The Faith of the Fyrmáni

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THE FAITH (PYRZAHAL)

The faith of the Fyrmáni is centered on the balance between order and change, a balance they call the Pyrzahal. The sun, light, and fire are representative of order, society, law, and stability: Pozhis. The moon, night, and water are representative of chaos, change, passion, growth, and the arts: Zar. Both are necessary forces to balance against corruption, or the grand evil (Taluz). A corrupted sun brings tyranny and injustice, while a corrupted moon brings solipsism and violent anarchy.

The faith as a whole is a polytheistic one, worshipping a pantheon of gods and spirits. The gods of the pantheon are part of the Pyrzahal, representing Pozhis, Zar, or a mediating force of meditation and wisdom known as Dazhev.



THE PANTHEON
There are but 3 main gods in the Pyrzahali faith: Poziglov Perunika, Menya Devanica, and Sudezhva Zalyria. In common practice, only their surnames are evoked. Their full names are usually only spoken by witches, priests, and the High Wixen in prayer. That is not to say that they are the only beings worshipped in Pyrzalahalism. A multitude of spirits, whether they be spirits of nature or spirits of ideas or anything in between, are commonly invoked in prayer.

Poziglov Perunika, the Sunfather.

The patron god of the sun, the ideals of Pozhis, and the guardian and judge of the living. He is the twin of Menya Devanica, in a contest with his sibling in an eternal race to prove his prowess over her. It is he who ordained the Dragiç’s right to execute his will on Earth, and to act as the arm of his protection for his chosen people. 1

Menya Devanica, the Moonmother.

She is the patron god of the moon, the ideals of Zar, and the guardian and chief of the dead. Her spirits of the dead guide the recently departed into the stars, where they rest and act as defenders of the heavens. She is the twin of Poziglov Perunika, in a contest with her sibling in an eternal race to prove her prowess over him. It is she who created the Coven Of Zar, serving as the foundation for the double-church system in the faith. Traders, wanderers, mothers, the ill, the injured, the smitten, the mourning, and those who require her guidance in Zar often pray to her. 2

Sudezhva Valyria, the Blind Sage.

They are the patron god of the High Wixen and the ideals of Dazhev. In myth, Sudezhva had sacrificed their eyes for ultimate wisdom; their left eye was scorched out by the sun in exchange for an unrivaled perception of the past, and their right eye was pecked out by crows in exchange for an unrivaled ability to provide counsel and orate in the present. They had nothing left to sacrifice to observe the future barring their own existence, and as such, relied on the past and the present to attempt to predict it. Scholars, historians, and anyone who requires great wisdom and insight often pray to them.

Taluz, the Grand Evil.

In opposition to these three gods is the Grand Evil, or Taluz. Anthropologically speaking, Taluz was considered a more metaphorical evil referring to the corruption of morals and beliefs in Pozhis or Zar. 3 However, since the Calamity and the diaspora of the Fyrmáni, Taluz has taken on a more literal form in Pyrzahalism, acting as the insidious force behind the monsters and evils that had once taken over (and still wreak havoc across) Elarion. In the contemporary faith, Taluz is a masterful shapeshifter and manipulator, able to corrupt the minds of creatures, spirits, and even the gods themselves. Many of the practices practised by Pyrzahali practitioners are intended to purge the evil of Taluz from any aspect of life that threatens to undermine the Dazhev.


THE HIGH WIXEN
The practice of the faith is limited mostly to the Fyrmáni through the High Wixen, The Cult Of Pozhis, and The Coven Of Zar. Practitioners of Pyrzahalism ritually pray twice: once in the morning, saluting their arms open towards the rising sun, and once at evening, bowing themselves towards the rising moon. Common prayer, prophecy, divine counsel, and others are commonly dictated at the fire or water temples or towards the sky in a skywards embrace.

While the priests of the Cult Of Pozhis and the witches of the Coven Of Zar tend to exclusively limit themselves towards interpreting the nature of Pozhis and Zar respectively, the High Wixen and their disciples are able to dictate and study both to provide national counsel and interpretations. They act as a source of Hahal, balancing both aspects of the faith to provide the truest form of Pyrzahal. They often lead prayers in the tribe, and act as a spiritual advisor to the High Chief and the people, Pyrzahalism is an important part of government and society amongst the Fyrmáni, but does not dominate either entirely.


COMMON PRACTICES
Prayers for wellbeing, safety, and goodwill are made towards Devanica. Prayers for glory and fortune are made towards Perunika. Prayers for wisdom and intelligence are made towards Valyria. General exclamations are made towards any god that suits one’s fancy.

Prayers begin with the traditional statement of Ohtche prest, roughly translated to “To the powers that be”, followed by the intended final recipient of the prayer. Prayers end with the statement of “Akmat”, or “I submit.”

Larger prayers, made for predictions or counsel from the gods themselves, are done mostly by priests of the Cult of Pozhis, witches from the Coven of Zar, or from the High Wixen themself. They are typically done in respective tserkrovmat, or “holy temples.” Tserkrovm iz Pozhis, or known colloquially as fire temples, use blessed fire braziers to offer divine counsel and wisdom regarding Pozhis and Perunika. Likewise, Tserkrovm iz Zar are known as water temples, which use the properties of water to provide divine counsel and wisdom regarding Zar and Devanica.

Tserkrovm iz Pozhis

The divine braziers of the fire temples, the mazkral, are expected to burn in perpetuity. The patterns of flames, the shape of smoke, and the intensity of the flame itself are observed when burning certain ceremonial herbs or sacrifices in order to predict the nature of all things related to Pozhis. For predictions of ill-omen regarding future decisions, engraved bones are thrown into the fire to have the ensuing cracks observed and divined. Even the simple observation of the flames serves a religious purpose.

Tserkrovm iz Zar

These temples center around a specially built room that is designed to echo and make sounds in certain ways when in certain positions. The center of the room houses a specially designed cauldron of water, intended to ring with noise when stirred or tapped. More extravagant or detailed temples have the walls and floors covered with layers of water to help magnify the echoes. By ringing certain bells, playing certain instruments, or interacting with the cauldron, a witch of Zar may help provide divine counsel.

Footnotes
1. It is clear that this date should be a holiday, but none of the three races can agree on what to name it. For now, they call it The Great Reunion. All three parties loathe the idea of continuing to call it this for much longer.
2. Those who would consider themselves as LGBTQIA+ refer to themselves as “Children Of The Moon”. Same sex relationships have been ingrained in Pyrzahalism and Fyrmáni culture for centuries. People who identify as non-cisgender refer to themselves as “waning children” or “waxing children” for trans men and trans women respectively, and were once considered miracles of the gods. Non-binary or gender nonconforming individuals were considered “spirit-touched”, believed to have had been touched by the gods or the spirits of nature directly. These days, the titles still remain, but are no longer considered holy due to the extended period of exile which had damaged much of the astrological origins of Pyrzahalism.

3. Pre-Calamity Pyrzahalism was mostly centered on the ability to balance between the two natures of Pozhis and Zar without giving into corruption and decadence. Taluz was seen less as its own sentient and insidious adversary to the gods, but more as a corruption of the gods themselves. If a people fell too deep into tyranny and zealous discrimination, they were considered Pozhis ak Taluz, or “order unto corruption”. If a people fell too deep into anarchy and slothful decadence, they were considered Zar ak Taluz, or “change unto corruption”. These beliefs still hold in the contemporary beliefs of Pyrzahalism, but the practitioners of the faith now consider the corruption not to be hidden aspects of the gods, but of a more insidiously intelligent and sentient representation of Taluz.

OOC:
Credits to mmjinae
 
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