Endless Blue – Week 92 – Merrshaulk, the Covetous Collector   2 comments

Theology

Merrshaulk, the Covetous Collector

Mortal life is small, it is limited.  Tiny specks in the vast endless blue, vulnerable to the slightest danger.  To the living, life is precious and cannot be extended.  Trapped in just a passing blink of time, with meager ability to produce, inadequate skills to survive, each passing second is lost.

With such a short time in the all-encompassing ocean, with death hunting for you at every moment, austerity is the foolish choice..  The few moments you have, have worth.  Every moment should be squeezed for every precious drop of value.

Your time spent in the service of others instead of yourself therefore requires compensation.  To not take compensation is to not value yourself, to waste that small sliver of a tiny life that cannot be brought back.

The only one that can define the worth of your time is you.  If others cannot meet your expected compensation, then they do not deserve the sacrifice of your time.  Convincing others of your worth is therefore your right.  Demand the most for what you have and what you can do, for no one else will offer you its true worth.

The oceans are plentiful.  The oceans provide.  You need only take what you want, want as much as you can, to warrant your survival.  This encourages the competition for resources, for wealth.  Wealth not just in coinage, but in resources, influence, and power.  This ensures only the most competent survive.  And by hoarding more than you need you prohibit others from meeting their needs.  Never overestimate another’s greed, nor underestimate your own need.

Merrshaulk, the Sagacious, Lord of the Hoard, the Covetous Collector, Avarita of the Greed.

Alignment: Chaotic Evil.
Symbol: A golden eel knotted around an upturned alabaster oyster shell, the eel’s head extending past one side.
Domains: Chaos, Evil, Knowledge, Luck, Trickery.
Preferred Unguis (weapon): Constriction.
Clerical Unguis of Choice: Netting.
Cleric Alignment: Chaotic evil, chaotic neutral, neutral evil, true neutral.

Divine Visage

Merrshaulk takes the form of an infinitely long moray eel, His golden body, streaked with mottles of copper, brass, and bronze, extends off into the infinite horizon.  His body is extended out from His lair in the search for more: more wealth, more resources, more… everything.  Merrshaulk’s eyes listless, dark depths, bottomless pits that seem to sink into His body for forever.  When He finds what He seeks, Merrshaulk clasps it in his jaws and drags it back to His home.  As soon as His prize is stored, Merrshaulk is out seeking more again.

The Church of Merrshaulk

Only a fourth generation Yaun-Teel can enter the Sagacious’ priesthood.  Due to the degenerative heredity of the Yaun-Teel species, this prevents situations where a family accrues so much influence that they maintain a stranglehold over Church and local politics.

Merrshaulkite priests use the honorific of “Sidar” to denote their experienced clergy, and “Tyro” for their priests in training.  Above these is the Illuminated Assembly of Cosigners, whose responsibility is guidance of daily Sidar and Tyro activity.  Above them are the Signatory Council, whom plan out long-term goals of the Church.  They in turn report to the Elder Brokers, whom report directly to one of the three heads of the Church, the Administrative Trinity.

The Administrative Trinity consists of three individuals: the Noble Debtor, the Noble Lender, or the Noble Collector.  The Noble Debtor oversees the Church’s obligations, while the Noble Lender is in charge of the religion’s financial risks.  The final administrator, the Noble Collector, watches over the Church’s income.

Shrines and Ceremonies

Tyros of Merrshaulk are required to spend periods of time out proselytizing Merrshaulk’s ideology.  They are to travel across the globe, demonstrating the benefits of a life dedicated to the accumulation of wealth.  By showing how the word of Merrshaulk can better their lives, the Tyros bring in new sources of tithing for the Church’s coffers.

Tithing is a major staple of Merrshaulkite worship.  It fills the Church’s coffers and thus allows it to do good work in spreading the word of Merrshaulk.  Keeping in “good accounts” with the Church entitles the faithful to benefits such as counseling and favor.  In fact, the correlation is so singular between tithing and reaping the rewards that “tithing” has become synonymous with bribery.

Merrshaulkite houses of worship (called “Troves”) are splendorous edifices, adorned with rich, colorful mosaics.  Life for a Cosigner and above is opulent, as is befitting someone that adheres so rigorously to the teachings of the Lord of Hoards.

Allied Organizations

The government of the Yaun-Teel Bights is deeply connected with the Church of Merrshaulk, and uses the Church’s congregation as advocates and tax collectors.  The fastidiousness and confusing vernacular of Merrshaulkite record keeping makes it difficult for anyone else to enter the trades.  The “edictspeak” barrier prohibits most save for Merrshaulkite clergy from public service.

Of all the Pantheon, only Merrshaulk has found come common ground with the uptight Church of Olyhydra.  They both share a belief in hard work and servitude, and both contribute to the War of Math by keeping the populace uneducated.  All that differs is the approaches of the two religions:  Olyhydra promises reward in the next life, while Merrshaulk seduces with rewards in this one.

Opposed Organizations

Kelpygmies —  There have been reports of kelpygmy attacks on pilgrimaging Merrshaulk Tyros.  These ambushes appear organized and target only the priest of Merrshaulk.  It is as if the kelpygmies seek a vendetta against the god Himself, and seek to keep the masses out of the conflict.

The Resurrectionists — In areas like the Mer Currents and some of the more “civilized” Yaun-Teel Bights, Merrshaulkites will work openly with Anatomists and the College of Doctors.  They see the expired bodies of the departed as just another resource, and why should such a plentiful resource be sunk to the bottom of the sea to just rot?  Better to allow the College of Doctors to use the bodies — for a price — than leave the bodies for worm food.  Thus the Merrshaulkites reap the rewards twice: once with a full purse for the sale, and again later with the knowledge gained through Anatomist experimentation.

Relations with other Religions

There is friction between Merrshaulkites and Ictharans.  Clerics of Icthara claim Merrshaulkite clergy is trying to annex Ictharan followers through seductive logic.  The Merrshaulkites are trying to convert Ictharans by absorbing over-consumption into the concept of greed.

Schisms

Avarita of the Greed — As Avarita, Merrshaulk has become the patron of Yaun-Til commerce.  By incorporating the Principles of Service into Her ideology, Avarita has created an economic system that both rewards the industrious generously and reigns in the ruthlessness of the egregious.

Hoarder bandits — A dark period of Merrshaulkite history, Hoarders were faithful that took the word of Lord of Hoards too far, and actively looted anyone they deemed weak in their faith.  The cult was especially reviled during the Kraken Occupation, when they preyed upon burgeoning, remote rebel cells as they only began their fight for freedom.  In fact, many of Elqua’s most prized pieces of art were lost to Hoarders, who to this day form bandit towns throughout the No Mer’s Seas between Fluid Nations.

“To spend any day idle and earn no value
is to give the last day of your life over to early death.

— a Merrshaulkite warning against indolence.

2 responses to “Endless Blue – Week 92 – Merrshaulk, the Covetous Collector

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

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

  2. Pingback: Endless Blue – Week 109 – Cruor Druids: Wielders of the Red Tide | 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: