"Traveling through the cult of the war god had to be one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. The badlands would be beautiful countryside if it weren't for its inhabitants" -Traveler's journalGogalith is colloquial name given to the series of similar yet disassociated war god cults that live in the Central Badlands of Soi.
The Gogalith religion is split into two distinct factions, the faction of Gog and the faction of Alith, which, according to each respective tribe is a false god or a demon which must be purged from the world. These two factions have been at war with each other since before the First Age, possibly since the Dawn.
- They are known for their incredible dedication and fanaticism in following their beliefs and carrying out their religious law.
- They spread primarily through conquest, but will infiltrate, undermine, and sabotage larger civilizations.
Schism and holy war
"And He/She will take a great revenge on those that deny the lord god, the rightful ruler of the heavens and earth. She/He will send a great pain upon the nonbelievers and we will act as her/his sword. Their crops will burn, their men will bleed in the fields, their children's heads dashed upon stones, and their women will be ripped open" -Book of Gog/Book of Alith, Sermons of War
The Schism of Gogalith occurred somewhere before the rise of the Immortal nations and caused the area in which they live to swiftly decline into a bloody civil war which has lasted since.
Somewhere before the start of their great war there was one prophet of their religion who transcribed their entire creation myth, religious law, and mythology into a single text document. This document was to be copied and published throughout the land by the disciples of the original prophet. Most of the disciples were either killed or were otherwise unsuccessful in converting the local population with the exception of two.
These two disciples took their hand written holy books into the areas and translated them to the local dialects and were greatly received by the local population. Due to the different dialects, one book switched the male and female pronouns, leading to vastly different gender based societal power structures that rose from the cults that sprang up. One church holding feminine dominion over the masculine, named Alith. The other held masculine dominion over the feminine, named Gog.
The two tribes rapidly expanded, conquering the other more peaceful, less structured tribes and absorbed them into their culture, executing all those that did not comply, and eventually their borders ran into each other. The civil war began. The source of the schism comes from the two sides reading from different translations of the same text.
Second Great Schism
"Let all of those without transgression raise their sword." -Prophet of Alegos to a mob attempting to kill an excommunicated member, supposedly stopping them in their tracksThe second schism occurred when a small band of Gogalites from the two opposing tribes met in secret to attempt to end the eternal war. During a brief pause in the war, this band, calling themselves the Alegos claimed the god had parented two mortal children. Fraternal twins one son and one daughter, wishing to foster peace between the tribes named Yesha and Sheya. This new group preached peace, love of all peoples, and a duty to care for all life great and small.
The two siblings were sentenced to death by crucifixion by both the church of Gog and Alith respectively with their disciples driven underground in hiding. Supposedly both twins escaped (or, in some stories, rose from the dead after being executed) and continued to build their religion in secret. It still exists in small pockets around the area. This new religion advocates the removal of most of the religious law of the books of Gog and Alith, primarily any that involve executions or eternal torture in the afterlife. The cult of Alegos states that humans, while flawed, are never beyond redemption and can achieve spiritual ascension at any stage, be it in life or death.
The two factions of Gogalith share nearly every tenet regarding how one conducts themselves and their daily lives. Both cults will regularly excommunicate members for minor slights against the church or community.
- All heretics and nonbelievers must be converted or killed.
- Kill all those who break religious law.
- Forbidden from eating pork
- Forbidden from eating shellfish
- Forbidden from consuming alcohol outside of sanctioned holy ceremonies
- Forbidden from music outside of sanctioned holy choir
- Forbidden from dancing
- Forbidden from planting different crops side by side
- Forbidden from mixing textiles
- Forbidden from speaking dissent against Gog or Alith
- Forbidden from disobeying parents
- Forbidden from disobeying priests or priestesses
- Forbidden from sexual practice outside of sanctioned breeding authorized by priests/priestesses
- Practice genital mutilation of daughters or sons as to make it difficult to enjoy without a sanctioned partner
- Practice honor killings
- Practice selling of daughters or sons
- Practice taking/trading slaves
- The husband/wife should always obey the wife/husband.
- Men or women must cover themselves to remain modest.
- All heretics and nonbelievers will be tortured in fiery hell after death.
- All faithful will be rewarded with eternal paradise after death.
- Priests/Priestesses of Gog or Alith determine who is a heretic and who is faithful.
- The universe and everything in it was created by Gog/Alith.
- The world will end when Gog/Alith determines it will.
- Humanity is subservient to their God and disobedient humans will face wrath in the afterlife.
- Humanity is weak and impure by nature.
- Humanity was created by Gog/Alith.
- Gog/Alith loves you.
Church of Gog
"Gog is Great."The church of Gog's translation of the holy books states that the male holds supremacy in all nature and thus is the rightful ruler of the earthly kingdoms of Gog. They practice the genital cutting of female infants to "remove their sinful earthly pleasure so they may better serve Gog." Warriors of Gog are entirely male, as they have been gifted with the form of battle so that they may kill and die in the service of Gog. The faithful are rewarded with eternal paradise in the afterlife, as well as many wives with whom to procreate.
Unique features from Alith
- Female captives are often immediately distributed as war bounty to the priests and rulers of the cult of Gog.
Church of Alith
"Glory to Alith."The church of Alith's translation of the holy books states that the female holds supremacy in all nature and thus is the rightful ruler of the earthly kingdoms of Alith. They practice the genital cutting of male infants to "remove their sinful earthly pleasure so they may better serve Alith." Warriors of Alith are entirely male as they have been cursed with the form of battle so that they may kill and die in the service of Alith. The faithful are rewarded with eternal paradise in the afterlife, as well as divine service to the female members of the church to receive the gift of physical company and continuance of their bloodline.
Unique features from Gog
- Female captives from Gog held territory are often converted and given places within the lower castes of the church of Alith, often in the position of conferring the gift of physical company to the soldiers of Alith.
Missionaries of Gog and Alith spread throughout the world attempting to gain converts and footholds outside of their borders. They convert in three separate ways.
Mission by Conversion
A priest or priestess will usually travel with a small retinue of guards into a civilization and attempt to start a cult following with the most disenfranchised members of a society. They will build a following under the guise of giving hope to the poor and dying. Once they have gotten enough of the population on their side they will attempt to enact legal and cultural change to fit their culture. This will continue until they begin converting the rulers leaders of a nation to their will, eventually making any belief other than Gogalith punishable by death. This method relies on the tolerance of the foster nation in its early stages.
Mission by Conquest
This is the most straightforward of all missions. When the church of Gog or Alith experiences a buildup of soldiers and knows of a weaker nation, they will go on the war path to smash the civilization through force of arms. They will then convert, enslave, or kill any remaining elements within the civilization. Conquests are added to the chapters of War in their holy books.
Mission by Emigration
If the followers of Gog or Alith experience a population boom without any large warrior increase or lack food, they will send out their followers in pockets of migrants to other more prosperous nations, establishing a population, and then attempting to out breed the locals. This method is the slowest and can take generations and relies on the goodwill of foster nations.