"obscurum per obscurius"
- Meaning: To explain obscurity by means of the more obscure.
- Obscuvan, Obscuvian, Obscuvianist, Obscuvite
OOC Notes: Obscuvians aren't epitome of evilEdit
Obscuvans are not the epitome of evil. I recognize that it's incredibly easy to put them in that context, though, and in the eyes of the Empire Obscuvianism is seen as an unsound and unethical religion. But that is per custom, and what Obscuvians usher in politically is a fairly radical idea, but it's that combination of politics and religion that they make so easily accessible to the common man that the 'cult' is so damn popular.
You might also be asking why we call them 'cutists' in the first place. It's slang-- a commonly used term, even by some Obscuvians, to describe the religion. Cultists are described synonymously as "an unorthodox religious organization" and "extreme devotion of a person, idea, object, movement, or work." Obscuvos is considered both a person, idea, and movement. The sect itself, being so big, is also considered unorthodox in a land where Panymisian is the ruling religion. Think about it-- what would happen to the Christian population in the United States if, suddenly, everyone started to convert into Scientology?
Origins of ObscuvianismEdit
Read more about it here!
Obscuvianism is the religion of the Auvinian Royal Family, Cyphus. They have also garnered sympathy from Emperor Rine VIII, and was an incredibly important contributor in convincing Family Cyphus of giving charity to Trisica University. The House also offers an alternative view of Magic, and is the leader in the field of Plagueology.
Education is also an incredibly important part of Obscuvianism, nearly absent from Panymisian (minus Panymisians' monasteries). Due to the Obscuvians placing imporance on humans, and of their greater obscurity, Obscuvians also own a large number of orphanages and tutoring rings all around Panymium. They also build safehavens for tutors around Panymium, which are public institutions or lodges where many tutors can stay to teach the region and live at the same time, which Obscuvians call tutleries.
Obscuvians believe in, essentially, two concepts-- chaos and obscurity. Chaos is better defined as innate freedom, which Obscuvians strive for while reaching Paradise. Freedom is also the separation of humans from a greater being outside of Pandora's box, and its messenger Obscuvos.
Obscuvianism also places a certain amount of importance on obscurity, or normalcy, and believes that all humans face judgment in the eyes of Obscuvos. They do not believe in a sacred or divine passage passed down by Panyma. In a sense, Obscuvians strive for social equality because they also believe in spiritual equality.
This religion is, in a sense, a social response to social injustices provided by the Empire and its slippery sense of power. The Empire and his Audience, as well as the Kings and Queens of Panymium, have failed to provide answers medically, politically, and even magically to cure Panymium of the Black Death-- which is why Obscuvians are the main proponents of social change. Politically speaking, and in the most condensed way possible, common men support them because of their upsetting conditions under the Empire, while lords support Obscuvianism to have greater control over their land, money, and trade, esp. if laws were enforced by the "people"-- those who are educated-- rather than by one central figure.
(( Read: I am just trying to say that Obscuvians want a parliamentary government. Well, lords do, and they have more power politically, so they get more say-- Obscuvian poor men pretty much want a communist governam i making sense here??? ))
Rites & CustomsEdit
Obscuvians are prohibited from eating crows and most types of corvids, unless the High Prophet calls for a celebration or if there is a particular occasion to be recognized by the Church. Many feasts where new members are inducted require the feasting of many different kinds of birds.
Prayer is typically done by genuflection, the same as Panymisian. Other times, Obscuvians pray while covering their ears with both hands, or exchanges prayer by covering the ears of another, but this is privately done. Publically, and in churches, Obscuvians rest their palms on their laps and make their hands overlap in an "X" formation.
Rites of PassageEdit
Feasting, confession, charity-- there are many ways to gain passage into the Obscuvan church, but to move up in rank takes a special connection to Obscuvos. (More to be written)
All churchgoers, followers included, are given a bird mask. This bird mask is typically porcelain and uncolored, and its beak is extended to hold numerous herbs to give off a pleasant aroma. Other times, the bird masks tend to cover only half of the face, with bird's 'beak' covering only the top aprt of the nose.
Followers are allowed to get bird masks of different varieties, though the more popular rendition is of the crow. Some follower cliques and regions do assign a bird to its individiual church-- for example, magpies, finches, owls, doves, jays, hawks, et cetera-- which are given out by that church's own volition. The High Prophet and Prophet tend to have incredibly decorative masks, that tend to separate them from the rest of the Church, and Obscvuian Patriarchs tend to represent a type of bird.
The church structure of Obscuvians are laid out similarly to the Panymisian church:
Patriarch > Cardinal > Bishop -> Priest -> Acolyte
Except, of course, the Panymisians have Matriarchs instead of Patriarchs', and also lead the regional church in each province. Cardinals, "princesses" to the Patriarch/Entente role in Panymisian, are also assigned to males, while Bishops, Priests, and Acolytes are appointed to both genders equally. Instead of the Entente ((Panymese version of the Pope)) who double as the Patriarch of Helios, the Obscuvan hierarchy is led by the High Prophet and his assistant, the Prophet.
Those in the House of Obscuvos are not automatically Acolytes, the lowest ranking in the church hierarchy. They are instead Followers, and must show dedication to Obscuvianism before being appointed to the Acolyte position-- members of churchood who are permissed by the Prophet to spread religious teachings.
Friars, monks, nuns, and mendicants devote their lives to religion absolutely. They isolate themselves in numerous Obscuvian monasteries, typically small in size and isolated in mountains (there are numerous in the Silents), and learn things such as writing, mathematics, astronomy, and music. In Auvinus, where there are hundreds of monasteries located in its fields, numerous Auvinuians go to Obscuvian monks to learn of their religion and basic education needed for trading and farming.
OOCly, Obscuvianism is represented as a double-strcuture in terms of rank. After becoming an Acolyte, a person might move freely in the political schema of the House of Obscuvos, choosing instead to lead the House in ways of business and politics over spirituality. These men and women are leaders in numerous amounts of Obscuvian schemes, includingi 'Public R'elations, Trade, Education, Faction Relations, Plagueology, and Magical Arts, and Medicine. Rank in importance are as follows--
Overseer -> Luminary -> Envoy -> Peon -> Acolyte
Overseers are leaders of the entirety of the House's political relations, while Luminaries are leaders in both fields and a province. Envoys are leaders of regions within a province, while Peons are workers varying in skill that complete tasks for the House of Obscuvos. The most notable Luminary at the moment is Mister Adlam, Luminary for Plagueology.
Myths & LegendsEdit
Dreams are incredibly important in Obscuvian culture. They do have an indexical of symbolisms in dreams, called the Oblivisci, and in possession of most Obscvuians akin to their own 'Bible.' The presence of Obscuvos in a dream generally leads to acknowledgement by the Church, shall the dreamer be willing to confess his dreams.
Some Obscuvians believe that Obscuvos, in his physical form, is the shadow of Ada of reborn. This is a growing belief amongst those who converted from Panymisian.
Andromeda the WiseEdit
Andromeda the Wise is a recent legend, an incredibly powerful Quietus born to the High Prophet himself. She has incredible elemental ability and titles herself the Wife of Obscuvos, and has a high number of Plague followers.
Obscuvians are more popularly known by the common man for its extremists. These extremists indulge in experimentation, including drugs (herbal-based) and rituals for Obscuvos, and though they are not reprimanded by the mainstream Church, they are also rarely mentioned by Patriarchs. The High Prophet as of now, Sir Onfroi Molyneux, is also rumored to be an Obscuvian extremist, though whether or not this is rumor has yet to be proven.
Opiates are also an incredibly accessible and widely used instrument for many Obscuvians, and things that induce hallucinations are as well, as hallucinations are considered a part of the Oblivisci index. Opiates are mainly consumed in group circles, however, and the practice is considered a cardinal sin in mainstream Panymisian texts.
Views on DeathEdit
Death is considered an early passage into Paradise. Those who are in the Obscuvian church are considered a part of Obscuvos' great scheme, meaning that those who perish before the end of the world will be reborn anyway. Those who are not a part of the church, however, are void beings doomed to die anyways-- an invalid factor of life that will die no matter what.
Many of the cultists' allegedly terrible actions are linked to their thoughts of death. Many underground Obscvian missions and rituals include the death of the helpless and the criminal, especially for those who want to gain passage into the House. These murders and killings, in the Panymisians' (and many other people's) eyes are immoral, therefore bending the mold of Obscuvianism to that of 'evil' and 'corrupt.'
Obscuvians, in that light, also tend to disconnect notions of reality away from death.
While the House does give charity to those who need it, they also are involved in a numerous amount of black market and propaganda schemes. They are generally accused of being the catalyst to the Great Imisese Riot in 1411 ((See: The Credence event)), which left the Imisus capital of Gadu in utter ruin. Panymisians also accuse Obscuvianism, which shares the idea of absolute freedom and power to the obscure, promotes anarchist and murderous ideals in a person, and condones the Obscuvian church for commiting felonies that were generally headed by its thousands of extremists.
View on PlaguesEdit
Plagues, especially Caedos and Infitialis, are viewed in a near holy light. They believe that Plagues are a catalyst to the end of the world, and are beings that most closely reflect what humans might be like after the creation of Paradise. Others view Plagues as sacred items, wholly iconic of both chaos and human obscurity.