Followers of Fertility
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The Followers of Fertility, alternatively called "Wiluwem" (Yagazai: Wiyʻ-luwm, wijʔ:luwm) is a religion that seems to have first been followed by the high priest and philosopher Jokes. The religion's primary goal is to pray to and worship each of its three Gods, each representing a different type of fertility. In their pantheon, the most well-known God is Sinep, who is the chief deity and usually who the high priest wishes to represent. The Followers of Fertility wish to spread their word, but are mostly quite peaceful, wishing not war or any form of conflict upon others.
Sinep is the chief deity of the pantheon, he represents Male Fertility. He is ruler over the other two Gods and was said to be born when the first animals were put on Earth. He ensures that the male of every species on the planet can produce healthy offspring. Besides this he is also a God of Peace and Love, wishing his followers to show love to each other and not wage war. He is also the father of the other two Gods, having created them from his own essence, and he is husband to Latineg.
Sinep's symbol is the head of a pink pig, from varying angles, with a pink curly line going down from the pig head.
Latineg is the wife of Sinep, making her an important counterpart to him. She represents Female Fertility. She was born when Sinep chose to split two parts of himself into two additional Gods and is responsible for the creation of the female sex. She ensures female creatures of their respective species remain fertile and can healthily carry a child for the entirety of its growth, or that they can lay healthy eggs in the case of oviparous creatures. Besides this she also is a God of Love and Happiness, assuring that those happily married can be happy with each other.
Latineg's symbols are either a white or yellow bunny with a single red eye able to be seen from the side of its head, or with a pink peach with a cut in it.
Etartenep is its own being, mostly separate from the other two Gods. Though associated with them due to its connection to Sinep, it does not associate with them further. Etartenep is genderless, though it's often presumed male by native Yagazai speakers. It is the Deity of land fertility and represents all plant growth. It is its job to make sure that all plants in the land grow and that nothing dies without reason, it also is responsible for decomposing that that is dead. It is also known to be a Deity of Balance and Law, representing the lawfulness of nature. It is also one of the most worshipped in the pantheon, due to farmers or gardeners often praying to it.
Its symbol is depicted as a crushed pinecone, or otherwise, a brown seed laying on a green surface.
Wiluw theology is polytheistic, as it suggests the existence of a multitude of Gods. The Gods worshipped are all fertility Gods, they are worshipped for crops to grow and also for reproduction to go smoothly. Although the Followers-only worship one of or all of the three Gods in the pantheon, they are open to the idea that possibly other Gods do exist. Besides the Gods, the only supernatural being that also is considered to exist is who they call Ch̊ìrf. Ch̊ìrf is the personification of death, often represented by a creature resembling a Wither Skeleton that does not show its face, sometimes it wears black robes and it has been represented wielding a stone hoe. Ch̊ìrf is a creature all people fear, and after death, it is believed that it will guide you down into the waterfall of blood. Ch̊ìrf's name translates to "The Ancient" and in some text, it's mentioned it existed before life itself.
The three Gods are all immortal, unable to age or attain injury. However they are not all-powerful, and even though they have immense power they cannot do everything. They are omnibenevolent though, and when humanity does not anger them they pay with kindness for the smallest of good deeds. Though even their omnibenevolence can be tested, as in moments throughout history the Gods have had to punish humanity for their sins to stray them back to the right path.
The Gods don't speak of their personal lives, and their acts when not doing something for their followers are not exactly known. When the Gods speak with their followers or fulfill their wishes they usually act very human, as a way of making them feel safe when talking to their God. While the Gods do not come down to Earth, they have appeared in the dreams of their followers before, Sinep usually in the form of a pig or boar of some kind, Latineg as a bunny, and Etartenep (most rarely) as a berry bush. They also speak to their followers at times during pray or rituals, but this is mainly only toward those who are long-time devoted or chosen for one reason or another. If the Gods speak to a priest, they are usually promoted to High Priest, though this is rarely done with women due to the disbelief that the Gods wish for women to lead their followers (Due to a slight patriarchalism).
Sometimes a priest is chosen to represent a God, in this case, they may or may not be gifted with incredible abilities or an artifact. This is usually a High Priest, and while it doesn't grant a higher position in the hierarchy, it does grant more respect to a member for such reason. Sinep is the only one who has chosen representatives in the past, his current representative is High Priest Jokes.
Due to two out of three Gods being peace Gods, it is a strong belief that all war is evil. Anyone who waged war in the past and hasn't shown that they have changed their way will not be allowed into the religion as an official member, though they can pray to Sinep or Latineg for forgiveness.
When a person dies, their soul remains in the body until it is noticed by Etartenep and decomposed. Once a body decomposes, the soul can safely leave the body, but without a body, it cannot remain in this dimension and it will find its way to the Great Dark. Once in the Great Dark, they are inevitably going to be lost, as there is no sense of direction in this pitch-black dimension. Once there, it can vary how long the wait is, but eventually, Ch̊ìrf will always find the lost soul. Once found, Ch̊ìrf safely guides the soul down the Waterfall of Blood, where they will travel for a day before reaching the Afterlife. Once in the afterlife, your soul can wait weeks, months, or sometimes even years for a suitable vessel in the world of the living, before your body reincarnates. There are no known set rules for what the requirements for such reincarnation are, besides that, you will always be reborn as the same creature, but of the opposite sex.
When a mortal is chosen in life or does something that causes great joy to the Gods, it is a possibility they will be picked out of the Great Dark by the Gods themselves. When this happens, they are offered to live with the Gods on Imref Ch̊u Whal, literally translating to God their throne. If they accept they will no longer be allowed contact with the world of the living or the dead. They will live beside the Gods and be allowed a spectator seat in their daily lives. They will be given an immortal body, along with all of the riches of the Gods, but not their power. If a mortal accepts the influence of living with the Gods will most likely turn them away from any possible evil or corruption. However, a mortal soul may deny the choice to live with the Gods in favor of the reincarnation cycle, knowing that they will never be able to truly live again can leave some longing for it which is the main reason anyone would refuse the offer. Whether anyone has accepted isn't written in any source, since nobody knows whether this is true or not, some believe it and others don't.
The Followers of Fertility are somewhat short on tales, they talk about various stories, often varying quite a bit, but not many exist. Their tales usually speak of mortals associated with the Gods in their actions, and some of the most popular tales are those speaking of the corruption of humanity, and the temporary break in benevolence from the Gods, resulting in the creation of certain tragedies.
The Story of Fgad
The story of Fgad is a tragic one. Fgad was born, only to be abandoned by his mother and father in a swamp. They left him there to rot for whatever reason, and he was lucky he learned to walk on his own and managed to live from the swamp. Some say the story makes no sense because of this, and add on that it is incomplete and that most likely a wolf defended him and fed him up to a certain age. Either way, he lived to the age of 17, eating fungi he knew weren't poisonous and the occasional fruit that grew on trees. He used a cave as a shelter from the threatening creatures within the swamp, but one day a wolf entered the swamp and stared at him for the entirety of the day. When the day ended the wolf left with the sun, and he went to sleep only for said wolf to appear in his dreams, this time bigger and simply greater. It introduced itself as Sinep, the God of Fertility, he came to him after realizing he's lived a life of dread, and only a blessing from the Deity Etartenep most likely let him survive. Fgad was confused, unsure what the purpose was of this dream, but to this Sinep replied he had to go east immediately when he woke, and then the dream ended. When the man woke the sun was still rising, and once it hit relatively the highest spot it would, he followed the direction of the sun and continued going that way. He walked for exactly two days, before he finally reached what looked like a village. He had never interacted with other men before, but he was filled with unnatural courage and entered the village. It was a farming village, and though it had quite a few buildings it was still small compared to cities or towns, Fgad did not know this so was in awe at the number of people walking around. After walking through the village a bit, a rather short man with a greying beard asked for what his business was, when Fgad said he wished to become a citizen, the man narrowed an eyebrow at first, asking why he'd wish to join. After Fgad explained the dream and the wolf telling him to come here, the man smiled widely, he introduced himself as High-Priest of the Temple of Wiluwem and explained to Fgad that the Gods had come to him. They took Fgad in, two years later he found a wife he loved and married her and all was quite good for a time.
Come to an Age of Tyranny, over 30 years after Fgad found the village, he was a man in his 50s now and was the new High-Priest of the Temple. After a few months of silence of their kingdom, which was common so nobody thought anything of it, a man wearing dark armor and a horse with iron armor approached the city followed by men many more men riding horses. The man introduced himself as Dupe, the commander of the new army that was working under the new Emperor's name. They had come to convert the village into their own officially after they had raided and taken over the previous Kingdom. The villagers were shocked at this, but when the man demanded to have 50% of all their farming goods as tax, they explained they did not have that kind of material as giving all of that would leave them starving for the month. This upset the man quite a bit, and he ordered his men to kill some of the people, Fgad was knocked to the side by a horse and was safe from the chaos. Many women, children, and elders were killed that day, including one of his four children and his wife. That day Fgad mourned the death of his wife, just like many mourned the death of their family. After giving the men what they requested the day came to an end with the men riding away on horseback at dusk. That night when Fgad went to sleep a familiar wolf appeared in his dreams, accompanied by the bunny that was Latineg and a crushed pinecone that was Etartenep. The Gods explained they were very displeased with the new Emperor and his deeds and wanted him to bring an end to him. When Fgad questioned how he would do this, the Gods explained that it would all be clear the morning he awoke. The pinecone too spoke, saying he would bless the village with perfect crops so that they could make up for their loss if he succeeded in bringing an end to the Emperor.
So the next morning, a book was next to his bed that was not there before, he read through it and realized this was what the Gods spoke of, he immediately requested for a horse, to which the villagers gave him the only horse they had and told him to be safe. He said he would as the Gods looked over him, and he made his way to where he was told the capital was. It was a four-night journey, with a couple of stops to eat what he had brought until he arrived at the capital during the night. He had to camp the last night in the forest outside of the city due to them not letting others in during the night. When he got into the city he demanded to come before the Emperor, and once he was refused once a powerful feeling came over him, as his voice echoed when he told the man not to make him ask again. He was let before the Emperor, after being given the go-ahead to speak he pulled out the book gifted to him by the gods and read over it page by page.
"I speak for the lords Sinep, Latineg, and Etartenep with these words, all I say is their will and choose to ignore it and you will find great sorrow. Choose to follow as I say and you will be rewarded greatly. These are the rules set by the Gods in ancient times, times before civilization made to keep mortals from destroying the world they worked on, the nine pages of this book can stand for all Gods that may be out there, so be it yours or be it mine, all Gods go by these rules for mortal kind.
Thee shalt not did hurt thy jointress in any shapeth or form.
Thee shalt not has't sexual intercourse with a issue or non-consensually.
Thee shalt not taketh the jointress of thy neighbor to thy bed.
Thee shalt at each moment showeth loveth to nature and all living beings.
Thee shalt never wage war voluntarily.
Thee shalt respect both peasant and gentle.
Thee shalt followeth the law of the landeth thee liveth in, and not introduceth rules yond shall bringeth sorrow.
Thee shalt never attempteth to breaketh the balanceth between mortal and God, and never declare yourself as the other.
Thee shalt not refuseth to followeth the directeth word of the Gods.
These rules were written and told to me by my Gods, and I wish to remind you that these are unbiased in any way, as the Gods themselves wrote them. Choose to defy these, and your days will not last long, and I suggest you not to question the benevolence of my Gods."
The Emperor was enraged, not believing a word that came out of his mouth and shouting that until the last day of his rule he'll make sure Fgad suffers. With that Fgad ripped out the final page and a bright light came forth from him. When he spoke next, it was the Chief Deity himself, Sinep speaking through him. He told the Emperor that if he dared to make a move towards any of his people, or broke any of these rules, he'd make sure the rule would be bestowed to his only son at the time. He moved to the son of the Emperor who was 4 at the moment of this happening, when guards were called it only took a word from the God to make them kneel. When he touched the toddler's forehead, he assured the Emperor the child had been blessed with almost Godly benevolence and he would make sure the child was nothing like him. With that, Fgad who was still in control of Sinep left the castle and road back. Once he returned Sinep left Fgad's body and he fell over without energy but awoke healthily the next morning.
A few days later, the Emperor was found out to have been affected by an unknown disease and not even a week later died of it. When he died his wife took control of the Empire, but she did not do much as Empress, but once the son came of age he ruled as the new ruler, bringing it back to its former glory and reestablishing it as a Kingdom, the people happy with their new king, the rest of Fgad's story was happy, and the rest is history.
The Gods' Punishment
This tale does not get set the same whenever retold, all that is known takes place in an age of great evil, with many tyrants roaming the land, many wars happening and sin being greater than ever. The Gods were watching down on the mortals and had decided after fifty years of this they had decided it was enough and intervened. For the first time in millennia, the Gods appeared from the heavens and struck mortal kind with great tragedy. When Sinep and Latineg created their tragedy, they created a plethora of transmittable diseases and infections and infected a number of people and Etartenep created infertile soil and was also responsible for the creation of the deserts. It took over a century for human civilization to recover from this, and by then the new generation had come around and humanity was much less evil. The Gods had done their work, but the tragedies remained as scars on all of mortal kind.
The morality of the Followers of Fertility depends on them following the Nine Rules of Fgad. They require law and must follow the rules of all the lands they are in, unless if deemed unjust in which case they must pray for guidance. They wish to stay balance, so it's a great taboo to try to overthrow any balance, be it between life and death, nature and destruction, or any other of those. One of the greatest taboos that will be met with being marked as a traitor to the High-Priest is waging or condoning war. If war breaks out you cannot get involved, even if forced by your country you are to stand against any orders to go to war. Murder is no taboo as long as you do not kill in large numbers for no reason, you may also not attack the priests of this religion.
Wiluwem worship happens at least once every week, on the divine day which Wednesday is to them. Every Wednesday they pray to all their Gods around noon before they eat lunch, and once again in the evening before going to sleep. They do regular full prayer, though for priest families it is a practice they also eat no meat or protein-rich products this day. It is sometimes also a practice that they go to sleep early, usually three hours before their regular sleeping schedule, so it varies from person to person, though this practice is ignored if a married couple chooses to have sexual intercourse on that Wednesday instead.
Public worship only happens if the town a Follower of Fertility lives in has a Temple of one or all of the Gods. Usually, the local priest of the temple will stand at a pedestal and hold a short speech showing gratitude to the Gods before worship concludes. The worship is similar, the only difference being the lack of being in the middle of the room they're in if they're with a large crowd. For those not wed, it is usually normal to kiss the cheek of another person that is not wed, most commonly of the opposite gender.
A number of people only worship this religion for personal reasons such as wishing for healthy children or farmers worshiping Etartenep for their crops. This individual God worship is known as Monolatry which is common among regular folk who do not fully follow the practices of Wiluwem. Monolatry is accepted by all members of the Followers, though it is less respected than worshiping all three of the Gods. However, those who worship at least one of the Gods count as a Follower of Fertility, though cannot become a priest unless they pray to all. People who follow Monolatry may not follow the weekly worship, and often just worship before an activity, such as a farmer praying for their crops to grow or a pregnant woman praying for her child to grow healthily.
Sacrificing anything living to the Gods is not allowed, the Gods do not take living sacrifices and it will simply get you a bad reputation. Some people send sacrifices of food or other non-living objects, but it is widely accepted they don't ask for sacrifices so it is not a common practice.I
The Followers of Fertility pray to all of their Gods at once, though they may specify which God they wish to pray to depend on their reasoning for the prayer. The way they pray is quite simplistic, as they pray to stand in the middle of the room with their eyes closed, their hands together, and pushed against their chest. They usually do this quickly in the form of a short prayer throughout the day when doing certain activities, though a full prayer usually takes five to ten minutes of them reciting their loyalty to the Gods, the Nine Rules of Fgad, and afterward simply stating the wishes they have for the Gods, usually, this being to remain healthy and fertile, and to have growing crops.
Rarely, prayer can be a different type of prayer, this alternative prayer being done on one knee with your index and middle finger on your forehead and your palm covering your left eye while you push your thumb into your closed right eye. This prayer, unlike the regular prayer, is done when asking for acceptance or forgiveness from the Gods, usually after breaking one of the Nine Rules of Fgad or while in exile. Warmongers that wish to change their way and join the Followers of Fertility must do this daily for 20 days in front of the priests to be accepted into the religion, prayers like this usually taking up to five minutes of them asking for forgiveness or acceptance, and then reciting the Nine Rules of Fgad continuously until deemed enough for that day.
Sexual intercourse within Wiluwem is strongly related to their religion, due to their worship of both the Gods responsible for reproduction to be possible. They believe their Gods to be responsible for everything that happens during and after intercourse and if anything goes wrong they assume they upset the Gods in some way. The Followers of Fertility support safety during intercourse and do not test the Gods' benevolence, so unless looking to have a child, men are usually careful not to accidentally impregnate their partner, especially if they are not married. They are allowed to have intercourse with women they are not married to as long as they do not have a partner at the time, though it is frowned upon to impregnate a woman before wedding them.
Before having sexual intercourse, it is required for all people involved to pray for at least five minutes for safety during the intercourse, along with complimenting the God Sinep or Latineg respectfully, depending on your gender. After prayer they are free to have intercourse, often this is done somewhat early in the evening, as Followers of Fertility are not allowed to still be having intercourse after 30 minutes before midnight. They are allowed to be awake but usually are asleep once midnight hits to be prepared for the next day.
When a wedded pair decide to have a child or multiple children, they usually come to this decision a day before attempting this. They both pray to Sinep or Latineg for about five minutes, before both praying to Latineg for another five minutes for luck with a healthy delivery. After an attempt, they cannot have intercourse for four months, if no signs of pregnancy have appeared they are allowed to try again. Having intercourse with a pregnant woman is strongly frowned upon due to the fact that it is believed to be harmful to the child. Their religion also prevents them from having intercourse anywhere between mid-spring to mid-summer, due to the difficulty it brings to the woman for the last three months to be in the winter. If this happens it's common for the husband to be asked to leave along with a couple of medics so that the last few months can be spent on a hotter climate, preferably tropical.
The Followers of Fertility have only a couple of Holidays, celebrating is usually done on free days to thank the Gods for their kindness, though celebrating and thanking the Gods does not count as a Holiday. On holidays there is a good number of activities done, and it usually involves taking time off from work for an extended time, though it is not ever over eight days.
There is a day known as natively Iony-Ne, but often shortened to Ione which uniquely changes its date whenever a new High-Priest rises to the position. Priest Day starts on the High-Priest's birthday and ends on the Wednesday after. During the first day, it is often simply a gathering of all the Priests, congratulating the High-Priest on this day. The following days are days people do not work, they take the days off and often celebrate in their own personal ways. During this time people treat themselves with a cake or pie that they eat over the course of these days. It's also used for friends and family alike to gather and come together. On the final day, everyone comes together with their family to do their Wednesday prayers, before bidding each other farewell, and either the rest of the day is returning home, or just relaxing. The day after they get back to work.
They also have a day in the month of May on the 15th, which is called Flower Day. It's a single day on the 15th of May on which they celebrate the burial of Fgad, who was burrowed in the most beautiful flower field in the land. It is celebrated by simply running or laying in flower fields for most of the noon. In the morning they have a prayer to specifically Fgad, though also all other High-Priests before and after him. They pray regularly after saying their prayer to Fgad and then usually have a moment of silence for 10 minutes. In the evening of this day a lot of married people decide to have sexual intercourse before going to bed, though usually without the intent of having a child.
As of right now, there are no temples built to this religion, though you could count the town known as the Temple of Wiluwem as a temple, it is more of a religious town. Temple constructions have been planned by JokesExists, but he has yet to think of a good architecture for the building. The blocks a temple is made out of will be based on the biome and architecture of the town or city, however, so none of the Temples are supposed to look the same.