On Matters of Oserian Religion ~1 | Tale of Banners Roleplaying Community Forum

On Matters of Oserian Religion ~1

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The writings of the Monk Haradaeir av Dunsgate 997 A.T, at the priory of the Blue Orchid.
On matters of Oserian symbology and the teachings of saint Prezopious.

...The Nine Edicts taught today to followers of the Path of The One are as follows: Ending the life of another out of spite is a sin and an attack towards the One; A good citizen shares with his neighbours, even in times of need; Stealing from your neighbour is equal to stealing from the One; Keep the mind unclouded, so you may practice the will of the One; Being unfaithful towards your spouse is equal to being unfaithful to the One; Do not deceive your neighbour, doing so is deceiving yourself and the One; In the end, the One will always know where your true devotions lay; Those who show a pure heart will ultimately be blessed by the One; Spread the word of the One, let his embrace reach those who remain untouched.

While these commandments were simple enough for the monastic preacher, the noble knights and lay folk of Oseria oft found it difficult to memorise them without literacy. And so it was that in 257 A.T., at the first episcopal council, three years after the declaration of the Path of The One, that Saint Prezopious av Dunsgate founded the practice of prayer we are now so familiar with; -shortening the edicts, and organising them into two sets of four, and the ninth: Do not kill in spite; Do not steal; Do not cloud the mind; Do not deceive; Be generous with your neighbour; Be faithful to your spouse; Be devoted to The One; Be pure of heart; Spread to word of the One. These abbreviated edicts came to be known as the shortling steps, as opposed to the strides or original steps, among monastic writers.

Saint Prezopious taught that the common man could learn to live a good life by crossing his hands in prayer. He taught that the correct position of prayer was with the hands crossed in front of oneself, facing to the body, with the thumbs connected and the fingers pointing upward. The fingers of the left arm accounted for the four negative steps or 'Don't Edicts': Don't kill in spite; Don't steal; Don't cloud the mind; Don't deceive. The fingers on the right arm accounted for the four positive steps or 'Be Edicts': Be generous to your neighbour; Be faithful to your spouse; Be devoted to the One; Be pure of heart. The two crossed thumbs in the centre, pointed towards the heavens and closest to the heart, accounted for the last and most important edict: Spread the word of The One.

prayer.pngIt is by this simple practice that common Oserians across Esna now practice prayer. It is also why many noble houses and monastic orders eat with their 'good' right hand, and conduct unclean matters with their 'bad' left hand. For this reason also, the true believers always bear arms with their right hand, and it is considered a grave insult to salute a man with your left arm. Indeed, the symbology of the crossed hands became so embedded in Oserian culture, that a pair of crossed hands on a white or blue background came to represent the faith. Many Oserian noble and episcopal houses have since simplified this symbology such that a coloured or black diagonal cross or 'X' on a white or blue backing is widely accepted as denoting 'The One' on Oserian religious sigils, seals, banners, and heraldry. Knights of holy orders can often be distinguished by this 'X', when seen among the massed ranks of Oserian agricultural heraldry. Moreover, this transition accounts for the wide utility of diagonal crosses in Oserian religious architecture, as is seen with the carved stone hands on the resplendent vaulted ceilings of the old Avendale Catacombs.

The teachings and sayings of Saint Prezopious and his most learned disciple Gregory av Flintswood are largely responsible for many matters of speech in both the lay and clerical populations of Oseria. For example, the common folk oft use disciplinary rebukes such as "you'd best teach that boy to raise his fingers" in addressing impeious behaviour. Furthermore, the common oath-phrase "to swear with my thumb on my heart" dates to at least 280 A.T. and is used to signify a mans' piety in issuing a word sworn by The One. Indeed, it is an informal matter of homage and fealty exchange that a man would draw his crossed hands to his chest, and his liege would place his hand over the top of these, on occasions where words and vows of great import are stated....

...the notes go on endlessly about other pertinent religious matters...
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