|Will of The Sole God|
|Scripture||Message of The Sole|
|Territory||Land of The Genesis (Omis)|
|Separated from||Religion in pre-Sole Omis|
Sole (lit. Will of The Sole God) is a monotheistic religion centered on the teachings of a 7 volume series called Message of The Sole (simply The Message) as preached by prophet Mesoah to be the unaltered word of the Sole God, or simply God. Followers of Sole are simply known as adherents, known for relentless prayer and studying of Sole and, in rare cases, masking one's natural features out of submission to God. Adherents exist in small diaspora groups located mainly in Omis, Kuthara, and Mahogany.
Adherents believe that Sole is the second-to-last testament of God's will upon Alathra until the aftermath of an event known as the Long March, a prophesized scenario in which Mesoah, the deceased prophet, is to be resurrected (as a mortal) and bring about a gathering of adherents and the 6 stars of sentience to Omis, at which point will be known as the Land of The Genesis, leading the adherents to the Point of Creation, a hypothetical spot on Alathra where it is believed that God created sentient intelligent life. Adherents also believe that sentient life is inherently imperfect, being both good and evil. It is believed that sentient life is provided with a gift of life upon birth to either willingly accept God's mercy, or oppose it.
The religion first appeared on the greater desert of Omis in 433 BC (year 0 for adherents) when Mesoah left his 5 year period of isolation in a cave after receiving his last revelation from God, with the goal of preaching his religion. After being exiled from most major cities in the greater desert at the time, Mesoah and his small following attempted to find a land (albeit mentioned once) called Mahogany, located in central Omis. The land was never found by Mesoah in his life, passing away shortly after publishing the 7 volume book. Eventually, Mesoah's companions had dispersed throughout Alathra, with the original volumes being lost for centuries until it was found being sold in a bazaar in Kuthara. The book's translation into Common made it a popular source of interest among agnostic escapists during the Valtaran Civil War, culminating in a small expedition into central Omis. The successful finding and mapping of the Land of Mahogany motivated a revival of the religion, causing a new wave of adherents to move to the region in 5 AC.
In common, the word "Sole" means simply one; implying that adherents are to absorb the testimony of the one, sole God.
Adherents as a people were historically referred to as Mesomis (wordplay of Mesoah-Omis) during it's former years, and is considered offensive by adherents due to it's implication that adherents worship prophet Mesoah rather than God.
Baseline creed in Sole is the acceptance towards the idea that intelligent/sentient life will naturally, both with or without The Message, have 6 points of diversion into differing cultures and civilizations, those being the Sea People, the Sun Children, the Forest People, the Crowns, the Curious, and the Deceivers.
In volume 2 and 3 of The Message, it is stated that any culture embodies one of the 6 stars of sentience at any point of time, with their final and most righteous act being to accept Sole and become a society of adherents.
The 6 stars are commonly depicted as 6 points inside of an octagram, surrounded by a house, symbolizing a house in the Point of Creation. The octagram is the most widely used way to symbolize Sole despite having no official status as such.
With oceans being commonly depicted as a mysterious and violent yet hospitable source of power, many civilizations gravitate towards the thought as the ocean with either religious significance or livelihood significance, due to it's ease of accessibility and resourcefulness. In volume 4, it is stated that the Sea People, if left in isolation, will naturally believe the sea to be the source of power due to it's vastness mysticism.
Often times, connection and residency towards the sea will often equate to someone being a part of the Sea People by proxy.
According to Volume 4, the sun is one of the most commonly associated entities assumed to be of a higher power, and in many cases, a deity in itself. Throughout the end of Volume 4, it is described that the Sun Children tend to develop a close relationship with the sun due to it's protection from darkness, it's close association with life, and warmth. In Volume 5 and 7, the Sun Children are unique in that they have the highest likelihood to be the most religiously sophisticated out of all other 6 Stars of sentience. In Volume 7 in particular, the uniqueness of the Sun Children are gone into detail by the Sole God:
"And in your steadfast behavior, your only true friendly rival is to be with the Sun Children. For their bravery in their steadfast belief, the mutual love that they share for that which seems endless in power, yet merciful in it's ability to nurture life, a creation, is what your lord finds beautiful and righteous. But for they, in any attempt to view the sun, is it not painful? It is not they who are misguided for believing in just but a mere custodian to the creator's creation. The Sun Children will understand, for the love of a lord they know naught exists within. For I am the most merciful, preserve every stone of their colossal work in the Land of Genesis."
- Message of The Sole, 21:2
The Forest People are mentioned briefly in Book 5 as a people who seek seclusion and sanctum within any woodland, mountain, or even plain. They are often characterized by a long tradition of motivating wisdom and preservation of old growth. In secular observation, Forest mysticism and folklore is one of the widest variety of pagan religions in Alathra, with a large swath of old-growth forest being typically populated by elves.
The Crowns are mentioned in every volume of The Message, including the single-verse 6:1. While vaguely described, the crowns typically refer to kings, monarchs, elites, and de-facto rulers of sovereign civilizations. The Crowns are diverse in nature, and typically involve a small group of people who hold absolute power, sometimes culminating in identity politics. The Crowns are first mentioned in volume 1 and 2 in their significance within the Long March, where prophet Mesoah is expected to request that adherent rulers, along with Mesoah himself, remove their crowns for the final time in a symbolic acknowledgement to God as the true ruler.
They are mentioned again in detail in Volume 2 in that the crowns of Omis, who become willingly absorbed into the Land of Genesis, become re-identified as one of three stars that most closely is associated with them, being either one of the sea people, sun children, or forest people. They are mentioned finally in Volume 4 in that when a person of power is removed when they are in adulthood, they forever remain one of The Crowns.
Sole preaches throughout all volumes that within all sentience and intelligent life, there is natural imperfection, sometimes culminating in an evil known as deception. The Deceivers are commonly mistaken for someone who may identify as one of The Crowns, most notably for the deceiver's consistent ability to become an influential figure, often as a ruler. Deceivers are known for very calculatingly courses of action in order to misguide people. It often culminates in justifications for war, stirring up hatred, denial of mercy, and never-ending selfishness.
According to volume 7, like the Crowns, the Deceivers have an ability to change this identification through adherence and repentance, becoming any other 5 of the stars.
While adherents pray in thoughts throughout most of the day, compulsory prayer happens daily at dawn and dusk in an outdoors environment. This holds true for every month except October, as it is considered the month of revelation, in which Mesoah was first greeted by the archangel who relayed God's message.
Fasting happens every Thursday, as one cannot eat or drink from dawn until dusk, unless on the brink of death, as is described in volume 5.
Starting at dawn, adherents bow their faces towards the Land of Genesis, in the greater desert region. At any point in the world, they must face this location. Dawn prayer happens shortly before breakfast, and is encouraged to happen with family and houseguests.
At sunset, either before breaking fast with dinner or as a meal is prepared and ready, a two minute prayer must take place. During this time, prayer is not guided out loud.
According to most scholars of Sole, Verse 6:1 (Volume 2) is the most sacred baseline for adherence. In a single verse, it describes the requirements of all adherents, and what God finds righteous amongst his worshippers:
"Righteousness is not in turning your faces towards the land of Genesis. Rather, the righteous are those who believe in the creator, the result of the Long March, the angels who revealed to Mesoah, the Books, and the prophet; who give charity out of their cherished wealth to relatives, orphans, the poor, needy traveelrs, beggars, and for freeing captives. Righteousness embodies those who establish prayer, and keep the pledges they make; and who are patient in times of suffering, adversity, and within the heat of battle. It is they who are true in their faith. It is they who are true in the belief of their Lord. For he is one; a merciful, and all powerful creator."
- Message of The Sole, 6:1, Volume 2
When it comes to violence, war, and self defense, scripture in every volume of Sole mention deterrence, a concept in which adherents, unlike their aggressors, will not waste energy in fighting unless as a last resort.
As a political tool, deterrence is expected to be used as a strategy of foreign policy by any adherent clan or state against a potential, and in doing so a sword called "Deterrence" is to be granted as proof of conduct to any adherent ruler.
The Long March
As a prophesized event in every volume of The Message, the Long March is an event expected to occur during the revival of Mesoah while the rest of the world is engaged in total war, which is variously interpreted as a gathering of adherents out of diaspora into the Land of Genesis in a symbolic march towards the Point of Creation. The Long March is hypothesized to end in a success if a superstate encompassing most of Omis is established with consensual permission of sovereign states, along with the civilizations who embody the 6 stars of sentience (known as The Land of Genesis).
The Land of Genesis is described by the Sole God to be "the most righteous embodiment of deterrence" and a "mutually beneficial peace-loving bastion polity of love that those capable of feeling share."
The Land of Genesis
The Long March and the Land of Genesis is first mentioned in detail in the second chapter of the first volume of the Message of the Sole:
'"Being strong coincides with being prepared for the Long March and what it entails. On the dirt your prophet breathes his final breath, there he will return a second time. You will walk, you will walk. No selection of banners of nations will divide the people of faith from the day of the Long March and onward. It will be a banner of only clean pristine white fabric. For I will guide Mesoah, your shepherd, to the Land of Genesis. The land in which your lord created sentience from but a drop of blood. [...] He will walk until the parched desert reaches the sea. [...] And if your blood is spilt by those who oppose, the white cloth will contrast the red blood. If they are to stain your clothes red, the ones who's blood were spilt will be martyrs. A palace will await for them in my kingdom to come. [...] Charisma is that of a disarming strength. Your mercy, of which will be rare in this time of skirmish, will be that of which will remove the barriers of which divide the Land of Genesis. [...] And if the faithful are to humiliate, to torture, to fight with, and to kill without last resort, it would be to abandon your lord entirely."
- Message of The Sole, II. The Long March, Volume 1.