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. In order to adapt to new environments, the religion had to evolve in order to survive. 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.)
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.
Sarthianism on Wanisin
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
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.
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.
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 event||modern name||date (mm-dd)|
|Zhofedí Lemperí Venakoa||Akofama Zofis||06-04|
|Alísogía'l Trotúzasa||Sogi Touza||11-12|
|Atshogía'l asa Neptrúekha||Phantasia Aurora||04-05|
|Dzhemesselía||Jemessa||09-01 to 09-12|
|Vendashrí Tshemsha||Coma Venasran||11-03 to 11-04|