ASimpleLegionnaire Apr 28th, 2018 211 Never
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- In a narrow mountain pass, high up that snow falls nearly year-round, there is a monastery that does not belong to the Order. Instead, this monastery belongs to what those who know of it's existence call the "Moth Convent"; called as such for it being populated exclusively by Monsters bearing moth-like features, all of whom strictly follow the Convent's religion.
- Whilst the existence of the Convent is not a secret, it's actual location is; the Moths have a policy of isolation from the world, hence their monastery being in such a hard to reach location in such a harsh enviornment, and it's location never being shared or written down - known only to the Moths whom inhabit it and those rare few who find it on their own. This isolation has, however, proven useful - so seperated from Monsters, Demons and humans alike are the Moths that the effects of corruption pull at them much less strongly, weakened further by their religious devotion, and no Demonlord yet has been able to find them to corrupt them by force, nor any overzealous humans destroy them for their religious ways (though in recent times the latter has, of course, become far less of a concern).
- The Moths follow a religion known as "Phototaxianism"; they worship "The Light", a nebulous concept or force that they believe represents many things considered positive, chief among which are knowledge and compassion; to live according to it is to be Enlightened, a state of having fully controlled oneself and pursuing only greater knowledge, to understand oneself and others.
- The religion also espouses belief in "The Fires of Passion" - an idea that one can lose themselves to desires, forsaking the hardships on the path to Enlightenment in favour of their passions, a process the Moths call "burning". And fire spreads - the fear of becoming a "Burned One" is not just that one may lose themselves, but that their embracing of the Fires may 'burn' others. If a Moth is found to be a Burned One - a term Moths used for the Corrupted also - they are exiled from the Convent, left to presumably die in the harsh mountains surrounding the Convent for miles.
- It's not hard to see the parrallels between the Fires and Corruption; whether this is because in the early days of history a fear of Corruption has, by ways and means, become part of their religion, or if it's merely a coincidence that led Moths to be more distrusting and guarded against Corruption, is something lost to ancient history.
- Their Monastery contains a single fire burning in it's centre, under the complex, that is ritualistically kept burning year-round. Symbolically, this represents the control over inner passions; the fire can never be truly put out, but it can be controlled despite it's dangers. Again, one notices the parrallel with a Monster's pull to Corruption. Practically, this fire also helps warm the monastery - the Moths have some natural protection from cold due to their biology, but a properly warmed shelter is important to survival.
- As a tenant of their religion, the pursuit of knowledge, Moths attempt to stockpile knowledge. As part of their biology, they can produce silk - this is how they record both numbers and words, using a complex series of knots and connections between strands of silk, forming one tapestry as a completed work. Entire walls in the Monastery have intricate tapestries that tell stories or history, or are records long kept. These silken tapestries are bundled up and stored in vast shelves beneath the monastery when not displayed.
- The Moths hold a particular emphasis on sociology - outside cultures fascinate them; possibly simply because of the sheer complexity of that information and difficulty of acquiring it living the life they do; or, possibly because of the process of gathering it.
- When a Moth is near to becoming ordained, they are sent out on a pilgramage to acquire new knowledge for the Convent, and to prove the understand of their religion by sharing it with others - this is considered somewhat odd by both humans and Monsters, as it's rare to see Monsters even with their various beliefs actively prosyletising their religion.
- The most coveted knowledge for a pilgrim to bring back is that of the cultures and people outside the Convent - it shows that the Moth has stayed true to their beliefs through the life offered by the outside and resisted falling to the Fires of Passion.
- Sometimes the pilgrims may trade their knowledge for material goods - mostly essential supplies and the such, or small amounts of technology or medicine, or accept them as donations for the rare few who follow their religion outside their Monastary, Moth and otherwise. The Moths live relatively ascetic lives; eat simple food, wear only simple clothes made of their silk, and never ordain themselves with dyes or jewellery; such desires are seen as gateways to giving over to The Fires. Some Moths, however, do immerse themselves in a culture whilst on their pilgramage, and may partake in such things - whilst not necessarily orthodox, the underlying point is not to form attachment or desires for such things, and they will certainly be expected to return to the Convent's lifestyle when they return.
- The recent advent of the printing press is both a boon and a curse to the Moths. Whilst it means written knowledge from outsiders is now easier than ever for them to acquire for themselves, but it also means that information is becoming more widespread more quickly, so their services as spreaders of that information are becoming less and less valuable, doubly so when a Moth must translate and transcribe the things written in silk onto parchment or paper by hand, or recited by memory to someone who could record it; a valubale feat in times past, but now a single copy can be printed and spread with no further involvement by the Moths. Today, the Moths have made efforts to make their Convent far more self sufficient, as far less essentials can be traded for if their knowledge is not in as high a demand.
- The Convent is not open to non-Moths; normally this meant only those born to it would be allowed to remain within it, but rarely a Moth from the outside world will seek to join the Convent - the Moths consider them to be returning to the fold more than entering it for the first time, as they assume any other Moths are descendants of those who never returned from pilgrimages long ago. Those uninitiated are kept separate from all others however, and watched closely until they are considered trustworthy and to be truly pursuing the path to Enlightenment, and not being "burned".
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