THE MEMORY OF THE CITY
log in
Mythology
Post-nomadic Sarthianism
Sarthianism on Thet, Wanisin, and Illera
Many of the symbols, icons, and issues dealt with by Sarthía in her various religious and philosophical treatises apply chiefly to the concerns of nomads. As a general rule during the Years of the Fringe, faith in Sarthianism grew whenever resources became scarce or in the wake of a disaster; otherwise the Lilitai were more sober thinkers and had a greater chance of discounting the myths their culture had been founded upon as mere stories. So, as circumstances changed, the religion evolved to stay relevant. On Illera and Wanisin, this additionally meant the survival of the Lilitai themselves; on Thessia Major it was more pertinent to the survival of the Lilitu cultural identity (and the gradual demise thereof.)

Illeran Sarthianism


Sarthía's output as an author had flagged substantially by the middle of the seventh century when Illera was colonised for the first time by the Lilitai; most of her effort had been poured into facilitating the arts rather than continuing her own creativity. Following the settlement of Illera, however, she found new inspiration, both poetically and in topics on which to provide guidance. This was generally well-received by the Lilitai, who found the harshness of their new home sometimes difficult to accept. With improvements in agricultural techniques made possible by the open air and fresh water, many of the population had more time to engage in introspective and religious activities, and a dearth of artistic output and analyses followed.

Illera also saw a substantial increase in the practice of Darika, the most fervent denomination of the religion, who saw Sarthía's writings as sugar-coating for an altogether less pleasant natural order, namely the original mythology of the Ksreskézai. Long popular among conservative factions like the Mitrajethíai, Darika was in practice the theology that many of the Dútéan ministries subscribed to, and this penchant for dark musings would give rise to numerous independent sects in secret caves hidden throughout Illera. This development was not substantially chronicled at the time, and the Alestéan cult of Kona Tuktanga is the only specific example for which we have documented evidence—evidence that came to us through Wanisin. Archaeologists on Illera are still discovering new caverns inhabited by the Darikanai, and it is estimated that there may have been more than a thousand such locations, or one for every sixty-five Lilitai at the height of the first colony. It has been hypothesized that some of these cults could have entertained eschatological prerogatives, and may have been complicit in the development of the Illeran Plague.

Sarthianism on Wanisin


Wanisinese Lilitai have an interesting relationship with Sarthía and her works: on one hand, many later Wanisinese have great respect Sarthía for her achievement in jump-starting a society that would have otherwise been paralysed by defeat. On the other, her official reputation was always one of a traitor who deprived the Lilitai of their natural right to inherit the Ksreskézaian Empire.

Nevertheless, certain strains of Sarthían teachings did flourish: many of the key Wanisin devotional books contain large portions of her treatises on ethics, albeit generally paraphrased. In later years, following the establishment of trade with Thet and Illera, tolerance towards true Sarthíanism improved, and while it remained a minority religion, its practice was no longer punished by ostracisation or caste demotion.

Alestéa on Wanisin


This had one exception: the cult of Alestéa, which was in practice (although not quite in name) the state religion. To the early Wanisinese and their Mitrajethíai forerunners, the spirit of Alestéa was perfect: ruthless, exacting, and destroying all that which was not perfect. They identified her as the fundamental spirit which had imbued the Ksreskézai with sabta (greatness), and worshipped their sun, which they named Sabta in honour of the Ksreskézaian star of the same name, as her emissary.

Hints of this practice had always existed among the Lilitai prior to this branch, even outside the Mitrajethíai, and continued to be visible until contact with the Lyrisclensiae, but it was generally held to be a regressionist fallacy.

Late Lilikoisan Sarthianism


Sarthian institutions did not fare well in proximity to other human cultures. Lilitic tradition did little to encourage a consistent work ethic, as the hardships of a nomadic lifestyle (and survival on Illera) had always bestowed on the tribe a sense of urgency that denied any opportunity for procrastination. The time to indulge in leisure was always hard-won, and as the easy climate of Thessia Major put an end to these difficulties, the Lilitai gradually became more reliant on the Lyrisclensiae as a role model for discipline. During the First War (107–194 iky), there was a brief revival in the survivalist mindset that had previously guided the tribe, but afterward the culture as a whole entered a steady, irrecoverable decline. Increasingly, old art forms were abandoned in favour of new media offered by the Telai and Lyrans, and religious values gave way to the ancient wisdom of the Lyrans, who seemed to have scientific alternatives for everything imaginable and very little interest in spirituality. The Lilitai were very curious about religious customs of other human societies at this time, but after the children's fable of Cogita and Chrona was absorbed into actual doctrine as Tshalléa and Taléa, the Lyrans began expressly trying to discourage such thinking.

By the start of the third century iky, most of the Sarthian cults were on the verge of disappearing entirely, and several were already gone; records from this time indicate that no festivals other than Dzhemesselía and Zhofedí Lemperí Venakoa were still being performed. Few of the original slokdtabasa still lived, so the commemorative meaning of these customs had no more audience. The most successful of the cults at this time were those whose goals could be aligned with, or subservient to, hedonism: Masadéa, Améa, and to a lesser extent Zeltetéa and Úravéa. With the arrival of the Catharsis in 207 iky, and the generally disruptive presence of the Hatel, all but these four were driven to complete extinction, and those Lilitai not sheltered within the social bubble of the Lyrisclensian-operated universities were lured into the sex trade in alarming numbers, so much so that the cities of Lilikoisa were entirely depopulated of young adults within a few decades. Most ended up in undocumented, barracks-like brothels throughout Torgezil, Tlemezil, and Kunan, and there is some evidence that a limited number were trafficked all the way to Wanisin via Serena tel Moukarhím's remaining confederates from her days as a pirate.

This sudden decline provoked outrage among the governments on Thessia Major, and by the end of the fourth century nearly all the Lilitai had been released from bondage, though the damage to their cultural continuity was irreversible. Protectionist and affirmative-action policies at Thessia Major's large universities were instituted around this time, and for the rest of the planetary era, the study of Lilitic culture was aggressively prioritised as Thet's unique and indigenous contribution to the arts.

Revivalist Illeran neo-Sarthianism


The purest form of Sarthianism widely practised today, the modern Illerans generally espouse that Sarthía's own modifications to her texts following the first colonization of Illera represent her final word, rejecting most later edicts. Ontologically, epistemologically, and calendrically pure, contemporary Illeran Sarthianism differs primarily from the original in that the core texts have all been translated into modern Illeran.

Thessian neo-Sarthianism


There are several branches of neo-Sarthianism in practice among the islands today, and over the many years since the Shattering, numerous different philosophies and approaches have sprung up as various revivalist movements have taken hold, flourished, and floundered. These can, roughly, be categorized by period (and sometimes individual stimulus event), genetic purity requirements, choice of calendar, acceptance of foreign deities, and key ontological (e.g. Tshalléa and Taléa) and epistemological perspectives (e.g. Lyrisian positivism vs. traditional relativism). In a few cases, neo-Sarthian cults of this period have gone so far as to recreate a state of self-enforced nomadism much like the Romani (Gypsy) peoples of Holocene Earth.

Zhofedí Popévatko


The popévatko, or festival calendar, was a key part of Lilitic religious and social life, and essential to maintaining ship and crew cohesion during the Years of the Fringe. Locussa Didakta gave her blessing to a TGC-based schedule for these holidays shortly before her death, which most Thessian-calendar-using sects retain without alteration.

original eventmodern namedate (mm-dd)
Zhofedí Lemperí VenakoaAkofama Zofis06-04
Alísogía'l TrotúzasaSogi Touza11-12
Atshogía'l asa NeptrúekhaPhantasia Aurora04-05
DzhemesselíaJemessa09-01 to 09-12
Ketabazainí AkofamaAkofama12-11
Vendashrí TshemshaComa Venasran11-03 to 11-04