The Ferdiad Cycle
" A heavy duty we have been given. A burden some may say. But what a glorious burden – for this world and all it’s worldly troubles are ours by the grace of the gods… yes, some might say we were sort of tricked into it, but never mind that! Praise the gods! "
- Tudur mac Haerviu, lector of the Corwynt temples
Corwynt is the farthest spread religion in Drystan. Originating from Aenoria, it was formed during the Imperial Cycle when the Old Faith of the Cerns mixed with the culture of the Ellysian conquerors. The Cerns have always put more worth on the aspects their gods represent rather than their distinctive features and over the centuries the myriad gods of trees, rivers and stones merged with the Imperial Cults creating the Cernish versions of the Ellysian gods with little actual differences. For the Cerns this matters little and in no way diminishes the reach of their gods.
The official temples were found some time before the fall of the Ellysian empire but was itself splintered in two when the Hrod prophet Vangetorix led his people to form the Revisionist Corwynt with it’s center of worship, Hrodland.
" In the beginning there was an endless void which was awoken and called itself Yrbadden. He saw fit to create the world to keep himself occupied, creating men and beasts for his amusement. After a while he grew tired of his creation and made the gods out of his thoughts to bear the responsibility of his creation while he fell into a great slumber.
The gods watched over Yrbaddens fruit but after many a millenia passed they grew weary and called forth the tribes of men. They promised them great rewards and a realm of their own after death if only they would only swear to keep vigil until the Creator awakened. Gladly the men took their new responsibility while the gods secretly rejoiced for they were finally rid of Yrbadden’s task and free to watch their new lackies carry the burden.
One day Yrbadden will awaken from his slumber and the world will come to an end like a waking dream. Then again will he amuse himself with another world and another batch of gods until the sleep finds him once again. "
Virtues and afterlife
The heart of Corwynt are the Virtues: six most valued characteristics in creation. Upholding these universal ideas is part of the ancient pact between men and gods. The more the actions of a person reflect these Virtues, the greater is his and his lineage’s status in the afterlife, Tír na-Slinn. This means that your good actions can balance out the wickedness of your ancestors just as in the future your descendants can lessen your position in afterlife by straying from the path of good. The virtues are:
The gods of Corwynt consist of six different deities, all responding to one of the six Virtues. The creator Yrbadden is not a god per se and is not venerated in any way resembling worship. They are known by various names in different places and details of their personalities and deeds may have slight variations depending who is asked. Some say the gods of the Imperial Cults actually have the original names… a claim that is usually responded with fists and pitchforks.
- Iodocus – sun god.
- Morrigna – goddess of war
- Debranua – goddess of the sky
- Maponos – god of seas
- Teutanis – god of nature
- Nimue – goddess of mercy
The public face of Corwynt are the temples. The leaders of the faith, lectors, run the temples and are in charge of ceremonies, worship, maintenance and the distribution of funding. During the time of Risl mac Leirdnn the temple had enormous political power, endless riches and a sizeable private army but today the interests clergy are kept at purely spiritual matters, although the highest members surely live in luxury and have the ears of many rulers.
The monasteries are the quieter, more humble centers of learning and contemplation. They are the only form of schools besides private teachers and are dedicated to preserving knowledge of all forms, acting more or less as libraries. To raise their funds they maintain breweries and hire out monks versed in the law, acting out as judges and lawyers for hire. Clerics and paladins are initially trained in monasteries by experiences warrior monks called the shield brothers.
Ranks from highest to lowest:
- Arch Lector (the single leader of the temples)
- Lector (one for each province)
- Templehead (leader of a single temple, the equivalent in a monastery is called “First Brother”)
- Shield Brother (warrior monks, few in number.)
While clerics and paladins are not a part of the hiararchy they are considered equal to a Brother after they have been released from their training. Many have later achieved high ranks.
Appearance of the clergy
Clergymen involved in the temples generally dress in simple white robes with maybe brown or green threads sown in as decoratives. Templeheads and Lectors can sometimes wear more elaborate colours such as yellow, purple or even gold depending how wealthy they are. Monks always wear simple and brown robes which are made to last long use. Monks acting as judges wear grey robes as a symbol of neutral and fair trial. Priests usually let their hair grow long while most monks are shaved. Clerics are too few to have any dressing etiquettes.