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The Elevjeti religion
This public article was written by khaleesi, and last updated on 4 Mar 2015, 02:35.
The religion of eight gods, also known as Väri ("of the eight", origin in Old Elevjeti, sometimes called Octed in English), originated sometime in the 6th century of the Age Before Summer. The gods that the Elevjeti and other Väri peoples believe in vary slightly by culture, but generally the following is agreed upon among them:
|Ystr||Light||Kind, maternal||Controls the sun and stars|
|Aog||Earth||Shy||Growth of flora, yield of harvest|
|Ís||Water||Stubborn, mutable||Weather, nourishment of plants|
|Ath||Air||Paternal, strong||Weather, breath|
|Afyn||Fauna||Sweet, quiet||Behavior of animals; their caretaker|
|Häna||Fire/Heat||Impulsive, easily angered||Weather, heat, summer|
|Hön||Ice/Cold||Stubborn, ruthless||Weather, winter|
|Ene||Spirit/Humanity||Wise, somber||Varies; in some traditions, life and death|
Although in liturgy all the gods are equal, most peoples worship one god more than the others. The Elevjeti, in particular, revolve their religious beliefs around Ystr. They believe she was the one who created them, and call themselves her children ("Elevjeti", from the Old Elevjeti eleb [child] and yita [pl.]).
[top]Creation of the Elevjeti
(According to the Elevjeti...)
Approximately 10,000 years before the Migration, the gods held a council about the state of the world and humanity, which was growing in evil. While Häna proposed to annihilate the current race and start over, but Ene insisted that this solution was too rash and that the people could be redeemed. However, Ystr agreed with Häna and although the others took Ene's solution, resolved to create her own people.
She believed that the faults of humanity were due to their mortality, for they were bitter that they should die. Her intent was to create a race that was immortal. She bestowed upon the first ones her light, the life force that kept them from dying. It was inevitable, though, that the other gods should figure out what she had done, and they were furious. They called for her expulsion and the destruction of the race she created, but Ene decided that it was too rash a decision and that they should give her people a chance. Ystr insisted that they could be the answer to humans' problems, that they could bring the world to what the gods thought it should be, and so the others begrudgingly decided to accept it--on one condition. They had to show responsibility. Immortality was a privilege, and they had to show the gods that they deserved it. This agreement between them took 100 years, but it finally came to fruition on the Night of the Star.
A comet struck the earth that night. Inside of it was a brilliant white-blue jewel. A peasant Elevjeti woman was the one who found it, as it had fallen behind her house. Ystr took the form of a human woman and came to the finder. She explained that the jewel, the Light of Ystr, must always be kept in the hands of the Elevjeti, and no other people would have it, nor could it ever be out of their possession. As long as it remained with them, they would keep their immortality; they would never die, not from disease or age or injury.
[top]The Undying Years
The Elevjeti took great care to keep the Light with them. In the First Northern Kingdom, a special room was constructed inside the king's castle that would hold the jewel. There were always twenty guards attending it, on rotating shifts so that it was never left unwatched. Moreover, the room was surrounded by a moat of oil, which could be ignited in the event that the castle was invaded, forming a wall of flames around the jewel that could burn for days. The kingdom prospered, because their enemies knew of their immortality and did everything they could to appease them and avoid an inevitable annihilation should there come a war. The FNK conquered the entire mini-continent of Kólhg, a Greenland-sized island in the North Sea. Even though the island was so far north that it never experienced a "true" summer, the harvests of crops in the short warm season were plentiful and the FNK experienced considerable economic growth and prosperity.
However, the Elevjeti grew terribly vain and merciless, since they could not be punished with their actions by death. Furthermore, they were confident and foolish; most held off on having children until they were well into their second or third century of life. As a result of their immortality, the Elevjeti experienced no decline in population, but very little growth. They never believed that they would lose the jewel, and thus no such precautions were necessary.
The gods saw what the Elevjeti had become and determined that they were no different from other men. They were selfish, foolish, and at times, evil. Ystr begged for mercy for them, as she had made them a promise. Ene obliged her, deciding that she would not have to break her word to them. Hön and Ís were tasked with creating a winter with so much snow that the castle, practically at sea level, would have to be vacated. The snows fell to nearly twenty feet deep, and many of the Elevjeti headed inland, where the winter was milder.
Finally, the warm season arrived and the snows melted. The king returned to the capital and his castle, and of course the first thing they checked was the room where the jewel was held. It was missing, and after an intensive search it was determined to be lost. Devout Elevjeti spent much time in the temples, praying to Ystr and the other gods to help them find it again. It is said that Ystr came to the king in a vision and told him how this had happened. He, in turn, told the people, who decided that Ystr was the only god truly on their side, and decided to revolve their worship around her, elevating her above the others.
The Light remains lost, and although the Elevjeti suffered a severe population decline after the loss of the jewel, but the women of the next generation were extremely fertile and bore many children. Many times quests were done to try and retrieve the jewel, but all have failed. Still, they believe that it shall return to them, and at any one time there are as many as a hundred people actively searching for it. The Elevjeti have embraced their mortality and live like ordinary men, but they are still as vain as they were before.