Shadows Gather Darkly
Holy City: Demkhor, the Sacred City, Zhenir.
Mortal Head: His Eternal Eminence, Caliph Dullah of Zhenir
Holy Canons: The Coor’Ve, the Ta’ashim codex.
Holy Symbol: Gold crescent moon surrounding a red star.
Majority Areas: Zhenir, Opalar, Marazid, Harogarn.
Other Areas: Crusade Principalities, Khanates.
No. of followers: 4,000,000+
Martial Arm: None
Holy Days: Summer Solstice;
The Ta’ashim believe in a single god, Kuthra. Ta’ashim, literally translated, means ‘the Word of God,’ and it is an intricate blueprint for life and worship, set down by the Illuminate Akaabah in the sixth century AS. Akaabah was an administrator at Dhulan, a trading city whose population was a shifting mix of desert nomads, settled agriculturists, and merchants from near and far. Pondering the problems this caused, Akaabah gained the insight to set down the first chapters of his Ta’ashim codex the Coor’Ve. This first section deals mainly with law and government. That they are a work of particular brilliance can be seen from the success with which they are applied. A century after the Illuminate’s death, his teachings had made possible the creation of an empire of more than five million souls. The second section of the Ta’ashim holy text, penned in retirement by Akaabah, deals with the individual’s relationship with, and moral obligations to, Kuthra. There is a third cycle of chapters included by Orthodox Ta’ashim. These are apocryphal stories about the Illuminate’s teaching, collected after his death. The unorthodox Marijah sect denies their importance.
The Shi’aria (The True Path, Ta’ashim law): tells Ta’ashim how to lead their lives. It lays down how to apply the points made in the Coor’Ve in daily life. Harsh punishments are set down to deter people from straying from the True Path. They feel that this is better than imprisonment as that deprives people of their god-given freedom.
Duty: Ta’ashim lays down a clear, straightforward road for its followers – do your duty. This duty is five-fold. Ta’ashim must accept that there is only one god and that it is Kuthra. The second involves regular worship. Ta’ashim must follow a sequence of prayer five times a day at daybreak, midday, in the afternoon, at dusk and at night. During the day (and night) it is possible to hear in a Ta’ashim city, such as Hakbad, the call to prayer, especially at dusk. The third is purification. A Ta’ashim must give to charity, fixed at 2½% of savings, once a month. The fourth duty is fasting during the holy month. The final obligation is pilgrimage to Demkhor. The pilgrimage is designed to purify the Ta’ashim from pride and prejudices and to realise that at the day of judgement everyone will be equal. The pilgrimage should take place at least once during a Ta’ashim’s life.