Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
King

The Sitraic Faith

Recommended Posts


PBV1xkjDyimVjX5N3X9_zQxYjFY_sSSNVkTTsQZcwPsWvCnLOpfOxMKMUq9eumSbXfT7T9aM_c60CX9Rlng_3JWCfVHvjiWNwLUjWXwxwEYgA_PI8huEoOacFawPH8pKsB_G3Sv6

The Sitraic Faith

Those that would cast aside their brothers and sisters and forsake their faith become something less than beasts. They have no place in the heart of our empire nor in the eye of the Lord Father. Let them die and be forever forgotten.”

— 13th Understanding, 6th Book of Insight

 

The Sitraic Faith is the official and only state religion of the Carmine Dominion. It is devoted to the to the worship of the Sauriel, the Blood God, and Immortal Emperor—reverently known as the Lord Father —as the ascended divinity and savior of the Faithful. Those who believe in the Faith’s teachings hold that the Emperor is a living spiritual entity and the one true divinity of a unified people.

The Sitraic Faith is lead by the San’layn, also known as the Ecclesiarchy, who devote their lives to spreading the word and will of the Lord Father to every corner of the empire and beyond. Despite an almost fanatical and single-minded sense of loyalty to their deity, almost all forms of nonconforming faiths are tolerated by the Ecclesiarchy and their congregations (spare those that would intentionally and directly attack the integrity of the Faith or the Lord Father). As the Faith spans over a great deal of territory, there is a broad spectrum of manners in which on may practice their belief (the most common of which is blood sacrifice); however, all worship of the Lord Father must comply with certain Ecclesarchal values including, but not limited to: unquestioning political loyalty to the Ecclesiarchy and the various agencies beneath their rule, diligence in carrying out the Lord Father’s will, belief in Lord Father’s ultimate divinity, and conscious contributes to the empire’s overall well-being, no matter how little or great.

In the current Genesar era, the Sitraic Faith has unrivaled power and influence within the Empire. Any and all heresy against it is punished with unquestioning, draconian severity. There are many that view the Faith as the empire itself, for it is the glue that binds the empire and its many people together, both in times of prosperity and strife alike.

The precepts of the Sitraic Faith, called the Great Understandings, include the belief that all living beings are born into the world by blood and thus are bound together by that blood, the absolute exaltation of self-improvement, spiritual, immaterial, and psychological enlightenment above else, and that racism, prejudice, and xenophobia are a dire threat to the existence of all sentient creatures which must be eradicated by any means. Many of the Faith’s precepts trace their origins to the opposing beliefs the Lord Father once held during his time as a young knight, long before the rise of the empire.

 

History of the Faith

Knowing his god survived now on the prayers of all, it was Cecil’s cunning that ensured the Lord Father’s rivers of tribute would never run dry.

He wrote the Lord Father into the ambiguity of their laws.

He wrote the Lord Father into their art.

He wrote the Lord Father into their war.

He wrote the Lord Father into their livelihood.

He wrote the Lord Father into their hopes, their dreams, their fears.

Soon, all the Umbral people’s efforts were in the name of their new god, and the seed of the Sitraic Faith had grown into a mighty oak tree.

— Verse 1:6, The Book of Insight

 

In the beginning, the Sitraic Faith was little more than a zealous cult—known as the San’layn—loosely structured around the teachings of Cecil Anseleme. A man of unending loyalty and piety, Cecil viewed his then king as a god in his own right, a man of necessary vision and proper ambition to usher in a new era of enlightenment for those beneath his rule and the world at large.

It is the belief of some that it was Cecil who encouraged the then Blood King to seek ascension as the solution to his strong mixture of troubles. In other accounts, it is said that Cecil was oblivious to his lord’s true intentions. By any tale, the young cleric’s faith and determination to serve the Lord Father are always regarded with a sense of awe-stricken admiration. Never has there been one more singularly dedicated to the cause of the Faith or more involved in the erecting of its infrastructure.

The teachings of the San'layn were well received by the Red City's vampiric population and those that still claimed allegiance to the city-state beyond its high walls. As the newly minted Blood God tested the limits of his being, it was Cecil that wove an enchanting tale of blessings, boons, and favor that befell those within the city that gave tribute to their Lord and Savior. It was in this manner than the entirety of Umbra was indoctrinated in a matter of weeks. It was then, with an army of crusaders behind him, that Cecil turned his sights abroad to convert the non-believers-- or silence them.

Many of the immediate threats to the Red City and its newborn religion were targeted first: vagrant packs of werewolves, savage beasts running rampant along the coast, rival warlords and warring tribes, and any manner of civil unrest that might upset the delicate balance of power. When Cecil could not reach these poor souls with diplomacy, he did so with the blade. And while the story of the Arcane East's consolidation under that of Carmine rule is told by the series of alliances and exchanges made between rulers, it was not without its battles. There were many conflicts along smaller borders within the empire, lesser kingdoms housed in the growing shadow of the Red City. These were bloody and excessively violent affairs, so vicious in their unfolding and high in cost of life that even the most warmongering of soldiers lost their taste for battle.

In the times since the unification wars and the final establishment of the Carmine Empire (now the Orisian Empire), the Sitraic Faith has blossomed across the entirety of the Arcane East and beyond. It has rapidly developed into one of the largest faiths on the continent, if not the world, and guides the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each and every day.

 

Religious Practices

In spite of a vigorous determination and unrelenting practice of self-betterment, The Faith is an establishment of constant-- nearly excessive --jubilation. It is not uncommon for a number of extravagant festivals to take place at any given time, most lasting for days and weeks, some even months. These festivals are often enacted as a manner of prayer to the Lord Father, with sacrifices and offerings made in his name during each day and night of the event’s duration.

The most prestigious of these events is known as the Feeding, an exclusively vampiric masquerade held annually within the Red City. It is preceded by a nearly month-long period of fasting by the vampiric nobles of the empire, wherein they abstain from the partaking of blood. During this time, “vessels” -- mortal civilians of the empire elected to serve as the event’s feast -- are groomed to service these lords and ladies’ pleasure during the night of the Feeding.

Those of the Sitraic Faith also practice a betrothal ceremony, known as the Tethering, which serves as a prerequisite to any religious marriage. A ritual to symbolize the promise of unifying mind, body, and soul by blood, the Tethering requires the betrothed couple pour their lifeblood into a chalice and drink from it, thus inviting their shared essence to fill both vessels. Those that partake of the Tethering are considered bound in the eyes of the Ecclesiarchy (with many of the Faithful considering this to be the true marriage of beings), promised to forsake all others.

 

The Deep and Sitra Ahkra

As it is taught in the Scriptures of Insight, the Deep is believed to be the fundament of all things; the great void from which all that is, isn’t, was, and will be first emerged. It is seen by the Faithful as a plane of being that underlines the prime material, also known as the Waking World, and all of its sibling immaterial planes. It is from this primordial foundation that the Lord Father carves the Great Understandings, and thus the Deep is viewed as a sacred place of blessings and enlightenment for their patron deity.

It is also from the Deep that Sitra Ahkra, the final destination for all souls of the Faithful, was created. The afterbirth of the Lord Father’s ascension, this nightmare realm is a scar on the Deep bound to his will. Both heaven and hell to the Faithful, it encompasses both the Maelstrom and Islah, the Eye. It is the source of all Sitraic faith-magic within the empire, contrary to popular belief that such is derived from the Lord Father himself.

The Maelstrom is inhabited by the souls of the wicked, the damned, the unfaithful, the sinners, and the faithless slain by the Faithful. It is a boundless, ever-changing landscape of raging black oceans, thundering red skies, and crumbling earth torn asunder. Inhabited by eldritch horrors of the Lord Father’s design, these angels patrol the seas and skies and stalk the broken shores, preying on the weak and weary. But every so often, they stumble across one who is worth redeeming - a soul that, with the proper encouragement, may see enlightenment. With enough time, a soul lost to the Maelstrom risks becoming corrupted by the endless violence and chaos of the realm. This defiling manifests itself in the demonizing of the afflicted soul, rendering them as little more than mindless terrors.

More threatening, however, are the creatures born of the very fabric of the Maelstrom, itself. As a realm of purely spiritual and psychic energy connected to the lives of millions upon millions of people, the Maelstrom is unsurprisingly sensitive to the raw emotions of the Faithful in the Waking World, and even more so to the countless lost souls that find themselves in its tempest. When these like emotions, typically negative, gather and swell within the seams of the Maelstrom for too long, they eventually burst and give form to what is known as a daemon—a powerful entity able to pass through spaces between realms and lead demonic incursions into the Waking World.

Protected from all this, at the center of the Maelstrom, is Islah, the Eye. If the Maelstrom is the hell that all Faithful fear, Islah is the venerable paradise they all tirelessly seek. Throne World of the Lord Father, Islah is said to be an obsidian city of eternal peace, happiness, and understanding, bathed in the inverse light of the ever watchful Oversoul. It is the resting place of Sitraic heroes, martyrs, prophets, and forge of the great holy relics used in worship.

 

Siderite

"Discovered amid the outer limit coasts of the Maelstrom, the bio-matter is a novel sentience dependent upon neuralanima-symbiosis with a host organism. It seeks to link to the synaptic and/or spiritual patterns of the closest organism, living or synthetic, to form an unbreakable bond (typically selecting the more potent of the two options, though, as seen in several cases, will connect via both. In this situation, the aforementioned bond - and likewise, its effects - are considerably more prominent). We theorize that this bond is a form of primordial 'love'—an emotional connection meant to compel the bio-matter to view its host as 'family.' The host comes to regard the bio-matter as an indispensable tool.

The science is inexact, but what is known is that the bio-matter becomes aggressively protective once linked to a worthy host, demonstrating the ability to drastically amplify the host's own strength when immediate threats are detected."

—Self-authored report broadcast over covert imperial frequencies

 

Siderite is an extremely rare substance (referred to as bio-matter in all official imperial studies and reports) found within the realm of Sitra Ahkra. Beyond its limited sentience, siderite is distinguishable in the prime material by its "blacker than night" color (similar to vantablack in the fact that it absorbs 99.965% of radiation on the visible spectrum) and smooth, obsidian texture. As it is a substance born of the sitraic realm, siderite is especially susceptible to acausal and paracausal expressions in the prime material, allowing the bio-matter to serve as a powerful amplifier or inhibitor, depending on the host organism's will and intent.

Edited by King

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bu0tB2M.png

The Kraken and the Sea of Corruption

The following are the decrypted personal memories of [REDACTED]; Third Chief Seraphim of the Sitraic Host, retrieved from his sword found along the black sands of the Shattered Coast. They detail the discovery of the Kraken and the incursion of its domain, the Sea of Corruption, at the furthest reaches of the Maelstrom. Several sequences have been omitted from all records.

 

The Shattered Coast; Six Hours before Contact—

It’s been some time since I last saw the interloper. I remember when he shed his former self down to the bone, name and meat, to become something new; something made of this place. He killed a demon and took its strength, I remember, and with that strength he forged a blade. [CORRUPTED], Sitra Ahkra named him. I wonder what has become of him.

Has he grown fat from strength, as is the one true way? Has he sharpened his blade—

What was that?

I can tell from the looks of the brothers and sisters among me that they’ve felt it too. Something has come; it lingers still, beyond the black horizons, at the furthest reaches of the Maelstrom where not even the tempest dare stray. But we are not the violent winds, the lapping sea, or the crumbling earth. We are the lords of this realm; our charge is to go where others will not.

We will see this commotion settled.

 

The Maelstrom; Two Hours before Contact—

The tempest is calm.

In all my existence, never have I see it so.

From the strength of the disturbance, I thought we might witness the birth of an archdaemon—but there is no sign of such an occurrence. The skies are dark, undisturbed. The winds are silent. Only the sea churns beneath us, tireless, until its black waves reach high enough to lick my heels.

Something is wrong. I can feel it.

The others can feel it, too.

The Dark Horizon looms before us. We press on.

 

The Maelstrom; Contact—

We were fools to come here.

It reaches up from the waves, an endless coil of flesh and malice, and swallows [REDACTED] whole in its spade-shaped petals. Another crushes [REDACTED] into the black depths.

I draw my sword, one of the first born of the Deep’s logic.

It rends the coil’s flesh with ease. The severed limb bleeds taint; it tastes of poison. More come, and I cut and tear and rip myself free of them. I will not let the beast have me. The others are not as strong—their blades not as sharp.

[REDACTED] is gone.

A coil curls around [CORRUPTED] and crushes them into chunks of meat and splinters of bone.

There’s a pressure at my back, then pain. My wings are gone.

I plummet into the ocean, dragged down by the beast. The surface creeps slowly out of my reach. I will not make it back. I will die here.

Below is a tear in the ocean, a great and terrible eye, and within it a pit of void and starlight—not of Sitra Ahkra. I am somewhere else. The others, they must know.

 

Unknown; Moments before Death—

I have destroyed myself to do this.

The creature has tasted my flesh, ate of my power and now demands more. I feel its will in my blood and in my brain.

I look to my sword.

My blade is forever. Within this old blade are the laws of existence and even in this damning hell the world creases along its smooth edge. I will make this creature understand our power. It will be my final act of service to the Host.

I place all myself into the blade – what I know, what I have seen. Look to it, and understand: this knowledge will be your deliverance. It will help you blind this great eye. It will change your fate.

I summon all the strength left in me and throw my sword. It cuts free, parting tidal waves of tainted reality and black ocean. It vanishes into the sky.

The waters rush back in, crushing, consuming me.

I see the beast— [CORRUPTED]

 

A great deal of the information regarding the Kraken and its primary domain, the Sea of Corruption, is still subject to conjecture among Sitraic scholars and cryptarchs. The predominant theory, however, is that the beast was lured to the shores of the neighboring sub-plane (underlining the Genesarian prime material) due to its almost identical composition to the Sea of Corruption.

As described in the Liber Corvinum (Verse 18:12), the Sea of Corruption is a highly concentrated vat of sentience and emotional energy. Unlike Sitra Ahkra, which can only be touched and affected by those of the Faith, the Sea of Corruption is subjected to the influence of every creature capable of complex thought and emotion. It is especially sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of humans, which has caused the human-centered Kadian Empire to become the greatest culprit in feeding the Sea’s ravenous tides.

Within the Sea of Corruption dwells the Kraken, the All-Devourer. It is an eldritch entity born from the depths of the rolling sea of chaos, corrupting all that it touches with its presence into scourgeborn, loyal thralls to its will. It is believed by many to be an amalgamation of all the plane’s aspects in their most extreme state; and as such, there are those that feel the Kraken is little more than a reflection of humanity’s true self, a beast born of their impulsive ways and uncompromising behaviors.

Edited by King

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...