Given to them by the Sand Dreamers shortly before being reborn, the Dreamer Vigil is a way of life that focuses on self-improvement and enlightenment, frequently using dreams as metaphors for many of the things in life. The faithful are encouraged to do acts of kindness, helping those in need, feeding the poor and teaching the ignorant. Among many things, they are told to wander, both across great distances in the known world, and in the mind, to acquire a greater understanding of who and what they are. Hopes and dreams are seen as sources of inspiration, ambition, and encouragement towards those goals. In a different light, despair and nightmares are seen as a form of warning, punishment, and realization to those who veer from their goals. Contradictory to this duality of ideas, dreams are also associated with the limited perceptions of the universe inherent in all beings, from which all must strive to awaken from, and from which shed the restrictions in their thinking.
After leaving the changed Iromakuanhe to sleep for eternity, a small group of Makuori have elected to remain in contact with the Iromakuanhe through their semi-conscious dreams. The ability to contact the few Sand Dreamers that have elected to remain partially awake in their Dream Chapels and Dream Cathedrals is a great boon to the people of the Commonwealth and is a source of a sense of security. Few other races can claim that they can communicate directly with the beings they venerate. Though the race enigmatic beings do not view themselves as divine beings, the Iromakuanhe treat them with reverence and view them as what saved them from the ruinous Datalri, and themselves. The Makuori, when contacted, appear as graceful, ethereal semi-humanoid figures that hover gently above the ground. They speak in soft, echoing voices and tend to have slight parental complexes towards the Iromakuanhe. As most of them are well over tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of years old, and posses an unfathomable wealth of wisdom to share, so long as the people are willing and embrace the Dreamer Vigil fully.
A sense of humility and gratefulness is embedded in the psyche, and drives the Iromakuanhe people to shed their mistakes and those of their ancestors by seeking enlightenment. The goal is not to abandon physical form or the cycle of life in similarly minded religions, but rather to free oneself from the past and the flaws and mistakes it holds, and leave this life knowing that only growth was followed in his wake. In their time alive, the concept of bringing happiness to others far outweighs the notion of a legacy. History has taught the Iroma that nothing lasts forever, and that empires of all kinds chafe the rebellious and crumble in time.
At death, Iromakuanhe shed the physical portions of themselves and join the Makuori in their Eternal Dream, hoping to awaken alongside them when the time comes. Most fallen Iromakuanhe are unable to communicate with the living, but instead content themselves to share in the paradisaical fantasies the Sand Dreamers occupy themselves with. Though, people who lead somewhat cruel, destructive, or potentially evil lives are said not to be retrieved by the Makuori, instead, they stay with their bodies, left to die own with their physical shells. Also, It is believed that at least some part of the physical body must be brought to a Dream Chapel before the Iromakuanhe can fully shed his or her physical form. Though such metaphysical concepts cannot be explained or proven, it remains a popular notion among the Iroma.
The Iromakuanhe also have several holy books, detailing history, faith and the principles of their philosophies, which they study feverishly for the most part. The most famous of these is the Book of Dreams, a text that explains the concept of Dreamalking, the interpretation of dreams and the pathways one may take on the road to enlightenment. It is more of a practical tome than a deeply spiritual one.
The Book of Dreams contains a section dedicated to certain meditations that help Iromakuanhe relax or become focused to their tasks. These meditations are usually held in one on one, or held in groups with a leader guiding the meditation. Meditation are to be lead in silence, otherwise focus is broken.
Jafar Meditations the most common sort of meditation, it is a group task where one is simply sitting on a comfortable surface, eyes closed, while having some sort of ambient sound in the background. These meditations are usually done after a speech, lesson, or anything which a meditation lead will want his people to remember or focus on. These sort of meditations are even done in common work-places by a group people who wish to focus on the task at hand.
Sometimes called, a Solo-Jafar, this is simply a Jafar-styled meditation which simply performed by ones self. It usually carries a focusing/relaxing effect that gets someone ready for the day, or focused on a job at hand.
|“You see, Ahni Meditation is where you would either find a comfortable position, or stance and remain that way in silence. Then I would try to relax you through massage, or some sort of touch therapy. Of course, it can take the form of sex, but I am not skilled enough with the Ahni style to really keep it at a level of 'Meditation' to do that.” - Mu'Tasim Farouk|
Ahni Meditation is usually misread as sexual intercourse by some Iromakuanhe. However, Ahni Meditation is a one-on-one meditation that includes close personal contact between two people. The lead, usually a Dream Consort or other follower of the vigil will message or simply touch therapy on the receiver. This usually is a form of meditation that a person will undergo to loosen extreme amounts of stress, pain, or heartbreak. It can go as far as sexual intercourse, however, this usually only an area that a Dream Consort can keep on a level of meditation.
Unlike other meditations, Ruh Meditation is a listening meditation, which is done by one person, by themselves. It can be done in any position, as long as the eye's are closed. At this point the meditator will focus most of their senses into their ears and horns, to catch certain sounds or properly receive and remember instruction.
Often in the use of hunters and soldiers, Abu'Nal meditation is often a focusing meditation. Like a Jafar or Bahbi meditation, it starts with calming the mind, but also clearing it. Then, the person performing the meditation focuses on shedding all but instinctual factors, making them become more suited for combat. However, most Stewards will advise against this sort of meditation, because with out proper training or mastery, it may cause a person to do something they regret.
Among the various elements of the Vigil are certain schools of thought and religious sects which exist as smaller divisions in thought among the whole of the faith. The various organized sects, defined as established ideological groups within the Vigil have been something of a minority compared to larger, but shorter-lived spiritual movements movements, an orderly opposite to the more organic and evolving structure of the main Vigil. Many sects come to power in smaller communities, and inversely, some settlements are founded when a sect wishes to more permanently establish itself by moving its population to a locale more receptive to their ideals.
Orders are structured faith-based societies which exist to serve a purpose among the Iromakuanhe society, with a variety of different purposes and histories for each. They often integrate themselves into the various agencies of the Commonwealth, for the purpose of improving the quality of the care that can be offered to the people. For example, by coupling faith-based social aid initiatives with better funded secular agencies, Iromakuanhe society has managed to create an effective, if slightly awkward social service platform which leaves few people behind. Most famous of these orders are the Temple Guard, Dream Consorts and Shrinekeeper orders.
Schools are societies which follow the teachings of a guru, or great teacher, and the mastery of a discipline which was started by such an individual. Varying between the martial arts all the way to traditional artistry, performance and the pursuit of unconscious mental perfection, Schools offer individuals pathways by which they can explore themselves. Unlike Sects, schools rarely come equipped with any religious dogma, though they tend to have their own traditions, stories and philosophies.
The greatest of all religious edifices erected in reverence to the Dreamer Vigil are known as Dream Cathedrals, massive structures of glass, chitin and stone. The tall, arching, organic shapes and use of vibrant colour reflect the ethereal dream-like connections between the revered spirits of the Dream Sleepers and the Iromakuanhe, as well the towering resolve with which they will defend them.
The spacious interiors of these edifices are decorated in bright silks, while seating is comprised of thousands of soft mats strewn about the floor. Most services are done with the attendants sitting cross-legged or on their knees and shins.
Homes of the Dream Consorts, female Iromakuanhe who are mastered in the Ahni Meditation style. Like Temple Guard, they are well learned in the ways of the Vigil, however, they do not go into combat. Dream Convents are usually mid-sized places, that are extremely well decorated. Most rooms having wide range of colors from relaxing blue to intense reds. There is usually a lack of furniture, moreover a large amount pillows for clients of the consorts to rest while they undergo the touch therapy of the consorts.
While not as large as Dream Cathedrals, Base Shrines are usually small areas or rooms dedicated to the cause of keeping the Vigil strong in areas that are near any churches or cathedrals. These areas are usually adorned with small charms that pay homage to the Makuori, with small statues that have small scraps of silk adorned on them. The term 'Base Shrine' comes from the fact that these kind of shrines are usually found in outposts, forts or bases.
|The shrine itself was rather well decorated, showing how much care it had received before Habeem's tragedy. There was a small lamp sitting at the center of the room, pillows cast around here and there for sitting and meditation. The front of the room housed a shrine for all the saints, but the center of attention focusing on Mu'Klamal, the Saint of Wrath, and of Mazerin. Each saint had a small statue dedicated to them, but Mu'Klamal's armored figure stood taller and larger than the rest. It was obvious that Mu'Klamal, being the Saint of Mazerin, would know the best guidance for anyone living on the harsh world. - Base Shrine in Fort Jariaz|
While they will not acknowledge the title of 'Saint', the Makuori who guide the Iromakuanhe are referred to as Patron Saints. As such stories of their former exploits, and excerpts of their advice can be found in the Book of Dreams. The sixteen Saints of the Makouri each have their own story, and their own patronage, making each one unique amongst the group. Some Saints stayed with the Iromakuanhe to share knowledge, to warn and advise, or to guide on the right path so that people would not make the same mistakes they may have made in life.
Stern hands are guiding hands.
Respect is true to those who have lived long enough to deserve it.
The lax accomplish nothing.
Haste of the body is waste of the mind.
“Let your hands move in harmony with your mind.”
He who builds only walls, has no allies.
The Gullible suffer the pains of all.
“Even during the darkest times, persist, and your walls stay strong.”
Retribution is for those who deserve it.
Eye for an eye, coin for a coin.
“Become one with your emotions; control them, direct them, and never fall to them.”
Love is made with the heart, not the body.
Pain in the heart is the worst pain of all.
“Bring your heart forth, and find the one to share your dreams with.”
One cannot eat coin to live.
Possessions are valuable, life is precious.
Open your eyes to see the true worth of your actions, and judge the values of your results.”
Knowledge is power.
The limits of success are a thing of the mind.
A strong arm is a match for a strong mind.
The weak can fight one, the strong, two.
|“That's alright, many people are not. Yetsava is the Saint of Beauty, who looks down all forms of prejudice and vanity. She is there to make sure that we stay together as a people, and not find a way to separate ourselves through petty judgment. Knowing that, you shouldn't be worried about simple conflicts of social interest.” - Mu'Tasim Farouk|
Care of ones appearance is care of ones life.
A beautiful face cannot build a ship.
Lack of weakness is a strength.
Broad experience is the path to success.
Practice makes perfect.
Building a house is one thing, doing it right is another.
“May you achieve the greatest success in all that you do.”
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
Sickness is a trial, meant to be overcome to live.
Those who eat dirt, are meant to feel like mud.
Warmness of words are the bladeless weapons of war.
Inspiration can not be forced into people.
The right hands can make any seed growable.
Patience yeilds bounty.
The sun and danger rarely come from different directions.
Pictures tell a thousand words, ones eyes tells thousands.
“May you be aware of every evil that would rise against you.”