July 31, 2004

Melchior

Melchior, God of Song, Bards, Poetry, Druidism, Magic, Writing, Wisdom, and Knowledge.

Worshipers:
Because the principles of Melchiorism promote individuality, creativity, and the pursuit of personal enlightenment, its clergy remains decentralized. There are, though, two notable sects who's members can be considered 'clergy': the Omuits and Druidism.

The Omuits--founded in the early sixteenth century by their namesake, Brevier Omuan--dwell in communal monasteries, where they dedicate their lives to the recording of history, the study of philosophy, the sciences, and (more often) the arcane arts. By 1600, it became common practice for Omuit monasteries to support themselves by accepting lay-students; by mid-century, they had become as much schools as temples. An Omuit education is a point of great interest in noble circles--difficult, expensive, and somewhat controversial.

Druidism is the oldest known form of Melchiorism, and more a general collection of ideologies than an organized religion. 'Druids' may live in communities, may live alone, might stay put or wander, and usually answer to no system in any official capacity. They are gypsies, bards, poets, rangers, vagabonds, hermits, naturalists, and town-folk who have simply dedicated their lives to the Melchiorist values: Mind over matter, the esoteric over the physical, and the discovery and expression of Truth above all. More naturalist druids tend to mix Melchiorism with the worship of Skyala.

Of note: Melchior is, in an unofficial capacity, a sort of patron-god to the Dryth, and is traditionally recognized as their creator and keeper.

Number of Worshipers:
Casual worship of Melchior is highly common among the intellectual--or those who might consider themselves so--and among dryth. Actual devotion to Melchiorism is rare for its social, political, and (often) financial difficulties; not everyone enjoys the lifestyle of the starving artist, or the zen idealist.

Methods of Worship
Meditation is the most common ritual practiced, but teaching and learning themselves are considered sacred. There are many versions of simple mantras and prayers spoken before learning or studying (especially among the Omuits) that are believed to bring magical clarity and focus. Also, there is ritual of 'advent', a type of gathering that is centered around dialogue, debate, and philosophizing.

Because the mental and the spiritual are considered higher and more desirable than the physical, other common (but not required) rituals include a confined diet (such as vegetarianism), fasting, and abstinence. In this vein, some (rare) extremist communities of druids practice flogging, branding, cutting, and the like. There is even one legendary case of self-induced blindness.

Melchoir's Appearance:
Melchior himself has appeared, traditionally, only twice in known history, and obviously prefers a more subtle role, communicating more in dreams and in epiphanies of deep meditation, if ever at all. He is most often depicted as an ageless humanoid, nude, with great wings, sometimes even covered in feathers, and very rarely with the head of a bird.

Melchoir's Motives:
"Melchior helps those who help themselves."

Ambition and creativity causes conflict, and conflict betters mortal souls, or so the god believes. He frowns upon charity, is altruistic, and rewards hard, passionate, creative work. Good and evil are counted in terms of motion and stagnation, respectively. He seeks the enlightenment of all on an individual basis.

Melchoir's Symbols:
Birds and their feathers (especially intelligent birds) are commonly associated with Melchior, as well as dreams of flying, and the shape of spirals.

Posted by ShadowSiege at July 31, 2004 11:44 PM

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