Aranayan is the god of creating, light, birth, truth, water, discovery, and Art.
Aranayan is one of the four main Powers created by Fate to rule the universe. Many ascribe Aranayan as a god of “good” but that is to misunderstand the nature of the divine. The sun may create life, but it can also burn it away. A vine that is created can also choke the life out of other plants. And creation requires the destruction of what needs to be re-created in a better form. Aranayan is the god of creation and beginnings.
Followers of Aranayan believe, whether correct or not, that Aranayan, not Fate, created the universe. However, Arayanan’s judgement is equally powerful and terrible.
Aranayan can manifest in any form desired, and the chosen form generally indicates the intentions this Power has as the time. Where stories agree, Aranayan typically wears white and and is symbolized by a star. Aranayan loves appreciation for the differences in races, people, societies, and creation.
Followers of Aranayan tend to fall into two main categories: The Lightgivers and the Sunset Vigil.
The Lightgivers focus on the community and family aspect of Aranayan. The promote the growth of powerful communities and tend to be found in more agrarian areas where farmers pray to Aranayan for the blessings of their crops. Lightgivers promote mercy through penetance and the doing of good deeds. They tend to be less against material wealth and possessions as those can be used to promote good.
The Sunset Vigil tends to focus more on the fact that agents of Belendor exist in the world and can corrupt and destroy society of allowed to thrive and survive. They actively root out “evil” and rarely compromise, yet they also keep the general good of the community in mind (they are not zealots who hurt the common people in their pursuit of destroying evil). While acknowledging that mercy is important, they tend to be more harsh in their granting of mercy. Those of the Sunset Vigil typically eschew material wealth in favor of simple living.
Approbation and Displeasure
Actions/ideas that please Aranayan:
- Mercy to the penitent (with scourging and sacrifice)
- Duty towards community/family/people
- Piety (family, city, nation) and refraining from wealth (unless to create a stronger society)
- Creating something new (art, ideas)
- Inspiring others
- Creating hope
- Self sacrifice
- Celebration of the life during a funeral
- Mercy and healing towards one’s enemies
Actions/ideas that displease Aranayan (and may result in the loss of magical abilities):
- Hedonism–pleasures for the sake of pleasure
- Killing an unarmed enemy
- Use of poison
- Some groups ban weapons that spill blood and have no other use but killing
- Destruction without purpose
- When worshipers do not revel in the blessings of all the lords of light
- Factionalism, or anything that drives a divide between groups and races
- Anything that promotes the lords of darkness
- Anything that promotes undead
- Denying your faith in Aranayan
Holy Places and Holy Days
Aranayan’s temples and shrines vary from the very grand to the very simple, and of all the gods, Aranayan has the most temples/shrines on Azkon. The temples can be found with the Knights of the Peak, House Kran’s capital Bai Tandros, House Dranir’s capital Trimond, and somewhere in the Wild Plains.
The holiest days for Aranayan are the first days, as they celebrate new creation and new beginnings. The summer solstice is the holy day held in common between the Lightgivers and the Sunset Vigil, often they meet in common and discuss their mutual differences over a general feast on this day. The early days of April are holy for the Lightgivers, as those are the days of new planting and a new season. The early days of November are the holy days for the Sunset Vigil as they prepare for the winter and hold back the darkness (October and December being Belendor focused holidays).
Followers of Aranayan point to the earliest signs of worship at 3,000 years ago with a temple located in what is now Kran lands (was not under Kran control at that time).
Under the Empire, followers of Aranayan were tolerated but given second class status–many consider those to be the years their faith was tempered. After the fall of Hazon, worship has flourished with the falling of favor given to Enoth.
Correct Worship and Rites/Rituals/Requirements
Followers of Aranayan typically engage in:
- Every morning, they hold a ritual to bless the day and celebrate the birth of new creation–in involves holding up their hands and blowing across their palms, burning of incense, and chanting
- In the evening, followers often light fires to keep the darkness at bay and mourn the end of a new creation, this often includes the singing of songs
- If they see something being built or created, they often feel a pull to be involved
- Many followers, at least once a year, stand in vigil throughout a night to ward against the darkness
- The taking of confession and offering of penitence and forgiveness is common
- They often feel the need to “bring the light into the darkness” in all forms
- Seeing drinking as “pleasure for pleasure’s sake” they often campaign against drunkenness
- Inspired to create a better society they fight racism, sexism, and discrimination in all forms