Religion.   Posted by The GM.Group: public
The GM
 GM, 4 posts
 The GM
Mon 18 Feb 2019
at 01:36
The Shards of Infinity
Sentience is how the universe learns to understand itself. -Phulong Tang, Philosopher-Priest.
Truth, it is said is not a simple thing. The path is long and twisty, with frequent dead ends. Still, it is a path that must be walked, for can there be a worse sin than willful ignorance?

The general populace knows only the basics of their religion, for true understanding requires much study. The higher mysteries are not precisely secret, but nor are they shared to those not ready to understand them. As philosopher-priests advance, they learn new secrets.

The Source of Divine Magic: All people are shards of perfection. If one truly understood this, which includes understanding the nature of that perfection, one would be omnipotent, omniscient. While it is impossible to reach this infinity, one can become ever closer to it. This is the way of the philosopher-priests. This can best be achieved by studying and worshiping the Heartstone, which is the greatest part of the divine.

Morality: See the divine in everyone and everything. Everyone is flawed, but everyone also has an aspect of perfection within them. Look for the different ways perfection is reflected in others. Help the weak, and learn from the ignorant.

One should seek balance in all things. So called "Good" is the urge for altruism, and "evil" is the urge for selfishness. Extreme selfishness is bad, but its complete absence leads to personal suffering and is ultimately unsustainable.

Life and Death: Once, the universe was timeless. Now there is time, and so things ends, but as they end, new things begin. In death, one rejoins the universe, and will be reborn again.

Cosmology and History: In the beginning, the universe was a crystallized perfection. Everything was perfect, unchanging and alike. In the timelessness of perfection, an event occurred. A flaw within the perfection. The flaw grew, until the crystal shattered into an infinity of shards, each a reflection of the perfect, but different in some ways.

These shards became the beings of the world. Lesser shards became the spirits of rocks, plants, simple animals. Greater ones become people and monsters. The greatest became the deities. And finally, the two greatest shards: The Heartstone, the center of perfection, unblemished and perfect, and the Flaw, a dark vileness.

The Heartstone looked over this new world, full of difference and uniqueness, utterly unlike the perfect past, and stepped back, watching to see what would happen. It saw people working, fighting, loving. It saw plants growing, animals hunting. It saw the various shards combining and shattering, creating new configurations. The Heartstone saw all of this and was content.

Then it saw the Flaw, growing and consuming. Every shard it touched it perverted into something perverse and profane. Seeing this, the Heartstone acted. In an epic fight, the Heartstone overcame and defeated the Flaw. However, some echo of the Flaw remains in every shard, just as each shard is a reflection of perfection.

Domains: The Heartstone is a greater deity. Its domains are Earth, Knowledge, Protection, Healing, and Magic. The favored weapon is the quarterstaff. Unlike other deities, its clerics can be of any alignment.

Some priests rather than trying to understand the greater mystery of the Heartstone, instead dedicate themselves to the lesser spirits are named Eternal Ruby, Stormeye, and Onyx Mask. They still are able to channel divine magic, and are still considered priests of the true faith.

Eternal Ruby: Sun, Fire, Nobility. Alignment: CG*
More text here?

Stormeye: Air, Weather, Destruction. Alignment: CE*
More text here?

Onyx Mask: Death, Darkness, Void. Alignment: LE*
Associated with mystery and secrets. Feared, but proof that even the dark and scary are part of the whole. Those brave enough to look into the void and understand it can unlock great understanding ... and dreadful power.

*Note that alignment means something a bit different (see note in The World thread)

The Lesser Mysteries: Learned by the general population.
The people worship the Heartstone, a perfect being.
It destroyed the Flaw in the world, saving all from destruction.
The Philosopher-Priests are the keepers of the religion
There are many “shards of the divine” lesser powers worthy of respect, but the Heartstone is above the others.
Of these, the greatest are the spirits of Eternal Ruby, Stormeye, and Onyx Mask. These spirits can be served, so long as one acknowledges their subservience to the Heartstone
Every human soul is also a shard the divine

The Second Mystery: Known by educated people and priests.
The philosopher priests gain their powers by deep meditation on the nature of existence. They are taught to deeply contemplate the nature of themselves, others, and the universe.

Oneself: Identify the shadow of the Flaw within themselves, and learn to replace it with truth
Others: Each person is a different reflection of the same universal truth. See the value in the differences in others.
The Universe: Once the universe was perfect. Seek understanding on how best to act to move the universe closer to that perfection, not further from it.

The Third Mystery: Unknown, at least to you.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:16, Wed 24 Apr 2019.

 GM, 5 posts
 The GM
Mon 18 Feb 2019
at 01:38
State of the Faith

Placeholder for later on.