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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Sera's Perfekt Symmetry

    Discussion thread for Sera's Perfekt Symmetry. If you would like to add a comment, click the Post Reply button.

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Okay, unless this is supposed to be one of those sneaky Temple Domains that pretends it is something else, can someone please explain how a Church of Sera can have have temples to other gods, yet still be regarded as a church of Sera?

    I would think this as being like a Catholic organisation running a synagogue and a muslim mosque but still insist they are Catholic/Christian churches.

    See also Caebstrech, which says:
    The wood is overseen by the Green Brothers, worshipers of Erik who tend to the wood, determine which lumber can be harvested and set hunting quotas. They leave all other worldly concerns to the church of Sera’s Perfect Symmetry of which they are one of the member temples.
    Joint rituals and ceremonies are one thing (cf. moon druids) but one church holding temples to another church doesn't make sense to me.

    Sorontar.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    The Green Brothers are not part of the Perfekt Symmetry. They are an organization large enough to get a mention in the province description but small enough that they have no holdings.

    Andrew is very good about not assuming all Brecht are automatically Sera worshiping, but will add little groups below the domain level to create opportunities for more interaction. His descriptions are full of little organizations you might not have expected if you go by the domain table, but are quite reasonable nevertheness.

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    Okay, so the Green Brothers aren't canon but I presume Sera's Perfekt Symmetry is. Even below the holding level I can't understand why a church following one god would want to have anything to do with owning temples of other gods, even if the gods are compatible. To quote the wiki:
    A number of temples belong to the Church, including temples of Erik, Laerme, and Cuiraécen.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Because domains are political coalitions. I think this particular coalition needs some explanation, because its quite varied and conflicts with other things we might generally assume (or have established elsewhere).

    But as to the principle, we know from canon sources that the second generation of gods (Cuiraecen, Eloele, and Laerme) started out within the temples of their parents, and still can commonly be found therein. We know that the people of Cerilia are mainly polytheistic, so that most everyone who takes to sea makes reverence to Nesirie. That presumes you have a valuable resource in these temples along along the coast and in port towns. If you are, say a temple of Haelyn, or Avani, and find Nesirie compatible, it only makes sense to enlist their aid on matters of common concern, grant them favorable privileges (they're insiders not outsiders), work with them as partners in a single domain.

    Suppose you are Hubaere Armiendin. You certainly have a lot of Nesirians living along side your Haelynites. Any many more who need Nesirie for specific functions, but otherwise recognize another patron. The nearest domain associated with Nesirie is the Eastern Temple of Nesirie, a rival domain, and you have fought one another in recent memory and may be gearing up for more outright conflict. Doesn't it make more sense to have a Nesirean on your side, who can run an organization that satisfies your people's need for Nesirie and the Nesireans among you in a way that is compatible with your domain politics (pro-Roesone, Ilien, and Medoere, friendly to RCS, hostile to OIT and ETN, Diemed and Aerenwe)?

    I assume that any temple might include priesthoods from the family and that additional allies might be included based on the ideology of the temple. Where a single temple has total dominance, as the Imperial Temple once had in Anuire, and as the Temples of Erik have in the Highlands, that temple has to satisfy all the needs of the people, or expect independent rivals to pop up. If you are the high druid of Halskapa, and you need a priest of Haelyn to assist with the investiture of a new king of Halskapa (and how you can crown a king without insuring the favor of the god of kings?) you want to have your own priest of Haelyn who will back you, and support you, and isn't going to be putting ideas in the ear of the king about how he doesn't need druids. Someone content to be your assistant, helper, second fiddle.

    In a polytheistic society, to have the kind of political power a domain has, it has to build a pantheistic coalition around the domain regent's agenda.

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    This doesn't wash with me. If Microsoft needed someone to help them with writing software for Apple Macs, then they *might* liase with Apple and even let Apple staff work with them on some projects, but they wouldn't ever start promoting Apple.

    Likewise, a church of Sera may need some clerics of Haelyn to help manage law and order, but I cannot seeing them actually running a Haelyn temple. They are more likely to have inhouse Haelynites or "pay" outside clerics on contract. This might support and influence a small local Haelyn temple, but it certainly can't be regarded as running it.

    Are you saying that this is the case because their support and influence is so great that the level -1 Haelyn temple can't do anything without permission of the Sera's Perfekt Symmetry? If so, then this is commonly what the power of being a state religion means. Any minority religion has to work with the state religion and not step on their divine shoes too much. How is Symmetry any different?

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where the disagreement is. If you accept in-house and on-contract, the rest is seasoning to taste.

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Why can't the Green Brothers worship Erik yet recognise Sera as head of the Pantheon with Erik as Sera's landsman? The domain system recognises political power and influence - the Green brothers simply accept that it is the Perfect Symmetry which holds the power while they operate within their narrow sphere alone (in a manner much more like traditional druids or harvest priests than the druids of Rjurik). So felling rights in the forest are overseen by the Brothers, who also bless fields and deliver calves and the like - but they leave all questions outside of 'when do we plant turnips' and the like the 'higher' orders within the perfect Symmetry.


    To expand your example of Microsoft, most listed companies own hundreds of subsidiary companies, some are dedicated suppliers, some hobbies, many have their own brand names, some may even wind up indirectly or directly competitors in one area or another (particularly when seen from the outside) - but they are all owned and ultimately controlled by the listed vehicle.


    I wrote the Symmetry to show people that '1 temple domain = 1 god' is as false and unnecessary a view as '1 guild domain = 1 industry type' or '1 law domain = 1 type of tax collector'. The domain of Sera's Perfect Symmetry is a major church which overseas the spiritual needs of entire realms - it does far more than simply whisper 'greed is good' in the ears of little Brecht and 'fortune favours the bold' in the ear of every captain daring the storm.

    So the Symmetry will include priests of all the major gods that accept Sera's leadership - her chamberlain Haelyn who oversees all law and protocol, her husband Ruornil who inspires inventors and craftsmen, her daughter blessed Avani who works with her husband Erik to bring life to Sera's fields, her daughter Nesirie who guides captains to safe harbour and profit, etc, etc.

    In my view it isn't aiding the competition to have 'foreign' gods in your domain - it's delegation.

    Of course few disputes would be more bitter than between priests of Haelyn from Anuire who see him as the great king, general, etc and such priests in Brechtur who see him as the judge and lawyer only. Similarly 'heresy' would be the least of the insults between a follower of Avani in the Symmetry and a follower from Ariya!

    One thing to remember is that in a pantheistic system very few people worship only one god, instead they offer prayers to all those relevant to them at the appropriate time (albeit most probably go to the head of the pantheon). The correct analogy to the catholic church would be 'how could the catholic church permit people to pray to St Peter/Mary/etc - the answer is that the church sees the Saint not as a competitor, but as part of its fabric and indeed promotes them to expand its influence over those less interest in the core message.

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    Site Moderator Sorontar's Avatar
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    I don't agree with in-house clerics of rival gods at all. I am more favourable to "on contract", where the state religion is able to keep the "rival" church to such a level that it doesn't gain any regency.

    A Cerilian church wants power through political maneouvering and support of the masses. It also wants to have its word recognised as "the way". Since all temple holdings profess to be the voice of their god and their god knows what is best, why would it want to have any rival god to gain power? Surely a church of Sera would just want people to ask for help from Erik, Haelyn etc in very specific things (almost superstitions) and ask for Sera's guidance in most everyday matters.

    For a church of Sera to publicly own churches (not shrines) of these other gods would work against them. It would promote the importance of these gods, regardless of how much they profess that Sera is the Boss God.

    If the Green Brothers are Erik worshippers with regard to their lives, then I read that as that they see him as the most important god. How then can they be "one of the member temples"? Temples to what? Erik or Sera? Are the Green Brothers a temple holding?

    I am asking for clarity for all this. It doesn't make sense to me on multiple levels.

    Or is the Symmetry just a god-independent ideology that is shared by multiple churchs of rival religions, where Sera's church is the most vocal about it (and hence is labelled with it)?

    Sorontar.

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    Senior Member cccpxepoj's Avatar
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    temples in Brechtur are more religiously tolerant then those in Anuire, for example Old Father of Forest temples in eastern basin states have a strong Ruornil's influence. Temples of Ruornil in Overlook are infused with teachings of Erik, and churches in Treucht and Burows have their powers granted by several Gods.

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