Pyrologism is a non-theistic religion developed by the No-Maki. It was once, throughout the fourth to sixth cycle of the History of the No-Maki, the dominant religion of the region of the Riverlands, especially in the Realm of Flame but has since declined in prominence and is considered a minor religion in No-Maki civilization.
Central tenet of Pyrologism is the belief in a transcendental cosmic energy, from which all life has sprung forth, but which is separated from the physical realm so that souls can not easily return to it. It is generally assumed that fire bridges this gap and allows energy, for example that present within a No-Makis soul, to return to this ethereal realm. Whether or not that, however, is advisable and whether or not souls are tainted by life in the physical realm is a point of contention amongst different confessions of Pyrologism.
Ethereal and Physical RealmEdit
Pyrologists believe the physical realm to have been seperated from the spiritual, ethereal realm, which is the true reality, at the beginning of time. Previous to that, all souls lived within this timeless reality in a state of eternal dreaming. The desires and emotions of these souls however manifested themselves as matter and created the world as it is, dividing the souls of the living from the ethereal realm. Death itself is no release from this bind to the physical world, but rather leaves the soul to wander it and find new matter - not even necessarily a living body - to bind itself to.
The Power of FireEdit
Fire bridges the gap between the ethereal and the physical, according to Pyrologist beliefs. It transfers matter back into spiritual energy and allows it to transcend the material world. It is therefore, that Pyrologists believe that the incineration of the dead allows the soul to pass on to another plane of existence. This is also the reason why Pyrologists (except for the Immolationist denomination) shun execution by immolation, as it would send the souls of criminals to the spiritual realm, possibly tainting it with their sins.
Death of the Physical WorldEdit
Puritan Pyrologists do not acknowledge any religious authority outside of the teachings of the Spark, as transmitted by the Seven. They believe that the return to the ethereal realm can only be granted to those who lived an honest and honorable life and that their community is to be the judge of that. A central ritual of Puritans is thus to sit court over the deceased, deciding whether they are to receive the honor of incineration of their body.
Their Symbol is a simple copper firebowl without decorations.
The Pyrologist denomination of the Enligthened is one of three confessions acknowledging the claim of the No-Maki known as The Lost Daughter to continue the original teachings of their faith and to be a descendant of The Valiant, one of the original seven disciples of The Spark. According to her teachings, the No-Maki are too tainted to recognize merit within ones soul and thus should not judge the deceased. Instead, Enlightened maintain a strictly organized priesthood that adheres strict sacraments in order to maintain their purity and their right to sit court over the deceased.
Their symbol is a copper firebowl elevated from the ground by a wooden frame.
Rekindled acknowledge the teachings of The Lost Daughter, as well as that of a No-Maki highpriest known by her heritage name of The Rekindler. Central tenet to this pyrologist confession is the conviction that the ethereal realm has been thoroughly tainted by now and that a return to it is not desirable for the souls of the deceased. Instead, Rekindled believe that one should make the best of his time in the physical realm to brave herself for the afterlife.
Their symbol is a stoneware firebowl elevated from the ground by a wooden frame.
Like the Rekindled, Immolators acknowledge both The Lost Daughter as well as The Rekindler and believe that the ethereal realm is tainted by the sins of the souls which have crossed over in the past. However, Immolators believe that it is possible to reclaim the physical realm as promised land instead by cleansing it with flame, forcing the souls of sinners and tainted spirits to cross over into the ethereal realm.
Their symbol is a firebowl wholly engulfed by flames.
The Pyrologist confession known as Church of the Stardaughters is the most recent developement within the faith. It is a puritan offshoot, acknowledging only the original teachings and that of their prophet, a No-Maki known as The Starflame. Central tenet of their faith is the belief in the power of the "starflame" which has supposedly been ignited by a fallen star. According to the Stardaughters, this flame can purify souls to enter the ethereal realm free of sin and taint and they have passed it on to share its powers with all their ritual flames, enabling a return to the Ethereal for everyone.
Their symbol is a golden firebowl containing a flame decorated with stars.
Symbols and ThemesEdit
Metal bowls in which fires are lit for ceremonial purposes are an universal symbol of Pyrologism and different denominations of Pyrologism are identified by differently shaped firebowls. The firebowl symbolizes a connection to the ethereal realm and comes in varying shapes and sizes. Small bowls are usually found within households to "clean" a house from negative energy or to allow for ritual offerings, while large bowls, often kept alit constantly, are found within temples and at sacred sites and are used during celebrations as well as to incinerate the deceased.
Following the death of a No-Maki, her community will in one way or another sit court over the deceased in all Pyrologist denominations. While most Pyrologist faiths sit court to decide whether or not the corpse is to be incinerated and thus transferred to the afterlife, or buried and thus kept within the physical realm, the deceased will in both cases be stripped of its name and instead be awarded a heritage name, chosen to reflect her virtues, deeds, but also shortcomings in life. The most prominent heritage names are those of the prophets of the Pyrologist faith.
All Pyrologists hold certain values to be universal virtues towards which all No-Maki should strive. When a deceased No-Makis life is judged by its peers, it is judged for whether or not the individual in question lived its life according to these virtues. The virtues are: honesty (not telling lies and being fair in dealings with others), valor (especially in defense of friends and family), fertility (having many children), charity (supporting the poor and helpless), wisdom (having studied the holy scriptures), forgiveness (refraining from exercising revenge even when justified) and filial piety (being loyal towards ones mother).