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[Academy RP] A Visitor's Rough Guide to Karspii

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Within Portamia's borders you can find a wide variety of unique customs and traditions. These have been shaped by the religion of Karspii that has had a historic sway over Portamian culture for generations. Here is a quick guide for any travellers on how to be knowledgable and respectful when approaching Portamia’s dominant religion. (excerpt from chapter 4 of Julius Kaanka’s 1993 travel guide “Portamia: Fish, Festivities and Friends”).


Karspii is a polytheist religion focusing on the deities Puurayaana, Samil-Ked and Arkizry. According to oral tradition, Puurayaana was birthed from the first star with the Divine Friends Samil-Ked and Arkizry attached to his arms. Samil-Ked and Arkizry only possessed two arms and a head each, using Puurayaana’s body as a vessel for their activities. Puurayaana stood stoically as the two moulded various planets using parts of his flesh until the ideal world in Puurayaana's vision was created. Many planets were created and destroyed in this process until the Divine Friends created two planets: one green and one brown. Puurayaana turned to the Two and grabbed the planets from their grasps, merging them together and forming what he deemed perfection. Upon achieving this ‘perfection’, he began to cry. His tears were humanoid in shape and gently descended into the empty river banks that dotted the world and dissolved, bringing forth life-giving water. After plant life began thriving, Puurayaana detached his arms and moulded them into bodies for the Two. With his job completed, he descended onto the world and dissolved into the River Tiski, blessing the waters with life and the Tiski with its bountiful supplies of trout. As a result of this act of generosity, the river Tiski holds a very important place in Portamian history, city planning and spirituality. With the newly granted autonomy of the Divine Friends, they got to work crafting land animals out of scoops of water and their own teeth. Humanity was created in Puurayaana’s image from this method.

Karspii has a core set of eight principles that were created by Arkizry and Samil-Ked to allow for humanity to act peacefully and productively known as the Two Lights. The name "Two Lights" does not relate to the number of principles that needs to be followed but the two Desired Outcomes that the principles aim to achieve, which are:

• "Those of an undying appetite to provide for all living things will be rewarded with the highest of praise."
• "Those with a ravenous hunger shall be granted a meal, for a full stomach is a full heart"

Upon someone achieving the two Desired Outcomes, Arkizry and Samil-Ked are said to bestow great strength to their family and will provide food for them for the next two generations, whilst failing to achieve these will lead to bad luck for three generations.

The eight principles are:

•"Do not deny others of well-meaning"
•"Do not deny others of a meal"
•"Harm only those who harm others"
•"Assist with community construction"
•"Do not deny the flow of any river through obstruction"
•"Respect those who seek to do no harm"
•"Do not steal"

It is expected for each practicing household to have something with these rules carved onto them. Poorer households with barely any land may have etched these rules into a piece of furniture or had it tattooed onto them, whilst nobles and landowners would historically place a large, flat slab of stone into the ground with the principles carved onto them (similar to a standing stone) as a sign of luxury. There is no formal head of Karspii, but people of a high social status within communities are commonly turned to for religious guidance. Nowadays, it is a common practice to store these objects in what is known as a 'Puurayaana Hall', a general hall for Karspiin events with lockers containing the personal artifacts of Karspii worshippers. Puurayaana Halls are usually guarded by a small team of bodyguards known as the "Royal Guard of the Tiski" (colloquially referred to as the "Rotiski") that have existed as a holy order that warded off heathen attackers, but now guard these halls for payment due to the shifting religious climate of the area. Because of the very Tiski-focused beliefs of the religion, it has only been observed in large numbers by communities that live by the river itself. The specific origins of these beliefs is unknown, but is speculated to have originated in areas with a higher population of the Borric people, who settled by the river before the Portamian tribes arrived.

Every year, many Karspiin from all around the world migrate back to their homeland in order to participate in Tiskitat, the biggest Karspiin holiday which celebrates the beginning of the universe and the life given to them. This consists of many amusements and market stalls selling local crafts, providing a decent economic boost yearly. Entire towns and villages gather in the evening to carve trout ornaments out of birch wood, which is believed to increase the fertility of the animal and the chances of them latching onto a fishing rod. Birch saplings are then ceremoniously planted in open plots of land. This tradition is to preserve the supply of birch wood for the carving of trout ornaments for future generations, and throughout Portamia there are "open lands" owned by each province's respective government reserved for these festivities. After this, a large party is held with local folk music and alcohol.

Whilst Karspii is a religion that celebrates life, it also has customs associated with dealing with the dead. Death in Karspii is considered a “long rest” and bodies are tucked into their beds during the funeral procession before burial. The procession normally takes place in the bedroom of the deceased, but if they lack the space for family and friends they will be brought to the local Puurayaana Hall. The burial is usually done in shallow graves (approximately two and a half feet and typically on a hill away from any towns, cities or villages) to allow for the deceased to “wake up”. The grave is then filled with a small amount of sand, covered with a fur blanket and buried. In some areas people bury their dead with a deer antler in the deceased’s hand if they died of illness as a way to ward off future ailments amongst their friends and family (Northern Pultik), whilst in some other areas, friends and family choose and place a smooth stone in the deceased’s mouth as a thank you for being with them throughout their life (Borria).”

Karspiin beliefs have faced an overall downturn in the time after the publication of this book, but many of its beliefs still hold on in local laws and customs. One example of this is the infamous ‘Flowing Water License’, which requires for any company that wishes to begin a construction that would lead to the temporary or permanent obstruction of natural water flow to get a license to do this, be it the river Tiski or another smaller stream. This requirement has shown to negatively impact building projects due to the inconvenience of the process and as a result has become a lot more relaxed and only applied to certain tourist spots and holy sites. Many of these customs can be found throughout the Federation to this day as Portamian citizens hold great value in their communities and traditions.

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