Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Religion & Myth: Church of Keyera

 In continuing the series on religion and myth in the land of Kimatarthi, I bring you the Church of Keyera.

Most people in Kimatarthi recognize Keyera to be the Mother Spirit, who gave birth to the world, bringing everything into existence. She is the one who provides, nurtures, and protects, and the worship of her is far and away the most popular throughout the land. Temples dedicated to her can be found throughout the cities, in the countryside (well, before the goblins destroyed everything), and even in private homes. She is worshiped as goddess of the harvest; she is the recipient of prayers for pregnancy and safe childbirth; she is the patron of artisans, the divine inspiration of artists, and gets credit for pretty much whatever else folks attribute to her. Generally, when some divine entity needs to be thanked, it is her, and “thank Keyera,” is just about the most common phrase in the local parlance.

Keyera is the central figure of Kimatarthi’s creation myth. In the beginning, she gave birth to the world and populated it with plants, animals, and people. Modern society believes that people wandered the land aimlessly until Keyera—in her wisdom and mercy—taught them how to plant crops and grow their own food.  With farming came civilization, knowledge, and learning, leaving all mankind forever in her debt. The centrality of “civilization” in this creation myth plays a large role in the mistrust and disdain of most people toward the nomadic peoples known as Wanderers.

Priests and priestesses of Keyera are very common, and can be readily identified by their distinctive green or brown robes. There is no hierarchy to the Church of Keyera, and junior clergy learn the rites much as an apprentice would learn any trade. They generally live a simple life, tending to one particular temple or making rounds, offering sacrifices at any number of locations. Keyeran clerics oversee various ceremonies, such as coming of age celebrations, weddings, deaths, and of course the harvest of crops each season. In return, they live off of the donations they receive. For this reason, many people become priests or priestesses of Keyara as an escape from abject poverty. 

Actually, it’s a pretty boring, but functional religion.

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