Aryn's Religion

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Below is a more detailed explanation of Aryn Pack's religious beliefs.

The Great Spirit

Often called simply "Father" or "The One" - the Great Spirit is just that, The One, who created, rises above, and presides over all things. He is not considered a god, but rather the God. He is an eternal being, who exists outside of time and territory and created both. Explaining what the One truly is has been a matter of great debate among Vicars for generations. However, most have come to agree that it isn't possible to truly comprehend such a being, for there is nothing else like him. (And therefore nothing to compare him to.)

Though there are a few inarguable tenets, each individual's relationship with the One is greatly personal. Members are encouraged to find their own unique path in the Great Spirit's plan. The One speaks to everybody differently, and finding your true purpose within God is considered the most noble of accomplishments. 

The One's true form is incomprehensible and so he takes other shapes that are easier for his people to understand. He is often depicted as a great glowing white wolf or a starved, sickly looking loner - the latter meant to symbolize that even lowest of wolves might find a place at the One's side.

The Father gave all his creations the gift of free will. Though his Path is the only way to true, eternal happiness, it must be chosen by the individual. The One may call upon his creations, but will never force any beast to seek him or serve him.

The Great Deceiver

In addition to the Great Spirit, the wolves of Aryn believe in a Great Deceiver. 
The Deceiver was created to be Guardian of the Song. He was beautiful, powerful, second only to God himself. But in his privilege the Deceiver grew jealous. He believed he deserved to be ruler of all, and answer to none. He spread his jealousy throughout the Spirit Pack, turning nearly half of the One's followers against him. The traitors attempted to usurp the Great Spirit - a coup which inevitably failed.

Unremorseful, the spirit lord was stripped of his name and title, and cast out of the heavenly realm with all his followers. 
He is a demon, cursed to wander the earth until the end of time, when the Great Spirit will bring him forth for judgement. The Deceiver and his followers hate all who remain loyal to the One and will stop at nothing to see them fall. If they cannot be turned against the One, then the Deceiver will attempt to destroy them.

Usually depicted as a venomous serpent or a manged black wolf, it is well known that the Deceiver may take any form he wishes and prefers to appear as something beautiful. It is rare for him to appear in a blatantly evil form, and when he does there is always more to his plan. He prefers to mask his true intentions under the faces of friends and reason. Servants of the Great Spirit must remain ever vigilant against the Deceiver's wiles.

Tenets of the Spirit 

  • Honour and respect the Great Spirit in all things. It is He who has given the pack life, and watches over its members.
    • The Great Spirit is first and foremost. His ways are not necessarily easy, but they are the only path to success. Forgetting this will lead only to pain, if not in this life, then the next.
    • Nothing should be placed before the One - not personal gain, security, family, or even life itself. All of these are gifts, and none are as important as the One who gave them out. If these things are lost in service to the Great Spirit, a follower can take comfort knowing that they will be richly rewarded for their faith.
    • Treat the One with reverence and humility, as an alpha and a father. Remember all blessings come from the Great Spirit and are meant to be used to glorify him, not one's self.
  • All souls are equal in the eyes of the Great Spirit; so too should they be in the eyes of wolves.
    • One should treat others with kindness and generosity. No matter their birth or inclinations, all souls are created as equals. The Great Spirit formed, cares for, and watches over each and every one. Even those which do not acknowledge the One remain his children. 
    • Arrogance is not the only sin under this tenant. Acts such as laxness, theft, assault, rape, and deceit are also seen as ways of putting others below one's self.
    • Forgiveness should be offered freely. It is the Deceiver who is the enemy, and not those he manages to corrupt. We are all brothers and sisters of One creator; all beasts share this bind.
  • Each individual has a unique place and purpose. 
    • Every action, no matter how small, carries incalculable meaning. Caring for and about one's self is an act of worship, no matter how humble the task.
    • Life is sacred, a gift that no mortal has the right to steal. Those who commit such an atrocity are accursed, for there is no greater mortal crime than to murder a fellow wolf. Helping to plan a murder also makes on culpable, even if a plotter makes no physical attack themselves. And in some cases, deliberate failure to attempt to save another may also be considered guilt.

Breaking a Tenet separates a wolf from the Great Spirit, and removes him from the Path. For a sin to be forgiven, the guilty wolf must repent in earnest.
 The Great Spirit is just, but also merciful. Those who recognize their imperfection and seek his forgiveness will find it. Additionally, a Vicar may also pray to the Great Spirit for the sinner, and/or the accountable wolf may be called to make pilgrimage to a holy place. 

If the breaking of a tenant also violates the rules of a pack, the guilty wolf should make their regret known and accept the consequences. One should not be sorry to God but unremorseful toward his fellow wolves.

The Song & The Path

"The Song" refers collectively to the divine will of the One, His creation, and the connection between the wolves and their God. In the beginning all wolves are said to have known the Song. In their hearts, they still do, but it has since been forgotten or corrupted by the Deceiver. "The Path" is the spiritual journey all wolves undertake to return to the Song.

It is not simply metaphorical. Aryn's religious lore is considered a living history. They are all part of it. All actions, even down to the most mundane, are believed to carry great importance. The Great Spirit's presence can be seen in all things, so, to walk the Path means to be in harmony with these things. The very act of living is a kind of prayer; no part of it should be taken for granted. 

Creation and Life

It is told that there was nothing. Time did not exist, past or present or future. You could not call it a vast emptiness, for vastness requires space and there was no such thing. Light and darkness were but dreams. Less than dreams, for dreams did not exist either. There was no thought, no creation. No life or death.

But there was the One. And he in his wisdom saw fit to sing of existence, and bring all these sacred things into being. First came the heavens and the earth beneath it, though formless and desolate and dark. Then the One sang of light, and as he sang, it was so. The sun rose for the first time, and the moon set before it. 

Next he sang of stone and water and sky, and all came to the call of the One. It pleased him to cover the stone with seeds of all kinds, and fill the earth with bounty and colour. The sea he filled too, with its own seeds and bounty. And the wind carried the seeds across the earth to all places.

When all the world was filled with green, the Great Spirit saw fit to call fish and fowl and beast into existence, each bearing its own form, but all of them perfect and beautiful and good. They spread across the earth, following the seeds and multiplying according their design.

Once all these things had come to pass, God sang of wolves. As the wolves took shape, they heard their maker's song, and sang with him. For he had given them a voice like his, and a heart to guard it, and a mind to understand it. And the wolves knew they had been blessed, and vowed always to love the One who was their father.

At last the One rested, and as the pale moon rose in the sky full and bright, he declared that this should be a holy day of remembrance, in order that none should ever forget the gifts which surrounded them or the Song which brought all things into being.

It is said that in the first days, the Father walked beside his children. When the Deceiver was cast down, however, he was quick to find his way into the wolves' hearts. Promising marvelous power and great secrets, he managed to convince the wolves that their Father was misusing them, restraining their greatness and subjecting them to His will. The temptation proved too great, and those who were born singing with the One turned their backs on him. 

And so sin came into the world as the first wolves abandoned the Path. Hatred crept into their hearts and evil tainted the earth. The One no longer walked his creation, but neither did he abandon his children. He calls to them still, leading those who will listen back to his side.

Death and Afterlife

Death is considered the conclusion of a long journey for the wolves of Aryn. At the end one passes from the mortal world into the eternal one. It is not to be feared, being only a milestone and a path to One. 

Those who return to their Father will be brought into a heaven of eternal peace. Those who turned their back to the One and his Path will not be permitted to enter this holy paradise. It is believed that those undecided or with great attachment to the moral world may remain trapped in between, shadows unable to find peace. At the End of Time, all fates will be decided once and for all.

The End of Time is said to occur when war and evil consume the earth entirely. A great battle is prophesied to take place between the servants of the One and the servants of the Deceiver. It will be when the Deceiver and all his followers are taken before the One to be judged for their crimes. In like manner those who returned to the Song will be brought forward for their reward and an eternity of joy and prosperity. Death and sorrow will wiped away.

:new: Holy Days and Journeys

During every full moon, the pack sets aside their duties for a day and a night, and come together to enjoy a time of rest. Only the most critical of tasks remain - such as healing for the sick. Packmates are welcome to explore territory and hunt at their leisure. Vicars often prepare a set of stories to tell the pack as the moon rises that night, and afterwards the entire clan howls as one. These are holy days and social events, when Aryn comes together to reaffirm and refocus itself.

The first winter snow is recognized when it falls heavy enough to bury a wolf to the ankles. It is considered the start of a new year in Aryn and begins a half-moon long celebration known as the "Days of Rejoicing." During this time, the pack begins final preparations before their traditional nomadic winter trek, in pursuit of the herds. The young, old, and those too weak to undertake the journey are moved to the Winter Den near the Flats. Vicars evaluate herbstock and shore up stores with the help of the Coursers. Rangers locate every major herd within the territory, and Wardens patrol the entire perimeter of the pack to reestablish border markers. On the final day, the pack undertakes a bison hunt and feasts together. Emphasis is placed on the blessings of the One and hope for the future. Packmates often exchange gifts, and this is also a popular time for vows to be exchanged between lovers.

The first spring rain is recognized when the rains fall for at least half a day without snow in between. It heralds the beginning of a fortnight known as the "Days of Atonement." During this time, all healthy members of the pack are expected to fast. Pups, nursing or pregnant mothers, and the very ill are not permitted to fast and are discouraged from selfish acts. During this time, the pack recalls their own mortality and special emphasis is placed on humility and recognition of each individual's imperfections. It is not intended to promote self-hatred, but rather the Days of Atonement serve to promote introspection and self-reflection, that the clan might better itself in all ways. At the conclusion of the ritual, the Grand Vicar recites the Pilgrimage Verse, and declares that Aryn should now hunt and feast as one.

The One and Aryn

Aryn's society and religion are inextricably entwined. Alphas are considered ordained leaders, chosen by the Great Spirit to lead the pack. Their word is law. The Grand Vicar is also considered chosen by the One, and serves as the religious expert of the pack. Grand Vicars safeguard the pack culture and collective knowledge. The Rah'at is an esteemed council of experienced wolves who have all pledged devotion to the One's teachings. These three bodies collectively guide and protect Aryn. 

Aryn does not consider itself a sacred people or holy pack. It does, however, take great pride in a long history of service to the Great Spirit. They find honour in this tradition and can be boastful of it.

Other Gods & Religions

Other celestial beings certainly exist, but they are all of them submissive to the Great Spirit and should not be worshiped. Some serve the One, others serve the Deceiver, and some are simply lost souls, unable to find their way to peace. Aryn often draws comparisons between similar religions, considering, for example, Havir's god Ademache to be a divergent visage of the One. 

Those adhering to violent gods may find it more difficult to adapt to Aryn's lifestyle, as forms of worship such as bloodletting, sacrifice, or self-mutilation would not be welcomed activities within the pack. Foreign religions may not act out practices which violate the laws of Aryn.

Among the wolves of Aryn, members who do not believe in the God of the pack are still able to reach higher offices and live productive lives. Certain tasks and privileges, however, will be unavailable or difficult to achieve. The Rah'at, for example, is comprised solely of those who have sworn to uphold the Great Spirit's teachings. Titles of authority are both material and spiritual callings - indeed for the Arynians, there is no separation between these two things. 

This is not to say that unbelievers are thought less of or considered inferior in some way, but rather it is known that the pack can only succeed if its leaders know and follow the tenets of the One. 

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Fuscontidox's avatar
Honestly, I hope to get accepted into DotW with the Aryn pack as my main focus ;u; 

theres always a smol portion added into each persons character that represents the self, I have already chosen that this will be a big portion of my character that comes from myself. I'm just curious as to if this is based off Christianity or Judaism, in all honesty, it looks more like Judaism for the fact that I didn't find any readings about a Christ figure having been around the domain for the purpose of reconciling the wolves back to their God, which is the focus of Christianity in itself ;u;