Courage, bravery, honor, discipline, philanthropy, physical & mental fitness, anger (when righteous)
The Core Religion
The people of Veisea revere the god Kyros as the protector of life and all that is honorable and good, and in times of trouble, the god of war. This is represented by the half moon, which resembles a shield, and the number two, which breaks down into the protector and the protected; war and peace; neither of which can exist without the other. Animals and plants that represent Kyros are those things that are bold, whether in color, taste, or energy—meant to reflect bravery. Combat is an important part of life for those who follow Kyros, though it’s understood that one should never fight for anything but the betterment of oneself, or out of necessity. Therefore, athleticism and sports are considered a near-holy activity and pursuit. Mercy and chivalry are highly valued, and Kyros’ followers—especially those without physical ability—are often found performing acts of philanthropy for the community. Representations of offerings to Kyros are placed on the south side of any altar, property, or place of worship in which they appear, or near a fireplace.
Offerings & Tithes
In warmer months, any associated plants, cedar or cinnamon bark, drops of blood. In cooler months, any available associated plants, dried versions of plants from warmer seasons, drops of blood. Offerings should be made on the first Tuesday of each month in the noontime hours, or under the half moon—whichever occurs first in the month. Unlike other god/esses, offerings to Kyros do not sit, but are ritually burned at the time of the offering, and the ashes remain on the altar for the duration of the month and candles must be lit daily and blown out to purify the area with smoke.
The Feast Day
Named Kyriohn, Kyros’ feast day is July 17, the hottest month of the year. It is customary on this day to wear shades of red, yellow, orange, or gold. It is common to paint the image of a sun or fire on either a cheek or forehead in associated colors. Celebrations and rituals include: athletic games and spectator sports/competitions (especially sparring), dancing, decorating the graves of fallen soldiers, blessing the new soldiers, and weaving flower crowns. In times of plenty, a large feast featuring mostly spicy dishes is prepared; in times of scarcity, teas of cinnamon, hibiscus, and/or chamomile are brewed and drunk symbolically. Celebrations begin in or shortly before the noontime hours and last until sundown. Alcohol, especially red wine, is consumed in large quantities.
The League of Ashes
The League of Ashes, or the Kytrona, is a group of people who prize courage and honor above all else. The Kytrona believe in discipline and strength, especially when it comes to the body: to be physically capable of protecting others is to be closer to Kyros. However, even those without physical ability are welcome into The League, so long as they apply the same level of discipline to whatever methods they may employ in order to help others. The temple to Kyros does not function in the same way the temples to the other god/esses do. It serves primarily as a training ground for soldiers and athletes, and as such is mostly an open-air, fenced in area with a large, well-maintained fire pit in the center of the ring, and brown stone building off to the south. Anyone from the community may come train or exercise here, though the actual building is off-limits to those who have not been inducted. The outside area is known as the Arena, while the League-only building is called the Auditorium.
The League of Ashes, valuing honor, operates under a strict moral code that centers on sacrifice: to risk one’s own well-being for the good of those in need. Essentially, the Kytrona place others above themselves. For this reason, congregants fall into two categories under the law of the League: Soldiers and Saints. People of any gender, race, and age are accepted into the League, provided they demonstrate discipline to their craft, whatever that may be; a desire to serve rather than be served; and undergo tests of honor and bravery—physical or otherwise.
- SOLDIERS comprise the largest group of the Kytrona and include all those who have demonstrated the proper characteristics, as well as devoted themselves to a life of physical fitness in service of the military. Soldiers are broken into tiered ranks: Velite, Legionnaire, and Triarii. All Soldiers receive the standard military uniform: a drab, but fitted brown suit embroidered with a large, golden sun on the back. Additionally, soldiers receive a tattoo of demarcation when they enlist: a single, black band around the right wrist. Anyone may enlist as a member of the military regardless of their religious affiliations, but those members may not advance rank and are referred to as Guardians. They receive standard Velite uniforms, but not tattoos, and do not have access to the Auditorium except in times of war.
- The VELITE are essentially the recruits: those congregants who have only recently entered into the contract of Soldiers. The Velite must be at least 18 years of age and in good physical and mental health. They reside in the barracks and spend a portion of each day (typically the mornings) in combat training, and each Tuesday, attend religious meetings. In times of war, the Velite serve primarily as the infantry, and are typically placed on the front lines. The Velite are responsible for maintaining the Arena, keeping the Auditorium tidy, and stoking the offering fire in the main room. The Velite are must wear the standard military uniform.
- LEGIONNAIRES are those soldiers who have completed at least four years in training as one of the Velite, are in peak physical condition, and have studied both Kyrosian religion and strategy in depth. Legionnaires often serve as lower officers, leading training sessions for the Velite. Known as Commanders, these officers are also responsible for maintaining vigilance in the community and have the authority to act as peacekeepers: all Soldiers are expected to break up and/or resolve fights, but only Commanders and their superiors may make arrests. In addition to the standard Soldier tattoo, Legionnaires receive a second band around the wrist, and for Commanders, the space between the black bands is filled in with a deep crimson. Legionnaires are not required to be in uniform except during meetings, and their uniforms are differentiated with a single, gold band around the left-upper arm; Commanders’ uniforms have two. Neither Commanders not Legionnaires are required to be in uniform except to attend meetings, but Commanders must present their tattoos before making an arrest.
- The TRIARII are the most elite group within the Soldiers and essentially the final line in battle. All Triarii must have served as Legionnaires for at least four years and served as a Commander for at least one of those years. Before they make rank, the Triarii must demonstrate not only exceptional skills in combat and leadership, but also deep knowledge of the Kyrosian religion. Within the Triarii are the higher-ranking officers of the Soldiers: Sentinels, Prefects, Generals, and the High Victor. All members of the Triarii have a uniform with three gold bands around the arm. The Triarii receive a tattoo of a blazing sun on their forearm above the bands. Like Legionnaires, the Triarii must only be in uniform during meetings.
cinnamon, basil, garlic, hibiscus, cloves, red poppy, peppers (all kinds), allspice, nettles, juniper (especially the berries), bay leaves, wormwood, ginger, palm, sunflower, copal, marigold, amaranth, snapdragon, dragon’s blood (resin), citrus fruits (but especially lemons & oranges), cedar, holly, strawberries, any red wildflowers