|Quetli||Primitive Temple (2)||1|
|Axzaloc||Primitive Temple (2)||1|
|Ptaphoc||Medium Temple (4)|
|Chocxal||Small Temple (3)||1|
|Chohua||Small Shack (1)|
|Axtli||Primitive Temple (2)|
|Mapaxal||Medium Temple (4)|
|Total Temples: 7|
|Total Shrines: 5|
|Noble Followers: 8|
|Total Followers (est.): 17,032|
Mapaxilism is a rapidily growing religion. A religion that is focused on warfare and honour in battle, partly inspired by Hörgr of Makar. It was brought back Mapaxal by The Founder after his travel to the northern realms.
(One of the early Mapaxilism temples and shrines)
Duke Kepler Dolohov of the desert realm Talerium, not ordinarily a spiritual man, rode to battle against Talerium's foes in the east. At night in his tent, he performed his family's traditional blessings, but only in rote. During this campaign, however, the gods spoke to him: "Leave behind your title and your army, and go to the Vikings." He did not wish to believe that the gods had spoken to him, convincing himself instead that he had drank too much. The next night was the same, "Go to the Vikings."
Night after night, he heard the same instructions, but nothing else. It took a long time for him to give in. He handed over the seat of Mapaxal to a trusted commander, gave up his title, and went north.
Foolishly, he believed that he had been sent to convert them, civilize them. When he arrived, he decided first to learn more about them, and about their religion. He learned about Valhalla, and the Makarian ideals of battle. He found that as he got to know them, he liked them very much -- "civilizing" them seemed like a crime of the highest order! He had heard nothing from his gods despite many nights of praying, and he finally grew frustrated, and slammed down his fist on his family altar and said "No! I cannot rob them of this -- they have built themselves a paradise, and it would be a crime to take it from them!" And finally the gods opened his eyes: this was what they had wanted him to see for himself.
Mapaxilism's teachings boil down to a simple idea: the nobles of Atamara live in a paradise created for them. Their reward for virtuous former lives is to hunt, drink, and especially to gain glory in battle. In return, the gods ask that the nobles actually enjoy the world created for them.
War is wonderful to a Mapaxilist, the opportunity to test one's mettle against other favored souls, and thereby gain glory, but it must be carried out properly. Warriors must show respect to each other on the field of battle: accept defeat graciously, and to be humble in victory. Battles are won by grit, determination, intelligence, planning -- and luck. The gods bestow luck for their own inscrutable reasons, and not always to punish or reward. Thank the gods for your victories, but do not curse them for your defeats.
It is better to destroy an enemy realm outright than to leave it shrunken and held down. During the war itself, pressing on an enemy so that it cannot rise is a valuable strategy, but to maintain it for too long breeds resentment and anger. It is better to despatch the enemy realm, and welcome its nobles into your own ranks.
One of the few true evils in this land is a pacifist government. It is the right of the nobles to fight and earn glory, and a King who keeps them restrained for the sake of politics has shamed himself. If the realm is not at war, and the ruler will not find them, it is up to the Dukes and Duchesses to rally armies and find a fight.
Because war is a gift from the gods, Mapaxilists consider their enemies to also be gifts from the gods, and so are respected and thanked, even as Mapaxilists kill them and drive them from their land. Defeating an enemy is glorious, taking his land is an achievement to be proud of. It is considered good form for a Mapaxilist to thank his or her enemy after a battle, win or lose. Insulting one's enemies or taunting them is a grave offense.
Cavaliers have the respect of Mapaxilists, and Heroes are revered. Knights are encouraged to consider these paths to glory. This is not to say that Bureaucrats, Infiltrators, Traders, and Priests are looked down upon, but they are encouraged to actively support their fighting brethren.
People occasionally ask, "what are the names of your gods?" A Mapaxilist will not answer this question: he knows that names are powerful, and that the gods do not give them out lightly, but instead only as a great honor after years of service. Be wary of other religions that advertise the names of their gods. Either their gods have given them false names (usually bizarre unpronounceable names, given in order to mock the ones who demand to know them), or they have made up their own pet names for the gods. In the worst cases, these religions may be following demons.
Instead, the Mapaxilist will tell you, You do not need to know the names of the gods to praise them for this paradise, or to thank them for victory in battle. Moreover, knowing the names of only some of the gods will tempt you to thank them in preference to others. It is better not to know.
Peasants look like people, and frequently sound like people. However, they are not at a stage in life where the gods permit them to truly enjoy paradise. Mapaxilists are encouraged to have as little to do with commoners as possible. Allow agents or minor nobles to perform all necessary interactions with them, including the purchase or repair of artifacts. (OOC: when speaking to an adventurer, it is best to roleplay that your character sent a retainer or other servant)
Treat commoners like your livestock -- they are valuable to you, and it is irresponsible of you to mistreat them without cause. But do not allow sentiment to cloud your judgment when dealing with them. They will receive their own rewards from the gods should they earn them, they do not require yours.
Mapxailists celebrate a few festivals throughout the year.
Creation (20 - 31 December). Celebration of the New Year; a festival of 12 nights. This is the most important of all the Mapaxilist holidays. The new year signifies the beginning and end of all things; the darkest time (shortest hour of daylight) during the year and the brightest hope re-entering the world. During this festival, the Wild Hunt is at its greatest fervor, and the dead are said to range the Earth in its retinue. Wild game are always served - it is considered excellent luck to eat something that you killed yourself on the New Year.
Shield Night (First full moon in January). Minor feast honoring the protector gods of Mapaxal. Feats of hand-to-hand combat are common, as are stories of near brushes with death on the battlefield.
Pigunu (2nd February). When the effects of Winter are beginning to lessen and the world prepares itself for Spring. Pigunu is characterized by preparing the land for planting. In ancient times, Pigunu was the time when the camels were counted and one's wealth was tallied; thus making it a festival of finance as well. The traders of the realm are celebrated on Pigunu. It was said that new calves born during Pigunu were a sign of great prosperity for the coming year.
The Telling of Tales (30th May) Minor festival honoring the warriors who fell during battle and who will be reincarnated as royalty. Stories are told of how they fell, usually embellished to describe a fight against incredible odds where the hero only succumbed after being riddled with a hundred arrows.
Hagan's Night (31 July - 01 August). The harvest festival; giving thanks to the gods for their bounty, and to the bureaucrats, and courtiers for their hard work in support of the realm's warriors. Often alms are given to the unfortunate at this time. Hagan's night has long been associated with ceremonial magic and magical workings.
Festival Of Ivan (22-23 September). Festival of Ivan is a minor acknowledging the end of the Harvest Season, largely a peasant holiday, also associated with vintage, brewing of beer, and mead-making. Most people hold off the full celebration of this holiday, though, until the main festival of Wintersnight.
Wintersnight (29 October - 2 November). The beginning of the winter season. Remembrances of the dead and one's ancestors were made during this feast. Wintersnight was a ceremony of wild abandon, and it marked the end of the summer season of commerce and travel and the beginning of the winter season of hunting. Much divination was done during Wintersnight to foretell the fates of those entering the coming year. A good divination would be kept as a trophy. A bad one, oddly, is similarly cherished as an opportunity to defy fate.
Progression and Rank
(The Founder raising an Initiate to the rank of Warrior.)
(OOC: the following information is not usually given out to outsiders, but it is reasonable to assume that your non-Mapaxilist character has heard some of it through rumor) To become a full member, one must merely have read and understood the information given here. State to all of the followers that you have completed your studies, and the Elders may ask you questions, publicly or privately, to verify. (If you have been active in asking them questions, they may choose to skip this step, so show your curiosity!) Thereupon you will be granted status of full membership, the Warrior rank.
Progressing further than this requires an act of devotion. Warriors who habitually offer prayers before battle and other outward signs of their faith will be promoted to Great Warrior, and then to Divine Warrior.
Those who show even greater material devotion to the faith may progress further, or even skip ranks.
Titles and Greetings
A new member of Mapaxilism has the title of Follower and would be addressed by fellow members as initiate, after that they gain the title of Warrior then Patron. The correct way to address members of these ranks would be to use Brother or Sister. Priests should be addressed as Father or Mother. The four original disciples are called The Select and are to be addressed as Elder. The High Priest, which is the highest rank a member can obtain shall be addressed as Holy Father. The Founder while he lives and may the gods grant him many more battles can be addressed by those honoured to meet him as Elder or Founder. These titles and greetings for the most part are only used within temple grounds, most members revert to their secular titles outside these areas.
Places of Special Interest
For the Mapaxilist, there are at present two places of special interest.
Chocxal, the childhood home of The Founder. Chocxal has a small temple of Mapaxilism which most followers vist when travelling in Chocxal. It also has a small shrine, which although was built as a Mapaxilist shrine it was quickly to become a shrine to The Founder's uncle, the hero Ivan Dolohov.
Mapaxal, the home of Mapaxilism. All followers visit the great temple here at least once in their lifetime.
(Shrine of Ivan, Chocxal)
Battles of The Mapaxilists
Wars and battles are a very important aspect of Mapaxilism life, even if the follower isnt involved in the fighting directly they still honour it, by way of songs, prayers and stories. Here are some of those that have been collected and gathererd in the Mapaxal temple.
Battle of Elost
The Battle of Elost was fought between Talerium and Norland. Elost was (and still is at present) a region belonging to Norland. Some Mapaxilists fought in the Talerium armies. Altough the Talerium attacking forces outnumbered the defenders by 612 to 498 the defenders had a pallisade to protect them. The Norlanders used this pallisade to great effect and ended up winning the battle after two hours of fighting. One of the surviving Mapaxilists wrote the following not long after the battle. The Temple keep it within their records as an example of some of the prayers offered to the great gods.
- The young knight looked around the battlefield, the bodies of his men lay strewn everywhere. Picking himself up he checked himself over, no wounds. Out of the corner of his eye he saw he medic move amongst his men.
He called across "Kalar .. .. Kalar, the men. What was the cost?"
Kalar the medic answered without taking his eyes of the blood stained man at his feet, "I have accounted for all, only seventeen survived and none in any state to carry on the fight. How is my Lord?"
"I am fine Kalar, fine. It seems the gods have given us a tough enemy on this day"
The young knight dropped to his knees, facing north he whispered " Great gods of war thank you for allowing me to test myself in this great battle"
He turned to the west "Great gods of war, thank you for giving me the chance to return and prove my strength"
He turned south "Great gods of war, thank you for showing me where my weaknesses are"
Finally he turned east "Great gods of war, I ask for you blessing for those that passed away this day and welcome them to Valhalla as brave warriors"
Just as he stood up a messenger from The Marshal approached, and handed over a letter, it had been written in a hurry.
The General has been wounded, SiC is unknown.
The Metemec Camel Corps are to fallback to the rally point. Marshal'
"Very well" the young knight nodded at the messenger. "Kalar, we are to retire gather all that can still walk"
The young knight looked upwards, and once more whispered a prayer to the gods "Allow me to return soon oh great gods, the enemy is strong and it will be a pleasure and honour locking blades once more"