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 Post subject: zensunni animism
PostPosted: June 24th, 2017, 7:09 am 
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YEAR OF THE EMPEROR 572 A.I.

My name in Antonidas Mota, I am an Imperial Scholar studying the varieties of faith through all the Mercurian Empire. The following notes correspond to my most recent discovery while travelling the grand duchy of Casadia.

Zensunni animism

Travelers visiting the eastern regions of Casadia (mostly the duchy of Ilothera and some parts of the duchy of östea) will often encounter peculiar pilgrims on the roads. Dressed in simple robes, these pilgrims will offer something to the traveler. Worry not, since they are not highwayman or evil-doers trying to snatch people for obscure rituals, they are zensunni practitioners, and the act of giving is part of their customs.

Introduction

The zensunni religion is a rather young faith originated in the eastern regions of the Grand duchy of Casadia. From my investigation I have traced the origins of the faith to a culture known as the Zahar. They are believed to come from the other side of the Inner sea, a large body of water which serves as Casadia's eastern frontier.

Zensunni religion is an animistic one, they revere several spirits within different things, both living and sterile. It is difficult to document how many of these spirits exists, since the Zensunni people often live secluded almost monastic lives far away from civilization. However, settlements such as Avatarati and Two rivers have been witnesses of an increase in Zensunni population over the years.

Belief

The Zensunni faith centers around the Alam-Almythal or "The world of ideas" which is a world parallel to ours in which all physical limitations are removed.

In this world, concepts such as time or space doesn't exists, everything is composed of its most pure meaning. The Shaitan or "the all maker", God stripped from personality or form is said to have created this world. In the Zensunni belief, the Al-nakba meaning "The physical world" dripped from the Alam-Almythal.
This is believed to be an accident, or rather something unexpected, since the Shaitan wanted a world of perfect order and infinite beauty.

Since that moment, all Bakkim(pl. from bakka) or "acolytes of the great one" the name Zensunni gives to themselves, crave to enter this world and connect with Shaitan once more.

The curious part of the Zensunni is that the bakkim don't adore Shaitan directly. Instead, they adore the ayat or "the meaning of life" which is said to be in every living being and every sterile thing. In the Al-nakba space divides what is infinite in the Alam-Almythal, as such, each object has a unique ayat which turns into the intrinsic spirit that mirrors the object in the world of ideas. The Zensunni revere these spirits, since they are the gate to Shaitan and the world it originally created.

Practices

Zensunni have a wide variety of practices. Each ayat have its corresponding ritual. However some general zensunni practices are:
  • Living a simple life with the most necessary things: they often pursue a deep connection with the ayat they revere.
  • Gifting food or trinkets: Several ayat are said to grant favors to those who are kind to others. It is also said that giving to the other brings peace between strangers, closing both of them to the Alam-almythal.
  • living a nomadic lifestyle: they are aware of the huge amount of ayat there are in the world, so they often move great distances sharing the ones they revere or they go in search of new ones. This often leads to zensunni adapting different faiths and religions to their core belief.
  • Evading civilization: although they are eager to share their religion and learn from others, they are an antisocial people. This is an odd behaviour, from my investigation I have deduced their aversion to society comes from their Zahar ascendants. They didn't have a good relationship with Casadian people, often turning to violence to solve disputes. This lead to Zensunni becoming enclosed to themselves, just barely starting to get in touch with civilization in the last few years.

The zahar

in the previous sections I talked about the Zahar without explaining who they are. I will give the current knowledge of these people.

While interviewing Guardian Irulan of Avatarati about this folk who inhabits her city and the surrounding forests, the topic from where they come from arose. As a woman characterized for being pragmatic and always focused on her goals, she didn't pay much attention on the more social aspects of her city such as ethnicity or religion. However, she spoke of the diary of her father, Runil Indoril former guardian of Avatarati. She remembered that in his last years, her father went into several expeditions to the east. the first one lasting a couple months and the last one lasting five years, he died during the last one.

In his diary, Runil wrote how he gradually went farther away. He eventually reached the coasts of the Inner sea, a large body of water poorly mapped by imperial cartographers. driven by an exploring desire, Runil ordered the construction of several vessels and sailed to uncharted lands. It was is his last expedition that he sailed, he reached what he thought was the eastern side of the inner sea and discovered a tribal people, the Zahar.

Quote:
It was the eleventh sunrise since we sailed, the morning breeze shock every of my bones. On the horizon along with the sun a chunk of land was appearing. When we were close enough several buildings were visible: wooden huts, simple stone towers and crops.


Runil wrote that at first these savages were very agressive, they killed four of his men the moment they set foot on the shore. Runil's men started fighting the savages, and displaying a greater fighting discipline and better weapons, the savages took a more docile attitude. they took them to their village, a collection of small huts surrounding a more well constructed building. The casadians made contact with the zahar. They were a warrior people divided in several clans that waged war more than they helped each other. They also were not that primitive, although their huts were rudimentary, everything related to warfare seemed more advanced: weapons, tactics, hierarchy, etc.

Runil befriended the warlord, Bakku, from him he learned that the zahar were ruled from the "white throne" in which Bakku was currently seated as the high warlord of the Zahar clans. He constantly had to wage war against those clans who wanted the throne since that was the way they choose a new high warlord.

They also had a strange religion. The Zahar were in some way connected to their dead ancestors literally talking to them and asking for their advice. At the beginning the Casadians thought all the Zahar had mental problems since they usually were seen talking alone. It was difficult to understand the zahar belief system.

When the expedition finally was set to return, Bakku and the majority of his clan came along with Runil, as he wrote in his diary. Its is unclear the reason why they ventured far away from their ancestral home, but somehow they never arrived to Avatarati. Runil died in the way home, and with his corpse neither warlord nor a a tribe arrive. For some unknown reason the men didn't gave a single word about were they went for five years, often inventing different accounts and giving mis-information and the great discovery of Runil was lost, his diary being the only evidence. Which nobody read until Irulan, several years after.

From several conjectures I traced the Zensunni back to this people, being their direct descendants. Bakku and his clan settled in the coasts of the Inner sea, and slowly they started to migrate to the west, mingling with the Casadians that they didn't fight. Its a pitty that Runil didn't document with more depth the religion of the zahar, because that is the key to understand the Zensunni belief.

Sadly the current agenda of the Guardian of Avatarati is not focused on exploration or other activities which doesn't involves economical benefit, so those far lands discovered in the past will be far to reach for a while.

Known Ayat

-Coelho-
This ayat inhabits in the rabbits. Quite a popular ayat, there is a shrine dedicated to it in the village with the same name south east of Avatarati.

-Nirsh-
This ayat inhabits in the un-dead. there is a clash of faiths regarding Nirsh. Some say it is revered by smiting the foul beings while others say it is revered by offering living ones to the un-dead. This shows the radical differences between each ayat and its worshippers.

-urubor-
a rather odd ayat. I have just met one Bakka who revers urubor: The man known as the "paper maker" He inhabits near Avatarati on a small island in which he fabricates zensunni paper, a popular product in the city. This paper is said to never deteriorate, while it stilll can be burned or become a pulp with water, anything written in it will be conserved for eternity, or so the paper maker says. he says is do to urubor impregnating its favor into the paper, although how it is done he didn't revealed. The oldest piece of zensunni paper in the city is a receipt 67 years old, the contents are still readable and the paper keeps being white as marble.

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 Post subject: Re: zensunni animism
PostPosted: June 24th, 2017, 9:03 pm 
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What style of buildings do they have within your city? Is it a self-made structure or is it a residence given to them by the city within which they stay to spread their word?

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 Post subject: Re: zensunni animism
PostPosted: June 25th, 2017, 1:57 am 
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Many Zensunni wanderers often find residence with those eager to let them in their houses for some nights. They have a building style of their own in their secluded communities: A notable example is the village of Coelho, this building style is characterized for being a simplistic yet functional design.

The following paint is depicting a zensunni house near Avatarati. This is an example of a rather luxurious house, they often build just with wood.

Image

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