The basic tenets of Solity are to live a life according to the moral/ethical requirements stated in the Chronicles. Additionally, adherents of this faith are required to ask for forgiveness for their transgressions against their god, because, to garner this deity's approval you must follow the strict code of ethics mentioned before, and since the code is virtually impossible for anyone to always follow, adherents feel the need to always ask for forgiveness.
Solity is a Solitian faith (Solar God Religion), and first started as a sect of this faith in Caro when Enryn of Tarva, a follower of this faith, rose to fame while claiming divine favor (and eventually personal divinity) and began spreading the teachings of his faith as well as additions that came only from him. Ten years after he began teaching, the Carish Empire would come to find him intimidating, and after five more years of unrest among the nobility of Caro, he would be captured, tried, and only to avoid causing a rebellion would be given a single warning by the Carish government to stop his teachings. However, immediately after being released, Enryn would begin preaching again.
After another 2 years, the Carish government would warn him once again, but this time make an example and shop off his left arm, still reluctant to execute him because of his fame. But nonetheless, after a year of recuperation, Enryn would begin to teach again, even despite his closest followers' wishes, a group of 9 men and women who would come to be known as the Nine Disciples. And so, once word reached Carish nobility after he spent another 3 years teaching, they would capture him, and this time sentence him to a public execution by burning, this is why Solitians always burn bodies, and believe it prevents the soul from being able to escape the body once dead.
After Enryn's death, the following of Solity would quickly grow among the populace due to it's teachings of respect towards the common born. It would soon become the dominant religion among the commoners, but not the upper class. However, over the next 50 years civil unrest would grow so bad that nobles across the Region of Glanodel would be forced to convert or face rebellions. So, within less than 60 years of Enryn's death, his followers would grow to cover most of Glanodel.
Since Solity's conception there have been four central beliefs that have stayed constant and their acceptance is required by all members to be considered a member:
- belief in Sol Dominus as the one true god
- Enryn as the savior of mankind and the son of Sol
- the execution and ascension to heaven of Enryn
- the Enryn Chronicles as the holy word of Sol, and guide by which all should live their life
- and the need for the forgiveness of sin at the hands of Sol
- Believing in all of these claims made by this religion is what the religion itself claims will earn you a spot with Sol in heaven when you die.
Additionally, as part of the concept of sin which the faith preaches all individuals commit sin and require forgiveness for this tresgression against Sol. A list can be found in all copies of the Chronicles called the Seven Edicts. An attempt at adherence to these and the asking for forgiveness when you inevitably fall short is required. They are as follows:
- Thou shalt have no other gods than the true god, Sol Dominus.
- Thou shalt not take the Lord's name in vain.
- Thou shalt not do harm to an innocent.
- Thou shalt not be prideful.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not covet.
While there are several other rules and possible sins that can be committed while following Solity, these are generally considered the most important to follow, since they are mentioned first in the list of possible sins.
Solity centers predominantly around the worship, praise, adoration, and beseeching of Enryn of Tarva, who Solitians claim is the Savior of Mankind. Once prayed to, Enryn, in turn, relays all concerns he deems worth hearing to Sol Dominus, the true god of Solity, who then choses to grant the request or not.
Sol Dominus is considered to be the one true god. He is the supposed creator of mankind, the protector of humanity, and requires total obedience and dedication from his followers. Enryn of Tarva is usually seen as the right hand of Sol Dominus. Enryn is also viewed as the general of Sol's army of angels, and it is fortold in the Chronicles that one day he will return with that army to combat Caligo when he creates his own avatar, and attempts to claim all of humanity for himself.
A key component to the Solity faith is the belief in a counter being to Sol Dominus. While believed to be "weaker" than Sol, this counter being is still influential in our world, and leads humans to sin. His name is Caligo, which means darkness. Originally one of the angels of Sol, he was ejected from heaven, around the same time as the other evil gods in other faiths, and was one of the founders of the Infernal Depths. He commands an infernal, demonic host of warriors and tainted souls, and is said to claim most human souls who do not repent for their transgressions against Sol. Caligo is often feared as the one who looks through the Moons in the sky, much like how Sol is believed to look down on us from the Sun. Because of this, Caligo is usually seen as a two faces demon, or a demon without a visible or distinguishable face.
Heaven & HellEdit
Within Solity, conventional wisdom holds that good souls go to heaven to join Sol, while the evil souls go to hell. The Solitian heaven is usually viewed in the same way as other faiths, as a huge city of the grandest design where houses surround a great central castle where Sol and his son reside. Souls are said to exist as the flames of unmelting candles, tended by angels, forever in a state of total bliss and contentment.
In contrast with heaven, the Solitian hell is essentially the same as any other version of the infernal plane. But more specifically, this hell is referred to as being controlled by Caligo specifically, who rules with a massive army of demons and devils, products of hardened, tainted souls corrupted by torture and the evil nature of this plane. It is described as devoid of food, racked with only heat, rage, and chaos. Streams of molten lava run from the top of mountains frequently, only stopping for seconds before another mountain will take its place. The few pools of liquid that can be found in some areas is actually just acid and upon closer examination is constantly bubbling. The sky is an endless expanse of smoke, which constantly flows from the mountains. While the dirt and rock of this plane is still dirt and rock, it is charred, and has a black color to it, always. There is no life here, and nothing ever grows. Demons and Devils can be encountered here, simply looking around for new mortal souls that have just arrived to this plane. The air has an ash-like, smoggy thickness to it, and is difficult to breath in. This also makes it difficult to see at times, as new volcanoes erupt. Here, evil souls are tortured for all of eternity for their transgressions against Sol and their fellow men.
A recent creation of humanity, "the church" can roughly be summarized as an organization based upon the ethics, teachings, and beliefs inspired and perpetuated by a religion/faith. This organization comes to wield influence over individuals who adhere to the religion upon which it is based, and often grows to hold political and economic influence. The founding of the Domosancta (originally known as Saint Ander's Cathedral) in Tarva, Caro, the very first cathedral ever built, marked the rise of the church, and since then it has only grown in the level of influence it wields and the area it encompasses.
Within human kingdoms, one can find five types of religious buildings, each is based on the size of the structure and has some influence over how high up the hierarchy of the church it's priests are:
- Cathedrals, the largest type of religious structure, servicing a city of 2000 or more citizens.
- Vestries, the second largest type of religious structure, servicing a city of less than 2000 but generally more than 900.
- Bethels, the third largest type of religious structure, servicing a village of 400 to 900.
- Chapels, the fourth largest type of religious structure, servicing a town or village of 400 or less that still has a local guard.
- Parishes, the smallest type of religious structure, servicing most farming communities.
Within the church, there are six levels of membership. At the very top of the church, acting as the highest religious authority in all of Solity is the Divino Septum, or holy authority. He is revered for his insight into religious philosophy, and respected by all Solitians as near divine. The Septum always resides within the center of the church, the Domosancta, in Tarva, Caro. Below him are archbishops. Archbishops reside within the cathedral at the capital city of their nation. They also act as the leading authority within their country and the royal advisor to their king or queen. At the same level as Archbishops, within the church hierarchy are the members of the Order, which is the collective name given to the three leaders present in each country who lead the company of paladins that serve the chruch region-wide.
Beneath archbishops are the bishops. Bishops are the leaders all other cathedrals and the vestries. They are well respected and are generally the highest authority within the church that public meets. Below bishops are the cardinals. Cardinals are present in both cathedrals and vestries as religious authorities beneath bishops and archbishops, as well as the sole leaders of bethels. Below cardinals are deacons. Deacons can be found in any type of church, and serve as the leaders of chapels. At the very bottom of the church hierarchy are the priests. Along with the priests are the paladins, who are considered at their same level. Priests are the sole keepers of parishes, but can be found at every type of church as the attendants of the masses and the building itself.