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★ RELIGION: THE COURNISIAN OLD GODS

Offline Onii May 20 2020, 12:44 PM
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RELIGION: THE COURNISIA



While certainly not the only system of religion in Gilead, The Cournisia by far has captured far more minds, both over time and currently, than any other religion. It also has given birth to the most denominations of any other religion. Historically pushed throughout Gilead by Svalbard's crusades, the nation who wrote the most history, The main events of Cournisia are known even in societies that do not necessarily practice the religion.

I. THE ORIGIN LEGEND



Belief in The Old Gods vary based on cultures around the world, but nearly all societies have believed in some manner of higher power throughout history even if, in today's world, they have moved to more secular means of thought. The largest and most influential belief systems consider The Old Gods to be progenitors to Gilead, a single raw force of Magic and benevolence, supplying its life as Gilead's Mother Nature. The origin of their manifestation as wolven gods, according to The Book of Cournisia, is translated and condensed as the following passages…


  • “[1] Long ago, when Gil'ead was new, a great power bestowed at its core grew and grew until the earth split at its forehead. The single landmass severed into many and there, from this new chasm in the sea, an unbridled energy sprung up from Gil'ead's torn center. Battling within itself, pulled at its poles, it grew thin and broke into 6 pieces that sprung out into different directions.



    CONRI, THE KING

    Of kingship, democracy, righteousness, morals, fairness and judgement. Often depicted as wearing a crown.




    FENRIR, THE REBEL

    :
    Of corruption, pain, desolation, loss, desertion, and death. Often depicted as rebelling against Conri.




    BANADOTT, THE DESTROYER

    :
    Of betrayal, treachery, famine, malice, atheism, and bloodshed. Often depicted as slaying Fenrir.




    FALVIS, THE WARRIOR

    :
    Of war, success, prosperity, fertility, strength and individualism. Often depicted as clutching a knife.




    ETRO, THE LIGHTHOUSE

    :
    Of technology, intellect, rationality, reason, advancement, and prosperity. Often depicted as guiding the blind.




    ANK, THE DANCER

    :
    Of passion, love, loyalty, solitude, peace, and ideals. Often depicted as clutching an olive branch.


    [2] Seated at the throne was Conri, the God of Order and precision, of due diligence and greater good. And at his right hand, Fenrir the Seraph.

    [3] With the birth of the Old Gods came the blessing of Magic, spilling in excess from the chasm in the sea. This blessing allowed Mankind, too, a taste of their formidable power.

    [4] Humans were delegated to by Conri's teaching, as he watched diligently over their discovery and use of this incredible wealth of power.

    [5] If ever they abused it, if ever they stepped too far into the unknown, Conri would strip them of the power entirely and leave them Blank until they repented.

    [6] Over time, Humans made no progress. Fenrir, who had since grown a fondness to watching these creatures who evolved their way out of the sea, had become discouraged as they stumbled and fell.

    [7] Fenrir approached Conri with dismay and recounted all that he'd seen. He told him that he was concerned for the Humans, that soon they would perish to the wilds if they had no means to supplement their weak bones and small bodies. He suggested the harsh rules be lifted on their Magic, and they be allowed to use it to the fullest extent. Conri waved him away with a gentle ease, and would do so every time Fenrir approached him. Every time Fenrir returned with a new inquiry, a new problem, a new observation of Human suffering that could be reverted if only they could be allowed to experiment with their craft. Conri, every time, would wave him away.

    [8] Over time, the divide between Conri and Fenrir was vast. Fenrir grew restless, but Conri remained fast at his throne as always. Fenrir was confused and hurt by the very things he felt towards Conri, and his personal utterances were one day overheard by Banadott, the one who was tasked as the scourge of the earth. Banadott agreed with Fenrir, recounting to him all the work he himself had been doing, all the lives he'd been tasked to take, all the Humans who were being slaughtered left and right by their own desperation, treachery, betrayal and the wars they waged for what little they had. In hearing these things in gruesome detail, Fenrir broke and cried.

    [9] Over time, Banadott eased more and more into Fenrir's ear, speaking of things he'd never seen nor heard. Loyal at the right hand of Conri, Fenrir only watched Gilead from afar, whereas Banadott very often was upon the soil. He began to ask Banadott questions to enlighten himself…and over time, the distance between he and Conri and his dispassion for life grew into hate.

    [10] They say the final straw was a little girl, born to a single mother, pure and endlessly beautiful. The Old Gods were infatuated with her and the raw potential she had, her devoutness and willingness to help her people and lead them in religion even at such a young age. Her gift of Magic was incredible, and she cured animals on the brink of death without fail. She was the bastion of hope for her people's nation.

    [11] One day, she was lead into the forest by the bleating of a wounded sheep, and upon finding the caged animal was ambushed by many men from an opposing side. Fenrir immediately demanded to intervene, but was waved away by Conri. Fenrir begged Banadott not to descend, but Banadott, with concealed cunning in his heart, merely told him that it was not his place to change the events bestowed upon his shoulders. Fenrir, faced between Conri and the opportunistic jackal Banadott, broke open the sky with his tears.

    [12] When the girl tried to fight back, when she turned her gift of healing into a burst of flame…Conri took it away from her. Shocked and appalled, Fenrir DEMANDED an explanation with fire in his heart. King Conri, in as diligent a way as ever, only explained to him the nonnegotiable laws of Magic. At this, Fenrir rebelled.

    [13] Banadott, in glee of having gotten his wish, sprung up to assist Fenrir in the battle for the King's throne.

    [14] As the battle waged, there were few who could come to King Conri's assistance. Falvis only, the God of war, supplemented where Etro and Ank were sworn to peace and enlightenment. Falvis persisted…but Conri did not.

    [15] Struck with a lethal blow, Conri retreated from them in the wake of Falvis. Knowing that he was dying, he voyaged to the ends of the earth to seek the face of an ancient tree, where he would die calmly beneath the canopy and his life force would turn this tree into the legendary Yggdrasil.

    [16] Fenrir, weak but victorious, at last pushed back the persistence of Falvis and led her to retreat. In the final moments the texts are incredibly diverse on what transpired or what may have been said to lead to this…But Banadott is unanimously depicted throughout texts as slaying Fenrir, his throat in his jaws.

    [17] The remaining Old Gods Falvis, Etro and Ank wandered the earth in bitter despair, now without foundation or meaning, searching for Conri's resting place in what is known as the Eternity Voyage. When finally they found Yggdrasil in the corner of the earth, they willingly gave their bodies to it and restored what they'd taken from the chasm.

    [18] Banadott, the final remaining Old God, is said to have grown lonely. Unlike Fenrir, he had no true interest in Mankind. Instead, he took the body of Fenrir and split it in two, sieving the perfection and chaos from The Seraph and giving them form. Skoll and Hati were born from this dark art, and kept him company for many years.

    [19] When Hati learned what part Banadott had to play in her father's death, she vowed to destroy him. Banadott, wisely, stepped from his new throne and disappeared. It is not said what had become of him, but very few believe he returned his force to the earth. …Wandering still, somewhere, in the body of a mortal or even split into many.”
    ...


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CORROBORATION

  • The Book of Cournisia has heavy themes of reincarnation and repeated patterns, two principles of Gilead that have been corroborated by both religious and experimental sciences. Conservation of energy elicits patterns, cycles, and reiterations of old stories with new names.

REINCARNATION

  • The Cournisia relates the nature of reincarnation to that of The Old Gods, which is a large basis behind the belief that Dire are demigod offspring or even recycled Gods who have split into multiple individuals. Under this principle, it is believed that these individuals are closer aligned to certain Old Gods, and are therefore privy to repeating aforementioned patterns that are written in The Cournisia relating to said Gods. These individuals' closeness to their patron God(s) is believed to manifest in many different ways. Colors associated with certain Old Gods, for example, are said to perhaps occur more commonly in individuals nearer to that Old God. They may also share some dominant personality trait, or even be named similarly to the God by parents who were "guided" to make the decision. Many other resemblances exist.
    While Dire are inherently close to The Old Gods, there is the suspicion--or, perhaps, the want-- that all races may be capable of carrying part of The Old Gods with them, contributing to the cycle.

INTERPRETATION & RECEPTION

  • Particular Gods in the origin tale have higher priority in terms of what they represent and how they are focused upon throughout the religion.

    CONRI



    True to many such religions with similar deities responsible with balance no matter the cost, The Cournisia does not inherently attract the mind of one who appreciates freedom over order. It has been largely spread by The Unconquerable Svalbard throughout history, and should be noted that despite the Old God Conri's reception may be negative for some based on His actions, believers of this traditional religion consider him a necessary balance against Fenrir's chaos. Freedom, if it comes at the price of balance and the lives of millions of plants, animals and people. For this reason, Conri is highly revered despite His portrayal against the wiles of Mankind. Mortality and free will is at times viewed to be selfish, chaotic, and inherently sinful if it is not properly balanced with a wise mind. Conri is viewed as bringing about acceptable sacrifices for longevity and righteousness. Historically, Svalbard throughout time has aligned very closely with Conri in a means to explain the intentions behind their acts across Gilead, citing the order and sacrifice that The Old King is known for.


    FENRIR



    Fenrir as well is revered; not as a rightful king, but as a patron, advocate, and martyr. As a result, his negative traits are viewed as human flaws, which Conri lacks in His perfection, and his attempts--although considered impulsive--are heavily appreciated by many. Outsiders who are not as devout or not devout entirely may find this interpretation and appreciation of both Conri and Fenrir to be contradictory, and may not understand that the interpretations are not mutually exclusive. Fenrir represents flaws, but not the kind that inherently make a person weak or hated. He is used to teach about emotions, strength through flaws and altruism despite the cost. Considered a seraph God, one who was made in a half-half image of perfection and flaw, Fenrir is most closely related to the reality of mankind, rather than Conri who is related to the ideal form of mankind.

    BANADOTT



    Banadott is largely despised and feared across the religion of Cournisia. He is interpreted as the true anti-Conri, despite how Fenrir has largely been involved in the conflict with The King. Unlike Fenrir who has fought for the free will of Magic and life by incorporating chaos, Banadott is interpreted as having NO beneficial intentions to any but himself. He is seen as an inherently dark force, and for that reason is often used as the incentive for individuals to right their wrongs, lest they come face to face with the One Who Hides, drawn in by their energy that he deems as attractive and kindred. Banadott is most closely correlated to Blood Magic, Blood Mages, Blackening and other such themes that are considered as inherently evil in The Cournisia.

    HATI & SKOLL



    The two halves of Fenrir, The Seraph, were cleaved by Banadott and given life. The juxtaposition between them throughout text reflects the battle of perfection and flaw within Fenrir. This is a very important note to make, as very often the interpretation is that their duality is between good and evil, light and dark. Rather Hati in the Cournisia represents order, unfeeling and rational while Skoll is humanity, imperfection and martyrdom. In this context the Twin Gods spell an entirely different story than if they are viewed as black and white as good and evil. In many parables they represent a postured question: can these elements of a personality exist completely separate from one another? Can order be fully good without chaos, and can chaos be fully good without order? Did the discourse between Conri and Fenrir, although inevitable, have any possible upside?

THE COURNISIAN LAWS

  • I. WORSHIP NO OTHER THAN THESE, THE ONES WHO GIVE YOU THEIR GIFT, LEST YOU LOSE IT ENTIRELY

    II. YOU SHALL DENOUNCE THE TEACHINGS OF ALL ILL GODS, AND SILENCE THOSE WHO ALIGN TO THEM

    III. YOU SHALL HARNESS NO DARK ART OUTSIDE OF WHAT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU, LEST YOUR ONLY REDEMPTION IS ABSTAINING FROM MAGIC FOR LIFE

    IV. YOU SHALL PROSTRATE ONESELF BEFORE HOLY ARTICLES ANNOINTED BY THE CHURCH WHEN YOU PASS THEM

    V. YOU SHALL LAY NO HANDS UPON THE CLERGY OR THE ANNOINTED

    VI. YOU SHALL NOT ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE SHAKEN BY BLASPHEMY, NOR SHOULD YOU ALLOW THE BLASPHEMER THE CHANCE TO SHAKE OTHERS

    VII. IF YOUR LEADERS ARE DEVOUT, YOU SHALL NOT QUESTION THEM, FOR THEY ARE GUIDED BY THE OLD ONES.

    VIII. YOU SHALL ALWAYS SEEK BALANCE BETWEEN ORDER AND CHAOS, BRINGING ONE OR THE OTHER TO AN EXCESS OF ONE OR THE OTHER

    IX. YOU SHALL NOT ABUSE YOUR GIFTS BY USING THEM IN GREAT EXCESS, LEST YOU CALL FORTH FORCES THAT WILL DESTROY YOU

    X. NEVER SPEAK THE NAME OF CONRI LIGHTLY, AND NEVER SPEAK THE NAME OF BANADOTT AT ALL

THE COURNISIAN OLD GODS

  • Many Old Gods play themes throughout The Cournisia, and even yet there are many others in other denominations whose presence and purpose vary from these listed. All the following Old Gods are recognized by The Cournisia, and have passages or parables referring to them at varying frequency. The primary 8 Old Gods in the Origin Story are understandably the most occurring.


    Conri, (OLD GOD OF ORDER) Wolf King of wisdom and divination

    Fenrir, (OLD GOD OF CHAOS) Wolf of rebellion, loss, martydom and despair

    Banadott (OLD GOD OF MADNESS) Wolf of plague, evil, and insanity

    Etro, (OLD GOD OF ENLIGHTENMENT) Wolf of introspection, retrospection, and astral projection

    Falvis, (OLD GOD OF POWER) Wolf of war, strength, and persistence

    Ank, (OLD GOD OF PASSION) Wolf of passion, loyalty, and love

    Hati & Skoll, (OLD GODS OF DUALITY) Wolves of the moon and sun

    Lupa, (OLD GOD OF VISIONS) Wolf Queen of peace, balance, and dreams

    Anubis, (OLD GOD OF DEATH) Wolf of the underworld, death, and spirits

    Marrok, (OLD GOD OF THE SEA) Wolf of the ocean, rivers, and lakes

    Amoux, (OLD GOD OF FREEDOM) Wolf of the sky, wind, and flight

    Amarok, (OLD GOD OF SECRECY) Wolf of the night, forests, and stealth

    Zeff, (OLD GOD OF DOMINANCE) Wolf of power, strength, mountains, and earth

    Eueucoyotl, (OLD GOD OF INSANITY) Wolf of trickery, cruelty, and thieves

    Paglykos, (OLD GOD OF SORROW) Wolf of ice, snow, and cold

    Accalia, (OLD GOD OF PASSION) Wolf of love and desire

    Freki & Geri, (OLD GODS OF PROTECTION) Wolves of soldiers, guards, and justice

    Ula, (OLD GOD OF FEAR) Wolf of violence, horror, and punishment

    Barghest, (OLD GOD OF NIGHTMARES) Wolf of misery, pain, and suffering

    Ayame, (OLD GOD OF SINS) Wolf of lies, greed, envy, pride, lust, wrath, gluttony, sloth, and rape

    Gevaudan, (OLD GOD OF MAN) Wolf of mankind, hunting, and cultivation

    Bjomdlf, (OLD GOD OF NATURE) Wolf of wild animals and uncharted lands

    Lupercus, (OLD GOD OF REWARD) Wolf of flocks, harvest, and labor

    Hyena, (OLD GOD OF GLEE) Wolf of merriment and enjoyment

    Coinin, (OLD GOD OF INNOCENCE) Wolf of youth and childhood

    Lykaon, (OLD GOD OF ROYALTY) Wolf of riches, power, and control

    Hemming, (OLD GOD OF THE INNER WOLF) Wolf of exhilaration, freedom, and nature

    Vivian, (OLD GOD OF FAITH) Wolf of hope, worship, and grace

    Lyall, (OLD GOD OF WONDER) Wolf of curiosity and imagination

    Eywolf, (OLD GOD OF FORTUNE) Wolf of luck and good will