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Canon: © Anne Bishop
Board's Plot: Blood Rites
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Established February 2010
by Jamie, Gina & Bowie.


* Plot Information for Tacea

Tensions are rising in Tacea after the destruction of their Territory Court at the hands of its Queen. Unable to continue their traditional cycle of succession because of accusations of treason, Tacea must find a Queen capable of uniting the land while building bridges to the world outside its borders.
Overview of Tacea
Women & Men of Tacea
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Author Topic: Spirituality and Religion.  (Read 1384 times)

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Offline Vivian

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Spirituality and Religion.
« on: Aug 26, 13, 09:20:55 PM »



A very spiritual people, Tacea believes that lifesparks are different lingering echoes of Mother Night to be found in nature.  The lifesparks are a borrowed concept from the landens; spirits of nature that manifest with seemingly inexplicable powers and origins.  They exist in all things that possess a life and energy.  It is said the longer something has lived - such as a century old willow or a millennia strong mountain - the stronger its lifespark grows, capable of manifesting to sensitive minds.  Whether the origins of lifesparks spring from early Blood and the legendary Kindred encounters and have since been incorporated into the Landen religion or not, the lore has been readjusted and reabsorbed by the Blood in the past few hundred years. 

What long lived territories might remember as demon dead, Tacea recalls in their tales and ballads as darksparks, remnants of original lifesparks that sleep in the Dark World (aka, Hell).  In Tacea, where these spirits are deeply respected, it is believed that most ancestors either pass on into their slumber, or linger to watch over their family.  Many keep a small altar in their houses and homes, honoring their ancestry.  In order to express gratitude for this protection and honor their deeds in life, Tacea regularly celebrates their dead.  See festivals and ceremonies below. 

Temples are holy and sacred places.  They operate on a mix of funds from the Territory Court, the Province and District Courts, as well as private donations.  Unlike the Geisha Houses - they rarely, if ever, make an attempt to capitalize on their services.  At most, they sell some charms or offer room and boarding for those seeking a sanctuary to rest and meditate in.  It is said that a crime committed on temple grounds will bring disaster upon the perpetrator; Queens are especially harsh when dealing with criminals who dare to violate these safe places.  Many Priestesses live in the temples they watch over.  They have historically  worked closely with the Territory Court and although they are individually removed from politics, their temples and labors have often coincided with Tacea’s Queens.  In the past, education and lessons in letters and numbers have been provided at temples for young children and due to the prolific nature of temples, they are often chosen as points of distribution of Territory wide festival gifts.

  • While unfortunate, the poor in Tacea who cannot afford to feed too many children or raise a gigantic family have taken to leaving babes (especially sons) on the steps of these temples.  Such children are taken in and raised within the temple and many stay as workers, guards, escorts, and support staff for the Priestesses; some are even allowed to train as Priests.  A rare few who show aptitude are sponsored and groomed to enter into a Geisha House.




FESTIVALS AND CEREMONIES

Festivals are typically associated and hosted by local shrines, temples, and priestesses, but they are not strictly religious in nature.  They can be secular.  Some are very localized and are indigenous to their area.  Listed here are major Territory-wide customs.

  • The Flower Viewing Festival is a Spring seasonal event and usually takes place at the height of Spring.  Typically it is done with the blossoming of cherry and plum flowers; sake (rice wine) and seasonal sweets are often consumed, and poetry contests are held beneath the shower of flower petals.  Poems may be submitted by anyone and the best are often collected for an annual publication.
     
  • The Star Festival.  A lovers festival.  A well loved festival and full of hope, it occurs after the Summer harvest and is said to celebrate the enduring love between a long ago couple, separated by every obstacle imaginable.  The Star Festival is also a wish making festival, where people write down their wishes, hopes, and dreams (usually in the form of a short prayer or poem) on a piece of ribbon or paper, and tie them to the branches of temple trees.   As a time of purification and cleansing, many use this time to wish to improve themselves or mend broken areas in their lives.
     
  • The Kindling Festival is a custom in Tacea to honor the spirits of one's ancestors or any that have since passed on to the Dark World.  It is four days long in the middle of Autumn and it is custom that one return to ancestral sites or temples to pay homage to their foremothers.  It is a surprisingly light hearted event, filled with carnivals, games, music, dancing, and festival foods.  On the fourth night, the festival is concluded with the floating of lanterns.  Paper lanterns are folded and illuminated by Craft, and then floated down rivers to represent the path of a lifespark. 
     
  • The Mid-Moon Festival.  This is a time for family again, but rather than celebrating the dead, the Mid-Moon Festival celebrates the living.  One does their best to visit all their immediate family and pay respects to clan elders; mostly, it is a time of eating, drinking, and being with loved ones.  Similar to Winsol in other Territories, gifts may be exchanged the week leading up to this Winter festival, which culminates on the last night - always scheduled to be a full moon.  The moon features heavily in Tacea's lore as a manifestation of Mother Night, so many offerings are made at this time at temples and altars. 

    * Tacea does not celebrate Winsol in the manner of the rest of the Realm and has traded many traditions for its own.  Celebration of Witch is more often eschewed in favor of celebration of Mother Night and elaborate rituals and ceremonies are held by everyone from the Territory Court to a Town Healer. 
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