Endless Blue – Week 85 – Sashelas, the Knowledgeable One   2 comments

Theology

Sashelas, the Knowledgeable One

Through introspection is the only method to truly know one’s self, that shows the path to enlightenment and improvement.  Not just improvement of mind, but of body.  Martial excellence is just as vital as keen intellect, as perfecting  the physical form brings out its full potential.

Sashelas is a chaotic god trying to impose law on the world.  He has taken on responsibilities from the absent Ahto that are beyond His domains.  By doing so, Sashelas sees himself as the most important of the gods, shouldering the responsibility of two deities.   Despite one of which he is ill suited for, Sashelas refuses help.

He is husband to Trishna, who has a wandering eye.  Sashelas seems to turn a blind eye to her escapades, but it is unclear if this is because He does not care or because He does not notice.

Sashelas, Lord of the Undersea, the Cetacean Prince, The Knowledgeable One, Superbia of the Pride

Alignment: Chaotic Good
Symbol: An upturned cetacean (species varies by congregation)
Domains: Chaos, Good, Knowledge, Protection, War.
Preferred unguis (weapon): None
Clerical Unguis of Choice: Cestus
Cleric Alignment: Chaotic good, chaotic neutral, neutral good, neutral.

Divine Visage

Sashelas generally appears as an immense rorqual (an ancient, gigantic whale), the exact species varying from one sect of the Church to another.  But all depictions share His massive barrel chest, His lower jaw engorged, and a circumference nearly as round as He is long.  The rorqual’s blue eyes are as big as the largest Orcan, and belie a keen intelligence of god-like proportions.  His mauve skin is as slick as ice and gleams like pearls, so perfect is His complexion.  His avatar is consistently surrounded by a halo of cleaner fish, all constantly darting around His bulk chaotically, keeping His flesh clean.  These gobies scintillate in all the colors of the spectrum, even when no light is present.  On either side of His head, within whisper range of His ears, are affixed his most trusted advisers, Cassius and Modesta.  These ancient spirits constantly murmur approval and disdain into His ears.  Sashelas means to treat these rivals as equals, giving both their counsel commensurate weight, but it is no secret Cassius sways Him more.

The Church of Sashelas

The clergy of Sashelas are more organized that most of those in the Known World, save perhaps for the Church of Olyhydra.  This is partly due to the Cetacean self image as the mediators for the other races, which itself is due in part to their own hubris thinking only they can serve that purpose.  Sashelasite clerics enter into public service, and are usually charged with health and welfare duties of the populace in their area.

The priesthood is demanding.  Faithful have high expectations for themselves and others of the flock, expectations that are hard to live up to.  Sashelas demands perfection in body and mind, so His followers must comply.  This shows that the Church is out of touch with its people, just as the cetaceans are out of touch with the rest of the known world.  As a chaotic god, this attempt at strict lawfulness is rife with problems.

Priests of the Church are called Cetanates.  It is considered ill form to use a Sashelasite priest’s name without including the prefix.  Promotion in the clergy adds an honorific to the prefix.  Above Cetanate is “Cetanate of the Second Order (or sometimes Second Octave)”, and so on.  The ranks are mostly meaningless other than as a means to determine seniority in a single congregation — smaller congregations need fewer cetanates, while a more densely populated area may have a dozen or more orders.  In either case, the cetanates all perform the same tasks.  It is who is available at the time that determines who is chosen for public service, as the religion’s dogma emphasizes a culture of volunteerism.

Shrines and Ceremonies

In order to keep His Cetanates in peak form, Sashelas requires his clergy to perform frequent physical rituals, among these are the shark hunting trials.  While not meant to be lethal to the prey, the nature of sharks makes their death more common that intended.  Even though Cetanates take a vow of herbivorousness, the carcass of the beast is not left to waste.  Each priest will swallow a sample the meat before dispersing the majority of the body to lesser needs, such as food for beasts of burden, skin for tanning, cartilage, bone, and teeth to craftsmen.

Sashelasite ceremonies are held at high tide.  With Elqua’s three moons, this makes the Sashelasite practice a complex affair.  Urowes, the closest moon, rotates around Elqua twice every 28 hour day.  The majority of Sashelasite ceremonies are conducted on this tidal cycle.  Ymaris, the middle moon, orbits the world every twenty days.  Ceremonies on these moonrises and moonsets are more important than the daily ones, and usually include the non-clerical part of the congregation.  Oberus, the outermost moon, has a cycle of 192 days.  Cetanates reserve the most reverent ceremonies for these tides, as they take may take a week or more to complete.

Allied Organizations

The Prime Chorus (a chapter in the Cetacean Navy that is comprised of versesingers) has strong ties to the Sashelasite Church.  Each congregation has a choir, and it is considered the greatest of achievements for a member to be selected to join the Prime Chorus.  Behind closed portals, a faction of the Church is directing the Prime Chorus towards the goal of recovering Khantusk.  Its recovery and placement in the hands of Sashelas’ faithful will bring glory unto Him, elevating Him in the eyes of the piscean populace.

Opposed Organizations

Few organization are actually opposed to Sashelas’ religion.  Most, however, are reticent against the deities’ self-bestowed role of “protector of the weak”.  Especially the governments of the Known World, who feel they are more than capable of taking care of themselves, and resent the belittling attitude Sashelasites show.

Relations with other Religions

Sashelas has earned the enmity of Sekolah with his Cetanate shark hunting rituals.  Sekolah takes great offense at the priests “throwing the meat to the beasts” actions after a hunt.  Sashelas counters that Sekolah’s own dogma claims survival is only due to the fittest.

Relations with the Ahtoan Church are strained.  Sashelas has taken up the reigns as coral creator from the derelict Ahto without consent.  Sashelasites would say Ahto’s lack of response is consent enough.

The Church of Sashelas has an attitude of extreme exceptionalism, be it in the region, their religion, or the individual.  This “lack of humbleness” rubs other religions the wrong way, and makes for confrontational exchanges.  Sashelasites see this exceptionalism as simply holding themselves to a higher standard, as their religion dictates.

Schisms

Superbia of the Pride: As Superbia, Sashelas serves a less militaristic, more hygienic role.  He is seen more as a preening narcissist than a driven workaholic.  He puts less emphasis on the need for public service and more on the requirement to be physically fit.

The Dolphin Prince:  When Sashelas took on the mantle of Ahto’s abandoned responsibility, He left behind his previous incarnation of “the Dolphin Prince”.  There are still those Sashelasians that cling to the old religion, that still revere the Sashelas of sport and rivalry.  The Dolphin Prince is seen as a more genuine form, more concerned with the populace than His standing amongst the Pantheon.

“Do not accept yourself merely as you are; That path leads to complacency and folly.
Demand to be your seen as your perfect self, and as that form do your good deeds.”

— a Sashelasian catechism.

2 responses to “Endless Blue – Week 85 – Sashelas, the Knowledgeable One

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 91 – Icthara, the Voracious | Endless Blue

  2. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 94 – The Idolatry: Scripture of Sin | Endless Blue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: