The Simmerican Faith is a Droome religion from the region of Simmerica on Hearthland. It is closely tied to the cultural developement of the Simmerican culture and many of its aspects are intertwined with Simmerican language and identity.
It is a polytheistic religion, which however places nature and material reality firmly outside of the influence of gods, who solely hold responsibility over aspects of social life and interaction. Different denominations of the Simmerican Faith mainly differ in the degree of importance they attribute to specific deities.
The eternal worldEdit
Followers of the Simmerican Faith believe that the material world and nature are eternal and have always been present. They are beyond the power of even gods, who don't appear as supernatural beings, but rather as embodiment of society itself and as shepherds of the Droome who have to face a harsh, uncaring reality beyond their grasp. As such, nature and animals - at least non domestic animals - are soulless creatures who just 'are' without meaning and purpose.
The Social Soul Edit
In Simmerican Faith, individuals are not born with a soul, but rather achieve it through life within a structured society. A soul can be understood in this system of belief as collective, unconscious products of the people around the individual Droome, whose actions themselves are guided by the different gods trying to gain sway over the life of the mortals, so that they would devote their own afterlife to them.
The Afterlife Edit
Simmericans believe that a Droome who dies must devote his or her soul to one of the gods who had been guiding their mortal life. They will then spend eternity in assisting their respective deity in trying to maintain influence over future generations, steering their fates into a direction desired by the gods, while fending off the interference of competing deities.
As god of family, Cheh - the great patriarch as he is sometimes called - has grown in importance throughout the recent history of the Droome. He is depicted as a wise, old Droome man, having his skin turned white as consequence of his old age and usually sitting on a throne of wood. Cheh embodies the concept of wise leadership and paternal care. He furthermore carries a sword and shield - the arms of the father - and is accompanied by his two Simmerican Swampdogs Zhe'he and Chi'in.
The god of vengeance, symbolizing the concept of just punishment, appears as large and musculous Droome, weilding a mighty warhammer. He is usually depicted as clothed entirely in long red robes and is described as patient and stubborn, pursuing his victims for however long it may take. Ma'rr will then strike down on his targets, leaving them permanently crippled. Those who suffer accidents that leave them permanently disfigured or disabled are thus believed by Simmerican Droome to have received divine punishment and not being worthy of pity.
Fhen and He'feh Edit
Sometimes referred to as the "twins of the oath", Fhen and He'feh embody the concept of loyalty and honoring ones word. They are depicted as large and tall Droome, clothed in brazen platemail and carrying spears. Fhen and He'feh are popular with soldiers, who invoke their names to ensure the loyalty of their brothers in arms, and haven even found following beyond not just Simmerica, but even Hearthland: numerous No-Maki have incorporated the twins into their religious tradition.
Na'fi is the god of love, representing not only desire for another, but also unquestioning and presuppositionless friendship. Sometimes referred to simply as "The Lord", Na'fi is depicted as small, stout Droome covered in pelts. He is said to always maintain a fire in the hearth of the hall of the gods, so the others have a place to return to.
The god of war, murder, torture and terror, Na'amil is rarely prayed to, as she represents the negative aspects of battle and is closely associated with violent and unjust death at the hands of others. Na'amil is depicted as grim and emaciated female Droome, who has had one of her eyes gouged out, while the remaining one maintains a terrifying stare on her victims. Her left hand is covered in blood, while her right hand grasps a hooked dagger. Na'amil is often depicted wearing the flayed skins of her enemies.
Sometimes called 'the wanderer', Sheheth is the god of travel, migration, homelessness and banishment. Represented as a tall, thin Droome on a boat and holding a lantern, he represents the concept of not having a home or having left it behind, but also the search for a new one. Sheheth is invoked to guide these unfortunate souls back home or to a new one, lest they lose their 'social soul' and become wild animals.
Strictly speaking, the Simmerican Faith does not have differing denominations, as its polytheistic and syncretic nature have allowed for enough space to incorporate differing opinions and beliefs without much conflict. What, however, defines much of the structure of the Simmerican Faith is its seperation into different cults, focusing on single deities. As this means devoting most, if not all, of ones worship to a specific deity and the concepts it embodies, this can lead to a wide range of different religious customs without representing fundamentally different beliefs: it is merely different aspects of the same, multi-faceted religion that are embraced.
Symbols and ThemesEdit
The concept of Zeist - not to be confused with the homeworld of the No-Maki which was named after it by the Droome - could be compared to the Garden of Eden. It is the lost paradise of old, the natural environment in which the Droome lived ignorant but happily, until an unnamed promethean figure brought fire to the Droome, bestowing sentience upon them and creating civilization. As the Droome were hesitant to leave behind their life of blissful ignorance, the founder of their civilization eventually resorted to setting fire to Zeist, driving the Droome from their Garden of Eden to claim their own future. The burning trees of Zeist are a common symbol in Simmerican mythology, representing the destiny of the Droome to shape the world by their own hands, rather than be shaped by it.
The cults of the Simmerican Faith know individuals who have progressed so far in their worship of their deity that they have come to embrace the concepts the deity represents. They are physical avatars of their deity, entirely devoted and single-mindedly focused on this task. Avatars form the innermost circles of a cult, provide guidance and divination for its members and assume central roles in rites and ceremonies of their deity.