Religion


Religion is a comprehensive worldview or ‘metaphysical moral vision’ that is accepted as binding because it is held to be in itself basically true and just even if all dimensions of it cannot be either fully confirmed or refuted.

The people of Rydovan worship many religions and philosophies:

Avatism


Avatism is the most followed religion in Rydovan. During the rise of the empire, it was declared the official religion. Avatism is a monotheistic religion centered around Avatus with dualistic cosmology focusing on good, truth, and light vs evil, lies, and darkness.

In 249 AR, the Norchist movement grew to the height of it’s popularity after a group of Norchists were attacked by solders during a protest of the orthodox church’s imprisonment of Deep Pantheon priests. The movement soon after formed into the church of Norchist Avatism. Over the course of several years after Norchist Avatism was created, the Orthodox Avatist church began to shift away from many of their older beliefs and practices.

Orthodox Avatism

Orthodox Avatism, also known as The Old Church, dates back long before the times of the empire. It is centered around Avatus and a small number of saints and a central church. The Orthodox church is the most popular religion in much of Rydovan, though it is starting to decline in popularity as the government backing behind the church has been waning over the past decades.

The Orthodox church has had many controversies in the past due to the treatment of followers of other religions, along with the treatment of Kayal, Wayangs, Oreads, and Ysoki. This culminated in an inquisition against followers of The Deep Pantheon in the years of 214-253 AR. The Inquisition ended after the Norchist Movement culminated into a rivaling church and started to draw many members of the Orthodox Church away. The current church still has a record of controversies dealing with non-members and other races, but there are many factions within the church that seek to change it’s ways.

Norchist Avatism

Norchist Avatism, sometimes referred to as The New Church, is the second most popular religion in Rydovan. It is seen as a less authoritarian or hostile alternative to the Orthodox Church. The church is less formally structured, being focused around Avatus himself instead of the church around him. Norchists are not free from controversy either. Many Wayangs and Kayal report that many regions with Norchist government leaders have significantly less legal rights that apply to their race.

The Deep Pantheon


The Deep Pantheon, also known as The Shadow Pantheon, is one of the oldest religions in the underground. It is most commonly associated with Kayal and Wayangs, but it has followers of all races. It is a polytheist religion with a pantheon of 9 major gods, and countless minor deities. The church is known to promote personal autonomy, the rights of non-humans and underclass citizens, and opposing the Avatist churches. It has been unpopular for much of the empire’s time, but it had a resurgence after the Avatist Church split. Followers of the Deep Pantheon have often been accused of working with dark powers, using evil magic, seeking the destruction of the empire, and various crimes ranging from vandalism to kidnapping to mass human sacrifice. Many followers of the Deep Pantheon refute these claims as slander by the Avatist church. There is some credible evidence that some Deep Pantheon cults engage in these activities.

Yekre


Yekre is among of the newest religions in the underground, but it has quickly gained a small amount of popularity. Most people associate the religion with Elves, who make up the largest group of followers. It originated around 164 BE when Cathna Aelis, an Elven Deep Pantheon priest reappeared in Sholn after not being seen for several years. They recounted meditating in a cave when a new opening formed, and beyond it they discovered an ancient temple. They said that the temple tells of the god Amosis, and all of creation is physically part of Amosis. It told how most sapient beings originated when they were cut off from Amosis during a great battle with Lothar, the embodiment of sin, and that Elves were cut off on purpose by Amosis to teach Yekre to other beings so their souls could reform into Amosis. Yekre, the way of god, is a code that one must follow if they wish for their souls to reform into Amosis, it covers how one must abstain from sin and to reconnect with Amosis.

There are multiple sects of followers of Yekre, each with a different recounting of the code of Yekre. The Cathnan sect is known for the very strict code, which followers say is the most accurate code to what was on the temple. Pramagan followers have a much looser code, as they say that most of the original code was unnecessary, and that the most important part was the spiritual connection with Amosis. The Dakalan sect teaches the most unique code, saying that the Cathnan code is a mistranslation of the original code on the temple, and that their code is much more accurate.

Explorers have often travelled to Sholn in hopes of rediscovering the temple that Cathna Aelis found, but none have come back with credible proof of finding the temple, most claims of finding the temple have been discovered to be hoaxes. This has led many historians to theorize that Cathna Aelis’ tale is mostly fictional. Some theories go as far as saying that Cathna Aelis created Yekre as a way to get power and fame, some others say that the temple was the result of many years of isolation leading to Cathna Aelis going mad and hallucinating the temple. Other historians say that the temple was a message from Amosis themself, and that they deleted the message after it was recieved. Most Yekre sects have had a steady peace with the Churches of Avatus, often being the only religion allowed besides Avatism due to the similarity of Yekre to much of the churchs’ doctrine and the relatively unharmful nature of Yekre.

Other Religions and Philosophies


There are many less-popular religions followed in Rydovir, along with unorganised philosophies.

Shamanism

Shamanism, sometimes referred to as animism, is the belief that there are spirits that inhabit all objects, creatures, and places, making them alive. Shamanism dates back to before the earliest historical record, and is believed to be the oldest religion, having roots in almost all cultures. Most contemporary followers of Shamanism are druids, rangers, shamans, and oreads, though it has followers of every background.

Omnism

Omnism is the belief that most religions have an amount of truth to them, but it sometimes is just used to refer to the belief that more than one religion have an amount of truth. Omnists belief ranges from worshipping every god and saint of the major religions to believing that the doctrine of two different churches are both partially correct.

Nontheism

Nontheism is an umbrella term to refer to multiple beliefs, such as agnosticism, deism, naturalism, and atheism. Nontheistic belief can range from believing in the presence of gods but choosing not to worship any to outright rejection of divinity. Although atheism rejects the belief in gods, there are atheist clerics and paladins. Some believe this proves that gods don’t exist, and that divine magic is powered by one’s force of will instead of a god. Others believe that it is due to a god granting magic to a non-follower