Tajaran Minor Religions

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Minor Religions

Raskariim

Raskariim, commonly known as The Cult of Raskara, is a prolific cult on Adhomai. The religion was founded on Adhomai as a result of free commerce, a few human members have been recorded. While Raskara may seem like a single deity it is in fact split into three aspects, each one leading down a different path and seemingly every path subverting something S'rendarr and Messa stand for.

Calling it a cult is in a way a tongue-in-cheek joke for most members; truly the most numerous members of this "cult" are not cultists at all. They are merely rebels, punks and other subversive elements who wish to go against the mold. The history and background of Raskara provided an excellent way to evoke themselves on the conscience of the Tajara people as something new and something to be afraid of. Clubs and underground metro stations have become the usual hangout for these sorts of people, with the "Lock and Key" club located in Crevus being the most popular. However, unbeknownst to most, there may be a true evil lurking beneath the cover of an anti-establishment movement.

These cults are not against the law per se but the common practices and lives these cultists live usually result in their arrest on other charges. The rural countryside is a different story as very often these discovered cultists will see themselves end up in a noose strung up by the overzealous villagers. The Parivara titles the Raskariim as heretics of the highest degree and warns that they should be cleansed, re-educated or eliminated as soon as possible. The recent changes in government and public opinion on working camps have greatly impeded this effort and resulted in a larger amount of Tajara assigning themselves to this group, simply because they hold anti-governmental sentiments, are fans of Bloodstorm or are rebellious. This is also beginning to change how the general public views them, as the group is being diluted by more “normals” and transforming into a movement rather than a religion.

There are 2300 registered members on Adhomai but there are speculations on how many unregistered members exist, with many of them under arrest or active watch. Even the famous Vargir Stenovich, the lead singer of the DPR band “Skaam’chirr” (Bloodstorm), identifies himself as a Raskara cultist. However, the history of Raskariim is much richer than the usual common Tajara would know. It is rumored that there is a deeper hidden layer to this semi-religious movement, but any attempts by the authorities to investigate are strangely impeded by mysterious happenstances.

Door and Key

“Officer she had not meant it, they must understand, one works and works the husband comes home late and tired, the kids they scream all day, well how is a poor tajara housewife supposed to unwind?” – confession of Inika Zizer, convicted of adultery in the summer of 2444.

Drinking, eating, drug-taking and zero restraint in regards to anything and everything, it’s the most tempting aspect as it eats away at one's decency and undermines the basics of S'rendarrand Messa. Door and Key aspect unlock the forbidden pleasures, leading one down a slippery slope as they partake in more and more vices. A single drink leads to a whole bottle, a small bite to a whole meal and a single cigarette to Venusian ecstasies. The further one goes the harder it is to go back until eventually, they realize the only way to satiate their normalcy is to drag others down with them hoping to corrupt them to a similar state they find themselves in. This cult can be found in many ‘normal’ locations, simple bars, taverns, circuses, and nightclubs are popular areas. This serves as an excellent cover for the true intents of the “inner cabal” members. Thus while these clubs are the ones most often “busted” by the police and investigators, they’re also the ones who tend to reappear the most often. Tragically, usually the members caught are naught but simple party-goers or surface-level initiates and so the party goes on.

King of Maggots

“…so he delivered the package and the next day he woke up with his debt gone. Of course, after that, I had to deposit 200 credits into a different account but thanks to that his wife got her medicine which the doctors said she couldn’t get! But he had to change jobs for his own job to be worked by someone else and then move houses so another could solve the issue with the car and then he, he realized he was living the life of someone else.” - confession of Iliy Al-Tahara, convicted of driving a car without a license in the summer of 2460.

How many times have we wanted to trade our lives with someone else, how many times did you want your issues to go away, how many times did you want those who you love to get what they need? This aspect entertains that idea, like a maggot it feeds on the corpse of your life while you fall into the grave of another, avoiding the cycle of Life and Death that S'rendarr and Messa provides. The initiates of this aspect differ from the first one in the fact that they usually seek out contact themselves. No one knows how exactly this is done, and even the members who are arrested haven’t the slightest idea. The initial steps are always described in a similar fashion, deliver a certain package to a certain place without asking any questions, and you will get what you desire. Of course, the bigger the request the bigger the package. All members describe this as a spiral as they are required to do more and more dangerous and difficult tasks as payment. This is due to the fact that delivering the previous package usually has some undesired effect as a result of how arduous the task was, leading into a sort of pyramid scheme that eventually collapses in on itself. Despite the many times these practices have been uncovered, the chain always seems to reset itself not long after, suggesting some sort of structure at the top which benefits off of this racket and perpetuates it. Members of this aspect usually understand what they got themselves into, but haven’t the slightest idea of who or to whom these packages go. Those that try to find out are usually never seen again.

The Black Mirror

“He saw him in the mirror, the stranger, the Tajara who was standing on the horizon. He knew the stranger wanted to hurt his family so of course, he had to hide them! He had to or else the stranger would get them!” – confession of Mirin Il-Basil, convicted of kidnapping and unlawfully holding his family in the basement of their house for five years in the winter of 2420.

Not much of a cult as an urban myth associated with Raskara. Rarely taken seriously, it can be considered more of a fad popular with extranet weirdos and teenagers looking to showcase how brave they are to their peers. There are many extranet videos, “spookybreads” and analysis videos on extranet showcasing this ritual to be nothing but a myth; but if one were to conduct it, it goes as thus. The ritual performer needs to find a mirror made from sand off of Adhomai. They must then paint the mirror black, using the ashes from burnt S'rendarr’s Hand and Messa’s tear mixed with tar. Then they must shatter the mirror after it is painted, and that is when the game begins. It is said that whoever shattered the mirror will see a strange figure in every reflection, those reflections turned nightmarishly grey and barren as if covered in ashes. The one who shattered the mirror must avoid all reflections at any cost as the stranger gets closer each time he spots them. To succeed, it is said one must avoid the stranger for a year. If they succeed it is said they will get a wish, or a fortune or an initiation into the deeper occult; stories vary from version to version. One thing they all share in common is a reference to an infamous case in 2455, where an entire class with the exception of the teacher disappeared into thin air. The only clues being a shattered black mirror, seemingly the leftovers of the aforementioned ritual. The teacher was arrested on the account of being the only adult present there, but he testified that he had only gone out to get more snacks for the sleepover his class was having in the school. Only a few know what happened since they managed to avoid that fate themselves.

The Suns War of Harr'masir

All throughout the history of Adhomai, the Raskariim was always a secretive religion, living on the edges of society. However, ancient historical and religious texts indicate that during a certain period of the tajaran history the cult of Raskara had a large influence over the continent of Harr’masir. Around the year 2600 CE.

The empire of Azumah was affected by a succession crisis that resulted in a civil war between several claimants to the throne, rebels, and separatists. Most of Harr’masir soon turned into a lawless hinterland, controlled by bandits and warring princes, which facilitated the resurgence and spread of the faith of the Moon. Many nobles and commoners formally adopted the Raskariim as their official faith, renouncing S’rendarr, Messa and the deities of Ma’ta’ke. Temples and shrines dedicated to Raskara were built across the land of Harr’masir, and the society descended into debauchery and cruel religious rituals, including the return of ritual murder. It was a common practice for criminals and even armies to raid the colonies and other kingdoms such as the isle of Amohda, still untouched by the Raskariim.

The Parivara, distressed by the growth of the Raskariim, requested that the kingdoms and empires of Adhomai act against Harr’masir. An alliance between several monarchs and noble houses, led by the kingdom of Kaltir, organized a massive military campaign with the objective of invading the continent. The expedition landed in the coast of the sea of Ras’val and marched to the interior of the country, defeating the drunken and splintered warring princes easily. Hunting down criminals and pirates, destroying temples and killing countless priests and followers of Raskara.

It was a resounding victory which sent the Raskariim fleeing into obscurity upon which the Parivara commanded that all mentions of that cult be struck from any mention or record. Unfortunately, this action would prove a mistake as it allowed the cult to rise again hundreds of years later, now with a much friendlier and adaptive attitude to the modern Tajara lifestyle and mindset. But where Raskara goes those capable of fighting it follow, and the renewed Kin of S'rendarr.

Kin of S'rendarr

The Kin of S'rendarr is a knightly order of the Parivara church, established during the long-ago Sun Wars. The order itself had fallen out of grace during the later years, its internal hierarchy completely subservient to the Parivara and without any ties to the aristocracy made the ruling classes displeased and suspicious after the Sun Wars ended and the usual bickering between nobles had begun again. Parivara, however, continued their recruiting and eventually the amount of armed peasantry outweighed the number of aristocratic knights, leading to the monarchs at the time to enforce strict taxations and tariffs upon the order militant. Members of the Kin, unable to pay these taxations eventually started leaving the order until a small enough group remained that the aristocrats forgot to enforce this tax at all, leaving the order in irrelevance and unimportance.

Discovery of humanity, wars, suffering, and corruption have all lifted the Raskariim out of the shadows with Tajara even publicly admitting to being part of such religion. With the governments refusing to address this issue, the Parivara was forced to once again let out their order militant and increase their numbers. An act that has so far gone mostly unnoticed by the factions which expect nothing but neutrality from the Parivara. However, these new investigators have taken to the streets, trying to find and weed out any possible cultists be it with the governments' help or without it. Shining armor replaced by a heavy coat, a sword with a gun and zeal with cunning, these new investigators have begun to spread out in all directions. Curiously enough the New Kingdom had quickly cut out recruitment, imposing previously mentioned taxes and tariffs which other factions have not established.

The investigators of this order usually identify each other with Rosettes depicting S'rendarr orange sun and ritual shillelaghs they carry on their person at all times. The order accepts all Tajara above the age of 15 with the exception of women, mentally or physically handicapped or those born while Raskara, the moon, was at its peak.

Mythological Beings

Saba Yarra – A mythical old Tajara woman, usually depicted as wrapped in heavy furs and walking on tree-tall stilts. She used to be associated with seasons and Tajara would collectively gather wooden pyres upon which they would burn a doll in her likeness to celebrate the coming of spring. She is usually described as an evil spirit which freezes hunters who stray too far into the woods and eats children which she first stews in her giant cooker. Two villages in Northern Ras’nrr wish to create an official faith around her as they claim she lives in their woods. However, the suspiciously high amount of stores selling various protective charms, knick-knacks, and dolls built in their village suggests an ulterior motive.

S'Mara - S'Mara (The Orphan) is a malevolent figure appearing in Adhomai folklore and demon stories dating back many centuries. She is always said to be a disabled teenage girl, with a black weapon of some kind, and always seeks to track and kill anyone who is unfaithful to their ways. These people include those who run away from marriages, trade deals, promises, and deserters.
Photograph currently residing in Nal'Tors Museum of Mystery.

In recent history, a photo taken by an unknown cameraman with a disfigured girl standing over a seemingly rapidly decayed corpse has become the staple ‘look’ of The Orphan, and the original photo is being stored in the Nal’tor Museum of Mystery. Copies of this photo have been circulated by many generals on Adhomai on all sides of the war and is certainly a haunting figure for all would-be deserters. Witnesses to The Orphan’s presence say she gives the feeling of pure apathy as if clouding the mind and making one uncaring of their comrade's deaths. This led to many stories of soldiers saying when they saw the Orphan, they would want to leave the frontline in an act of selfishness, where they would then be killed by her.

Paspitami’rran – These beings are described as good-willed living trees. Hulking giants walking upon Adhomai compromised of small woodland spirits which actually “pilot” the massive wooden construct. They’re said to be able to change shape, speak all languages and create various magical items. In return only wanting a cup of blood and various foods.

Cae’rrin – Another shape-changer, this one is described as malicious. These shape-shifting creatures are described as “Furless Tajara” who use all four of their limbs to move, bones protruding from their body ready to be used as projectiles against un-suspecting hunters and a gigantic claw in their chest, used for sucking out the spirit of their prey. They are said to snatch babes from their crib and replace them with their own. Those children given by the Cae’rrin are described as quiet, intelligent and well behaved but also seemingly cold, unfeeling and un-empathetic. It is said that once such a child reaches the age of 16 it’ll devour both its parents and fly off into the night, to join its real parents.

Raskaren - Ancient Tajara myths describe pale figures reflecting in the moonlight of Raskara, unable to walk in the sun without the cover of shade these beasts drink blood, perform debaucherous acts and enslave young Tajara maidens to their bidding, they are called "Children of the Moon". A myth which has most likely originated from anti-noble sentiments of the time. Nobles having spent most of their time in castles usually had paler, sleeker looking fur. Scientists do note the close resemblance to the vampire folklore of humanity is quite uncanny, as Raskaren pre-date human arrival.

Tajani - The Tajani, roughly translated to "Short People", are described as tiny elderly Tajara, usually dressed casually, smoking a pipe and seem to serve as guardians of nature. They seem to belong to a similar type of creature as Paspitami'rran and been often depicted together, the smaller Tajani often hiding inside the larger Paspitami. In common folklore, they're depicted as good-willed but timid, shy and generally afraid of mortals but unafraid to use their various magical powers to fight intruders or those who dare harm nature. Spinning Tajara around until they get lost, luring poachers into their own traps and even cursing Tajara with headaches and bad luck. Often Tajara children have fun in building said Tajani from snow or building them tiny huts to live in. Hand-carved Tajani charms are said to bring good luck and so many adopt them into their trinket repertoire.

Ratajani - Short, ugly, stump-tailed and often of varying neon colors the Ratajani, roughly translated to(Bad Short People), are an evil twist on the Tajani folklore. Their nature or purpose is not exactly defined, they're usually titled as ugly, greedy and the reason for why small bad and unlucky things happen. Faulted for spoiling milk, letting out livestock, making you bump your toes and sudden emergence for bad smells, the Ratajani seem like an ultimate scapegoat. Misbehaving children are usually compared to Ratajani, but recently with the influence of foreign races, Tajara have come to use it as a slur to describe Skrell.

Ghost Cruiser DE-457 - The myth of ghost ships is prevalent in all societies and Tajara are no exception, thus it’s of no surprise that myth of a ghost ship would make its way into space. Cruiser DE-457 was to be deployed by the PRA space navy, utilizing the newest wormhole cloaking technology which was to capture light particles and release them behind the ship, turning it virtually invisible. However, it went horribly awry as the witnesses say, according to them the ship did indeed turn invisible for all of twenty seconds before teleporting exactly 89 Centimeters to the right, resulting in the entire crew being superpositioned to the ship’s hull and fusing with it. Curiously most “witnesses” share a common story of being invited to the event through a newspaper advertisement, however, no newspaper articles of that nature have been discovered. Additionally, it’s dubious to think the PRA navy would unveil an experimental piece of technology publicly. Yet many spacers have claimed that indeed if one were to fly alone in the asteroid belts of S’randmarr one would hear the screams and moans of the ghostly ship and surely see it approach.

Kihkanorra - The history of Tajara is firmly rooted in the various caves of Adhomai and so it is of no surprise that myths about these systems would surface. The most well-known is the myth of the Kihkanorra, “The Behinder”. This creatures description comes most famously from the fairy tale book of Sisters Sinisters. The well-known fairy tale entails a young boy who repeatedly disregards his parents’ warnings and ventures into the caves again and again until he eventually sees the Kihkanorra, the one thing the creature hates the most as it hates its own visage. The passage then reads; “Too late, too little, no running now. Its arms are as long as they need to be, as thin as it wants, he knew not to look and now he’ll never see again.” The myth has made a recent resurgence as exploration of Adhomais caves had begun again and the inherent danger of these abandoned and long lost caves have made eyes see what was perhaps never there.

Pan-Ahran -

“You are you, One and Two, He is Here, Three and Four, He is You, Three and Two, You are Gone, None, Pan-Ahran"

This well-known nursery rhyme, prevalent mainly on the continent of Das'nrra had been sung by children since the early Njarir period. It’s meaning is insidiously rooted inside a story which speaks of a Pan-Ahran figure, which would wait until a Tajara had bad-mouthed his neighbors. After that, the Pan-Ahran would steal the Tajaras reflection from the mirror and eventually the Tajara himself. It’s been publicly known that this story was a subtle warning against the then existing M’sai enforcers and the spies they implemented to find “subversive elements”. A small disagreement is led however as the figure doesn’t seem to resemble the enforcers or a Tajara figure at all, instead described as a black hooded figure, standing in the distance, pointing towards the onlooker on a field of dead grass.

Bolfurrrr - Most myths serve to teach a lesson or make an example out of someone, the story of Bolfurrrr exemplifies this. Bolfurrrr is described as a fat round Tajara, with large legs, big nose, big ears, and small eyes and two too many R’s in his name. He’s described as a jolly, well-meaning figure that causes mischief and trouble through his unfortunate incompetency. Adapted into film, Bolfurrrr has started to become a household icon and the pinnacle of early Tajara satirical humor. With such stories as “Bolfurrrr feeds eats the army”, “Bolfurrrr gets starts an offensive” or “Bulfurrrr tanks command the enemy”, Bolfurrrr had inadvertently become an educational figure for the troops, highlighting what they should and should not do. But for many others, the character of Bolfurrrr will forever be associated with a goofy, well-meaning Tajara that just has a streak of bad luck.

Suns Penitent

Suns Penitent are a branch of S'rendarr and Messa, officially unassociated or governed by the Parivara. Priding themselves mainly in un-involvement and purely altruistic practices the Suns Penitent boast a heavy population of over 500 000 registered Tajara, yet their public image is very unpopular. Originating very recently in 2434 the Suns Penitent have skyrocketed in popularity due to the warring conflicts, they’re purely peaceful and pacifist faction retaining their neutrality.

Their belief sways from the thought that Adhomai and its perpetual conflict exists as a punishment and that the only way to ascend to Messa’s forever is to do as much good as possible. This has given them the necessary manpower in the form of veterans, cripples, widows, and orphans all wounded by the ever-present war. Their unpopularity stems from their practices. Every member must forgo addictive substances from drugs, alcohol, and tobacco to even sugar. All members must at-least once a day try and make someone join in, this results in them going door to door and ringing or knocking on a common household where they’re usually chased off.

And lastly, they’re also known for “Mercy killing” mentally ill people and shell-shocked troops which seem beyond recovery. All of this has marked them as one of the least popular religious sects.