Elilanelilesim, Tselim, The Lady Of Light, Guardian of the Ceruth

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Elilanelilesim, Tselim, The Lady Of Light, Guardian of the Ceruth

Post by Admin on Mon Aug 15, 2011 4:30 pm

Name: Elilanelilesim, Tselim, The Lady of Light, Guardian of the Ceruth


Location: The Lady of Light has cast her presence over a great many places over time, but she has only ever followed her people. Wherever the Ceruth go, she is there, protecting them. Currently, the only worshipers of The Lady of Light are located at Imilis-Ceruth.


Holy Days: Each full moon is spent participating in an important ritual to The Lady of Light, believed to be necessary to continue receiving Her protection and grace. The Spring and Autumn Equinoxes are also very important events, believed to be the time when The Lady and Her Powers are in alignment and the people watch for a sign of her continued presence.

Days when the moon is spotted in the sky during daylight are considered especially fortuitous and lucky.

Solar eclipses are especially amazing omens, believed to be special occasions when The Lady receives Her Power outside of the natural cycle.

New Moons are not necessary holy days, but are none the less special. The absence of the moon is believed to be a sign that the Lady's protection is minimal and great care should be taken.


Summarized Philosophy: The Lady of Light protects and cherishes her followers, granting good health and good fortune. The Lady is to be honored for all things, but above all her protection that has allowed the people, the Ceruth, to survive in the face of destruction time and again.

The Lady and Her Power are separate, only aligning at special times during the year. Without Her Power, The Lady cannot command miracles to occur, and thus can only love and care with a generous heart and gentle touch. Without The Lady and Her Will, Her Power rests, gaining Its strength such that The Lady can use it once more. When The Lady and Her Power are in alignment, She can summon forth miracles, and Her people look for a sign of Her presence.

The relationship between The Lady and Her Power are often compared to the sun and moon. The sun is terribly bright and overbearing, always burning at full force. The light from the moon is far more gentle and can change how much light it gives off. That's why such events as a solar eclipse or the equinoxes are important, as it represents the equality of both the sun and moon.


Practices: Each settlement of people requires a rectangular altar of stone with a raised dais and a hollow center. A stone carving of the Lady of Light is placed on the dias.

Each full moon is spent participating in a ritual to The Lady of Light. People congregate around the altar. First, the old stone carving of The Lady is removed from the dais and placed carefully in the hollow middle. A new stone carving replaces it. Many wood carvings, each of the Lady and each representing a family of the settlement, are placed around and beneath the stone idol. A large bonfire is constructed, aligning the altar towards the location of the moon in the sky and lit when the moon rises. When the moon aligns with the bonfire and altar, portions of the bonfire are carefully carried to the altar to light the wooden idols. A small feast is had. When the wooden idols are nothing but ash, the remains are swept into the hollow center to bury the old stone idol.

When the layers of ash and idols reaches the top of the hollowed section, the altar is built higher to deepen the pit.

While both men and women can be very devout, only women ascend to ranks of the clergy. There is no requirement for belonging to priestesshood other than a life dedicated to absolute belief and the study of astrology to interpret any signs from the night sky that The Lady might bestow.


Organization: Each settlement is to have a priestess to which the settlement relies upon and aids in any way. Any number of apprentices can be had as long as such dedication to the faith does not harm the settlement or the people.

Upon the fortieth birthday of the priestess, she becomes a High Priestess and retires from daily responsibilities. The apprentice who has seen the most full moons then ascends to the rank of Priestess.

When there are multiple High Priestesses, they are often urged to move to places that do not have a High Priestess. High Priestesses are also expected to make pilgrimage to the largest and tallest altar, usually located at the capital, on the equinoxes.

Seniority is considered and respected whenever there are conflicts in interpretting signs.


Beliefs on Other Religions: Those who follow The Lady of Light do not discount the credibility of other religions. Other religions and dieties may exist, but the clergy insists that such dieties should not be worshiped. Only Elilanelilesim truly watches over the people of Ceruth, truly protects the people, and truly cherishes the people. While other dieties may command the winds or the fertility of the land, The Lady commands the survival and fortune of Ceruth, and She will ensure such things to those who have faith.

Several texts survive that accounts of High Priestesses who believe that The Lady negotiates with other dieties to provide in areas She cannot for the people. Even if it is so, thanks should only be given to The Lady, for it is She who ensured such benefits, and it is certainly She who thanks the other dieties in turn.

There used to be a grand journal that accounted the research of astrology, the history of The Lady's signs and their interpretations, and the lineage of the priestesses. The grand journal was lost during The Fall, though a new one has since been written and still survives with the Ceruth.


History: Little is known of the exact history of this faith. The oldest legends have been passed by tongue and their sites were erased by The Fall.

The legends speak of a band of nomads, a strong but stubborn people, who faced death if they did not abandon the same lands that their ancestors walked upon. There was a woman who had cried, saying that they should go, but knew no other land that could feed them. She looked to the night sky and the full moon and saw a vision of a beautiful lady cloaked in soft light. The vision spoke to her, telling her to take her people west.

The woman told her people of the vision and urged them northwest. Most called her insane and ran her off with the small portion that would listen to her. She led her people west for many days and nights, until they came upon a fertile valley and a lake under the light of the full moon. The woman thanked the lady cloaked in soft light, calling her "Elilanelilesim", The Lady Who Is Pure, Bright and Loving; She Who Guides, Cherishes and Protects. Clouds appeared to form in the sky, blocking the moon all save for a single ray which enveloped the woman. The people bowed and also gave their thanks to the goddess. The woman became the first priestess.

The people worked hard to start their new lives, and the priestess was cared for as she studied the stars and the phases of the moon. Eventually, another small group from the nomads came to the priestess and told of disaster, famine, and disease. They told the priestess they each had dreams of the priestess and her message, and they left and survived while no others did. The priestess urged the people to understand that The Lady should be heard and that they should obey, but also that She is forgiving to Her children, the people.

The people, who became known as the Ceruth, prospered for a long time. People from other bands and other nations tried to put the Ceruth to the sword, but the Ceruth forced them back and instead took land from them. Ceruth expanded, and though it was still small in comparison to its neighbors, its military prowess and conviction were feared and respected.

This continued for many, many generations, until finally a larger and more advanced force invaded Ceruth. The high priestess of the time told the leader of Ceruth that The Lady of Light compels him not to fight and to surrender the land. He commanded his people to gather their supplies and met the invaders. He told them they would surrender the land but not the people. The invaders exiled him and the rest of the Ceruth further west.

Many of the Ceruth doubted the interpretation of the high priestess as they fled even further west. Soon, though, they began hearing tales of the dead rising to claim the living and again thanked the goddess for their survival.

The high priestess alerted the people one day, telling everyone that she had seen the goddess crying and sobbing, asking forgiveness from the people and others the priestess did not know. The people were alarmed and restless. Then the sky was torn asunder by a blinding beacon of light, and Tilbury fell.

Only a small number of people had actually survived. Most of them were swept away or lost. The high priestess, the leader and the survivors found themselves on a coast of what used to be midland. Living became very hard, and though the people did survive, the high priestess and the leader passed shortly thereafter. A new priestess rose and led the people, struggling to survive. Over time there were others, some lost Ceruth, most strangers, but all had come to escape the cataclysm and all were compelled to believe in The Lady, for while it appeared she was very weak, the other gods seemed silent.

Then came the Atimarians. The priestess had heard The Lady, who had told her to submit the people. While doing so was so contrary to the lineage of Ceruth, they were compelled to obey and were spared by the arriving soldiers.

The Ceruth were stubbornly independent, even though each lived as vassals and second class citizens. Atimar looked down upon their religion, trying to breed both it and their independence out. Generations went by and still the people would not properly kneel, for even though they lost their history and way of life, they knew they were once strong and were held together by faith. However, even their faith and language were afflicted, for there were few accounts of The Lady's proper name and the people began to call Her Tselim.

An opportunity arose for Atimar, and sent the stubborn people to war on the mainland countries in a vast invasion. Though only the men were ordered, it had seemed that many of the women and supposed key figures of the clergy were smuggled with. The last reports from the Ceruth warband was a voyage east to flank the Sword States and prepare a beachhead for more soldiers.

So it was that The Lady, Tselim, led the Ceruth to independence. She went silent afterwards, confusing the people who then had to fend for themselves to survive. One group settled near ruins of a river city while the others kept to the river and settled further south.

The old practices, banned by the Atimar, were recounted and practiced once again. People feared that their methods of worship were imperfect or perhaps even insulting to The Lady, for they had only sparse written word and oral accounts of such things. However, The Lady appeared to them once again, and they were confident of their new place in the world.
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Re: Elilanelilesim, Tselim, The Lady Of Light, Guardian of the Ceruth

Post by CromTheConqueror on Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:24 pm

Avalanor*

You probably want a section on tenants so we understand how worshippers of The Lady are supposed to act.

Could I make this the religion of Impereich pending the tenants work out?

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Re: Elilanelilesim, Tselim, The Lady Of Light, Guardian of the Ceruth

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:36 am

Avalanor? What?


There are actually not really any tenants, other than to obey the wisdom of the priestesses, not to harm, physically or otherwise, other members of the faith, etc.

Nothing against drinking, lying, stealing, killing others, etc., as long as it's not to anyone who follows the faith or any that the priestess make clear that The Lady protects or otherwise wishes against.

The Lady of Light doesn't stand for anything but the survival of the people. She doesn't stand for any morals nor obligations unless it happens to deal with members of the faith.

It's sort of like "Protect and care for those around you as with the gentle touch of The Lady; for others, if they are not graced with Her protection, there exists nothing that prevents you."

I didn't really include any tenants because there aren't really any, but I think I need to edit some of what I've just said in so it makes more sense.


I don't really see a problem with them worshiping her, although I'd really wonder how they'd know of her. Only the Ceruth really worship her (and she in turn protects them), and they were part of Atimar up until the end of the invasion, and they are now between Tyrvold and The Wastes (Nation Profile coming soon). Not much opportunity there.
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