Gods and Religion

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Gods and Religion

Post by Cowboy on Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:04 pm

Gods of the Old Kingdoms
There are a vast number of Ancient Deities known by name in the World of Uldymer. While certainly powerful and otherworldly, the nature of the gods is a far cry from the simplified propaganda described to the common citizen. To understand the complex nature of the gods we must first acknowledge that there are fundamental differences between those we believe to be ‘good’ and those who are (by mortal comprehension) ‘evil’. Through this lens we can discern to major factions of the known gods: Naedir (or Those Below; Those of Fire), and the Aljann (Those Above, Those of Light).

Aether

Beings of Matter and Aether
Before we deconstruct the various faiths of Uldymer, we must first obtain a basic understanding of Aether and its role in existence on the Material Plane. Aether is first and foremost energy. Aether is intangible but malleable, chaotic by nature and ubiquitous in all that exists. For the laymen, this simply means that all in existence is comprised of matter (mundane physical substance) and on some level, Aether (supernatural energy). These two ‘materials’ differ however, as any given subject of existence must be comprised of matter: While all subjects can also have varying or in some cases embody no Aether.

In addition to the material Plane, we know that at least three others exist: The Abyss, The Heavens and The Veil. It is speculated that at least another four exist, known as the Elemental Planes, but this falls outside of our current scope of discussion. These other Planes are commonly known as the Outside Planes or Those beyond the Veil. As we have stated, the Material Plane is comprised principally of matter and then fluctuating levels of Aether. Conversely, existence on the Outside Planes is principally comprised of Aether and then fluctuating levels of Matter.

It is postulated that at some point before the First Age, Aether acted as a catalyst to matter causing the Material Plane to come into existence. While some religions believe one or several Outside Entities deliberately or inadvertently created the Material Plane: What we know of Aether and Matter means this theory is very unlikely (though not without merit). This is because, in order to perform such a monumental task, the being or beings would be required to give a part if not all of themselves’ in exchange for existence. While we cannot confirm beyond reasonable doubt how we came into existence. What we can now understand is how the Outsiders (or Gods) perceive us and interact with us.

On the Material Plane we know of the Phenomena Known as the Pariah (or Untouchable). These subjects do not just lack any trace of Aether in their composition, but act as Aether vacuums. For this reason others comprised of some amount of Aether can feel mild adversity in their presence. Conversely, Outside entities principally comprised of Aether can have such a lack of matter that they are essentially sentient energy. Numerous records show that Outsiders can pass from the Veil and onto the Material Plane and we can pass from Uldymer into the Veil. Moreover Outsiders, just like us can be killed, as the presence of matter seems to correlate with mortality . For this reason it is stipulated that so long as a subject is comprised of both Aether and Matter, they can travel to and from the veil and are decidedly mortal. This theory would also explain why the Gods have never been directly contacted. As they are assumed to be the inverse of a Pariah, comprised of only Aether and acting as a vacuum for matter. In short, the presence of such a being on the Material Plane would lead to a world ending cataclysm.

Tides of Aether
While many have been told, or believe differently, Aether is not a unilateral energy. Aether itself is a fusion of multiple energies known as Tides. These Tides flow with Aether at fluctuating consistencies. This combine with a subject’s variant between their Matter and Aether composition begins to describe why Mages and other supernatural beings on the Material Plane very so broadly.
There are eight known tides of Aether: Minus, Ploris, Recen, Aquaris, Ingnis, Terran, Aern. These Tides can be used exclusively or combine with others to channel a pseudo Tide.

Each of the Tides is believed to originate or at least cycle through a focal point. These Focal Points are the Outside Planes. As previously stated there are three proven Outside Planes of existence, while the presence of others is merely theories and supported with strong evidence. The three proven planes are known to channel the Minus (the Abyss), the Ploris (the Heavens) and the Veil (Recen). It is however debated among scholars whether or not the remaining four (or Elemental Tides) are channelled from their own planes or are naturally formed Pseudo Tides formed in the Veil. This is where the two Elemental Theories are derived regarding the Elemental Tides, each attempting to explain why the Elemental Tides wane and swell and where they originated from. These are: the Theory of Elemental Cycles and the Theory of Triad Elements. Discussing these theories falls outside of our current scope.

Naedir
Nay – Der
As described in the Major Dialect of the Old Kingdoms, Naedir means ‘Those below’ or ‘Those of Fire’. However, before we discuss the primary creeds followed by the Flamens of these entities we must first dispel the common misconceptions surrounding the Naedir. The first and most common is that the Naedir are inherently ‘evil’.

To the laymen and certainly the fanatical Flamens, the Naedir are ‘evil’. This is because trends were eventually identified within the interactions between mortals and the Naedir. These trends were both deliberately and inadvertently used quantify the character of these unnatural beings who were eventually assigned what we now call Domains. It is because of these Domains that we as mortals categorise these Outsiders as ‘Good’ or ‘Evil’. Now that we understand why the gods are we can begin to understand how the Naedir have influenced us and form a unbiased opinion towards faith.

It is believed through anecdotal recounts and forbidden texts that all Naedir reside in and originate from, the Abyss. For this reason the Naedir are also known as the Abyssal Gods or the Under Gods. While records show that there were innumerable Naedir worshipped in the time of the First Age, today we remember and revere only seven Naedir.

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