Origin: The Banii are a cult broken off from the religion of the Old Gods. Their story follows almost parrallel to that of the Old Gods, but they preach that the Old Gods did not occupy Salairon with humans prior to 524, but that humans were created during that year and the old gods left the earth.
Beliefs: The Banii believe that the gods are no longer watching over and protecting Salairon. That the Old Gods have come and gone leaving us with the means to protect and watch over ourselves. They preach that believing there is someone else to do this job for us is complete ignorance and one must seek what they desire. Of course, this is a heavily rejected notion in Zast which has lead the cult to secretive and xenophobic tendencies.
The Banquet of Sura
Origin: Zast’s chief god is Sura, the god of pleasure and life. Sura is represented by the image of twenty women, all identical, her replicated forms. She is said to have been the mother of all humans, each of her forms the lover of the sons of her rival, Kaya, the god of death and sleep. The followers of Sura worship by celebrating and trying to stay awake and experience pleasure for as long as possible, to avoid being under Kaya’s rule in their sleep. The heat of Zast is said to be caused by Kaya’s simmering rage against Sura for corrupting all of her sons, and the oases are safe places made by Sura to protect her children.
Beliefs: Though most of Zast follows the Banquet of Sura, there are very few who preach her teachings or meet to worship. Partygoers and otherwise hethans give thanks to her name in times of great joy and curse the name of Kaya in times of peril, but there is little mention of the gods otherwise. The banquet of Sura is more a way of life than a typical religion.
The Church of Keda
Origin: There were once two brothers, gods who ruled over Alantia together. The elder brother, Johen, was cruel and unforgiving with humans. He wanted to enslave all of humanity and use them to take over the rest of the world. The younger brother, Keda, loved the humans and wanted them to be free. He had made his wife from the earth of the continent, and their children were the humans. When Johen began to enslave Keda’s children, Keda struck him down in a massive battle. However, many of the humans were killed during the battle, and Keda’s wife died of grief. He named the continent, Alantia, after her in her honor.
Beliefs: Keda is said to have still watched over Alantia for all of these years, occasionally appearing as his avatar, a great lion, but has not interfered for a very long time. Loyal followers say that he is resting, exhausted from keeping peace in Alantia for so long, and when he wakes, the country will be rescued. Keda’s greatsword is said to be made from the iron in the earth, forged by his first son. Any who stand against Alantia shall find themselves at the end of Keda’s blade.
The Golden Parish
Origin: Aran is the golden god, a massive eagle who once rested in the mountains of the continent. Long ago, Tiyn had rich deciduous forests over all of its mass. This was when Aran was known and showed himself to the people. He had many children spread across the land, but there was a great fire that burned away the forests, killing his children and scorching the landscape, only halted by the Vire Ierac Lake. His tears and the tears of his mate, Lea, poured over the mountains, causing the many veins of gold. It is said that Aran and Lea still live in the mountains, deep within, still crying tears of gold.
Belief: Any follower of the Golden Parish who chooses to mine for gold, must create a shrine within his mine. The only stipulations for this shrine are that the stone around it remain untouched and that a figurine of a golden eagle be placed within. It is believed that such a shrine creates a connection to Aran and Lea which prevents your mine from running dry. A mine without a shrine is considered an insult to the golden god.
Those who follow the Golden Parish are seekers of wealth and great fortune in this world. It is said that your life is provided so that you may give it up to Aran and that if your life ends with little wealth or glory to give you are a shame to your golden god.
The Old Gods
Location: The mythology of the Old Gods exists in every part of Salairon, but most do not believe in the old gods anymore and dismiss them as stories from primitive cultures.
Origin: The Old Gods have existed since the beginning of time. These gods were the seven Agnots. The Agnots were gods that represented the seven necessary traits of a society – adaptable, determined, diplomatic, easygoing, nurturing, and unyielding. Those that follow the religion of these gods say that the Salairon was created by them and that the records of the first 524 years are with the Agnots who ruled over humans on the planet during those times.
Beliefs: The followers of the Old Gods believe that the Agnots left guardians upon the planet to protect Salairon and that temples needed to be built on all continents so that these guardians could be manifested. The location of these temples were said to have been given by the gods and were strategically placed throughout Salairon, in the belief that the points represent the five points of a pentagram. This positioning is said to have placed a protective ward over the country to block out the evil from other planes.
The guardians of each temple are believed to be minor manifestations of the Old Gods. The Nurturing God represents the guardian of Alantia who uses these elements to protect her country and allow it to flourish. The Unyielding God represents the guardian of Fenyin who allows her countrymen to endure the frigid climates. The Adaptable God represents the guardian of Gahnal Gahnal who has mastered the skills of hunting in the woods. The Determined God represents the guardian of Tiyn who always seeks perfection. The Easygoing God represents the guardian of Zast who shows that everyone needs a break now and again. The Diplomatic God holds no manifestation as he is the guardian of all: watching over Salairon and ensuring the guardians properly protect her.
The Pentacle of Dragons
Origin: The citizens of Gahnal believe in the great dragons of old, the embodiment of their gods. These dragons each represent a different element – fire, water, air, earth, and metal. The dragons once roamed the continent and fought off any who tried to attack Gahnal, but have since become a part of the earth. The Icoran Island is believed to house the earth dragon, who has become a part of the jungle, tangled in its roots. The Illester Peninsula is the home of the fire dragon, and his hot breaths are what keeps the lands so hot and bare. The metal dragon rests in the Hosozin Mountain, and his followers have kept the mountain from being mined in order to protect him during his great sleep. The air dragon and water dragon are entwined in the clouds, tossing in their sleep and causing the storms and rainfall over the jungle landscape.
Beliefs: Those who follow the Pentacle of Dragons believe that the world is always working against you, wishing for you to fail. That you are a ship being guided to the afterlife through a sea of evil. If you arrive at your destination, you shall stand among the dragons, sheltered by their wings and protected by their claws. But those who fall within this sea of evil shall be left to the damned, never to be embraced by the dragons kindness and forever banished. An act that goes against the Pentacle of the Dragon is believed to be an act which goes against the dragons themselves. It is believed that if too many turn their backs on the Pentacle of Dragons that the dragons themselves will leave and Gahnal will become a barren wasteland without their protection. The highest members of the Pentacle of Dragons believe that there is a ceremony which can be used to summon forth the dragons in a time of great peril.
The Totem Gods
Origin: The Fenyin worship totems of the animals, forests, and mountains of their land. The most powerful of these totems are the Great Bear, Ursin; the “highest” mountain in Salairon, Mt. Mrae; and the only wildlife in Fenyin, Areve Woods. There are many totems other than these, including family totems that are named by the first of the ancestors. The land is said to once have been a frozen waste, but Ursin scratched away the ice to allow Mrae to climb out from below the earth. The heat from Ursin’s body melted all of the ice which washed down into the lower elevations cleaning the soil and Areve grew and flourished, awakened by the sun. Each totem, though unique follows this same story through links to Ursin.
Beliefs: Though each totem follows it’s own belief they are all relative to the focus of their worship. Ie. Followers of Ursin believing in protecting others with fierce hostility, followers of Mrae believe one must stand strong and firm against no matter how hard they try to knock you down, followers of Areve believe one must learn to succeed no matter how much your surroundings try to stiffle you. Regardless of what they believe in all worshipers of the Totem Gods believe one must worship their totem at least once per week or their totem will no longer provide them with sustenance and safety.