Religions

Arche Animals

The main item of worship in the Underworld are the Arche Animals and their spirits and representatives. The current Arche Animals believed to still be in existence are the Bird, the Fish, the Fox, the Rat, and the Snake.

Some think that the arches are direct representatives of these animals, which may very well be true. This possibility threatens the power that sourcerers sometimes have over a society or group, since sourcerers are dedicated only to the Snake, but not really a representative of it. Arches are truly holy people, while sourcerers are merely blessed.

It is widely believed that some Arche Animals that existed in ancient times, were lost or destroyed, but some cults still exist. These are mainly dedicated to the Cat, the Elephant, and the Spider.

The Bird

The Bird is the first and foremost of the Arche Animals, but also the one with fewest true worshippers. It is the only Arche Animal that does not have any direct, visible presence in the Underworld. The Bird has thus become an ideal; its influence based on intangible values. Places of worship are usually near the Surface, in tall shafts, or in caverns with high ceilings.

The Bird represents vision, honor, leadership, and courage.

The Fish

The Fish is easily recognized among the Arche Animals, and has many followers, among them most medical practitioners. Places of worship are always close to water.

The Fish represents physical prowess, strength, and health.

The Fox

The Fox is not as elusive as the Bird, but close. The Fox does not have much presence in the Underworld, but a collection of Fox teeth can be found in Kingstown, proving that some presence exists. The Fox is worshipped mainly by scholars and scouts.

The Fox represents cunning, reason, focus, and awareness.

The Rat

The Rat is the Arche Animal with the largest visible presence in the Underworld. People are constantly reminded that the Rat is everywhere, all the time, represented by animals of its type. Rat worshippers are numerous, and the Rat is easily the most worshipped Arche Animal around.

The Rat represents agility, secrecy, flexibility, escape, and survival by any means.

The Snake

The Snake is the second most visible Arche Animal in the Underworld. Snakes are found in many places throughout the tunnels and even in the water. It is worshipped mainly by Sourcerers, who views it as an avatar of the World Serpent, the Source of all Sourcery.

The Snake represents arcane power, soul, and spirit.

The Cat

The Cat has no presence in the Underworld that any of its inhabitants know of. There are still worshippers of the Cat around, but they are few and far between.

The Cat represents aggressiveness, hunting, combat, and death.

The Elephant

The Elephant has absolutely no presence in the underworld except for in a depicted state such as statues, murals, carvings, figurines, and so on. Its worshippers still hold on to what it represents, and hold these to be important values.

The Elephant represents memory, age, respect, understanding, and empathy.

The Spider

The Spider, though it has a presence at least in parts of the Underworld, lost its status as an Arche Animal long ago. Some of its worshippers claim that this was unjustified and are constantly trying to reintroduce the Spider as a central entity. A few storytellers and explorers count themselves amongst its worshippers.

The Spider represents luck, legends, darkness, and adventures.

The Craftsman

Some ticking dead are devoted to the idea that there is a craftsman behind everything that happens and everything that exists. They know that living beings created the first ticking dead, but they do not know how their spirits can be preserved and survive the death of their original human bodies. So they attribute this to the Craftsman.

Some human artificers also worship this entity although no proof is given that he exists.

Some worshippers of the Craftsman puts him in opposition of the World Serpent, and holy murals depict him facing it in battle wielding a hammer and a screwdriver.

The World Serpent

In addition to the Arche Animals, or as part of them, the Snake is often set apart and referred to as the World Serpent. Legend has it that this entity sleeps around the circumference of the existing world, holding it together with its body. Should it ever let go, the world will fall apart and crumble.

Unlike the Craftsman worshippers, most World Serpent worshippers do not believe the two entities are opposed – mostly because they do not believe that the Craftsman exists. Those who do believe he may exist, see him as the enemy of the all living things, bent on destroying the world. They view the Craftsman cult as misled beings who should be made to realize that their deity does not wish them well.