The unique faith of the Fyrmáni people , Pyrzahalism is an old religion with its origins rooted since long before the Calamity. Though the following of the faith is small, and dates all the way back to before the Calamity, the ideals and beliefs of the faith have influenced the culture and traditions of the Fyrmáni peoples, even to this day. Pyrzahalism is a tritheistic faith, meaning they give praise to three deities, centered around the conflict between universal harmony and corruption. Pyrzahalists believe that the entire universe is built around two equal, yet opposite ideals: Prótas, the nature of the sun, earth, life, law, and order, amongst other things; and Zahatt, the nature of the moon, stars, water, death, chaos, and change, to name a few. These ideals are represented by their own respective deity, who collectively rule over nearly every aspect of the universe. The balance between Prótas and Zahatt is known as Dazév, or harmony; when the world is balanced and operating as it should, it is viewed as harmonious and good. Dazév disappears when the world does not act harmoniously, and there is a corruption of either ideals. Like how Prótas and Zahatt oppose each other, so does harmony and corruption. This corruption is known as Jorhen, and Pyrzahalists are actively aware of and fighting against the encroaching wave of corruption. This is done mostly through the tenants of the faith, which demand specific actions and behaviors to uphold harmonious behavior.
Pyrzahalists believe in a cyclical universe as well. They believe that there will come a time when Jorhen will succeed in corrupting the universe, and consume everything in the end times. Two survivors will inherit the remains of the old universe, and create a new one in their image. Rather uniquely, they believe that our own universe is but one in an infinite cycle of universes, with two of their gods being considered to be Inheritors in their own right. The faith as a whole was revealed nearly 900 years ago, before the Calamity, to the prophet Athanasi. He received the divine word from the god Právolar, who would continue to send him the truth of the universe through visions and revelations of the past for 21 years until his death. Athanasi would migrate from his homeland in the south and towards the north, spreading his word amongst the people who would become the Fyrmáni. His divine visions and words were transcribed into the Právdak, the holy book of Pyrzahal.
Terminology and Pronunciations
|*Prótas: [Pro:.tas] The aspects of the universe that lean towards order and production. Aspects such as tradition, fire, the sun, the earth, life, and law are related to this.|
|*Zahatt: [Za.hatʃ] The aspects of the universe that lean towards chaos and change. Aspects such as passion, water, the moon, the sky, death, and chance are related to this.|
|*Dazév: [Da.ze:v] The balance between Prótas and Zahatt. This represents the overall harmony in the universe. Means “harmony” in Fyrnní.|
|*Nyah: [Njaɣ] The name for the trinity of the main gods: Pérunika, Dévanika, and Právolar. Means “Three” in Fyrnní.|
|*Pérunika: [Pe:.ru.ni.ka] The god representing Prótas. He makes up one half of the Inheritors, and is the twin brother of Dévanika. He is also the patron god of the dwarves.|
|*Dévanika: [De:.va.ni.ka] The god representing Zahatt. She makes up the other half of the Inheritors, and is the twin sister of Pérunika. She is the patron god of the elves.|
|*Právolar: [pra:.vo.lar] The god representing Dazév. They are the patron of humanity, magic, enlightenment, balance, and knowledge, and are the positive god of the Antipode. Their name loosely translates to “pure grace.”|
|*Jorhen: [gor.ɣen] The entity representing corruption, destruction, and the end of all things. They are the evil deity of the faith, and aim to consume and end every cycle of the universe. The negative entity of the Antipode.|
The Three (Nyah)
As stated before, there are three main worshipped deities in the Pyrzahali faith, as well as a fourth evil entity, each representing their own important ideal or nature of the universe. The deities can be split into two groups, organized by their duality and opposite relationship with the other: the Inheritors, the gods who represent Prótas and Zahatt; and the Antipode, or the deities of Dazév and Jorhen. The three worshipped deities are referred to as the Nyah, or the Three.
The Inheritors are made up of the gods Pérunika, icon of Prótas, and Dévanika, icon of Zahatt. They are believed to be the first beings in existence, believed to have inherited the old universe. However, They are not necessarily good or evil. They are heavily influenced by the balance of the universe -- if they are considered to be harmonious, then they bestow mostly positive blessings upon the world, but if they are corrupted, they plague the world instead. They just are, like many aspects of the universe, and cannot be blamed for what they do. They are never perfectly harmonious, but likewise, can never be perfectly corrupted. The Antipode, on the other hand, are caught in a very moral conflict of harmony versus corruption. Právolar represents the active fight against corruption, whether that be from outside forces, or from within. Harmony must be actively upheld, lest it be overrun by the endless and unyielding influences of corruption and decay. Právolar is doomed to eventually succumb to the evil of Jorhen, giving way for him to consume the universe in his eternal hunger. Unlike the other three gods, who are consistently reborn and recreated, Jorhen is eternal, and does not change from universal iteration to iteration.
Pérunika, The Sunfather, Icon of Prótas
Sunfather Pérunika is one of the Inheritors, and twin god of Dévanika. He is the Icon of Prótas, meaning that he represents the ideals of law, society, sun, fire, earth, life, and tradition, as well as similar ideals leaning towards order. He is the patron god of the ruling dynasty of Fyrmána, having bestowed upon each ruler the right to rule. When his ideals are perfectly harmonious and in accordance with the rest of the universe, he bestows blessings upon the world through his icon: the flowering of spring and summer, the growth of crops and livestock, the establishment of righteous consciousness amongst the people. However, the Inheritors are never in perfect harmony, as corruption always leaves a hold on the universe. The decay of Prótas can be seen in the physical way, such as through earthquakes, droughts, and wildfires, or through more social and societal curses, such as through the rise of tyranny, oppression, and utilitarian cruelty. It is the behaviors of all sentient mortals that influences the corruption and harmony of Pérunika and the Inheritors. In mythology, Pérunika is often depicted as the physical representation of Prótas. In the founding myth of the Právdak, he himself chose what aspects to adopt as his own, quite literally creating himself in the process in the ultimate form of self-actualization. He has a strong rivalry with Dévanika, but it is not aggressive nor hostile. He is considered to be the ultimate King of the living realm. Pyrzahalists believe that Pérunika was the progenitor of the dwarves, who were one of the first sentient creatures next to the elves.
Dévanika, The Moonmother, Icon of Zahatt
Moonmother Dévanika is the other Inheritor, and the twin sister of Pérunika. She is the icon of Zahatt, which represents the ideals of change, water, the moon, the stars, death, luck, and passion, as well as other aspects that relate to chaos. She is the patron god of the resting dead. When a Fyrmáni dies, their spirits are accepted by Dévanika, who sends them to live with their family amongst the stars. Each star actually represents a different family that has been reunited after death, with some nobility even claiming certain stars as their own (for example, the Dragiç family commonly claim the North Star as belonging to their ancestors). When her ideals are perfectly harmonious, she bestows blessings such as good fortune, generous rain, luck in love and in one’s relationships, amongst others. However, as with Pérunika, Zahatt can never be purely harmonious, and brings with it its own ‘curses’. Political decadence, overindulgence in one’s wants, and violent anarchy represent the more social and societal aspects of Zahatt, while floods, blizzards, storms, and bouts of plague represent the physical aspects. These are not truly curses, as they are not directly controlled by Dévanika -- they are Dévanika, and she simply is. She is, quite literally, one half of all of existence, including what sentients typically believe to be good and evil. The Inheritors are neutral in the most literal way possible. Still, many pray to Dévanika for a multitude of purposes, such as praying for the peaceful passing of a loved one, a restful night’s rest, good fortune and luck in the future, and others. She is believed to be the progenitor of the elves, who she mothered in competition with Pérunika.
Právolar, The Risen, Paragon of Dazév
Unlike the Inheritors, the Antipode are a dichotomy not of two equal, yet neutral aspects of the universe, but of the ideals of good harmony, and corrosive corruption. Their power and ability to fight Jorhen is also rooted heavily in the efforts of mortals -- the more corruption has taken hold of the people of the world, the harder it is for Právolar to keep Jorhen at bay. On the contrary, the more people there are who actively fight against corruption, the easier it is for Jorhen to be sealed away and kept at bay. Their power is not inherited, but sourced from the faith of their believers and the actions of all mortals. Právolar is unique in that they were not given the status of godhood. In fact, they were once a human themselves, by the name of Jifiyott. Their adventures are chronicled within The Právdak, detailing their entire mortal and early immortal life from their birth, to their childhood, to their adventures across Enarion, their growing enlightenment and discovery of mortal magic, and their eventual ascension and Second Sealing of Jorhen. Jifiyott, unlike other heroes from southern myths, is renowned not for their incredible strength or force of personality -- throughout the Právdak, the reader witnesses Jifiyott failing multiple times in fights against beasts and monsters. They are instead renowned for their clever wit and indomitable will to do good, which would later cement their status to godhood and the establishment of Dazév, the active fight to preserve harmony against the encroaching forces of corruption. Their chosen weapon is an indestructible, enchanted mithril scimitar known as Zekúks, which was used to defeat and lock away Jorhen until the present day and, hopefully, beyond (Zekúks eventually became the Fyrnní word for mithril itself). Právolar is not only the patron god of harmony and Dazév, but also of knowledge, willpower, wisdom, and magic. They are also the patron god of humanity, having risen above to represent them separately from the dwarves and the elves.
Jorhen, The Corrupted, the Eternal Hunger
Jorhen makes up the corrupted side of the Antipode, the eternal hunger that is doomed to end the universe. Even if their Fyrnní name is unfamiliar, all of Enarion is familiar with another one of its monikers: the Calamity. While the other gods represent a truth or aspect of the universe, Jorhen is an entire aspect of the universe in and of themself. Jorhen simply is, was, and always will be, making them the oldest of all of the gods. They have existed since the beginning of the first cycle of the universe, and will continue to exist until the final cycle of the universe ends, all sparks of creation diminished, and Jorhen becomes all for the rest of eternity. In a sense, they are a force of nature, only existing to perpetuate the encroaching evils of corruption, destruction, and annihilation. The most insidious act of Jorhen is their very corruption of the gods. The aspects of Prótas and Zahatt are suspect to the corruption of Jorhen, furthering the eventual demise of the universe. As Jorhen is less a singular god or deity and more of a plural manifestation of corruption and destruction, they are responsible for nearly every act of evil and cruelty. A tyrant king, a brutal serial killer, the spread of plague, the invasion of demonkind and monsters -- even if they are caused by actual actors in the mortal plane, they are all puppets of Jorhen’s influence.
Practices and Beliefs
The faith is an introspective one, one that is focused on maintaining the balance of not just the world, but also of one’s own spirit. Pyrzahalists practice their faith mainly through meditation and prayer as a means of communicating with one's own internal harmony and the harmony of the universe. However, they do not rely on the gods to better their lives. In fact, most Pyrzahalists understand that the gods are not necessarily to be trusted. The Inheritors are too fickle and their wants too convoluted for mortals to understand, and seeing as they are representations of the universe itself and not beholden to mortals at all, they are not cursed for bringing about droughts or floods and the like. While prayers are still made to them asking for blessings, they are seen as gifts -- freely given, but not promised. Prayers are commonly accompanied by a material sacrifice, ranging from food to furs to incense to even animal sacrifices, depending on the scale of the blessing they are trying to ask for.