Prayers Sent Through Letters To Cast (2649 Views)
Posted by: M J
Date: December 7, 2014 12:19AM
As the number of characters praying to spirits and other entities has increased, we've noticed that the number of characters who are aware of the lore about such prayers seems not to have increased, despite our efforts. In the interest of focusing your efforts and saving some time, here is some general information about prayers, especially but not exclusively with regard to spirits, that you may have learned growing up or otherwise when you were introduced to your faith. As the perspective of mortals, it may not be absolute truth, but this knowledge has served others well.
Also, please note, while putting your prayers into words is something that can be done between events (using the Letters To Cast feature on the site), including the sacrifice of skills and abilities, we limit "between-game" actions to communication (e.g. prayers, letters, sent dreams, etc) except in special cases where a cast character during the event in-game has invited your character to go on a particular expedition. Otherwise, any actions you wish to carry out should be done during the event. Anything outside of these guidelines will be taken as an indication of your character's goals (and we may then provide opportunities during the following event) but will not yield any results based simply on your desired between-game actions. This includes building shrines, hunting animals to offer as sacrifices (unless you want to dedicate the prey caught by your Trapper skill, which would be equivalent to sacrificing that skill for the event), etc.
As spiritual entities move through the otherworldly realms, they hear the music of prayers spoken in their honor. This music fills their ears at all times. Many believe this music sustains and powers them, at least for spirits (fewer hold this belief with regard to Avatars). Sometimes a particularly harmonic stanza or two is directed at a specific Spirit or Avatar within a religion, and they may stop and tilt their head to hear the melody more clearly, but thousands of voices all rising in prayer within a religion are a normal part of their existence and the individual voices tend to fade into the gentle ambiance of divine life.
These are the sounds of the usual prayers of devotion to all divine beings. Prayers of praise and adoration, to give general honor and power to a divine being, can be given at any time, by any one. All prayers of this type are heard as one, beautiful, symphonic, word: "REVERENCE."
Those who offer these prayers should give them with open heart, without expectation of recognition, or future favor, or thanks. They are gifts, freely given, out of love and adoration. They create no debt or connection between the worshiper and the worshiped, as they are one voice in many. (You are welcome to submit such prayers, but don't expect a response, nor will you be penalized in any way if you do not submit such prayers.)
Once in a great while, a chorus of a great number of voices will become discordant and out of tune, or focused on an unexpected note. At that point, a particular divine being, or a group of divine beings may stop and listen more closely to find out why. This may bring divine attention to a region of the world. In this instance, when the words which are given up by a significant number of people, even if given by "lay people" with no direct connection to the divine beings, the "tone" of the words may be understood, if not the exact meaning. This discordant note may be heard by a single entity, a group of entities within a religion, or the entire pantheon of entities within a religion. Again, these altruistic prayers may be given up freely, with no cost to the person giving up the prayer, but at best the tone will convey a simple idea. If an idea can't be conveyed with a simple word, it's probably not "simple." "Danger", "Help", "Love", "Fear", "Hunger"... these are simple concepts that might be recognized even without the help of any dedicated clergy. However, these depend on the force of numbers, and even such simple "essence" words will usually be drowned out in the general Symphony of everyday prayers. This is not to say that one should pray only a single word over and over again, for it is not the way of mortals to pour their heart into one word. Mortals stumble through many words trying to find their own meaning, and the sincerity and intensity of those words may carry some weight, but the message that is heard by a distant spirit will be simple and clear. If a spirit or Avatar wishes more information, it may visit (more likely for a spirit) or send other followers to inquire on its behalf.
Those who give these prayers should also give them with open heart, without expectation of recognition, or future favor, or thanks. They are gifts, freely given, out of concern and love for a faith or spirit or Avatar, or instinctively or fearfully blurted out in a moment of need for a community, or out of terror and the natural instinct to survive. These prayers may be heard, if enough speak similar words, but it is the group, the region, or the area of the world who might receive attention, not any individual. These prayers create no debt or connection between the worshiper and the worshiped.
In times of great need, the people of the general population need to turn to the Clergy in order to more clearly communicate with Divine beings. Only those people who have invested their energies into developing their skills in the Devotion to the divine entities, or in creating Sanctity in the world can open up direct dialogs with specific divine entities within their own Religion, and have their exact words heard. And even for such individuals, to elevate a prayer above the sounds of the great symphony of prayer requires a sacrifice of Faith, Skill, Vitality, or other things of value to a particular divine entity in order to give power and volume to their words. Pilgrims, in search of a Divine Patron, may also choose to make great sacrifices to attract the attention of the deities they aspire to follow.
The Clergy are skilled in communicating with Divine beings, and may act as a conduit for these words and sacrifices to the divine beings. In this way, the Clergy can be granted the opportunity to sing a solo song amongst the greater symphony of prayers. The cost to be granted this opportunity is dependent on the value of the particular sacrifice to the divine being, and the importance of the message to the entity. The exact strength of sacrifice needed for any particular purpose is something which must be learned through time and practice.
There are a very select few in the world, who have been Chosen by particular entities as prestigious Priests, Paladins, and so forth. The voices of these Chosen will always be heard; heard clear as a bell rung within a silent temple, no matter what the lyrics of their song may be. They may sing songs of reverence or warning as often as they like, with no price paid. However, even the Chosen need to give sacrifice if they ask for help, or favor, or information. The energies of Divine entities are precious and are not expended without payment.
Those Chosen know the payment valued most dear to those they have bonded with, and may share these secrets with you, if you ask.