The Okara religion teaches about the Deities of Nature and the natural order that brings life to the planet. Those in the Okara religion call themselves Okaras.
The Okara deities are lead by the great Nalatur, his wife Corodual, and Corodual’s sibling Frona. The rest of the Okara deities are Nalatur and Corodual’s children.
It is important to note that while Frona is the ruler of beauty, a description commonly used to refer to the feminine, the majority of Okara texts refer to them as ambiguous, genderless, or a mix. Their descriptions also tend to change from race-to-race, as different cultures have different ideas of what is beautiful.
Modification of Nature
It is believed that modifying the land is an insult to the Okara deities; that by modifying the land you are implying that the deities didn’t create the world correctly and that mortal beings could do a better job.
If the land is modified, an offering must be made to the deities to apologise. Offerings to the deities can be anything the Okaras thinks is worthy, from simple prayer to rare jewellery, with the exception of Tresse; who orders that two trees must be planted for every one cut down.
The only time that Tresse’s apology is not planted is if the trees and foliage are affecting the wellbeing of the native wildlife and are cut to maintain the habitat’s order. An offering must still be made; usually one of food or art made from the fallen trees.
Lifestyle and Culture
The Okaras lifestyle is built around the idea that the modification of nature is an insult to the deities.
It is very rare for trees to be cut down or for the ground to be dug up to create building foundations. It is very hard for them to build houses and cities. Most Sentients in the Okara religion become travellers because of this; not staying in one place long enough to have any effect on the natural environment.
Most non-travelling Okaras will make their homes in underground cities. These cities are shaped to fit the natural cave systems and decorated with fungi, soulstone, and painted tapestries that hand over doorways. Only once the cave systems have been used to the largest extent possible will Okara cities begin to expand above ground. Buildings made for travellers, such as inns, are the exception to this rule and are often built above ground for visibility reasons. Though it is easy to tell if an inn is owned by an Okaras, as it will usually be surrounded by expansive gardens with roofs built to accommodate the native birds.
Okaras will pray to their deities almost every day. This is usually done before meals, to thank the gods for the food they eat. Nyla and Tresse are the most commonly mentioned as they are the givers of flesh and plants; though Nikia is often included when eating fish. There is also the strange habit of thanking Ylue for bullstems, a plant that comes from the Kuturian mountains. This is mostly done by nurlak families.
During prayer, Okaras will surround themselves with objects that represent the element of the deity they are praying to. Things such as candles may be lit for Colu, while meditative objects (such as incense) will be used for prayer to Paval.
When cursing, Okaras will habitually name the god of whichever elements are around them.
For example, if they fall into a river, they may say something similar to ‘by Nikia it’s cold!’ or if they injure themselves they may say ‘Nyla that hurts!’ and so on so forth.
There is a famous story in the Okara religion that refers to Mo’ay’a’s Oasis. A young seces child, Mo’ay’a, died lost in the desert and became a servant of Nikia; her duty is to give water to those in need to stop her fate becoming the fate of others. Because of this story, Okaras seces often become disciples of Nikia and create shrines for her in their homes.
Okaras are closely tied to the Aurn, and many Okaras will learn about the Aurn religion in order to gain a deeper understanding of their own deities. However, unlike the Aurn who bend nature to their own wishes, Okaras are taught to harmonise with nature and allow nature to guide them in their ways.
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