Agnara is the name of a religion native to Prindern. It is named after the Agnar, which is the race of gods they worship. Adherents are called Agnarin. It is the state religion of the Great and Glorious Empire of the Wailing Winds, often confusingly (and blasphemously, by Agnarin standards) called simply Agnar or Empire of Agnar by outside nations. Agnarin use the Agnar calendar.
The religion known as Agnara is based on the holy text The Blessed Chronicles of the Betrayal of the Agnar at the Hands of Man, written over a span of roughly 250 years. The religion views world history in six major ages, placing most of human history in the Age of Contrition.
There is some dispute over who should be considered the founder of the religion, but nearly all attempts to describe its earliest period trace it back to either Emperor Nilarchus I, Prince Jalar the Seer, or the prophet Krindark. Views on this dispute impact how adherents view each of the other leaders, and the way that the religion is practiced. This has led to the three major denominations of Agnar, though these denominations are far more permitting of each other than divisions within Phaelism. As such, many adherents of Agnar claim that the religion has no true internal divisions, and most casual observers from outside see no reason to argue the claim.
Agnarin believe that the gods are one and the same as the concepts or substances which they govern. This view is summarized in the description of Hashakar in The Wisdom of Prince Jalar the Seer, "The wind is the body of Hashakar; Hashakar is the mind of the wind." As such, they believe that reverence for one is reverence for the other. Much like the distinction between human bodies and minds, they believe that the proper way to interact with the gods is to tend and respect the body (their purview), as well as to speak with and attempt to understand the mind (the deity).
The religion teaches that mankind was originally a functioning, healthy part of the order of nature, tasked with caring for nature and restoring balance in the physical and spiritual worlds. Humans were created to restore the balance of the universe after Hissopher was betrayed by his brother Jondar, disrupting the cycle of creation, death, and rebirth. As part of this duty, they had access to great power over fate and natural forces and elements; a collection of powers and practices known as the Old Ways. However, with the theft of magic from Greb by the human Magus, mankind was deemed unworthy of their task, and the gods turned against humans and withdrew their blessing. While the gods were unable to remove mankind's governance of fate, as this is a central aspect to human nature, this act still greatly limited human access to fate, ensuring that most humans could only nudge it subconsciously while a select few, called Weavers, maintained the former ability to directly influence the Tapestry.
Agnarin highly value environmentalism and art, as part of their attempt to realize mankind's purpose.
Agnara is a polytheistic religion, worshiping a pantheon of deities who are largely related to one another. Although it is distinct from the pantheon of Phaelists, those who study comparative religion and those from faiths sufficiently removed from both tend to view the similarities in layout and history as indicative that they are describing the same deities. Due to the age of each religion, Agnarin who accept the possibility of relationship between the two faiths argue that Lophael stole much of his ideas from the Agnar pantheon and re-purposed it to fit his own agenda. Phaelists vehemently deny any such connection.
The Agnar is the name given to the race of deities of the Agnarin. The race is broken primarily into two frequently warring tribes, each descended from a single patriarch. However, it has been noted by adherents and outsiders alike that there are a number of deities (especially the wives of the patriarchs) who are considered part of the race but are not stated as belonging to either tribe. While Ogden and Prin are excused as apparently occupying a third (neutral) tribe, there remain others who are not so easily explained. Whether this is an oversight, a suggestion that there are more gods beyond the pantheon, or some other explanation, is unknown and the source of much heated debate in monastic and theological circles.
Major Deities Edit
Tribe of Jondar Edit
- Patriarch: Jondar, god of creation and rebirth
- Wife: Scæla, goddess of desire and ambition
- Gihon, god of the sea
- Jerbal, god of earth
- Lorelia, goddess of time and order, seer of the gods
- Rendovar, god of the sky, storms, and omens
- Rostava, goddess of justice and retribution
Tribe of Hissopher Edit
- Patriarch: Hissopher, god of destruction and void
- Wife: Nundala, mistress of the dead and patron of the hunt.
- Hashakar, goddess of the wind
- Kikuri, goddess of fire
- Marisol the Unweaver, god of chaos
- Prel, god of trickery and deceit
Tribe of Ogden Edit
- Patriarch: Ogden, Father of spirits
- Wife: Prin, the Worldmother
- Filindal, goddess of borders and crossings, guardian of gates
- Laika the Seeker, goddess of travel and exploration
Other Agnar Edit
- Endekar, goddess of civilization; daughter of Jerbal and Filindal
- Greb, goddess of the moon and magic; daughter of Kikuri and Rendovar
- Grom, goddess of the sun and life; daughter of Kikuri and Rendovar
- Neron, god of war; son of Endekar and Marisol
Lesser Deities Edit
There are hundreds of other deities in Agnara, most of whom are either regional and associated with specific landforms or represent forces believed to be specific to this world.
Lost Deities Edit
Because the Agnarin believe that there were other worlds before this one, and that some unknown number of them were destroyed suddenly by Hissopher's betrayal of his brother, there is often a single altar left in temples, dedicated to the unnamed and unknown Agnar who perished before the Age of Harmony began.
While there is limited acknowledgement of the fact, there are three primary bodies within the Agnar religion. These three largely tolerate each other, but there have been times when their different outlooks have produced varying degrees of strife over the years. At least one of these sparked a civil war within the Great and Glorious Empire of the Wailing Winds, which impeded its expansion and caused the Vorelli Empire to reclaim a great deal of land in northern Prindern. Ultimately, these differences can be traced back to disputes about who should be treated as the proper founder of the religion, and what their outlook on the faith means for how modern adherents should practice it. Those who believe that the religion should be attributed to Prince Jalar the Seer are called Oculists, and they are largely monastic, contemplative, and philosophical. Those who observe that Krindark compiled the various teachings and holy texts and prophesied the ways that these should be applied, and use this to argue that he should be considered to have founded the religion, are called Visceralists, and they are heavily focused on living individually holy lives that strive to reconnect to the Agnar and carry out mankind's duties in the world. Those who hold most closely to Nilarchus are called Paladins and believe that it is the role of adherents to recall the power of the Old Ways and restore the balance, by force if necessary. While Paladins do not officially believe that it is the role of adherents to instigate the Age of Judgment, extremists do seek to accomplish this and Paladins as a whole do not seem eager to interfere.
The Agnarin is the term for adherents of Agnara. It is sometimes used to describe the ethnicity of the people of central Prindern or citizens of the Great and Glorious Empire of the Wailing Winds, but both of these uses are technically incorrect.
Agnar Calendar Edit
The Agnar calendar is the method of timekeeping used by the Agnarin. It is built on year 0 as the creation of the known universe, according to The Blessed Chronicles of the Betrayal of the Agnar at the Hands of Man. Its timeline, but not its month layout, is identical to the calendar used by Orthodox Phaelism and Mendarianism. Year 0 Agnar is equivalent to -2115 Reformed.
The Agnar calendar is sholin for the year and stellar for the months, and broken into six major ages, two of which have not yet come. There are 402 days broken into six months in every year, each marked by the rise of one of the holy constellations, which is each associated with one age. The constellations, their associated month, the length of the month, and the age they represent are as follows:
- The Potter: Kizef (52 days), Supernal Age
- The Gazelle: Vazile (59 days), Age of Harmony
- The Widow: Elmaila (70 days), Forsaken Age
- The Charioteer: Argryva (79 days), Age of Contrition
- The Scales: Judula (74 days), Age of Judgment
- The Lovers: Elshok (68 days), Age of Unity
At the first of each month, a festival is held to tell the story of the associated age. The festivals held on the first of Elmaila and Judula are periods of mourning, while the rest are periods of celebration.