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A Short Introduction

The Abunese religion is one of the most important ones in the southern region of planet Nakti, mostly because it's one of the most worshipped religions, due to the extension and history of the country itself. It's uncertain when the first signs of the religion appeared in history, but what is known is that it exhists since many millenia.

The Abunese religion doesn't have an official name, but it's a universal religion and can be embraced by anybody, although a devotion to the Abunese ruler is required in order to fully embrace the religion, since they are considered holy by the people.

The Sacred Literature of the Abunese

The Abunese religion bases its fundamental pillars on a book called "The Life of the Gods". It's uncertain how ancient the book is, but the most ancient transcription of the book is dated around year 43 of the Proto-History, making it one of the most ancient books ever preserved in the Royal Library of Enit.

The Life of the Gods contains all the stories, sermons, anecdotes and teachings of the Abunese Gods, including their daily lives, the prayers towards them, their teachings to the mortals, including a series of advices the Gods themselves give to mortals in order to live a good and prosperous life.

The Book also contains the history of the origins of Abun and the Tokaya race. Another important book for the Abunese is the Rothiss'Tai, a partially illustrated book that talks about the sexual life of the Abunese Gods, including many teachings to the mortals to learn how to become good lovers and how to fulfill the needs of carnal pleasures while respecting the teachings of the Gods. The Life of the Gods and the Rothiss'Tai are books that every literate Abunese must keep in their personal library, and usually, the Abunese read some lines of the Life of the Gods after their last Irul, before going to sleep. The Rothiss'Tai instead is read by married or engaged couples who wish to follow their love and sexual life with the teachings of the Gods.

Praying techniques

The Abunese pray their Gods in two different ways. The first one, which is usually the one practiced at the temple, is to kneel barefoot in front of the statue or depiction of the God/Goddess, raise the hands and looking in the eyes of the depiction (for an approximation of the Abunese praying pose, check out this picture), saying the prayer in an almost whispered way, as the Abunese believe that whispering prayers make them reach the ears of the Gods faster.

Another way to pray is to stand while keeping the hands raised. It's important to be barefoot during the prayer, as a sign of respect towards the Gods. Priestesses of Risia also pray the Goddess during sexual intercourses, raising their hands in the praying position and letting themselves embrace the ecstasy of the flesh.

When the Abunese get up, before doing their Irul, they must go out of their house and pray Say'Rada, praising the raising sun. Before going to sleep, after their last Irul, they pray Hesut, the moon, thanking her for letting them see another day.

The Irul, the sacred bathing ritual

One of the most particular aspects of the Abunese religion is surely the Irul ritual.

In the Irul, (which means "cleansing" in Abunese), the Abunese must take a full bath, or in case they don't have enough time, to wash their face, hands and feet two times per day: the first when they got up and the second one before going to sleep, although there's not a particular limit to how much times someone should do the Irul.

Before entering their houses, the Abunese take off their sandals and wash their hands and feet in a ceramic bowl called Ton'Hat (meaning "Purifier"). The Ton'Hat is usually made in ceramic or in bronze, while some nobles have a gold version.

The bowl is filled with water everytime is used either from a faucet located outside the house or filled at the nearest fountain, and after it's been used, the water needs to be thrown out. Usually, the Ton'Hat is located outside the houses of commoners, while in nobles' palaces it can be found outside their private apartments. The Abunese also strive to keep their private parts as much clean as possible, to prevent them being impure and so, sinners.

The Abunese Rituals of Birth, Adulthood, Marriage and Death

The Abunese religion has its own rituals that signs the life of every mortal. They believe that their life is signed by four steps, three obligatory and one optional: the Birth, the Adulthood, the Marriage and Death.

When a baby is born, a ritual called Nyrasha is performed. The Nyrasha consists in painting some particular markings on the face of the newborn: if he's a male, his face will be painted with four white stripes, as a blessing to Sinit, the supreme creator of everything on Nakti, while if the baby is a female, her face will be painted with only two stripes, a blessing to Say'Rada.

Then, there's one of the most important rituals according to the Abunese, which is the Sarenasha, the ritual of passage to Adulthood. The Sarenasha consists in having a sexual intercourse for the first time, after the boy or the girl has reached puberty. In case of orphans, the boy will do it with a priestess of Risia, while the girl will do it with a priest of Sinit.

Marriage (the only optional ritual) instead is performed by a priestess of Risia, who's the Goddess of Love, and so she, through the Priestess, seals the love of the couple turning them into a single entity, cemented by their mutual feeling, and a priest of Sinit, who blesses the couple with the All-Maker's fertility.

The Abunese marriage consists in four phases. The first one sees the bride, who's barefoot, being accompanied at the temple, dressed in her finest clothes, with her face painted with Risia markings, by her mother, then arrives the Groom, barefoot as well, whose face is decorated by Sinit's markings. When the couple reunites, the two priests begin to chant praises to Risia and Sinit and ask the couple if they want to bound their lives together for the rest of their days. If both mutually agree, the priest and the priestess halitate on them, giving their blessing.

After that, the couple goes outside the temple while the other priests and priestesses, along with the family of the newlyweds throw flower petals on the ground, until they sit on a platform with a stool outside the temple. The priests make them share a cup of Ineran, an Abunese tea which is considered sacred to newlyweds, the husband and the wife drink from the same cup and then they kiss eachother, followed by a hug. After the ceremony the newlyweds can leave the temple with their families to celebrate the wedding.

The last ritual performed in the life of an Abunese is the funeral. When someone dies in Abun, the corpse is taken to the family house, where it's mourned for an entire day. The day after the mourning, the priests of Erbur and Hesut come at the house, chanting prayers to the dead and smearing the body with perfumed oils, then they wrap the corpse in a white linen shroud, and they take it to the graveyard, located outside cities, where the Bone-Talkers take care of the entombing process, after the corpse is perfumed with incense by both the Bone-Talkers and the Erbur and Hesut priests. Cremation is reserved only to soldiers, as their burnt ashes ascend the Dun'Ya without passing through the Trial of Souls, celebrating their afterlife with Zoson.

If a soul is considered holy enough by the Gods to come back to the Mortals Plane, they allow the soul to reincarnate in another form of life, either animal or anthropomorphic, to live a new existence.

The Abunese Gods

Officially, the Abunese worship eight gods (without including Hyar'Emar, which is the Evil being of the religion), but there are also some other minor deities. Let's find out the main Gods of the Abunese pantheon.

Sinit

The Supreme God and the creator of Nakti. He created the stars, the planets, the animals, the people and the other gods. He's depicted as a winged reptilian humanoid with some beast features (maybe a sort of Tokaya?). The Abunese mythology says that light comes from his eyes. His semen is considered to make fertile every kind of soil, even the rocks. Sinit is usually associated to male fertility and sexual power.

Say'Rada

Goddess of Life, Arts, Craftsmanship and Intellect, protector of the Mortals and Living Beings. She was the second daughter of Sinit, and she's usually represented with open arms with rays coming out of her, referring to the sacred light of the sun. Say'Rada is married with Nyar and she is depicted as a young black Tokaya with long white hair and dressed with an heavily decorated dress. Say'Rada is also known for being the most beautiful goddess of the Abunese religion and she is also the Patron Goddess of the country. Her necklace glows and casts powerful rays, associating her to the Sun, that's called "Say'Rada" by the Abunese. She's also considered the inventor of the Sarenasha ritual, as she has an incestuous relationship with Sinit and Nyar. She's the favourite daughter of Sinit.

Erbur

God of the Dead and Judge of Souls. He and his spouse, the goddess Hesut are the guardians of the Dun'Ya, the realm where mortals ascend to become blessed souls. They escort the soul of a dead to "The Antechamber", where 25 judges ask him what he has done in his life. The verdict is expressed only after Hesut weighs the heart of the mortal soul, to prove his honesty.

If his life has been respectful of the world, the people and the laws (and so the heart is light), he can reach the Dun'Ya and become an Eternal Spirit, otherwise, if the heart is heavy, his soul will be eaten by Tan'Hat The Devourer, a Sey'Tan, and then the remains will be sent to the Hyar'Ya, where the soul will endure eternal suffering. Erbur is the main judge while his wife Hesut is the 25th one.

He is depicted as an old grey Beheamin with a long black dress. He wears a helm with raven plumes, as black is the colour of death. A particular characteristic of Erbur is that he doesn't wear coloured clothes: they're made only by various shades of grey. Like the other Beheamin, Erbur is blindfolded, because Death can strike everyone regardless their age, census and gender. Erbur rarely comes out of the Dun'Ya, but he can resurrect the dead and turn them into gods, although he used this power only on Hesut.

Hesut

Goddess of the Outer planes and Protector of the Souls. She's the wife of Erbur and she also acts as a medium between the living and the dead, while her husband rules the Dun'Ya. Hesut is the 25th judge during the "Trial of The Soul" and the one who weighs the heart of the dead. She is also believed to be the protector against snake and scorpion venoms. Hesut is represented as a orange Emer with tattoos on all her body and a black dress with silver jewels, and a black veil on her head, and she holds a staff with the head of a snake on its top. She keeps her hair in a series of dreadlocks. Hesut is also associated to the moon and the night.

According to the Abunese beliefs, Hesut used to be a mortal. Before the birth of the Kingdoms of the South, Hesut was a young princess, the daughter of a tribechief. She was known in her village and envied for her beauty. However, one day, she accidentally stepped her foot on a poisonous scorpion (or was bit by a snake, the legend differs according to the province) and after some days of agony, she died. Her father stayed always close to her during this period and after her death he mourned her for all the day, never leaving his hut and the body of his daughter.

She was young and wasn't even promised as a spouse as her father was looking for an husband for her. Erbur, the God of the Dead, listened to his pleas, and told him that if he wanted, his daughter could return back in the world of the living, but she would ascend to an higher plane. He was so desperate to see his beloved daughter back to life that he said yes. So, Erbur asked him to leave the hut and began the ritual.

He begun chanting and whispering mysterious words, the hut begun to be filled with light, and then, she woke up from her eternal sleep. Hesut was alive. After the ritual, Erbur invited Hesut's father in his hut to see his daughter, and he rejoiced to see her alive. But she was no longer a mortal, she was different. Her eyes were glowing faintly, with a thin white layer covering her once shiny blue pupils. The skin under her orange fur glowed as well, "illuminating every kind of shadow", and she spoke with a raspy yet calming voice. But she was alive.

Erbur was touched by her and impressed by her beauty, so he asked her father if he could marry her. He said yes, and after that, a blinding light filled the hut again and the couple disappeared. Hesut became a goddess, and Erbur took her to the Dun'Ya, the Beyond, where the mortal souls live their new ascended life. Her new husband gave her an important role.

With her glow, the sacred glowing aura of the Dun'Ya, she would have illuminated the darkness of the sky, after Say'Rada stepped down her throne. Before Hesut, the sky on Nakti was totally dark during the night. It was so dark that mortals feared to go out during the night, because nothing guided them. After Hesut became a goddess, her father spent the rest of his life looking at her in the sky during the night, admiring the beauty of her daughter, and smiled. So, Hesut as the moon, guides the mortals during their nightly journeys.

When an Abunese is dying, he sees Hesut's beautiful presence coming to him and telling him with her raspy yet calm voice to follow him to the Dun'Ya, for the Trial of the Souls, as she is the last judge, the one who weighs the heart of the mortal in order to let him into the Dun'Ya.

Nyar

The first son of Sinit. Nyar is the god of emotions and health. He's the protector of all the priests and scholars and he can control all the feelings of the mortals. Nyar is represented as a young green Tokaya with the traditional skirt and necklace of Abunese priests, and a white cape. He's blind, but the reason of his blindess is due to his own choice: he preferred to see the world with the "eyes of the heart" rather than using his own eyes. The priests of Nyar are skilled physicians and they perform surgeries and other medical activities.

Zoson

God of War and Protector of Blacksmiths. Zoson is known for his fierce and cruel attitude towards his enemies. He likes the scent of the blood and he is an expert blacksmith. In Abun, all the blacksmiths must bless their tools and their products to Zoson before they can sell them. Zoson is depicted as a muscular middle-aged brown Tokaya with fire-red hair. His wife is the goddess Risia. The Reckers, giant crabs common in Abun, are considered blessed to Zoson and are animals that carry all the virtues a warrior should have, created by Zoson to give an example to all the warriors of Nakti. Zoson priests are also called "Recker Men" due to their strenght.

Risia

The goddess of Love, Poetry and Carnal Pleasures. She's the protector of pregnant women, female fertility and newborn babies. The priestesses of Risia are skilled in various subjects, trained to the arts of war and perform sacred prostitution under the payment of an offer to the temple. Risia, along with Say'Rada and Zoson is one of the patrons of the Wapi warriors, an order made only by female warriors. Risia is represented as a dark blue Hatran girl with black hair, who wears white and red sensual and semi-transparent clothes, a golden collier with rubies, and a veil made of white pearls. She's considered the opposite of Say'Rada, indeed they often argue together. Risia is also known for her sexual promiscuity in the Abunese pantheon.

Quaneth

God of Knowledge, Written and Spoken Communication, Maths and Astrology. Quaneth is the creator of all the Naktian languages, and he can speak all the languages of Nakti. He's the protector of librarians and scribes. He is depicted as a old white Ustran Tokaya with black patches on his face and blue eyes, with a long white dress who holds some scrolls. Quaneth is also the protector of astrologists and he's skilled in maths. Quaneth priests are also in charge of the Abunese schools, called "Houses of Life".

Hyar'Emar

The Source of Evil and Suffering. He's as ancient as Sinit, and represents the universal evil, that fights continuously against the Gods, losing always. Hyar'Emar is depicted in various shapes, usually as a monstrous beast with the torso and the head of a Tokaya, the beak of a bird, four arms and the tail of a snake. He's the king of the Hyar'Ya, a place where the damned souls are doomed to suffer eternal tortures. The demons of Hyar'Ya, called Sey'Tan, are created by him and they are his servants.

According to the Abunese tradition, he used to be the Devourer in the Trial of the Soul, eating the heart of the dead, if he committed a lot of sins during his life. But once, he attempted to rape Hesut, so the Gods removed him from his position as the Devourer and was replaced by another Sey'Tan, Tan'Hat. Hyar'Emar can also turn former mortal souls into Sey'Tan, after a series of rituals of indescribable torture and suffering. The Seytan are sent by him to torment and oppress mortals' life and they can be kept away with particular markings or tattoos on the face, that will scare them away.

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