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Kamido is a religion primarily concerned with enjoying the life one is given, seeking prosperity and harmony while preparing oneself for the life beyond as a protector spirit. It promotes not only living in harmony with the world around us, but also living in harmony with ourselves. Generally, this is recognized as being true to oneself. It emphasizes specific rituals that please or placate the spirits inhabiting the world around us in order to gain their favor. (Or avoid their wrath) Also important are periodical festivals dedicated to major Kami or important regional Kami.
Kamido typically revolves around fives: Fingers on a hand working in harmony, toes on a foot providing balance, parts of a government (4 elected, plus 1 for the electorate) Four is strictly avoided because it is seen as being "one taken away from five," and therefore is an unlucky number and a contributor to disharmony.
There are no "Gods" per se in Kamido, but a near-infinite number of Kami, or protector spirits, that influence a particular place, concept, family, etc. Each Kami is no more or less important than the others in an absolute sense, even though some have larger spheres of influence than others do. A Kami’s importance or power is relative to each individual worshipper, for example, Krieg the Protector is not "more powerful" than an individual Kami of a fallen hero, he is seen as a mentor or wise friend that assists the individual hero's Kami. The offerings to the individual hero's Kami will be heeded closer, because they likely come from family members and those that knew him personally, whereas Krieg's family and friends are long since lost to history.
The Silver Stag - overseer and protector of the forests. While each individual forest (and even sections of the same forest) usually have their own Kami, the Silver Stag is the lord protector of ALL forests. Other forest Kami operate in harmony with him, as well as the Kami of each thing living within the forests, and even things made of wood. He also influences the Kami of the hunt, and thus is revered in many rural households. Keresh is naturally represented as a silver stag. His shrines will commonly have antlers set upon or around them.
Keresh's festival occurs on midsummer's day, and is marked by pilgrimages to a nearby forest (or a wooded park for city-dwellers) where offerings of food and mead are made in small shrines dotting the woods.
Lady of the Wind - generally benevolent wind Kami, though she can be quick to anger. She does not suffer fools, but bestows grand favors on those who please her. She is the Kami of the wind and weather, storms and travel. Other spheres derived from this are agriculture, and archers. As with Keresh, individual weather effects and even individual storms may have Kami of their own, but they all coordinate their activities with Lady Sylph. Many peasant homes contain a small shrine to Sylph, in addition to the shrines for local and family Kami. Sylph's symbol is a lightning bolt, though some variants include a lightning bolt crossed with an arrow.
Sylph's festival is in spring, when the seeds she distributed sprout from the earth, and her stormy ire grows and must be placated. It is marked with kite flying and casting small handmade boats or pieces of bread upon a body of water.
He Who Lurks Behind Hedgerows - The Collector of secrets, and a jealous guardian of knowledge. Ghar'thuul is the Kami who introduced learning to humanity, and made them aware of the divinity in the world around them. He provides information and wisdom to kings, scholars, and spies alike, but also protects humans from knowledge that is too dangerous for them. (such as words of power or information that would cause discord) His sphere includes local and regional Kami of mentors, teachers, military commanders, and individual subjects of knowledge e.g. chemistry, economics, or mathematics. Ghar'thuul is often symbolized as a lit candle.
Ghar'thuul also has some influence over luck, since inspiration is the source of much of humanity's knowledge. He is also known for having a whimsical side, with a fondness for yard gnomes. Many of his shrines have a small army of these statues surrounding them as a result.
Ghar'thuul's festival is on the first day of the new year. Raucous celebrations and practical jokes are the order of the day, to invoke Ghar'thuul's blessing on a joyous new year. Gifts of books are common for the young, and yard gnomes for the elderly.
The Protector - Marshal of the army of fallen heroes, and the eternal brotherhood of noble souls. A legendary hero who became a protector Kami upon his death, and now oversees the collected regional and family Kami of former heroes. He directs and guides them - but doesn't order or dominate, as this is not harmonious - to where they are needed most, and in times of great conflict gathers them together to defend the world. His sphere of influence includes most military professions and pursuits, in recognition of his earthly life. Victors on the field of battle will usually offer thanks and offerings for their success, but losers will show deference to him as well hoping to yield future victories. Krieg is often symbolized with a red or orange phoenix surging skyward, to reflect his status as a man who became one of the greatest of the Kami.
Krieg's festival is in winter, and is typically marked by large gatherings of friends and extended family. Priesthood candidates will spend the season standing vigils during the night of each new moon.
Also referred to as "The Unnamed One" - Chief Kami of water, and the dark things hidden within its depths. She is also overseer of the Kami of humans who are without any virtue. Virtue in this instance refers to a person's love during life, whether it was money, humor, or even violence. Virtue doesn't exclude evil people, just soulless ones - this also includes the stillborn and infants. Makato is embodied by a somewhat bloated drowned child, with skin tinted blue or purple. Her sphere covers a large array of areas, including ocean travel, monsters, nightmares and other dark mysteries.
Unvirtuous souls are also responsible for much of the discord in the world - their lack of passion turns to hate, and they seek revenge on the living who are free to enjoy their pursuits. For this reason, Makato is not so much worshipped as she is "appeased" by those seeking to avoid her wrath, as well as offerings made to the individual Kami to still their anger. One would think farmers would revere her for her water domain, but her reputation is such that people generally prefer to worship their local river or stream Kami, or the Lady Sylph.
Makato's festival - such that it is - occurs during autumn, when all living things show a brief exuberance of color, and then descend into grayness. It is marked by small personal rituals, wherein people rededicate themselves to the pursuits they love, in order to avoid becoming one of Makato's children.
Other Kami of Note
The same Kami worshipped by the Trinity, Khagistar is known in Kamido as the Worldsmith, or The Shaper. In his forge he crafted the land, shaping the mountains and hills upon his anvil, and hammering out the plains. As he molded the land to suit all the Kami, sparks flew from his hammer, creating veins of rich ore or glittering gemstones where they landed and were folded into the rock.
His great task done, Khagistar faded from the memories of most Kamidoists after many generations had passed. In some of the remote mountain areas of the Colonies, his name and his tale lived on, and can be found in many teachings of the Trinity. Some of these faithful believe that Khagistar keeps his forge burning deep within the earth, waiting until he is needed once more to craft a new world... but he can only wait so long before he loses paitence and vents his ire towards the surface - a reminder that he still has the power to reshape the land.
In addition to the major Kami, most every family worships the Kami of their ancestors that have ascended to the eternal brotherhood, as well as local Kami or those that cover their particular pursuits. (e.g. game animals, tradecraft, scholarly pursuit) Rather than becoming a confusing jumble of literally thousands of Kami that humans interact with each day, Kami are treated like another person walking on the street. They are offered a kind word, cheerful smile, or perhaps a bit of food. Major offerings to Kami are not a daily occurence, rather they are made only occasionally - on important dates (death dates, childbirth, festival days) or at significant events (e.g. beginning of constructing a building, weddings, the eve of battle)
Teachings Regarding Non-Believers
After many months of careful study, and countless hours of talking with elders in the regions of Vir el Mari Heights and Windaria, it can be revealed that long ago the Major Kami included some of the same Spirits worshipped by the Trinitrists - Khagistar in particular. This common link between the two faiths, along with the tenet of Denariel's ascension indicate that the Trinity is an offshoot of Kamido that evolved along a different path due to Alowca's unique geography and culture.
This is little more than a scheme orchestrated by Saiga Shenron to provide the backbone of a "Religious Empire" he intended to construct throughout the Colonies in order to further his own power. Tykoist dogma insists that its followers act and think in proscribed ways under all circumstances, shackling them into a mental and spiritual enslavement to Saiga's will. They either do not understand the power and beauty of individuals' differences... or they intentionally seek to control them.
Conditioned as they are to unthinkingly obey their faith's dogma, they cannot truly be called "evil," though there are few other descriptions for the puppetmaster pulling their strings. While other faiths' beliefs are between them and the Kami, the poor misguided souls in Tykoist prisons deserve to have their captors called out before the civilized world.
Most other faiths are either ignorant of the Kami, or misunderstand their nature - both towards each other and towards mankind. Possibly this is due to exaggeration, errors in translation, or inaccuracies from the retelling of tales. While Kamidoists feel it is unfortunate that they live unenlightened lives, their wrong beliefs are a matter between them and the Kami. Those who do not follow the path of Kamido will not become true Kami in the next life; at best they will become one of Makato's children.
Kamido does not teach aggression or compulsion in religion. While it is against our faith to initiate a religious conflict, we will always defend ourselves from attacks - and we will be backed by the Kami of uncounted heroes and legends in that fight.
Influence and Recent News
- Temples and Shrines - The Kami may be everywhere, but currently their Temples are not.
- Older Articles - Browse the archive of previous news items here. (If they're no longer new, are they "olds" instead of "news?")
Great Library Temple Construction Underway
Exaulted Herald Hikaru announced today that the fundraising campaign for expanding the Great Library temple in Alebad City had finally amassed sufficient gold to finance the project. Lady Hikaru thanked all those who have contributed towards the building fund, and expressed her enthusiasm at being able to spread word of the Kami to much more people.
Worshippers in Alebad know that as the faith has spread throughout the city, the temple was rapidly overcrowded, Architects we spoke with inform us that the temple was hosting over three times the number of people it was designed to accomodate. The new expansion will go a long way towards alleviating conditions, but it doesn't provide space for the current crowd - nor the expected wave of converts.
Faithful in Drenga Erect a Temple
The close-knit community of Kamidoists in the Drengan peninsula put the finishing touches on their new temple today, in a ceremony officiated by Baron Will Bell. The vibrant community of faithful stem from the personal involvement of the Baron and his family, and have grown to include most of the entire region. Isolated as they are from the bulk of Kamidoists, they have taken it upon themselves to construct the temple, lest the community wither from neglect... though some nobles believe that they were inspired by Exaulted Herald Hikaru's earlier letter, and chose to honor this day with their devotion.
As is the custom for all Kamido temples, open-minded individuals are always welcome to visit the grounds and all are invited to stay for services.
Sierran Temple Open For Worship
The Temple of Verdunkelung in Rola Sierrie, recently constructed by Count Cedric Al'meara, has been re-opened after an extensive enlargement. The faithful of the region, and other pilgrims from western lands marked the occasion with a feast and festival. A number of attendees, undoubtedly well into their cups, organized a "Red Tape Costume" contest in honor of Verdunkelung - the results of which would be improper to mention in this space... suffice to say that those images will be in the minds of many a Sierran peasant for years to come.
====Lukonion Desecration Fails To Cease==== - Freeday 29 Snoebran (February) 1008
As Lukon's relentless oppression of Alebad continues, so too does its intolerable persecution of the faithful in Bode Batura. The army of Lukon has plundered the Temple of Krieg in an act of barbarity, tearing down the velvet curtains, scrawling graffiti on the walls and scattering the Pyre of Krieg across the Meditation Chamber. All of value has been taken and worse still, several Kamidoist Barehand Protectors were cut down in their defense of the Temple. We commit their spirits unto the plane of Krieg, in that they might serve he and Alebad well as Kami in future strife. Several meadows away in the village of Heraddan, which has suffered greatly under the invaders, a shrine has been pulled to the ground and its pieces fired. Will this sickening behaviour by the Tyranny ever come to an end? Pontifex Ardrryn Dynrode, also the former Reverend Curate of the Temple of Krieg, is said to be greatly aggrieved by the news.
Lukonion Desecration Reaches New Heights
Not content with the looting of holy sites in Bode Batura and Rola Sierrie, Lukon has now barred the faithful from worshiping in their preferred manner. Xeonite the occupation Countess of Bode Batura has closed the site of the Tower of Krieg, barring all from entry. In doing so, she also managed to further loot the temple, stripping it of all possible items of value. This desecration has not gone unnoticed by the Spirits, who will assuredly take their full measure of retribution.