The Inner Order of Ederism is a cult of chaos-worshipers, too small to be deemed a major religion, even in its religious birthplace Tiratir. Due to their barbaric sacrifices and rituals, theft worshiping of chaos, and their mad leader, the cult is often deemed savage and inhumane. Most members were born into belief, as the cult encourages family development, and those who were not were typically lower-class peasants seeking final salvation, or outlandish and outspoken philosophers who embrace the religion's idea of universal indifference to humanity.

History Edit

The religion was initially a subdivision of Children of a New that simply believed Edera to be the creator God, under the philosophy that the world was initially stagnant and orderly, but chaos brought forth matter and life, and that death is but the inevitable return to order. But worship of the dark goddess as a creator slowly caused the dissolution of all the old gods but Edera, and without a sacred text, the religion was nothing but a confusing mess with violent rituals conducted for a mad goddess. But Bilvork Grott, known as Atash Kemnar at the time, brought forth reform by reshaping the lore and holding a convention with others of his rank—and the Muad'Göll himself—that created a sacred text and destroyed all older records that suggested anhthing against it to retain a hold on the cultists. Through this success, Bilvork became Mort Kemnar upon the Muad'Göll's death, and Ederism became what it is now.

Belief Edit

The reforms were subtle, mostly just means of eliminating principles of Children of a New and making it its own religion with its own explanations regarding creation of the universe and of life. Ederists acknowledge various spirits of darkness and chaos as deities, though they worship Golmora: Goddes of Chaos and Life. They despise The God of Order and death, seeing death as order and stagnancy, whereas Entropy is the juice of life. As a result, these chaos-worshiper praise life and fertility, as many of their rituals include fortification as well as sacrifices. The primary focus of the religion is to perform rituals to appeal to the chaos spirits and achieve spiritual growth in letting go of order and embracing the chaos inherent in life. They see the Muad'Göll as the sole prophet of Golmora, though they believe many other prophets of lesser spirits to exist. To them, divine intervention only occurs to those who have appealed to the gods and spirits well enough. They believe that the universe was once but stagnant water, until Golmora was born and disrupted the surface, creating ripples and waves that formed the universe. The Waters of Time are embodied within Ederism as Aerosos. Golmora's disruption of the natural order created chaos and brought Aerosos life. The children that sprung from Golmora's womb were the Spirits of Chaos. As children of Aerosos, they were more material than their mother, but still aethereal. The Spirits of Chaos created the minor gods land and sky, as well as Leumas, God of the Sun. The Children of Golmora and Leumas were the Elementals and sirens: proud and respectable races. Among them were minor spirits, who created most of the life on earth. But the children of Golmora and Land were the most versatile, simple, and perfect of them all: men, who were Golmora's favorite. Sky became jealous, so she conspired against her family and raped Land. A great feud ensued, forming the mountains and canyons of the earth. Sky ended up losing and was banished to remain above land for all eternity, close enough to see, yet too far to interact with any being but Leumas. Yet despite the little bubble of chaos that formed life and matter, the overbearing power of Drazuul: God of Order began to press down upon the world. Golmora noted that chaos could not survive against order, as many of her beloved children would suddenly return to inanimate states. She made an agreement with Drazuul: that all of her creations would remain for a given time, then their bodies would deteriorate and they would return to stagnancy, while their essence would survive and once again become one with Golmora. She needed a means of communicating this deal with the humans, so Golmora and Drazuul had a child who would become the first Muad'Göll, and upon his death, its spirit would posses a new body.

Practices Edit

Ederista perform a plethora of rituals and celebrate bountiful holidays to please Golmora. The holidays tend to be week-long celebrations, commemorating the gods, past heroes, and miracles with feasts, entertainment, music, and more. During these festivals, officials (not including Pyr-then) are no longer bound by their previous regulations, with the exception of the rules regarding marriage. Rituals are also not required during these festivals. Rituals tend to be complicated and violent ones, though. Pyratyen fire rituals last days at a time and are so secret, not even the Muad'Göll knows of their nature. Common cultist rituals typically involve meditation, chants in ancient languages, and ceremonial dances. Sacrificial rituals typically involve the removal of the digestive system of the animal sacrifice, which is then doused with various oils, perfumes, and liquids before it is burned and the organs fed to the acolytes (many practices are included in the "organization section.") Further notable rituals would be the labor ceremony, which involves any sort of manual labor beneficial to the temple, competed in complete silence with chicken's blood on the face. Upon completion, the subject must pray to Golmora and make a sacrifice. The Mage's ritual involves the subject standing in a ring of lamb blood with eight insensitive burners on said ring. Then four ceremonialists paint the subject's face, arms, and chest with more blood before leading the subject to the sacred fire, where the ceremonialists shall dance and chant, then throw lavender into the fire. A thrall or prisoner to be executed shall be forced to fornicate with the subject as the Pyratyen pray to the spirits to give the subject power. One of the ceremonialists shall injest ceremonial narcotics with the subject, cast the slave into the flames, gaze into the fire, and grant the new Mage a new surname. The ceremony is similar for Pyratyen initiation, though it lasts longer and occurs while the subject actively makes sacrifices and prays to Golmora. The rest of that ceremony is secret. Large families are incouraged by the cult, and at the age of thirteen, each child is brought to a temple, where he or she shall smoke ceremonial pipeweed, then come before the sacred text. A sacrifice shall be made, and an eye in the mouth of a snake (the holy symbol) shall be tattooed onto the wrist. A dancing and chanting ritual occurs and robes are given. Marriage is highly formal. The two subjects stand together with hands bound together by a linen soaked in perfumes. They are doused with holy waters and lavender is rubbed against their open hands! which are then cut with a ceremonial knife and placed together to mix blood. They are taken to ceremonialists, who shave both of their heads, then tattoo the symbol of matrimony onto their scalps, where hair will eventually return to cover the tattoo. The newly weds may not mate until the tattoo cannot be seen from beneath the hair, and as soon as a named official approves the symblo's vanishing, the two are required to spend the night together before the sacred fire. The bond is removed aFree they are we'd, but stored until the night before the fire, when it is burned. If either or both subjects cannot grow hair to cover the tattoo, an official shall notify them when they must sleep before the fire. Festivities begin and last for two days, and the couple is given three days of leave prior to the festivities. Death is a lot less formal. The body is bathed in vinegar and women stitch fanciful linens with which the body is wrapped. It is burned in the sacred fire, the bones are buried, and a one-day festival begins.

Organization Edit

The Acolyte is the lowest-ranking official within the cult. Given the title "Navar" (or "Navai" if female), these officials must give up material possessions, with the exception of holy robes (black with blue trim), a holy symbol, and a sacrifice knife. They sleep and eat in solitude, eating only the distasteful organs salvaged from sacrifices during sunset.  Acolytes may only wed other members of the cult and can only fornicate with their spouses during nightly rituals. No official of any sort  may speak to his or her superior unless spoken to, the only exception being rituals.  Herbad are the next highest ranking. They practice the same restrictions, yet they must perform arduous labor, rituals, or labor-based rituals from sundown to sunrise daily. They may not fornicate unless it is part of a ceremony and may never wed. They receive the title "Seeker" before their name. They wear black robes with white trim (regular cultists have solid black robes). Higher-ranking still is the Mage (not to be confused with Users of Magic, which call themselves by the same name, but are completely unrelated. Mages are Herbads who have gained special favor in the eyes of their superiors, and through twisted, violent rituals are granted further authority, power, and clerical magic (though very weak). They are subject to all previous restrictions, yet must wear a silver mask with arcane engravings and must wear black robes with silver trim at all times, or they lose their title of Magus. When one becomes a Mage, he or she discards his or her old name, performing a ritual before the sacred fire. He or she gains a new surname, while the given name is determined by rank. A Mage's given name is "Magus." They are very well-respected and feared amongst the cultists. Pynrathen, though, are even more greatly respected. They may never speak anything but ancient black chants under any condition. Pyratyen are tasked with tending to the Sacred Fire of a temple, casting pyromania spells fueled by sacrifices and firewood. Each sacrificed chicken is enough to enhance firewood to last for about a week, yet the ritual is high-maintnence and requires almost all of their time. With the exception of the sexual components in the ritual required to grant them the title of Magus, the ritual that grants them the Pyratyen role, and the naming ritual, they are sworn to chastity and abstinence. They wear gold versions of Mage masks, though their robes are otherwise identical. One does not have to gain this rank in order to advance in the hierarchy, as a matter of fact, one who gains this position may never gain another. Though they are not the highest in rank, they are irrefutably the most respected, excluding the Muad'Göll, of course. Athravan are above mages, though one does not have to have been a Mage to reach this position' so long as he or she was an Herbad, though most Athravan were Mages, though they do not have to wear the masks. In order to gain this rank, one must do more than the regular training: he or she must perform a pilgrimage on foot to the docks in southern Tiratir, where a boat shall take them to Mjaelör. During this pilgrimage, all candidates must not wear cultist attire as to keep it secret and must cover the wrist tattoo. Upon reaching the destination, the candidate must use his blade to cut his palm and drip his blood into the sacred fire. He shall then receive the appropriate red-frilled black robes and have his head shaved completely (he or she may never allow his or her hair to grow visibly again). Then, he will receive the given name Atash and the secret hand sign of this rank. Upon returning home, the new Athravan shall collect a large number of cultists as disciples. They shall all be trained and at least gain the position of Acolyte, but only one will become an Athravan. They may speak to anyone as they please, feast however they desire, so long as they perform rituals and sacrifices daily. They may not marry, but are permitted to fornicate with any member of the cult as they please (except for the Pynrathens) so long as any children created as a result are sacrificed. But the most important position of all is that of the Muad'göll. The Muad'Göll is worshiped almost as a God himself. This being must be an Athravan. When the Muad'Göll perishes, his corpse is burned in the sacred fire of the Mjaelör temple. All cultists shall fast for seven fortnights, performing sacrifices at sundown. Then the Athravan from all over the eight kingdoms (the cult has yet to spread elsewhere) gather around the sacred fire and chant and pray for one more fortnight. They injest ceremonial narcotics, but the process of choosing a leader beyond that point is top secret. The Muad'Göll has all the rights and privileges of all the inferior ranks without the restrictions (except for marriage; he may never marry.) He receives ornate black robes with gold frill and trim, and the given name "Mort." The identity of the Muad'Göll must be kept a secret to outsiders at all times, as the man often assumes alter egos outside of establishments.