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Author Topic: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE  (Read 1178 times)

Offline Omsarim

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A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« on: March 24, 2015, 05:38:33 PM »
Ulara of the family Ramanon awoke at dawn.  He was a twenty-one year old nobleman in the port city of Tyros, greatest of the cities of the Omsari people.  As a member of one of the seventy-four great families of Tyros, he would become a member of the city's council upon the death of his father Narala.    Generally, a young man born as well as Ulara would be attended to by numerous servants.  However, the previous year Ulara had bought a smaller house, and had been living relatively humbly (though by no means impoverished). 

The young man climbed the ladder to the roof of his small house. The sunrise illuminated an awakening city. The trade markets were opening up, and the farmers could be heard bringing in their crops for sale.  It had rained the previous night, but now Vanata the Great Sun banished the clouds and rain, and the sky was clear.  Ulara picked up a small basin within which he had collected the rainwater, and washed his hands and face, then poured the rest of the water upon his head.  As the water drops ran down his body, he shut his eyes and turned toward the sun.  He felt the warm light strike his skin.    The warmth comforted the young Omsar.   He felt that Vanata may finally bring him truth, and end his months of questioning.

Ulara climbed back down, and dried himself off with a towel. He dressed himself in one of the few nice robes he had retained during his humbler living, a robe red through expensive dyes.  Only the members of the seventy-four families could afford such colored cloth, and even then those clothes were reserved for visits to the temple, as expensive as they were. Ulara intended to spend this day in prayer at the Great Temple of Vanata, having already transcribed the tax records as the Council asked. He would not abandon his duties as one of the Literate, even in his crisis of faith.

Ulara walked to the marketplace to purchase some wine.  He noticed that there appeared to be many foreign traders today, no doubt arrivals from the newest ships. Some of them even appeared to be attempting to spread their foreign religions in Tyros!   Ulara held enough faith in Vanata and the other gods to ignore such things.  Upon buying the wine, he proceeded to the temple.

The Temple was the largest building in the entire city, built at the top of the tallest hill.  The main floor of the temple was higher than the roofs of the next tallest building.  Ulara walked up the Steps of Dawn, feeling the sun strike his back.  The sun's rays streamed through the windows, illuminating the building.  The wall and floor were covered in colored tiles, depicting the creation of the world and the banishment of the Dark Ones.    The monks, their bodies painted red and their faces masked, stood in front of the large bronze door to the inner sanctum. Ulara pulled out a medallion, emblazoned with the seal of the family Ramanon, and they opened the door for the son of one of the seventy-four families.

Reflected by mirrors, the sunlight in the inner sanctum struck the statue of Great Vanata. The walls of the sanctum were painted red, as was the floor. Ulara bowed, staring down at the floor, in part due to reverence, in part because the gilded statue reflected the sunlight into his eyes. The statue was simple, a great human-shaped figure.   The figure was well muscled, but the face was blank.   It lacked hair and genitalia as well. Vanata was not like a human, the priests said.   They referred to the Great Sun God as "He" when they needed to, but the Great Song of the Sun told the people that Vanata existed long before life was sundered into male and female.

Ulara poured the wine into the offering basin at the foot of the statue. He saw the red liquid, red like the floor and the walls, fill the brass basin.  He then began to recite the great prayer to Vanata.   "Oh Great Sun, light unto the world, may You forever banish the darkness.  May no night last eternal, may no storm last eternal, may the moon not forever eclipse Your blazing face."   Few in the city who were not in the priesthood had memorized the entire great prayer. The salutations to the Sun itself took seven minutes to recite.  Then came the gratitudes.  "Oh Great Sun, how I thank You for banishing the Darkness beyond the Void.  Oh Great Sun, how I thank you for creating this world.  Vanata, king of the gods, without your great wisdom, surely the land and sky and seas would have long since crumbled."  The entire great prayer took 21 minutes to recite in full.

After he finished the great prayer, Ulara meditated in front of the statue for a half-hour.  Yet the truth had not yet come. Ulara loved Vanata, he was truly grateful for the creation of the world.   He knew that it was by the grace of Vanata and the other gods that the harvest was so bountiful, that Tyros had been spared from any disasters, and that he was a healthy young man who had avoided accident. Yet the priests' detailed descriptions of how to honor the gods contained little about how to live one's life. The Great God Vanata was concerned very much with the sky and sea and land, but not as much with the day to day lives of the people.

Ulara felt guilty questioning his faith in the gods which had given him everything.   He felt driven to banish his doubts.  As he left the temple, dropping several gold coins into the offering box, he wondered how to do so.  Shielding his eyes as he opened the Door of Dawn and walked down the steps.  Perhaps the faith of Vanata and the other gods could not answer everything.  However, surely it was superior to the other faiths of foreign lands.  He would go down to the market, and listen to the foreigners, and discover their faiths.  Surely Vanata would triumph over them.  And if not, then perhaps it was time to turn to a different religion.

Arriving at the marketplace, Ulara noticed even more foreign traders and missionaries in the town square.  This task would be easy.  He walked up to one of the foreigners, to hear what he had to say about the truths of the world.

~~~

OOC/planning Thread: http://forum.taijitu.org/planning-room/choosing-a-religion-%28500-bc%29/
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 03:39:55 PM by Omsarim »
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Offline Khem

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2015, 03:51:38 AM »
  Ma'an N'Joun had been on the seas for more days than he cared to remember. Hearing of the prosperity to be gained from a trip to Tyros, Ma'an had sold the family mine and bought a Junk which he loaded with barrels of goods and crew. Heading for lands unknown and into a new life he had prayed to Ta, Gaea and the Hermetics that the purpose of his journey prove in line with the pattern of all. The first nights past the Kelali Reefs were stormy and rough, as if the voice of Gentu wished to shout them from the sea. When they caught sight of land, sight of the port of Tyros, Ma'an felt tears of joy and exultation stream from his chartreuse as he cried out to Ta.

 "You have shown the way Ta! May your light ever illuminate The Path. I know now this journey was not my own will but that of Hermetica animating! I shall seek the peace of Gaea here as with her body. I will know my place in the pattern. I will see The Path. I know all I choose serves The Path. The Path lives on."

  The sturdy amaranthine ship sliced through the waves with greater capacity than her breadth would suggest. Laden with Khemish goods ranging from medicinal,spiritual,culinary herbs to live Gahk'ell; the Khemish ship was well stocked for trade even with established trade routes. Ma'an dressed in his finest indigo robes fingered the khopesh at his side nervously hoping this turned out better than the stories he heard of Jutensan head hunters and their horrifying death whistles. He looked to his crew, four Da'kavo foolishly branded heretics by the Great Library; a dozen Ser'ev gained from a dead silversmiths estate, bought at a bargain due to the marks left upon them by the devilish former Khem. Eying their desire for the shore all but matched his own he addressed them.

  "Look to port and see desire for ground given footing. Yet the man who wishes to wet himself on local drink or women would be well advised that gaining profit comes before your base needs. We're on a mission from Ta!"

  He let them begin to mumble a bit among themselves before beginning again.

  "HAVE YOU SEEN THE LIGHT?!"

  ...

  "I SAID! HAVE! YOU! SEEN! THE LIGHT?!"

  "Praise the glory of Ta!", they reply.

  "Glory be to he that is the fire in our souls ever driving. May your light shine through all ages..."

  "...and darkness ever be banished by Light, Life and Thought.", they conclude.

 Just then a two terns flew Alite, signalling a good fortune to come. Ma'an smiled to himself taking this as a sign of Ta approving of illuminating the men to the sacred nature of their work. They would not be merely representing their own wallets but presenting holy truth by glorious action. As they pulled into port he took a deep intoxicating whif of unfamiliar spices on the port air. A tern lands to his right as he exhales the exotic perfumes of the new.

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Offline Omsarim

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2015, 04:57:17 AM »
The first foreigner Ulara had listened to denounced the gods of the Omsarin.    He had turned and walked away from that foreigner, marveling that the gods had not destroyed his heathen country.     The market was becoming more crowded.   There were foreigners whose skin was much darker than that of the Omsarin, with black hair.   There were foreigners much paler, as pale as infants even as adults.   Some of these people had hair in browns or blacks, but some had hair the color of pale gold or even flames.    Ulara wondered if any wisdom could be found among these foreign peoples.   He also wondered why the gods would create people of such different appearances.   Why not make all men and women look like the Omsarin, with their tanned skin and normal brown or black hair colors?   Why alter things so much? 

Pondering these questions, Ulara arrived near the edge of the market, nearest to the docks.   He saw a group of foreigners, whose skin did not look so different from that of the Omsarin.    They wore black and white robes, and were setting of barrels filled with their wares.    Hoping to be able to learn something of them before the merchants swarmed the area looking for spices, Ulara approached.   He marveled at the height of the black robed foreigners.   As he approached, he greeted them in Tyrosi Omsari and in the few other languages he knew: "Greetings foreign traders!   I am glad you are here.   What gods protected your journey?"   

As he spoke, he noticed one of the foreigner's strange hair,  patterned unlike any hair he had seen in Tyros or from the other Omsari city-states.    Getting closer, he noticed the bright blues and greens in these foreigners eyes.    Omsari eyes were usually much darker colors.   He waited for the foreigners to respond.
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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2015, 05:30:00 AM »
  Ma'an opened his arms wide and gave a magnificent bow to the well fashioned youth before him. His practiced mercantile eyes looked for all the signs of where Hermetica took the boys mind. Looking at the existential fever burning within Ularas minds eye he knew this man to be desired truth. He noted the no doubt expensive dyes in the boys clothes as he came up with a flourish. He gestured and an antique khemish pipe appeared in one hand while the other procured holy Kan'na' and a match.

  In broken Tyrosi Omsari he exclaimed, "Have feel pull of pattern today? Do know where flame Ta guides soul? Feel heart sing Gaea song to serene being? Think Hermetica horse-trainer."

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Offline Myroria

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2015, 02:04:44 PM »
"Gods?" came a voice from a covered wagon situated behind an empty table. A man stepped out holding a crate stacked with salted cod. He wore an embroidered deel - a sort of knee-length robe tied in the middle with a wide strip of linen - and a leather brimmed hat on his head, trimmed with beaver fur. His normally-pale skin was tanned a bit after months on the caravan trail, and his dark hair hung in loose curls from his head.

"The Ozian devils worship gods," came another voice, still inside the wagon. Soon after a woman stepped out in a similar outfit, though the embroidery on her deel was smaller, more delicate. The brimmed hat she wore on her head, by contrast, was simpler - made of rawhide leather. She carried a small tray with an array of tiny bottles of spices.

"Who better to protect you after death than those who protected you during life? Your mother, father," she continued. She rest the tray on the table next to the crate of salted cod.

"The spirits of your ancestors will be with you always," the man began. "These gods - Gaea, Eru - they abandon you if you anger them. Your ancestors are your family - they know you, they forgive your mistakes. And if another family decides to attack your person,"

"they'd better get ready to deal with your family in the afterlife." the woman finished. She stepped back in the wagon to get another crate.
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Offline Omsarim

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2015, 06:30:46 PM »
Ulara listened to what the foreigner with the pipe said.    'Flame Ta' sounded like it could be some corruption of Vanata.   So it appeared that the Great Sun God had revealed Himself to these people as well.    Could He have revealed more truths to them?    Ulara remembered his father speaking to him about Tyros, and the Omsarin.   "My son," said Narala, "Never forget to thank all the gods for your great fortune.   For you were born among the Omsarin, the most civilized and blessed people upon this planet.    And you were even more fortunate to be born in Tyros, the most prosperous and enlightened of our cities.   Never forget your great fortune.   And never cease to defend our most precious and pure culture."   If the Omsarin were truly the greatest people, why would Vanata give any truths to strange and foreign cultures?

Yet did not the same sun shine upon every land?   Did not the same sea strike their shores, and the same air fill their chests?   Before this day, Ulara believed that the Omsarin were blessed to be the only ones to know the holy name of Vanata, to know who created and ruled the world.   Yet now a foreign person who barely even spoke the Omsari language spoke of the same god. 

"I know of 'flame Ta', called here 'Vanata'" Ulara responded slowly, pointing up at the sun.   "I know he rules the world and gods, but I do not know where he guides my soul.    I do not know Gaea or Hermetica."   He awaited the foreigner's response.

~~~

Ularu listened to the people from the wagon, noting their strange robes and hats and pale skin.    The idea of an ancestor's spirits protecting him was not entirely new, but he had not thought deeply of it before.   It was generally assumed that the spirits of the dead lived in another realm, under the watch of the gods, and did not interfere much in the lives of the living, save in cursed and haunted circumstances.    Why would the human spirits go to the world when the great gods ruled over it?   Yet Vanata was concerned with the sun and the sea and the land, perhaps it would make sense that lesser spirits would deal with lesser matters.

"Perhaps the spirits of my family do protect and guide me in this life," Ularu answered.   "But my family did not create the sea and sky.   My family does not rule the land and heavens.   My family's light does not bring life to this world.   And surely no human spirits could create whatever great truths exist in this world.  If there are no gods, where would these truths come from?"
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Offline Myroria

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2015, 07:00:00 PM »
"In the beginning," the woman began. She sat at the table, now cluttered with items for sale. "in the beginning everyone's spirits lived in the same place. Formless and chaotic,"

The woman glanced up at the man, who was presently in the process of selling a necklace to a woman dressed in an ornate robe.

"But then the Spirit Mother felt contractions in her womb. The Kin-Warden, her guardian and midwife, helped her give birth to the human world, with all of its trees, animals, and water. But then, complications caused her contractions to cease. The Spirit Mother died, and her and the spirit world still inside her womb became one. The Kin-Warden, ashamed at her failure to stop the complications, joined her in the spirit world not long after."

"Though they held all of existence in their hands," the man said as he concluded the sale, "death came even to them."
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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2015, 03:27:51 AM »
  Having never been apart from the order given to the Da'kun and all the Khem by the Library, such questions were new to him. Central to all Khemish cities was a replica of the Ankesh Tablets depicting the will of Ta and the place of all things in Knosma, the pattern of all Khem and n'Khem. Who did not know of the song in all mens hearts of Gaeas love for her children, the song and source of life itself? This child had never heard of the thrice-born Hermetica who had died that all knowledge may live in mind. Ma'an gestured and the Ser'ev brought forth a jug of Ksh'r and two fine khemish porcelain cups. With a flick of his wrist the pipe was alight as the young Ser'ev woman pushed a cup into Ularas hand. Billowing a thick bluish smoke he passed the pipe to the young man as he responded.

  "Van'a'Ta source all Knosma, you speak landskysea. Van'a'Ta more than skyfire. Van'a'Ta move heart all man. Van'a'Ta show heart way to place mind Hermetica fast think know. Hermetica move before moving in place behind all place, all mind Hermetica. Smoke and know mindheart Van'a'Ta."

 He reaches down and pulls up a handfull of dirt.

  "Gaea mother land water all." He says while whistfully releasing the dirt. "She think heart all." Touching his face. "She form body short time. Bodies belong Gaea before after in time being. Zuavka much holy Gaea."

 He awaits the affects of the sacred herbs to take affect in the young mind. Taking the glass of Ksh'r from the Ser'ev, Ma'an drinks deeply. Thinking he had done an excellent job of expressing the ideals and basics of The Path to the young man. Perhaps this was why Ta had guided his heart into the pattern of this strange land and lost people.

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Offline Omsarim

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2015, 05:16:39 AM »
Ulara breathed in the blue smoke from the pipe, wondering what it would do.   He had never seen such a thing before.  Vanata being the source of everything, the Knosma, certainly was true.  Vanata moving the hearts of all men also made since.   Ulara could not fully understand what this Hermetica was,  but it seemed important.    He was starting to have trouble thinking straight.   Something was different with his senses.   Was it the smoke effecting him?    The smoke they said would let him know the mind of Vanata?  As for Gaea, if that was their name for the world, did that mean that Gaea came from Vanata?   "Is Vanata the source of Gaea?" asked Ulara.   He was feeling stranger and stranger.

~~~~

At a different time, the time when Ulara was speaking to the man and woman in the wagon, he understood clearly what they were saying, but was still unable to reconcile his mind to their godless world.   "If the creators of the world are dead, then who rules it all?" he asked.
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Offline Khem

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2015, 05:45:48 AM »
  Ma'an was taken aback by the question. He had never considered such. Was the Hermetica (thought) separate from Gaea (being) and Ta (soul)? He couldn't consider such even as the Ksh'r made his mind race. Lifting a cup to Ta he went on.

  "Body no-other mind-think soul-be. Gaea to Ta being body to soul. Two lands. One ocean. Other being from land other no being."

  He begins tracing three circles in the sand, crossing one another as an equal venn diagram. With the first circle he said, "Hermetica" and pointed to his head. "Think being. Hermetica how to know to be know."

  With the second circle he slapped his chest with a thump. "Gaea am body being. Big happy, small sad, all being Gaea self. Hunger am Gaea being. Ksh'r am Gaea."

  The third circle complete, he pointed to his heart. "Ta. Ta light heart. Ta fire. Ta being like Hermetica root to leaf. This make being known?"
« Last Edit: March 26, 2015, 06:00:34 AM by al' Khem »

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Offline Myroria

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2015, 12:45:26 PM »
"The spirit world is an ephemeral place," the man said. He pushed himself back and leaned in his chair, so that the front two legs were off the ground. He put his feet on an empty spot on the table.

"It's much like ours, but infinite. Families rule their own lands, just like here. There are aggressive spirits, yes, just like the human plane. But by using solemn rituals on those who have passed - imbuing their physical bodies with great magic - seliffera, or shamans to use the terminology of the Ozian - " the man paused. "devils, can help protect our spirit lands from those who would try to steal or ruin them."

"The spirit world's not a bad place, though," the woman began. "There are never famines. The winters are mild and sunny. There's no disease - of the body or mind. These things are tied to the physical world."
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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2015, 07:07:13 PM »
Ulara did not entirely understand what the foreigner was saying, but he grasped that Gaea was everything in the world, even himself and the foreigner speaking here, and that Hermetica was the thoughts within his head.   He looked at the three interlocking circles.   The three concepts were one, but somehow separate?    Ulara was somewhat confused.   He pointed at the middle part of the circle, and asked, "What is this?"    Before the foreigner could respond, he asked, "Does it tell us how to live our life?   What to do?"

~~~~

When he was speaking to the other foreigners, Ulara nodded.   He understood what they were saying, but he still dislike the world without the gods he had worshiped his entire life.  Yet perhaps they were merely diminishing the gods, not denying them.    Thinking to test this idea, he asked them "Do all things have spirits?   Even the trees and rocks and sea?"
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Offline Khem

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2015, 02:41:42 AM »
  "Here", he said swiftly. "Here life flower fruit garden knosmo, here pattern, here we."

  Ma'an scratched his head trying to see from Ularas eyes yet finding thought beyond pattern an impossibility. Thinking on all the codes of behavior regarding the portents of the pattern, the truth of Tas will evident in every motion in Gaeas dancing form. There was a wildness about this place like a wetland to Kanna'barus chinampas. The truth right before them these people though giving praise to Ta did not know they lived in disharmony with his light. If only he had brought Ser'ev land minders and Da'kun garden singers to teach them the verdant joys of harmony with the pattern.

  "Listen song heart-mind-fire, show pattern. You heart-mind-fire know pattern you dance, knows how live Vanata light. Ankesh writing-stone-old speak pattern all Knosma. Come return see Ankesh writing-stone-old, write you speak. Know life." Was all he could say in reply to such paradoxical thoughts.

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Offline Myroria

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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2015, 03:01:03 AM »
The man nodded sagely.

"All things have spirits. But the spirit world and the material world are separate. Most objects - rocks, the ocean, the dirt beneath your feet - cannot traverse this plane through death."

"Or, at least, not within a thousand generations," the woman interjected. The man nodded and continued, beckoning a customer over.

"But animals, trees - things that can die will traverse the mortal plane into the spirit one. The cat that lives in your house or the pack animal that pulls your wagon will likely precede you into the spirit world - but you'll meet again one day. All living things are united in the end."
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Re: A New Religion in Omsarim, 502 BCE
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 04:19:09 AM »
Ulara thought about the words of the foreigner.   The smoke was affecting his mind in ways he had never experienced before.   "I will think about what you said.   If you ever return to this city, please see if you can bring a wise scholar in your faith, or holy texts.   You have given me much to think about.   I thank you."  He sees traders coming over to investigate the wares of the foreigners, and he says goodbye and leaves them to their business.

~~~

Ulara asks the foreigners, "How do the spirits wish for us to live?  I mean, surely they would want us to honor them.  But what about our daily lives?   When we act with other living people?"
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