Votive Way

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Votive Way
el Camino Votívo
The most common Votive symbology includes Three Candles signifying the Three Truths and the Málama Cross, the Antoran national icon
BeliefEmanationist Code of Living
Region(s)Antora and the Antoran diaspora
FounderUnknown, codified by Arturo Gael Andres de Naranza
FoundedUnknown, codified 13th Century CE
OriginFolk spiritualism, chivalry
Votive Conclave ChairVictór XI
Followers~56 million worldwide
DenominationsAntoran Righteous Church
Votive Way
Antoran Chivalry

The Votive Way (Corric: el Camino Votívo) is a complex belief system native to the country of Antora. A blend of social contracts, religious doctrines, and cosmological philosophies, the Votive Way is the largest Antoran spiritual community with over 56 million practitioners. The word Votive describes the practice of sealing a vow or promise with an offering, most often by lighting a candle. Many religious aspects are considered emanationist and draw intentional parallels between different religions worldwide. Many aspects of Antoran chivalry are directly taken from the Votive beliefs of self-actualization, strength through character and community, and moralistic living. The formal Votive Way and its practices have existed since the 13th Century and the Arranzic Conquests, though the actual ideas behind them date back to the original Impelantic colonization of Antora. Despite the presence of Votive institutions such as the Antoran Righteous Church, much of the belief system is decentralized, and "Votive" is considered to be an exonym. Most modern adherents to Votive ideals will refer to the belief system as la Manera Honoráble (the Honorable Path) and practitioners as viajeros (wanderer, traveler.) Adherence to the Votive Way is strongest in Costa Tranquíla, which is the center of Votive holidays and festival days including Harvestide on October 20th and the Festival of Honor on April 12th, which is a celebration of the collective accomplishments of all people on Urth.

The Votive Way is an interconnected system of beliefs rather than an organized religion, defined by varied philosophies and practices related by shared concepts and history, ritual, sites of significance, cosmological structures, texts, and geography. The various Votive practices are known as aspectos (aspects) and can be dedicated to the discussion and exploration of a variety of topics, such as mythology, cultural history or expression, paracausality, religious or social ritual, astronomy, diplomacy, agriculture, warfare, personal improvement, ethics or morality, some of which can fall under multiple aspects at once in varied combinations.

Prominent aspects include la Esta y la Esa (the Self and the Other,) which philosophically separates observable reality into the Self (ego, superego, id,) and the Other (all social, natural, metaphysical, and memetic concepts, structures, and continuums that exist outside the Self.) Another important aspect of the Votive Way that builds off the Self and the Other are the Three Truths, the ultimate guides and goals of corporeal existence: Intención (intent/intention; the exploration and definition of morals and ethics through the lens of sociocultural circumstances, along with the examination of actions and their impact on both the Self and Other,) Veráz (truth/truthfulness; the contemplation, understanding, acceptance, and improvement of the Self, according to Intención,) and Honór (honor/decency, the understanding and acceptance of the Other throughout its many contexts and the imperative to never cause undue harm to come to it at the expense of the Self.)

Compassion, honesty, restraint, trust, open-mindedness, and serenity are common themes among Votive practices influenced by these two aspects. They contribute to many of the underpinning concepts and ideas that exist within the Votive Way, including todos son uno (all are one; a universal worldview that rejects impermeability and exclusivity,) madre de hogar (hearth-mother; a social imperative for communities to support their least members,) and pluralidad (plurality; the understanding that any group of individuals comprises simultaneously of multiple Selves and one Other and must take care to examine all relevant viewpoints when making a decision.)

Votive practices originate from the historical Antoran-Impelantic ritual of devoción (devotion/dedication,) a simple regional variation of Tunseist worship, which became widespread soon after 513 CE with the collapse of the Empire of Impelantia and the resulting fracture of Tunseism. Evolving from a religious to a psycho-philosophical practice, devoción was a meditation upon oneself and ones wants, needs, and goals before undertaking an important action or decision. This ritual culminated in the lighting of a candle and making an oath to see the chosen course to completion. The candle signified the devotee’s strength of will and character, and if the candle went out before burning down, it was taken as a sign the devotee needed to adjust their approach, whether re-examining their reasons or changing the actions.

Modern Votive society places much less emphasis on the importance of devoción in everyday life and the practice is seen as antiquated, though there is no stigma in performing it and it is very common as a symbolic ritual. The custom of Antoran knights standing vigil for a day and night before a candle has its roots in Votive custom, as do the round-table discussions of knightly orders, the morals and ethics in the famous Preceptos Antoran para la Vida Honorable y Caballeroso (Antoran Precepts for Honorable and Chivalric Life,) and portions of the medieval essays Convertirse en un Caballero Ideal (To Become an Ideal Cavalier) and Acciones Santas del Hombre Noble (The Holy Actions of the Noble Man.)

In some Votive aspects, individuals will come to terms with and then resign their Self and devote their lives in service of the Other. This practice is known by many terms; some practitioners call it la Cuatra Verdad (the Fourth Truth) or el Intercambio (the Exchange,) others have no name for it, while those who do not practice it typically refer to it as desintéres (selflessness/non-person) or as the murté de persona (death of personhood) taboo. Most who undergo the Exchange are devoted to a singular purpose, be it monastic or hermetic-style reclusion and contemplation of metaphysical ideas, artistic expression and exploration, scientific research, community service, or atonement for perceived wrongdoing. Most clergy-people among the Antoran Righteous Church have undergone or are in the process of the Exchange, as it is seen in their doctrine as the last step before Santidad (sainthood/revelation/apotheosis.) Persons of historical note who have fully undergone Santidad are referred to as santas (saints) and hold great cultural importance in Antora even among those who do not practice the Votive Way.


The Votive Way can be separated into aspectos, or aspects, the values and practices that make up the belief system. Most Votive practitioners draw from between three to five aspects to create a personalized Code of Living, syncretically adhering to the ideals they find most relevant in their lives. Some aspects are little more than axioms to refer to during daily life, while others are expansive ideas with their own rituals and histories of use. Several aspects, with how involved their myths and philosophies are, could be considered quasi-religions if they were not part of a larger spiritual framework. These organized aspects are known as sectas (sects) and boast significant followings in certain areas of Antora, with most concentrated within the District of Cátras.

The evolution of aspects codified into "official" Votive doctrine is difficult to accurately define, owing to the community-driven and decentralized nature of the Votive Way, especially before the 13th century. Early cultural patterns and ideas that held the most value in relation to the Votive tradition were memetically spread, adopted, and altered from person to person, group to group in an identical manner to other memes. This makes identifying the exact sources of the first 'codified' aspects and their associated concepts almost impossible without a written or oral record, of which there are few. As Votive practices became more widespread, especially among the learned classes, forums were established wherein philosophers, poets, writers, theologists, and other thinkers could expand their spiritual understanding through dialog with each other. These regular exchanges were made permanent in 1288 with the establishment of charlas de jardín (garden talks) in Giroruña. Discussions are held annually at the annex of Tomaras Castle between experienced Votive scholars on the evolution of codified aspects, the emergence of contemporary ones, and the impact Votive tradition has on the world at large.

The most commonly-used symbol of the Antoran Righteous Church.

Antoran Righteous Church

The Antoran Righteous Church, also known as the Aspecto de las Santas (Aspect of the Saints,) is the largest sect in Votive tradition, with an estimated following of 9 million persons. Originating in the northern kingdom of Cátras in 1794, it places significant importance on the Fourth Truth, as they call it, devoción, and contemplation of particular Saints from history. All clergy of the Church will partake of the Fourth Truth at some point in their lives. There are twelve Saints that the Church revers and ascribes deific qualities to, though actual worship of these persons is considered taboo.

  • Saint Gabriel the Red, Master of Man and Bringer of Light. The Patron Saint of the Sun, Magic, Victory, Strategy, Light, Unity, Knights, Leaders, and Sages.
  • Saint Tomás the Orange, Flame of Truth and Spell-Sword. The Patron Saint of Vengeance, Oaths, Fire, Heat, Courage, Conquest, Brotherhood, Soldiers, and Law Enforcement.
  • Saint Aleja the Purple, Moon-Holder and Master Magister. The Patron Saint of Darkness, the Moon, Intrigue, Stewardship, Endurance, Spies, Servants, and Homeowners.
  • Saint Arnauldo the White, Stalwart Shepard and Time-Duke. The Patron Saint of Sacrifice, Health, Death, Time, Charity, Compassion, Healers, Athletes, and the Impoverished.
  • Saint Cintía the Blue, Mother of Words and Blue Knight. The Patron Saint of Water, Seasons, Adaptability, Language, Written Word, Oceans, Translators, Negotiators, and Sailors.
  • Saint Dalia the Green, Peace-Hammer and Forest Lord. The Patron Saint of Plants, Law, Order, Tradition, Peace, Harvest, Farmers, Gardeners, and Civil Servants.
  • Saint Syren the Pink, Harp-Duelist and Mistress of Fate. The Patron Saint of Foresight, Destiny, Emotion, Birth, the Arts, Artists, Lovers, Parents, and Oracles.
  • Saint Galeas the Lime, Chain-Breaker and Herald of Thunder. The Patron Saint of Wind, Lightning, Storms, Change, Freedom, Discovery, Slaves, Explorers, and Rebels.
  • Saint Enriqué the Yellow, Defender of the Hearth and Sword-Bearer. The Patron Saint of Spirit, Willpower, Ambition, Protection, Duty, Loyalty, Refugees, Bastards, and Children.
  • Saint Zakariah the Cyan, Keeper of Tomes and All-Knower. The Patron Saint of Knowledge, Wisdom, Ice, Snot, Logic, Science, Academics, Researchers, Philosophers, and Hermits.
  • Saint Fen the Bronze, Forge-Mistress and Champion of Commerce. The Patron Saint of Earth, Metals, Dependability, Strength, Wealth, Trade, Miners, Craftsmen, and Merchants.
  • Saint Juli the Black, Night Archer and Far-Seer. The Patron Saint of Navigation, the Sky, Stars, Vigilance, Duality, Archery, Astronomers, Travelers, and Hunters.