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A Gazetteer of Ochalea - Temples of Ochaleaby Giampaolo Agosta
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- Church of Thyatis
- Yingzi Dantang: Order of the Shadow Court
- Fajia Shendao: Mystic Way of Order
- Yutan: Jade Temple of Ochalea
- Chang Shi Hetuan: Benevolent Order of Chang Dangsu
- Baxian Shendao: Mystic Way of the Eight Immortals
- Ganquian Huan: Circle of Heaven and Earth
- Jianghu Shenren: Independent/Wandering Priests
- Non-human Faiths in Ochalea
Even though most Ochaleans revere a large number of Immortals, and consider their patron Koryis as the most worthy of worship among them, that is not to say that there are no differences in philosophical outlook between different sects - actually, several major temples and many independent priests co-exist in this land.
Temples of Ochalea
Church of ThyatisTotal membership 2.350 Pantheists 1000 Philosophers of Law 350 Philosophers of Neutrality 50 Priests of Koryis 200 Other Specialists 750
The Church of Thyatis was imported from the mainland when Ochalea joined the Empire circa one millennium ago. It is a mostly tolerant, polytheistic faith, which also includes some philosophers. The faith leans towards lawfulness, though it worships Chaotic Immortals as well, and freedom (especially from Alphatian rule) is an important element of the faith.
Core ImmortalsThe Church of Thyatis worships all the Immortals that have been formally acknowledged in the Thyatian Mainland. In Ochalea, however, the role of Koryis is much larger than in the mainland, while the traditional Thyatian Immortals are less popular. Halav, Odin, Thor and the demihuman patrons are worshipped only by the Thyatian humans and demihumans. Vanya, Tarastia, Diulanna, Korotiku, Valerias and Protius are the most popular after Koryis.
DiffusionThe follower of the Church of Thyatis are mostly found among the Thyatian humans and lupins - few Ochaleans are interested in this religion. Therefore, the Church's strongholds are the provicial capitals and Beitung itself.
Major TemplesThe cathedral of Ochalea is located in the Thyatian sector of Beitung. Other temples are found in each of the provincial capital. A temple dedicated to Vanya, the primary Thyatian Immortal, is also located in Beitung.
ActivitiesPriests of the Church of Thyatis are commonly found in the Imperial military - especially in the fleet - as military chaplains, as well as in the Imperial administration.
Classes and AlignmentsSpecialty Priests of any Immortal formally accepted in the Thyatian Pantheon, Philosophers and Pantheists are all accepted. Chaotic Philosophers and Evil priests are not present in the Ochalean branch of this faith, though they sometimes appear in the mainland branch.
Yingzi Dantang: Order of the Shadow CourtTotal Membership 2.000 Priests of Nyx 400 Priests of Thanatos 100 Priests of Masauwu 200 Priests of Alphaks 200 Priests of Jammudaru 100 Philosophers of Chaos 50 Pantheists 950
The Shadow Court mirrors the Heavenly Court in the Ochalean pantheon. It is composed by Immortals associated with Entropy, though they are much more subtle in their activities here than in most other nations. However, the Order of the Shadow Court is definitely malignant, even though it presents a more or less neutral façade in the towns. Its wilderness branches, the Demon Cults, are often more overtly evil.
Core ImmortalsNyx is the pantheon leader for this cult; Thanatos, Masauwu, Alphaks and Jammudaru are her main ministers; a plethora of other Immortals serve in minor roles.
DiffusionThe Shadow Court is followed mostly by the city underworld - but also, less overtly, by many citizen, often rich or powerful, who try to keep the evil Immortals at bay by paying some respect to them. Also, more aggressive branches - the so-called Demon Cults - are found in the wilderness.
Major TemplesA Shadow Court temple is present in every major city. There is word of a great complex somewhere in the jungles of southern Ochalea where the Demon Cult trains its adepts in odd martial and magical traditions, handed down by the ancient Alphatian Followers of Fire and even darker sects.
ActivitiesSome members of the Shadow Court priesthood double as spies, assassins or thieves, though others act as legitimate merchants or even work for the government or the military.
Classes and AlignmentsSpecialty Priests of any Entropic Immortal, Chaotic Philosophers and Pantheists are all accepted. Only non-Good priests would join this cult.
Fajia Shendao: Mystic Way of OrderTotal membership 3.500 Fighting Monks 2.000 Philosophers of Law 1.000 Pantheists 500
The Mystic Way of Order is a faith derived from almost two millennia of philosophical tradition on the theme of Order as the main element of civilization, tolerance, and personal progress towards a state of enlightenment. This faith deals only marginally with Immortals, considering some of them as enlightened beings returned from a state of union with the Supreme Order to teach mortals.
Core ImmortalsThis faith is mostly philosophic. All lawful Immortals are acknowledged, and Tarastia and Koryis are worshipped by the few pantheists of this cult.
DiffusionThis philosophic order is somewhat popular in the towns and with the rural aristocracy. However, most monasteries are built in secluded locations. The south-eastern hills are home to several of these monasteries.
Major TemplesThe Mystic Way maintains a presence in Beitung, Chungkiang Li and Wongzhao Tsushao. The siege of the Grand Abbot is in the main monastery, the Zhonghu Siyuan.
ActivitiesThese priests lead a cloistered life. They take many restrictive vows, preventing them from marrying, eating meat or drinking alcoholics, as well as engaging in any of the Four Vices. The monks of each monastery are divided into martial, scholarly and religious branches, depending on their favored training.
Classes and AlignmentsFighting Monks, Philosophers of Law and Pantheists are accepted, each by the corresponding branch of the faith. Only those strongly dedicated to the concept of Order, and not burdened with wordly concerns are considered for membership, so only priests of Lawful Neutral alignment are acceptable.
Yutan: Jade Temple of OchaleaTotal membership 11.700 Priests of Koryis 6.000 Pantheists 600 Philosophers of Law 550 Fighting Monks 2.650 Shamans 1.000 Other Specialists 900
The Jade Temple is the main religion of Ochalea, headed by the Archduke himself - by tradition, the Archdukes are always priests of Koryis, and very often they become high priests. Paramount of Ochalean religions, the Jade Temple is a cult of a single Immortal that manages to include all known Immortals in its folds as well, though in lesser roles.
Core ImmortalsKoryis is by far the most respected Immortal in this cult. However, even Koryis specialist priests acknowledge the existance and worthiness of all the Immortals known in Ochalea, including those of the Shadow Court. Some pantheists and specialists are actually devoted to the specialized ceremonies needed to properly appease all the Immortals. Most specialist priests not devoted to Koryis choose to serve Chardastes, Alphatia, Tarastia, Ssu-Ma and or one of the Dragon Rulers.
DiffusionThis is the major faith of Ochalea, focused on the worship of the Jade Emperor, Koru Yi-Si, and the Dragon Kings. The temple acknowledges most other Immortals popular in Ochalea, and each temple has one or more priests specialized in the rituals of several Immortals. Most priests, though, follow one of two other paths - either the scholastic worship of Koryis or the martial discipline of the Fighting Monks, who specialize in disarming and disabling their opponents without using weapons - preferring always to negotiate rather than fight, and when forced to fight to obtain surrender rather than killing.
Major TemplesJade Monasteries are common, and exist both in or near town and in more secluded locations (tough the first are more common). The Major temple is within the Archduke's palace in Beitung, since the Archduke of Ochalea is also the leader of the church.
ActivitiesMany of the non-cloistered members of this cult work as mandarins (government officers). Other are noble rulers of provinces and counties, or local bureaucrats.
Classes and AlignmentsSpecialty Priests of any Immortal listed in the religious classics of Ochalea, Philosophers of Law, Shamans and Pantheists are all accepted. The faith itself is strictly Lawful Good, though Neutral Good and Lawful Neutral priests are common outside the cloisters - Fighting Monks are strictly Lawful Good, though.
Chang Shi Hetuan: Benevolent Order of Chang DangsuTotal membership 3.300 Priests of Chardastes 800 Fighting Monks 2.000 Shamans 500
A mystic order devoted to research on the human body and nature, the Benevolent Order of Chang Dangsu is well liked in Ochalea, as its priests are competent healers and supporters of the common people. This faith is not that different in outlook and philosophy from the Jade Temple or other Ochalean religions, but it stresses more personal responsibility than order or law.
Core ImmortalsChardastes is the main Immortal of this cult. Just like most other cults of Ochalea, this does not mean that the members of the Benevolent Order do not acknowledge the other members of the Celestial Bureaucracy - they just follow the teachings of Chang Dangsu as a way to fulfill their role within the order set by the Jade Emperor and his ministers.
DiffusionThis cult originated in the western provinces of Ochalea, and it still is most popular there.
Major TemplesThe Benevolent Order has few temples and many monasteries. The main temple is located in Chung Tsu, where Chang Dangsu is thought to have lived.
ActivitiesMost members of the Benevolent Order are cloistered mystics, devoted to martial disciplines that are thought to provide major health benefits if practiced extensively. Specialty priests of Chardastes and Shamans also act as itinerant healers.
Classes and AlignmentsSpecialty Priests of Chang Dangsu (Chardastes), Fighting Monks and Shamans are all accepted. Most members are Neutral Good, as befits a sect of healers, but non-monastic members can also be Lawful Good or Chaotic Good.
Baxian Shendao: Mystic Way of the Eight ImmortalsTotal Membership 4.500 Specialist Priests 900 Fighting Monks 2.100 Pantheists 800 Shamans 400 Philosophers of Neutrality 300
The Eight Immortals are a powerful symbol of balance in all things. They have been chosen as models by groups of mystics and priests who believe that Immortality is within the reach of the man (or lupin) who cultivates all aspects of his character. By studying ``inner magic'' (a form of mystical/religious discipline linked closely to the martial arts of Baxianquan), the mystic can reach Immortality. This ``inner magic'' is seen as opposed to the outer (or lesser) magic of the Alphatians, which is on the other hand considered a false path leading to a stifling of inner growth.
Core ImmortalsThe Eight Immortals are Valerias, Ixion, Zirchev, Khoronus, Tiresias, Ssu-Ma, Faunus and Protius. They represents the various states of being: feminine and masculine (Valerias and Ixion), youth and old age (Tiresias and Khoronous), nature and civilization (Zirchev and Ssu-Ma), virtue and vice (Protius and Faunus).
DiffusionThis ``modern'' faith is popular throughout northern Ochalea, less so in the southern reaches. Members include priests of the individual members of the Eight Immortals, as well as pantheists and ancestor worshippers. Some scholars devoted to the Prefect of Time or the inventor of writing are also present.
Major TemplesThe center of this order is found in a group of monasteries clinging to the cliffs of the Five Peaks (Wushan) overlooking the Strait of Furmenglaive. Other monasteries are scattered in the northern provinces.
ActivitiesThese mystics often conduct a cloistered life, though some may act as advisors or even alchemists or scientists for noble houses - much like wizards in other lands - or be wanderers or hermits. Eight Immortals monasteries tend to be smaller than those of other faiths, sometimes housing only an hermit and his apprentices.
Classes and AlignmentsShamans, Specialty Priests of any of the Eight Immortals, Philosophers of Neutrality and Pantheists are all accepted. The faith itself is strongly oriented towards the True Neutral alignment, but all priests except Fighting Monks can also be of any non-extreme alignment.
Ganquian Huan: Circle of Heaven and EarthTotal membership 550 Druids 350 Shamans 200
The teachings of the Davanian Druids have been adapted to Ochalean culture back in the early days of the Empire of Thyatis. However, the limited contacts between Davania and Ochalea, and the civilized, urban nature of the Ochalean culture have limited the growth of this faith. It is still recognizably druidic, and its leader is a druid belonging to the Davanian Circle of Djaea.
Core ImmortalsThis faith holds the Eight Immortals and the Four Dragon Kings as emblems of balance in all things. The Earth (Djaea) and Heaven (Odin) are another major focus of the cult.
DiffusionThis small druidic circle includes also many shamans that focus on nature or animal spirits as well as ancestor spirit worship. Its members are spread over the wide areas of wilderness of Ochalea, from the northern and central forests to the southern jungle, rocky badlands and plains.
Major TemplesThis cult has no temples at all. Its members meet twice a year, once in a sacred grove the Forest of the Ancients (Gu Shulin) where the ascension of the Eight Immortals is celebrated, once on the Dragon Mountains (Lung Shan), where the Lung Wang are worshipped.
ActivitiesMembers of this cult are mostly hermits. Some trade herbal remedies and minor potions with the rural communities.
Classes and AlignmentsDruids and Shamans are the only type of priests in this cult. They can have any alignment acceptable for Mystaran Druids.
Jianghu Shenren: Independent/Wandering PriestsTotal membership 6.700 Shamans 5.000 Philosophers of Law 500 Philosophers of Neutrality 700 Philosophers of Chaos 300 Priests of Koryis 100 Other Specialists 200
Many priests in Ochalea are not attached to any church or cult. They are often shamans that follow a syncretic religion combining ancestor worship and tenets of the Jade Temple, the Eight Immortals, and other major religions. Others are individual followers of less known Immortals, or wandering philosophers, masters of the ``inner magic'' of Ochalean tradition.
Core ImmortalsMost independent priests worship the Immortals popular in Ochalea, though few do so in an exclusive way; Koryis, Chardastes, the Dragon Rulers and Ssu-Ma are especially popular.
DiffusionFew of these priests are found in the larger towns: Shamans, the most common type of independent priests, prefer to keep to the wilderness or to rural regions. Many of these independent priests are also village priests. Some few (10%) are foreign priests hoping to convert the locals, or wandering prophets and other, less common types.
Major TemplesThere are no major independent temples - most independent priests are either wanderers, or else they worship privately in their family or village shrine.
ActivitiesMany independent priests are either local leaders (village shamans or chiefs, family leaders, etc.) or wandering healers, herbalists and exorcists. Most also practice a family trade or run a businness (which may be peddler, calligrapher, herbalist or healer, in the case of wandering priests).
Classes and AlignmentsShaman are most common as independent priests, but any Specialist or Philosopher priest can be an independent or wanderer. Since these priests are independent, they are not constrained except by their individual Immortal patron or philosophy.
Non-human Faiths in OchaleaWhile there are few, if any, demi-humans and goblinoids in Ochalea, this large island is home to a sizable Lupin population, and a smaller but fiercely independent Rakasta one.
Moreover, other intelligent non-humans can be found here, each with their own patron Immortals and philosophies.
Lupin Pantheon: Warmasters of the Five directionsThe Lupins of Ochalea are almost completely integrated in the human society, sharing the same language, writing system, culture and mannerisms of the Ochaleans. They do keep a set of traditional deities, though, which are mostly worshipped through independent Shamans, and sometimes added to the human religions or philosophies.
Chief among the traditional Lupin patrons is the Eight Tails Fox (Korotiku), a sometimes mischievous deity that is considered the master of the central direction, of harmony and balance in all things, and all things that are compound or mixed, including the Mongrel Lupins. The other four Immortals are masters of the other four directions and of the four seasons, as well as patrons of the four native Lupin breeds.
Table 6: The Lupin Pantheon in Ochalea Ochalean Name Common Name Titles Shi Jielang Saimpt Loup Master of Winter, North, and Fortitude, patron of the Chow-Chow Shi Tiangou Saimpt Malinois Master of Autumn, West, and Intuition, patron of the Ochalean Houndlings Shi Su-Ma Ssu-Ma Master of Spring, East, and Reason, Patron of the Ochalean Crested Shi Doushang Thor Master of Summer, South, and Strength, Patron of the Shar-Pei Bawei Huli Korotiku The Eight Tails Fox, Master of Center, Harmony and Balance, Patron of Mongrels
Shi Jielang is represented as a brawny, dark-furred, Chow-Chow, dressed in leather lamellar armor lacquered in black and gray and armed with a large double-bladed axe. This axe is known as the Ogre-Slayer Wolf's Fang. Lupin tales maintain that Shi Jielang worked at its blade for ten years, and built the handle from the trunk of the Grandfather Tree Devil, which he had slain to free the Forest of Li from its evil influence. The axe is thought to be able to slay Ogre-Magi with a single strike, and to break any chain, lock or gate, no matter how strong, with a single blow.
Shi Tiangou, the Celestial Guardian, is represented as an uncommonly tall Ochalean Houndling, wearing plain silk clothes and armed with a composite short bow and a quiver of arrows. The quivers contains the Supreme Revealing Arrows, mystical arrows built with Phoenix feathers and jade arrowheads. The Supreme Revealing Arrows are said to unerringly strike the nearest Lycanthrope, if one is in the range of Tianguo's bow. Moreover, if Tianguo uses one of these arrows to strike an enemy, he can always use it to track him down, as the arrow will point in the enemy's direction when ordered to do so.
Shi Su-Ma is portrayed as an Ochalean Crested courtier of noble descent and bearing, holding a scroll in one hand and a brush in the other - hints to the magical nature of the Ochalean Crested. The scroll is enscribed with the first characters of the Summer King's Classic - considered the oldest Ochalean text. The brush is the Dragon and Phoenix Brush - built with an hollowed dragon fang holding the ashes of a Phoenix, and topped with a tuft of Su-Ma's own hair, and is attributed all kinds of magical powers in Lupin legends.
Shi Doushang is usually portrayed as a well-muscled Shar-Pei warrior with heavily wrinkled face - to indicate his young age - wearing a sky-blue metal lamellar armor and brandishing an ornated polearm (guan dao), called the Thunder and Lightning Blade. Shar-Pei legends say that when a lighting hits a battlefield, Shi Doushang is inciting the warriors by whirling his polearm. This weapon is also thought to have the power to destroy all undead - a memory of battles fought by the ancestors of the Shar-Pei against the Taymora Vampire kings. Moreover, when Shi Doushang rotates the Thunder and Lightning Blade, he can stop all incoming attacks - physical or magical.
The Pardasta AncestorsThe Rakasta of Ochalea live in the central rocky lands, aloof from human and Lupin civilization. They belong to the Pardasta breed.
These feline humanoids follow an ancestor cult, including several of their Immortal patrons. Ka, Bastet and Ninfangle are worshipped along to the Exalted servant of Ka, Kumrah, who was with Bastet the first of the Rakasta.
These mythical ancestors represent specific roles or activities of the Pardasta society, including the adventurous hunter (Ninfangle), the lazy elder male (Kumrah), and the beautiful maiden (Bastet). Ka is worshipped as the Dragon Ancestor, with the role of the world creator.
Table 7: Rakasta Pantheon in Ochalea Ochalean Name Common Name Titles Kong Long Ka The Dragon Ancestor Bao Tian-niang Bastet The Heavenly Maiden Fu Kun-lan Kumrah The Sleepy Father Ning Feng-Li Ninfangle The Bold Adventurer
Ogre Magi PantheonThis magically powerful Ogre subspecies is the only type of goblinoid commonly found in Ochalea. The reclusive Ogre Magi can develop into powerful Shamans, mostly calling on ancestor spirits, and sometimes on animal or evil spirits as well.
They do also worship Immortals, especially Jammudaru - who is well pleased by the focus on revenge the Ogre Magi can develop - and Kaarash, who is worshipped as the god of battle. Iliric is also part of their pantheon as the god of magic.
Faiths of the ShapechangersThere are many shapechangers, including lycanthropes, in Ochalea. Most shapechangers tend to worship ancestor spirits or animal spirits of the same phenotype, but a few Immortals are also worshipped.
Werefoxes (especially the non-evil ones) worship Korotiku as the Eight Tails Fox, while wererats have imported the cult of Mrikitat (Mi Laoshu). Weretigers often worship the Rakasta pantheon.
Evil shapechangers revere Immortals of the Shadow Court, or Orcus (Ou Rong).
Aranea worship Arachne Prime, Iliric or (less commonly) Korotiku.
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