Raxananikoan Religion

Overview

The Raxananikoa are monotheistic. They worship Raxanazar, the Deity of Winds, Time, and Change. He is said to have changed the void into being. Now he controls the flow of time and the flow of the winds. He carries with him a spear tipped with twin blades in the shape of eagles' wings, as well as a censer-like vessel from which pour the winds of the world.

Raxanazar's wife is Salaakkiokke, "She Speaks to Waters." Her domain is the Tiokisala, "quiet waters." She comes to visit lake Hukasal to bless it with fish. She causes streams to flow from the mountains to the sea. She also calms the Southern Seas for her sailors, who carve her name on their ships. She goes not to the north, where the water roars and tears apart, for it is there that her husband, Raxanazar, battles the Tinxnaluma, "Northern Dark," an unknown evil force that is seldom, if ever, spoken of in Raxanadon.

It must be noted that Raxanazar and Salaakkiokke are seen as one being, although they do have distinct personalities.


Priesthood

The Priests and Priestesses of Raxanazar are required to wear wings at all times, except when bearing the ritual wing swords. Weapons play an important role in ceremonies dedicated to Raxanazar, although the Raxananikoa are not, as a rule, warlike. The spear in particular has developed into many forms, including the ritual spear, with a large, wide blade more similar to that of a sword than that of a spear, and the banner spear. The ceremonies also include the burning of incense in bowls similar to the Bowl of Winds that Raxanazar carries.

While the most sacred functions still occur in the temple at Gudnaband, the city of Hukasal also contains the magnificent Temple of Raxanazar and Salaakkiokke, and serves as the religious capital of the Raxananikoa. The Temple of Raxanadon near the base of Mt. Raxgud is a monastic community, and only the most devout travel there.

Training to become a priest or priestess of Raxanazar starts in childhood. Young children whose families dedicate them to temple service begin training at age 7. They live at the local temple under the care of the priests and priestesses. Orphans especially are brought to the temple, where they have a home, clothing, and food. The children are instructed in the basic facilities of reading, writing, and mathematics, as well as elementary religion. When they reach the age of 14, more rigorous training begins, and the students learn history, geography, astronomy, and advanced religion. It is at this age that these priests-and-priestesses-in-training have their hair bleached and dyed a silvery grey, and when they are given their first pairs of wings to wear.


Worship of Salaakkiokke

While most worship in Raxanadon is devoted to Raxanazar, there is a small group of priestesses who serve Salaakkiokke. Priestesses of Salaakkiokke, unlike all other Raxananikoan priestesses, wear no wings. Instead, they wear earth-toned robes with no feather patterns. Their main rituals involve growing plants, caring for orphans, and preparing brides for their weddings. The Temple of Salaakkiokke is located on the shores of Lake Hukasal, separated from the part of the Temple dedicated to Raxanazar by a vast garden.

Mythology

For creation myths, etc., see Mythology.

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