The Coming of the Zioth

The Cult of Jarram

This mercantile religion is centered in Duerstadtplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The City of Duerstadt

Duerstadt has been the capital of Rang since the reign of Diure XXXVIII (729-749). It is a major trading port on the Ice Sea (so called for the occasional iceberg that shows up therein). The Ice Sea separates Rang from the Skendu Islands to the north. Although the harbor of Duerstadt isn't threatened by pack ice in the winter, the various Skendui ports are, and the distance between the north coast of
, capitol of Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
, but Jarramites can be found in many major cities, where they focus their efforts on money-lending and trade47plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 47: Johannes' Breakdown

Around Ardith's hand, the bruises subsided, until there were only a few blue lines winding through otherwise healthy-looking skin. The man took one wheezing, shuddering breath, and let it out slowly. His chest hardened as the splinters of bone fused together. His eyes flickered open but then closed tight, and his breathing was once again a slow, trickling wind.
. This is not just where opportunity has landed them; Jarram is known as the Merchant God45plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 45: The Temple of the Orithory

Ranes' was filling with lunchtime customers, who still spoke quite a bit about the butcher, although not near as much as the day before.

“Something strange is going on at the Temple,” said the deep, throaty voice voice a man behind a wooden pillar.
,47plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 47: Johannes' Breakdown

Around Ardith's hand, the bruises subsided, until there were only a few blue lines winding through otherwise healthy-looking skin. The man took one wheezing, shuddering breath, and let it out slowly. His chest hardened as the splinters of bone fused together. His eyes flickered open but then closed tight, and his breathing was once again a slow, trickling wind.
.

The Common View

The over-educated47plugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Appeared or occurred in:

Turn 47: Johannes' Breakdown

Around Ardith's hand, the bruises subsided, until there were only a few blue lines winding through otherwise healthy-looking skin. The man took one wheezing, shuddering breath, and let it out slowly. His chest hardened as the splinters of bone fused together. His eyes flickered open but then closed tight, and his breathing was once again a slow, trickling wind.
Jarramites are known for worshiping money. They are condescending towards those they view as intellectual inferiors, and heartless towards the poor or weak. Compassion is simply not in their repertoir of emotions.

The Cult of Jarram (The "Merchant God")

by Nathan Weismuller, revised by the DM

Please note that I use cult here simply to denote a specific religious denomination, with no negative connotation.

Jarram, the Merchant God, is a divinity that devotes himself to human success and prosperity, and the benefits of civilization. He is a god of justice and knowledge, of commerce and success. Calling him the Merchant God is accurate, but doesn't necessarily tell a person about his emphasis on fairness (and his contempt for those who resort to unfair dealings) and thourough planning.

The cult of the Merchant god believes that Jarram has taught them that the foundation of success lies in a network of fair dealings and careful planning. It is regretful that there are those who choose to ignore this, but unless they behave in a matter that threatens those who honestly work for sucess, it can be ignored as irrelevant.

Followers of Jarram are expected to conduct themselves in an honest and fair matter, and to strive to maximize their potential. Jarram does not partcularly promote *compassion* among his followers, and has a rather merciless outlook upon thieves, criminals, and the like, regardless of circumstances- they go against everything Jarram symbolizes. The cult of Jarram is run in a fashion similar to a corporation, providing financial services along the lines of a banking house as well as spiritual comfort to his followers. Any organization needs money to function, and the cult of Jarram earns its through its banking business.

Clerics are considered employees of the Merchant God. The clergy of the Merchant God is far more concerned with Intelligence than with Wisdom… but that might have been rather obvious, ne? It still doesn't change the fact that if they're ever granted spells, they're still clerics, with all that implies about the relative importance of the two stats. Relations between the cults of Jarram and Andrithaplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
are, at best, rather strained: followers of Jarram have little use for the “impractical” teachings of Andrithaplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
, and followers of Andrithaplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
consider the cult of the Merchant God to be heartlessly focused on the the strong, to the exclusion of concern for the weak. Overall, the cult of the Merchant God is probably best considered Lawful Neutral, being concerned, as it is, with orderly, disciplined behavior.

There is a week-long holiday at the new year, in which followers celebrate the successes of the previous year, evaluate their position, and request aid for the following year. Monthly services are standard practice, assuming you're in a place where there's actually a temple of Jarram. Followers are expected to avoid dishonesty and unfair dealings in all things. Prayer in the evenings, to thank Jarram for his aid in the successes of the day. These can be fairly short and informal.

Although, as previously mentioned, Jarram is predominantly an urban god, generally worshipped more in the northern portions of Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
, he has a few rural followers as well, who form a rather sharp contrast to the urban Jarramites. The urban Jarramites tend to be successful members of what “middle class” Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
does have, wealthy, educated, and worldly. Although distinct from their Andrithanplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
neighbors in beliefs and attitudes, nonetheless they are integral parts of urban society, and get a few new converts each generation from those in the mercantile and intellectual classes who find Jarramite philosophy appealing. On the other hand, the rural Jarramites, who are more or less concentrated in the small region of northern Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
where the Jarramite religion originated, are far more conservative and insular. The rural Jarramites tend to live in exclusively Jarramite villages, emphasizing Jarramite virtues of hard work and patience and generally being suspicious of the surrounding world, dominated as it is by those degenerate Andrithansplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
. Often the only two members of a rural Jarramite village who have been to the outside world will be the Priest, who will have been educated in the “big city”, and the Factor, who handles the sale of agricultural produce to outside traders.

The rural Jarramite way of life is slowly dying, as more and more of the new generations reject the conservatism of their village and join the larger community of urban Jarramites.

Jarramite Doctrine Towards Other Gods

The Jarramite doctrine towards other gods is actually remarkably simple: they admit that Jarram isn't the only god to exist, but isn't really clear on what other religions actually have a real god or not. As a point of fact, Jarramite doctrine claims that Jarram refuses to claim credit for the creation of the world, and denounces the similar claims of other gods as “idle boasts”. Just where the world came from, Jarram isn't telling.

They mostly don't worry about it. Jarram's argument that people should follow him isn't that he's the one true god, but that he's the one truthful god… there's a difference. “Where's the god that men can trust?”

Sexual Mores of the Jarramites

The Jarramites have a fairly “Puritan” outlook on sexual behavior, strongly encouraging its restriction to marriage. They do not necessarily consider sex a “necessary evil”, which might be implied by the “Puritan” I used, they simply regard indulgence outside of proper channels, at the best, as a sign of lack of self-control and discipline. At the worst, they regard it as fraud and breach of contract, and thus an awful sin (in the case of adultery). Both polygyny and polyandry are formally allowable under Jarramite doctrine, but are strongly discourged, primarily because of severe culture clash between this doctrine and larger Andrithanplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
society. Jarramites *don't* want pogroms happening to them… Divorce is allowable, but tends to be frowned upon in most cases. Either partner may initiate a divorce. There is no formal doctrine on homosexuality, per se, but the common perception is of it being “unnatural”, although certain theoretical theologians have raised the question of whether it is, really (generally to be promptly ignored). Certainly homosexual marriages are not permitted, and the larger blanket doctrine of “sex outside of marriage” holds.

The Religeous Order

Applicant: Someone who is petitioning for admission to the priesthood.

Priest: A person who has taken holy orders. Hired on by decision of the President of the local temple.

Senior Priest: A priest with supervisory capacity over other priests in a temple. Appointed by the President of the temple from amongst the priests.

President: The priest in charge of a specific temple. Appointed from the senior priests in the temple by the local Coordinator.

Coordinator: A priest in charge of operations of multiple temples over a region. Appointed from amongst the Presidents in the region by the Conclave of Directors.

Conclave of Directors: The governing body of the Jarramite church. Contains ten members (Directors), chosen for life. Vacancies are filled by decision of the Conclave, chosen from the Coordinators.

Senior Director: The highest-ranking Director. Chosen by vote of the Conclave of Directors, chairs meetings of the Conclave, has tie-breaker vote.

At the level of President or above, proper address is either by title and surname (“Coordinator Schmidt”, “Director Weiss”), or, amongst lower-ranking priests, “sir”. (“Yes, sir, I believe that would be a good idea.”)

The Cult's opinion on the Zioth

“A foolish superstition. The sooner forgotten, the better.”

The Jarramites do recognize, as a matter of astronomical and mathematical fact, that a “zioth” (they refuse to capitalize the word and thereby dignify the superstitions of the masses), where all moons are new at once, will indeed happen every 1020 years. However, they regard attachment of any particular metaphysical or supernatural importance to the event as idiotic superstition. A zioth is a simple natural event, nothing more, and is *only* the sum of its five individual parts, in their view.

The Book of the Merchant God

Part I: The History and Doctrines Jarram appears to his first follower, Eren, and converts him to his worship. Eren is commanded to preach of the god. Eren does so, and succeeds in gathering a small following. Jarram reveals his Law to Eren in a section of the H&D (the Doctrines) that ends up having a similar “flavor” to the book of Leviticus. Under the mandate of the Doctrines, Jarram organizes nine other men together with himself to form the first Conclave of Directors of the cult of Jarram. The cult establishes itself as a rather seperate subgroup within the larger culture around it. Although specific dates are not mentioned in the History and Doctorines, it is believed that Eren's original revelation occurred on the third of Saulturithagon, 176. The Conclave of Directors was formed on the first of Aed, 179.

Part II: The Procedures and Policies The bulk of the Procedures and Policies is either ethical commentary (the Policies) or painstaking detail of cult organization and formal ritual (the Procedures) for routine worship services, marriages, divorces, funerals, induction ceremonies (think Bar/Bat Mitzvah), births… stuff that doesn't really hold for a lone member out in the boonies.

The net result is perhaps double the length of the Torah. It's written on ragsheet paper (good stuff. Ends up largely cloth-based. Heavier, *far* more durable than “regular” paper. Still wouldn't want to abuse it or anything, though), and bound in plain leather.

Calendar

The Jarramite religious calendar differs from the traditional Andrithanplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Andrithanism

Based on original ideas from Karl Schinke (Ardith). Symbols for aspects other than the Mother, along with the artwork, were contributed by Myron Wyles (Halaren).

Andrithanism and its variants are the dominant religion in Rang and the surrounding kingdoms. Within the boundaries of
calendar in two regards – it uses Ilsapeich months, rather than Halkakplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Five Moons

Five moons rise and set in the sky of Aerv, never crossing paths. At the end of the world, they will all wane together, and diminish to nothing for the Zioth.

Quite a lot of mythology centers around the moons. Zahirans' theology revolves around the Moon Children. The Moon Wanderers in the Shirahjat Cohilition migrate with the rising and setting of the moons in ways that only they fully understand.
months, which are named (rather unimaginatively) in Sarnamplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big Language

Rouch

Rouch is the vernacular, or common tongue, spoken throughout Rang. Because of Rang's influence, it's also a trade language in the surrounding kingdoms.

Sarnam

Sarnam is the “old tongue,” spoken by the priests of Andritha. Most of the nobly-born are familiar with the language.
as “First Month”, “Second Month”, and so on up to “Seventh Month”, and it counts years as either “Before Formation” or “After Formation” rather than by the Zioth. 179 is the first year After Formation, making the year 1001 of the Zioth the 882nd year After Formation. By a happy coincidence, “First Month” happens to start on the first of Aed.

The Sigardian Heresy

About 250 years ago, a Coordinator of Jarram from west Rangplugin-autotooltip__default plugin-autotooltip_big The Kingdom of Rang

Overview

Rang is a huge kingdom, covering more than a million square miles, and extending from the Great Sea to the Ice Sea. It dominates the area politically, militarily and religiously. Rang is a monarchy, led by King Diure LXIV, but its immense size weakens the central government. Most feudal lords manage their lands independently, and only answer to the king in the loosest sense. The king does have several pockets of power, such as in Huerten, which allow him to maintai…
named Sigard Ersalt decided that since Jarram places his blessing upon the success of the individual, the fact of being wealthy was prima facie evidence of virtue. He began to institute the sale clerical offices under his control to whoever would pay, as well as preaching his doctrine that wealth was the measure of one's virtue. He had a certain amount of success within his own region, although some elements of the local church refused to cooperate with the new changes.

When the Conclave of Directors heard of Ersalt's practices, they were livid. Muttering darkly about how “not all wealth is accquired honestly and prudently, and not all the honest and prudent are wealthy”, they promptly declared that “the doctrines and practices of the priest Sigard Ersalt are false and abhorrant to the eyes of Jarram, and those who have chosen to follow the heterodoxy of Sigard are from this moment forward forever excommunicate from the protection and guidance of his just hand. They shall stand alone, and no true follower of Jarram shall aid them.” Ersalt promptly denounced the Directors after this statement, and set himself up as High Priest of the Reformed Church of Jarram (as he called it), or the Sigardian Heterodoxy (as the orthodox church called it).

Although the Sigardian Heterodoxy is still extant, it languishes as a small and obscure church, slowly shrinking, while the main body of the Church of Jarram thrives and prospers, being, as it is, on a sounder moral foundation.

Wise sayings from the Book of the Merchant God

“The man upright in his dealings has no enemies but those willing to be enemy to all men; the man corrupt in his dealings sees daggers under every cloak; the man brutal in his conduct soon loses possession of his life.”

“A man may lose all his wealth, but if his two foremost possessions, his life and his mind, remain intact, poverty must remain a watchful keeper.”

“The man who acts without regard to the benefits of his actions borrows time from care at usurious interest.”

“You may see no benefit at the moment to stop he who would steal that which is your neighbor's right; nonetheless, he will have no higher regard for that which is yours come the morrow.”

“Understanding of the truth is key to proper planning.”

“The man who lies to another will soon lie to himself.”

“Life is the first and the final possession.”

“He who plans well will always enjoy the returns of his labor; he who benefits from chance loses his wealth as soon as it came.”

“Observe, for a plan without information is an unsecured loan to chance.”

“Lies are the province of the shortsighted.”

“Even if a man will help a fool, the fool will lose the benefits in a day, and then none are benefited.”

“True friendship is a valuable possession.”

“The senses grant many worthwhile pleasures; nonetheless, the man who enjoys chiefly the pleasures of the senses shows his mind to be gravely limited.”