Religions of Laplana (I): Abstract

This entry briefly explain Laplana religions. First, one should not confuse religion with the church. The latter is explained in posts about dioceses and the religious orders.

The religions of Laplana: The Lighthouse and the Fountain, the Eternal Balance, the Vitalism, the Path and the Witchcraft

The religions of Laplana: The Lighthouse and the Fountain, the Eternal Balance, the Vitalism, the Path and the Witchcraft

The original religions

The Lighthouse and the Fountain

It was the original religion of archaic, created when they were still poor fugitives hiding in caves for protection against demons for the big night.

It was a shamanistic religion based on the belief that everything in the world is possessed by spirits. Shamans, their priests, could communicate with these spirits, which gave them great power. The purpose of religion was to explain the world and protect the men from the dangers of nature and demons.

When the Archaic Empire was founded it became the religion of the masses, while the aristocracy became vitalist. In Laplana it lived for a time with other religions, but in the   262 YK died the last lightfountist priest and the religions disappeared in Laplana.

The Vitalism

The origins of vitalism were in the religion of the Lighthouse and the Fountain, but unlike this establishes two opposite poles in the spiritual world: good and evil, in a constant struggle. It was a mainly urban religion based on the study and knowledge, which aimed to contribute to the triumph of good over evil.

Vitalism eventually became the official religion of Archaic Empire, and his priests held important positions in the civil service hierarchy.

In Laplana, the vitalist church was established as an institution independent from the authority, but they worked closely. Their rituals for solemn oaths and creating emblems helped shape Laplana feudalism.

Finally, this religion was displaced by the church of the four orders on the third century, and early sixth was declared a heresy and their members were persecuted. That meant the end of the creation of new emblems.

The Eternal Balance

This was a pantheistic religion type, which preached that all that existed was a part of God, who was called Torcan. Therefore, through introspection and observation one could get to know Torcan.

The Eternal Balance was the original religion of the Woodmen of Central Archery before reached by the archaic. Their priests were Druids. These were similar to the shaman, but instead of talking to the spirits communicated with Torcan.

The new religions

When the archaic reached Central Archery brought with them vitalist and lightfountain religions. These collided with the religion of the woodmen, the eternal balance. This meeting led to new religious movements, between the woodmen as between archaic.

Witchcraft

The mixture of pantheism of the eternal equilibrium with the archaic concepts of light and darkness and good and evil formed the witchcraft. The basics of witchcraft were a mixture of pantheistic and dualist values. That is, all was part of God, but God had a dual nature.
The priests were called warlocks and witches. They copied the techniques used by shamans, druids and vitalists, but following established recipes without understanding  the basics.

Witchcraft was not a religion in itself. It was considered a superstition or a form of magic, and coexisted with other religions.

The Path

The impact of the Druids in the spirituality of the archaic generated the figure of hermits, men seeking wisdom or divine illumination alone. Some of these men managed to reach a higher state of wisdom, and became holy men. Afterwards, they were the creators of rural religious orders.

Taking the theoretical basis of lightfountain and vitalism, the path established that holy men were those who had the most pure soul, and became saints when getting a purity level such that integrate with God and served as a guide for the rest of men, marking the path to holiness. All holy men were vitalists.

The four major religious orders of Laplana were founded by holy men:

  • San Prius: Order of Verists or The Mirror;
  • Santa Minala: Order of the Pilgrims or The Stars;
  • San Geto: Order of Admonoms or Administrative Apostolic Church; and
  • Santa Collatera: Order of Agronomists or Agrostic Rural Church.

Hence the church was known as the Church of the Holy Men or, later, as the Tetrarchy.

There were other religious orders, but they were not part of church government. They were especially monastic or military orders.

Other religious cults

In addition to the major religions there were local cults, which could be more or less tolerated, but from the sixth century most were declared heresy. Some of these cults were demonic ones, originating in the big night; others were apocryphal, based on saints not recognized by the official church; and others were cults of foreign nations.

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About trobanoms@gmail.com

Roleplaying Master, playing GURPS in a Medieval fantasy setting of his own creation.
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