One of the lesser religions
of southern Aeruillin is often called the "Xaviant Religion",
deriving from the Tiraelhon word Xavia ("Rebirth"). It is a religion
made up of two-levels of gods, the high-class Airae, and the lower-classed
Dietrae. The Tiraelhon, the
Sand-Elves, who are the sole-worshippers of this religion, believe that there
are gods all around them, watching their every move and judging them according
to their deeds. They believe that these gods are immortal in a sense, they can
be killed by one another but not by mortal hands. However, these gods do
resurrect themselves after regaining the essence that allowed them to be
created in the first place. The
Tiraelhon believe in a process of resurrection called Xavia ("Rebirth")
where a being's soul is taken and judged by Maecha, the Goddess of Memory.
After this they are returned to Caelereth
in the form of the creature, or elven tribe
that they hated the most. They have no memory of their former life but many
pious Tiraelhon have stated that
they did feel a sense of hatred towards the being they had become.
Prevalence. The Tiraelhon are very isolated from the rest of Aeruillin or Caelereth. The only time they come into contact with another race or tribe is when they are trading far up north with the Aeolrhan or into the Plain of Col’Paehjaar with the Sor'inyt. This has led them to develop their own system of law and religion over time. The Sarvonian elven Gods Avá and the Aviaría have been erased from the minds of the Tiraelhon and have been replaced by their own distinctive gods. The Tiraelhon, however, are quite a bit more tolerant of other religions than the Aeolrhan. They do not persecute those who visit their lands if they serve other gods. They actually value the knowledge and resources that the visitor can bring to the Tiraelhon. The center of Tiraelhon religion is the large settlement of Nousais, where statues of each of the Airae have been placed on the top of the settlement's stone walls.
Belief Outlines. The Tiraelhon believe in two castes, or classes of gods. The first and most powerful are the Airae, meaning "The High Ones". The Airae are said to dwell within the Void, which encircles Caelereth, and are truly immortal and cannot be killed regardless of who tries. Most Tiraelhon worship all of the Airae, but they pay the highest amount of respect to Nous, the Goddess of Eternal Knowledge. According to legend she was the first to be born from the Void and slaughtered thousands of demons, and gained their respect and leadership, and then went on to birth the other Airae.
The next Airae in order of power are Icropio (Chaos), Shyloma (The Void), Nova (Death), Laecha (Life), and Damara (Peace). Each of the Airae is worshipped and each has a great amount of power and respect. Many of the Airae seem to represent the Aeolrhan Fae gods with their long hair and long wings, although they have been modified to have the wings of the sand shatí, the large owl that roams the Aeruillin south. Each Airae also has unique aspects that represent the value or belief that they command.
The Tiraelhon take the words of their Prán (literal translation means "the Heath", but in this case it is referring to the few Elders) as the direct words of the Airae. This is due to their belief that the hearth is the most important part of a household, and it is because of the hearth that the family often comes together, thus it is highly respected. They do not debate about what they say and follow every command. They hold their gods in high esteem and although they are pretty tolerant of other religions they do not place the other gods above their own or even equal to their own. The Airae are the only gods who are seen as perfect in many aspects. Most of them do not allow any emotions other than grace and love to affect their actions. They have only one limit and that is the word of Nous. She is the Keeper of All Things, and could easily rule without the company and powers of the remaining Airae combined.
Another reason many people see the Airae and the Dietrae as being very similar to the Aeolrhan religion is because the Tiraelhon also believe in the rebirth or reincarnation, which they have called the "Xavia". They believe that when Nova chooses the end time for a being is, she will come and beckon the soul out of the body. The soul will then be led by one of the Nemypeds (Goddesses of Music, Merriment, Festivities, and Grace) to the Temple of Maecha in the Maechen settlement. There it will rest until the Airae are prepared to judge it. Once they have prepared themselves they go to the temple where Maecha "parts the sands". This parting of the sands shows only in the spiritual realm, it is seen as a portal to the realm of the dead and once it is opened the proper amount of souls in need of judging come through. The Airae stand and each pulls out a two-sided stone. One side is black, and the other is blue. They wait for the sands to close and then toss the stone. If the soul gets a majority of blue sides then they will be allowed to either rest in Chó Xivá (Great Xivá). But if the soul was to get a majority of blacks then they would be forced to be reincarnated as a beast that is often preyed upon. It will usually be the beast that they killed most often if they were a Téth (the Tiraelhon translation for the word is "hunter"). If the soul gets an even number of both blues and blacks they will be allowed to be reincarnated as a living being and not a beast.
Origin. It is believed that the Tiraelhon took the Sarvonian elven myth of Avá the Beautiful and her Twelve and twisted them to fit their own lifestyles. They believed that hundreds of years ago, when the Tiraelhon left Shan'Furionnis and spent forty-nine years in the Plain of Col'Paehja, Avá forgot about them and stopped providing for her people allowing them to die due to the desert heat and the fierce Sor'inyt easily picked them off.
Eventually they could no longer stand the life of wandering and the leader's wife, Malan, threw up her hands and cried out to anyone who would hear her cry to save her people. It is written that indeed someone did answer, and that was Pragoro, the God of Suffering. He took Malan and the Tiraelhon into his arms and called out to the other Gods. They took the Tiraelhon under their guidance and gave them what they needed to survive in the Sands.
Since then the Tiraelhon have been faithful to their gods and serve them, pushing out any care for Avá and the Aviaría, and replacing them with their Airae and Dietrae.
Gods Overview. The three most important Airae ("The High Ones", the Gods who dwell in the Void) are the following gods:
THE AIRAE ("THE HIGH GODS")
(Godess of History and Lore, the Supreme One, Our Lady Goddess)
She is what Avá is to most other elven cultures. She is almighty and has the combined powers of each of the gods and can control them at her will. Nous is the Goddess of History and of the Story and is the goddess who gives inspiration and enlightenment to writers, scholars, and historians. The Supreme One is often seen as the humble goddess, and no one disrespects her because they fear her power. She knows all, like her daughter Damara, but must never tell a word because the flow of time must not be tampered with. She is meek, and although she is more powerful than Icropio and Shyloma they seem to reign above her. Nous allows it, but if needed she could withdraw that privilege. Also, if they disobey a direct command from her, she can strip away their power. They can request that she does something and she will if it is to her liking. She is often depicted as the spirit of an elven queen drifting in the winds with milky white eyes and silver pupils.
(God of Chaos)
He is the male head of the Airae, and He represents Chaos. He is known as the god of the strong voice, meaning that when he speaks all are silent. He is the one that many Tiraelhon who wish for power and prosperity strive to be like. He is often seen coupled with the goddess Shyloma, as a man with many wings like the powerful desert bird, and a thin, black, loincloth covering his waist. His body is that of a muscled Tiraelhon with no hair, and black gloves. Icropio is often shown with flashing eyes that change colors constantly and often give off blinding flashes of light.
(Goddess of the
She is the female head of the Airae, but her power cannot even begin to rival Nous'. She is the goddess who sees all within the Void. This is difficult to explain and is a mystery to the Tiraelhon, but they say that is what she called herself. She is known in myth for creating a gaping hole in the sky and allowing it to swallow the scornful goddess Lalian after she threatened Shyloma's mate. Shyloma's full body has only been shown in one painting, she is usually seen melting into the very ground beneath her representing the aspect of the Void swallowing her. Shyloma, is also seen in a black loincloth and a black short shirt revealing her middle, and it has no sleeves. She has two pairs of wings, the top two being large and long and the smaller two being small and short. It is believed that the depiction of Shyloma with wings comes from the Tiraelhon ties to the Aeolrhan and how they depict their Fae gods. She is one of the few Airae who are often overwhelmed by emotions such as passion, hatred, and love.
THE LESSER AIRAE
Novai (Goddess of Death,
the Giver of Guilt, the Bone Keeper)
She is not a very well liked goddess, neither is she mentioned in many tales or songs. She is the Giver of Guilt, the Bringer of Death; her heart is cold to the cares and needs of mortals and the death bringer is only concerned with doing what she wants to and when she sees fit. She is very wise, being the Goddess of Death, and her name is highly revered. She is also known as the Bone Keeper, or the Lady of Endings. Novai chooses when a being's soul will be ripped from its flesh and handed over to the Nemypeds to send to the Temple of Maecha. She is often depicted as a solitary goddess and whenever there is a painting with her in it she is placed outside of any groups shown in the picture. Novai's body is dark brown and her hair always hangs low down to her eyes. The Airae of Death is always seen in a black cloak that covers everything in the distance.
of Life, the Keeper of TIme)
He is the twin brother of Novai, and is a lot more liked than his sister. He is the Giver of Life, and the Keeper of Time. Laecha is known for his extreme kindness and his ability to always seem to know when the right time is to allow a new life. He is worshiped a lot by the Tiraelhon, seeingaas how they are always praying for their women to be bountiful. The Keeper and Giver of Life is also seen as the giver of inspiration right beside Nous. He inspires those who have fallen into the void of depression to continue on finding the bounties of life. Laecha is always wearing a red cloak, despite the common association among the Tiraelhon that life should be represented with white or blue colors.
of Insight and Knowledge)
As the daughter of the High Goddess Nous, Damara holds a lot of authority within the Airae. Damara is not very prominent, but whenever her name is mentioned one had better listen. She is the one who sends the message from Nous directly to the other gods. She is the Mother of the Aira Seers, her female clerics, and is the one who gives them the knowledge and the visions to see into the events of tomorrow.
Next are the Dietrae, they are the lesser, child-like gods that are often depicted arguing and bickering.
Phemlu (God of Order and
He is the head of the Dietrae; and he is the God of Order and Composure. He is known in myth for being able to stay calm in times of intense stress although in the Myth of Dark Days he is seen losing control and ripping a child apart.
of Suffering, Reason)
He is the God of Suffering and the Power of the Reasoning Mind. He is the peacemaker of the Dietrae and often suffers because of the fact that the peaceful god refuses to fight. Muerkon, and Tipesto very often torment him, but he always remains humble and meek. He is often found in the presence of Fetra because he is blind and needs guidance.
of Deceit and Force)
This god is the antagonist in every myth that he is in. He is known for being rebellious against the rule of Phemlu and he has had many love affairs with Raqua and Circinae, although Circinae was more of a rape. Tipesto does not have a heart and only cares for power, no matter how he receives it. He is the God of Deceit and Force.
of Curiosity and Nature)
She is a favorite of the Xaviant. She is curious, and has a child-like innocence. She is often the goddess that finds out the truth behind the darkness and it pains her that she must speak the truth to others. Terira does not often speak to the other gods, unless they address her specifically. She is often associated with nature because in the Dark Days the Goddess of Nature went about naming all the plants and animals she could find and thus Nous gave her dominion over plants and animals.
of Pain and Brutality)
Muerkon is the God of Pain and Brutality. He is known as the one who receives pleasure from the pain of others. He is always following Tipesto, blinded by the fear that Raqua placed over his eyes and mind. Muerkon is known for being incredibly strong and has once battled Icropio and lasted for a while… but he lost eventually and was thrown into the Void for a thousand years.
of Agreement, Consent and the
She is the daughter of Shyloma and Icropio. She is unable to walk, and always with her are four earth eaters, which carry her where she needs to go. She is the Goddess of Mutual Consent, meaning that she is the one who listens to all voices before making a decision. She is an authority figure in that her voice is mighty and when she speaks it is heard throughout the heavens. She is often seen as the Goddess of the Waters, because in the Myth of Dark Days she made the waters her safe haven.
of Healing and Intuition)
He is the toolmaker; he is the one who gives inventors and blacksmiths the inspiration to create new things. Also, like Nous, he too gives scholars the inspiration to write. When he is around Pragoro it is as if Pragoro’s blindness vanishes, and it is rumored that Fetra is also the Dietrae of Healings. He has been known, in myth, to heal people by creating medicines or plants that will heal them. He is also known as the deceiver. Fetra got this name when he stole the idea for glasses from the gnomes and then told the Tiraelhon that they were the first to create them.
of Darkness, Hate and Lust)
She is also known as the Queen of Blindness. She is the mother of pure evil. She represents the darkness that blinds a person into believing something that is false. Raqua is also the Dietrae who creates and distributes fear, thus giving her the reputation of being the one behind many superstitions. She is also the seductress and many of the Dietrae have fallen trap to her schemes of lust and power.
Her daughter is Lalian, the Keeper of Scorn and Betrayal. Like her mother she is also beautiful and lustful, but is not as good at not getting caught as her mother is. Shyloma once destroyed Lalian, but being immortal she was reborn a few hundred years later.
of Clarity, Light, Love, the Divine Light)
She is the helpless Dietrae who gives light to the darkness, she brings clarity to confusion and is a vast source of power. However the Divine Light does tire from using her essence to create this light, therefore she must feed off of the essence of the other Dietrae. She is the only Dietrae who can put Raqua in her place for good; the light always repels the darkness. She is the Goddess of Love, seeing as how she will shine her light for any regardless of how they have treated her in the past. Another reason for her being called the Goddess of Love is because she is often seen as being able to create the passion that sparks a man to love a woman or a woman to love a man. Another important thing is that Circinae has no arms, instead a bright red cape flows behind her into the distance.
of War and Savage Behavior)
He is the god who is very willing to take up his arms and fight someone. He represents weapons and the passion to fight. He is the savagery that every Tiraelhon tries to suppress so that they can become a more peaceful tribe. He is not very popular and has no major myths about him other than when he tore Circinae’s arms from her body.
of Evil and Destruction)
He is also known as the Dark One; is the product of Darkness (Raqua) and Force (Tipesto), He represents pure evil. He is the combination of fear, death, destruction, hate, discrimination, and torture. Vevelorén is seen in the form of a human child with a dagger in the side of his head, but instead of crying the sinister child is laughing. His eyes are a fiery red, and when he opens his mouth nothing but curses and tales of destruction come out. He is the one who creates lies and plants them in the minds of liars.
of Peace, Time and Rebirth)
This is the blessed Goddess of Peace and the Keeper of the Many Sands. She is the one who keeps the memories of all beings in her mind, and she is the one who uses those memories to choose the many paths that will lead them to destiny. She is also the Goddess of the Rebirth because she first used her powers of rebirth to give life back to Terira when she was slaughtered during the Dark Days. Maecha is always neutral during many events, the only time she has been noted to take sides and lose her temper was when Tipesto, Muerkon and Vevelorén tried to turn her settlement into a dry, barren desert. She reacted by showing that she had control not only over every single grain of sand, but also of the desert winds.
The Unknowning Minds
Lilur, Sóirn, Syli
The Three Dietrae Lilur, Sóirn and Syli (in order of creation) are known as the Unknowing Minds. They are the ones that never seem to know what anyone else is thinking. If they were to ever find out things they would overreact and exaggerate what they heard. The Three Dietrae are triplets of the goddess Circinae and Tipesto, although they are not as intelligent as either of their parents. They are bonded closely with one another and always know where the other is at all times. The Tiraelhon often depict these gods as Aeolrhan because they see them as immature children who often exaggerate and are oblivious to all things going on in their environment.
The Nemypeds (Grace,
Beauty, Joy, Merriment, Music)
These are the beautiful women who seem to be the only part of the Fae that the Tiraelhon have kept from their Aeolrhan brethren. While they are not directly a part of Aeolrhan religion, they do resemble the Fae. The Nemypeds are usually naked, full-grown Tiraelhon women with silver wings and silver hair. The Nemypeds are the daughters of Novai, conceived with no male, just a thought. They are the Goddesses of Music, Merriment, Festivities, and Grace. They spread joy through their dances, and the Aira (clerics) that serve these Dietrae can create happiness and joy through simple dances. They are known as the innocent daughters, although during the Dark Days Tipesto easily corrupted them.
The Sýsián Sisters
They are two sisters who are always in tune with one another. They seem to represent the weak and the helpless as these two are always in danger of being harmed and can do nothing about it. They are often prayed to by hunters, because if the Sýsián Sisters hear the prayer then the hunters will be given a link that connects them with one another at all time, despite how far they are from one another.
Worshipping Practices. The gods are all worshipped in practically the same way whether they are Airae or Dietrae. The Airae are usually given more offerings and the prayers directed to them seem to be more urgent and the words used are more elaborate than those used for the Dietrae. The Tiraelhon usually offer up sacrifices of hirafan, a sluggish beast living in southern Aeruillin, and they dip its freshly fried skin in the sour juices of their terirais and fry it. They then hold a small family feast in honor of the god they wish to give the offering to. They chant a simple prayer that has been written specifically for that certain god and then they return to their homes, hoping that the god has accepted their blessings.
Information provided by Lady Tiaa