Religion #1: Usome

Because I am using this post very journalistic-ally, as a motivation for myself to keep writing and pretend people are actually reading it, I’ve decided to start a series on the religions of the Snow Mountains. So, here is Usome.

Pronounced oo-sohm, it is often criticized as the “party religion” due to it’s lack of written rules and sobriety. Usome is a religion that, publicly, is about actively praising and interacting with each other. Privately, within families, Usome is full of cultural traditions. It is a large religion, encompassing many countries, but much of the culture is the same between countries. Jerel, a military and strictly Usomian country directly north of Kana, uses the same calender and surname system as Usomites everywhere.

The naming system is as follows: children take their mother’s name as a middle name and their father’s as a last name, modifying the endings depending on their gender. Women exchange their father’s name for their husband’s when they marry.

Endings:

-il or -l if the name ends in a vowel–daughter of (maternal)

-im or -m–son of (maternal)

-is–daughter/son of (paternal)

-ez–wife of

Following this system:

Zena Alvisil Erykis is the

-daughter of Eryk Ilivim Genaris and Alvis Famial Erykez,

-sister of Arav Alvisim Erykis,

-sister-in-law to Kacela Marnil Aravez,

and aunt to Neo Kacelam Aravis.

Usomians believe in six gods, who once inhabited the world in Spareth, a holy city now in the southeast corner of Kana, but now live in a celestial city called Aolinma (said to mean “across the sky”) and that the sky, the wall between worlds, will dissolve when humanity is worthy of it. Their calendar has seven seasons, six for the gods and a seventh called the people’s season, when most of the colorful festivals take place. The six gods are:

Kurn–God of fire and battle. You want his aid when fighting and offensive battle, outside your borders. Special to Jerel.

Kedra–God of water and plants, also luck and poison. You want his aid if you farm or are engaged in subtle activities. He is the most versatile god.

Pedriga–Goddess of spirit. The most spiritually personal. If you have a vision, you will usually see Pedriga, the human-god messenger. Air is considered the perfect element, the combination of fire, water, and spirit, and it is the spirit that makes it so elusive and perfect.

Kyrine–Goddess of protection, both domestic and battle. You want her aid when being attacked or fighting inside your borders, but you also want her protection with you always. She is often invoked in blessings (see Here in chapter one) and has many talismans.

Calin and Talin–Twin god and goddess, of women and men respectively. Very abstract.

And that is it for Usome today.

Religion

I’ve created several religions in the Snow Mountains world (which actually involves several other countries.) I wanted to use it as a conflict source between areas of the mountains because how much violence in our world is religion-caused? Lots. Something people care so much about will eventually cause conflict. Anyway, because the main characters all end up on the council and therefore from different areas, they are all from different religions. (With the exception of Jacques, who is from the non-religious area.) The areas are called by their slang names here.

Usome: This is what I’d call an evolved polytheism. There are six gods, and they all cover very broad areas. There are no little gods, just six. This is Zena’s religion, from the Ledges. Read more Here.

Mashomi: this is a spirit-based religion. The idea is that everything has a spirit. The actual form in Kana is called Kanosian, because it is slightly different. It is more ritualistic than other forms and has spirits which are more important than others. This is Nora’s religion, from Traveler’s Rest, (though Nora is fairly agnostic.)

Kenezai: This is a very order-based religion. There are thirteen gods, called holy ones, twelve lords and one lady. Members of this religion follow certain rules and rituals. They also believe in a fixed fate. This is Atkin’s religion, from the Pieshop. (So called because women are the most strictly defined by religious rules. Zena also faces much sexist prejudice, but that is more of a social tradition, as Usome has no written religious material.)

Sneak-elf: The sneak-elves are a separate race which originally inhabited the Hokfeal forest in western Kana, but they have since spread out. They do not actually have much of an organized religion, but as their skin tone and mannerisms are different, they face a lot of prejudice, often called “dirty sneak-elves.” They occupy the Dirty Hills.