Even from the days of Gan Uyr, freedom of religion has been highly encouraged by the Saigar Empire, and under its rule several religions have flourished and spread to all corners of Atvas. Though the Saigar faith is the official religion of the state and one of the most popular, the Tulanite, Muighyr, and Durunist religions all have very large followings.
Indigenous religions and beliefs have also persisted as well, though to a lesser degree.
The Saigars retain the beliefs of their forefathers from the plains and worship the Eight Winds, each being a wind of one of the eight cardinal directions. The Saigars rarely make sacrifices or pray, nor do they wear any vestment of their faith. Their few religious rituals are often conducted by shamans who commune with the spirit world and foretell the future by observing the winds. Each of the Eight Winds is named for the direction from which it originates and has its own various associations.
- North Wind - Fate, Sovereignty, Martial Prowess
- North East Wind - War, Victory
- East Wind - Good Luck, Success
- South East Wind - Wealth, Fertility
- South Wind - Life, Birth, Change
- South West Wind - Death, Famine, Winter
- West Wind - Disease, Natural Disaster, Anger
- North West Wind - Understanding, Insight, Knowledge
Another important aspect of the Saigar belief system is ancestor worship, which has become almost universal among all the people of Atvas now.
Originating among the Tairese, Durunists worship an entity they call the Faceless God. All gods, spirits, and supernatural forces are simply aspects of the Faceless God, or so they believe. They believe that the Faceless God is quite distant from the affairs of mortals and to draw its attention is usually to draw its wrath.
The main practices of Durunism involve making offerings to the Faceless God, prostrating one's self before its various shrines, making pilgrimages, and ancestor worship. Occasionally important festivals or events call for various oracles to seek the wisdom of the Faceless God as well.
The Tairese and Muriags make up the majority of adherants to Durunism.
Possibly one of the oldest organized religions in Atvas, Tulanites worship the Child of Flame, who they believe to be nearly omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient. They believe that many thousands of years ago the Prophet Cuzatulan made a pilgrimage to the Earth Blood Mountain, a great towering volcano, and at the brink he encountered the Child of Flame, who was like a man but made purely of flame. The Child of Flame gave Prophet Cuzatulan great wisdom, and now the Tulanites worship this being, Tul Muzon (The Sky Spirit), Tul Taka (The Underworld Spirit), Tul Zukon (The Water Spirit), and Tul Hawhar (The Wind Spirit).
Tulanist practice generally involves elaborate ceremony and ritual, great magnificently adorned temples with hundreds if not thousands of flaming braziers, stunning costume, and massive sacrifices and offerings.
The Tulanist priesthood is a highly organized and powerful group, but Tulanism affects little of its adherants' day-to-day life, though those who can afford to often wear a golden wrist band with a stylized symbol of flame embossed into it, supposedly granting the wearer the blessing of the Flame Child.
The Zagari, Ushalese, and Oncans are the most common Tulanites.
Church of the MuighyrsEdit
The Muighyr church is easily the most organized, powerful, influencial, and wealthy religious organization in Atvas. Muighyrs worship the Six Saints, six individuals of ancient times who they believe ascended to godhood from mortal origin.
It is believes that adherence to the tenants supposedly set down by the Blessed Six, regular prayer, the study of scripture, good deeds, evangelicalism, and performing one's duty to the church and the community will allow one to join the Six Saints in their realm of Alahu upon death, where one's soul will rest eternal and enjoy the warmth and wisdom of the Noble Six.
Where the Muighyr belief originated is unknown, though some have postulated that it began possibly among the Hotats, Arkhans, or Muriags. Regardless, all adherants see each other as brothers, and all wear a pendant in the shape of a circle with six points radiating from it.
Similar to the Eight Winds of the Saigar faith, each of the Six Saints is associated with certain domains and themes.
- St. Rabad the Lifegiver (Good, Creation, Life, Plants, Fertility)
- St. Onon the Wise (Knowledge, Law, Wisdom)
- St. Ohmes the Host (Hearth, Home, Community, Protection)
- St. Dolman the Righteous (Justice, Honor, Light, Sacrifice)
- St. Bashid the Valiant (War, Combat, Athleticism, Strength)
- St. Adun the Maker (Crafts, Tools, Fire, Invention)
The most common followers of the Muighyr Church are the Tairese, Burchids, Arkhans, or Hotats.
Though now minorities, a number of (usually non-organized) indigenous religions still survive. The Burchids worship a massive pantheon of over eighty deities, the Zagari retain their totemic and animistic beliefs, the Tairese still retain some of their animistic practices, the Ushalese worship their own pantheon, many Muriags still worship the Nine Godheads of their religion, and the Arkhans still practice their ancient spiritual rituals.