Verk'ohism

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Verk'ohism
Verismsymbol.png
The symbol of Verk'ohism
Beliefduotheism
DeityVer and K'oh
Region(s)Worldwide
FounderKi'esule and Mordokai
FoundedUnknown
OriginVarious (Refer to Texts)
Churches~78,000
Followers~100-150 million
DenominationsVerism, K'ohism

Verk'ohism (Salovian: Adidets’mindari), officially known as the Church of Ver and K'oh, is one of the oldest continuously-practiced religions on Urth. It is either a duotheistic or polytheistic religion that centers around the teachings of the Ts'igna'reli and the Ts'ignabi'neli, a series of religious texts said to be written by the prophets Ki'esule and Mordokai, upon encountering Ver and K'oh. Its adherants are known as Verk'ohists, with denominational variations in the form of Verists and K'ohists, who follow the teachings of only one of the deities. The total number of adherants is unknown, but estimates range from 100 million to 300 million followers worldwide.

Etymology

The term "Verk'ohism" is a compounded word taking the names of the two deities, Ver and K'oh, and adding the religious suffix "-ism" to the end of the word. The native name for the religion, "Adidets’mindari", derives from the Salovian words "Adidet", meaning "Praised be", and "Ts’minda ori", directly translating to "The Holy Two".

The word for "Ver" and "K'oh" are directly related to the Salovian words "Verti" and "K'ohtili," both words being synonymous to the Staynish/Codexian word "Righteous One" or "Virtuous One," depending on the translation. It is believed that both the terms "Verti" and "K'ohtili" are descended from a parent term that the two words share with "Ver" and "K'oh".

Although the terms Verist and K'ohist refer to adherants that follow only one of the two deities, the term "Verist" is often used by non-adherants to incorrectly refer to any individual following one or both of the religious texts.

Overview

Theology

Verk'ohists believe that there are two immanent, all-knowing, and balance-natured deities, Ver and K'oh. Ver is said to be the deity of all creation, and K'oh being the deity of recreation. In traditional Verk'ohism, Ver and K'oh are taught to be the drivers of balance in the world, and are often portrayed symbolically as a double spiral, symbolizing the importance of the natural cycles of the world. In stark contrast, Verists and K'ohists believe that their respective deities are the "true one", and closely follow the religious text pertaining to the deity they worship. There is also mention of a third chaos-natured deity, known as Gizhuri, the god of all chaos and imbalance, who stands in stark contrast to the balance created by Ver and K'oh.

Many scholars and theologians place Verk'ohism firmly as a duotheistic religion, as the religion worships two primary deities, however the existence of lesser deities, as well as the existence of Gizhuri, has brought up cause for debate on whether it is duotheistic, tritheistic, or polytheistic. Theologians postulate that Verk'ohism has many pantheistic attributes with excerpts in the Ts'igna'reli, such as Samq’aro; Khazi, in which the universe is described as "the mortal extension of Ver and K'oh; our blood and flesh is theirs, and their love and life ours."

The teachings of the Ts'igna'reli and Ts'ignabi'neli strive to show the natural state of balance that everything in nature adheres to, as well as various guidances and epochs that teach lessons to be applied to in every day life. It also tells the story of the constant battle between balance and chaos, and that through promoting balance in your life will chaos be kept at bay. In modern times, the Zycalerian Myths, a series of teachings and messages claimed to be passed down from Mortagra, are also taught alongside the Ts'igna'reli and Ts'ignabi'neli in worship, with many teachings having been adapted into children's stories.

Practices

Creation Story

Afterlife

Verk'ohism has no afterlife in the traditional sense; rather, it has what is called the Didi Sulisili, or the "Great Soul Place" in Staynish. It serves as the entire collective conglomeration of every being that has ever lived, coalesced into one entity or mass of pure consciousness. Both the Ts'igna'reli and Ts'ignabi'neli state that the ultimate goal of life on Urth is to live as good and kind a life as you can, so as to not taint and corrupt the Didi Sulisili.

Verism

Verism is a monotheistic denominational branch of Verk'ohism that worships Ver as the one true deity, and views K'oh as the bane of universal existence. The Ts'ignabi'neli are taught to be an evil book written by a false prophet known as Sheliv, rather than co-written by Ki'esule and Mordokai. Despite this, many of the teachings of the Ts'ignabi'neli have made its way into the teachings of Verism.

K'ohism

Like Verism, K'ohism is also a monotheistic denominational branch of Verk'ohism that worships K'oh as the one true deity, viewing Ver as a usurper god who took the title away from K'oh in a great battle that is referenced in the Zycalerian Myths. K'ohists believe that one day, K'oh will retake his rightful place and spite Ver into the Abyss. Although seen as false writings and not considered sacred texts, the Ts'igna'reli are still taught and are believed to be tales similar to the Zycalerian Myths.

Dating System

The Dating System used by devout Verk'ohists, known as The Vadebi, use the Gregorian equivalent November 12th, 1186 BCE as day 1 year 1, to represent when Ki'esule and Mordokai encountered Ver and K'oh. There is no concrete evidence or justification for this date, rather the year was chosen in 131 BCE by Verk'ohist Divine Elik Neli and the Verk'ohist Council of Elders in an effort to standardize the Vadebi, serving as the middle year among the other various dates previously used as the year for when the Encounter occurred.

Organization

There are no primary leading bodies that represent Verk'ohism to its fullest extent, with religious leadership being more localized. There are currently 12,342 documented Divines, or "Brdzeni," who are primarily responsible for the maintenance of their shrine, as well as serving as a counseling presence in their respective communities. The Council of Seven, a council of Divines who represent the seven largest cities in Aurora, serve as a de facto leadership role, but do not claim to represent Verk'ohism in its entirety.


Deities

Ver

Ver is the God of Creation, and alongside twin god K'oh, is the God of Qvela. Uncreated and all-knowing, Ver is said to have extracted from K'oh and his realm and brought forth the universe.

Ver and K'oh are said to have manifested into the Kheshili bird (left) and the Shesala bird (right) when they approached Ki'esule and Mordokai

K'oh

K'oh is the God of Recreation, and is the additional twin God of Qvela. Also Uncreated and all-knowning, Ver had extracted from their realm and created the universe. K'oh was rather unhappy with this turn of events, and as such requested that should any souls or matter become uncreated, that they are returned to his realm for his safekeeping and knowledge.


Gizhuri

Gizhuri is the God of Chaos, and is the third antagonistic God of Sisulelis Spero. Jealous of the balance and cohesion brought about by Ver and K'oh, Gizhuri began a crusade against Qvela, and began the Bneli Omi (Dark War in Codexian and Staynish). However, in the end and with the help of Ki'esule and Mordokai, Ver and K'oh defeated Gizhuri, who was exiled back to his realm for all eternity. However, it is said that his echo remains in Qvela, and is responsible for things like death, decay, and erosion.

Mortagra

Painting of Mortagra, as described in the Tanagrdznoba

Mortagra, according to the Mesenjeris Himni from the Ts'igna'reli and the Tanagrdznoba from the Ts'ignabi'neli, is the mortal manifestation of Ver and K'oh. It is believed that, after Mordokai and Ki'esule's encounter with Ver and K'oh, an echo of their being remained on top of K’lde Ghvtisa, better known as Mount Mortagra. These echoes would coalesce and form the creature of Mortagra, who delivered further messages and teachings of Ver and K'oh that weren't included in the Ts'igna'reli and Ts'ignabi'neli. These messages and teachings are collected within the Zycalerian Myths.

K'urieri

K'urieri is often depicted wearing the mzis kudi, traditional Salovian headwear

K'urieri, also a lesser deity like Mortagra, is a being who greets individuals after they die, and also is responsible for instilling consciousness into all living things. They guide the souls into and out of what is called the Didi Sulisili, or the Great Nothingness in Staynish. The Didi Sulisili is described in the Ts'igna'reli as "the place where all things originate, and where all things end." The Ts'ignabi'neli elaborates further, describing the Didi Sulisili as "The deepest and simplest form of being; Ver extracts the souls yet to live, giving them to K'urieri to do Ver's bidding. K'oh infuses those who have lived, collecting them from K'urieri after their life on Uzenaesi'qaro is over."

It is mentioned in the Ts'ignabi'neli that K'urieri manifests itself into whatever form the soul wishes, but is often depicted in most art as a dark black figure with bright yellow, white, or blue eyes, and is often wearing traditional Salovian clothing, most famously the mzis kudi. The autumn equinox, called sulis dghe in Salovian, is a holiday dedicated to celebrating K'urieri and those that have been collected from the living world.

Elemental Gods

Kvebi K'atsi

Kvebi K'atsi is the God of the Mountains and Hills.

Principle Beliefs

Cosmology

Verk'ohism believes that the three realms of Q’vela (directly translated to "All"), Didi Sulisili, and Sisulelis Spero (translated to "Realm of Nonsense") are uncreated and eternal realms in which the three deities were manifested, Ver to Q'vela, K'oh to Didi Sulisili, and Gizhuri to Sisulelis Spero. Originally, the two realms of Q'vela and Didi Sulisili were both empty realms consisting of just Ver and K'oh, until, as stated in the Ts'ignabi'neli, "Ver extracted corporeality itself from the realms, and created the first worlds, most principal of which ours, Uzenaesi'qaro. Ver extracted from K'oh the first souls and brought them to Uzenaesi'qaro, and while doing so echoed into existence K'urieri, who would continue collecting souls for Uzenaesi'qaro. The souls attached themselves to the urth, the sky, and the water, and the first living creatures came into being. Sisuleleis Spero is said to have been "situated between the Holy Two, and through its custodian Gizhuri began the great struggle (Didi Brdzola) between balance and chaos."

The creation of sentient beings is also described in the books, as "Ver and K'oh breathed a new life into the three confluences of urth, sky, and water. The first confluence, humanity and its relatives; the second, elves and its relatives; the third, nekomimi and its relatives." It is later mentioned in the Ts'igna'reli how other species, like Lupines, Vulpines, Ursines, and Lutrynes came into being. The echo left by Ver and K'oh, Mortagra, breathed sentience into the chosen animals of the world, as dictated by Ver and K'oh.

Religious Texts

Ts'igna'reli

Ts'igna'reli from the 1200's

Ts'ignabi'neli

The Zycalerian Myths

Didi Brdzola

History

Early Antiquity

Roots of Verk'ohism are thought to have emerged from a prehistoric Mari-Suvolic religious system dating back as far as the 2nd millenium BCE, with many ruins found throughout north-central Aurora bearing the Verk'ohist spiral, and other symbolism related to the religion. The antiquitous empires of Sihlvi, Eruk, and Kalet are among those believed to have spread the religion throughout Aurora early in its history.

Late Antiquity

By the dawn of the Mernalik Era, starting some time in the late 900's BCE, Verk'ohism had spread southwards throughout the Ethaln plains and eastwards, going as far east as modern-day Crescent in Tuvaltastan and as far west as modern-day Gladestoke in Valeria. Verk'ohism would continue to be the dominant religion for much of the remainder of Antiquity.

Decline in the Middle Ages

The beginning of the Middle Ages saw the founding of Thaerism, the religion that would begin to push Verk'ohism out of its dominant position in central and east Aurora.

The Nelic States

During the Salovian Interregnum, the region between Shagonar and Akhalibisi would establish a series of city-states ruled under their local Divines.

Modern-Day

Today, Verk'ohism's place in the modern world has been predominantly restricted by geographical and political variables, including that of the decline of mostly Verk'ohist Salovia and the rise of mostly Thaerist Morstaybishlia.