World of Wu-Yu
Before the Orc conquest, Thaumatan was the official religion of the Empire. Today that role has been taken over by Thauma-Virun, but there are still those who continue to practice according to the old custom. Thaumatan focuses on the god of sun and storm, Thauma, and stresses integrity, loyalty, and family. It shares many customs with the Tathatan religion, but is far less strict about them.
Thaumatan remains the predominant religion in Dwarven agriculturalist areas where the more urban Thauma-Virun has yet to penetrate. In particular, it is strong in the Iron Forest, Anga Mountains, and Apsara Desert. Scattered urban families of Dwarves also hold to the old custom.
Unlike Tathatan, Thaumatan neither affirms nor denies the “New Peace” preached by Thauma-Virun. Thaumatan officially remains neutral on the issue. Its theologians have adopted a “wait and see” approach: the spiritual legitimacy of the regime cannot be known except by its fruits in ensuing decades, and the relative immanence of the end cannot be known until the end itself arrives. This skeptical policy manages to stay true to Thaumatan principles without expressly denying the New Peace and provoking Imperial wrath.
Followers of Thauma-virun consider the “wait and see” approach to be naive but not necessarily evil. They think of Thaumatan followers as misguided brethren who may yet be led to the truth. Meanwhile, followers of Tathatan think of their Thaumatan brethren as slack, worldly, and superficial beef-eaters.
As for the legal requirement that all Imperial citizens offer incense to the Emperor at a Thauma-Virun temple, Tathatan withholds official comment. Its followers are free to conform or protest according to their conscience.
Followers of Thaumatan express their piety differently than their Tathatan cousins. They worship in temples in areas where they have not been taken over by Thauma-Virun, or with family where they have. Worship usually consists of offering incense, singing, and hearing recitations of the ancient Law-scriptures, which only the priests can understand (often even they cannot understand). Services are ritualistic performances, expecting little of lay participants. Beards are not braided, in contrast to followers of Tathatan.
Like Tathatan, Thaumatan maintains the old Dwarven caste system and purity customs, though not nearly as zealously as Tathatan. Many of the customs, such as avoiding certain foods, had fallen out of practice until revived by Tathatan followers. All the Major Offenses of Tathatan are Minor Offenses for Thaumatan followers, and Critical Offenses are Major Offenses. Furthermore, there are far fewer offenses to worry about.
For explanation of the caste system, see Tathatan. Below are the offenses and purifications with which Thaumatan followers concern themselves.
Offenses and Purifications in the Caste System
|Touch natural body of a Dhtirastra||Minor||-||X||X||X||Bathe|
|Touch a mithril item for the first time without reciting the name of an ancestor||Minor||-||X||X||X||Wear bark-cloth clothing for 1 week|
|Use mithril in an impure manner, such as allowing it to contact urine, feces, or a corpse||Minor||-||X||X||X||Carefully scrub the mithril item with clarified butter while reciting mantras|
|Use a forge while in a state of Impurity||Minor||-||X||X||X||Abstain from touching any metal items for 1 week|
|Take up a profession inappropriate to caste||Minor||-||X||X||X||Discontinue the profession and wear black for one year|
|Break a vow or oath made on the name of an ancestor||Minor||-||X||X||X||Go on a quest determined by a blood relative to whom the offense is confessed, or bathe three times in the river Tathata|
|Use a mithril item for a heinous deed such as murder, attacking an unaware or defenseless victim, or attacking a blood relative||Minor||-||X||X||X||Melt down the mithril and bury it or cast it into a pit or body of water, then bathe 7 times in the river Tathata. If the mithril is not properly disposed of, anyone who touches it regardless of race and religion will be cursed and suffer the same effects as a Major Offense|
|Cut one’s hair||Minor||-||-||-||X||Bathe in the river Tathata or kill the person who cut it|
|Marry outside one’s caste||Major||X||X||X||X||Divorce and bathe in the river Tathata|
|Publicly recite backwards your name, the names of your parents, and the names of your grandparents||Major||X||X||X||X||Recant and bathe in the river Tathata|
|Use mithril to kill a blood relative||Major||X||X||X||X||Spend one year in service to the victim’s next of kin|
Consequences of Impurity: Lose 1 point of POW for a Minor Offense, 3 points for a Major Offense, and 5 for a Critical Offense (no Critical Offenses for Thaumatan). Lost POW returns after purification. The only other way to recover POW is to publicly disavow the Thaumatan religion, henceforth becoming a Dhtarastra in the eyes of Thaumatan followers.
Myths and High Days
The Fishing Up of Atmah tells of a time after the great Elven masters had departed and the world was without a Regent to keep order. Thauma the Dwarf went fishing with an Elf fisher named Viru, and winds swept the boat far out to sea. There Thauma’s line caught Atmah, the world-serpent and first Regent of Wu-Yu. Atmah then granted his blessing, making Thauma the new Regent of Wu-Yu and ushering in the Third Age or Zhong Yuga. Followers of Tathatan maintain that the blessing was given to Thauma and Thauma alone, while those of Thauma-Virun say Viru also received the blessing, and that Viru is somehow the ancestor of Orc-kind. But followers of Thaumatan say only that Thauma received the blessing, withholding comment on the status of Viru.
The Forging of the Three Treasures recalls how Thauma blessed the Dwarven Empire with three items of mithril. For three days Thauma labored in his heavenly forge. During this time he neglected the bed of his wifely consort, Wu-Yu, and rained sparks of lightning and thunder down upon her children. This angered Wu-Yu, so she sent a fly to his forge. The bellows blower was warned by Thauma to keep the fire hot, but the fly bit him on the forehead and he forgot himself long enough to swat the fly. The fire cooled slightly, and this is why the axe has a flaw—it’s handle is too short for war. This myth reminds followers to be vigilant in their devotion to Thauma, and never forget themselves, even for a moment.
The Three Treasures were formerly kept at the holy city of Bara-xi, and were used in the coronation ceremony of a new Emperor. When the city fell to the Orcs, the treasures were thrown into the holy river Tathata. A popular Dwarven story tells that the Orcs tried for three days to dredge them up by every possible means, all to no avail. Miraculously, they remain in their final resting place.
The high day of Thaumatan is a winter solstice festival called the Mithrala. It celebrates the Forging of the Three Treasures and focuses on the holy river Tathata as the final resting place of the treasures. The timing of the festival is simultaneous with that of the Tathatan Mithrala, as well as the Thauma-Virun festival called the Victory, in which the annual offering of incense to the Emperor is mandated.
|Primary Deity||Titles and Epithets||Archetypes||Followers|
|Thauma||Master Fashioner, Lord of Sky, Rain, Thunder, Smithing, and Sovereignty, Sun God, Ancestor of Dwarf-kind||Ruling Deity, Sun God, Storm God, War God, Sea God||Dwarves, nomadic and agricultural peoples, warriors, crafters, sailors, rulers|
|Other Revered Deities||Enemy Deities/Religions||High Days||Typical worship acts|
|Wu-Yu as consort of Thauma||-||Winter Solstice||Offering incense, singing, hearing recitations of Law-scriptures|
|Ethos||Virtues||Cult Skills||Holy Symbol|
|Honor the ancestors, be true to family and oneself, keep the old customs||Loyalty, integrity, filial piety||Artistic Expression, Courtesy, Literacy, Lore(Arcane), Oratory, Sing||The Three Treasures (axe, fish hook, and sickle), unbraided beards or clean-shaven faces|