21:54 PM »
What -do- people think happens after they die? Does the concept of a soul exist? Are ghosts, etc., widely accepted as real creatures? (Zombies exist, for example. What is a zombie? Is it a soulless, reanimated corpse? A normal human/whatever body enslaved by magic? Is the original owner still present, not at all? Can souls be forced from bodies temporarily, would people practice any form of ancestor worship on top of emperor cults? Animal worship? Is one of the strongest driving forces behind a dwarven focus really the fear of becoming a ghost for dying prematurely, does elemental worship exist, what do the average commoners think in either city-state, and how does that differ from how the merchantile/noble classes think and act?

A lot of people say that you "go to drov" when you die, suggesting a passive understanding of the "idea" of a spirit or soul, all but in name. This usage is probably equivalent to saying things like "thank god" IRL - I personally have no Religious stance and use it, just because it's a common saying.

I don't think there's anything to suggest that the common Amos on the street would know what a "zombie" is - they'd know the very rare, obscure half-rumours (perhaps) of the restless dead, but probably wouldn't believe or give them much more thought, let alone give them a specific name.

There's nothing that states dwarves or anyone else is aware of their "foci", for the dwarves it's a compulsion and I'd probably say that their hugely fractured culture has not maintained the idea of banshees for all but the most isolated desert tribes. Most other people just see dwarves as weird and given to bizzare tendencies and obsessions - you'd never ask a dwarf IC what their focus was, as they don't see it as a definitive, definable thing like that.

Otherwise things like element and ancestor worship are found in some of the tribal cultures in game, I'd reccomend checking out the public docs on the Al'Seik as they have things like this (including the vague mention of an afterlife)!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 08:25:33 PM by Thorg »

Barzalene

  • Posts: 7733
Re: Religion
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2010, 08:36:07 PM »
Some things seem to verge on that line of religion. The anthropomorphizing of the elements comes to mind immediately. They aren't worshiped. But there seems to be some allotting of powers. Luck to the wind. Death falls in the province of Drov.
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

Potaje

  • Posts: 2266
Re: Religion
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2010, 08:45:44 PM »
What -do- people think happens after they die? Does the concept of a soul exist? Are ghosts, etc., widely accepted as real creatures? (Zombies exist, for example. What is a zombie? Is it a soulless, reanimated corpse? A normal human/whatever body enslaved by magic? Is the original owner still present, not at all? Can souls be forced from bodies temporarily, would people practice any form of ancestor worship on top of emperor cults? Animal worship? Is one of the strongest driving forces behind a dwarven focus really the fear of becoming a ghost for dying prematurely, does elemental worship exist, what do the average commoners think in either city-state, and how does that differ from how the merchantile/noble classes think and act?


There's nothing that states dwarves or anyone else is aware of their "foci", for the dwarves it's a compulsion and I'd probably say that their hugely fractured culture has not maintained the idea of banshees for all but the most isolated desert tribes. Most other people just see dwarves as weird and given to bizzare tendencies and obsessions - you'd never ask a dwarf IC what their focus was, as they don't see it as a definitive, definable thing like that.

Otherwise things like element and ancestor worship are found in some of the tribal cultures in game, I'd reccomend checking out the public docs on the Al'Seik as they have things like this (including the vague mention of an afterlife)!

a bit of derail

I politely disagree with the part about dwarves not knowing that each other have driving focus, to the point of pointedly asking. I believe dwarves have communities, any where there is a population of similar species you will find bonding and gathering. growing up around such things one would come to realize that there is an inherent quality to their kind, and that finds them on certain paths, or with firm direction, or goals in mind. Though tribal history may have been lost, new ones develop. That too is an inherent quality to sentient beings.  I believe if a dwarf had interest in another, they would inquire or discover each others Foci to see if their life paths would be traversable in unison or whether they would share to many differing understandings and or oppose themselves to continue such a relationship, as an example. The foci is a definitive element as well, hence Foci or focus. It is clear what is to be attained, what is not clear is the path to it. It would be like putting the horse before the cart. The do not walk blindly in a direction to go somewhere they do not know where, but instead will wander thill they arrive at the place they know they are going.
The funny little foreign man

I often hear the jingle to -Riunite on ice- when I read the estate name Reynolte, eve though there ain't no ice in Zalanthas.

jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2010, 12:00:42 AM »
Just seems a little bit funny to me, given the age-old human obsession with the ultimate fate of the soul.

I know that on Athas all of the gods were dead, but there people worshipped primordial spirits and whatnot.

Zalanthas is entirely more grim than all that, though.

No, and I agree with you.  Some players act really funny if you try to play a religious character.  They don't really want it in the game, but instead of finding some other way of de-emphasizing it, they just freak out at you.

But yeah, there are basically two religions in the game.

The worshipers of Tektolnes, whose political base are centered around the city of Allanak, capitol of the South.  They revile a devil known as Muk Utep.

The other religion is the worshipers of Muk Utep, whose political base are cenetered around the city of Tuluk, capitol of the North.  They revile a devil known as Tektolnes.

So the game is kind of binary in that way.  Religious observance is compulsory, and implemented by the Templarate.  Heresy is punished by execution, or worse.  The commoners lack the education to have any deep grasp on theology, yet religion continues to be important in many of their lives.

Meditation?  Yes, it's absolutely appropriate.  

If you're looking for religious diversity, many of the "tribal" (i.e. non-city) cultures have richer and more pluralistic religious traditions, and are more likely to be tolerant of outside views.  Obviously, if you're interested in finding out about these religions, the staff would prefer you to find out in game.  PC led cults do pop up periodically.

In the cities, most of the tribal folk are viewed as participating in backwards, sun-worshipping religions, and are treated with varying amounts of intolerance.

There is also a concept of Hell, which Riya will describe below.

EDITED for accuracy based on Riya's post.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 01:11:52 AM by jriley »
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Riya OniSenshi

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Re: Religion
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2010, 12:47:50 AM »
The Void and Drov are two different things.

I think they're supposed to correspond to the Dark Sun's Grey and Black planes, but I'm not sure.
But for simplicity, I've always understood Drov to be where all souls go when they mortally die no matter what, and the Void is absolutely nothing - the space between the planes of existance.
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jriley

  • Posts: 233
Re: Religion
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2010, 01:13:59 AM »
Cool.  I edited my post.  Can you better explain?  It's possible that I've been doing it wrong all of these years.

The Void and Drov are two different things.

I think they're supposed to correspond to the Dark Sun's Grey and Black planes, but I'm not sure.
But for simplicity, I've always understood Drov to be where all souls go when they mortally die no matter what, and the Void is absolutely nothing - the space between the planes of existance.
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palomar

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Re: Religion
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2010, 07:20:35 AM »
I don't think Nilaz and Drov can be discussed in this context without giving away IC info. Playing a drovian/nilazi for some time, or playing around PCs of those guilds might be somewhat helpful.

From the general documentation on magick:
Quote
Drov  The element of shadow. Typically associated with all things ethereal or other-worldly. 
Nilaz  The quasi-element of discordant void, where the four primary elements are entirely absent. 


It has probably been discussed before, but I think the concept of "the soul" is pretty difficult from the Zalanthan perspective. Maybe there is a vague enough definition of the term to fit most of the cultures though. I don't know. I've always preferred to talk about "the spirit" instead of "the soul", in game.

Spoon

  • Posts: 2213
Re: Religion
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2010, 08:54:20 AM »
This is what I've gathered about the use of 'drov' as a noun by everyday commoners.

It's just a vague sense of the opposite of the living world. It's where you are when you're dead, because you're not in the living realm anymore. I don't think inhabitants of Zalanthas ponder on this at all, whereas we are inclined to ask more questions because of human history/culture on Earth. Of course, it's just a different name for 'death', death in this context being a place. But that is enough for the average commoner, I would think. It exists as the absence of life, most likely derived from the information contained in palomar's quote from the docs.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 09:05:45 AM by Spoon »

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12523
Re: Religion
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2010, 09:11:03 AM »
I think it's safe to say, realistic or not, that most Zalanthans do not have a well developed belief in an afterlife.  Part of it may be that commoners in the city states are discouraged from openly speculating about the supernatural (both socially and by the authorities).

Furthermore, I don't think meditation is a common concept either.

Ender

  • Posts: 1977
Re: Religion
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2010, 01:37:25 PM »
In both city-states it's a commonly accepted belief that dead is dead and there is no afterlife.

Any comments about going to "Drov" are purely allegorical.  Drov means darkness, darkness in this usage means lack of life/being.

I can't stress this enough, if you live in a city-state the commonly held belief is that when you die, you are dead and gone forever.
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Kankman

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Re: Religion
« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2010, 04:01:07 AM »
In both city-states it's a commonly accepted belief that dead is dead and there is no afterlife.

Any comments about going to "Drov" are purely allegorical.  Drov means darkness, darkness in this usage means lack of life/being.

I can't stress this enough, if you live in a city-state the commonly held belief is that when you die, you are dead and gone forever.

This guy knows what he's talking about.

Barzalene

  • Posts: 7733
Re: Religion
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2010, 07:45:04 AM »
There seems to be a misapprehension that uneducated means stupid. It's not true. I don't believe that the lack of religion on Zalanthas is a result of a lack of ability for nuanced thought.
Why is there no religion? Maybe  the reasons are undocumented. Why do people believe that when you die you're gone forever? Who knows? Maybe all the gods are dead? It's not documented. You can find your own reasons for it. You can make your own reasons for it. But saying that there's no religion because our pcs can't get up the collective thought power to devise one, doesn't seem like a productive answer.
Varak:You tell the mangy, pointy-eared gortok, in sirihish: "What, girl? You say the sorceror-king has fallen down the well?"
Ghardoan:A pitiful voice rises from the well below, "I've fallen and I can't get up..."

Marauder Moe

  • Posts: 12523
Re: Religion
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2010, 10:22:15 AM »
Why do people keep saying there's no religion?