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 Religions of Harper
Rosalie
 Posted: Jul 3 2017, 09:29 PM
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Index
The faiths listed below have been placed in alphabetical order for easy reference, but may not appear in that order within this thread!
  • *Balican, created by Echofael.
      Based on Wicca.
  • *The Church of Arceus, created by Leslie.
      Based on Christianity.
  • Darkonians, created by Rainwhistler.
      Based on Unknown/Original.
  • Decaism, created by Gabe.
      Based on The Church of Arceus
  • Somnism, created by Banter.
      Based on Unknown/Original.
  • *The Three, created by Johanna Murdoc.
      Based on Wicca.
  • The Xernean Church, created by Grimm.
      Based on Unknown/Original.
Please note that your character is in no way obligated to follow one of these or any religion, and you are welcome to have your character's beliefs or lack thereof be of any variety you wish. In addition, all our various faiths are member created and submitted and are credited to their creators. The most prevalent religions in the region are listed above with a star in *bold font.


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Rosalie
 Posted: Jul 3 2017, 09:35 PM
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The Balican Faith
Written and created by Echofael


Creation Myth
In the beginning, the beasts of legend fought one another for control over a barren earth. Each beast wielded powerful weapons, and while each beast had a weakness to another, It also had a strength. For millennia the battling gods were at a stalemate, and when it became obvious that there would never be an end to the war, they gathered together under a full moon to discuss the future of the world.

It was then that the legendary beasts discovered that their powers, destructive when used against a foe, were also complimentary to each other. The beasts banded together at the new moon to create the world, bringing life to the skies, the oceans, and the land. They created the balance under which the planet thrives, and declared that any who sought to destroy this balance would also seek to destroy the world.


Key Beliefs, Teachings, and Celebrations
  • Balance is crucial
      Balance must be maintained if life is to succeed. For every animal killed for food, one must be spared; for every plant harvested, another must be fertilized. If harvesting branches or parts from a plant, an offering (like water or fertilizer) must be left for the plant in question. Recycling is practiced heavily to avoid over-mining of resources. Few humans are born balanced and must strive to achieve it in body, mind, and soul.

    .
  • Everything has inherent magic, which can be used with the blessing of the gods
      Before any follower attempts to work ritual or a spell, they must ask permission to use nature's magic. If the gods say no, there will be a sign showing such. Balicans not only believe in the presence of magic but encourage its use in order to balance the natural powers in one's soul.
    .
  • Followers must choose their own Paths and lifestyles
      Choice makes for variety, and variety makes for balance. If one group tries to force another into a particular way of thinking, soon there will be only one mindset, which allows no room for change or growth and destroys balance. Balicans must choose one Path to follow, and they may choose whichever suits them, but once the choice is made it cannot be changed.
    .
  • The male and female are equal, for every human has both a masculine and feminine side
      There is no such thing as a superior gender. Any man or women is permitted to live a lifestyle they choose; there is no 'unmanly' or 'unwomanly,' only what you choose to do. Everyone has both a masculine and feminine side and must nourish both to remain balanced. Those who are able to balance their masculine and feminine aspects without training or coaching are considered to be Chosen by their gods, as they have been born with a natural balance in the soul, and are highly revered.
    .
  • Holy rituals are to be held on nights of the full moon and new moon
      The night of the full moon is the Truce Ritual; to celebrate the act of warring beasts coming together in peace, Balicans may not purposefully kill another living being during this time (from the morning preceding the full moon to the morning after). Rituals may be held in groups or alone, and instead of honoring the chosen Path gods, all of the gods will be honored in turn.

      To symbolize the creation of new life, followers must "create" life during the day or night of the new moon in a Life Ritual. Some breed Pokemon together; most plant a seed or seedling plant into the ground. Ritual is to be held the same as Truce Ritual, with the followers honoring all of the gods instead of a few.
    .
  • With the exception of the full moon and new moon, rituals may be done when and how the follower chooses
      At least one basic ritual must be done once per week to show continuing devotion, but otherwise followers may choose how and when to conduct ritual. Most Balicans use the same basic structure and customize it to suit their needs. Group rituals must be led by an officially-recognized priest or priestess.
    .
  • Every follower must have a chosen familiar or familiars that corresponds to their Path
      These familiars can never be traded or sold, but otherwise they may be trained however the owner wishes. Additionally, special Pokemon must be obtained if one wishes to become a priest or priestess. Familiars must be present for every ritual a follower does.

Taboos
  • Needless killing is prohibited
      This includes sport hunting and murder. Killing for food is allowed, as long as the hunter uses as much of the animal as s/he can, and killing in defense is also allowed. Death is an important part of balance, but too much death will throw the balance off.
    .
  • Ritual items can never be used for anything but ritual
      Using a wand to stir soup or ritual candles to light a home will destroy the inherent magic in them. Ritual equipment must be kept separate from mundane (normal) objects and cannot be touched by another unless the owner gives permission; this includes ritual outfits. Additionally, any person not invited into a ritual cannot approach or join that ritual, although animals and Pokemon are considered pure and can come and go as they please. Equipment should be cleansed once a month by the light of a full moon, the light of the sun, or water (pure ocean or spring water).
    .
  • Ritual is never to be used to curse another
      Any attempt to curse, send bad luck to, etc. another human/Pokemon (Balican or not) will rebound and affect the caster three-fold. Spells are only to be used to draw qualities (such as health or money) to the caster or his/her Pokemon. If a Balican wishes to perform a spell on another person/owned Pokemon, permission from the second party must be given first.
    .
  • Greed corrupts the soul
      If you must steal, it must be for the survival of yourself or others. Accumulating wealth and possessions merely to have status and power severs the sacred ties with the gods and poisons an individual's magic.

Rituals and Equipment
Basic rituals may be done at any time, and there are a few general items each follower should have to do a proper ritual.

Wand: A wand can be as simple as a smooth stick, but many choose to add carvings and decoration to theirs to make it more personalized. Wands are used to direct energy and prayer in the desired direction, and it is said that the gods can commune with their followers through wands. Most wands are made of wood, but some can be carved from stone or even metal. Wands may be used to cut energy if the worshiper doesn't own an athame.

Altar cloth: While preferably laid over a flat altar table, cloths can be spread out over the ground and are used to keep negative energy away from the ritual space. They are cleansed often to remove any lingering, unwanted energy and must be in the color of the follower's Path.

Candle(s): There must be one candle, in the Path color, used for each god being worshipped. It is highly advised that each follower have three of each Path color for use on full and new moon rituals. Some go as far as to carve the name of a deity into a candle, reserving its use for that god alone.

Special Item: Each Path has associated items, one of which must be present during ritual. One from each Path must be present during full/new moon rituals.

Additional equipment includes altars, bowls, salt, athames (dull knives/daggers used to cut energy), bolines (used to cut herbs), herbs, incense, crystals, and clothes reserved for ritual. Travelers will keep the bare essentials, sometimes in miniature form, in travel-ready boxes, while home bound worshipers keep all of their supplies in chests or specially-reserved places in their houses.


The Six Paths
Water/Ice: Articuno (The Wings of Winter | neutral gender); Suicune (The Waterbringer | male); Kyogre (The Lady of the Ocean | female)
Color: Blues
Items: Seashells, sand, vials/bowls of water
Wand woods: Driftwood, cypress, alder, birch, willow
Symbol: Waterdrop set in a circle
Familiars: Water and Ice Types
Priest/ess Requirements: A year of study under a priest/ess; ownership of a Vaporeon or Glaceon

Balicans hold these three gods as the most important during prayer and ritual, and may either follow all three equally, two of the three, or dedicate themselves to just one. They dress in ritual clothes in varying shades of blue (even if all they can afford is a blue rag tied on an arm or around the neck) and will often wear their symbol in necklace form. Water is the key to life, whether it falls from the sky or is frozen in solid form, and those in this path are often very adaptable and accept change easily.


Fire: Moltres (The Sunbird | neutral gender); Entei (The Roar of the Volcano | male); Reshiram (The Firebringer | female)
Color: Reds and oranges
Items: Candles (including ritual candles), obsidian, scorched wood
Wand woods: Holly, hickory, cherry, beech, dogwood
Symbol: Flame set in a circle
Familiars: Fire Types
Priest/ess Requirements: A year of study under a priest/ess; ownership of a Flareon

Balicans hold these three gods as the most important during prayer and ritual, and may either follow all three equally, two of the three, or dedicate themselves to just one. They dress in ritual clothes in varying shades of red and orange and will often wear their symbol as a hairpiece. Fire individuals are usually passionate and driven, full of ambition and commonly owners of quick tempers.



Earth: Celebi (The Forest Spirit | neutral gender); Groudon (The Ground-shaker | male); Shaymin (The Flower Maiden | female)
Color: Green and browns
Items: Herbs, fertilizer, fruit and berries, gemstones, precious metals
Wand woods: Rowan, ash, maple, elm, any stone/metal
Symbol: Leaf set in a circle
Familiars: Grass and Bug Types
Priest/ess Requirements: A year of study under a priest/ess; ownership of a Leafeon

Balicans hold these three gods as the most important during prayer and ritual, and may either follow all three equally, two of the three, or dedicate themselves to just one. They dress in ritual clothes of earthy colors and are often grounded followers, rarely prone to fits of emotion or flighty tendencies; they also tend to be good healers, ranchers, and farmers. Their symbol rarely appears on jewelry but is instead drawn or woven onto clothing.


Air: Rayquaza (The Sky God | neutral gender); Latios (The Galewind | male); Latias (The Breeze Dancer | female)
Color: White
Items: Feathers, bird talons, incense
Wand woods: Hawthorn, lilac, cedar, apple, yew
Symbol: Cloud set in a circle
Familiars: Flying and Dragon Types
Priest/ess Requirements: A year of study under a priest/ess; ownership of a Swablu

Balicans hold these three gods as the most important during prayer and ritual, and may either follow all three equally, two of the three, or dedicate themselves to just one. They dress in ritual clothes in white and will often wear their symbol on bracelets. Air followers can be flighty and wear their emotions on their sleeves, but are also usually kind-hearted and compassionate. Many of them become healers.


Lightning: Zapdos (The Thunderbird | neutral gender); Raikou (The Stormbringer | female); Zekrom (The Lightning Maker | male)
Color: Yellows
Items: glass (obtained from a natural/Pokemon lightning strike on sand), metal rods
Wand woods: Oak, redwood, walnut, glass
Symbol: Lightning bolt set in a circle
Familiars: Electric Types
Priest/ess Requirements: A year of study under a priest/ess; ownership of a Jolteon

Balicans hold these three gods as the most important during prayer and ritual, and may either follow all three equally, two of the three, or dedicate themselves to just one. They dress in yellow ritual clothes and will often wear their symbol in ring form. Lightning individuals tend to be rather clever and patient, striking hard and fast at the opportune moment and withdrawing before anyone realizes what's happened. They also tend to be more aligned with the "wrong" side of the law.


Mind: Azelf (The Bard of Knowledge | neutral gender); Mesprit (The Witch of Emotion | female); Uxie (The Prince of Will | male)
Color: Black, grays, purples (if it can be obtained)
Items: Paper, ink, crystals
Wand woods: Hazel, pine, fig, palm
Symbol: Eye set in a circle
Familiars: Psychic and Dark Types
Priest/ess Requirements: A year of study under a priest/ess; ownership of an Espeon or Umbreon

Balicans hold these three gods as the most important during prayer and ritual. Followers of the Mind are rare, for they often have an innate understanding of the world and the organisms in it. They worship their trio of gods equally, for each is a separate but necessary aspect of this Path. Purple is the chosen color but, due to the high prices of purple dyes, black and gray have become acceptable substitutes. These individuals are often wise beyond their years and share particularly strong bonds with their loved ones and Pokemon. Mind Balicans rarely wear their symbol, but when they do it's drawn or woven into headbands or set in tiaras.

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Rosalie
 Posted: Jul 3 2017, 09:49 PM
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The Darkonians: Followers of the Dark Father
Written and created by Rainwhistler


Creation Myth
Before time, there was chaos. Before light, there was darkness. Before dreams, there were nightmares. Before the existence of Arceus there were older more sinister beings within space and time. One of those being Darkrai, hailed to be the true God of gods by those who follow the Darkonian Faith. Darkrai was the first to exist in the vacuum that our world exists in. But his presence was soon replaced with others.

Shapeless beasts raged within the chaos and darkness. Darkrai tried not to tame them but did not act as they did either. The dark father Darkrai was more interested in just watching and learning about these great beasts and where he fit in. Darkrai watched the great beasts fight most of the time, and great noise and flashes of dark light could be seen from these great beings harming each other. However after one particularly violent fight, Darkrai found an egg, unsure what to do with the egg, Darkrai kept it, protecting the small life form from the chaotic beasts that raged around them.

As time, existence, wore on more and more non-chaotic entities entered the void. Two of the first where siblings who took advantage of time and space, creating a way to track the happenings within the void, they lived in harmony with Darkrai helping him watch over the egg. Eventually the egg hatched under Darkrai’s protection and a great light emerged forcing back the darkness. Arceus was born and with the light he brought, new beings were also discovered. The light being painful to Darkrai, he was forced into the shadows to watch from afar as this existence was re-worked into a world of love and hate and no longer darkness and chaos. As Darkrai was a creature and being of darkness, those Arceus created and discovered in his light scorned Darkrai; eventually he entered a life of solitude and his story was lost to legend due to the churches.


Key Beliefs, Teachings, and Celebrations
  • Never fear the dark, for it holds the truth
      Just because you can see more in the light does not mean that it is the truth. One must understand the dark and chaos in the world to understand the order and how the light holds as much, if not more, evil then the dark.
    .
  • Change is key to one's growth
      To be stagnant means you become weak to the world around you. One must always be willing to learn, to travel, to explore and bring new truths to the world. Change is both good and bad but it is accepted.
    .
  • Take pride in education
      Learn to read, learn to fight, learn a craft. Bring reason and purpose into the world. As well as take pride in teaching others. The passing of knowledge is the only real truth in the world that keeps humans from falling for the lies of the light.
    .
  • Do not Lie
      The worst of all sins, for Darkrai was lied to and tossed aside for the false light.
    .
  • Do not destroy needlessly
      Natural disasters happen for a reason. Life and death is a cycle that happens for a reason. But to destroy for no reason but to do so is not accepted.
    .
  • The Long Night Celebration
      Darkonians only have one true celebration that they partake in. They call it the Long Night Celebration and it happens on the longest night of the year the Winter Solstice. Followers of the faith travel to some of the deepest and darkest parts of the old woods to the north between Istin and Harpers Pass to celebrate the darkness and pass on stories and wisdom to each other. Getting there is a bit of a test and no light may help your path so one is forced to enjoy the darkness, but great fires burn where the meeting place is for the story telling. It is considered even more holy of a year if a new moon falls on the winter solstice.

Taboos:
  • Taking a political position
      This is considered placing yourself fully in the false light and turning your back to Darkrai the father of us all.
    .
  • Working with a Fairy Type Pokémon
      Fairy types are seen as the enemy. They are the newest creation by the false light and they harm darkness.
    .
  • Preventing the advancement of the path to the truth.
      No matter what a person is studying or attempting to learn that is their path to the truth of this world. To hinder or halt that path is to be condemned to death, for you wish to fill the world with lies.
    .
  • Wearing Gold
      Gold represents the false light of Arceus who cast away the dark father. Since now the dark father can only be found in the light of the moon, only silver jewelry and bobbles are accepted.

Origins
Darkonian has long existed in secret across the region. It is unknown who truly started the faith but there is a small panel of leaders two are charged with keeping the knowledge of the faith. There is no true leader as they do not believe in taking positions of the like but the panel does hold meetings to discuss new members and world events that are of interest. The panel has also worked alongside the mages guild for many of years. As Darkonian faith supports the search of all knowledge and even if they might not agree with the mages methods, knowledge is still shared between the groups.

However the faith is more dominant in the north where the nights are longer and dark type Pokémon are more prevalent. It is not mandatory to own or work with dark type or ghost Pokémon but those who are followers of the faith tend to prefer those Pokémon as fairy types are not trusted and psychics lie too easily for their tastes.


Initiation
It is very rare for those seeking the faith to be turned away, but the panel screens people closely as they attempt to keep all liars and those who seek knowledge for greed and greed alone out of the faith. However since so few know about the faith those who practice tend to find those who would be suited and introduce them to the path of true knowledge. Many of those who are comfortable with ghosts and dark types are sought out first. So it is common practice to be invited into the faith more than seeking it out on one's own. Acceptance is dependent on the panel no matter who invites you or who you are.

Once you are accepted, it is the role of the follower to travel or teach or become a scholar to broaden the knowledge of the people without religious tampering. They follow Darkrai because Darkrai was the first among gods and the can see through the lies of Arceus. Those who are accepted tend to wear robes or large capes designed to keep them warm while traveling or giving them a scholarly appearance. But they are also given a small silver ring that grants them admission to their libraries and monthly night meetings.


Notes
  • Darkonians call Arceus the False Light because the god turned his back to his caretaker Darkrai just after he was born.
  • Darkonians do not trust other organized religions or most politicians or guardians since so much of Harper's elite follow the False light and its teachings.
  • They are aligned with the Mages guild for knowledge.
  • Overall Darkonians are a peaceful sort but have no qualms with killing or death in the protection of knowledge and removing lies from the earth.

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Rosalie
 Posted: Jul 3 2017, 10:05 PM
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Decaism: An Arcean Splinter Faith
Written and created by Gabe.


Creation Myth
In the days where Pokemon walked alongside of trainers rather than getting trapped by them, it was said that the Creator of the Universe, awoke from his slumbering egg and created the known universe. Upon seeing the width and depth of his creation in the planets and other dimensions, he felt disconnected with the very world he created... fearing that getting too close to his work would annihilate it with his mere presence. Thus, he focused on creating himself and his form and substance. With him were created The Wheel or the Elemental Plates. As a gift back to his creation, he allowed them to name his newly created form.

Arceus, or "The Ancient One"

From Arceus came all things, for he was the Creator. But for creation to occur, there must also be destruction. For this purpose he created the gods whose role encapsulated the destruction necessary for creation to continue unhindered, Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina. Dialga was given dominion over time, the slow and steady march of entropy, which nothing is able to defeat. Palkia gifted with the realm of space, the vast nothingness which consumes all. To Giratina was granted dominion over the antithesis of all, for when Giratina stirs, nothing remains.

Key Beliefs, Teachings, and Celebrations
  • Destruction is not a negative force in the world
      The old and the rusty must be torn down to give way to the new and vibrant. Without destruction there would be no need for creation. The world would have no purpose but to endure, stagnant, static, forever.
    .
  • Destruction is not limited to combat
      Many interpret the primary tenant of Decaism to refer to the destruction caused when individuals engage in combat, as this is the most vivid and horrifying form of destruction that they can envisage. To Decaists, there is no distinction between a ground Pokémon leveling a mountain with a well timed Earthquake or Magnitude, and labourers clearing land in order for buildings or farmland to take its place.
    .
  • Take pride in your work
      There is honour in all things, including destruction. If destruction were something to be ashamed of, then Arceus would not have allowed it to be created. In the same way an Arcean exalts in something they have made, so too do you praise the divines through the destruction you bring.

    .
  • Everything has its time
      Nothing is eternal. Even the mightiest mountain will eventually die as Dialga decrees. Do not mourn loss, but celebrate that which has been lost, and find joy in that which shall take its place.
    .
  • We serve in the cycle of Creation, celebrate it
      In almost all cases, Decaists celebrate the same holidays as Arceans, observing the same practices. Beyond that, Decaists worship their gods in contests, such as tournaments, lumberjack games, and so on. If the end result is something getting damaged then it is appropriate. These contests are held on the summer and winter solstices, when the heat of the summer and cold of the winter are at their most destructive.

Taboos:
  • EVERYTHING HAS ITS TIME
      Blind and wanton destruction serves no one. Decaists do not destroy for the sake of destruction, they fulfill a higher purpose set down by Arceus. This is the most severely enforced taboo amongst Decaists. Those who indulge in destruction for its own sake not only upset the cycle of creation, they negatively impact the very existence of Decaism, putting it in peril.
    .
  • Work with honour
      Decaism is not a popular ideology with those who cannot understand its teachings. Always comport yourself with honour, to do any less risks the balance of existence.
    .
  • Discrimination is intolerable.
      Everything has its time. Every person, Pokémon, ideology and place. It is not for us to question Arceus on their existence, ours is to serve our gods in their task. This includes mages, they exist for a purpose, and should not be treated differently from any other of Arceus' creations
    .
  • Purposeful destruction of any religious texts is forbidden
      Everything has its time, and the Religion of others belongs to the gods, it is not our place to tamper with such things.

Origins
Decaism is an offshoot of the Arcean beliefs, it was first founded by the Templar Urian Teberen, a soldier of the Arcean church during the One Hundred Year Crusade as a means to reconcile the atrocities he and his companions witnessed during that terrible time. While tolerated by the Arcean Church, Decaism is looked at with distaste by many as barbaric and unnecessary. Inevitably the people who hold these views are those who have never had to fight for their lives, and the lives of others.

While Decaists acknowledge Arceus as the Supreme Creator, and have no qualms working with the Arcean Church, they are a separate entity and follow their own rules.


Gods of War
While Decaism is not solely followed by warriors, they make up the majority of the Decaist population. Founded amidst a war by a religious Knight and his followers, Decaism appeals to the people with martial leanings most. Decaist fighters are often split into 'Realms' with their own patron god, based on the combat ideals that each god best represents.

Realm of Dialga
The followers of Dialga fight battles of endurance and attrition. Time is on their side and they know it. Whether lithe and agile, or strong and well protected, the Dialgans outlast their foes with considerable endurance, ending them when their energy is spent. A Dialgan is often the last one standing.

Realm of Palkia
Palkians fight with the terrain as much as their weapons. Chokepoints, traps, natural hazards, all are considered when the followers of Palkia begin to fight. Favouring weapons which allow them to control their opponent's actions (polearms and ranged weapons are very common), Palkians strive to always hold an advantage over their foe. A Palkian is always in control.

Realm of Giratina
As Giratina is the Antithesis of All, so too are its' followers the antithesis of their foe. Giratinans follow the simple principle of overwhelming force and aggression to defeat their foes. Favouring high damage, brutal weapons, Giratinans tear through their enemies with a violence that can make even the most hardened veterans pause. A Giratinan does not stop unless all foes are defeated, or death takes them.

Note: While far less numerous than the warriors, civilian Decaists also fit into the three Realms, simply interpreting the overall philosophy to fit their way of life.


The Masters - Overseers of the Realms
Decaism has no true priests, no acolytes serving the gods in lavish temples. The world is their temple, destruction their acts of worship. However, there are individuals known as the Masters of Realms who serve as a sort of Judiciary for Decaists. It is these Masters of the Realms who decide whether an act of destruction is in keeping with their codes, or whether the Taboo is broken. It is these Masters who will rally the faithful should their codes be broken.

To become a Master of a Realm requires sponsorship from a current Master, with at least four others agreeing to the appointment. A Master must also have a fully evolved Pokemon of the appropriate typing for their realm. A Master of Dialga must have a Steel type, a Master of Palkia must have a Water type, and a Master of Giratina must have a Ghost type.


Initiation
An individual cannot simply become a Decaist of their own accord. They must study under an approved mentor for a period of time so that they may learn the creed of the Decaists properly. Upon completing their teaching, the mentor takes the initiate to a Master of the Realms, who questions the initiate thoroughly, often using hypothetical situations as examples to ensure the initiate understands the meanings of their creed. Should the master find the initiate acceptable, they are presented with an amulet bearing the symbol of the Realms, indicating to all that the individual is an approved Decaist.

For some reason, these amulets cannot be falsified. It is believed that in the time of founding, Arceus turned his power towards His chosen instruments of destruction, so that no one may falsely claim membership to their body. The truth is likely more mundane, and the more commonly accepted story amongst Decaists is that a Mage cast some sort of spell over the amulets that prevent them from being made by unauthorised individuals.

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Rosalie
 Posted: Jul 3 2017, 10:18 PM
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The Church of Arceus
Written and created by Leslie. Expanded by Deoxys Theory.


Creation Myth
In the days where Pokemon walked alongside of trainers rather than getting trapped by them, it was said that the Creator of the Universe, awoke from his slumbering egg and created the known universe. Upon seeing the width and depth of his creation in the planets and other dimensions, he felt disconnected with the very world he created... fearing that getting too close to his work would annihilate it with his mere presence. Thus, he focused on creating himself and his form and substance. With him were created The Wheel or the Elemental Plates. As a gift back to his creation, he allowed them to name his newly created form.

Arcaeus, or "The Ancient One".

With the creation of the other "Divines", he returned to Origin, the paradise where the universe was first conceived. Those who desired to remain with him could once again return to him if they loved him and loved His creation as they loved themselves.

But humanity preferred progress over love, and became bitter and war-like. They went to other regions for the sake of the Church and not for the love of the Creator. The One-Hundred year Crusades left a bitter taste in the mouths of those who desired to create without the Creator. And a great war between magic and faith arrived.

Seeing no love for their Creator in their hearts, Arcaeus turned his gaze away from them in shame, and the machines won over those who commanded Pokemon as true allies. There are still great scars from the war, but the worship of Arcaeus as creator has been turned into legend instead of faith. Still, history does not deny the fact that the Arcaen Church and those who actually follow the edict of love are a benefit to society. With the new rising of magic, however, the "old ways" are starting to revive. More are coming to the Church to pay proper respect from where powers come from in the miracles and power of Creation.

Key Beliefs, Teachings, and Celebrations
  • A relationship between Arcaeus and the beloved creations of the world are the center point of this faith.
    • In the old crusade days, the Church turned what Arcaeus hated (as stated in the Symbion) as law which permitted them to punish those who performed acts that he supposedly hated.
      • Symbion - their holy scriptures
    • In later research, the Church was founded to have rewritten the book several centuries before, so it is unknown where the original texts which document the historical meetings with the Creator are.
    • Out of the original scrolls, three have been found and properly re-translated to form the Church as we know it today.
    .
  • There are key sites on this world which connect with The Wheel, being focal points for his plates.
    • It is said that these places of holy ground are direct connection with the elemental property, and with Arcaeus himself.
    • Those with odd colored eyes than normal are said to have an affinity with these plates
    • The exact translations of which colors go to what element are sketchy at best (for instance, trying to determine which shades of green or blue are considered "blessed" are not easy).
    .
  • Pokemon are Creations of Arcaeus as much as humans are.
    • They are still, however, considered different species.
    • It is okay for humans and Pokemon to eat one another, but not okay for a species to eat it's own kind.
    .
  • Humans are the Creators, and Pokemon are the keepers of power.
    • This balance allows humans to create (invent, rise up towns and nations) with the permission of those who permit them to obtain power.
  • The invention of Pokeballs is only for the protection of the Pokemon and not specifically to "catch" them to obtain more power.
    • All "contracts" are to be made by a willing party unless the Pokemon species in general depends on rage or anger (for instance, Charizard).
    • Only if the species makes the challenge of domination can a real "fight" for the Pokemon's obedience be made.
    • The rewritten Symbion made this interpretation very light. No scrolls have been found to make a proper judgement call, so it is accepted as "do unto others as they would do unto you" would be the proper motto.
.
  • Holidays are every turn of the season, the biggest one being in the Spring, the season of Arcaeus's birth.
    • The Arcaen new year begins at "First Rise," that time in planting season when the plants first come from the ground.
      • This is when all of the oldest of the saved stock for winter gets used in a great feast so that none of it gets wasted.
      • One can usually tell the kind of harvest year during this event.
      • It's a custom for people to trade handkerchiefs and small vials of aloe for the "blossom sniffles" to come in the year.
      • It's considered good luck when people's allergies already start up at this time of year, as it shows the abundance to come.
      • Sneezing seven times in a row means you may ask a wish of Arcaeus.

Taboos:
  • Eggs of any kind are not to be eaten unless a Pokemon offers it willingly to a handler for food.
    • In the old days, this was a binding between Pokemon and handler, allowing the Pokemon to have a 'part of themselves' forever with the trainer.
    • Some say this offering also allowed a trainer to find their Pokemon in times of distress.
    • A believer may only go to a farm where the eggs are given freely instead of taken, and must ask permission of the laying Pokemon to have their egg for breakfast before accepting it from the people who run the farm.
      • Arcaen farms usually have very high-quality rookeries with windows so that their faith-like friends who come to eat can meet the laying Pokemon and get along with them before eating a meal based off of their unborn offspring.
    .
  • Needless destruction is an abomination.
    • Self defense is permitted for needing to kill, or the defense of another.
    • Murder is dealt with harshly.
    • Waste is almost as high of a sin, which is why people and Pokemon are buried to make new plants and flowers.
      • In the ancient times, an honored Pokemon who passed on was reverently cut to pieces and placed in the ground for the next planting season. That way, they would continue to serve the community even in death.
.
  • Same-Sex marriage and polygamist/polyandrist marriages are not permitted.
    • While it doesn't state whom may marry whom in the holy word, Arcaeus values common sense.
    • Relationships start drama, thus it is frowned upon to have more than one spouse.
    • Creation is highly valued in the Arcaen culture, thus will not consider wedding a same-sex couple.
      • They do not, however, forbid relationships made.
      • Usually an Arcaen couple of this nature will go into business together, focusing their "creation" on craftsmanship or Pokemon Breeding.
      • Hence, most Arcaens will believe the stereotype of a male going into breeding as being of that persuasion.
.
  • Destruction of any scrolls leading to the true desires of Arcaeus will be dealt with divine punishment.
    .
  • Theft is not permitted and must be repaid thrice over
    • An Arcaen will usually find the root of the reason of someone stealing and help prevent the person from doing so again by offering a job.
      • If they steal again during the job, then they may be executed, although this rarely happens in the region due to the overarching laws.
      • Instead, a hand is often removed by devout followers.
.
  • Using super effective moves are considered bad sport unless hunting.
    • This allows a merciful end in order to feed others in creation. One can not grow or create when dead, unless they become a ghost.
    .
  • A human with supernatural power is an abomination.
    • The balance was that humans were the creators and Pokemon were the keepers of the power to create.
    • While Pokemon can keep superior intellect in some species, most of them don't create their own buildings or technology.
    • While there are records of people having uncanny talents (St. Harper and his relationship with Pokemon, for example), unless it is proven a miracle of Arcaeus, the rules still stand on keeping the balance and taking out those who would tip the scales.

Church Services
Churches of the faith all over the Harper region provide a number of free services to almost anyone who asks for them. Almost all of them, for example also boast libraries of both religious and scholarly importance. The Church is also well known for taking in lost or abandoned children and raising them within the orthodoxy, as well as preserving and supplying food for the needy.

Another handy function of the Church is the claim of Sanctuary. Anyone who enters a Church of Arceus and claims sanctuary will be immune to persecution from any outsiders, with protection enforced by the local Knights of the Wheel if need be. However, should that person leave the Church for any reason, they lose their claim to Sanctuary. The actual legal enforcement of Sanctuary varies from region to region, though it can generally be expected that if there is a Cardinal representing your region then you will be able to safely claim Sanctuary.

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Somnism
Written and created by Banter.


Background
Somnism is a fairly recent faith, having originated around fifty years ago among a small group of people in Istin City. Although they have managed to persist despite persecution, and almost everyone has at least heard of them, their numbers remain fairly small, at least compared to those of the Arcaens.

Creation Myth
Once, in another world, there lived a grand and powerful entity which possessed an unfathomable intelligence. Perhaps there were many others of similar power, or perhaps not, but this is not a question of importance. This being fought in a grand war against others of its kind, and emerged victorious. Its injuries and exhaustion, however, caused the being to fall into a deep, lengthy sleep.

As it rests, the being, known as The Dreamer, dreamt up our universe as we know it. It is not a character in its dream, however, but a passive observer, watching all that occurs without interfering.

In place of The Dreamer itself, the subconscious of The Dreamer created a powerful aspect of sorts to moderate the dream and prevent it from straying far from The Dreamer's desires. This entity, known to Somnists as The Controller, served its purpose for uncountable eons, and The Dream continued in peace.

As with the characters of any dream, the creatures of the universe and even The Dreamer itself have slowly forgotten that this world is a dream, and continue about their ways unaware. Somnists, as they call themselves, are the few who understand the state of the universe.

When those in this universe forgot that they dwelt in a dream, The Controller became unnecessary to them. It is believed that eventually, in a fit of rage, the people of Harper Region brought The Controller itself into a deep sleep, and entombed it beneath the ground. Above the sleeping Controller, the grand mirage of Miramossa came into being.

At any moment, The Dreamer may awaken from his slumber, bringing this universe to the end. The time of Its awakening may not be altered by the actions of any in this world. If the dream fulfills its Purpose to The Dreamer, however, It may remember the dream, and the universe may continue to exist within its waking mind.

Key Beliefs, Teachings, And Celebrations
  • Humans are intrinsically superior to pokemon
    As humans generally possess a greater intelligence than pokemon, they are considered to be of more importance to The Dreamer's subconscious. As such, it is acceptable for a human to eat a pokemon, but not for a pokemon to consume a human, and so on. Pokemon who have been captured by a handler, however, are to be respected in battle, as they are considered that handler's property. Needless cruelty to one's pokemon, however, is still frowned upon.
    .
  • A search for the Purpose of the dream is crucial to this faith
    While Somnists are encouraged to pursue lives and interests of their own, they are also expected to attempt to discover the Purpose which the dream exists to fulfill. There is no one way to search for the Purpose, and everyone's method is slightly different. Some choose to examine their own dreams, while others set off to explore the world. Still others claim that The Controller must be awoken through some yet-unknown means. Most, however, agree that the illusory area of Miramossa holds a strong connection to this Purpose, and pilgrimages to the "city" occur frequently.
    .
  • Psychic and Ghost pokemon possess a higher status than other types
    The powers of psychic pokemon and the undead state of ghosts defy logical explanation, and as such are seen to represent the dream's detachment from reality. While these pokemon may still be captured, Somnist trainers are expected to treat pokemon of these types almost as equals.
    .
  • Prayer is expected on days of the full or new moon
    On days where the moon is full or new, Somnists should pray to The Controller, asking that it wake from its long sleep and abandon its own dreams, or that it hint to them as to the nature of The Purpose. Prayer is solitary, and Somnists almost never worship with others. As the faith is new, Somnists have not agreed on one specific way to pray, and almost everyone has their own method.
    .
  • Pokemon healers are to be treated well
    In contrast to Arcaens' distaste towards the supernatural powers of pokemon healers, Somnists are encouraged to accept them, and many healers become Somnists themselves. In order to compensate for healers' persecution at the hands of others, well-off Somnists will often pay them a little bit extra.

Taboos:
  • Other religions should not be discriminated against
    Members of other faiths simply represent the majority of any dream's characters: those who do not understand that they are in a dream. As such, it makes sense for Somnists to be the minority. While they may be somewhat condescending, Somnists are never cruel to others because of their religious beliefs, and only occasionally attempt to make converts.
    .
  • Somnists are not to discuss the Purpose with non-Somnists
    To speak of one's ideas about the Purpose or one's quest to discover it with another who is not a Somnist is considered a grave sin. The only officially-embraced punishment is shunning, but less moral members of the faith have been known to maim or kill those who speak of the Purpose with outsiders. In order to identify each other, most Somnists wear a small amount of face paint, usually in some shade of purple or blue.
    .
  • Murder is discouraged
    While Somnists have less of a strict moral code than, say, the Church of Arceus, they still do not approve the murder of humans. Pokemon are also not to be killed intentionally unless their body is to be used for some purpose, whether it be food, clothing, or anything else. However, Somnism has somewhat of a reputation as a faith of poor character, and some Somnists do disregard even this rule.

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The Three
Written and created by Johanna Murdoc.



The Makers and the Mover
Creation Myth:
In the beginning, all were three.

Two of the Three were great and good, and they were as much in love as they were locked in bitter rivalry. Together and against one another they strove, for despite their connection to one another, they could never agree and could never settle and could never become the whole they dreamed of.

The third was alone and despite hir greatness was neither good nor evil, and liked it that way. The Mover had no divisions, no separations, no scruples or qualms. Se did not understand the conflict between the two but strove to amend it, for their endless clashes disturbed hir pursuits. So it was that se came to them, and proposed Creation, where each could add something and where they both could exist in harmony.

This idea was well received, but came with a catch: in order to enact Creation, they would have to sacrifice much. Their powers, their bodies, and much of their minds. They would become but forces, while they lived on in all that they built together. The Mover spoke at length, however, and at last the Makers agreed.

First, The Goddess of the World gave of herself, and brought forth the planet and the pokemon and all that is of physical presence. But these did not yet move, did not yet breathe. It took the God of Man, entering the world and bringing with him light and heat and energy and motion to combine with what the Goddess had given to spark the very beginnings of life.

While the Goddess gave birth to the pokemon, the God gave birth to the human, and for this reason the two shall ever remain apart in nature.

From the Goddess came the body of the world, the earth beneath the feet. From the Goddess came creatures of the elements, the first pokemon: air, water, fire, ground, rock, steel, electricity, insect, plant, ice, poison, fighting, and most carefully and passionately of all, dragon.

From the God came energy, came the channels of the world's blood. From the God came Man, a creature without powers but with great ingenuity and great ambition, whose hands wrought great things and would shape the world the Goddess had birthed and populated, who would come to rule it.

The Mover watched all of this, and when the two Makers had ceased, se looked upon their works and said, "You have Made much, but in all of your Creation, nothing changes. Nothing lives, nothing dies, and nothing grows. From me, you may have Chance and you may have the elements from Outside your realms, but I shall not spend all of myself as you have done, for one must remain to Guide."

To the world, the Mover granted life, and death. To the world, the Mover granted the mind, and the memory. To the world, the Mover granted change, and chance, and fortune so fey. For the world, the Mover began the infinite motions of time. At hir will the elements of the psychic, the dark, the ghost, and the fairy entered the world to be hir eyes and hir ears to watch from. Where hir power met and mixed with the Makers' remaining strength, creatures without type appeared, who would one day be called the Normal.

Strengths spent and minds expended, the Makers became forces, silent but ever watching and held tightly in balance with one another as they ever had. And the Mover remained.


The Three
Deities Worshipped:
  • God of Man
  • Goddess of the World
  • The Trickster Lord, who guides their works
      (Also known as the Queen of Fortune or the Forked-Tongue King)
The Trickster is the primary deity of The Three, considered to be the one who remains fully alive and watches over all, placing events and people at whim. Se rules over all that can be touched by chance or change or time, though se has no direct control over the physical stuff of the world that still follows the Makers' Laws. Despite this, se is renowned and praised for hir cleverness and cunning through which se guides the paths of the world and all who move upon it. It is to the Trickster that prayers are offered and gifts given.

The Trickster can be honored in nearly any aspect: male or female or neither, good or evil or neither, beneficial or a hindrance or neither. Se is a fickle thing, and can never be truly predicted so hir favor is sought ever and anon. For some, the Trickster has careful plans and watches closely. For others, their lives are almost wholly unguided by the Trickster's whims and they are left adrift at the mercy of a true randomness. It is a matter of great debate which is better and which is worse.

The Makers, also called the God and Goddess, are honored and venerated for their sacrifice and for the perfection of their creation. They are offered gifts in thanks for all there is to have and for all that exists. The God is honored annually on the day of the summer solstice, while the Goddess is honored during the night.


The Practice
Rituals:
Followers of this religion devote most of their time to the Trickster, who is given a simple prayer each evening at sundown (or prior to sleep) if possible to retain hir favor, for se is a fickle Lord. The God and Goddess are thanked at each meal and at sunrise (or upon waking) and honored as aspects of the physical world around them, the place rather than the events.

A true ritual may be held whenever the follower has time or if they seek the Trickster's favor for something in particular. In those instances, the altar set up is very simple. Two white candles are placed shoulder width apart on a spread cloth and dedicated with carvings done into the wax, one for the God and one for the Goddess. They are lit one at a time with an expression of gratitude for each in turn. A pouch of light coloured stone runes are then mixed and strewn face down between the two candles.

In the center and closer to the practitioner is placed a thicker, black or dark-coloured candle, which is lit after the Makers' candles and traditionally possesses a thicker wick to symbolize the Trickster's continued life. Once the black candle is lit, the practitioner passes an offering over the flame to petition for hir attention. Offerings may consist of food items, treasures, coins, or drops of blood depending on the reason for the ritual, and three Truths are spoken. The more precious the offering item or items are to the person, the more likely the Trickster is to consider their appeal. Spoken Truths must be powerful to pique the deity's interest, so rituals are often done in private, lest secrets escape to the wrong ears.

The practitioner then speaks to the flame as respectfully or candidly as they choose, for the Trickster values truths over platitudes. A pinch of sawdust or other flammable material is then cast over the candleflame. This serves two functions. First, it disrupts the flame and dismisses the Trickster, who may get up to causing Bad Luck if held too long. Second, the fall of the ashes or embers is then interpreted based on which runes the bulk of the soot has fallen on for insight if the Trickster wishes to give it as se departs. The candles are blown out in reverse order and retained for future use. The offerings must be cast into a hearth or otherwise destroyed following the ritual, because their spirits have been given to the Trickster and to intentionally retain them in the material world is to invite anger and black luck.


What is Done

Key Beliefs, Teachings, and Celebrations:
  • Although the Makers are shadows of what they once were, they still hold great strength and can influence the physical world. Together with the Trickster, time and consciousness came to be. Gratitude should always be expressed before a meal to the Makers for providing and to the Trickster for allowing.
    .
  • The Trickster has no gender and may be worshiped and referred to in any aspect according to the situation and the follower's whim. It should never, however, be forgotten that the Trickster is truly neither. Images of hir are always created with both a male and female face.
    .
  • Humans and Pokemon are deeply different, but equal, manifestations of the God and Goddess respectively. They should remain in balance at all times, and in order to have a prosperous home there must be as many pokemon as people present.
    .
  • Rituals are formally held at the turn of each season and at the solstices. This may be done in isolation or with a group. Each city has a small altar temple on a plot of land several acres square which holds a sacred grove, a field, a pond, and stones arranged to invoke mountains. These represent the earth and the creations of men to honor the Makers, while the people who come and go embody the Trickster's motion.
    .
  • The follower's place is never to judge. That burden and honor belongs to the Trickster alone and each will reap the sum of all that they have sown at the Trickster's discretion and in time. Judgement is to contradict the order of the world and break the balance by asserting human nature and the God over all others.
    .
  • All faiths and deities are but facets of one or more of the Three and vice versa, and so all faiths are valid and equal. Conversion is encouraged, but other faiths are not shamed.
    .
  • There are endless small rituals that goes along with the faith, small gestures for luck or thanks. One of the most common is to kiss the base of the thumbnail for luck. Another is to touch the forehead and then the chin before a meal to express thanks or end a prayer.

What is Not Done

Taboos:
  • Fortunes, good or ill, are not to be discussed among others and are a private thing. This means that a follower of the Three does not bemoan ill luck nor boast of good fortune -- however, swearing and addressing the Trickster is permitted and often occurs in social situations in lieu of complaints or bragging.
    .
  • Killing for revenge is never done, because death returns the soul to the Three and frees them from being subjected to the Trickster's whim and consequence. Followers who seek vengeance typically maim their target and mark them in some way with a corruption of the Trickster's Mark to invite perversion of his favor.
    .
  • Prayers are never to be confused and misdirected. The God receives all prayers concerning men and their machines and cities and cultures. The Goddess receives all prayers concerning the world and the pokemon and the weather. The Trickster receives all prayers concerning fate and fortune and magic and chance. To direct a prayer or thanks to the wrong deity is to invite retribution -- illness, ill luck, broken tools, etc.
    .
  • Further Taboos are personal in nature and differ from follower to follower. They may be established during initiation or following major life events and may incorporate other faiths' taboos or teachings.

Dawning of Awareness
Initiation:

Initiation is simple and straightforward -- one simply starts practicing. It is looked upon with favor to convert others to the faith, but it is not uncommon to find a small altar to the Three even in Arcean homes as either tradition or superstition, for the faith is a very old one. Many pay casual respect to the Trickster or recast hir into a role in younger faiths as a matter of habit: leaving a coin in a fountain or a token on a grave are common old practices, as is blowing on dice.

It is looked upon as good favor to bring others into the faith, although it is not part of their 'mission' so door-to-door style conversions are uncommon. However, many of the faith go on missions and travel in service or to spread the religion.

The Name of the People
History of the Religion in Harper:

The Three is an ancient faith, brought to Harper from Caledon by the Harper's Troupe and through international trade. To Caledon, it was brought from islands across the seas, and to the islands from other land-bound areas, and so forth until it has been forgotten where exactly it began. The religion's birthplace holds no importance to its practice and this lapse is largely ignored by practitioners. The religion has never been as powerful in Harper as it is in other countries, nor anywhere near as influential as the Church of Arceus or the indigenous faiths such as Balican, but it has persisted and blended with them and with local tradition to create a spectrum of variations as unique as the people and places within the region.

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The Xernean Church
Written and created by Grimm.



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Creation Myth:

Long, long ago, humanity committed a sin against Yveltal’s law: they dared to cheat death.

This action earned the wrath of the Harbinger, and in his rage he spread his wings wide and sailed across the world, stealing the souls of both the rightfully alive and the wrongfully so, sparing no one. His Oblivion Wing razed fields of wheat into dust, sundered mountains and cities, his wild passion and cold breath vanquishing any spark of life he can find, for this was the Reckoning, the tearing down of the world so it may be rebuilt once more, the Cataclysm. In his wake, the Darkness rose to swallow light and hope. In his wake, the Dragons, ever ambitious to widen their hoards, set out to conquer, bringing millions of fugitives under their so-called protection, demanding brutal, sky-high prices in exchange for a feigned safety.

Among the refugees, there was a cleric of the gods and his eevee companion, an old and withered man with the heart of a warrior-mage. Seeing the undiscriminating destruction and misery around him, the cleric turned his despair into determination and set out to find a way to calm Yveltal’s wrath. Together, he and the eevee traveled far and wide, relieving suffering where they can on their way and search for something, anything, that can bring Death back under control.

Eventually, their journey brought them to the end of the world where they saw a beautiful, ancient tree whose branches stretched outwards to grasp life and eternity. Weary of both souls and bodies, the two laid down to rest at the tree’s roots, and fell asleep. Unknown to them, the roots absorbed their dreams, and the darkness and despair they carried with them, yet the shining hope and determination to correct what was wrong, stirred the sleeping heart of that tree’s guardian.

When they woke again, there stood before them a beautiful stag. Her armored body was that of a warrior’s, but her antlers were no swords but branches from where the fruits of everlasting life hung – for here was Xerneas, Lady of Eternity, and for their courage she gave them two gifts: one, that she blessed the eevee for her loyalty and good heart with the strength of the Fae, and two, that she promised to the cleric relief from his and the world’s burdens.

And so she flew back to the mainland, the man and his newly-evolved sylveon on her back. Together, they beat back the Dark and the Drakes, and when at last Xerneas confronted Ylveltal, she defeated him in a duel where the loser must retreat, and coaxed him back to sleep.

The people of the world, grateful for her mercy, fell to the ground before her. But Xerneas told them to stand, and in her light granted them the protection of her people: the Fairies. Never again shall the darkness and the dragons rule. To the cleric, she communicated with him her ideals, and bade that he tell them to the mass.

Then she retreated to the Tree of Life at the end of the earth once more, sleeping, and awaited the day when another brave soul would have needs of her light.

Key Principles
  • Magic is a gift from Xerneas and should be cherished.
      Those born a mage are to be cherished and respected, not feared, for magic was not intrinsic to mortals but was a gift from Xerneas herself to prolong and preserve life. This is especially true for healer-mages, who are greatly respected and are expected to carry out their work in the interest of those around them.
    .
  • Fairies are natural guardians and nurses, never to be shunned but always to be welcomed.
      As children of the Great Goddess, the fairy-types may be prone to mischief but are also protectors of the people and the embodiments of hopes and dreams. Those who are sought out by a fairy-type should be careful, since they are said to follow people who might soon encounter a difficult situation in life, but also not to fear, because the fairy came to them in order to offer help. Never kill a fairy-type unless there is absolutely no other choices. If you do, pray for forgiveness immediately or go to a priest to have your sins pardoned.
    .
  • The Dark is not to be trusted.
      Dark-types, on the opposite side of the coin, are the sins and shadows of human nature, temptations to act wrongly for one's selfish benefit. While the dark-type deserves their place in life, they should not be sought out as trusted partners or advisors, lest the human who deals with them become lost in their ways. Darkness provided the cloak for the unthinkable to be committed.
    .
  • The Dragons are powerful, and like with any powerful creatures, they become selfish and violent, seeking to subjugate others.
      Dragons are more frowned upon by Xerneans than the Dark. Instead of cunning and temptations that can be curbed by rationality, a dragon-type is the symbol of savagery and pride so unbridled it soils the heavens. Handling a dragon-type must be done carefully, even with more care than a dark-type, in case the dragon turns on those who have cared for it and wreak havoc. When encountering a dragon in the wild, remove it immediately. Resort to lethal force if necessary.
    .
  • Life is strong and everlasting, but also fragile and fleeting. Protect it.
      For life's sake, Xerneas descended on a ruined world. For life's sake, she brought forth her children and revived a dying nation. Xerneans are expected to carry on her love for all things that breathe and move and think. Do what is the least painful. Do what is most compassionate. Do what is kindest, always, and have mercy and consideration for all. Live one's life in gratefulness, free of malice and ill intentions. Give generously, with no thought for the fruits of one's actions.
    .
  • Be vigilant of temptations and selfishness; both bring ruin to the individual and the community.
      A Xernean cannot just be a Xernean on any given day and renew his “membership” during an annual celebration. His faith is his life, and he must remember to practice it day-to-day. If he does not hold true to the principles of Xerneas, then he is an aberrant and a fraud, and will be swiftly excommunicated.
Taboos
  • Murder of a healer is absolutely prohibited unless the healer themselves has sinned by turning their art away from its original purpose.
    .
  • Killing for one's own enjoyment, i.e. hunting for sports, is abhorred in Xernean culture which values all life. This also includes spiritual killing, so a true Xernean should not persecute someone who thinks, looks or acts differently than them, or try to suppress or forcibly convert them into a Xernean.
    .
  • Torture is strictly inhumane and forbidden, no matter the cause or the reason. Those who inflict pain upon others for pure personal enjoyment will be tried for treason against both church and country laws and either executed--to prevent them from ever getting the chance to do it again--or imprisoned for life.
    .
  • Slavery is heavily prohibited and persecuted under Xernean laws. All life holds value, and slavery belittles the status of another person or being as something that can be possessed and/or controlled. "Holding" pokeballs in Carcassone are actually made to have an "escape latch" inside after the first time a captured pokemon is let out so it can escape at its convenience. Those meant purely for captures, called "capture-balls", do not have this function.
    .
  • Excess indulgence in worldly pleasure is frowned upon, especially when that indulgence comes at the cost of another's rights or properties.
    .
  • Do not turn your back on a wrong you see that you can correct. Those who call out for help should be answered no matter who they are, and it is best not to expect something in return. Have faith in people, but never expect the good in them to win every time. It's the Xernean's job to be better.

Important Holidays
  • Revival Festival
      The Revival Festival is the largest and most important festival for devout Xerneans, held after winter solstice every year. It commemorates the day when Xerneas herself descended from the heavens to humanity's aid, and is celebrated across the whole country of Carcassone. Candle stands shaped like antlers are used, and at every passing hour from sundown to midnight another candle will be lit (there are six total,) and typically the festival will last until daybreak, which is when the candles burn out.
    .
  • Day of Repentance/Day of Compassion
      The Day of Repentance is celebrated every year in the week before the Revival Festival, and despite its name it really takes up the whole week. Participants confess their sins (either to each other or to Xerneas) and often send apology presents to those they have wronged, and keep their doors and windows open to invite wild pokemons into their homes. They will feed and make sure the Wild pokemons are comfortable, and it is said that if a sylveon visits the household of a sinner, then he has successfully repented.

      Nowadays the "repentance" part is not often celebrated as much as the "compassion" part, but it still exists as an important tradition for Xerneans, as it supposedly allows them to see themselves with a clearer eye and seek amends, lest they somehow suffer the consequences during their life.
    .
  • Fire, Steel and Venom
      This is more of a practice taking place during the Days of Repentance and the Revival Festival than a holiday in and of itself, but during the week of Repentance and the Festival, steel and iron tools, especially weapons, are traditionally stashed away. Plants that are toxic and actual poison-types are also herded as far away from civilization as possible. This serves both a practical purpose and a spiritual one: fairies and therefore Xerneas do not like those things, and in clearing them away they also invite more fairies to their towns and cities.
Xerneanism in Harper Region
  • Due to its strong favor for magic and challenging Arceus as the highest/most important god as well as the peculiarity of fairy-types' absence from Harper, Xerneanism has been mostly contained to the continent it originates from: Carcassone and several of its island-country neighbors and trade allies. Its recent introduction into Harper followed the mass migration of Carsen people fleeing from their conquered country.
    .
  • Reception has been...less than positive. Natives view them as possibly fascinating but foreign, distinctive and disruptive, and it has lost many, many followers to more accepted faiths in Harper in a bid to survive the discrimination.
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  • Those who remain are discreet but willful, determined to find the Goddess of Life a place among the strangers here. These men and women are hard to spot aside from having a strong fairy-type with them, so much that it's a stereotype for the rest of their countrymen. With the rise of the fairies, many pilgrims are traveling throughout the region trying to spread their faith.
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  • They get along the best with Balicans and conflict often with warmongering, justice-driven Arceans, for obvious reasons.

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