Asur

Asur is a red-skinned, multi-headed and multi-armed Titan, known to his worshippers as The Lord of Truth. He is worshipped in secret by the Ind and the Valusian tribes. Asuran cults are largely underground, secret ones, since many regard the Titan as no more than a demon; however, his following stretches over most of the world, his worshippers meeting in hidden safe-houses in every major city. Each cult has a secret, highly magical communications and spying network, based around the sorcerous news spell and other spells of the Divination sorcery style.

Asurans believe that the Titan came to the world and gave man civilization. He revealed the secret wisdom of the heavens to men in order that they may use the knowledge to combat evil. Life is a grand illusion perpetrated by Demons and the Asuran cult tries to see past that illusion. Asura grants a man wisdom to control his impulses and insight to see past the obvious. Evil is a manifestation of the grand illusion. In general, freedom of thought is emphasized in the Asuran cult, but some subjects are forbidden. It is taboo to speak about anything unlawful, for it might lead one to do the act. Lying is also taboo as it contributes to the overall illusion of life.

Followers of Asur have a complicated understanding about good and evil. They believe evil is in the eye of the beholder and is a relative concept, not an absolute one. To an Asuran, evil exists in Asur, just as poison exists in a snake. The poison is not poisonous to the snake, nor is evil harmful to a god. What is evil is only evil from Man’s point of view and depends upon how it is used. To a snake, poison helps it defend itself and capture prey – so too is Asuran ‘evil’ used. There is no absolute evil but relative evil is a horrible reality.

To the Asurans, all religions have the same basic goals and lead men on the same basic paths, so there is no reason why coexistence should not be actively pursued. The shallow differences between various religions are part of the grand illusion. If one peers deep enough, all religions are functionally the same. Although many cults believe the Asurans to be demon-worshipping cannibals, the Asurans harbor no ill-will against them.

Asur watches the cosmos to witness its unfolding and so too must the Asurans. Divination spells are used for this purpose, and spells such as sorcerous news are especially beloved. Like serpents, they lie in the shadows and watch, waiting for the opportunity to act in their best interests. One of the things they watch for is Acheronian activity. They know pockets of Acheron still survive, and they know the danger of that empire reborn. They know the Yezid are the chosen ones of Ahriman, and are a relative evil on the earth.

Asurans believe strongly in a connection between the soul and the body. The soul travels with the body in life providing balance between the illusions of the physical world and the pure world of the spirit. When the body dies and the soul journeys to the afterlife, the body must also undergo a journey. The soul of the deceased stays with the corpse for three days while the priests perform purification ceremonies. While the body makes its way down the Black River, in symbolic recognition of the cult’s historic connection with water. At the same time, the soul makes a pilgrimage to the afterlife. If the soul is judged more good than evil, then it is allowed into Paradise. If judged more evil than good, it is condemned into a nameless and frozen pit of eternal darkness.

The Asurans believe cremation of corpses is an evil created long ago by Ahriman and the practice is forbidden. Burning a corpse or person on a pyre is considered an unredeemable sin. The consumption or burial of human corpses is likewise taboo. The Asurans consider the elements to be holy, especially earth, fire and water, and these elements should not be contaminated by the dead.

Mourning for the dead is heavily discouraged, especially in public. Such displays of emotion cloud the judgment with sorrow, and are the work of demons.

Requirements of Worship

Pay a tithe worth 3 sp per your hit dice per month to the local priests of Asur; keep secret about your membership in the cult; carry out duties for the priesthood as required; oppose those who carry out human sacrifice or traffic with demons.

Benefits of Worship

Atonement, Faith, Spell Discount (Counterspells, Divination).

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