Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Special Worldbuilding: Religious Texts

Given that it's Christmas eve, I'm not devoting a lot of time to today's blog.  I'm sure you understand.  But I was thinking about religious texts, and how they inform the world one builds.   Now, "inform" is a key thing.  They are a great supplement to what you write.  It's probably not a great idea to actually include it in one's work.

I hadn't actually written out any significant religious texts for Druthal.  The Druth Bible, as it were (The Books of Saints and their Deeds) is mostly a collection of saintly stories, fables and parables, collected from all over Druthal.  In some ways, it has as much in common with the works of the Brothers Grimm as the Christian Bible.

Now, the Acserians, to the south of Druthal, are a lot more codified and rigorous in their religious texts.  Their bible, the Acseram, is a more classical religious text.  Back when Crown of Druthal was a thing I was working on, I wrote this bit from the Acseram: The Book of Nalesta, Chapters 1-6:

1               Here is the life, as I have come to understand it, of the Great Prophet of God. I have known the man, his words, his thoughts, the touch of his hand, for I am Nalesta, born in Heniza to Traalen and Yienna, and I served at his arm as a disciple to his teachings. I know not how the Great Prophet knew God, but I knew God through him, and his light and his word and his greatness will shine on the world like the sun through me.
2               The Great Prophet was born by the name of Acser, which he humbly kept through his days, in the city of Poriteiza, to a family that had been privileged with the favor of the Kierans. His father was Icseien, who was the son of Telees. Acser grew knowing little but comfort, no worries of hunger, no worries of poverty, no worries of violence, no worries of ignorance. He was friendly with Kieran and Futralian, and greeted all with an open hand of warmth.
3               One day in his sixteenth year, the Great Prophet took his boat onto the lake, since he did love little more than to take his day fishing. This day he did so without friend or manservant. This day his line was pulled by a fish stronger and mightier than he had ever known. This day, he was pulled from his boat under the water. His man on the shore saw him go under the water, and swam to save him. He was pulled to shore, but he breathed not, and his head was bloodied. The servant wailed and cried at the death of his master.
4               A beautiful hawk flew down from the sky, and landed on the chest of The Great Prophet, and in moments he again drew breath. He was confused, but joyous. He had died and seen the face of God. He had heard His words in his heart. He kissed his man, telling him he would return, and walked to the east, to the high mountains. The bird stayed on his shoulder.
5               Five years later, he came back down. He returned to the city of his birth, now a man. At his arm was his first disciple, the dark traveler who had wandered from the far east, far beyond Mahabassa, far beyond the seas, who was known as Hiedrovik. On his shoulder was the bird, proud and noble. The Great Prophet first went to the Kieran Stronghold, and demanded to be let into the prison there. It was in a cell, chained to a wall, that his old servant was found, imprisoned for all believed he had drowned his master years before. “Walk free, good friend,” The Great Prophet told him, “And serve no man, for you are now given to God, and He declares that your suffering must now end. And so did this servant, Zanik, find himself free and at The Great Prophet’s arm as his second disciple.
6               He spoke in the streets of the Word of God. “We are all His Spirit. Our Souls are the very essence of God. They are pure fragments of his will, poured into our flesh, gifts of his love for us.” In the streets, he was asked, “Is this all men, and all women, be they Futran or Kieran or Mahaban or Kindric?” And the Great Prophet said that God touches us all, every man and woman. In the streets, he was asked, “If we are all the essence of God, then why are some men wicked?” “The flesh of the body is of the earth, and like the clay we built with, it sometimes can crack, it sometimes can break,” said The Great Prophet, “God did pour our souls in our flawed bodies, for it was no test of our goodness were there not the possibility of temptation, unless we can fail. He knows of this, that we can be wicked, so it is all the more great when we are holy and pure.”
Happy holidays, one and all.  

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