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  • Incarnae Worship

    In the second age, just before the Jade Prison breaks, who still worships the Incarnae? Where in Creation can you find congregations and clergy devoted to them?


    "On another day, in another history, Sergeant Anchise's efforts to rally, compose, and organize his forces after the death of both companies' captains would have become the stuff of instruction text and legend. Today, on Calth, they are just another story of a man's last few hours alive."
    -Dan Abnett, Know No Fear

  • #2
    Well, obviously the Incarnae get worship on designated days in the Immaculate calendar, but in terms of dedicated worship as the primary focuses of a religion -- hm. Perfect Soul was described as coming from a satrapy on the Near Eastern coast that worships a guise of the Unconquered Sun.

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    • #3
      The Incarnae are still worshiped in various forms throughout Creation- the Immaculate Cult may hate the Anathema, but their official story is that the Anathema stole the power of the Sun and Moon, because even they're not ballsy enough to try painting the celestial bodies as the bad guys. As a result, there are cults to the Sun, Moon and Stars pretty much anywhere you go, even if they're not always labeled as such, and even though they're often lumped together with other gods (I believe the Incarnae get special feast days on the Immaculate calendar). That's not even counting the people who utter the odd prayer for the sun to come out, for the stars to guide their way, and so on, unofficial prayers to the Incarnae that no one would ever think twice about.

      There are a few exceptions to this trend, however. The Dragon Kings, for example, worship the Unconquered Sun in his unadulterated, pre-humanity form (and still pull out hearts for him, as I recall), while the Cult of the Illuminated have no qualms about worshiping the "Shining Ones" as agents of the Sun. Many Lunars venerate their matron deity, of course, as do the nations and tribes they influence. And then there are the occasional throwbacks, those cults that have existed since the Shogunate or earlier, maintaining sacred traditions whose significance may be lost on them, but which nonetheless call on the Incarnae for their favor.


      "We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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      • #4
        The Incarnae are the top gods of Creation. Their worship is fairly common, and not generally all that restricted. So most people worship them. You get the Priest of Venus to do your wedding and the Priest of Saturn to do your funeral. Soldiers pray to Mars, the Guild offers prayers to Mercury before a convoy sets out, and so on. Some are of course more common than others in some places, and are worshipped in different ways dependent on culture: in Varang, the Maidens are seen as the most important, the Linowan worship all the Incarnae equally (well, I imagine they pray to the UCS and Luna more), while those in Lunar-run countries of course consider Luna more important than the UCS. Southern desert tribes worship her in her guise as the White Navigator, as that's the most useful thing for them. Pregnant mothers across Creation pray to the Twin-Faced Bride. The Dune People pray to kind and gentle Luna to protect them from the vicious, harsh and cruel UCS who smites them with his burning light. Kings pray to the UCS as he's king of the gods.

        However, there are a couple of caveats. Firstly, the Immacualtes have a strict calendar of who can be worshipped when. The Incarnae, I'd assume, get more time than minor local gods, but praying to them on an inappropriate day is not allowed. This can be over-exaggerated however; after all, the Immaculate Philosophy is only strong on the Isle and a few satrapies. In most satrapies, Immaculates are allowed to preach, but the local religions aren't restricted either. So the Linowan still quite happily pray that the UCS might smite the Haltans, that Luna might make the Haltans go mad, and the Maidens might curse them with ill luck, while the Immaculate missionaries grumble. It's the British Raj, essentially. The missionaries want to convert everyone, but the government doesn't want angry fanatical natives, and politics and money trump religion 90% of the time.

        Secondly, the Incarnae are rather impersonal and too high up. Yes, you could pray to the UCS for sunlight for your stunted northern crops. But what can you offer the UCS that's worth his time? Is he even going to listen? He's got millions of prayers, why should he care about yours? Whereas the local field god is right there, and will be delighted for your prayer. You can hire a priest who can actually go talk to the field god, but you'll never be able to find a priest of the UCS who can talk to him directly. The simple truth is, small gods are more likely to answer your prayers. Of course, they're also more likely to dick you over, and they may be too weak to help you, which is why people do still pray to the Incarnae,


        My characters:
        Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
        Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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        • #5
          I'd say most people worship the Incarnae at least incidentally; like, you'd have to be deliberately set up to not do so to avoid even a minor expression of it. The Unconquered Sun especially, people realise how important the sun is. I'd say the Age of Sorrows is just widely lacking in major dedicated cults for them.


          I have approximate knowledge of many things.
          Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
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          • #6
            Indirect prayer to the Sun is almost universal. There's most likely an "it's OK to celebrate the Sun" day on the Blessed Isle, but beyond that they won't have any religion dedicated to him there. But beyond the threshold it's entirely possible for sun-worship to spring up just about anywhere. I imagine there's probably a big sun cult or two in the deep South, and parts of the Cult of the Illuminated may revere him too. If you have Dragon Kings running around in your game then they might hold ceremonies dedicated to the UCS. Finally, Whitewall is basically a giant fortified cathedral dedicated to him - I might be mistaken, but I understand that he is still formally worshipped there.

            Moon worship might pop up naturally in near bordermarches all around Creation. There might be ceremonies practised regularly within the Silver Pact, and there could also be moon-worship rituals built into cultures in some TSR civilisations.

            I tend to imagine a lot of consideration given to the Maidens, especially out of the Immaculates' area of influence, by those who are concious of the influence of Fate on their lives. There might be shrines to Mercury built on long roads or in ships, architects might sometimes erect beautiful monuments to Venus in the hope that she might bless their careers; there could be temples dedicated to her by sects who feel that there should always be a place of solace where one can seek inner peace, or who advocate pacifism, or are pleasure cults, or dedicate themselves to aesthetics or invention (the versatility of Venus's domain is often overlooked). Soldiers might regularly pay their respects to Mars. Perhaps in some places priests bless the dying in the name of Saturn.

            Are you looking for ideas or canonical examples?
            Last edited by Barefoot Monkey; 06-21-2014, 07:11 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
              However, there are a couple of caveats. Firstly, the Immacualtes have a strict calendar of who can be worshipped when. The Incarnae, I'd assume, get more time than minor local gods, but praying to them on an inappropriate day is not allowed.
              Luckily the appropriate day is never more than a week away.


              Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                Luckily the appropriate day is never more than a week away.
                That's a good point. Each Incarna has an entire day of the week dedicated to her/him.

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                • #9
                  I imagine that they also get dedicated Festival Days, but that these are infrequent (better to hold festivals for gods who might actually give a damn) and the appropriate day of the week is what is observed for lesser marks of worship (weddings on Venusday, funerals on Saturnday etc)


                  Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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                  • #10
                    I can't see the Immaculates letting ordinary citizens worship the Incarnae every week. Monks might well do small ceremonies though on each day.


                    My characters:
                    Dr Soma Vaidya, viper-totem Lunar and kung-fu doctor
                    Brother Alazar, Zenith occultist and last survivor of the Black Monastery of Leng

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
                      Luckily the appropriate day is never more than a week away.
                      ...Dammit, now I have that song stuck in my head.


                      "We do not quit playing because we grow old, we grow old because we quit playing." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

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                      • #12
                        Been a while since I read it, but here's what I remember. The Incarnae get worship from everyone, as they are the top dogs in heaven. They also have a tax on the worship received by other gods, which goes into a general fund used to feed unemployed jobs, and major projects. Even the Immaculate Order makes sure to give direct worship to the Incarnae, as appropriate.

                        Also, the seven days of the week are named after the seven Incarnae, so I think each gets a benefit then.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                          I can't see the Immaculates letting ordinary citizens worship the Incarnae every week. Monks might well do small ceremonies though on each day.
                          I can't see the Immaculates caring. The Sun is so powerful that your prayers aren't going to tempt him, nor is there any chance of him rising above his station. So long as your Sun-worship doesn't interfere with your other prayers, it should be fine unless Peleps Deled is looking over your shoulder.

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                          • #14
                            Most worship of gods actually goes towards the terrestrial gods, as they are the ones that you could actually confront, who control and maintain physical domains. Beyond that, gods associated with values of the community. If the Incarnae are worshipped it's likely in some esoteric interpretation of them. The Realm sets aside a time for worship of every god.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mewtarthio View Post
                              …nor is there any chance of him rising above his station.
                              Just you wait 'til he declares himself Double King of Heaven.

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