Battlism is the name given to a variety of religious beliefs held across the Snow Empire. Practiced by a large majority of Gera's inhabitants, it is by far the most powerful religious organization in the Snow Empire. At the core of its beliefs is that two primal, dualistic deities—Mighel and Winter—created the world in its current form through an epic battle, and that one should strive to practice the perfect human ideal that Mighel embodies. The beliefs, practices, and tenets of Battlism are contained in a single series of documents known as the Scrolls. There are many sects of Battlism, but most recognize one high priest; the current high priest of Battlism is Lorewell.
Though the beliefs of individual Battlists vary widely, in general these are the following things that most mainstream Battlist sects believe:
● The world originally existed in a primeval state, as a void without light.
● Two deities formed in the darkness: Mighel and Winter, each the antithesis of the other.
● Mighel created humans from his own consciousness and endowed them with Epzin,
while Winter created all other species, including animals and plants.
● Mighel’s people spread all over the void, and they were capable of fantastic things.
However, Mighel’s people eventually grew powerful and were subjugating the other
life, so Winter initiated a war. First, the war was only fought among humans and sapient
species, and many humans defected to Winter’s side, including the first human created,
Vega. Some humans also deserted Mighel but did not fight beside Winter, becoming
● Winter and Mighel finally entered the fray, and the world as we know it was created.
Though both deities were dispersed into a much less powerful form, their attacks created
the dirt, mountains, seas, lakes and the celestial bodies.
● The remaining humans had fled to different extremes of the continent, and are generally
considered to have been divided into three groups based on who they fought for in the
great war of creation. The Migelayn sided with Mighel, the Wailoloyan sided with Winter,
and the Netkhal remained neutral.
● Cal, the great warrior of the past, is the first true prophet of Mighel and Winter, and
revealed the secrets of creation to the world.
● The Scrolls are based on Cal’s words.
● Follow the teachings revealed in the Scrolls, and in death, you will be reunited in the
collective spirit of Mighel that permeates the world. Do not, however, and you will
wander the mortal plane as an intangible husk forever.
● A second prophet of Mighel and Winter, who is able to yield both Epzin and the fabled
natural magic, will be born and stabilize Gera.
One of Battlism's most constant beliefs is the belief that the world is best seen through the lens of two opposing, yet complimentary forces. According to Battlist beliefs, the existence of one of these forces is necessary to balance the other.
Mighel is typically associated with: humanity, civilization, order, reasoning, technology, Epzinic magic, heat, fire, light, masculinity, agriculture and animal husbandry, the day, and the sun. Winter is associated with: non-human life, nature, chaos, instinct, cold, natural magic, ice and snow, darkness, femininity, storms and weather, the night, and the moon.
The earth and the sky are affiliated with neither deity, as they are stated to have existed in some form before Mighel and Winter appeared.
In classical Battlist theology, neither Mighel nor Winter embodies "good" or "evil." The two beings are said to be at once in harmony, yet at war. Each of the qualities that they embody can be wielded for both righteous and malevolent purposes. In practice, Mighel tends to be be favored by most in Gera as humanity's champion, and humans are seen as opposed to the rest of nature.
Sins and Virtues
The sins and virtues of Battlism are not said to have been handed down to humanity by Mighel. Instead, humans strive to embody the ideal that Mighel and Winter embodied, and these five sins and virtues are one succinct way of doing so.
- Balance vs. Discord: The chief tenet of Battlism is the desire to keep balance between the two opposing forces represented by Mighel and Winter. Neither is good or evil: both are needed to sustain the world.
- Duty vs. Neglect: Battlism emphasizes the important of one’s duty to one’s obligations. Just as Winter and Mighel gave up their corporeal essences to sustain life on the earth, and just as Winter and Miguel’s many minions were willing to give up their eternal lifetimes to fight for their leader, a follower of Battlism must maintain their duties to their religion, family, allies, and nation.
- Betterment vs. Idleness: Both human civilization and nature are continually changing and striving for perfection. In order to achieve the ideal set by Mighel and Winter, one must continually work to better oneself in all disciplines. Piety, magic, intelligence, battle ability, philosophy, and the arts are all things that mere humans on the mortal plane can improve, in order to get closer to the omnipotent power held by Mighel and Winter.
- Moderation vs. Indulgence: To better approach the true ideal of Winter and Mighel, one must detach oneself from worldly pleasures. Therefore do not live a lifestyle beyond what is needed. Do not eat, drink, rage, or lust to excess.
- Humility vs. Arrogance: All beings that now walk the moral plane are powerless in comparison to Mighel and Winter. Therefore, do not be boastful. Do not look down upon others undeservedly.
Originating following the dissolution of the Calpirium in 176 GY, legends of Cal's words, spread by those closest to him, began to propagate throughout the Calpirium states. These legends begin to affect the religious traditions of the peoples in the states, and began to crystallize into a new religious practice. In 274 GY, poets and philosophers from across the Migelayn lands are invited to Apkham, the most powerful of the Mighelayn states, by its chief council. The resulting series of documents became known as The Scrolls, and they quickly began to spread around the Mighelayn states, mostly due to Apkham's great influence. Though Battlism would gain several competing traditions and clergies in the ensuing years, Battlism took hold the most in Zeminar.
The most devoted Battlists may take a pledge of pacifism. This tradition is not mentioned in the Scrolls; instead, it began 1400 in Zeminar. Although its origins are obscure, its rationale is clear: Mighel and Winter's battle was so great, that to stage any battle of any kind on earth would be a mockery of their creation.