From Dark Age Redemption
We tend to use real-word terms because they’re easy, but they do often come with RL baggage attached. As such, some players requested I provide some new terms to be used in relation to our in-game religion, and thusly, here it is!
- Certain individuals are born with a divine spark. It is said they are favored by God. As such, when they die, they do not stay dead. The Godsworn can recognize this divine spark in one another. All PCs are Godsworn. For more information, see Death.
- The current Sovereign of the Federation is a Sirion Peredhil, making him King of the Federation. The Federation was constructed with a weak Sovereign and strong High Houses, but recent events have seen many High Houses fall, and the King grab up power in their wake. Addressed as "your majesty" or "my liege".
- High House
- The current High Houses are House Calador, House Draven, House Peredhil. The High Houses are empowered by their own vote (ie, the high houses can choose another noble house to assume the role of 'high house'). They generally control large commodities, plots of land, etc.
- High Lord/High Lady
- The head of a High House. Organization within the house varies by house, but in the eyes of the Federation and the King, the High Lord/Lady is the singular controller of the entire house. Addressed as "your grace".
- A member of a noble house. Though the heredity of the house generally follows the line of the head of the house, all immediate family within the house are generally given the title Lord or Lady. Cousins and the like may or may not be considered nobility, depending on the internal decision of that house. Addressed as "my lord" or "my lady". Please note that "Lady <Given Name>" is correct, while "Lady <House Name>" would be reserved for the Head of HOuse, while speaking to her in the capacity of Head of House.
- Noble houses, as well the Steel Wardens, can take knights. Knights take oaths to put the house above all else, including their own lives. A knight is generally a martial position. Addressed as "ser" or "dame".
- A commoner in special standing within the Federation. High-ranking servants of a noble house are generally considered Gentry, and afforded more respect and preference than commoners in general.
- Aka, Commoners within the Federation. The freefolk are labeled plainly as "free" to set them apart from the branded. Commoners within the Federation are referred to as "Mister" or "Miss" or "Misses". Using "sir" or "ma'am" is not be confused with the titles for knights, and is merely a means to address a superior or show respect.
- It is said that the origin of branding comes from dealing with the Godsworn (see above). As they do not die, you cannot execute the Godsworn. Branding is an alternative, where the brand will remain on the Godsworn's skin even after they die and return to life. Brands are put in visible locations, and the brand shows the type of crime committed. See Laws. While the practice supposedly started with the Godsworn in mind, it's now a common punishment for any crime. Most branded are also sentenced to years of servitude, with the most common form being hard labor in the Quarry of Portcross.
- Nobles making use of surnames generally do so to refer to the entire house or the head of that house. "Lady Calador" would refer to the head of House Calador, as there could theoretically be many women who are noble and also use the surname.
- Gender-Specific Insults
- The world of Leanantla has seen many, many powerful women. Women can be leaders, rulers, knights, soldiers, etc. Just the same, men can as easily fill roles traditionally viewed as feminine. As such, gender-specific insults are not often used in the world. Ex: Idiot: "You can't do that, you're a weak girl!" Lady Juliet: *chops his head off*
- Sexuality-Specific Insults
- There's no taboo around sexual orientation. While two nobleman can be seen as problematic, as they cannot produce a natural-born heir, this is generally a problem that doesn't come up often. Outside of the nobility, no one much cares about who you choose to love. Just do it behind closed doors, as Greycastle and Coventry are fairly prude-ish.
- Son/Daughter of a Stone/Tree/Woods
- Due to the constant danger of Leanantla, as well as parents losing children during the branding process, in addition to just the nature of life, there are a lot of orphans or children that otherwise grow up without their biological parents. While new surnames are often given, it's common enough to refer to someone an orphan as "Son of a Stone". This can be extended to bastards, as well.
- Worship, Dedication, Practice
- Okay, so this isn’t a new term, but I wanted to clarify… Worship, dedication and practice look a lot different in Dark Age than they do in real life. You don’t need to get on your knees and pray to the Father. Our world has no “ask for forgiveness or go to Hell”. That means practice is about embodying the ideals of the Father and His Sons.
- That means if you’re a follower of Wisdom, being piously and godly and worshipping can mean simply studying, reading books, recording history, holding an intellectual debate. For justice, it may be helping the poor, advocating for people who have been mistreated, joining the Wardens as an auxiliary and volunteering at the city guard. For power, you might engage in charity, escort a vulnerable group across the land, or challenge someone’s established ideas.
- While God is an acceptable term, there are many alternatives, including: Father, Patriarch, Sky, Maker
- The Paths
- Aka, the Virtues, aka, the Sons of God. This is Justice, Power, and Wisdom, three paths embodying three virtues that were presented by the three Sons of God. It’s common enough for individuals to pray to an individual Son of God, and also common for people to not truly believe the Sons of God to be taken literally, and instead just viewed as The Virtues.
- This term can be used in exchange for Father or God. Generally speaking, replacing “God” with “Sky” makes a lot of real-life terms less jarring. Ie, “Sky damn you!” or “Sky above!”.
- While the term “Heaven” is not usually used, it is an acceptable term for “where you go when you die”. More commonly, you go to The Sky or to The Father. So instead of “He died and went to heaven”, it would be “He died and returned to the Father”. Instead of “She’s waiting in heaven”, “She’s waiting with the Father”. The Most Scholarly would know “Yashain” as a term for heaven.
- There is no eternal damnation in Leanantla. Instead, those that die who were considered impious must wait “in the clouds”, where they have time remember their lives and see what all impious things they did. As such, the real life “you’re going to hell!” turns into “you’ll be waiting in the Clouds”. Any other term suggesting waiting and reflecting on life is appropriate, too. Eg, “You may not see what you’re doing as wrong, but when you’re standing outside the Father’s house, waiting, you will.”
- The place where demons live. Using “hell” to mean “Abyss” is acceptable, when used in that context. No one “goes to hell”, unless they’re taking a trip to the home of demons. Abyss can then be used in place of any real-world “go to hell” type expressions, though it does have a bit more weight to it. Instead of saying “You’re going to the bad place for your sins!” you’re saying “I hope you never return to the Father!” The Most Scholarly would know the ancient term “Yeresse”, which is just another word for Abyss.
- The Void
- Sometimes conflated with the Abyss, the Void is a very poorly defined term that seems to suggest some “in between” Terra (ie, where we live now) and the Abyss. It is a dark place full of terrors.
- Creatures of the Abyss (or the Void, see above). The enemies of God and Godly Folk. As researching demons and consorting with demons is generally against the law, there’s really very little that is known about them. Demons are generally tied to every evil thing, to non-Divine magic, to misfortune, to witches, to everything. For instance, blaming failed crops on demons is common. Accusing anyone acting very strange, or having odd beliefs as “consorting with demons” is likewise common.
- The Church
- Aka, The Church of the Father, Church of the Triad, Church of Sky. This is used when speaking of the formal organization.
- Anything referencing God.
- Someone that actively pursues the Virtues on whatever way. There is no other religion on Leantantla, so the term is generally used to separate those that actively worship (see above) from those that do not.
- The physical structure wherein the Church holds service. Temples are always devoted to the entire House of Sky.
- A site dedicated to one specific Path.
- Gender-neutral. The head of the Church of Sky. Addressed as "your excellency".
- A recognized devotee of the Church of Sky. Priests celebrate God totally, and are not focused on one individual path. Addressed as Father/Mother.
- A pursuant of priesthood, the deacons focus exclusively on one path to learn more about it, as they move toward becoming a priest. No honorific mode of address (ie, Miss/Mister is just fine).
- Gender-neutral. These are devotees to the House of Sky that are not pursuing priesthood. They live a Faithful life, do not want to lead congregations, spread the message, etc. Addressed as Brother/Sister. Note: there are no nuns.
- So may it be
- This is our equivalent to “Amen”. Said both at the end of prayers but also as a means of agreement. Eg, “I’m glad we’re done with that!” “So may it be.”
- Sky willing
- A literal statement asking for a blessing (Sky willing, this trip will go well), it’s also used for what equates to “I hope so”. Eg, “he said he’d take me to see his prize-winning stallion, sky willing!” or “Let’s see if the baker has any of those cakes we like!” “Sky willing!”
- Grace and Skies
- A blessing, often used as a casual greeting or farewell address. “Skies” refers to the Father and His Sons or the Paths.
- Mind your Path
- A gentle rebuke, this is said when someone is behaving in a way that is un-Godly or impious.
- Light the Way
- A blessing, often used as a casual greeting or farewell address.
- Dark skies!
- An exclamation, usually for something bad happening or about to happen.
- Son/Daughter of a Demon!
- An exclamation, insult, etc.
- Under the light of the Sky
- A phrase meaning “I am very serious serious” or “I understand fully”, depending on context. Eg, “Do you understand what this means?” “Under the light of the Sky, I do!”
- God does not war with Himself
- A bit of a philosophical expression, this is used to suggest that while at times the Paths might seem divergent or contradictory, they are all part of God and all correct. This expression is also used to encourage contemplation, thoughtfulness, or otherwise thinking on a subject. It can be used casually, in which its meaning is to convey certainty or clarity. Eg, “Are you sure of this plan?” “God does not war with Himself.”