Faith

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Faith.
One of the central conflicts of Kith Kanaan is over faith. Kith Kanaan is home to a number of faiths, and very few of them co-exist peacefully. Faith is one of the primal forces which shape the past, present, and future of the world, and is a very important aspect of civilization.

The Gods Exist.
It is not questioned that there exists entities of power beyond recognition, or that they have a hand in the continued shaping of the world. A person can not disbelieve in the presence of the gods – the very power held by those who carry the names of the pantheons upon their lips is proof that such entities exist, and it is well known that the gods have, and will continue, to walk within civilization as it pleases them.

But belief is not the same as faith. One who recognizes that the gods exist is not a worshipper, and they do not carry the words of the gods upon their heart. In Kith Kanaan, faith represents the unquestioning acceptance of the spiritual importance of one of the pantheons, and the acceptance of one’s place as a servant of the gods.

While a person can become a worshipper of the gods for any number of reasons, this does not necessarily represent faith. A person with faith has committed themselves fully to their god, and to that god’s ideals. They do not follow the god’s edicts because ‘it is the right thing to do’, but because the god desires it. With faith comes an understanding that the ways of the gods are unknowable, and that the gods work on a level far beyond that of those who revere them. Without the full acceptance of a god and what they stand for, faith is impossible.

Faith is the connection between the mortal realm and the primal. It grants a glimpse at the higher meanings of the chaotic events that occur around one, and may give assurance that anything that happens – good or bad – is part of some form of higher plan. Or, it may simply mean that, even in the worst of situations, there is always someone the faithful can turn to, who will listen and nurture and ease the suffering of the supplicant.

In the end, faith is personal. It is not something that can simply be explained to another, and one can not force another to understand the importance of faith. Discovering faith is a personal journey, and sometimes, that journey will not be pleasant.

Step Eight orders

Miracles

Faith Based Orders

The Order gains their power from faith. This allows the character to have access to Miracles, and is also what grants the character Miracles. A character who breaks the rules of their Order may find their Abilities taken away, and their Faith lost. In Kith Kanaan, the Gods watch over the members of their Faith, and often take an active hand in guiding their followers.

The Faiths of Kith Kanaan

Below is a description of the views that the different pantheons have for one another. Do note that this is the predominant view, but is not an absolute. Individuals may be more strict or more lenient, and the consequences of such views may vary.

Joshuite

The Joshuite Faith firmly believes that Kith Kanaan was the land promised to them by the prophet Joshua. The journey to Kith Kanaan took many generations and was arduous, with the Joshuite faith persecuted by the rulers and faiths of the lands they crossed on their way to the promised land. As such, the Joshuites as a whole have very little tolerance for the other faiths found in Kith Kanaan. To the Joshuites, the other religions are trespassers on sacred land.

The Joshuites do not believe in conversion (forced or otherwise), those who do not revere Adonai are lost souls, and damned, but they have been given the power of free will and will face the consequences of their actions. While Pardoners may spread the word of Adonai, they give everyone the choice to hear the words of Joshua or not. Nothing is forced.

Versus the Arin Pantheon

The wrath of the Joshuite Faith is mostly centred upon the Arin Faith. Arion faces the most ire from the Joshuites due to their belief that the ‘visions’ given to the Brotherhood are lies to mislead and draw others away. The Sisterhood are considered the assassins and worshippers of a blood-thirsty demoness. The Mayans are considered temptresses and hedonists, leading the faithful to sin, while her counterpart, Zillah, is mostly unknown and watched warily. Mana is an unusual problem for the Joshuites, in that they are aware of her avatar. Because of this, they see the faith in Mana as idolatry, the worship of a mortal, and beyond that the worship of magic itself. Talis is mostly unknown by the Joshuite Faith, and Mika is too new a goddess for them to have a strong opinion on beyond the acknowledgement of her demonic heritage – which in and of itself is enough for them to consider her a demoness and little more.

Versus the Kij Pantheon

The Joshuite Faith has little to say on Kij’s faith, considering it little more than a pagan cult which indulges in the sins of the flesh. They see little of redeeming value among the faith, though there was grudging respect for the martial abilities of the faith’s head paladin, Lairu. His hatred of the undead and actions in defending the Shire Lands did not go unnoticed by the Joshuites of that region, and as such the Solar Temple is giving grudging respect. The connection between Kij and the Arin faith has not gone unnoticed, however, and has strained relations.

Versus the Celestial Court

The Joshuite Faith has no patience for the Celestial Court, seeing it as worship of the faerie races and lesser spirits. They consider this a grievous sin and not to be tolerated. The animistic faiths are met with disdain, and spirits found to gather worshippers are banished or destroyed on sight.

Arin

The Arin Faith has existed in one form or another on Kith Kanaan since the Age of Dragons. Some have speculated that Maya and Tsunami were part of a different pantheon that predated the rise of Arion and Sanguine, and that the latter faith assimilated the Mayan faith, but there are no records of such. The Arin Faith has a strong sense of predestination, that the path that each person walks is laid out since birth, only the decisions the person who walks that path matters.

The Arin Faith tends to be passive, responding to the actions of other faiths. Since the strongest branch of the faith involves scholars and chroniclers, the faith is non-aggressive. This pacifism is tempered by the presence of the Sisterhood, and the rapid growth of Sanguine’s faith may cause the Brotherhood to eventually be overshadowed, making the Faith as a whole more militaristic and aggressive.

Versus the Joshuite Faith

The Arin Faith’s relationship with the Joshuite Faith is strained. When the Joshuites first appeared on Kith Kanaan, war erupted which nearly destroyed the Mayan and Tsunami faith completely. Since the re-emergence of the Arin faith, relations have been strained, mostly between the Sisterhood and the Rosicrucians. The Arin faith has done their most to remain passive, not willing to risk another war, and there have been tentative contact between the Mayans and the Pardoners. In the Shire Lands, things are much more relaxed, though tensions have mounted in Tarantis and Drachen. The Arin faith is unable to act openly in Tarantis. The Joshuite Faith is more openly aggressive against the followers of Mana, seeing her as nothing but a mortal worshipped as divine, or as her worshippers nothing more than a cult who reveres the concept of magic.

Versus the Celestial Court

The Celestial Court consider the Arin Pantheon to be unclean, mostly due to the presence of Sanguine, whose very presence is considered unclean. The Mayan faith is problematic, as the worshippers cater to one of the Sins of the Celestial Court (desire), and act as one of the lowest of the Celestial Caste (the courtesan). Relations are courteous, but strained by the disparity between the two cultures.

Versus the Kij Pantheon

The Arin Faith adopted Kij, though the pantheons have remained separate. With the belief that Lairu is the incarnation of Arion, and that his wife Mika has ascended to once more be Arion’s wife, the two faiths remain on excellent terms, though there remains the acknowledgement that they are two individual faiths. As such, worship of one is not worship of the other.

The Celestial Court

The Celestial Court is steeped in tradition and is a powerful, animistic faith. It is foreign to Kith Kanaan, with the only true presence to be found in Anaitha. The beliefs of the Court is one of strict Caste, the understanding that one is incarnated into their place in society, and is a faith that exults in the worship of duty. Death is not to be feared, but embraced by the worshippers of the Celestial Court, and death in the fulfilment of one’s duties is the ultimate honour.

The Celestial Court has slowly spread beyond Anaitha’s borders, and is seen as very disturbing to those unused to the traditions of Anaitha and Naipon. With the faith have come new spirits who do not mesh well with the lands outside of Anaitha, and those who worship the Celestial Courts find most other cultures to be unclean and barbaric. Tensions remain high between the Courts and other faiths.

During its spread to the Shire, the High Priest representing the Courts is Kyldeer an enigmatic kitsune from Anaitha.

Versus the Joshuite Faith

These two religions have a deep hatred for one another. The Joshuite Faith is a direct rival, and the disrespect that the Joshuites show to the kami of the Court is an affront to the honour of the Courts, and not to be forgiven. The disregard for Caste and the role each person plays in society is an alien concept to the Celestial Court, proving to them that the Joshuites have no respect for tradition and ancestry, and simply proves to the Courts that the Joshuite Faith deserves no respect.

Versus the Arin Pantheon

The Arin Faith is barely tolerated. They understand the importance of karma, though they have a goddess of blood among their number, and a goddess of courtesans, which is confusing to the Courts. As such, there is tension between the two faiths, which could go either way. The Courts treat the Arin Faith mostly with disdain, concealed by discipline and courtesy.

Versus the Kij Pantheon

There is a strained acceptance of Kij within the Court. The worshippers of Kij often cause discomfort among the Celestial Court, as their vices are seen as a lapse in discipline, and as such most members of the Court treat the worshippers of Kij with contempt. That said, there have been successful relations between the two faiths.