"Surely you must think this way of approaching psionics is so... narrow?"
"Narrow? Who am I to judge, as long as it attains balance and order above all things? No my apprentice, if I cast judgment upon a psionic philosophy under the pretense of being narrow, then the one expressing narrowness is none other than me."Singul'Aren to his Nuray'Akor
Iluviism, the Psionic Faith, or the Mandate's Creed, is the term commonly used by scholars, adherents, and observers to describe the plethora of creeds and doctrines found within the religious branch of psionic essence study. It centralizes the worship of psionic deities into the concept of a doctrine known as the Kapogeum, diversified in three forms: Singul'Aren, Anur'Ctar and Ynur'Vae, using the prophetic texts of "The Prophecy of the Three Dreams", a poetic prophetic narrative that has affected every aspect of Iluviism on a major or minor degree due to its fulfillment in the post-annihilation scenario after the War of Ages.
Due to the scarcity of dogmatic information contained in the Sacred anecdote, any cult or denomination adhered to Iluviism is vastly different in its approach, with all of them seeking almost blindly what they perceive as magical gods or supernatural beings to be the enforcers of their destiny. In truth, the concept of the Trinity in which Singul'Aren, Anur'Ctar and Ynur'Vae conform has long been left alone and now these deities are long detached. Iluviism is allowed to exist as a way of easily reaching these primitive civilizations and fulfilling the Krassio's long term goal of protecting the universe from the clutches of evil.
Scholars throughout gigaquadrantic history have proposed numerous formulations to Iluviism's core tenets, all of which have met with criticism. The most popular formulation is the one that normally adheres to the principles and life-style of the Krassio as their prime example. Certainly, there have been many items, books, and thesis published across the universe that, while mostly true, are not fundamentals to the psionic faith.
To live by the truths of Iluviism is to see the universe as a living organism, a system of cycles, life and death, rebirth and the ultimate path to illumination. Everything has its purpose, and the disruption of it can hold consequences akin to a trophic cascade that results in the destruction of the universe. As such, to believe in a psionic awakening and to adhere to Iluviism is to hold a deep understanding of the "Universe's intent", "True Order", and a high upholding of righteousness to protect it from destructive forces, chaos unleashed upon creation.
Despite its claims of upholding Order, Iluviism also recognizes the chaotic yet beautiful nature of harmony. There is chaos in order as much as order can be glimpsed within the tumultuous whirpools of chaos. Chaos serves as a force of change in Iluviism, a constant ubiquitous in every psionic mind to force change and self-improvement. This concept disorder is to be welcomed as a challenge.
A common theme in the main tenets of Iluviism is number three, which is considered the holiest due to its importance in all aspects of their spiritual pursuit. Three gods, three Krassio species, three Dreams, three types of Iluvii spirits, and mostly the three-part prophecy of the Vision of the Warriors. The number three is present even in the number of psalms and odes as there are 333, with each god either having penned them or were dedicated to them by inspired writers. The Book of Discipline also shows a three-folded interpretation, where monotheistic, non-theistic or pantheistic approaches reveal new levels of insights hidden to the naked eye.
Finally, there is a moral duality in Iluviism, whereas adherents are encouraged to pursue a good-willed path, one of justice, honor, piety and constant learning, with clear warnings to actions opposite to these (such as eternal damnation at the hands of the Pharia, or possible doom by the clutches of incomprehensible Chaos monsters).
The core beliefs that practitioners of the faith follow universally are:
- Belief in the divinity in the Iluvii Triune composed of Singul'Aren the Allfather, Anur'Ctar as the Font of Power, and Ynur'Vae as the Lady Protectress.
- Belief in the Krassio as the Sentinels of the Universe and as the Nascent Ones.
- Communion with the Iluvii Realm.
- Recognition of the Book of Discipline as a moral and spiritual authority as the statutory of the psionic Trinity.
- Belief in the First, Second and Third Dreams.
- The death in the flesh but eternal life in the Goddess of Death, or damnation at the hands of the God of Endless Hunger.
- The holiness and importance of protecting the universe and guiding it to order, harmony and balance.
The Iluvii Trinity
“Many believe that because the gods do not act upon the frivolous demands of mortals they are not watching. How mistaken they are, for the gods do see, and hear, everything their followers plead. They will act, but only when they, in their surmountable wisdom and higher perspective, choose to. Who are we to defy those to whom we have given our souls to?”
- - A Pilgrim to a mass of followers.
The central tenet of the Psionic Faith is the belief in the divine nature of the three major gods of the Iluvii Pantheon. Iluviists believe that the gods arose mainly during the era of the first dream, which is believed to be the longest of the three dreams.
The trinity is revered in different levels of radicalism or fundamentalism. From mere philosophical figures to heroic guides and even to the most common one, which is the belief in their divine power and gods of their destiny.
It is important to note that the common Iluviist recognizes the existence of other religions and gods in the Universe, as part of their creed is that their gods do not seek dominance of faith like other more proselytist creeds like Spodism. However, the Iluviist doctrine condemns all religions and cults related to the religion they consider anathema: Therusism, which ironically makes its way into Iluviism as examples of evil and doom.
Within the liturgy, literature, and tradition of fundamentalist Iluviist congregations and adepts is the utmost fear for the Krassio in the sense of devoting their highest admiration to them. When Iluviist populations witness any Krassio warrior or vessel traverse their territory or space, there is joy and motive for celebration. Entire systems have been known to rejoice and set entire planets to commemorate the dates and actions of the Nascent Ones, from a simple passing through their solar system or an actual martial prowess performed before their eyes. The battlefields fought by the psionic essentials are turned into sanctuaries and temples dedicated to the pantheon of heroes that, according to the tenets of Iluviism, defend them from unspeakable horrors.
The Krassio fit into the theology of Iluviism through the prophecy of the three Dreams, a literary interpretation of the Vision of the Warriors. It is believed that the Krassio are dormant essentials whose full extent of power is still to be seen. Many Iluviists firmly trust in the Prophecy of the three Dreams as a promise for the future.
It is widely said that the time between the creation of the Krassio and the time of their discovery of psionic energy to be the First Dream, the Second Dream being the current nascent form the Krassio hold: they possess a corporeal form but their presence in other-wordly dimensions composed of essence is crushing, to say the least. With the advent of their full awakening, all believers in the Iluvii heroes and the gods that guide them will ascend into a new form of existence, one that transcends the blights of the universe and that will finally give them eternal peace.
The Iluvii Realm
Among the core tenets of Iluviism, the Iluvii Realm is center-stage, for without it the Iluvii Gods would have never taken place and the Krassio would have never awakened. The peaceful, ocean-looking dimension that is home to the Iluvii Essentials and the cradle of birth for the Krassio is critical for the survival of the Iluviist believer, for the evils of the universe scour planets, systems, and galaxies a whole. The Realm is the only place where those who profess the psionic faith can find true peace, a peace of mind, where all thoughts of evil and seduction to darkness are burned with a holy fire set by the power of the Iluvii Pantheon. It is where the common psionic users can witness the dormant, glorious stages of the Krassio and where they can attain a power of their own.
An Iluviist faithful is not necessarily an essence-user, but merely a mind who seeks comfort, eternal peace, or that has witnessed the power of the Krassio and decided to devote themselves to the universal truth presented by the great Mandate: That all things are subject to destruction by the vile powers of Chaos and all those who seek to see the end of all life. Those who are essence-users serve Iluviism as demon-hunters, exorcists and healing ministers, some councilors who have adopted these tenets also use them against the ill-minded, slowly but steadily pushing back the forces of darkness.
Book of Discpline
“In purpose, I pierce the Darkness. If I fight the Dark, I might perish, yet my spirit shall remain in the hearts of those who lived because of my defiance.”
- - Verse 3 of the Third Poem, Fifth Journal
Iluviist congregations hold a plethora of texts in high regard, mostly from previous founding fathers of their communities and glorified saints exclusive to them. To track them all would take eons, for Iluviism is vast in its teachings, and the way it is taught and nurtured varies with the teacher and interpreter.
However, none of them hold the importance that the Book of Discipline has. Written by the Valader, the first mortal to ever set foot on the Iluvii Realm in history, and commented and complemented by a series of renowned warriors from the Krassio, the Book of Discipline is the ultimate treasure chest for those who seek knowledge, power, balance, and more. It is the core text of Iluviism, and its copies are valued by congregations of pilgrims, bands of warriors, travelers... etc.
Vision of the Warriors
“Hmm? The Vision of the Warriors? What a wonderful poem that one is. No, I'm not undermining its high value among us, takers of the creed. I just mean that it is a powerful lesson to stick to present, survive one more day rather than waiting for an ending. The promise is there, make no mistake, but the timing is known only to those who provided the contents of such a melodic piece.”
- - A father to a son.
Apart from the Book of Discipline, the next most sacred text in Iluviism is an epic Thought-Poem named the Vision of the Warriors, which is also considered a direct reference to the Warriors depicted in the Prophecy of the Three Dreams. It is a promise, a tale of the future. Narrating the events of three warriors that uneventfully arrive to a battle against a monster, one by one, each warrior deals a crucial blow to the monster, followed by a combined strike from the three. Many have tried to interpret the symbolic meaning behind the Poem, coming with different theories about it. To be fair, none can make sense of it, and many speculate its enigmatic author might not have been compeltely aware of its conception, as words are cut and thoughts abandon the recording sporadically, like a mind waking from a dream. There is room in the Thought-Poem for an ending, yet no one knows what the ending was meant to be. It is often paired with the Prophecy of the Three Dreams due to its similarities, with many speculating that it might be just another extract of the Prophecy
Numerology is often a key component in the interpretation of the Vision of the Warriors. Many believe that the number three holds a sacred meaning, and so warriors, friends, family units normally try to abide by it by limiting themselves to three.
Prophecy of the Triune Dreams
As stated before, the number three is a constant numerological symbol within Iluviism. Three rulers in the Iluvii Pantheon, three demigod races in the Krassio, and even three types of Iluvii spirits. In this same regard, one of the most valued pieces of literature often revised by adherents is the Prophecy of the Triune Dreams, which is often considered an eschatological text that heralds three fated, yet possible, venues for all psionics' destiny. Many believers often hold a personal approach and connect it to their individual journeys in life, but also accept its universal principle of detailing what is to come.
The Prophecy often mentions three characters, the Warriors of Past, Present, and Future. Due to their connection to each Dream and how they are dressed in "mantles", many believe they are personifications of the Dreams. However, another branch of scholars firmly attest that these warriors refer to actual, legendary characters. In the past, the Krassio believed that the Valader, Kroc, and Lagartoss were the three manifestations of these warriors, but this version has been dismissed due to the mysterious absence of Lagartoss in current events, and the rise of a new interpretation that states it is the Trinity of Singul'Aren, Anur'Ctar and Ynur'Vae the true depiction of the Warriors.
The Prophecy of the Trinue Dreams refers to three main chronological and historical events and periods of time—the alledged "Three Dreams"—which depict three layers of thought or consciousness that the Krassio "awoke from".
- First Dream - Believed to be the Krassio's embrace of the Iluvii Realm during the War of Ages, turning them into the Psionic Lords. Before this, only singular people such as the Valader or dedicated psionic masters could wield extensive psionic powers despite psionic essence already permeating the Krassio's culture. Following this event, the Civatrons, Andrudans, and Juvans joined to be the House of Krassio, calling themselves like that for the first time. This Dream ends with a warning of "Days of trial", where those who awakened would be tested, challenged in their might. The rise of the Xol'Etra, the first time Iluvii essentials tried to hold deeper control of realspace in history, is often considered this time of tribulation.
- Second Dream - Depicts a time where a new layer of power and knowledge in the Iluvii would be open, pioneered by a select few who would rule supreme over others for a time. It is largely believed that this Second Dream already ocurred in the rise of the Iluvii Pantheon. This Dream opens up in dark tones, of violence and destruction, so it is speculated that these opening lines refer to the fated and devastating conflict between the Xol'Etra and the rising Pantheon. The trinity's victory over the psionic archspirits opened a gateway for new gods to emerge, form, or simply arrive and join the pantheon. Its middle lines show that there will be an increase of power, peace, and prosperity for Psionics who come under the mantle of "the Warrior of the Present". However, the ending lines of the Second Dream speak of schism, division, and a second tribulation, which will then usher the coming of the Third Dream, the Warrior of the Future.
- Third Dream - Its opening lines depict a new conflict from which three realms will be born, the Iluvii will shatter in three shards or blades, which the Warrior of the Future will use for the Dark. The prophecy highlights the final battle between the Warrior and his children against the works of Evil, a "...darkness festering from times long past, ever present, visible only to those who see, resolving its epic plot into three possible endings for all those who live these dangerous times: Ascension, Exile, or Death. There are many theories as to how would the Third Dream unfold, but in the end, no matter how hard scholars and religious figures search for it, its meaning remains a mystery until it truly comes.
Iluviist adherents do believe in a form of life after death, which comes in the trust and belief in the duality of Ynur'Vae and the Pharia. Both representing Death in their own way, Ynur'Vae offers those felled in battle or other causes a place within her own being. Folklore often depicts her with her belly being the gateway to a paradise where minds are preserved and stored in someway, waiting for the Third Dream to unfold so that they too, take part in the final war and enjoy the possibility of ascension.
For those broke the morality of Iluviism, it is said that no other god but the Hungering One awaits, a vision of pitch black, emptiness, a drought that consumes the soul the moment it steps into it. The Pharia spares no one, as its unquenchable thirst to be all-consuming is its greatest priority. Should you be devoured by the psionic black hole that is the Pharia's presence, it is a common belief that a slow and tormentful digestion of the mind will occur, ultimately becoming a blob in the Pharia's bulbuous mind.
Protecting the Universe
Perhaps the most omnipresent concept in the Iluviist cosmology is the characteristic trait that psionics must be, inherently protectors of all things. Normally, this concept has several perspectives, with many psionics seeking control and to rule above others to better offer protection, while others seek more humble or carefree methods. The prime example of psionic protection of the universe is seen in the Krassio, who for many years led a coalition of all kinds of species in the form of the Krassio Host to combat the great adversary of all, Chaos.
In that same line, more primitive cultures based on psionic essence often form their own orders or groups to replicate a fervor similar to that of the Krassio, either in the form of a mage order, or a tribe of warriors, or even a league of heroes from several systems that defends said worlds.
- The Valader invented Iluviism to add a new perspective lense to the mystical realm known as the Iluvii.
- The number three is present as a numerologist aspect of the creed. This number has been present in The Valader's fiction since its inception in 2009.