Religion of Ralubia
Deities of Ralubia
Through Anphirai's long history of rising and falling civilizations, the membership of her pantheon has changed frequently, yet still managed to retain its own distinct flavor and uniqueness.
Barbarian migrations from the great steppes and deserts of the east continually introduced new deities, whose cults remained fairly strong here, but quickly dissipated as people moved out of Anphirai to the north or south. In general, the Ralubian pantheon consists of a mixture of three peoples: the Phireans, the Cazzirians, and the Relorians.
Bezzaitor: Champion of Mankind, Bezzaitor was the legendary first king of Cazria, who conquered Anphirai and the Prulam. He is promised to appear whenever his people are in dire need. When Hueor was at the height of his fame, he was called Bezzaitor by the Ralubians, but his failure at the Siege of Mirsach made some doubt the validity of that appellation.
Dranzzar: A Cazzirian deity, Dranzzar is the Undying god of fertility, and Master of the Dreamworld. Dranzzites are infamous in the underworlds of cities even outside of Anphirai, where they peddle hallucinogens and escapes.
Gavilet: Queen of Heaven, Goddess of Love and the Moon, her personal servant is Rhivon, who oversees the doings of both her cult and his. She was the original Phirean Mother, eldest of the Three Sisters, before Maldai took her as his concubine. The union produced no children, so Maldai imprisoned Gavilet in a tower where she could not be reached. She remained there for centuries until Rhivon solved the puzzle of its key.
Gavilet's priesthood are haruspices called Havilai and are always women. Men who wish to associate themselves with Gavilet join the cult of Rhivon.
Jaldrali: Relorian Messenger God. Jaldrali led the Relorians on their long journey across the desert. He performed a similiar deed later, when he led the Jalin (a clan of Relorians) over the Donnithi and into the Aldhazinhari. The legendary princes of the Jalin were the four servants of Jaldrali.
Strangely, the Ralubians emphasize the mercantile and self-indulgent aspects of Jaldrali. In their interpretation, the journeys of the Relorians and Jalin represented the quest for the greatest source of wealth and happiness.
Maldai: Relorian Lord of the Sky, and King of the Relorian gods, Maldai joined Param as co-ruler for a time (Paramaldai) until Param stepped down. Maldai built Vathir and Aribind and his cult spread so far that even the Ralubians worshipped him before eventually conquering the Relorians. Sardian scholars have suggested that Maldai is another guise of Maladun, pointing to similarities in names and lapses in their chronology as evidence.
Where the cults of Dranzzar and Jaldrali are havens of hedonists, the cult of Maldai is at the other end of the extreme. The training undertaken by members of the warrior class is the most severe and demanding in the known world. The Ralubian War Temples are renown for the quality of their product, as well as the low throughput.
Mijhan: A minor underworld deity worshipped in Ya Drakar.
Nintar/Ansilet: God and goddess of the Underworld. At one time supreme control over the dead rested in the hands of the beautiful Phirean spirit Ansilet, youngest of the Three Sisters. But then the Cazzirian god Nintar came and seduced her, making her his queen. They remain together even today, and both cults enjoy tremendous popularity among Phireans and other non-Ralubians.
Param: The Cazzirian god of the Sun, he was the ruler of Anphirai's first real pantheon of gods. Popular for centuries, his cult was so strong that Maldai could not completely replace him.
Pelithozzel: Cazzirian War God, King of the Pelithyn. Pelithozzel is the chief god amongst the Prulam nomads.
Piajet: Goddess of Lake Phirine, she is an indigenous goddess of the ancient Phirean religion, one of the Three Sisters along with Gavilet and Ansilet. Her cult is nearly extinct. She is sometimes called the Sea Witch.
Rhivon: Master of Knowledge, Lord of the Purple Seers, Servant of Gavilet. He is often chastised by her for meddling too much in the affairs of men. He is a landed baron of Anphirai, but has occasionally created personal servitors by usurping control of a human's body.
Rhivon's closest companion is the magical creature named Tenzelan. It appears to be something like an elephant, but not quite. Atop Tenzelan's back is Rhivon's palace: an enchanted howdah that is much bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Rhivon holds court from the steps of his mobile palace, often appearing in unexpected places.
The Purple Seers are the personal (mortal) servants of Rhivon, the highest members of his cult. More importantly, they traditionally serve as advisors (on matters mystical) to Ralubia's royalty and upper nobility -- in particular the king (Vathir) and the elars of each city (Delanthel, Tharam, Aribind and Caracand).
Edrini Mother: The crafty Mother of the Edrini is depicted as a humongous spider, even though the Edrini bear no relationship to arachnids. However, the idea of her having many limbs and a web of influence that extends many thousands of leagues is a very popular one. This helped feed the anxiety that led to mass extermination of Edrini (perpetrated by members of the Order of the Cross) just prior to the draining of the Phirine Sea.
The worship of Maldai is the state religion, but it readily accepts the worship of other gods, even non-Ralubian ones. There are also numerous cults too small to be noticed by the state religion.
The cities of Vathir and Aribind are holy sites. In prayer, the closest of these cities is chosen as a direction to face. Pilgrimages occur annually between and to each of the two cities. Pilgrimages to Vathir are by far the most common.
Ralubians seek counsel from the Havilai or, if they are royalty, from the Purple Seers. They pray for luck, money, good fortune, pleasure, and so on. The Anra have developed a culture that accepts their lot in life. Though a defiant streak runs through them, they lack the heart to follow through their tendencies with conviction. The Anra are content to pray for kindness health, and long life.
Ralubians have a cruel, abusive, hedonistic culture where wealth and pleasure are the end. For the wealthy Ralubian, everyday is a holiday, celebrating the supremacy of Jaldrali, whom the Ralubians worship in some twisted way as the personificiation of greed and self-indulgence. Others shut themselves away from reality and prefer the drug-induced stupor provided by the cult of Dranzzar.
Temple of Maldai: The official state religion. The two main temples at Vathir and Aribind are head by the High Priest of Anphirai and the High Priest of the Prulam respectively. The Grand High Priest has a residence in each major city and travels frequently. His entourage consists of a company of war templars, a Purple Adept, a dozen priests, and numerous pilgrims and hangers-on.
The Maldai temple subsumes the functions of the Jaldrali and Nintar cults.
|Temple of Maldai||6||Grand High Priest of Maldai|
|5||High Priest of the Dominion|
|4||Chief Priest of the Temple|
|War Temples||4||Master of the Temple|
Cult of Havilai: The Havilai maintain one or more shrines in every city, and one in most villages. The Havilai Mother lives at Tharam. Occasionally, one of the Havilai will attach herself to a tribe of the Prulam or the Relorian desert, typically as a result of a vision drawing her there.
Purple Seers: The Seers maintain no shrines. The High Adept is the personal advisor to the King, and each Elar or Elara is assigned a Purple Adept. Blue Adepts are employed as agents of Lord Rhivon himself, travelling widely to observe and learn. The Red Acolytes are basically used as messengers by and between the higher ranks.
|Purple Seers||4||High Adept of the Purple Seers|