The Manifest Path
(Note: This is a relatively new religion to the Island of Dwilight. As such this page is in no way complete, lacks details regarding spiritual matters such as theories on the soul etc... This is a work in progress.)
- 1 Seniors of the Order
- 2 Principles
- 3 Society
- 4 Justice
- 5 War
- 6 Nature of the Gods
- 7 Souls
- 8 Rituals
- 9 Known Temples
- 10 Original Documents
Seniors of the Order
Koli Bedwyr, Founder and Pathfinder.
Balint Tranquilli, Trailblazer
Fulco D`Este, Trailblazer
Sir Malus Solari, Trailblazer
Ramiel Avis, Guide
The roster is undoubtedly missing names, and surely they will appear soon.
"All walkers who follow the path,
Understand the manifestation of order,
Order is between government and anarchy,
From civilization to chaos,
Those who fight with the mind,
Who think with the heart,
Who walk the lands of Dwilight,
Hear our calling,
Fight the inhuman hordes at our doors,
For the eternal crusade has been called!"
The theocratic principle, proves within itself to be a path that is manifestly obvious to all who learn of it, adhered by those who walk the lands of Dwilight as it applies solely to them. The Manifest Path refuses to endorse unnecessary risks, only the exercise of logic; with the occasional minor intuitive leap with each step along the Path firmly grounded in provable facts.
The Manifest Path begins from the following facts:
1. Abominations spawn, or are raised far more frequently in rogue lands than in civilized lands.
~ Civilization is a complex concept to the Path, but in this instance simply refers to lands held and run by established realms.
2. All worldly entities that have greater than human strength have a need or desire to consume humans.
~ Monsters and Daimons consume, Undead are created through deceased humans, and the Light acquires its power from sacrificing humans.
3. There are no worldly entities with provable power to assist humanity, or have provided any aid without consuming humans.
Following these facts, there are three assertions that require minor leaps of intuition, proving simple grasp.
1. If a minimal level of civilization is good, then increased civilizations is greater.
~ The Path generally defines good and evil as relating to the improvement and detriment of humanity in general.
2. All non-human entities that physically act in our world are at best suspect.
3. Humanity must guard itself.
The second and third points are the most straightforward. No faith shall be entrusted in any inhuman creature, and humanity must safeguard its presence. These easy to grasp concepts are vitaly important. The initial facts are far, far more complex, with their teaching and understanding occupying the majority of one's focus.
Civilization begins with humanity. Increased civilization requires more human beings, in essence. However, there are many, many more aspects. Infrastructure for sanity, walls for defense, troops for incursions, gold to fund, food to feed, production to grow, harvesting to live, education for wisdom, art for creativity, and philosophy for understanding; combined, is the benefit of humanity.
On Peasantry and Nobility
The Manifest Path welcomes all humans to walk it, but does, of course, reserve a distinction between nobles and commoners. Nobles represent a superior order of humanity; a more civilized version as it were. Noble bloodlines represent the product of generations of selective breeding, and are far superior to common stock; much as purebred hunting hounds are superior to wild mongrels. Continuing to breed for the best traits is therefore a necessity, and thus producing noble offspring is a duty. However, as wild mongrels with useful traits are bred with existing purebred lines to slowly improve their stock, so should nobles contribute to the enhancement of the common stock; while remembering that it will take many generations to improve them.
On Bloodlines and Descent
Given the importance of improving bloodlines and the reality of the world, descent must be traced through the female line as the female line can be determined absolutely. This does not mean that inheritances and the like must be traced through the female line, as that is a separate matter from the imperative to improve bloodlines.
Given the importance of increasing the human populations of Dwilight, the reaching of sexual maturity is an event to be welcomed, and the birth of the first healthy child is one for great celebration. Those who walk the Path do not celebrate the child on the anniversary of the child's birth, but rather the mother, to a lesser extent the father, and all those in the community. The community may be a village in the farmlands, or a district in the cities and towns, as those who walk the Path tend to congregate together; who primarily work to raise, care for, and educate children. Unlike many traditional faiths, those who walk the Path do not exclusively practice lifelong single-partner marriage, as the basic unit of family is a community rather than an individual family. Non-exclusive relationships are permitted, so long as there is no confusion as to the parentage of the child. Children born to uncertain parentage are discouraged, though such situations are inevitable. These children should not be blamed for the lack of foresight of their parents, but cannot be part of the normal bloodlines; since they are unknown. Unless highly desirable traits are prominent at a young age, these children, when matured, are commonly given funds, and sent off to find their fortunes elsewhere; until they can prove what exemplary traits they might have, or else go to the temple and join the Welcomers. Regardless of the children's fate, the mother and all potential fathers are chastised, and are required perform extra duties to gather the funds necessary; to assist the child in question when they reach maturity.
Those born with defects are not shunned, but unless they can prove traits that more than compensate for their defects, they are not permitted to breed.
On Temple Life
Nobles, by right of their superior breeding, serve as the leaders of the Path. Even lay members are bound to assist all in walking the Path, as it is their duty to lead the peasantry much as the peasants lead cattle and sheep. However, much of the focus of the temples is on the peasantry, as they perform all of the day to day functions, and the temples are primarily for their edification. Education is conducted under the auspices of the temple by the Guides, with all arts that any in the community know, taught by the temple. Given the necessity of gathering resources to increase civilization, the temples become the centers of busy markets with knowledgeable Guides inspecting goods and ensuring proper quality and prices; to encourage the better class of merchants to present their goods near the temple. The Welcomers are focused on greeting those who do not already walk the Path, and are tasked with presenting the benefits; providing various hospitality-related services for travelers. Welcomers are, chiefly, responsible for bringing new blood into the community, and often acquire significant resources for the community from their services. The Welcomers should not be confused with prostitutes, although they provide similar services; as the acquisition of new blood and resources is an important task. Consequently, Welcomers are held in high regard by the Walkers of the Path.
On Human Conflict
~Proposed addition to the official documents of the Path.
The first priority as a member of The Manifest Path is the protection of humanity. This implies that anything which hampers humanity's ability to defend and protect itself is evil, whether the source is nature, or humans themselves. In practice, this suggests that petty inter-human conflicts must not be allowed to derail our overall purpose.
In order to keep humanity's progress moving forward, The Manifest Path will provide a judiciary body for the resolution of disputes in a timely and fair manner. This body will be responsible for providing judgment in cases that are brought before it for arbitration, and additionally for pronouncing judgments and positions in the initiative of The Manifest Path. Judgments will be designed to help both parties resolve the dispute, and to minimize any disruptions to the greater interests of The Manifest Path.
When conflicts between two people escalate to the point at which they are harming the fundamental principle, that humanity must guard itself, and its corollary assumption that righteous behavior always works with this in mind, the judiciary panel of The Manifest Path may work on its own initiative to provide a binding ruling. Each ruling of this body will be enforced by all available means.
This body will be composed of an odd number of members, not less than 3 nor more than 5, to avoid ties that would create further conflict and delay. Its members will be appointed to year-long terms, which may not be terminated except in cases involving extraordinary circumstances. Appointment will be at the discretion of the leader of the Manifest Path, and should be based on the member's dedication, fairness, and critical thinking skills.
The leader of The Manifest Path should not be a part of the judicial body, though the leader may provide a written opinion on any case that will be given its due weight by the body while deliberating.
While most resources should be put toward defeating inhuman forces inimical to humanity, there are on occasion reasons for war to be fought between humans. In essence, when asking if a war is just, the answer must be: Only if it improves humanity as a whole.
How could a war improve humanity as a whole? Several ways. If resources are not being utilized properly, then a war to see that they are utilized more effectively by another may be justified. If a realm claims lands it does not utilize while others have the ability to acquire and improve said regions, then a war to obtain the claims would be justified. Simply, humans which have sold out the rest of humanity to inimical inhuman abominations must be cleansed, and crusade upon them is always justified.
These are merely a few examples, but always remember the key question: Will this improve humanity?
Nature of the Gods
There are several types of beings in the universe. Concerning this topic, we are not focused with the lesser types, and humans are covered in a separate document along with the inhuman abominations.
This leaves us with those of divine, or interpreted the infernal, origin. One would submit that while there are evident differences in understanding those of the divine, or the infernal, origin, that they nearly identical in core values; similarly as humans can be saintly, or damned, whilst still being of the same type. Within these divine beings we call gods is an additional division; Those who can (or will) manifest in our world, and those who cannot or will not.
The Manifest Path in general does not concern itself with the latter, whilst few of them undoubtedly influence our world indirectly, they refuse to aid us significantly in the eternal war against the abominations, nor do they harm us as the other gods do. As to what causes this delineation, common theories suggest that gods with power too great to employ, risk the destruction of the world, and are believed to be bound by a pact not to do so. Proving to be an unchallenged theory, those that do enter our world are either limiting themselves, or are inherently less powerful than the other gods.
But what is their purpose? To put it simply; domination. Humanity dominates most of the known world, with the blighted lands of Beluaterra and the wilds that fill much of Dwilight being the sole exceptions. In conclusion, its the lesser gods, with their hordes of abominations, that seek to reverse that reality.
Whether they are in the most objective sense, evil is difficult to ascertain. Certainly, we wish to dominate all known lands, and is only natural that other creations do so as well. However, as we are also human, there is little point in objectivity. The abominations, and lesser deities, desire to ascend to power over our broken lands, and it is our mission to deny them. We are created with freedom of thought, and we shall not subordinate our gift to Arcanes, Summoners, or any inhuman essence whose intention is our demise. That is the true purpose of our Path, to prepare for victory in the eternal battle; the battle for the domination of our world.
Is a religious sect of The Manifest Path that is a descendent of the now lost Order of St. Iestyn.
Souls clearly exist, and the use of blood sacrifice to power the Light's weapon against the abominations on Beluaterra proves this, as the physical form of blood cannot possibly provide enough energy to power such destruction. This also proves, that losing blood inadvertently drains the soul. Though like blood, the soul may be replenished. The loss of blood a significant event, and it explains why the sites of large battles often end up being revered as hallowed ground. This is not a blessing of the gods, but the presence of a large amount of, spilled, soul energy. The energy dissipates over time, back into the natural cycle, thus also explaining why battlefields become forgotten. Additionally, it explains bloodstained holy relics, depression as a result of blood loss (post-birth depression being a common example), and why children seem more attuned to their mothers; as all their blood was received from their mother, and thus their souls as well. Indeed, many facets of the world, including the pagan blood rituals, can be explained by this simple understanding.
A difficult questions arises from such truths. What becomes of a soul when its physical body is lost? The answer is located with the above discussion on the hallowed battlefields. What else is commonly felt to be hallowed, blessed by the gods? So-called holy sites, either pagan or shrines and temples. The exact mechanism for why souls are drawn to these structures is unknown.
The Light proved that souls have great destructive energy, but in opposition, a long-established belief is that hallowed grounds are protected from various spiritual interferences, thus signifying that souls can serve a defensive purpose as well. The Light does not create energy, but merely finds a way to unlock the complete power of a soul in one instance; in a destructive fashion. The power of souls and the hallowing of temples explains their sole function in temples. These facts lead to the assumption that the Light is highly suspicious, as it is quite literally destroying the souls of those they claimed to want to save. Defensively, souls are much more feeble, with an extended duration. They still return to the natural cycle over time in a temple or shrine, but far more slowly; believed to be separated from the known world.
What does the soul imply for Walkers of the Path? It implies that we must improve our souls, more than our physical bodies, to assist us in our eternal war. Our souls have proven to be our most effective defense. One may improve their soul by many means: culture, arts, learning, training, or any similar fashions that improve the mind and spirit. Thus, constant learning is the goal of a Walker. This is not, as some would have it, a selfish goal, but an ultimately selfless goal, as the end result is an assured protection for your descendants.
Rituals are an important aspect of human behaviour, uniting us in celebration, sorrow, or anger.
Each temple of the Path has a particular masterwork item displayed within that exemplifies the region.