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The Severan Faith - A General Overview

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Orlkjestad
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The Severan Faith - A General Overview

Postby Orlkjestad » Sun Jan 22, 2012 4:24 pm

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The Severan Faith
A General Overview



History


The Severan faith, known as Severanism, is a religion based on the principles of the Severan prophet, Severus of Lucania. He was born some time during the winter of the year AD 778 in the hamlet of Lucania, with the exact date being placed by the Orthodox Severan Church at December 14th. This date is generally accepted by all sects of Severanism.

Little is known about his childhood, except for the fact that he was born into a family of farmers, and grew up farming the same land his ancestors had farmed. He would often wander off into the forests near the hamlet. In the fields, he learned how to work the land, how to tend to the animals, and perhaps most importantly, a good work ethic, which would later be incorporated into the religion he founded.

One day, while wandering in the forest he would often wander, the then-teenage Severus saw a 12-pointed star, which would later become the symbol for Severanism, and encountered a strange vision. It showed Severus preaching to an endless crowd, followed by the words "YOU ARE CHOSEN". He almost immediately set off without warning, beginning to travel around the villages near Lucania, giving sermons to all who would listen, converting some. He spread a message of equality, unity, and brotherhood. He spread the message of the Severan god, The Creator, and about how The Creator created the universe, and of The Creator's acceptance and benevolence. His words were written down into three different books; The Dorvani, The Rorvani, and The Farvani, which are the Severan holy books.

What is now Orlkjestad was a disunited area of warring city-states and small kingdoms when Severus began to preach. Most believed in the pagan religion of Pyrllianism, created thousands of years before. Those who didn't believe were often lynched. Wars were brutal, with combatants killing anyone and everyone that is even related to their enemies. Severus's teachings caught the attention of a young king of a modest kingdom covering what is now the city of Svolaarei. His name was Octavius, and he sought to unite the warring kingdoms. He converted to Severanism, made it the official religion of his kingdom, and by AD 807, he succeeded in his mission, creating the first Pyrillic Union, named for the peninsula it was based on.

Octavius proclaimed Severus the first Chancellor of the Orthodox Severan Church, and built a massive Divine Hall, or Severan place of worship, in the hamlet where Severus grew up. Severus established to Divine Council, a group of 12 people who oversee the church. However, he felt dissatisfied with his life, being showered with attention and adoration. He did not feel as if he deserved it, and at around AD 813, he locked himself in his parlor to pray for 3 weeks. At the end of his prayer session, he went out, and asked the most prolific member of the Divine Council to immolate him. After a lengthy attempt at convincing the council member, he complied, though hesitantly, covered Severus in lamp oil and set him on fire. Octavius, now known as Octavius the Great, was furious. In his rage, he killed the council member with his own two swords. It would not be until later that he would find out about Severus's final wish until later. Severus was buried in the catacombs beneath the Divine Hall Octavius built. That Divine Hall, the Divine Citadel, is the holiest area in the Severan religion.

After the death of Severus, the Orthodox Severan Church would survive, though it did not always follow Severus's teachings. Eventually, new sects of Severanism arose, the largest being Protestant Severanism, formed by Severans dissatisfied with the Orthodox Severan Church during the 16th century. Severanism became the largest religion in what is now Orlkjestad, precisely Orthodoxy.

Today, Severanism is practiced by many people. The current Chancellor of the Orthodox Church is Maurice II, and there are only 3 spots filled in the Divine Council, following a recent reorganization of the Council. Protestant Severanism is still strong, even if it is not the largest sect of the Church. Severanism remain a major religion, at least in Orlkjestad, and will probably remain that way for a long time.


Beliefs


The Creator/Creation


First and foremost, the main belief of Severanism is faith in a single, benevolent, loving god called The Creator. The Creator created the universe, the world, and life itself from his throne in Aurenevia (although these days more Severans believe in evolution and more scientific theories than the Severan creation myth). He created everything in existence with his own touch, giving everything a special attribute, something to help that being. He blessed all beings with free will, as well.

For millenia, everything coexisted in peace and harmony. But, as The Creator gave everything a perk, he also gave everything flaws. Eventually, the world was thrown into chaos as these flaws became apparent. Everything started to kill each other, out of disagreement, jealousy, or just pure rage. From these emotions came the pure essence of evil, materializing in Havran, the spirit of everything bad in the world. He reigned over the world, and the world became a wasteland. However, eventually The Creator fought back. He closed off that world, knowing it would be a lost cause to attempt to revive it, and created a new one.

He recreated everything he created on the other world, known as The Protoworld, but this time tried to correct the mistakes he made last time. Knowing he could not create a perfect being, he made everything with flaws. While last time, the flaws were left unbounded and wild, this time The Creator gave every being bounds to their flaws and emotions: Morality. While beings still fought, and still disagreed, and still killed, The Creator made sure that it did not get out of hand through the bounds he created. This world would grow to become our world, with the Creator never ceasing to oversee the beings he created, while The Protoworld remains a wasteland under the reign of Havran.


The Afterlife


Severans believe in three worlds: The Creator's realm, Aurenevia, our realm, and The Protoworld, Havran's realm. These three realms are eternal; They cannot be destroyed, not even through The Creator's own hand.

Severans believe that if one follows The Creator and Severus of Lucania's footsteps by following the core tenets of Severanism, one will be allowed to enter the world of The Creator, Aurenevia, and stay there for eternity, living the same way beings lived when The Creator first created them; In peace, harmony, and brotherhood.

However, if one commits grievous offenses against not just one's fellow beings, but also against the tenets of Severanism itself, one's spirit will be banished to The Protoworld for eternity, and live under the harsh and torturous reign of Havran.

There is no Purgatory in Severanism; Severan theologists say that The Creator would have no use for such a world, and therefore did not create it.


Core Tenets Of Severanism


There are three core tenets of Severanism:
  • Duty: This could mean duty to one's country, one's family, one's employer, or so on. This tenet encompasses doing what you must do for your superiors, unless it goes against another tenet of Severanism. It also encompasses loyalty to one's superiors, again, unless they are going against another principle of Severanism. Because of this tenet, Severans tend to be hard workers and very family/friend oriented.
  • Honor: Severans belief in conducting one's self in an honorable fashion. This means standing by one's word, always being honest, and generally avoiding conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentlemen, as some would call it. Because of this, Severans almost never use unscrupulous business/political tactics, such as mudslinging. Some theologists say this also means being charitable and generous, as well.
  • Respect: This tenet encompasses treating others with respect, regardless of who they are. This means not discriminating on basis of sex, race, creed, species, religion, sexuality, political orientation, or other views/attributes. Severans can't, say forcibly convert someone through a war/discrimination; They must convert a non-Severan through peaceful, non-discriminate ways, such as an educated discussion. This also means respecting things regardless of sapience status; This means that Severans have to eat meat that was killed in a humane manner and have to practice responsible farming and woodcutting techniques. Severans are also against slavery for this reason.


Leader of Severans


This is the main reason there are different sects of Severanism instead of just the Orthodox Severan Church. While Orthodox Severans say the Chancellor of the Orthodox Severan Church leads all Severans in religious matters, Protestants say that there is no leader of Severans; Different congregations are entirely independent. Wars were fought over this dispute.

Now, most Severans, at least the Orthodox and Protestant Severans, have reconciled somewhat, though neither side would ever admit it. As for the leadership issue, now, it pretty much depends on who you're talking to.


Rituals


  • Weddings: Severan weddings are quite similar to typical Christian weddings; There are few differences, except location, the one marrying the couple, and the fact that Severan weddings tend to have more alcohol than weddings in other religions. It isn't uncommon for cigars to be handed out in Severan weddings, either.
  • Funerals: According to Severan tradition, the bodies of the dead must be cremated in a pyre. Funeral services always take place in a Divine Hall. Since most divine halls have areas allocated to intern ashes, most are buried there, though it isn't unusual for people to be interned elsewhere or even have their ashes buried in a typical cemetery. Funerals in Severanism are also less somber than in other religions, as they often are more for remembering the accomplishments of the dead in life than their entire lives and their regrets.
  • Prayer Services: Prayer services differ from sect to sect. For example, Orthodox services are led by a priest, while Protestant services are led by a reverend. Both sect's services are upbeat, often filled with song, refreshments, and inspirational speech. Prayer services are also meant to be a communal experience. Often, members of the same congregation are also friends. While in Orthodox Severanism, most services are held in the language of the clergy, Old Orlkjestadi, except when the priest speaks to the congregation, Protestant Severans hold services in whatever the local language is.
  • Coming Of Age: Severans celebrate a child becoming an adult at the age of 16. They are held for both genders on their 16th birthday. They are always much more celebratory than a regular birthday. If in the nation the ceremony is being held the legal age to drink alcohol is 16, then it is customary for the one who is being celebrated to be given a glass of champagne.
  • Holidays: The religious holidays Severans observe are as follows: Val Gorim's Day, January 9th; Val Barta's Day, February 20th; Val Valeria's Day, March 30th; Val Hadrian's Day, July 10th; All Valiconias Day, September 15th; Autumn's Day, October 31st; Thanksgiving Day, December 1st; Severus's Day, December 19th. The three that are recognized as bank holidays in Orlkjestad are Autumn's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Severus's Day. Autumn's Day, originally a day of repentance, is now celebrated in the same way as Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, while having Severan roots, is more of a secular holiday, and Severus's Day is celebrated in the same way as Christmas. The Orthodox Severan Church has been pushing for the Orlkjestadi government to acknowledge All Valiconias Day as a bank holiday, but the government has repeatedly refused. Not all holidays are acknowledged by all Severans, though.


Clergy


The clergy of Severanism depends on what sect you are in. Protestant Severans have only one level of clergyman: The reverend. Theoretically, pretty much anyone can become a reverend if they're Severan, they actually practice their religion, and they have a loud enough voice, but most reverends are chosen by their congregation. However, in Orthodox Severanism, the order of clergy goes Chancellor>Council Member>Grand Deacon>Deacon>Subordinate Deacon>Priest/Chaplain. All members of the Orthodox Severan clergy must have been consecrated by a Subordinate Deacon to legally perform Severan rites. Protestant reverends are not celibate, while in Orthodox Severanism, all members of the clergy except priests and chaplains are celibate. Priests and chaplains did not lose their celibacy until 1957, after a highly controversial decision by the Chancellor and the Divine Council.

While Protestant reverends only operate their Divine Hall and nothing more, Orthodox Priests and Chaplains often operate missions, which offer not only prayer services, but also accommodation, healthcare, food, and other services, though sometimes they make people pay for it by making them work around the mission.

There are also the Severan equivalent of saints, called Valiconias, abbreviated as Val (From the Old Orlkjestadi word for Valiant). This title is given to devout Severans who have did great good in their lives, whether they are part of the clergy or laity. They are canonized by the Chancellor of the Orthodox Severan Church. While they are canonized by the Orthodox Severans, Protestant Severans sometimes acknowledge the Valiconias as well. They are not worshiped, but admired. Only the most important ones get their own holiday. The rest are celebrated on All Valiconias Day.


Sects


Orthodox Severanism


The Orthodox Severan Church is technically the church founded by Severus of Lucania, though to be fair to the Protestants, it's founding is more due to Octavius the Great. Ironically, this sect is also the one that ignores Severus of Lucania's teachings the most often, often eschewing his teachings in favor of spreading Orthodox Severanism.

It is led by a Chancellor, who Orthodox Severans believe lead all Severans in religious matters, elected from the Divine Council whenever the last one dies by the Divine Council, a group of 12 Grand Deacons who run the church along with the Chancellor. A Chancellor leads for life, though theoretically one could retire, though not a single Chancellor ever did. In this way, at the same time, the Orthodox Severan Church is both dictatorial/monarchical and oligarchic.

The Chancellor reigns from the Divine Citadel in Lucania, one of the grandest structures ever built. The Chancellor, however, lives on an estate given to the Orthodox Severan Church in AD 1130. Chancellors, as well as living on it, have used it as a ranch, farm, plantation, and even a winery/brewery. The current Chancellor, Maurice II, raises cattle on the estate.

Most seats on the Divine Council are open, due to Maurice II reorganizing the council recently. The current three Council Members are:
  • Otho IV
  • Valerius VIII
  • Tarquin V
All of the current council members are Orlkjestadi. To qualify for becoming a member of the Divine Council, one must be an Orthodox Severan Grand Deacon. One from any nationality, gender, species, or other characteristic can become a Council Member or a Chancellor.

This sect is the largest sect in the RRUO, and as of now, the largest in the world. It is notable for the importance it places on knowledge, with the Divine Library in the Divine Citadel being the second largest library in the RRUO, second only to the Federal Library in Svolaarei.

Code: Select all
[b][u]Council Member Application[/u][/b]
[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Nationality:[/b]
[b]Age:[/b]
[b]Gender:[/b]
[b]Species:[/b]
[b]Ethnicity:[/b]
[b]Experience in the Clergy:[/b]
[b]Other Info:[/b]



Protestant Severanism


Protestant Severanism is the second largest sect of Severanism. While Orthodox Severanism is oligarchic, Protestant Severanism is democratic, if not downright anarchic. As said before, the only member of the clergy in Protestant Severanism is the reverend, who doesn't need to be consecrated. Most reverends are elected by their congregation.

Protestant Severans believe that there is no true leader of the Severan religion except The Creator himself. They are in open rebellion against the idea that the Chancellor leads all Severans, and also as said before, wars had been fought over the issue. Thankfully, now both sides have mostly reconciled their differences, though none will actually admit that; After all, according to the Orthodox Severan Church, the Protestant Severans are still in open revolt.

Compared to the Orthodox Severan Church, the Protestant Severans are more local; There is no one in a far-off land to report to, only the reverend and his congregation. Compared to Orthodox Severans, Protestant Severans tend to do more for their communities than Orthodox Severans. They also don't place as much value as the Orthodox Severans on knowledge; While it isn't unusual to encounter an Orthodox Severan priest who has a PhD, most Protestant Severan reverends have only a high-school education.

This sect of Severanism is also, as of now, the youngest sect.


Other Sects


No information as of yet.

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Orlkjestad
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Postby Orlkjestad » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:23 pm

(People can feel free to ask questions/share comments or share the current status of Severanism and such.)
The Reformed Republican Union Of Orlkjestad
Comrade-President Leon Palantine
Vice President Arcturo Tarentum
Secretary Of Foreign Affaires Marco Valentia
Storefronts: They're all under construction, please go away
Alliances: Forever alone
Other Threads: The Severan Faith
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Postby Crystal Spires » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:08 am

To: the Nation of Orlkjestad,

From:The Beastling States of Crystal Spires


Image




Honored Council,

The Severan Community in Crystal Spires wishes to extend our greetings and our desire to be represented in the Severan Religious Council. We send along with a donation of $4,000 NSD, our wishes that the Creator will grant his blessing upon our humble congregation. The High Chancellor of the Beastling States has also granted us a tract of land to build a temple in the Cultural Center of our nation in the city of Caltris, and so we request a few experienced members of the clergy to join us in ministering to the masses.

May you walk ever in the Light,

Image

Image



Image
Council Member Application
Name: Alveris Martrian
Nationality: Spirean
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Species: Beastling
Ethnicity: Owl subtype from Ohm
Experience in the Clergy: He created a congregation of Severan faith in the Ohm Highlands and has been a reverend of Protestant Severanism for 5 years since his exposure at a young age.
Other Info: He requests more Severan accounts and holy materials
Last edited by Crystal Spires on Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Orlkjestad
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Postby Orlkjestad » Tue Feb 21, 2012 5:37 pm

Crystal Spires wrote:
To: the Nation of Orlkjestad,

From:The Beastling States of Crystal Spires






Honored Council,

The Severan Community in Crystal Spires wishes to extend our greetings and our desire to be represented in the Severan Religious Council. We send along with a donation of $4,000 NSD, our wishes that the Creator will grant his blessing upon our humble congregation. The High Chancellor of the Beastling States has also granted us a tract of land to build a temple in the Cultural Center of our nation in the city of Caltris, and so we request a few experienced members of the clergy to join us in ministering to the masses.

May you walk ever in the Light,

(Image)

(Image)



Council Member Application
Name: Alveris Martrian
Nationality: Spirean
Age: 26
Gender: Male
Species: Beastling
Ethnicity: Owl subtype from Ohm
Experience in the Clergy: He created a congregation of Severan faith in the Ohm Highlands and has been a reverend of Protestant Severanism for 5 years since his exposure at a young age.
Other Info: He requests more Severan accounts and holy materials

Image
The Orthodox Severan Church



We bid you greetings, our brothers in the light.

While we applaud your attempts to spread the Severan faith throughout your country, as well as your piety, hard work, and devotion to the work of the Creator, due to you belonging to the Protestant sect of Severanism, you cannot join the council, as only extremely pious members of the Orthodox Severan Church can join.

We do apologize for the inconvenience.


Maurice II
Chancellor of the Orthodox Severan Church
May the Creator's Name Be Praised Throughout the World


The Reformed Republican Union Of Orlkjestad
Comrade-President Leon Palantine
Vice President Arcturo Tarentum
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Storefronts: They're all under construction, please go away
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Other Threads: The Severan Faith
Alert Levels
DEFCON: 1 2 3 4 [5]
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"Although we see the world through different eyes, we share the same idea of paradise." -The Pet Shop Boys in Se A Vida E

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Postby Orlkjestad » Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:56 pm

[Bump]
The Reformed Republican Union Of Orlkjestad
Comrade-President Leon Palantine
Vice President Arcturo Tarentum
Secretary Of Foreign Affaires Marco Valentia
Storefronts: They're all under construction, please go away
Alliances: Forever alone
Other Threads: The Severan Faith
Alert Levels
DEFCON: 1 2 3 4 [5]
Terrorism Alert Levels: [Low] Guarded Elevated High Severe

"Although we see the world through different eyes, we share the same idea of paradise." -The Pet Shop Boys in Se A Vida E

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Postby Catholicos » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:13 pm

This is an insultment to the Roman Catholic faith!
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Postby Lesser Naboo » Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:28 pm

Your faith seems similar to Christianity, in some respects.
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Orlkjestad
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Postby Orlkjestad » Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:46 am

Lesser Naboo wrote:Your faith seems similar to Christianity, in some respects.

OOC: In some respects, yes.

This could be intentional or not; Benevolent god is intentional, as well as the Orthodox Church's structure.
The Reformed Republican Union Of Orlkjestad
Comrade-President Leon Palantine
Vice President Arcturo Tarentum
Secretary Of Foreign Affaires Marco Valentia
Storefronts: They're all under construction, please go away
Alliances: Forever alone
Other Threads: The Severan Faith
Alert Levels
DEFCON: 1 2 3 4 [5]
Terrorism Alert Levels: [Low] Guarded Elevated High Severe

"Although we see the world through different eyes, we share the same idea of paradise." -The Pet Shop Boys in Se A Vida E


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