The Great Herd
|We are the Herd,|
|the Herd is us,|
|and nothing stands above it.|
The pungent smell of bucks and manure comes down from the Temple of the Herd as you approach it. Weapons and goat ornaments decorate the entrance. Goats are freely roaming around and inside the Temple. One of them starts chewing gently on your clothing. A feeling of calm overwhelms you as you come closer.
A board near the entrance reads:
Welcome Warriors of Beluaterra! Come celebrate eternal war and commemorate the strong with us! We pray for HIS Mercy and a Beluaterra worthy enough to live without the presence of daimonkind. May HIS mercy be upon ye.
The followers of the Herd worship the Great Goat(often also called hairy one, smelly one or other names). The Great Goat's favor is believed to be constantly contested, a good follower proves himself worthy on a daily basis to exceed the abilities and qualities of an average human being. This is done by waging battle, participating in tournaments, the butting of heads (dueling), drinking lots of goat mead or other wise proving ones worth. Practicing of this religion goes threw these actions of competition with others. Goat Herds are actively observed by its followers and most inspiration comes from these studies, where one is dressed in Goat skins and moves about the herd pretending to graze with them for periods sometimes lasting days or even weeks. This practice is called a Goat Quest, a spiritual journey for the Followers of the Great Herd. Men under the influence of the Great Goat are patient, fearless, curious and strong, never running away from a challenge. The Herd represents the community, one's realm and religion, the follower's community is considered sacred and each of it's individual members holy duty to find it's place serving their community. Although the Goat is curious, it's Herd is essential to it's survival.
Minor Deities of the Great Herd:
Some minor gods are also acknowledged and worship who represent minor traits of the faith.
- Crullock - God of might and Justice, war and power. It's powerful foot has been rumored to stomp the continents of the world into place. Crulock is usually depicted as a giant foot.
- Gambrinus - God of the feast, King of Beer and folk music and dance. Gambrinus is often represented as a well proportioned half goat, with a man's upper body, goat legs and horns sitting on a keg of ale ussually with a crown on his head or playing either the pan flute or the oulos/ double flute. Men under the influence of Grambrinus are intuitive, irrational and/or intoxicated. Gambrinus is one of the favorite subjects in common folklore where he tricks a daimon into telling him the secrets of beer and likewise beats a barrel rolling contest by wit and innovation. Some of his stories are found here: Book of the Beer King
Daimonalia is an anual celebration of the winter solstice and the begining of a new year held between the 23th of december and the 2th of january. The coming and the victory over the daimons is reenacted and imitated, hence the name Daimonalia. During these days, the followers of the Great Herd transform into uninhibited, intoxicated wild men during the festivities as to drive out their daimons from the dark into the open in order to slay them and start the year a new. Their normal lives freeze to a halt like the lakes and lands of Gotland in winter. A Tournament is held, concluded at the end of Daimonalia, the winner(s) of this tournament may claim it's self champion of the year. Every year a King of Daimonalia is elected on the 15th of December by all followers of the Great Herd who will rule over the festival as King. The King of Daimonalia is responsible for organizing the festival, deciding how it is celeberated and how or where the tournament is held.
Each Temple may be specially dedicated to either the Great Goat himself or one of the acknowledged minor deities. Temples are build by the Lord's of each individual region, depending on their preference each temple will have a different interior and exterior design. However most temples offer seats or hay stacks for their followers and each temple has goats roaming freely about. Sermons are held for it's common followers where Hero's are remembered and tales of the gods are told. Special sermons for nobles are held by the priests occasionally where advise is given to the nobility on dealing with certain events or decisions in their realms.
Upon joining the Holy Ranks of the Great Herd, one starts as a Goatling. After choosing ones path and main diety one becomes a follower. Becoming a priest requires being a follower and chnaging your class. Elder ranks are reserved for priests only, who are responsible for promoting and or demoting it's followers, enlarging temples and placing shrines.
- Great Prophet - Prophet of the Great Herd, only he may change views on other religions, alter the ranks and or change the main boards. May assign his or her's successor, if no successor is assigned, all priests and priests only will be eligible by all members.
- Priest of the Great Goat - Priest primarily dedicated to the Great Goat.
- Priest of Crullock - Priest primarily dedicated to Crullock
- Priest of Gambrinus - Priest primarily dedicated Gambrinus
- Master of the Chest - Responsible for the temples finance and in charge of all treasuries, advises priests on temple enlargement and makes sure the treasuries do not get empty. Only non priest elder Rank available.
- Master of the Sword - Competitive honorary title which is gained after winning a duel thill surrender against it's current title holder. The title can be claimed by Followers only, Goatlings or none members cannot challenge the Master of Sword.
- Hero of the Herd - Honorary rank for Hero characters
- Follower of the Great Goat - Follower who choose the path of the Great Goat.
- Follower of Crullock - Follower who choose the path of Crullock.
- Follower of Gambrinus - Follower who choose the path of Gambrinus
- Generous Donator - Special donator rank for the genrous donator, pays back the donation over time by grants.
- Donator - Special Donator rank, pays back the donation over time by grants.
- Goatling - First rank upon joining, one has to either become a donator for a while or choose a path right away and become a follower of a certain diety.