World of Wu-Yu
Thauma-Virun is the official cult of the Empire. It reveres Thauma, the Sun God and Ancestor of Dwarf-kind, in his manifestation as Viru, the Sun-prince and Ancestor of Orc-kind. The Emperor is the worldly avatar of Viru. Followers tend to be law-abiding, patriotic, evangelical, and compassionate toward the needy.
Thauma-Virun teaches the “New Peace” laid down by Thauma when he in his infinite wisdom chose to manifest henceforth as Viru. The “Old Peace” taught by Thaumatan, which was the official Imperial cult under Dwarven rule and which still retains conservative followers, enshrined Dwarven superiority and rule. In contrast, the New Peace extends equal favor to all intelligent souls and endorses rule by either Dwarves or Orcs. Those who persist in following the Old Peace are considered pious but misguided brethren, while those who expressly deny the New Peace are dangerous enemies.
Since the institution of the New Peace, several controversies have arisen which require persistent explanation to the misguided.
The first controversy is the meaning of “intelligent souls.” This defines the recipients of Viru’s favor, and was the term used in Emperor Hunun Gol’s famous Decree of Emancipation, which abolished serfdom in favor of free citizenship. The term came under dispute following Hunun’s Freedom of Trade Proclamation, which appeared to renege on the deal by legalizing the slavery of Tabaxi. Theologians of Thauma-Virun invoked a verse in the ancient law-scriptures to prove that only the seven species called ni-tauma, including Orcs, Dwarves, Goblinoids, Elves, Halflings, Humans, and Gnomes, have reincarnating souls. All others, such as Tabaxi and Vanara, are tau-tauma, and do not have souls. Therefore, Tabaxi are excluded from Viru’s favor (as are Vanara), and their slavery is free of contradiction. Why critics cannot understand this simple explanation is a mystery to followers of Thauma-Virun.
The second controversy is the current Age of the world. Certain impious heretics believe that the Third Age or Zhong Yuga ended when Dwarves fell from power, thus ushering in the fourth and final age called the Kali Yuga, which signals the immanent end of the world. This is the crazed view of deranged souls, because everyone with sense knows that the New Peace continues the Old Peace and thus the Zhong Yuga is still going on. Followers of the Tathatan religion spread fear and undermine Imperial authority with this dangerous view. They must be opposed.
Followers of Thauma-Virun are firmly committed to the Doctrine of Unity, which reveals that all beings worshiped in the Empire are in fact the five supreme deities manifesting in local guises and forms. Thus, everyone worships the same gods; all are unified as one people.
All citizens of the Empire are legally required to pay reverence to the Emperor once a year at the Winter Solstice by offering a stick of incense at the nearest Thauma-Virun temple. The citizen’s name and current home are then recorded by priests and reported to the Imperial census. Devout followers also pray at sunrise, noon, and sunset; bow whenever passing an image of Thauma, Viru, or the Emperor; and speak a blessing whenever mentioning the Emperor’s name (“may he live eternally”).
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 Thauma-Virun understand that the blessing was in fact offered to both Thauma and Viru, and that Viru is the ancestor of Orc-kind. The proof is the similarity of names between Viru and an ancient Orc chieftain named Vira. The similarity in height and traditionally-nomadic lifestyle between Elves and Orcs led Dwarven scribes to mistakenly record Viru as an Elf.
The Victory of Viru Over the Serpent, a tale taken from traditional Orc folklore, relates how a chaotic monster called Olom once attempted to swallow the sun. The supreme horse-archer Viru leaped over the wall of fire encircling the serpent with the aid of a flying mount provided by his consort Erdenet, Mistress of Horses. He then slew the beast and restored warmth and light to the world. Viru is thus the savior of all who dwell in the light.
This divine act is celebrated annually on the Winter Solstice, when darkness is at its peak but after which days become longer again. The celebration is called The Victory (Olom-gar in the Orc language), and the mandatory offering of incense to the Emperor is made at this time.
|Primary Deity||Titles and Epithets||Archetypes||Followers|
|Thauma as Viru||Sun-prince, One With Thauma, Vanquisher of Darkness, Savior, He Whose Avatar Is the Emperor, Ancestor of Orc-kind||Ruling Deity, Sun God, War God, Hunting God, Sea God||Imperial Orcs, Imperial officials, crafters, warriors, horsemen, archers, fishers, sailors, healers, the needy and lost, and in theory all Imperial citizens|
|Other Revered Deities||Enemy Deities/Religions||High Days||Typical worship acts|
|Wu-Yu as Erdenet, Mistress of Horses, Consort of Viru||Tathatan religion||Winter Solstice||Offer incense; pray at sunrise, noon, and sunset|
|Ethos||Virtues||Cult Skills||Holy Symbol|
|Obey the law, help others as Viru helps you, honor the ancestors, revere the Emperor||Obedience, compassion, filial piety, loyalty||Oratory, Healing, Lore(Arcane), Literacy, Sing, Influence, First Aid, Lore(World)||Sun with gold and purple rays|