- 1 Religion and Beliefs held by the S'Kra Mur
- 2 The Immortals
- 2.1 The Trinity and the Singularity
- 2.2 The World Dragon
- 3 Sources
Religion and Beliefs held by the S'Kra Mur
First, it is important to note that the information below is not an exhaustive list of the beliefs held by S'Kra Mur. Nor is it as highly detailed as it could be. There are multiple links throughout this page and at the bottom that link to a variety of sources where more details can be found on nearly every topic below.
It is not uncommon for a S'Kra Mur to take a particular piety towards any of the Thirteen. Much like the other races in Elanthia, the variety of belief found may also be found in a S'Kra Mur. Everything from personal experience, morals, ethics, and the environment they grew up can shape which of the Thirteen a S'Kra may take to. For example, it may not be entirely uncommon for someone from Sraan Smolg, known for its seafarers, to venerate Eluned, Drogor, or Lemicus.
The Trinity and the Singularity
Perhaps the most commonly held belief among the S'Kra Mur is the adherence to their origin story. This belief asserts that the S'Kra Mur were first created by Ushnish and given the gifts of strength and intelligence. Hav'roth and Peri'el then bestowed six additional gifts each upon the creatures. The Eight Gifts are widely believed to be what separates a S'Kra Mur from being nothing more than a beast.
The Singularity is a long-held concept, developed by Urshaanin. The Singularity is centered around the belief that a S'Kra Mur holds a certainty of being created through the invention of Hav'roth (via his aspects) and thus a reflective certainty of what it means to live in honor. Because of this, a S'Kra Mur will hold Hav'roth and his aspects first within their souls, they are the creators of all S'Kra. This belief itself does not extend toward the dismissal of other gods or prevent any S'Kra Mur from choosing to honor another god for their virtues as well.
Hav'roth, a neutral god, is considered the chief deity of the proud people. One of the two large temples within the city of Muspar'i is devoted to him. He is believed to have not only given the the Gifts of the Mind to the S'Kra, but also to have, along with Peri'el, given the gift of shorter snouts to the S'Kra Mur of Qi'Reshalia. It should be noted, a neutral aspect is not always kind and giving -- Hav'roth is also known for his great, earth-shattering rage. It is this very rage that is told to have been the reason the first land of the S'Kra Mur was sundered into what is now Qi'Reshalia.
- Gifts of the Mind
- Language, Creativity, Magical Talent.
The Sons of Hav'roth
The destruction of the first land is a tale that begins with three brothers, Mhalush, Dhrakhh, and Zaarin. The eldest of the brothers, Zaarin was to wed the Maiden of Peri'el Norayaz, but the youngest, Dhrakhh, became jealous and violated the ru'at -- Hav'roth's own ru'at. More of this tale can be read in the History of Muspar'i.
The dark aspect Ushnish is known as the Serpent of Discord. He wields a staff called Indakar Grkhh'a (Bringer of Thunder). It is believed that he first created the S'Kra as monstrous beasts in which to torment Humans with. Those that worship Ushnish will often do so not for their own protection, but to gain his favor and call the curse of his gifts -- disease, flood, famine -- upon their enemies.
While not a religious group, the Fangs certainly venerated Ushnish with their actions. They were a fleet of S'Kra Mur sailors credited with both suppressing piracy and being raiders themselves. They were first theorized by First King of Reshalia, Sarkhhl, and said to have formed during the reign of his son, Srethati. They were utterly destroyed in 931 BL by the Gorbesh.
The light aspect Peri'el is featured in many stories among the S'Kra and for good reason. It is her Gifts of the Tail / Heart that are believed to be the final piece to making the S'Kra Mur into the people they are. Along with Hav'roth, Peri'el is also credited in a tale for giving shorter snouts to the S'Kra Mur of Qi'Reshalia.
Peri'el is most known for her part in the World Dragon lore and is believed to keep watch over it, keeping it lulled to sleep by singing. S'Kra Mur consider her to be the patron of war veterans, as before the coming of the World Dragon, she was considered one of the greatest warriors among the Immortals. The battle with the Dragon permanently maimed her right leg and left her without a left eye.
- Gifts of the Heart / Tail
- Honor, Love, Pride.
Originally formed in Reshalia by High Priest of Peri'el Maligen, the Ru'atin are comprised entirely of female S'Kra Mur. They are primarily Clerics and Bards, though there are historic notes proving that others are accepted as well. The Sisters are broken into four septs and their purpose is to strengthen and aid Peri'el in her eternal task of keeping the World Dragon asleep. Entry into the sisterhood is noted to be difficult, even more so in modern days due to their reclusive nature.
- The Four Septs
- Tuul (Silver) - Often quiet and shy, the gentlest of the Ru'atin hold the soprano.
- Tan'yi (Copper) - The most devoted to Peri'el's music, they play a wide variety of instruments and they hold the alto.
- Malk (Gold) - Proudly, reverent of the virtues of the tail, and often lawmakers, they hold the tenor.
- Dai (Steel) - Valorous warriors, they hold the bass in a low, rhythmic chant.
- Maligen - High Priest of Peri'el that formed the Ru'atin Peri'el.
- Renrosali - First Singer of Peri'el. Current leader of the Ru'atin.
- Sarkhhl - First King of Reshalia. Said to have decreed the creation of the sisterhood.
- Shrada - Member.
- Tasrhhsu - Member.
- Vithhanami - Voice of Peri'el.
The World Dragon
Those that worship the World Dragon are a widely varied group that has evolved over the years. Their belief is that the World Dragon was born from the fourth moon, Grazhir. Once hatched, the Dragon was drawn to Elanthia's inner fire and attacked. The Immortals battled the Dragon, and during this fight, Katamba's face was blackened by the World Dragon's fire. Once the Dragon was weakened, Phelim cast the sands of sleep upon it and Peri'el took up Phelim's sand and a harp before she descended into the inner earth where she sang to the Dragon, keeping it lulled to sleep.
Sect of Sh'kial
Formed during times of discontent and poverty within the Empire of the Seven Pointed Star, the Sect of Sh'kial began in 255BV and taught that the World Dragon should be appeased and pacified through worship. Sacrifices of existential offerings (roses, pearls, flowers, wine), not dissimilar from those given to the Thirteen, are given to the Dragon and rituals are performed in its honor.
Sh'kial's theory was that, through worship and devotion, the temperamental personality of Elanthia could be controlled and prevented. If the World Dragon was appeased, then It would cease its rumblings and a golden age of Peace could be achieved. The Ru'atin Peri'el tolerated those of his Sect, believing them to ultimately be harmless. It was during Sh'kial's leadership that the Temple to the World Dragon was constructed in Muspar'i.
Sh'kial's teachings gained popularity among the S'Kra Mur of his time and he acquired a sizeable following. One of his most notable followers was Dzree, who later twisted Sh'kial's teachings and spread her beliefs to many others. When Sh'kial spoke against Dzree's sacrifice of Humans, Elves, and sometimes S'Kra Mur the Dragon, Dzree named him a heretic and took control over the Priesthood. It is often said that Dzree assassinated him, but the deed itself was done by a student of hers. Sh'kial died in 215BV.
Today, very little of the Sect of Sh'kial survives, primarily due to the events that followed the death of Sh'kial. Those that do follow the beliefs of the Sect of Sh'kial are often cagey or reclusive about admitting their beliefs to anyone.
- Sh'kial - First known leader of the Dragon Priests.
- Shehhgi - Serzyn's brother and rumored to have been a S'Kra Kor. Claimed to follow Sh'kial's way.
Sect of Dzree
The primary belief held by those of the Sect of Dzree is that only with living sacrifice can one both honor and appease the World Dragon -- or at least this is the simple way in which their beliefs differed from the path of Sh'Kial. Very quickly, Dzree pushed forth the belief that those who were fashioned in the shape of the Great Dragon should hold power over all others. And as she neared her death, she preached not of an age of Peace, but of a great war and of waking the Dragon in order to bring about the end of the world. The following belief to this is, of course, that those that wake the Dragon will live and inherit the land. What beliefs the remenants of this sect continue to hold today are often presented without the Dragon-waking.
Dzree's sect began forming shortly before she assassinated her former mentor, Sh'kial. Dzree took the harmless, fanatical beliefs of Sh'kial and twisted them down a darker path: living sacrifice. Naming herself High Priestess, she led her sect of Dragon Priests into a strong militant power that became known as the Dragon Priest Empire. The empire conquered much of the Five Realms. It was during this time that many S'Kra Mur began referring to her as The Hag and The Nameless One, either out of fear or disgust.
At the height of their power, the empire had managed to completely destroy the Bard's guild and decimate nearly all of the Ru'atin Peri'el. Dzree's renowned hatred of Bards is noted to have stemmed from shouldering the hopes and dreams of a destiny of becoming one of the most exalted Ru'atin Peri'el assured to her, only to miserably fail her entry examination. The biting sting of having her "destiny" ripped away from her led to a dislike that extended to all singers and a hatred for Bards that was firmly cemented when S'zella humiliated her within her own citadel.
The Priests of Dzree's sect are credited with the creation of many foul creatures, including the Adan'f. The Adan'f are largely considered part of the Empire and make up a sizeable portion of the Empire's military power.
Though Dzree was ultimately defeated, the Dragon Priest Empire remained a scourge in the southern lands and rose to brief power again under Hhrsaraa, who claimed to be a daughter of Dzree and gave herself the title Dragon Priest Empress. The Empire fell to disorganized chaos once again when Hhrsaraa was killed. Today, the Sect of Dzree and thus the Dragon Priest Empire is little more than a pale shadow of its past.
Much more detail on this sect can be found here on the Dragon Priest Empire page.
- Dzree - First leader of the Dragon Priest Empire.
- Hhrsaraa - Deceased Dragon Priest Empress.
- Serzyn - Grand Arbiter to Hhrsaraa. Controls korograths.
- Shaarl - Former General of Hhrsaraa's Dragon Priest Empire. Betrayed Hhrsaraa and Serzyn.
- The Adan'f
- Fatave - Leader of the Blood Warriors.
- Iszanua - Dollmaker.
- Vaktarr - Leader of the Shadow Mages.
- Valthyrz - Chief Intercessor.
- Vigther - Leader of the Adan'f. Killed Zaevas.
- Xerasyth - Former leader of the Adan'f, now a S'Kra Mur Necromancer.
- Zaevas - Former Shadow General. Deceased.
A modern generation of Dragon Priest that prefer to be called Servants of the Dragon was first seen around 369 AV. It should be noted that this group was first written about a fair amount of time before Hhrsaraa took control of the Dragon Priest Empire and long before Ael'tharaxus became the Emperor.
The Servants diverge from the former sects in their beliefs. Firstly, those of the newer generation dislike the term Dragon Priest and feel the term evokes memories of the sect of Dzree and her Empire. They also believe the term is not accurate. Rather than believing in purely sacrifice, the Servants refer to their following as a calling and believe they are communicated with directly.
The Servants, who also refer to themselves as Called by the Master, Dragon Worshippers, Dragon-Called, The Called, and many other things center their practice around humility and eschew political power as a means to an end. They prefer to act directly as both the voice and hand of their Master.
Those that practice these newly formed beliefs are rare and hard to find. Their motives remain a mystery, though by and large, they are considered a dangerous group by virtue of their the nature of their worship alone.
- Sskriveis - First Among the Master's Chosen.
- Skrissin - Associate of Sskriveis.
- Vhess - Smozh Worked for Skrissin as a mercenary.
Modern Dragon Priest Empire (401 AV)
Upon his appearance, the Dragon Ael'tharaxus announced himself as the Emperor of the Dragon Priest Empire. While we have seen a reduction in the numbers that appear to have followed the Sect of Dzree's beliefs, there is not much known about the practices and beliefs of the current empire.
- Former S'Kra Mur Champion GMs Ellerina, Porlock, Basilisc
- Dzree: Empress of Death
- Elanthian Timeline
- Histories of the Lohigi'hhs'ur
- History of Mer'Kresh
- History of Muspar'i
- History of the Ru'atin Peri'el
- Kalag's Memoirs
- Isth'hhtaw'hhs Shh'oiyvh-ur - (The Traditions/Ways of the Dragon)
- Legend of the World Dragon
- Religions of Elanthia
- The Ru'atin Peri'el
- The Singers of Aesry Surlaenis'a
- S'Kra Landing Upon the Eastmost Island
- The Ways of the S'Kra Mur
- Urshaanin's Singularity