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"Concept of the Earth"; the painter Tylnais imagines the imperfection of earth.

The Pale Faith is nomenclature used to describe the religion of the Aulesiri and their descendants. It is the most commonly practiced religion in the realm. Luseysi and his descendants (the appointed emperor) is considered by all to be a sacred individual, the son of the migratory god-spirits and a personification of the spiritual power of the moon. He is not lord or king of gods, but is rather considered a supreme spiritual authority because he is the major personification of this faith.

Some regions of Jyotnun and Surotsi might merge the Pale with aspects of Qaanoiyin, the primary Raayakin cult, or even Elákyçít, the primary Esurkish cult.

For details on the spirits the Aulesiri worshiped prior to the Ruin, see Ruined Spirits.

Basic PremiseEdit

The Pale Faith itself operates under the idea that the Aulesiri people, who have survived through great hardship, are destined to survive anything and eventually have complete dominion over the earth. Additionally, it is the Aulesiri people's responsibility to till and develop the planet until it can hold significant spiritual and physical power like it's "mother": the Jade Moon. There is a clear goal for the Aulesiri to "tame" and "control" their surroundings and environment.

To the Pale Faith, the moon is stability and a symbol of the resilience and longevity of the Aulesiri people, unlike earth, which is unstable, which must be tilled and nurtured by the Aulesiri to become a paradise fit for them.

There have obviously been numerous disagreements on how to accomplish these goals over the centuries, and various interpretations of what exactly these concepts entail.

General HistoryEdit

The Aulesiri did not really begin to attach general associated meanings to god-spirits until after the Ruin. Before the Ruin, the god-spirits they worshiped (the Ruined Spirits) were much like the spirits worshiped by the Raayakin: spirits dedicated to specific geographic regions (the difference being that the Aulesiri were always steeped in ancestor worship, as well). Different chiefdoms likely found solace in different spirits and thus adhered to dramatically different worldviews.

When Euleshun was destroyed, so were the old spirits tied to that cursed continent. It is from this that the Pale Faith gradually arises, focused on Luseysi and his mysterious powers, and additionally, centered around the survival and longevity of the Aulesiri people. It is from that point on that the Aulesiri begin to associate certain traits to god-spirits (i.e., agriculture, war, commerce, the ocean, and so on). Each god-spirit has a different story, but there are two basic origins: either they were real people (companions of Luseysi), or they were spirits whom Luseysi spoke of (Luseysi would go into trances and tell elaborate stories of spirits; it is also said he shapeshifted into them and became possessed by them ... that the spirits spoke directly through him).

LuseysiEdit

Luseysi's importance stems from his role after the Aulesiri Ruin, during which he was visited by a variety of "new" spirits. As ash blanketed the landscape and blocked the sun, Luseysi was said to have been assisted by these spirits and able to communicate with them; with their help, he led the Aulesiri people from the ruin of Euleshun (the northern continent) to Jyotnun, and was even able to harness and control the light of the Jade Moon. With this power, he could see through ash clouds and light the way to a more fertile land. The large, imposing pale-green moon of the world of Jade Moon would later come to be called the "Jade Moon", when large deposits of jadeite were discovered in the Blessed Valley -- the location in which Luseysi subsequently decided to settle.

Both during and after the migrations, it had become clear to the Aulesiri people that Luseysi had undergone both a physical and mental transformation: his skin had become pale, his eyes green, and he lived for centuries after settling in the Blessed Valley. His bloodline would continue to share these traits, except for the remarkable longevity. Luseysi (and his bloodline) was thus (and still is) regarded as a personification of the "true spirits of the Aulesiri", who assisted the Aulesiri people in finding and migrating to Jyotnun from the hell of Euleshun.

God-SpiritsEdit

Specifics of the Pale's practice and its various sub-deities vary from region-to-region. Nonetheless, there are a few specific "major deities" (god-spirits) that the majority of the realm recognizes and actively worships in addition to Luseysi and his line: Imisau, Shulenshi, Echrodaut, Dysaunn, Vlys, Isseshi, Achn, Ruli, Taulesi, and Serau; these do not include regional god-spirits, which are often based off of region-specific historical/legendary figures or ancestors of an important house. These major deities have a variety of backstories and origin myths.

All of these god-spirits are associated with certain aspects of the world or of the Aulesiri people as a whole; however, they are extremely nuanced figures are not limited to those classifications (i.e., Imisau, the "god-spirit of agriculture" is often also referred to as the "god-spirit of commerce or crossroads" -- these classifications stem from Imisau's background as a real, historical individual -- but often people pray to Imisau as a general way of wishing for enhanced productivity). Indeed, many of these god-spirits were real people, companions of Luseysi himself, while others were simply spoken of by Luseysi in elaborate stories told in fantastic trances. Some are even said to be Luseysi himself in a shapeshifted form, possessed by the very spirits he told of. While many god-spirits have specific associations, there are some that are loosely defined or even downright vague and mysterious, and thus seldom worshiped at all.

Ancestor WorshipEdit

Ancestor worship is indeed an important aspect of the Pale Faith, and many if not all houses have family shrines in which they keep the remains of deceased family members. The actual remains vary from region-to-region, but cremation is the most common; though Elder Blood northerners such as Houses Godhart, Anlan, and Aakzid preserve and bury their dead.

Worship CustomsEdit

A typical worshipper of the Pale Faith will pray at god-spirit shrines and family ancestor shrines. Ancestor shrines are almost always located on the estate of the family, though there are exceptions.

There is no dress code to pray at a shrine, though one should be quiet and meditative within the structure (especially before the altar).

In front of each god-spirit altar, or in the center of a circular ancestor shrine, there is a censer. This can range from a simple lacquered wooden structure, to a more ornate metal structure. Within the censer, incense is burned, and the worshiper will clap once, trace the phases of the moon with their hands, the left hand engaging in all waxing phases, the right hand engaging in all waning phases, and the two hands eventually forming a full moon. After the air-tracing, the worshiper will pray to him or herself, and then will clap once more to end the contact with the god-spirit.

Various luxuries or food can also be offered to god-spirits or ancestors. Some worshipers have even been known to bring prostitutes or beautiful women into ancestor shrines, strip them down, have them dance, and "show" them to the dead, so that they may have pleasure in the afterlife. Some festivals even employ groups of willing, beautiful women to dance for deceased family members or the god-spirits themselves.

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