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Terran
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PostSubject: Religions   Fri Nov 18, 2011 6:12 pm

Eternal Alchemy

The Eternal Alchemy is the ideology of the asura. Those that believe in the Eternal Alchemy view that all beings, even the human gods, contribute to some greater purpose. There are many different aspects to the Eternal Alchemy, such as the aspect of chaos and strife which the Zaishen Order follows. It is stated that even magic is just a cog in the Eternal Alchemy.


Kodan
"Long ago, Koda, the Ancient One, Founder of the Earth, Keeper of the Sky, formed the world. In the beginning, the spirits of the world were wild and untamed. In time, many took physical form: spirits of stone, spirits of water, spirits of wind, spirits of soil, spirits of plants and birds and creeping things. All things with form have spirits… as do many formless things.
But one day the bear stood up and looked around him and saw that the spirits of the world were restless and chaotic. He could not understand the endless cycles of creation and destruction. And so bear was the first creature to speak, and with his first words he asked Koda, “Why is this so?” And Koda was pleased and made this offer to the bear: “If you would watch and learn, then watch and learn, and you shall protect and guide the spirits of this world.” And those who praised Koda and accepted this offer became the kodan. And those who were not ready and did not wish to change remained as bears."
— The Wisdom and Power of the Kodan
]Koda the Founder is the god of the kodan. The kodan believe he formed the world and all spirits in it, and the kodan were chosen to protect and guide the spirits of the world. The kodan see that they are the most enlightened of all the races and as they listen to the will of Koda it is their duty to watch over the world, judge other races, and ensure they are in balance with nature.

Koda communicates with kodan through a Voice, a kodan who is chosen to seek and interpret the will of Koda. Koda's will, as translated by a Voice and presented to the kodan through a Claw, supersedes any single kodan's wishes. Koda is said to periodically create a "Time of Trial" to test the spirituality and the strength of the kodan in a Sanctuary by infecting a Voice with an insanity called the "Rage of Koda". When the infected Voice dies the kodan believe that Koda himself has examined them, purified all sin and everything has been judged and set to order.


Six Human Gods
The Six Human Gods are a group of deities worshiped by the humans of Tyria, Cantha and Elona. The extent of their powers is not known, but it is known they are not omniscient, and by their own very nature as a pantheon each is not omnipotent. At an unknown time after the writing of the Tome of Rubicon, they arrived on Tyria and brought the humans with them (although humans believe that they created Tyria, and the charr also have legends of Melandru creating the world), but from where is not known. Their age is also unknown, but it is known that the current pantheon is not the first, and that it is not as old as the Elder Dragons.

The current pantheon of gods are, in alphabetical order:

Balthazar, god of war, fire, and courage.
Dwayna, goddess of healing, air, and life.
Grenth, god of darkness, death, and ice.
Kormir, goddess of order, spirit, and truth.
Lyssa, twin goddesses of beauty, water and illusion (often referred to as one entity and sometimes referred to as "Lyss" by Vabbians).
Melandru, goddess of nature, earth, and growth.
Former deities are Abaddon, Dhuum, and Abaddon's unnamed predecessor.
The earliest deity who is still recognized as a god is Dwayna, whose scriptures were written in 115 BE. All others were written in 48 BE, save from Lyssa and Kormir whose were written in 45 BE and 1075 AE respectively.
There is considerable mystery surrounding the exact powers and nature of the gods, which is muddled further by the fact that they have been increasingly absent in human affairs since Nightfall. It is known that staring at the gods is like staring into the sun, leaving those who looked on long enough blind.

Each of the races of Tyria have different attitudes to the gods. The humans believe that the gods created Tyria, though the charr legends only specify Melandru in this. Despite their legend, the charr view the gods as powerful beings to fight, not worship. The norn recognize the existence of the gods, but consider them an extension of their belief system of nature spirits; they refer to the Six as the "Spirits of Action" and do not call them by their name, but by what they govern - for instance, Balthazar is War and Kormir is Knowledge. The asura consider the gods to be relatively large parts (but parts nonetheless) of their Eternal Alchemy, and the sylvari, having appeared only in 1302 AE and therefore having never actually witnessed the work of the gods, remain unconvinced they exist at all.

  • The Human Gods are also referred to as...
    • the Six Gods (also the Five Gods when referencing the time between the Exodus and Nightfall)
    • the Human Gods
    • the Old Gods
    • the True Gods
    • the Ancient Gods
    • the Ancient Ones

Spirits of the Wild
The Spirits of the Wild are the norn's spirit guides. Unlike the Six Human Gods, these Spirits of the Wild do not represent broad-minded concepts like “war” or “nature,” but instead embody all the complex virtues and vices of the animals they represent. Likewise, the Spirits are not worshiped in the traditional sense of the word, but rather revered. The Spirits of the Wild have always been around to guide the norn, and though they don't always offer their aid directly, they always aim to help - if they do nothing after being asked for help, then their help wasn't necessary. The spirits also keep the norn in check, teaching them not to despoil the land and effectively become a balance to the norn's direct, quick-tempered natures.

Special norn shamans called havroun tend to the spirits' needs and are capable of crossing over to the Mists at will, without the use of portals, to join their respective spirits. At times, some of the weaker spirits, including those outside of Tyria, can be without a havroun. Every norn can become a shaman of a certain spirit, but only one norn can become havroun of one spirit. Before a havroun dies, he may appoint an heir to his title.

When Jormag first awoke, the norn initially fought the Elder Dragon and would have risked their own extinction, but the Spirits of the Wild prevented them from doing so; the most highly regarded spirits -- Bear, Raven, Snow Leopard and Wolf -- led the norn exodus, leading the norn to the place now known as Hoelbrak in the Northern Shiverpeaks. Four of the lesser spirits - Dolyak, Owl, Wolverine, and Eagle - battled Jormag in order to give the norn time to move south. Owl was confirmed dead by its havroun. However, because the other three spirits have not had a havroun to communicate with them for generations, their status is currently unknown.

The norn have the ability to transform into werebeasts, the favored forms of the Spirits. While transformed, the norn become closer to the Spirit of the form they take and understand the power of the wild.

Some spirits exist which are considered unworthy of reverence; the norn acknowledge the existence of other naturalistic forces, such as Mountain, Seasons, Fire and Darkness. These spirits are not sentient and are depicted as challenges for the norn to overcome.
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