Saturday, April 13, 2019

Pavism: The Religion of Roads

“It came to pass” was the first phrase uttered by Darius Unmuted. He said this at a cart with a broken wheel as the remnants of his town moved from their ruined hovels towards their neighbors.

He stopped, and fixed the wagon.

That night he slept under the stars for the first time, and attained true wisdom. The next morning he sold his belongings, and bought a shovel, and began to work.

Six hundred years later, and Pavism is now a major religion, one with adherents throughout working professions, that is especially popular with the mercantile class.

In no small part to Darius Unmuted’s teachings and the nature of the faith itself, Pavism is common throughout the world and is generally welcomed by authority groups and governments. And who wouldn’t: an entire faith and lifestyle dedicated to roads and travelers?

Although the tenets of their faith remain the same, within Pavism there are two major sects: Laborists and Wanderists. The predominate difference being how they interpret Darius’s teachings, and the individual actions they undertake to live out the nature of the religion.

Laborists are the oldest sect, and live the tenet of “Existence is Work” directly, giving the faith it’s name. Where they go, roads are built, paths are carved, and the way is paved. At least physically if not spiritually. It is here that the heart of the faith can still be found, and wisdom gleaned from the creeping camps’ priests as they speak in koans of sweat and moil.

Wanderists take a much different approach, instead prioritizing the tenet “Connection is about the Path, not The Destination.” Like their Laborist brethren, they too are perpetual nomads, but at a much more accelerated rate. Not all Wanderists are militant, but many do become guardians of those who travel with them, monks on a perpetual pilgrimage to The Horizon, or knights forever errant. Others become roving hostels and inns, setting up camp and leaving spare beds for those in need every few days.

Pavism’s core tenets are simple, but with open room to interpretation, which has led to the divide between its sects.

  • Existence is to Work.
  • We Work to find Connection
  • Connection can be but a Moment, or a Lifetime
  • Connection is about The Path, not the Destination
  • Where you go, Work towards Connection

Pavists insist that practice of daily manual labor, travel, mindfulness, and connection with different peoples and cultures can and will eventually free all peoples of suffering, but Work will always remain, as we are designed for such.

* * *

So, this post was inspired by a few things in particular. Number one being a dream I had, and the second most pertinent being that in most fantasy worlds, the “traveler” religion is invariably a cut-paste-rename of Odin the wanderer, and I didn’t want that. Hence instead we have blue-collar zen-construction workers-errant who are obsessed with roads.I'm also just generally keen on the idea of my fantasy world having religions that are fantastic themselves to what we know: de-centralized religions, or religions without gods, or ones who's gods currently walk the earth for whatever reason. It's not perfect, nor is it fully fleshed out, but it'll work for now.

Work has had me slammed the past week or so, but I'll be back to writing regularly this week.

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