Sassnid Church Of The Void
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Patron: Giratina, The Disfigured, The Unspoken Lord, The Holy Arbiter, The Empty Lord
Symbol: An amorphous blob of blackness, surrounded by 3 pairs of golden cresents
Tennets: Repent for the sins of thy Father. Respect Pokemon above thy Self. Respect your fellow Man above thy Self.

The Sassnid Church of the Void reveres Giratina above all else. Found almost exclusively in Chandra, Carthak, and Kush, this religious sect is arguably as devote to Girantina as the Monotheistic Church of Arceus is to its namesake. The religion and its followers believe it is their destiny to atone for the mistakes made by Vardamir Empire, and as such The Empty Lord had blessed them as his chosen people for their faith and fealty.

Temples and Tombs:
Void temples are usually large and cavernous, using very little lighting. No two temples are the same, as the few diviners who have managed to peek into their Lord's realm have found it to be an ever shifting miasma of non-elucidian geometry. As such, most temples are constructed in seemingly impossible shapes. Architects are highly revered for being able to construct impossible, yet stable, designs. The larger temples include shifting elements, which add an element of randomness. There are three elements present in every temple; two statues of Giratina, and a depiction of Arceus in some demeaning fashion. The two statues are generally showed prominently, but one is always covered. The Covered Statue is of Giratina's true form before the sins of the Vardamir stole his beauty. Out of respect for his suffering, the statues remain covered, even as they are carved, only the sculptor being able to view its splendor. The other is of Giratina's scarred form, usually morphing between the form he takes within the the Realm of Aatos and the form he takes within his home in the Void. Both these statues are usually carved from onyx, mined from the excavation of Sin Bashar, though smaller temples will simply create plate stone carvings with onyx using symbol magic. Because of the prominence of Gold in Kush, every temple has many golden treasures and architecture, as well as golden accents on statues.

The largest, and grandest, temple as well as the seat of the Religious Elite, is the Bashar Temple. The Temple itself occupies an area over 3 square kilometers and rises up the mountain side over 100m, attesting to its size. It has been carved, painstakingly, into the side of the Sin Bashar moutain. The Chief Archetect of Tartean, Eshgikal, and his ancestor designed the Temple, which constantly grows. It is said the Bashar Temple never looks the same, changing constantly every hour. The stories are no exaggerations, as a complex system of pulleys, conveyors and flys move about massive blocks of non-standard geometry onyx to flit about in seemingly random patterns. Among the blocks is countless statuettes of Giratina in both his (new) forms, attatched to the system, seeming to fly of their own voilition. Some of the priests attest that statuettes sometime detatch themself from the mechancial contraption, and fly about on their own. At the top of the Temple is the largest statue of Giratina of the Mortal Coil. Lore holds that if Giratina were to return to the Realm of Aatos, He would come through this statue, which remains covered behind a thick walls of pure, cut onyx. The Scultptor of the Statue was said to be one of Giratina's first converts, who entombed himself with his own creation as his final act of patronage to the Empty Lord.

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Scattered across Kush are large stone tombs in which Kushite Pharoh's are entombed after their passing. Each is unique, made to the whims of the individual Pharoh, but all show large amounts of respect to Giratina, in the method of the Pharoh's choosing. Despite each tomb being unique there are a few aspects that remain similar. All of them have some form of regular geometry, which points towards the sky. This is show respect to the Holy Arbiter, that not even the Greatest Pharohs are worthy of his Void Realm. Second, the interior is orgnaized haphazardly with little reason to the order and placement of various rooms. This is half of practicality, as Pharohs are buried with copiuos amount of treasure, as the random archetecture detures and prevents grave robbers from capatilizing on the prizes within. The other half is to then show respect for Giratina within the Heart of the Pharoh, for althoug his outside features (the overall structure) are human and regular, the interior is entirely devoted to Giratina. There are always three rooms (though many have more) within a Pharoh's tomb; The Ritual Room, the Burial Room and The Treasure Room. The Ritual Room is where the dieing Pharoh undergoes a series of Rituals to humble himself before The Unspoken Lord. The Rituals include fasting, to hasten death, damaging himself, to pay final atonements while the Pharoh retains mortal flesh, and a final Rite, passed down through the family of Pharoh's for generations. The Burial Room is simple, containing a single sarcophagus emblazoned in gold and onyx. The Last Rite of the Pharoh's is said to ensure Giratina may find the Pharoh's Soul before Cresselia or Darkrai, so he may join him in the Void. The Treasure Room, as one would expect, contains many of the Pharoh's mortal riches, to pay final tribute to the Empty Lord. All tombs contian false passages, and numerous traps to deter and 'remove' potential grave robbers. They are also a magnet for Dark and Ghost pokemon, and many of the Pharoh's personal Pokemon are entombed with him, usually acting as restless gaurdians of the tomb.

Practice of the People:
The common people of Kush are largely devout, paying weekly tribute to Giratina at their local temple. The holy day is on Monday, and within Kush it is illegal to conduct business on Monday. Every person, from the moment they can say a prayer till the moment they pass, spends an hour in prayer every Monday, though many of the devout pray far more. The Church also collects tithes on Monday's during service, which generally consists of 5% of an indivduals earnings for the week. The Pharoh's Treasurers, tax collectors of the Kingdom of Kush, will usually collect taxes after services, amounting to another 5%. As Temples rarely have consitent seating as well as poor lighting, services are rather haphazard. The practitioners sit down on golden holy cloth as they pray in solitude. A priest or bishop will read scripture aloud, allowing any practioner to join him. Services are generally quiet, save the reading of scripture, but a few songs are incorporated into them, when appropriate. One such song is the Dirge of Calling, a song of morning and hope, using dulcet tones and wavering vocals to call upon Giratina to find a departed loved ones soul before Cresselia or Darkrai. It is typical, in fact, expected, for the ones who lost their family to break into tears, for it is believed that if they do not, Giratina will ignore thier call.

One of the main tennets of the Sassnid Church of the Void is to respect Pokemon above thy Self. As such, Pokemon Battling, for the sake of battling, is frowned upon. That does not mean, however, that Pokemon Battling is a forbidden art within Kush. In fact, those with proclivity for the blood sport are typically enscritped for Kush's small standing army. While small, Kush's military has one of the highest rate of competent Trainers in the world, making up for their small numbers by overwhelming skill and versatility.

Pokemon are treated with utmost respect by the people, most households having a one of the sacred beasts they can call their own. The concept of ownership of pokemon is unheard of, as pokemon are not the slaves of humans. The use of Symbol Magic to restrain and capture pokemon has only recently came into common use within Kush, after long and tired political, philosphical, and moral battles. Not all are happy with this change in philosophy, but the majority accept the reality of the situation. If Kush is to be taken serioulsy on the world stage, forgoing Symbol Magic is a death sentence. While no human owns a Pokemon as property, if an individual takes a pokemon, either within an apricorn or not, from someone else, it is a crime, on par with rape and violence with intent of scarring.

Followers of the Void, in their infinite respect for Pokemon, tend to be strict vegetarians. Some go so far as to not consume any food or product that comes from the labor of Pokemon. While the tennets fo the Church call for respect, it is out of personal preference that many adopt vegetarinanism. However, the other half take great care with the consumption of Pokemon meat. Butchers are highly skilled artisan's, who use quick methods to kill their stock without causing physical or mental damage, such as Telekinetically halting blood flow to the brain. After the Pokemon had been slain, it is carefully carved along the lines of muscle and tendons, removing whole parts of meat without severing individual pieces. Every part of the pokemon is used in some fashion; the meat is either consumed that day, or salted for storage or sale, the skin is tanned and worked into clothes and armor, the blood and other bodily fluids are collected and used to create poultices and salves, bones are used as ceremonial pieces, adorning sacred garb, and various organs have specialized purposes. If any piece is wasted, or damaged, the butcher must cease his work, passing it to his or her apprentice and immediately go to Temple to ask atonment. If a Butcher has no apprentice, his lesser fellow will take up the task. When a Butcher sins in this manner, it is taken as a sign of his faith; any faithful Butcher would not be so careless. His first mistake is usually his last.

Taboos:
Like any religion, the Sassnid Church of the Void has its own taboos. However, unlike most other religions of Aatos, The Church of the Void is rather strict of its taboos, most being tantamount to spitting in Giratina's face and are usually call for death as payment.

  • The act of permantently scarring a pokemon (a difficult task indeed) or another Human is an utmost of sin and punishable by death by poison. Doing so intentionally is seen as heresy, and actively acting against Giratina, the church, the Kingdom of Kush, and in fact, the entire human race.
  • Butchers who damage a piece of pokemon he has slaughtered is considered unfaithful. While there is no direct punishment for this taboo, Kush has laws in place prohibiting any butcher so sinned from practicing, though many avoid so out of personal penance
  • Missing personal prayer on Mondays, or conducting business on Mondays, is considered terribly disrespectful to the Holy Arbiter. The punishment for this taboo depends on the exact nature of the offense. Skipping prayer for a certain activity, such as a friendly pokemon battle, will have both participants pokemon extradited and let free. Conducting business will usually result in having their lips sewn shut for one month.
  • Willingly not paying tithes is a minor taboo, usually resulting in some exchange of property or service to the Church in equal value. Repeated offences will generate greater toll with each offense, eventually requiring extended services to the Church.
  • Rape, frowned upon in most societies, is a major taboo for the Sassnid, especially if the victim is a virgin. The act is defiling the victim, emotionally and in the case of a virgin, physically scarring. Rapists are sentenced to death by castration.
  • Taking a pokemon from its home is on the same level as rape or scarring an individual. Offenders are usually placed in a pit with the stolen pokemon, allowing the pokemon to deal out punishment as it sees fit.
  • Intentionally scarring oneself, such as willingly tattooing the body, is considered a taboo upon ones self. Individuals stupid enough to get tattoos and present them openly will find them banished, if they are lucky. If they are not lucky, their skin will be flayed, to remove the tattoo from the body and put on display for his treachery, and then banished.
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