- 1 OOC Stuff
- 2 Purpose of the faith:
- 3 Inspiration:
- 4 The Five Aspects:
- 5 The Dark One, Antithesis of the Scales and the Forbidden Codex,
- 6 The Mythology and Founding of the Celestial Scales and Civilization,
- 7 The Celestial Scales in the Realm and the Standing of the Learned
- 8 Position in the Realm & Other faiths
- 9 Debates and Religious Councils
- 10 OOC Closing Statement
Hey all, this is a new faith that is being created on Dwilight to add a little diversity to the current religious climate. As many on Dwilight already know, Sanguis Astroism and its Ecclesial counterpart have been the main religion on Dwilight for a long time. There are a few reasons I am making this new religion which I will list below, before we get into all the serious canon and what the faith hopes to achieve.
Have fun and enjoy reading, Joshua Coffey Player of Tohrm Elrath
Purpose of the faith:
The biggest problem I feel there is with a lot of faiths in Battlemaster, is that they are not made with an “end goal” in mind. A lot of real world faiths suppose some kind of afterlife, but the faith of the Celestial Scales is quite different for a number of reasons.
The main goal of this faith, is that humanity will once again cover the surface of Dwilight, tame the Beast and build up civilization as a gleaming example to the other continents. It aims to do this by teaching both noble and commoner alike the Five Aspects. The difference of the Celestial Scales and other faiths in battlemaster, is that the Celestial Scales are not based on traditional worship. I will explain this in more detail.
The inspiration for the Faith of the Celestial Scales, is a mix of both Eastern Philosophies, such as Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism, as well as more Abrahamic examples, like Western Christianity or Judaism. The Celestial Scales is based off of the idea that it is a religion of lifestyle, not sacrifice and blessings. You do not go to an altar, place your offerings upon it, and ask the Five Aspects for good fortune and health. The Five Aspects, created the civilized world, bringing many great things to the lives of man. After this, they ascended to the ranks of Celestial, living above mortal laws but being constrained by Divine law instead. Upon their ascension however, they gained deep insight into the workings of their seperate paths, bestowing great wisdom upon mankind to follow. It is by this wisdom, that all humanity should follow to lead better lives for the good of everyone. These apply to both lowborn and highborn, though the application of the teachings is different for everyone, based on their occupation, yet the teachings themselves are univesal.
This “lifestyle” religion, as a means of how you should live your life as opposed to traditional worship, is more philosophical in nature, which is why I compare it to Eastern Philosophies. The Abrahamic side of the religion, is that the Five Aspects are ascended divine celestial beings, not ancient philosophers, though their mortal lives do resemble that of 'historical figures', like saints, for comparison. During the early stages of man, they lived as heroic mortal figures, spearheading the way to new developments to allow civilization to be built, and once man began to build “civilization”, the Aspects believed their work to have begun in earnest and left their wisdom with the mortals. They then departed, and refuse to answer any kind of prayer or sacrifice. Their teachings are their gift to man, and it is up to man to understand, learn and use these teachings for the betterment of all.
The Five Aspects are all powerful in their particular portfolios. Each Aspect encompasses two parts of life, and when both of those parts are kept in balance, then that person will discover the culmination of those parts. When all Aspects have been appeased, that person will find “Peace”, in the truest physical and spiritual sense of the word. “Peace” is not everlasting however, as the faith is inherently philosophical, both the Aspects teachings and the ways by which we achieve “Peace” are supposed to be in constant flux. The Scales are always tipping one way or the other, and any “Peace” will only be shortlived. This is what gives followers of the Celestial Scales purpose, as it is a faith in constant change and debate, as well as a faith with a serious end goal, but with continual progression.
Now, onto the Five Aspects and their different portfolios. I will not be writing a full description, or “Codex” as I would like to call the various holy texts of the Celestials, but I will name them here and how they can be simply interpreted, within the early foundations of this religion. Consider these a 'chapter 1' if you would.
The Five Aspects:
The Five Aspects, also known as the Divine Pentarchy, once lived on Battleterra and set in motion the different aspects of civilization. They then ascended to the ranks of Celestial and now watch over humanity. Their ultimate goal is to see the Beast driven from the earth and humanity would reign supreme as is ordained. They are now bound by the laws of divinity so that they cannot directly intervene in the lives of mortals, so they shared their wisdom with mortal man so that they could achieve this goal. These are the Five Aspects and their associated Codex’s of divine wisdom.
Bellator, Aspect of Honour,
Bellator holds the Scales of Honour. The two parts of the scale are Might and Humility. When a balance of both is reached, humanity will find Honour. Honour is a binding term, it exemplifies what man must try to be for the betterment of themselves and others. Without honour, humanity has no civilization. It acts as a crux for morality. So why Might and Humility as the scales themselves? Bellator says in his Codex, that “A mortal who only displays Might, will become a tyrant. Oppressive in nature, Might is a means of defending what humanity has built, as well as reclaiming it from the Beasts that roam the earth. A mortal who only displays Humility, will become a slave to the wills of others, but it is the means by which others may prosper if you hold the keys to power. If one can balance Might and Humility, a mortal will find Honour. They will have the strength to see to their realms protection, and have the level headedness of mind to serve their peers, but they will not do either of these faultlessly. A mortal must understand that Might has to be tempered by Humility.”
Iuris, Aspect of Justice,
Iuris holds the Scales of Justice. The two parts of the scale are Loyalty and Defiance. When a balance of both is reached, humanity will find Justice. Justice is the means by which the mortal realm can manage eachother and the lands they hold dear. It acts as barrier against the more fundamental drives of man and keeps them further from the wilful nature of the Beast. Iuris says in his Codex, “Justice is by which the mortal realm can govern eachother. Justice is not a biased system by which one can lay blame or retribution on another, it is an all encompassing idea that each mortal holds Justice for one another. All shall help to keep all in check. If a mortal shows naught but Loyalty for the creeds of his peers, to never question the laws of the realm, he will become blind to Injustice that will occur. All will seem to be as it should be, even if grave acts of barbarity are committed. If a mortal shows naught but Defiance, they will become anarchy incarnate. To oppose the establishment of the realm at all corners will bring nothing but chaos, it only leads to destruction. A mortal must understand that Loyalty shows integrity, but Loyalty has to be checked with Defiance. If the moral codes by which all mortals live by are threatened, then he must act with Defiance. If the laws of the land do more harm than good for the mortals of that land, he must show Defiance. If Loyalty and Defiance are in accord, then true Justice will be found for all those living under its grace.”
Eliad, Aspect of Clarity,
Eliad holds the scales of Clarity. The two parts of the scale are Knowledge and Understanding. When a balance of both is reached, a mortal will gain Clarity. Clarity is vital as it means that the philosophical nature of the faith has achieved its goal. Clarity enables the mortal man to both attain new knowledge, and wield it for the betterment of all. Eliad says in her Codex, “Knowledge and Understanding are both two very different concepts to the mortal. Knowledge, is in the acquisition of texts and intellectual experience, whereas Understanding oft comes from practical experience and tutelage. A mortal which holds nothing in his mind except knowledge is in fact Ignorant. If one is surrounded by Knowledge yet cannot Understand it, what good is he to his peers? It is an unfortunate situation for mortal man to become dumb in the mind, or too knowledgeable that he becomes arrogant with his incorrectness. Yet, a mortal which holds only Understanding in his mind, is full of wilful belief. This is dangerous, as without Knowledge, the mortal becomes prone to actions without sufficient intelligence to guide his hand. If a mortal holds both Knowledge, and the Understanding to use that Knowledge, he will find Clarity. In his wake, all manner of new invention, conceptions of thought and art will follow. He will simultaneously seek new Knowledge, such is the draw for this thing, and focus his efforts on Understanding it. Clarity breeds Clarity, and with it, a mortal may tutor his fellows to also follow in his example.”
Artis, Aspect of Prosperity,
Artis holds the scales of Prosperity. The two parts of the scale are Wealth and Frugality. When a balance is reached, humanity will find Prosperity. Prosperity is what both ensures the continuation of humanity, but also gives it the tools by which it can fend off famine and Beast alike. Artis says in his Codex, “It is by good acumen and the continued investment of mortal productivity that Prosperity might be achieved. The road to Prosperity is fraught with a different kind of peril. Wealth, in all of its forms, from lustrous gold to the bread that sits on a mortals table, are all forms of Wealth. If Wealth is in excess, then it leads to laziness, apathy and wanton excess. Wealth must be invested responsibly back into the sources by which it is obtained to multiply. Frugality is the act of saving ones Wealth, but if one hoards too much, or does not allow Wealth to flow freely, then it leads to a path of greed. Frugality will cause the mortal realm to suffer, as the acquirers of Wealth will allow the producers of it to live in poverty for their own gain. Frugality can cause a stifling within the realms, of both mismanaged armies, and granaries to empty. Mortal man must learn to balance their Wealth and Frugality in all its forms to maintain Prosperity. With Prosperity, famines can be ended. Trade will flourish between nations. The means by which soldiers march: food, gold and weapons, will be in abundance. These are the sinews of all things by which humanity will need if it is to defeat the Beast at its gates.”
Gloria, Aspect of Civilization,
Gloria holds the scales of Civilization. The two parts of the scale are Man and Beast. When a balance is reached, humanity will find Civilization. Unlike the other scales of balance, it is said within the lost scriptures that if Man ever comes to eliminate the final beasts, at the bastion of the Dark One, the creator of the beasts, then Gloria will appear upon the battlefield, her scale will become an illustrious spear made of pure light, by which she will smite the Dark One from existence. Mankind will have won this age old conflict, setting in its place Eternal Peace, the true goal of the Divine Pentarchy. Civilization is the shield of humanity, and its greatest weapon. It is the homes of the masses, the castles of the nobility. It is Civilization which gives fire to men’s hearts when their lands are threatened, It is the glory which is spoken of with great reverence in stories of yore. Civilization is all that humanity aspires to in song and action. It is perfection at its core. Gloria says in her Codex, “Humanity is always in a dangerous act of balancing itself, and the creatures which threaten its existence. Not only has the mortal world decided that it should bring the lands under the greatest good, that of Civilization, but it has decided it will do so at the expense of its fellow Man. If Man becomes too prevalent, then the mortal world is engulfed in the flames of war. It is by the presence of the Beast, both internally and externally, that Man is held at bay from destroying itself. But if the Beast ever becomes too powerful, it brings ruination to that which Man has worked so hard to build. From the dirt Man has risen, and to the dirt he shall fall if my words are not heeded. Man is the tool which we have carved to see the realms rid of the Beast. The Beast is the creature of our mortal enemy, the Dark One. If Man forgets his solemn duty, the scales tip away from him. Yet, if Man grows too strong too quickly, without understanding my brothers’ and sisters’ teachings, he will fail in his task and destroy himself in anguish. The art of achieving Civilization is thus; Always remember, the Beast lurks in us all. It wants us to act like savages, tearing at the flesh of our kin’s throats, and casting aside our reason for reckless abandon. But the mortal world is better than this. Heed the teachings of the Divine Pentarchy, and you shall understand Civilization. And with Civilization, comes Peace.”
These are the true words of the creators of Civilization, the Celestials that hold the scales by which all things are measured. By divine law, the Celestials cannot intercede on behalf of humanity, thus it falls upon humanity to learn the Codexs and forge their own future. Whether it is forged in life or death, is ultimately mankind’s decision.
The Dark One, Antithesis of the Scales and the Forbidden Codex,
The Dark One is the antithesis of the Divine Pentarchy. It is said, at the founding of Civilization, that the Dark One was the first necromancer and the creator of the monsters that roam Dwilight today. How they came about these powers is unknown, but the Forbidden Codex details perhaps how one may curry favour with the Beasts. (As a note, I'm making the Forbidden Codex free knowledge alongside the Celestial Scales, this is not so it is free to study within the church laws, but if somebody wants to make a 'counter religion', then the basis for it is readily available.) It is said, that someone who advocates all the Antithesis of the Divine Pentarchy, the Dark One may favour them with secrets of his power. This is how Necromancers are created within the realms. Particularly vile individual forsake all attachment to Civilization and fall to the Beast, in both spirit and action. They raise the dead to serve their will, and rile monsters out of their lairs to cause havoc amongst the free realms.
The antithesis of the Scales is the opposite of balance. When one has failed both aspects of a particular scale, they will be advocating the antithesis of it. They are as follows.
Dishonour: When Might is lacking and Humility has become arrogance, then Dishonour will thrive. The actions of a weak ruler who continually pushes for war, or cannot accept an obvious defeat at the detriment of his people, shows Dishonour. A warrior who is bested but continues to hold a serious grudge shows Dishonour.
Injustice: When Loyalty is faltering and Defiance becomes servitude, Injustice will be rife. If a subject of a realm is treasonous in nature, yet serves the will of the Dark One, they will propogate Injustice. If one does not have the strength of will to Defy that which is Unjust, or lack the Loyalty for follow their own judgement, they will allow Injustice to thrive.
Ignorance: When one forgoes knowledge and fails to understand the civilized world, they will be afflicted with Ignorance most foul. Whilst they may gain 'knowledge' of the darker side of the world, this is evil in nature and must be opposed. Ignorance will only breed discontent, anger at the unknown and a baser instinct to take hold; that of the Beast.
Poverty: When Wealth is scarce and yet there is no desire to save what is left, then what little remains is Poverty. A farmer who's harvest has failed, yet eats the last of his grains to sate his hunger, is stricken with Poverty. A Lord who's province has seen famine and war, yet spends his remaining fortune on feasts and pleasure, will not only see Poverty himself, but so will his realm.
Ruin: The final Antithesis is similar to the goals of the Divine Pentarchy. Whereas Gloria seeks Civilization for all of humanity, in a careful balancing act, the Dark One seeks Ruin. When Man falls to its last settlement and beasts ravage the land, Civilization will cease to be. The Dark One will claim a bloody dominion over the lands. Nothing but death will remain. Man must always strive to defend what it has against all threats from the Dark One. They must remain diligent in striving for balance, such that the Dark One cannot corrupt them to lead humanity to ruin.
The Dark One must be stopped at all costs. It is the solemn duty of humanity to oppose them. No matter how many beasts or undead stand in our way. If we remain true to our cause, then we shall triumph over evil.
The Mythology and Founding of the Celestial Scales and Civilization,
Mortal men be heroes and like found a city. Bombastic stuff incoming. Most mythologies will be written into a seperate location, with the purpose of such being described in detail... when I get the time to do so.
The Celestial Scales in the Realm and the Standing of the Learned
There are a number of ranks which will be attainable within the faith of the Celestial Scales. They are as follows, with a short description as an aside.
Aspiring: Someone who has joined a temple and showed an interest in the faith. The novice rank. Once they have proven to have shown at the very least, a rudimentary understanding of the scales, by either making or raising a valid point within a religious council or by debating their understanding of the faith with one of the five Masters of a Codex, or receiving a commendation from one of the Learned, which a Master will then decide if it is legitimate or not, they will advance to Learned. They may not start a religious council, but they may participate.
Learned: The staple of the religion. This includes both the commoners and the nobility. There is no standing in the faith based on blood and social hierarchy. RPwise it would totally be possible for a NPC scholar or merchant or even farmer to attain the rank of Master of a codex, but because the game is player driven, it will solely be a player position. However, it means that even commoners with the rank of Learned are treated the same as nobility of the same rank. The Learned have as much power as a 'priest' would within other faiths. They do not have to be a priest class though. You are allowed to hold religious council so long as the Master of a particular Codex that the debate is pertinent to, is present. This can dictate the canon of the church. This is in an attempt to try to include as many people as possible to the faith, without forcing them into a Theocracy or taking the priest class. Given the philosophical nature of the faith, debate is encouraged and the Learned are often going to be the ones to host the most debate surrounding faithful canon.
Enlightened: This is a special position reserved for priest characters of the faith. It infers no more benefits than the Learned, but it denotes that the person in question has begun a quest to truly understand the Celestial Scales on a deeper level, thus foregoing their noble duties to further the faith.
Gloria's Hunters: Just like the priest, this is a special rank associated with adventurers. Because of the faiths opinion of social standing, adventurers will have equal opportunity within the temple heirarchy. Because adventurers spend a lot of their time single handedly slaying the Beast, they hold a special rank as Gloria's Hunters. The men and women which risk their lives daily to hunt the Beast whereever it may be found are treated as if their quest is almost sacred. After all, theirs is a task which is wholly dangerous and mostly unrewarding within society. The faith seeks in part to remedy that.
Master of a Codex: There are 5 masters, one for each Codex. They are elected by the community of the Learned and the other present Masters. At the beginning of the faith, the founder is considered Master of the Codex of Civilization. Since this is the crux of the faith, and the five Codexs, it is considered the 'head' of the faith. However, one Master never truly holds sway over another on matters concerning their Codex. In their own fields, they are, well, the master. It is however expected that the Masters have a broad and solid understanding of church canon. Again, this is a position which is not required for you to be a priest to hold. The faith is supposed to be all inclusive, without the pomp and ceremony of a traditional, prayer and sacrifice based faith. The Masters main role is to identify realm wide issues that show the Scales are unbalanced, then contact the appropriate members of the realm to see these issues resolved. Food shortages, diplomatic issues, land reclamation, the list could go on endlessly. The Masters are thus quite administrative in their overall purpose, also residing over religious councils.
Position in the Realm & Other faiths
The Celestial Scales are inherently a peaceful faith. This does not mean they do not encourage war, but given the purpose of the faith is to educate others of their misgivings, most the warfare regarding the faith is levied at the Beast. Rogue lands are sought after much more so than other kingdoms territories. Mediators and diplomats, merchants and priests. A lot of the less war inclined classes will hopefully see benefit in the faith. Though warriors will also see support if their main goal is the reclamation of lost land and treasures from the Beasts that pour out of the West Continent. Defence of the realm is a primary concern.
In regards to the faith and the social hierarchy of the realm, it does not treat any one individual as being higher than another, in terms of defacto receiving more servitude due to social standing. A king is no better than a peasant, if they both walk the path of the Learned. The church is thus mostly outside of any Feudal system, and the church does not ascribe to western medieval governmental forms. It is more akin to eastern religious hierarchy, where religious figures are often outside of any secular government forms. This does not mean that the faith will see itself as being totally autonomous or outside the realm in legal matters or the like. It is simply that the faithful do not equate their roles within the secular realm of politics with that of their standing within the church, ie, the spiritual realm. The faith will of course meddle in the affairs of state despite wishing its hierarchy to sit outside of that structure. This may come to the ire of rulers and lords as to persecute any follower on religious grounds will draw the anger of the church. Despite this, the masters who would offer political, economical and warfare advice, will do so with the betterment of the realm in mind. Followers should not meddle in secular affairs using their religious standing just for the sake of meddling.
The faith does not have an outwardly hostile outlook on other faiths. If other faiths' teachings are in accord with the Scales, then the Celestial Scales will have no reason to denounce them, and will most likely support them in their endeavours, despite critquing them for their differing beliefs. However, other faiths that are deemed within a religious council as being detrimental to Civilization, will be denounced for either conversion or outright war, if more peaceful measures are unsuccessful. Councils will likely be held to decide whether a faith is considered helpful or otherwise to the course of bringing Civilization back to all corners of Dwilight.
The faith itself operates via a monastic system. The Learned nobility that would sponsor a new temple, are in fact sponsoring a monastery / center of learning to be built on the peripheries of rural land or otherwise in downtrodden places in a city that need to be renovated. The purpose of the faith RPwise is that the Learned would help to educate the citizenry in better ways of life. Both in conduct with eachother but also practically speaking: to help build irrigation canals, to repair broken structures and amend bureaucratic errors. They are administrators when all is said and done. The faithful thus act very communally around population centres, but also try to renovate unused land, in accordance with the dogma on Civilization and its renovation.
Debates and Religious Councils
This is a section or an archive for all of the debates and councils that will no doubt occur amongst members of the faith and other peoples throughout the realm.
OOC Closing Statement
That’s the RP side of stuff. I will be expanding this as I start to move the religion forward, as well as offer more insight into the workings of the Codexs. Given their philosophical nature, debate and expansion of the Codexs is open to all of the faithful who have proven to understand their core teachings. It will be a fairly open faith, with only the Master of each Codex as the head of philosophical matters in regard to those tenets. All other noble members will be of two ranks, the Aspiring (adventurers / nobles who have recently joined), and the Learned. The Learned will be the main bulk of the truly faithful, who see to the tutelage of the followers and the expansion of the philosophy, both physically and theologically. The faith will be constantly moulded to the expressions and understandings of its followers. The way the wisdom of the Five Aspects is interpreted is completely up to the individual in question, though the understanding of what makes Civilization is the true goal of any believer.
In the following weeks, you can expect...
Mythologies for the Aspects! Most likely this will be its own section, as it will be open for anybody to add short stories about the different aspects. It will include a detailed introduction as to why the faith has a mythology and how its followers use this.
RP in game! (In Luria mostly I am afraid. Can't magically appear as a prophet to all realms at once!)
A section for religious debate & councils to be recorded!
Links across the wiki to subtly draw you to read this page, again, and again!
And to round it all off, I hope any who have read this far have got a clear idea whats going on and enjoyed the founding (and hopefully continued existence!) of this faith. If not, drop me a message in Battlemaster, or on the Discord --> ChaffCommanderCoffey #2080 Always up for a chat with fellow gamers. :) Now get back to it and show those Beasties what for!