The Cintran Wars
Anaxagoras of Kos, philosophies of the Rionarr peoples
Gods of Death
As I have stated in previous chapters the Roinarr peoples attitude to religions seems to have been more fluid than was discussed by other Historians. Consider for instance the works of the Philosopher Forkon. While many have attributed to Him a religious, moralising sentiment, erudite readers need not draw this limiting conclusion.
Consider the Dialogues of ‘Eutyphero’, ‘Meno’ and ‘Hippias Minor’. In ‘Eutyophero’ and ‘Meno’, Forkon utilises Dielectic Pedagogy to challenge the narrow comprehension of ideas of Justice and Happiness as may be reflected by a purely religious worldview. In Hippias He directly confronts a literary critic (read: Lay Speaker) in interpreting religious texts literally.
Even in “The City”, Forkon does not ask “What do the Gods want from a Just City?” Rather he asks: “Which Gods shall we Have?” making it clear that He takes a utilitarian approach to religion. The Gods to be worshiped are the ones which represent values he deems useful and necessary.
While most religious and other texts of the Roinarr are lost to us, of the fragments that remain, nowhere is this fluid attitude more apparent than in Their treatment of the Gods of Death.
The Roinish worshiped as the Goddess of Death and Judgment, the Raven Queen. Who, however, had three helpers (minor gods or demigods – their status is unclear) represented with her: Daema, Maiden of Absolution; Cleanthes, the Keeper of Fate and Time and Philo, the Master of Nothing. The Author humbly refers the reader to the Basskip relief.
Yet while Minor Gods in modern pantheons tend to represent aspects of the same idea, the Roinish pantheon was inherently contradictory.
The Raven Queen, represented as a Stern Woman holding a Scale and a Sickle, or a flock of ravens, represents the inevitability of death and ultimate Judgment awaiting all mortal souls.
Demea, the Maiden of Absolution is represented as a weeping young woman holding a handkerchief. It is believed that no matter how heavy the sins or evil deeds, with true repentance mortals can expect absolution and forgiveness in the Afterlife.
Cleanthes (also known by the name Temporadus), the Keeper of Fate, is represented by a Blindfolded Dragon beneath a Crescent Moon. It is said that the fate of all mortals in this life and the next is written, yet the Keeper of this story cannot even see Creation, rather can only see the hearts of Mortals.
Philo, finally, is a Robed Man wearing a Plain Mask, holding an Hour Glass. He is the terror and the succor of the Nothingness that awaits all when this mortal life is over.
Note, Esteemed Reader, the contradictions in this theology! The Raven Queen holds all Mortals to account for their actions in this life, awarding or punishing them as is appropriate.
Demea weeps for our sins but is ready to forgive us and wash away our past misdeeds and transgressions. Cleanthes holds that the entire creation has been written and no action by us can change what has already been pre-determined to transpire. Philo holds that nothing matters since we are all dust, in time.
All four of this views are held by priests and Philosophers this day, and surely was held in the ancient past as well, yet here these contradictory views are represented by not just the same pantheon but by a superior Goddess and three Helpers or Minor gods.
I hold, Gentle Reader, that these where representations of Philosophical outlooks, rather than Schizophrenic entities battling among each other!
Consider Cleanthes – he believes that the whole world has been pre-ordained yet he cannot see it, he can only see what is in our Hearts – is that not a perfect metaphor for what each of us experiences? Thrown by Tides of Fate in this or that direction without rhyme or reason yet hoping for a plan?
What about the Raven Queen Herself? Do we not hope for Judgement against those who trespass against us? And do we not also hope for Demea’s Absolution for ourselves?
Do we not, in the depths of our heart, know that at the end of this life there is nothing but dust and endless nothingness and oblivion? That we all hold an hourglass as brother to Philo?
Thus I maintain the “Gods” of the wise Roinish were a representation of our own, Mortal, knowledge of our condition.
To the masses: figurines to worship. To sing, and pray, and sacrifice to- with all the pomp and circumstance their simple hearts’ desire. To the Philosopher: anthropomorphized truth, given voice and shape.