Vennism

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Lumii Lore Pages
Species Lore Pages Lumii | History of the Lumii | Vennism
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Governments and Organizations Pages The Holy See of Visra

Belief in the twin gods Ymir and Sarai is one of the more well known and widespread religions in the galactic community. Originating on the holy world of Visra, homeworld of the Lumii race, the religion primarily focuses upon both unity in one’s family and the belief that every person has a role within their community to fulfill and a reward in the afterlife for those who positively impact those around them. Its worship is primarily found among Lumii but in recent years there has been a surge of non-lumii sects in both the Federation and Coalition to a lesser degree.

The Visran Lumii themselves do not often refer to the religion as anything but those outside the faith refer to it as “Vennism” and its followers as “Vennites” or “Vennists” due to their pursuit of the ideal community, Venna with the gods Ymir and Sarai at the head of that community.

Zakon of the Twins

The most prominent piece of dogmatic literature for the Vennist faith is a tome known as Zakon of the Twins, or simply The Zakon. It is a collection of stories and tales as well as lessons on how to live life that form the foundation of the Vennist faith. First compiled by the great prophet Eluard the Serene it has since found its way to becoming one of the most widely owned pieces of literature in the galaxy.

Venna

The main portion of the Zakon tells the story of a place that came before the world we know now, a place of untamed beauty and natural splendor known as Venna. It simply existed at the start of time, before the moon and the sun, when the only light that filled the sky was the stars above. It was not a dark place, full of light for the skies had not yet darkened and grown distant. In this land there lived two eternal partners, Ymir and Sarai. At first they had want for only each other and to enjoy the wonders around them. They lived in peace until one day a loneliness beset them both, so from the jungle others would come. First were the artists, and musicians so that they might enjoy creation. Then came the bakers and cooks who could create feasts of wondrous flavor. Then the hunters, the writers, the inventors, and at last the warriors to watch over all others.

From here on there are several chapters of the stories of these people. How their role in the community brought joy and peace and how in turn they found meaning in what they did. And over all of this Ymir and Sarai serve as the noble leaders of Venna. Each tale brings both a moral and gives examples of how others can serve their community. The people are not perfect, excepting perhaps Ymir and Sarai, but the community they create as a whole is. Ymir is consistently the voice of justice and order, a judge on any wrongs committed. Whereas Sarai is always the one to tend to those who have been harmed, and help the young learn.

Fall of Venna

After these stories comes a final tale detailing how Venna fell and resulted in creation of the current world.

The tale goes that one day a stranger arrived at the edge of the village, asking for entrance and claiming to be from a wintery land known as Rekkar. His name would simply be The Outsider. Sarai, as is her nature, welcomed him to the village. But those there were conflicted over whether to accept him for he did not know his place and simply wished for a roof and food with no intent shown to return the gifts.

From here on the serenity of the village corrupted, fights breaking out, jobs failing to be done, indulgences taken despite the warnings of Ymir. After a time the people would start to leave, either tempted by The Outsider or upset with the state of the community. The nights grew colder, and those that left were discovered dead, or worse taken off to the frozen land of Rekkar. The skies grew dark and fearful, once bright points in the sky dimming until night finally came.

At last, as only Ymir and Sarai were left with the company of the Outsider, Sarai wept and let herself be taken to the heavens as a sacrifice so that warmth might return to the world. She rose to become the sun. Ymir, furious at the Outsider, drew his spear and cast it at them, banishing him back to the land he had come from and cursing all those who might follow his path of indulgence to the same fate. He then rose to the heavens in joining with Sarai, standing amongst the stars as a guardian as she rested, eternally vigilant of those who might harm those who came after. He promised to the small creatures who were left that some day they might join them in the memory that is Venna. And perhaps, if all was made right again, they might return again.

With Sarai’s light and Ymir’s protection over the world Visra was now born anew. The Lumii spread across the world and praised their gods, striving to pursue the goal set forth by Ymir’s promise.

Eluard the Serene

These stories were once simply part of the oral tradition on Visra, tales told in the night to inspire the young race. However nearly a thousand years ago now a figure rose who claimed to be a prophet of the twin gods, who knew their word as law. He was a wanderer, having traveled from the northern wastes to the isles and jungles of equatorial Visra. As he traveled he would preach the word of the twins, of the ideals they held and the promise of Ymir. Eventually he collected followers from across the world, becoming a leader to them and even adopting whole villages and small cities as his community.

In his older years he would stop his travels, taking refuge on a small island where the sun shined directly above, where he believed himself closer to Sarai. Here he founded a holy city that would come to be known as the Vault of the Twins, eventual capital of Visra. It was here he grew old and ascended to join the Twin Gods in paradise.

Core Beliefs

The core tenant of the Visran faith is as follows, as ascribed to in the holy book Zakon of the Twins, or simply the Zakon.

“Indulgence of the self shall bring only ruin, it is in devotion to all that peace shall be found.”

From here most Lumii tend to follow the belief that their role in life is to find where they fit best within the ideal Visran society as exemplified in their creation myth before the corruption brought in by the Outsider. They follow the examples of both Ymir, Sarai, and the people who came before.

Gods

Ymir- God of the religion. Ymir is the Patriarch of Venna. His followers are the more militant of the faithful, judges and warriors. Any who might enforce justice and order within the community. His worship tends to be more common in the current day with justice being a powerful value in Visran society. He is represented by the moon, watching eternally over all life.

Sarai- Goddess of the religion. Sarai is the matriarch of Venna. Those who primarily follow her are healers, teachers, counselors, any who work with care and understanding to help strengthen the community. She is said to be the sun above, providing warmth to all life.

The Outsider- While not truly one of the gods worshipped in Vennist practice The Outsider is a rarely referenced figure within their religion, often as a point of religious debate or as an evil entity who continually works to corrupt pious members of the community.

Practices

Most Vennist practices tend to focus on community involvement as well as self improvement. Mass is a weekly service where the faithful gather to sing, read from the Zakon, and meditate silently as a group. Afterwards food is often served and they are pushed to know their community better, finding faithful who they may not have spoken to in previous weeks.

Personal prayer tends to take the form of silent meditation and self reflection in a natural space where they consider what ways they can best improve both themselves and their community. However this will vary greatly from believer to believer. Some choose to fixate upon their craft, taking the focus that is spent honing it as a means of glorifying their gods.

While Marriage is mentioned within the Zakon and is quite common among the faithful the actual specifics of the ceremony are left rather vague, therefore they often rely on more traditional rites found in whatever culture they may be a part of. Funerals on the other hand are rather specific as an entire passage goes to great detail in the Fall of Venna when a member of the community dies. The lost is wrapped in a shroud emblazoned with a symbol relating to their importance within the community and placed in a small pit where objects important to them are set aside. They are then buried and given a simple marker over their burial place.

Literature

Outside of the Dogma found within Zakon of the twins several pieces of literature have found their way into the religious beliefs of the Visran Faith. While not canonical these stories are often read within religious communities or referenced where the Zakon is unclear.

The Trial of Vanity- Commonly referred to as “The Trial.” It is the story of a Lumii warrior named Eri who sought glory in conquest beyond all reason, bringing his army to a battle he had no hope of winning. After death he is given the chance to redeem himself by Ymir, appearing to them as a great shadow. He undergoes a journey through Rekkar, meeting famous warriors and leaders from the past who are now suffering eternally in combat against their past mistakes with no means of escape. He only gained passage by aiding them in seeing where they failed. Allegorically it is seen as a triumph over pride for the greater good of your community but also fills in many details about the afterlife that the Zakon had left vague. While not true Canon to the faith it is a popular work among religious scholars.

The Triumph- The sequel to the Trial, it is a work detailing Eri’s passage to Venna. Sarai welcomes him in the form of a beautiful light and encourages him to take in paradise, which initially takes the form of a bountiful jungle, but as he journeys deeper into the city within, it becomes quite alien. The work is far more abstract in its concepts and depictions of the deeper points within Venna, and thus is a far less popular piece of literature than the Trial.

Eluard’s Attestation- Eluard’s attestation is a largely apocryphal tome purporting to have been created around the ascendance of Eluard the Serene. It claims go be a final word from the prophet, giving his account of the disappointments of Ymir. How he saw the initial welcoming of musicians and artists, more freely thinking beings, as where they failed to protect Venna. How it would have been wiser to bring in warriors and sentinels first to help safeguard the land. It serves as a unifying tome amongst the more extreme elements within the Vennist faith and is normally disregarded as entirely false by most of the population.

The Rose of Talri- The story of a great and noble Lumii poet who indulged in witchcraft and a deal with the Outsider to enhance his creativity and his struggle to hide this dark secret. Quite scandalous on the planet and banned on Visra itself. It remains quite the hot seller among exiles.

Religious Orders

The Scarlet Shield

One of the more favorably viewed orders, the Scarlet Shield is a widespread relief organization that spans across both empires and species, even amongst those who are not themselves Vennist. Its members can often be found providing aid at the center of large scale disasters and helping those in need all across the galaxy. The order does not have any central organization or leader, built entirely of planet or system based cells who will travel when news of a catastrophe reaches them.

The Temple Knights

An order native to The Vault of the Twins but with chapters all across Visran planets, The Temple Knights were originally a fraternal brotherhood of noble warriors who devoted themselves entirely to the defense of the Vault. It has since progressed to include members of both sexes but the hierarchy has remained much the same. Members will join as squires and be assigned a knight to help guide them in the ways of combat. They work with the blessing of the Seraph but officially are not a part of the Visran military, despite some misconceptions about this.