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The study of Polytheism

TyreanTyrean Member Posts: 18
I was wondering if someone has tried or has seen someone try and devout a character to polytheism, which is the worship of multiple Gods. I know it gets touchy with the more promonent aligned Gods (Pentharian, Apollyon, Shaitan, Babel), so I wouldn't expect to be able to try and do all of them, or the more active ones either.

Comments

  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 4,809 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    I know plenty of people who pay homage to multiple Gods, without being in any Order - @Aerek comes to mind. I know Melodie believes many faiths are relevant, and likes and respects many Divine, even in a good few pre-Orders - but, she's still 100% dedicated to Neraeos. I don't think it's really possible to 100% dedicate to more than one, simply because the teachings would differ and fight each other.
    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
  • TvistorTvistor Member Posts: 2,885 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    For all intents and purposes, ideal Mhaldorian characters are 100% dedicated to Keresis, Apollyon and Shaitan. The average Mhaldorian is 100% dedicated to Apollyon and Shaitan. Not being in the relevant Order doesn't have to reflect on your faith.

    I believe Trey and a few other Mhaldorians have strange Order combinations. Trey is with Phaestus (which isn't too weird) and I swear we had another dude with Selene (which was really weird).
    I'm a postgraduate machine learning/cognitive psychology nerd now and am open to neato Achaea-based statistics/programming projects. PM me if you have any ideas.

    I'm currently working on an implementation of a pathfinding algorithm for blind sailors trying to navigate chops and dock at ports.
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  • VayneVayne Rhode IslandMember Posts: 1,897 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Achaeans should have a healthy respect and reverence for all the Gods and their realms but worshiping them ALL might be a bit challenging.
    image
    SylvanceAyodeleCinya
  • XithXith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    You'd waste a lot of time, considering that about half don't have orders/shrines/presence. But you could do it. Just can't dedicate to one in particular. If you wanted to get in good with Pandora and they caught you offering to Indrani, you'd be in trouble. And They might even find it flaky and fickle, hopping from one to the other.

    Doesn't mean I haven't done all of the former, but Xith's ideals lie in a few different places, so when I agree with something or respect it, I do pay homage.

    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
  • DelphinusDelphinus Member Posts: 896 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    The Chapel of All Gods may interest you, though it's more of a museum than an actual chapel. It's also rather bland as a result of its purpose, though the builders did well with what they had.
  • AchillesAchilles Los AngelesMember Posts: 2,440 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    On some level every one in Shallam follows the Te'serran (Mithraea, Pentharian, Miramar and Lorielan).  Some are in a specific order but essentially everyone in the city is responsible to both follow their teachings and upkeep/defend their shrines.
    image
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    I think that every Achaean character is polytheistic, in the sense that they believe in multiple gods.  Puts me in mind of Terry Prachett (I paraphrase) "This is a world where the Gods frequently meet up to throw bricks through atheists' windows."  Actively worshipping more than one is challenging due to the one-Order mechanics, but as has been pointed out, there's more to 'worship' in Achaea than grabbing a tambourine and joining the inner circle.

    I would absolutely love to see a viable High Clan emerge that preached some kind of challenging trinity, e.g. the Cult of Our Ladies (Keresis, Selene, Ourania); could be fun to see the kind of doctrine that would emerge, and how the gods themselves would react to such a fusion (perversion?) of their teachings.

    And, yes, I do like @Xith's comment; I think that as many characters have joined Orders for the convenience of 'She's active!' rather than a whole-hearted acceptance of the relevant god's realm.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • DelphinusDelphinus Member Posts: 896 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Sylvance said:

    And, yes, I do like @Xith's comment; I think that as many characters have joined Orders for the convenience of 'She's active!' rather than a whole-hearted acceptance of the relevant god's realm.
    Which is fine. It's better to encourage a presence in active orders so something can actually come of those communities.
  • SylvanceSylvance Member Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Delphinus said:

    Sylvance said:

    And, yes, I do like @Xith's comment; I think that as many characters have joined Orders for the convenience of 'She's active!' rather than a whole-hearted acceptance of the relevant god's realm.
    Which is fine. It's better to encourage a presence in active orders so something can actually come of those communities.

    Agreed. A part of me has a great deal of respect for those die-hard members of Orders with no god at the wheel, but another part of me sees it as an exercise in futility.
    Tvistor: If that was a troll, it was masterful.
    I take my hat off to you.
  • ArillesArilles Member Posts: 32
    I was always wondering, why not ignore the whole Good/Evil/Chaos/Nature bit and worship them for what they Represent? Like praying Neraeos when going to sea, or Matsuhama when your going to war or going to get into a fight, Lady Sol first thing in the Morning and Twilight and/or Ouriana at night... Maybe that would be best for a Shaman though, I dunno...
    SylvanceBoosteya
  • NizarisNizaris The Holy City of MhaldorMember Posts: 537 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    Tvistor said:
    I swear we had another dude with Selene (which was really weird).
    @Tvistor: I want to say that it was @Sabiru that was a Beloved? Agreed that it wasn't ideal, but Selene's theology is certainly flexible enough to allow it to work. I know that Nizaris, after talking with his in-game Beloved sister @Trilliana quite a bit on the topic, looks at his own beliefs in wonderment at their intellectual beauty, and therefore holds Selene with a carefully measured level of respect.
    image
  • NellaundraNellaundra Member Posts: 1,556 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Personally, Nellaundra follows a few Divine at once.  Selene, Matsuhama, and to an extent Pandora and Indrani.  She follows Selene most publicly and Matsuhama is pretty clear, though she hasn't really mentioned following the other two she still believes quite a bit in their teachings.  It's rather interesting at times when she gets accused of being a godless heathen (Looking at you, @Melodie!)
    image
    AyodeleAnatral
  • TvistorTvistor Member Posts: 2,885 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Respecting a God is a given, because they will zap you to death otherwise. They are all supposedly blessed with superior wisdom compared to mortals, so no matter how pointless you feel their realm is, you will be steamrolled for saying as much IG.

    Also, was a guy with a 'K' sounding name. He had, in my opinion, no place in Mhaldor. I know people like to stretch realms with clever metaphors and similes, but at the heart of it, Evil demands total dedication to Evil. I will never understand Trey worshipping Phaestus, but I respect it makes sense to other people. Selene is really stretching it too far.

    An example would be Scarlatti's patronage of the Black Lotus. The reasoning provided to me was 'Fighting is an Art'. You could say that, but when you're okay to stretch his realm that far, then everything from feeding kittens to chewing gum could be Art. I'm going to probably be verbally lambasted in a bit by people that disagree, but if you stretch a word too far it loses its meaning.

    Someone introduced me to Pantheism a while back, and it took me ages to understand what 'God' meant there. It turned out to be nothing even resembling God from more traditional religions -- when you let any word, be it 'God' or 'Art' get twisted so far, it's worthless when describing anything. (No religious debate here please, was just the best example that sprang to mind. I might not understand Pantheism, but you can teach me over PMs.)
    I'm a postgraduate machine learning/cognitive psychology nerd now and am open to neato Achaea-based statistics/programming projects. PM me if you have any ideas.

    I'm currently working on an implementation of a pathfinding algorithm for blind sailors trying to navigate chops and dock at ports.
    SylvanceJhaeliChryenthArilles
  • NizarisNizaris The Holy City of MhaldorMember Posts: 537 ✭✭✭✭✭ - Grand Achaean
    @Tvistor: I think what you're getting at is to not so much look at the tenets of a God's belief system, but also at its ethos.

    For example, Nizaris may be able to look at Mhaldorian theology as something beautiful, but should not himself be a Beloved (hell, he's enemied to the order after personally exterminating Selene's grove), because Selene has the ethos of being about flowers and hugs and bunnies and cuddles. 

    I have no problem with this, as Nizaris is an aspirant of the Adikoi, and also because it's pretty much straight up with what Nizaris' beliefs. He's hardcore Mhaldorian, and has a certain tendency to eviscerate younglings when they use stock cuddly emotes, and is oh-so-neurotic about his mother.
    image
    Xer
  • TvistorTvistor Member Posts: 2,885 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Yes.

    I like you.
    I'm a postgraduate machine learning/cognitive psychology nerd now and am open to neato Achaea-based statistics/programming projects. PM me if you have any ideas.

    I'm currently working on an implementation of a pathfinding algorithm for blind sailors trying to navigate chops and dock at ports.
    Xer
  • MathonwyMathonwy Member Posts: 826 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    In Shallam, Mathonwy had the typical reverence for all of the Te'Serra, though he was always closer to Mithraea and Pentharian. Post-Shallam, while he's pretty solidly pro-Babel, he does have quite the soft spot for Twilight (mostly because he kept me on my toes and fairly actively engaged in RP during the time between when Babel wasn't around/the Order was effectively disbanded and Mathonwy joined Cyrene). Without putting a whole lot of thought into it, that's probably pretty much it, though. 

    I'm not actually sure what Achaean polytheism would look like. I'd hope it would be something a bit more impressive than a bland, generic 'respect' for all Gods-- and I sometimes wish we had the leeway to be freely critical, ICly, of the Gods' realms*, and that more people did so, so that being unusually deferential to one or two realms while worshiping another meant more than it did.

    (* - Maybe we are and I just don't like doing it, because I'd really hate to discourage anyone putting RL time and effort and so on into a God's realm/narrative arc.)
    Saeva said:
    If Mathonwy is 2006 I wish 2007 had never come.
    Xenomorph said:
    heh. Mathowned.
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  • ChryenthChryenth Member Posts: 1,323 @ - Epic Achaean
    Chryenth 'worships' Scarlatti, because he (Chryenth) is a loremaster-type person. He also pays homage to Babel, because he's patron of his House and City. Other than that, he just keeps his head down and tries to avoid the Gods' notice - he saw someone get zapped as a novice, so he keeps out of their way.
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 4,809 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Personally, Nellaundra follows a few Divine at once.  Selene, Matsuhama, and to an extent Pandora and Indrani.  She follows Selene most publicly and Matsuhama is pretty clear, though she hasn't really mentioned following the other two she still believes quite a bit in their teachings.  It's rather interesting at times when she gets accused of being a godless heathen (Looking at you, @Melodie!)
    You know you deserve it, Nella, with all the crap you pull! Godless heathen.

    But okay, to get back on topic: I had a night to think about this, and even pulled up the forums on my actual laptop so I could type a fuller, more coherent response.

    I think it is -more- than possible to worship multiple Gods. I do NOT think it should be possible to join more than one Order. There's a huge difference between the two, to me, that in the end just doesn't work.

    For instance. After Melodie left Vastar due to various IC and OOC reasons, there was a time period where she sought Mithraea. It makes a lot of sense, being a priestess and Growth and etc etc etc. This happened to be a period where Mithraea was active and involved, and was before the Church's destruction faced off with Deleteus. This particular incarnation of her was very kind to most players, not just Shallamese, so I ended up getting on very well with her. She also became the Mojushai Patron. So I was fully on track to joining the Order, and quite suddenly, Neraeos decided that I wasn't going anywhere. So he cast a fishing line and lured me in. Not literally, but you get the idea.

    Despite this, and still being absolutely dedicated to Neraeos in every way, Melodie still holds much of Mithraea's teachings to heart. She understands them, she knows how to teach them (for the most part), she can relate with them. She enjoys much of what she represents, and really, Mithraea is a major link into why Melodie has a greater respect for the Te'Serra (remembering that she's Cyrenian and doesn't usually interact with them). Melodie also interacts a lot with Scarlatti and Phaestus, both realms which make extreme amounts of sense to her, and she not only respects, but follows quite unconsciously at times.

    So I truly believe it is possible to still hold some form of worship to multiple Divine. This is a lot easier when you're Orderless, though.

    As a last point, the Ordine Vashnar Lumeni actually does follow the idea of being an all-faith organization. Of course, as this is a place for priests and paladins, we don't allow anything Chaotic/Dark/Evil. But beyond that, its absolutely possible. We have those who follow Neraeos, Phaestus, Scarlatti, Lupus, and Selene at the least (that's just off the top of my head), and I know there's plenty of other realms that fit in. While the Lumeni of course pay homage to the Te'Serra, the core idea is that faith is supposed to be a personal venture, and while all Devotionists should pay homage to the Te'Serra, what you ultimately put your faith into can only be guided by what you believe. /forumrp

    tl;dr Yes, its possible to worship multiple Divine, but it can only go so far, and is much easier when you're Orderless. Its also possible if you are in an Order, but you will always be limited by having your Order teachings as your ultimate belief.
    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
  • MelodieMelodie Port Saint Lucie, FloridaMember Posts: 4,809 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Crap. Neraeos is going to eat me now. :(
    "You have had an extraordinary adventure, my dear. Extraordinary! One that few people could ever imagine. Treasure it. Keep it safe and secure, tucked away in some special place in your heart. 

    But... don't spend the rest of your days chasing a ghost."
    Jhaeli
  • AerekAerek East Tennessee, USAMember Posts: 1,818 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Someone mentioned it earlier, but I think the best way to reflect the games polytheistic setting is not necessarily to worship multiple Gods, but to invoke them when you wander into their realm, and that's what I try to do. I'd utter a prayer to Neraeos before sailing, (If I could ever remember/have that Neraeian prayer taught to me) make an offering to Aegis before marching to war, ask for Scarlatti's muses before writing and/or Phaestus before crafting, and so forth.

    You don't need to agree and devote your life to any God, really, but it should be natural to recognize and respect every God's existence and influence over their realm and, by extension, the world.
    -- Grounded in but one perspective, what we perceive is an exaggeration of the truth.
    PhaestusChryenthLodiMannimar
  • XithXith Member Posts: 2,602 @@ - Legendary Achaean

    Xith isn't religious in a practicing sense, but of course respects all Gods. Barring that, sympathy with the ideals of Chaos, Mischief, Sin, Beauty, as well as curiosities toward Darkness, Luck, Dreams, Death and Balance.

    The only really odd thing is that given his propensity for prosperity and industry, he hasn't really looked towards Phaestus and Prospero, but then again Phaestus had something to do with stealing a forge thing or some business in Ashtan, so that planted bad seeds.
    Follows the Gods that serve his ambitions, shuns those that don't (or their followers).

    I like my steak like I like my Magic cards: mythic rare.
  • JonathinJonathin Retirement hole.Member Posts: 3,296 @@ - Legendary Achaean
    Mosr is a member of Hermes' order but also follows the Te'serra. It's not too difficult to manage, really. You also have to realize that even in ancient Greek polytheism, the people worshiped one god above the rest while still respecting and paying homage to the others. Farmers for example might place Ceres as their primary deity. Solders might go with Ares.

    I could be thinking of something else though, it's been a few years since I did anything with Greek Mythology,

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