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Aeternalism is a decentralized panentheist religion which is based off the existence of the Lux Aeterna and Thaumaturgy. Most sects of Aeternalism are based off the teachings of Mother Sydiah, an Aeternaborne and the founder of the religion. Followers of Aeternalism (named Aeternalists) are widely accepted across many nations. Most specifically, the nations with a relatively high amount of believers are Sedrua, Alkon-Aylathiya, and several CUEN member states. In the modern day, Aeternalism is one of the oldest and widest faiths across universe, holding most of its popularity in Via Aylathiya. There are over 85 quintillion followers of Aeternalism, a majority of which belonging to three sects, Classical, Novel, and Arcane. All Aeternalists hold several common beliefs, one of them being that the Lux Aeterna is a heaven, a place where accomplished beings seek refuge after death. Most practitioners of Aeternalism believe that Astral Independence and Enlightenment is the only way for mortal beings to reach the Aeterna, while others believe that it is where everyone goes once they perish.

Aeternalism was forged from Mother Sydiah during 129,437 BCE. While it is thought that other faiths similar to Aeternalism were made prior, Sydiah's more modern version is the first concrete evidence of such faith. As Sydiah taught her children of her beliefs, it began to spread, soon entering the minds of the common people. As Sedrua, Sydiah's nation, swelled in influence and power, so did Aeternalism, following in the footsteps of expansion and intricacy. With time, Aeternalism became more developed than ever before, though it stood as a uniform faith with hardly any deviations. Even as Sedrua contacted and uplifted lesser powers, Aeternalism remained static for about 24,500 years since its conception. It would eventually fracture however, as the Wane of Reality plunged Sedrua (and by extension most of Aylathiya) into chaos.

Ever since Aeternalism was fractured, it steadily declined across Via Aylathiya. Thousands of years of modernism, secularism, and other faiths have pushed it away as the de-facto religion of Aylathiya. While Aeternalism is by far one of the most populous alignments, it does not have nearly as much influence as it did in its heyday. Across time, writhing splinters of Aeternalism often combat one another as the two main sects clash in a war of popularity and cultural influence. Ever since the Angelic Awakening, Classical Aeternalism has made a resurgence while Novel and Arcane Aeternalism remains stagnant. Other sects appear to be faltering to the influence of Classical Aeternalism as well.

Origins of Major Sects

Classical Aeternalism

Classical Aeternalism traces most of its content to the direct teachings of Mother Sydiah. She described the Aeterna as a lush and blissful paradise, and aimed to bless Aylathiya by ascending its people to live with her. In the years following the birth of Sydiah's Architects, she preached to them the vastness and holiness of the Aeterna. The creation of the Bahattes gave Aeternalism a new medium to travel through, spreading the faith far across the stars. It rapidly grew as Sedrua did, growing over hundreds of years.

It would be Aeternalism which fueled ancient discourse between Sedrua and the United Provinces. Being an atheist nation of elitists, The U.P. greatly discouraged any type of faith, believing that they, the Arkhos Aylathiya's supreme beings. Their sister nation, the Order of the Arkhos, discouraged religion even more than the U.P., perceiving Aeternalists as the lowest form of people. The following period of war and subjugation shined Aeternalism brighter than ever, and it stood unchallenged.

As Sedrua expanded, Sydiah eventually discovered her Aeternaborne forefathers. Soon after, she rampantly preached of the now called Angels and their place in eternal paradise. The Angelic Pantheon was created in Classical Aeternalism, and it is one of the most 'recent' modifications of the sect. After this point, Classical Aeternalism hardly deviated from its original teachings, stabilizing as one of Aylathiya's largest faiths for years to come. In the modern era, Classical Aeternalism is greatly fueled by the return of the Angelic Pantheon, though scattered knowledge of Azurade has given way to criticisms and curiosity.

Novel Aeternalism

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Novel Aeternalism is a relatively newer and revised form of Aeternalism. While much of it is still based off Sydiah's teachings, a large fraction of it is also based off scientific and modernist ideals. Rather than the Lux Aeterna being the highest realm of the Cosmos, Novel Aeternalism purports it as a divine yet comprehensible realm. Novel Aeternalism came to be after the Wane of Reality, as many people viewed Sydiah's actions as a permanent mistake. The following chaos in Sedrua led many to believe that Aeternalism was flawed, and secularism grew for the first time.

To remedy the chaos, numerous Architects including Vurilia Jutopati forwarded the idea of Novel Aeternalism. Much to the outrage of many people, followers of the older sect attached themselves to this new faith. A stretched out religious civil war ensued after, though it was relatively toned down in comparison to the Wane of Reality. Several thousand years passed with occasional reforms in Novel Aeternalism, though the two sects remained uncomfortable next to one another.

The foundation of Novel Aeternalism ended up splintering Aeternalism as a whole. This resulted in a long bout of stagnation, as the scientific take of Aeternalism piqued the interest of modernists and realists. For a time, Novel Aeternalism surpassed Classical, even after the Sedruan Coup and attempted re-enforcement of the old faith. As of the modern day, Novel and Classical Aeternalism are at odds with one another, especially after the resurrection of the Angelic Pantheon.

Arcane Aeternalism

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Arcane Aeternalism was founded by scattered groups of traditionalists and Architects. Unlike Novel Aeternalism, Arcane Aeternalism's faith focused on the Aeterna itself being a powerful and wrathful god. During the Wane of Reality, many perceived the Aeterna's rifts as an act of anger or revenge for Sydiah's mistakes. At first, Arcane Aeternalism closely followed Novel Aeternalism, though it branched after several centuries of separation. Upon divergence, Arcane Aeternalism became one of the most popular monotheistic sects, due to its more traditionalist nature.

Arcane Aeternalism has led a very quiet history. As the two primary branches of Aeternalism battled for dominance, Arcane Aeternalism remained in the sidelines, usually stagnating or declining in membership. As of the modern day however, Arcane Aeternalism is the third largest sect of the religion, being relatively popular in the Boreal Federacy and the Quintet Payotari Association.

Holy Objects / People

Across all of Aeternalism, there exists numerous "holy objects", things which are of great value to the religion. Currently, there are three widely accepted holy texts named the Opus of Aeterna, the Aeterna Prophecies and the Amaranthian Records. There are also the Angelic Artifacts, objects created by all angels of the Pantheon before their passing. The Opus is a text which focuses on the Aeterna and Thaumaturgy, while the Prophecies details about the nature and fate of the universe. The Amaranthian Records acts as an extension of the Aeterna Prophecies, and covers the elusive Ambrosian Remnants. It also has an explanation for events long beyond the universe's current time. It was recently updated by Sydiah with the aid of thaumic and scientific evidence, meant to serve all sects of Aeternalism. It is typically taken with less consideration than the other texts, though many believers of Classical Aeternalism believe it in its entirety.

There exist other holy scriptures in the reach of smaller sects. Most of these have a wide variety of beliefs, though they are typically interpretations of the primary holy texts. For example, Novel Aeternalism has founded and translated its own version of the Opus and Prophecies. They were created following long processes of interpretation and revision, eventually drifting from Classical Aeternalism as a whole. Texts which have drifted from Classical Aeternalism are typically non-contradictory, and are accepted by many Aeternalists.

Opus of Aeterna

The Opus of Aeterna is Aeternalism's first and largest holy text, going into extensive detail about the nature of the Lux Aeterna. Throughout its hundreds of chapters, the Opus goes over the Aeterna's processes, Cores, Pylons, and the practices of Thaumaturgy. It primarily goes over the divine nature of the Aeterna, citing it as the only refuge after death. Sydiah also wrote the Opus with the intention of spreading Thaumaturgy. As such, it contains numerous methods highlighting the self-teaching of Thaumaturgy.

Novel Aeternalism takes a slightly different approach with the Lux Aeterna. More scientific explanations are present in its pages, tending to trade supernatural causes for more realist ones. It is still deeply connected to Sydiah's teachings however, though it does reference Thaumaturgy as an optional path rather than a required one. In the Novel Opus, the Aeterna is referenced as a realm of similar yet distinct stature to the cosmos. It also provides different paths for the afterlife.

Aeterna Prophecies

As Sydiah implored the processes of the universe, she came to a conclusion that it would run its course by the hand of the Angels. As a result, the Prophecies were created as a way to detail future events and predict outcomes. During Sydiah's time, occasional reforms and updates were made to correct the Prophecies while keeping it in line. Much of the content is based off her own beliefs and observations, as the Prophecies cites Sydiah's form of government as the most long-lasting kind. The Aeterna Prophecies are often taken with less seriousness and more curiosity. Furthermore, the text has the most interpretations out of any other, resulting in many believers forging their own mental path for the universe.

In the modern day, the suggestion of Azurade has shaken the Aeterna Prophecies. Several publications of the Prophecies include Azurade as a guiding force, while others tie it with recent publications of the Opus. The presence of Silverstar is also affiliated with these new ideals. Nevertheless, most renditions of the Prophecies hardly include Azurade at all. Frequent debate about Azurade's existence is ongoing, and the majority of Aeternalists choose not to believe in it.

Amaranthian Records

The most recent addition to Aeternalism's texts is the Amaranthian Records. While its first drafts were constructed before the Wane of Reality, it stood as a relatively niche portion of Aeternalism. The Amaranthian Records contain speculation about the Ambrosian Remnants mysterious objects and entities which are like no other in Via Aylathiya. While constructing the Amaranthian Records, Sydiah speculated that the remnants came from the Aeterna, or perhaps another realm entirely. It was a text designed to keep believers speculating, much like that of the Aeterna Prophecies.

The Amaranthian Records have gained a large amount of traction in the modern day. In the years following Mother Sydiah's re-appearance, she heavily rewrote the Amaranthian Records, claiming that the mysterious Amaranth Echoes were windows into the future. She thought similarly of the other Ambrosian Remnants, referring to them as aberrations from a future time. Those who consider Azurade's existence often link the Ambrosian Remnants with it, and have opened the door to speculation relating to other heavenly realms.

Angelic Artifacts

The Angelic Artifacts consist of six creations, all forged by the hands of the Angelic Pantheon. They are said to be divine tools used by the Angels to aid in the creation of Aylathiya. Each artifact has its own unique properties and purpose, with their purposes tying back to all Angel directives. All artifacts were created shortly before an Angel retreated to the Lux Aeterna, and are either inanimate or alive. Upon an Angel's departure, some artifacts were left to drift in Aylathiya's clouds while others kept watch over the worlds which the Angels left behind.

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The first Angelic Artifacts are the Aeterna Crystals, relatively small yet powerful containers of Aeternal Energy. They were left behind by the first Angel, Father Zaphenim, with the intention to give mortal people the chance to gain Thaumic abilities. Is is thought that Aeterna Crystals were commonplace in Zaphenim's time, being commonly used to bring the common people great power. With the Aeterna Crystals, many gained Astral Independence, though others saw it as an abusive way to gain power. In the modern day, there are below 100 Aeterna Crystals that remain floating amongst the stars.

The second Angelic Artifacts are the Hedonist Worlds, a formerly widespread type of planet which once blessed the grounds of Aylathiya. They were created by the first Angel, Mother Sachitel, in order to grant mortal people sublime living spaces. Hedonist Worlds were scattered yet plentiful in Sachitel's era, thinly populating Aylathiya with numerous sources of pleasure. Many of these worlds have since crumbled away, leaving only ruins of their former glory. In the modern day, fewer than ten exist in their ancient state.

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The third Angelic Artifact is referred to as the "Cherubic Sentry". They are guardians of the Hedonist Worlds and are well-quipped Magi, also created by Mother Sachitel. She created them to watch and guide mortals on Hedonist Worlds, thought to be perfect representations of Sachitel's views. The Cherubic Sentry was anything but aligned however, as many guardians slowly drifted into the hands of corruption. Some became gluttonous for the pleasure on Hedonist Worlds, living amongst the people and correcting nothing. Others became power hungry, attempting to gain control of other Hedonist Worlds. Their corruption ran so deep that only three guardians exist in the modern day.

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The fourth artifact is the Resonant Divinity, a massive conglomeration of souls which is united under one collective conscience. It is the product of Father Rinayo and Father Isayo's children, which came together to fulfill their fathers' purposes. The Resonant Divinity is the pure representation of balance and judgement, once roaming Via Aylathiya and evoking judgement on worlds it did not see fit. It wandered the cosmos since its conception, eventually landing in the grasp of Alkon-Aylathiya. Ever since, it has led the nation, bringing out judgement and balance as its fathers did.

The fifth Angelic Artifact is an individual named Eve. Created by the fifth Angel Mother Ohko, Eve was designed to produce Aylathiya's strongest protectors after Ohko's passing. Eve lived a peaceful, fulfilling life until The Administrator began threatening the Svartálfar, Ohko's people. Following a failed attempt at neutralizing The Administrator, Mother Ohko's body was disintegrated and she was sent to the Lux Aeterna. Directly observing her mother's death, Eve became furious, constructing the Erkosian Guardians which warded The Administrator to its homeland Ventemir.

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The sixth Angelic Artifacts are a group of Aeternaborne named 'Sydiah's Architects. Created by the sixth Angel Mother Sydiah, the Architects are beings which were meant to create and uphold Sedrua. They were also designed to enforce balance and judgement, keep the peace, and ensure the satisfaction of Sedrua's people. In a sense, the Architects represent all Angelic aspects, creating and upholding everything the Angels were intended to do. However, most Architects have aged terribly. While there used to be millions upon millions, there remain only five. Out of the five, only two are in a stable mental condition. Furthermore, one of the two, Vurilia Jutopati, was trapped in the Lux Aeterna after disobeying Sydiah's directive.

Common Beliefs

As fractured as Aeternalism may seem to the unaided eye, it contains a wide array of common beliefs, all of which stem from Sydiah's teachings. There are a few main beliefs shared across all Aeternalists. Three major ones are the divine nature of the Aeterna, the purpose of the material universe, and reincarnation. It is widely accepted that in order to believe in Aeternalism, one must accept the common ideals.

Astral Independence and Enlightenment

In Aeternalism, entering the afterlife is regarded as a soul traveling to the Aeterna upon achieving Astral Independence or Enlightenment. Teaching Astral Independence and enlightenment was one of Sydiah's primary goals with Aeternalism, resulting in many Aeternalists becoming adept Magi. Astral Independence is thought of as a 'short cut' to reaching the Aeterna, as their conscious spirit may thrive in its reach. Enlightenment is thought of as the most common method to reach the Aeterna. This is because being enlightened almost guarantees one's spot in the heavens, and usually does not result in reincarnation.

Purpose in Mortality

In Aeternalism, one's purpose in life is to reach for this state of enlightenment or independence. Those who have yet to achieve these states are referred to as "Mortal" people in the context of Aeternalism. It is not in a negative or demeaning context, as Aeternalism compares mortal people to that of young, learning minds. Immortals are not necessarily placed on a high pedestal either, save for the Angelic Pantheon and the Aeterna itself. Instead, they are equated to that of successful, accomplished beings and serve as role models to those in the material universe.

Reincarnation

Aeternalism's last major common belief is that of reincarnation. If a mortal dies before entering a state of enlightenment or independence, they are thought to be placed in the judgement of immortal peers. Mortals are then reincarnated, their souls being given another chance to reach a state of enlightenment. reincarnation is thought to be repeated as many times as it takes before a soul may enter upon the gates of the Aeterna. Immortals are similarly judged by souls of their peers upon reaching the Aeterna. Most of them pass through with no concern, though those who are considered to be 'malicious' are reincarnated.

Angelic Pantheon and its History

Aeternalism includes the Angelic Pantheon as one of its most defining features. While it was relatively unknown before Sydiah's re-appearance, the foundation of it has remained the same. The Angelic Pantheon include a series of six Aeternaborne, each one standing for different aspects of reality. All of the angels have been described in relatively the same light across Aeternalism, and have set purposes that they have fulfilled in reality. The stories of the Angels appear to have a factual foundation, though there is constant debate about the validity of it all. All six Angels go as follows:

Father Zaphenim

Zaphenim

Father Zaphenim is best described as the aspects of guidance and protection. He is the first and highest Angel in the pantheon, and is often viewed as the 'father' of the other five. As the embodiment of guidance and protection, Father Zaphenim is described to have created a glorious kingdom in his days. As he built his kingdom, he seeded Aylathiya with the energies of Thaumaturgy, utilizing it to its greatest extent. It is told that in a wave of his hands, Zaphenim would beat the hearts of dead worlds with endless life. He was the one to serve and guide the people which he raised, providing them with paths to salvation. He wanted to guide Aylathiya with his ideals, giving all people a chance at life beyond death. While records vary relating to Zaphenim's overall actions, it is thought that he could have taught an ancient type of faith similar to modern Aeternalism. Nevertheless, it was Zaphenim's purpose to serve and protect Aylathiya's people.

As Zaphenim completed his empire, he thought that it was best for his people to lead. As soon as he stood in the background, he watched as his former underlings did tasks greater than he could conceive of. They built great pillars of metal and divine structures, utilizing technology in tandem with Thaumaturgy. Through this, Zaphenim saw that his people had grown strong. Nonetheless, he felt like something was missing from their lives. As more time passed, he realized that some of his followers were growing distant from him, and lost sight of their purpose. Before his departure, Zaphenim imbued Aylathiya with courage and remembrance, hoping that his people would keep themselves aligned with the truth.

Zaphenim's Palace

It is said that once Zaphenim fulfilled his purpose, he retreated to the Lux Aeterna and constructed a magnificent palace, the location where ascending or enlightened souls arrive once they exit the mortal coil. In these holy grounds, Zaphenim supplied the palace with endless rooms and corridors, and offered plenty of space frolicking spirits. He sat atop a throne of light and began his mission of guiding the universe and enriching the glorious cosmos. It is said that Zaphenim lived and dined in the palace alone, until the first people gained enlightenment and accompanied him in his home. From the palace, Zaphenim and his people lived in harmony, guiding the universe from the heavens.

Mother Sachitel

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Mother Sachitel is thought of as the aspect of eternal harmony. She is the second Angel, and is said to provide Aylathiya with many of its current luxuries. Upon rising within the clouds of saffron, Sachitel had an undying need to care for those less fortunate than her. She saw firsthand the suffering of those under the foot of gritty governments, feeling a deep resentment for evil kings and lords. Sachitel took matters into her own hands, sculpting the worlds and granting them protection from Aylathiya's demons.

As Sachitel catered for her species, she founded thousands of Hedonist Worlds, planets of limitless pleasure and relaxation. Her goal was to make the universe a paradise for every being, regardless of race, creed, or age. With this, she sought to end the cycle of pain, suffering, and injustice. Across the Hedonist Worlds, vast, lush forests with ripe fruit and soft grass went beyond the horizon. There was no suffering here, only the collective happiness of countless people. Sachitel believed she was complete when she created her final Hedonist World, settling with the people. Often, Sachitel would stride from world to world, bearing gifts and living amongst those who were touched by her grace.

The Path

It would be many ages until Sachitel felt truly satisfied. Knowing that her people were joyous for the rest of eternity, she forged the the Cherubic Sentry, guardians of the Hedonist Worlds. They were tasked with maintaining peace, and giving gifts ensuring that Aylathiya's people were kept joyful forever. Upon departure, Sachitel embedded Aylathiya with robust spirits and benevolence, blessing it with the happiness of life. She retreated to the Lux Aeterna and traveled a long, winding trail to Zaphenim's Palace, filled with lush plants and enamoring creatures. She walked for a life time, reaching the gates of the palace at the end of the trail. She was warmly welcomed by Zaphenim as Aylathiya's savior, and was commemorated by Zaphenim's redeemed children. Sachitel sat and dined with Zaphenim while guided the universe with the other immortals.

Father Rinayo and Father Isayo

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Father Rinayo and Father Isayo represent the aspect of divine judgement and balance, and are said to bring deserved punishment to the dissenters and wrongdoers. They are the fourth and fifth Angels, appearing but a few millennia apart. Father Rinayo is the eldest of the two, appearing near the rim of Aylathiya before trekking the stars and noticing unkempt tyranny. The shattered peoples of the Un'oit and the malignancy of Mahou were threats which needed to be taken carefully. As Rinayo scoured the stars, he sensed a great opening in reality, the birth of Father Isayo. Sensing that his brother was within reach, Rinayo traveled to Isayo and taught him the ways of the universe. In just a few years, Rinayo and Isayo were both aligned in their idea of galactic purity by means of force.

The beginning of Rinayo and Isayo's actions was marked by their visitation of Mother Sachitel's Hedonist Worlds. They quickly noticed that the inhabitants were not people of respect, and instead, were driven by the need for more pleasure and comfort. At first, this was merely a curiosity, but with time, the brothers grew tired of the unhappiness of the masses. Over hundreds of years, they observed the Cherubic Sentry becoming lax and power hungry. Similarly, many of the Hedonist Worlds fell to corruption and madness. Rinayo, wanting to punish the wrongdoers, bathed Aylathiya in a great fire. Isayo, seeking balance, gave the pure worlds greater gifts and reprimanded the innocents of the sinister ones. It is from these actions were Rinayo and Isayo described as stern but fair to Aylathiya's people. In the end, their justice brought great, sometimes well-earned boons to the people.

Hedonist Worlds were but the beginning of a large crusade. From then on, Rinayo and Isayo operated as Aylathiya's guardsmen, often finding corrupt worlds and replacing their governments. Enemies would be vanquished by Rinayo, though many would be kindly spared by Isayo, offered another chance at redemption. This process of reform and redemption refreshed Aylathiya's societies to their prime, though there were two glaring issues remaining. These would come in the form on the Un'oit and Mahou. It is thought that Mahou operated as a malignant, corrupt mass, which went against most of the Angels' ideals. Instead of giving and living prosperously, Mahou took over worlds with a core of imperialism in Rinayo's eyes. In Isayo's, it was something which needed to be balanced, as its apparent evil far outclassed its purity. The Un'oit were much the same, as Rinayo viewed them as embarrassing and divided. Isayo wanted to balance them with unity.

Mahou was first targeted by Rinayo, who cast a great fire over all of it. As it was burning and melting, Isayo brought balance, weighing Mahou's evil and good spirits. Upon reaching a perfect equilibrium, the fires ceased and Mahou was nothing but a shattered, shrunken form of its previous self. Now that Mahou was no longer a threat, Rinayo and Isayo trekked the stars and settled on Un'oit worlds. Their goals were much more indirect than with Mahou, as Rinayo operated as an assassin of sorts. Isayo established himself as a speaker, attempting to motivate the Un'oit with his unmatched charisma and wisdom. It wasn't long until he had spread the word of Thaumaturgy, though the Un'oit were not ones to listen. Hardly any progress was made in the end, and Rinayo contemplated destroying Un'oit societies. Isayo however persuaded him not to, as they were not active threats to Aylathiya.

Thousands of years of strictness followed for the remainder of Aylathiya. Mahou, Hedonist Worlds, and primitive societies were closely watched to ensure the balance of life and death. The brothers were Aylathiya's mediators, and they knew it well. Eventually, both Rinayo and Isayo felt as if they completed their purpose. Upon settling near the core of Aylathiya, they created thousands of watchful children in hopes of maintaining security across Aylathiya. As the Angels disappeared, they left behind an energy of change and curiosity. It is said that their actions seeded the desire for expansion, unintentionally creating the atmosphere for mortals to wage war against one another. Meanwhile, Rinayo and Isayo's children merged with one another, forming a great spirit which watched Aylathiya. Upon reaching the Lux Aeterna, Rinayo and Isayo wandered the heavens and spread chaos and balance across its clouds. It would be they who gave the Aeterna a distinct atmosphere of 'chaotic' energy. After discovering the path to Zaphenim's palace, they walked it down. Upon reaching the palace itself, Rinayo and Isayo were warmly welcomed, and dined with the Angels and the redeemed.

Once Rinayo and Isayo fulfilled their purposes, they created children in hopes of maintaining their watchfulness over Aylathiya. As they disappeared, Rinayo and Isayo left behind an energy of change and curiosity. It is said that they seeded the desire for expansion, unintentionally creating the atmosphere for mortals to wage war against one another. Meanwhile, their children merged with one another, forming a great spirit which watched Aylathiya. Upon reaching the Lux Aeterna, they wandered the heavens and spread change across its clouds, giving the Aeterna a distinct atmosphere of 'chaotic' energy. After discovering Zaphenim's palace, they settled and dined with the others.

Mother Ohko

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Mother Ohko is said to represent the aspect of observation. She is the fifth Angel to appear. During her days as as sojourner, she saw with great curiosity the rise of empires. She became the guiding and observing leader of the Svartálfar, ruling with a hand so gentle that it was almost unnoticeable. To keep great peace across Aylathiya, Mother Ohko created Eve, a being which was destined to create Aylathiya's most powerful of warriors. Mother Ohko was a peaceful leader of the Svartálfar, until a distant threat, The Administrator. howled blasphemy and corruption towards Aylathiya. Unwilling to sit and observe any loner, Ohko attempted to defeat the Administrator. She was met with great fire, banished from the mortal realm as her body burned.

Mother Ohko awoke at the gates of Zaphenim's palace, being met with great honor after she showed great bravery. She was guided to the center of the palace where she and the other Angels dined and convened. It is said that Ohko's mistake with attacking the Administrator gave Aylathiya the spirit of revenge and caution. Her downfall led to Eve forging the Ekrosian Guardians, eventually forcing the Administrator to flee to its native realm. It is said that all Angels became guiding, watchful forces after this point.

Mother Sydiah

Sydiah

Mother Sydiah is said to represent the aspect of pure benevolence. She is the sixth and currently final Angel to rise from the Aeterna. During the days of adolescence, Sydiah quickly gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge over the Aeterna and Aylathiya's people. She sculpted the cosmos as she saw fit, forging her children from the fires of the heavens. Upon bestowing them independence, Sydiah and her children embarked on age of peaceful conquest.

Sedrua was formed from the momentum of Sydiah's power. It is said to be the holiest and most grand empire in all of existence, inheriting all aspects of the previous Angels. Guidance and protection was given to its people which it so benevolently made. Harmony was common all across its borders. Balance and judgement was given to those who thought they were above the Angels. Observation was raised to keep a watch over Sydiah's dominion.

The great success of Sedrua placed a center of greed in Sydiah's soul. She wanted to quicken Sedrua's success, and so she attempted to call upon the heavens. Sydiah threw up her arms and chanted great spells, with intentions of summoning all Angels to Aylathiya once again. Her zealotry and carelessness resulted in great chaos, forcing the Heavens and the mortal plane to become one for just moments. In the midst of madness, Sydiah disappeared.

Sydiah awoke, powerless in the Aeterna, already judged by her fellow Angels. She was sent to spend a thousand life times by herself, until she came to terms with her audaciousness. Upon accepting her fate, Sydiah was pulled to the path of Zaphenim's palace. After walking the trail for another lifetime, she gazed her eyes upon the palace. She was graciously welcomed into the palace, and was greeted by all the other Angels.

The Angels shared their wisdom while dining with Sydiah, informing her of deep Angelic history. Sydiah gained enlightenment once more as they did. Upon hearing the words of her peers, Sydiah spoke of her great empire, her children, and her people which she blessed. The other Angels simply smiled, as they already knew of Sedrua and her achievements. They promised to Sydiah that they would come to aid her, now that she had the knowledge. But days after her meeting with the Angels, Sydiah's children opened a heavenly gateway to Zaphenim's palace. One by one, each angel stepped into the mortal world once again.

Variants

Classical Aeternalism

Classical Aeternalism, as mentioned, is based directly off the teachings of Sydiah. It is the most traditionalist and widespread sect of Aeternalism, as there are over 40 quintillion followers. Those who believe in Classical Aeternalism take the Opus, Prophecies, and the Records literally, leaving little room for self interpretation. Most followers of Classical Aeternalism tend to be residents of Sedrua and Alkon-Aylathiya, though the universe is peppered with several hundred quadrillion others. Followers of Classical Aeternalism are typically the strictest when it comes to the afterlife and judgement. Many are very vocal about their beliefs, often leading to many conflicts with secularists.

Novel Aeternalism

Novel Aeternalism is significantly more lax than Classical Aeternalism, created with the help of Vurilia Jutopati in order to solve problems with its traditionalist counterpart. Based less on stories and more on tangible evidence, Novel Aeternalism is a sect of primarily scientific explanation. Sydiah's teachings are seen through a different lens, and interpretation is much wider than most sects of Aeternalism. Many criticisms and questions brought up by Classical Aeternalism appear to be solved, though Novel Aeternalism does not come without its own concerns.

Novel Aeternalism's most striking difference is with how its treats the Aeterna and the Angelic Pantheon. The Aeterna is thought of as realm similar to the main universe. While it is by all means divine, is is brought in a more relatable, tangible light which also allows for further interpretation. The Angelic Pantheon is thought of in a less divine light, as Novel Aeternalism purports them as messengers. Prior to Sydiah's re-appearance, it was hard to say whether the Angelic Pantheon existed at all.

Most people follow Novel Aeternalism because of its relative freedom. Followers are instinctively tasked to forge their own view of Aeternalism, in accordance with the teachings of Sydiah. This freedom has allowed modernists and realists to embrace Aeternalism, as many find logic in their interpretations. Novel Aeternalism's plasticity has also brought the idea of syncretism. This has attracted members of other religions entirely.

Arcane Aeternalism

Arcane Aeternalism deviates from both major sects of the faith, being monotheistic in nature. It was first founded by a minority of Aeternalists, who believed the Aeterna to be a singular entity which sent its children, the Angels, to the universe. The Aeterna is not purported as an actual "being" in Arcane Aeternalism, instead being shown as an omniscient collective conscience.

Followers of Arcane Aeternalism claim that the Aeterna is often a wrathful deity, sending its curses for the sins of mortals. They claim that it is up to them to correct the wrongdoings of the universe, with extreme variants of Arcane Aeternalism turning to sacrifice and other cultist activates. There is one message in common with all followers of Arcane Aeternalism however, being that the universe is a realm of sinners, and that they must gain enlightenment lest they be destroyed by the Aeterna's bloodlust.

Miscellaneous Sects

From the moment Aeternalism fractured, it summoned forth a volley of smaller splinters. Hardly noticeable in comparison to all of Aeternalism, these Miscellaneous Sects are being followed by about 2% of all Aeternalists. Most of these sects stray from Sydiah's teachings rather wildly, and many have called into question about the validity of said sects. This speculation is fueled by all sorts of extremes, from the most realist to fantastic ideologies. Most publications in miscellaneous sects are taken with considerably less thought than the two primary ones.

Formation of the Aeterna

In Aeternalism, there exist several accepted theories for how the Aeterna came to be. The most widely accepted one is that it came from the sheer willpower of the universe, as there was great urge for a cosmic hierarchy. The Aeterna formed as a realm distinct to the universe, one which is widely thought of as divine by default. Moments after the Aeterna's conception, Cores and Pylons populated its encircling mist, seeding the universe with Thaumic potential.

In other sects, some believe there to be a higher power which created the Aeterna. This belief is not nearly as prevalent as the one above it, though it follows a more realistic cosmic hierarchy. In the modern day, this is best explained by the presence of Azurade, which some Aeternalists believe is the creator of the Aeterna. Some Aeternalists have turned to worshiping Azurade proper, with the hope that it will guide them to the Aeterna in the afterlife.

History

Formation

Upon the sixth great Aeterna Cascade, Mother Sydiah descended from the heavens. Upon traversing the saffron skies, she realized that the universe was cold, bleak, and scattered with no major force of benevolence. She took it upon herself to enforce an age of great prosperity, and so Sydiah founded Aeternalism. Her innate knowledge of Thaumaturgy and willingness to care for others led her to devise the foundations for an empire.

Sydiah birthed her first child and Architect, Vurilia Jutopati, during 129,434 BCE. She raised him with the full intent of spreading her knowledge, teaching Vurilia of his purpose and nature. She birthed her second child, Itrian Yutira, during the same year and forwarded him under the doctrine of Aeternalism. For a center of operations, Sydiah created Bakeyatalla after utilizing technology from the United Provinces. Combining technology with her Thaumaturgy, Sydiah was quick to establish Bakeyatalla, and aimed to make it the core of her future empire.

After centuries of restless development, Sydiah created thousands of children. She established a council for them to follow, and soon sent them to conquer the realms of Aylathiya. Aeternalism began to bud on these worlds, as Sydiah's Architects modified them as they saw fit. Following a series of terraforming and exploration, Itrian Yutira suggested that Sydiah create a common people, the Bahattes. Itrian and eventually Sydiah thought of them as a perfect method for spreading Aeternalism, and so the first Bahatte was created in 127,145 BCE by modifying Arkho genes.

Expansion

After the Bahattes were forged by Sydiah, she too taught them of Aeternalism, referring to it as the most fulfilling way to exist. The Bahattes naturally followed Sydiah, following her directives. They settled on the worlds which Architects grazed, existing as their subordinates. Meanwhile, Sydiah continued with the idea of an empire, founding Sedrua during 126,428 BCE. She also worked with her Architects to create a system of surveillance, security, and travel. Not even 40 years after in 126,394 BCE, Sydiah granted the Bahattes great agency, bestowing to them the right to expand and travel as they saw fit. Sedrua rapidly expanded from that year forward, as did Aeternalism.

Neighboring forces did not take too kindly to Aeternalism. The United Provinces and Order of the Arkhos, Sedrua's closest neighbors had completely different ideals. As nations of secular elitists, these two entities were as far as possible from Sedrua's ideology. Sydiah knew this well, and often convened with her Architects with ways of destroying the opposition. Upon diplomatic contact during 126,174 BCE, the U.P. and the Order rejected Sedrua, claiming them to be the most malicious nation across Aylathiya.

Following a great period of tension, Sydiah saw that the only method of defeating opposition was through total annihilation. After failed attempts of spying the enemy nations, Sydiah ordered a declaration of war during 125,967 BCE. In the name of Sedrua and Aeternalism, over 150,000 of Sydiah's Architects breached the borders of the United Provinces, swiftly uprooting its government and demolishing its capital. The Order of the Arkhos fell a while after during 125,512 BCE.

Opulence

After the destruction of the United Provinces, Aeternalism thrived as Aylathiya's strongest faith. Sedrua continued with its plans of expansion, annexing old U.P. territory and ridding it of the remaining dissenters. Continued expansion swelled the influence of Sedrua, eventually resulting in the discovery of a primitive society, the Staleyans, in 114,568 BCE. Sydiah quickly decided to uplift the Staleyans, knowing full well that they were capable of spreading Aeternalism like the Bahattes.

In the centuries following this discovery, several other species were detected as well. They were similarly uplifted from their gritty societies. Said species quickly transitioned from having a weak grasp of the stars to being travelers of the cosmos. Populations blossomed as Sydiah instated a long-term plan, converting all new species to Aeternalism. By 112,500 BCE, Aeternalism had spread to almost every corner of Aylathiya.

Fracture

Sydiah grew greedier and greedier upon the apex of her empire, coasting off the power of Aeternalism's influence. By 107,000 BCE, Sedrua was at its absolute height, having near-complete dominion over Aylathiya. However, Sydiah also noticed growing faults. Her children, once blessed with perfect skill in Thaumaturgy, were succumbing to Thaumic Insanity. She would look into her older teachings about the Angelic Pantheon, believing that others like her would aid Sedrua in a potential depression. She took to herself and her most trusted of Architects to find and release said Angels. After years of extensive research, they concluded that Sydiah was required to open a rift in reality, which appeared to be the only method of freeing the other Angels.

By 104,930 BCE, Sydiah held complete resolve as she wished to remove Sedrua of future turmoil. She channeled as much energy as she could, with the intention of opening multiples rifts to the Lux Aeterna. Not only that, but she would use reserves of her stamina to try and repair her ill children. It was a perfect plan for the future spread of Aeternalism. However, Sydiah's pylon went under extreme stress, cracking and soon rupturing. Thousands of unstable rifts opened across Aylathiya, engulfing reality around Sydiah. She was powerless to stop the rifts, as she was pulled in and effectively disappeared to the Aeterna.

Sedrua and its vassals were in complete and utter turmoil. Shaken by the cavernous rifts which opened, Sydiah's Architects attempted to remedy the situation the best they could. Unfortunately, a large percentage of Architects believed the rifts entailed the end of times, opening to welcome them back to the Aeterna. In the moments of rupture, 19% of all Architects entered the rifts, causing a massive strain on resources and available power. Additionally, a loose and distant portion of territory declared itself independent, causing many to lose faith in Sedrua's government.

During Sedrua's most grave of depressions, Aeternalism was heavily impacted. A section of the Sedruan population, convinced that Sydiah betrayed them, rapidly changed or removed their beliefs entirely. Aeternalism as a whole was in jeopardy. In an attempt to remedy the chaos, Vurilia Jutopati and his close friend Drizuna Jutopati worked with many others to explain the event though Aeternalism. They ended with creating Novel Aeternalism in 104,873 BCE, much to the dismay of Vurilia's colleagues.

Downfall

It is thought that Sedrua (and by extension Aeternalism) never recovered from the Wane of Reality. While the empire was still picking up the pieces, its citizens grew relatively hopeless. Thousands upon thousands of years of virtually no improvement was shaken in 99,871 BCE, after the Triumvirate Civilization formed. Not even two millennia after, a society of traditionalist conquerors was guided by a hyper-intelligent, self aware AI. Two emergent threats challenged Sedrua, and brought into question the survivability of Aeternalism.

It would be many thousands of years before major activity surfaced. Slow-cooking tensions became boiling as Sedrua wanted to erase rising opposition. The Payotari Alliance, a nation built by a prideful species, was deemed a threat to Sedruan security. In response, Itrian Yutira attacked the Alliance without prejudice in 90,946 BCE. His plans were hastily made and Sedrua had little information of the Alliance's defenses. Just over three centuries of embarrassing warfare ultimately resulted in Sedruan defeat in 90,703 BCE.

It appears as if Itrian never learned from the mistakes of war either. He was similarly paranoid about the Triumvirate Civilization, believing it to be Sedrua's most alarming threat. The rise of Fuukanism was concerning as well, as Fuukanists perceived Aeternalists as those who worshiped hell. On this occasion, Itrian took his time with researching the war, eventually finding a method which could deter Sedrua's enemy from expanding.

The Sedrua-Triumvirate War was initially declared in 61,814 BCE, for the name of Aeternalism and Sedrua's future. Much to the shock of the Triumvirate, Sedrua attacked with a vehement force of Architects, which wanted nothing but the utter defeat of its rival. War went almost smoothly for the first century, though it transitioned to gridlock by the third century. But decades after, the Triumvirate gained the upper hand, and forcefully ended the war in 59,763 BCE.

Vurilia Jutopati attempted to take Sedrua in his own hands. After seeing the failures of Itrian Yutira, he sworn himself in as Sedrua's leader during 59,382 BCE. Vurilia's very presence created religious pandemonium as he was a Novel Aeternalist. The great unrest combined with growing isolationism brewed a religious civil war of sorts, and Sedrua began to regress into itself. Tens of thousands of years passed with minimal respite for Aeternalism. Most of Vurilia's colleagues did not appreciate his deviance from Sydiah's teachings, and so his position as leader was forcefully revoked in 21,473 BCE during the Sedruan Coup. Itrian Yutira became leader once more, and so Classical Aeternalism kept its foothold.

Stagnation

Aeternalism entered a period of quiet rebellions and stagnation. While Classical Aeternalism was the official state religion, Novel Aeternalism appealed to newer and newer generations. For thousands of years more, Aeternalism was in a limbo, teetering between its traditionalist self and its new ideologies. Sedrua itself regressed deeper, as Itrian Yutira was slowly succumbing to his own powers. He worked with one of his sisters, Thonde Yutira, to manage the country and keep it from tearing apart.

There was hardly any refuge from what would happen next however, as Sedrua's vassal states grew restless following its regression. In a spectacular revolution, Sedrua shattered as much of its important territory fell to rebellious forces. Aeternalism was struck deeply, as the rebels tended towards Novel Aeternalism and even Arcane Aeternalism rather than Sedrua's traditionalist roots. Upon losing its final battle, Sedrua sealed itself as it entered a state of extreme isolationism. Those who would emerge from the rebellion followed Novel Aeternalism, other faiths, or became secularist altogether. Aeternalism was deeply wounded as Sedrua was.

Tens of thousands of years more would show great change for Aeternalism. Wars bellowed across Via Aylathiya, and a religious cleansing struck Aeternalism in its core once again. After this point, Classical Aeternalism rode a slow and almost inevitable decline, as Novel Aeternalism remained stagnant in its place. Following wars and rebellions hardly changed anything at all.

It would not be until the 65th millennium did Aeternalism face further changes. following a devastating conflict with the Commonwealth, Sedrua's leadership was the weakest it had ever been. Vurilia Jutopati, who lived as a sojourner and training Magi, returned with a burning revenge for his former allies. After finding and using an Aeterna Crystal, he stormed the Sedruan senate with like-minded Magi, and with their help, seized power. Vurilia and his newly elected cabinet pushed for religious leeway, campaigned for breaking isolationism, and worked on turning Sedrua into a fair nation. Classical and Novel Aeternalism interacted once more, this time under a more peaceful environment.

Vurilia's reign ultimately led to the resurgence of Aeternalism. It transitioned from a faith of old to a revised and widely legitimized one. While tensions with other faiths existed, they were very much muted compared to those of old. With time Vurilia began to build on the legacy of Aeternalism. He embraced Novel Aeternalism and other faiths, making Sedrua appear as a reformed and kind nation once again.

Reorientation

Vurilia's reign lasted about 35,000 years, and he was successfully able to keep Sedrua under control. Furthermore, it expanded, and Aeternalism was able to breathe in the new space which Sedrua conquered. Mass trade and diplomacy was conducted across Aylathiya, though some were still skeptical towards Sedrua as a whole. Nevertheless, Aeternalism thrived once again.

No reign of any king is permanent however. In the days shortly preceding that of modern times, a majority of the remaining Architects gathered out of spite for Vurilia's ways. They came together with the most enigmatic of technologies, and peered into the Lux Aeterna as Sydiah did eons ago. They discovered her alongside several other great powers, and realized that she was accompanying the very Angels she sought to bring back.

After stabilizing a rift to the Lux Aeterna, the Architects saw with great wonder as the full Angelic Pantheon made their way into the mortal realm. It was Sydiah's dreams right in front of their eyes. Vurilia quickly noticed, though it was too late for him and his associates. Sydiah quickly learned and dispatched of Vurilia, especially after his deviance from her teachings. Even if Vurilia was able to defeat Sydiah, there would be 5 other Aeternaborne. It was hopeless for him.

As for Aeternalism, its very foundations were shaking. The confirmation of the Angelic Pantheon, as well as Sydiah's complete return caused Classical Aeternalism to be accepted as fact by many. Most religious Magi turned away from Novel Aeternalism, while others yearned for a balance. For a short period, Aeternalists found themselves in a very precarious position. They were no longer set in their dual harmony, and many of them believed the Pantheon's presence meant the end of their faith.

Modern Day

In the modern day, it is impossible to tell the fate of Aeternalism. While Classical Aeternalism appears to be rising rapidly, other sects appear to be fighting for dominance. Furthermore, tensions have deepened between Aeternalism and Fuukanism, stemming from their total incompatibility. It is well known that a new religious war would injure social-political landscape of Aylathiya, though there seems to be no stopping it. Sydiah's revelations with the Ambrosian Remnants also calls into question the nature of the universe itself. Many have speculated whether Aylathiya is but a budding realm, a land which will evolve into one of Amaranth starlight. Only two questions concern the people of Via Aylathiya however. Will the titans of old overtake Aylathiya and unite it under tradition? Or will juvenile nations reclaim their seat on the saffron throne?

Holidays

Syncretism

Criticisms

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