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Zarus

Postby gilescorey » Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:03 pm

I've seen a lot of misinformation and general confusion about Zarus on the forums, so I made this thread in order to dispel some of it.

Everything in this thread is pretty much religious propaganda; so to say not all of it is strictly factual. It's a "holy book" and shouldn't be treated by non-Zarites as absolute, unerring truth or a real history of the deity's past. Part of the fun in religious roleplay is grey areas, and nothing about Zarusian theology should be viewed as one hundred percent black and white.



GENESIS


Genesis 1:1

When the World-Who-Is-Chauntea was formed, there was Selûne and from Selûne came all things. The first and most perfect creation of Selûne was Man. His name was Zarus and He was the first of the race of Mankind. When Zarus was brought into the World, he looked upon the works of Selûne and He deemed it Good.

Genesis 1:2

When the younger races saw Zarus, they trembled. His grace surpassed that of the Elves of Corellon Larethian. His endurance surpassed that of the Dwarves of Moradin. His skills and craft surpassed that of Garl Glittergold’s Gnomes and Yondalla’s Halflings. His strength surpassed that of the Orcs of Gruumsh. Zarus was perfect in every way. All trembled lest Zarus breed a race of His own, superior to all others, but Zarus was alone.

Genesis 1:3

In his loneliness, Zarus called out to Chauntea upon which He had sprung for a companion. Chauntea answered. As the World was to be claimed by Man, so was Chauntea claimed by Zarus. She was perfect and Zarus’ mate. Now, the other races grew fearful and prayed that Mankind be destroyed. Corellon heard the prayers of the Elves that Mankind be destroyed. Moradin heard the prayers of the Dwarves that Mankind be destroyed. Garl Glittergold and Yondalla heard the prayers of Gnome and Halfling that Mankind be destroyed. Gruumsh heard the prayers of Orcs that Mankind be destroyed.

Genesis 1:4

In secret, the younger races plotted to poison Zarus. In a gift of wine at His wedding to Chauntea, the younger races offered a toast to Zarus’ health with poisoned wine. Zarus knew of the jealousy of the younger races but honour prevented Him from refusing the treacherously offered cup. Zarus drank, and died, but the World would not allow such injustice and raised Zarus as a God as great as the chief most Gods of the younger races and greater still as would be revealed in time.
Genesis 1:5

Now a god, Zarus wiped Chauntea’s tears and together they sired the many breeds of Mankind.

APOTHEOSIS


Apotheosis 2:1

Chauntea bore Zarus many children. In their perfection, they spread over the face of Toril, adapting to the different lands in which they settled. Some of Zarus’ children had dark skin. Others had tan or olive skin. Still others were pale. All were the children of Zarus and formed the races of Mankind. In their seemingly infinite diversity, all honoured Zarus and proved the most perfect of the creatures of Toril, superior to all the other non-Human races.

Apotheosis 2:2

In the First Epoch, no race could fully equal the achievements of Mankind. While an Elf might grow great in the fighting arts and as well in wizardry, a Human could surpass an elf in either or both. And so it was in every way; other races would prove themselves able but Man was always superior.

Apotheosis 2:3

In the First Age of the Second Epoch, Man grew mightier still. No matter how a creature of another race might show a diversity of talents, Man would prove greater in any one or more. The best any of the lesser races could do is perhaps equal man in a single area, but Man would always prove the superior overall.

Apotheosis 2:4

In the Second Age of the Second Epoch, much the same was true. While there was much ferment among the younger races and attempts to better their state compared to the exalted state of Mankind, these efforts ultimately failed. Humanity remained dominant and no non-Human race could equal the achievements of Man. At the end of the Second Age, a great cry went up from the non-Human races and their Gods again heard their pleas.

Apotheosis 2:5

In the Third Epoch, the older races were raised up to challenge Man. Now Dwarves were gifted with the potential for sorcerous might. Elves might be great warriors. Even lowly Gnomes, Halflings and Half-Orcs could think to challenge Mankind’s claim to domination. Yet, the blood of Zarus flowed strongly in Man. His feats were greater. His skills were unsurpassed. Humanity was favoured in all ways, while the favours newly bestowed upon the younger races were more limited. The world still belonged most fully to the Human race as it always had belonged to that most perfect of races - the Children of Zarus.

TRANSCENDENCE


Transcendence 3:1

Zarus guided each breed of Man as best he could but even Zarus, Greatest of the Gods, grew tired. The other non-Human races and their Gods never stopped trying to destroy Zarus and his Children. In comely guises, they sought to seduce Human men and women. Abominable admixtures of Humans and the more fecund of the non-Human races began to be commonly seen. Humanity had turned from Zarus and he turned his back upon them. Mankind knew not of Zarus.

Transcendence 3:2

Selûne, however, took pity on humanity. Selûne determined to raise up among Mankind other Gods, that Mankind might have succour until Zarus would again turn his face toward Humanity. So it was that Selûne gave something of Her power to other beings that they might become divine. Selûne was diminished but new Gods arose among humanity.

Transcendence 3:3

In the Third Epoch, Zarus revealed himself anew to His people. Many did not recognize Him. Many denied him. It was in the manner of things, however, that Zarus was unquestionably of Toril. That His connection with the World was of a different sort than any seen before was attributable to the transcendent nature of Zarus’ divinity. Zarus was revealed as a God of Toril but also the Father of Man throughout the multiverse. His status as the only greater God of Humanity is without question and settles all arguments. It is proof of Zarus’ love for his Children that He grants them free will to question, even Himself.

Transcendence 3:4

Zarus’ relationship with the other Gods of humanity is complicated. Zarus holds a pride of place superior to any other Human God or Goddess. He is the archetype. He is the realized embodiment of all that is Human made divine. Zarus does not, however, ask that Mankind renounce their other Deities. He cannot for these divinities have proven themselves worthy of His Children’s worship. Yet, Zarus cannot be denied. He is Humanity. In His wisdom, Zarus reveals himself to His Children slowly, without force and without demand. All shall come again to revere Zarus, for only Zarus well cares for Humanity for itself and nothing more. Zarus is the Father of Man.

COMMANDMENTS


Commandments 4:1

That Mankind shall know its place in the World and shall know how best to fulfill its destiny, Zarus has made known Commandments to be followed by all Humanity alike. Those of the race of Man who reject the Commandments, thereby reject their Humanity and become as any non-Human race - inferior and subject to the will of Man. It the command of Zarus that all who reject their Humanity be shown no mercy, even below that of the non-Human, who may earn grace by serving Mankind as their natural superiors in all things.

Commandments 4:2

Thou Shalt Live. Man must survive, endure and prosper.

Commandments 4:3

Thou Shalt Conquer. Man must expand His dominion over all things.

Commandments 4:4

Thou Shalt Rule. Man must rule over all creatures and may take His ease and service from those ruled.

Commandments 4:5

Thou Shalt Be Fruitful and Multiply. Man must increase in numbers to fulfil His destiny.

Commandments 4:6

Thou Shalt Have No Others Gods Before Me. Man may worship as He pleases but must not forsake the fundamental laws of Zarus.

Commandments 4:7

Thou Shalt Honour Thy Fellows. Man must respect Man, even as He strives against Him in competition to prove His superior humanity.

Commandments 4:8

Thou Shalt Honour Thy Self. Man must rule and improve Himself to be prepared and fit to rule others.

Commandments 4:9

Thou Shalt Make No Pacts That Bind Thee to Other Than the Human. Man shall not serve but may only be served.

Commandments 4:10

Thou Shalt Cull The Weak. Man must strengthen the race and must not suffer weakness or infirmity.

Commandments 4:11

Thou Shalt Suffer Not the Fool. Man must strengthen His mind that none may gainsay His just judgments and rule.

COROLLARIES


Corollaries 5:1

From the teachings of Zarus flow certain, inevitable consequences of natural law. These Corollaries reveal the further word of the Father of Humanity. Hold true to these principles for they are second only to the Commandments of Zarus.

Corollaries 5:2

There shall be comity among the races of Man. All Humanity is equal before Zarus. No Man may hold Himself superior over His fellow Man if both obey the laws of Zarus. Racism is a sin against Zarus. The Human race must stand united to rule the non-Human species.

Corollaries 5:3

There shall be comity between man and woman. Men and women are equal before Zarus. No man may hold himself superior over any woman, nor woman hold herself superior over any man, if both obey the laws of Zarus. Sexism is a sin against Zarus. The Human race, men and women, must stand united to rule the non-Human species.

Corollaries 5:4

No man or woman shall mate with a non-Human and produce offspring. The mixing of the Human and the non-Human in a being is an abomination in the eyes of Zarus. The offspring of man must be Human, and Human alone, to fulfil Mankind’s destiny. The Half-Human is not Human and must be culled.

Corollaries 5:5

Mankind bears the heaviest burden for only Man is fit to rule creation. It is Man’s destiny to rule and guide the non-Human races. Those of the non-Human races who accept the law of Zarus should be treated within the law of Zarus. Those of the non-Human races who resist the law of Zarus must be culled unto the last generation.

Corollaries 5:6

No Human or non-Human, either of whom accepts the laws of Zarus, may be enslaved. Slavery of the followers of the laws of Zarus is a sin against Zarus. Service may be taken of the followers of the laws of Zarus but they must not be enslaved. Only the weak among Men and those who reject the laws of Zarus, Human and non-Human, may be rightfully enslaved to benefit and serve the will of the Children of Zarus.

Corollaries 5:7

No one shall use poison. Zarus was poisoned by the followers of the non-Humans and their Gods. Zarus and his Children are superior and need not resort to the use of poison. The use of poison is a sin against Zarus. Poisoners must be culled.

Corollaries 5:8

Zarus was created by the World and by the World alone. Chauntea, the Mother of Humanity, was created by the World and the World alone. The Children of Zarus must honour and respect the World. Those among Mankind called druids must be respected and honoured. They may not be enslaved nor culled. Those among Mankind called witches, who obey the Eighth Commandment of Zarus and make no pacts that bind them to inhuman masters but who honour the World, must be respected and honoured. They may not be enslaved or culled.

Corollaries 5:9

Man shall not be ruled by clerics or priests. The priests and clerics of Zarus and all other human gods are advisors to Man and must not seek to rule Man under a mask of assumed divinity. No Man shall suffer to be ruled by clerics or priests. Such is a sin against Zarus and all shall be culled. Man is free to choose to accept his destiny and the laws of Zarus or to reject Zarus and be culled. No priest or cleric may interpose them self between Man and this choice. Man owes his highest allegiance to himself and himself alone. It is the will of Zarus.

Corollaries 5:10

To rule, Man must be wise in all things. Man is the glory of Zarus and a temple to Zarus, superior to all other beings. Man shall raise up to Himself and to Zarus every art, every craft, every science and knowledge. It is Mankind’s duty to promote civilization, to banish ignorance, to acquire knowledge and to advance the Human race to be worthy of Zarus and the Humanity that is Man’s Birth Right. Man shall glean knowledge even from the non-Humans that He may know their ways and have knowledge of all. To be called ignorant shall be the greatest of shames in the eyes of Zarus, second only to being called weak.

Corollaries 5:11

As Zarus is the Father of Humanity, God the Creator of Humanity, Chauntea is the Mother of Humanity, Goddess and Giver of Life to Mankind. All shall honour and respect Chauntea as Zarus. In Chauntea’s name may the wayward atone for sins against Zarus and seek new life in His divine favour.
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Re: Zarus

Postby Aodh Lazuli » Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:35 pm

gilescorey wrote:Everything in this thread is pretty much religious propaganda; so to say not all of it is strictly factual. It's a "holy book" and shouldn't be treated by non-Zarites as absolute, unerring truth or a real history of the deity's past. Part of the fun in religious roleplay is grey areas, and nothing about Zarusian theology should be viewed as one hundred percent black and white.


That is quite a lot of the fun in religion-based RP, for sure.

Although the questions I have aren't actually covered by this.

Zarite clerics exist - And have their spells granted to them by a god. That means Zarus exists in his own right, or is an aspect of another god.

If Zarus exists, then what is Zarus' portfolio and how does it interact with that of other gods, what are his actual relations with other gods (I mean, we can safely assume he's not actually knocked up Chauntea, nor that he is the father of humanity - Infact, it being impossible to pin down with certainty the origins of humanity is kinda important with regards to the creator races), how did Zarus obtain godhood, when did Zarus obtain godhood?

If, on the other hand, Zarus is an aspect of another god, then which god is that? if Zarus is a being that is not a god, then what happens to Zarite worshippers when they die?

These are things which can be left vague in terms for our in-character interactions for sure (It bores the hell out of me when characters walk around like sentient lore-books)... But if we're going to make this a legitimate part of the setting, we, out of character, do need to be able to make sense of how it fits in the grander scheme.

As it stands, we have little but ideology.
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Re: Zarus

Postby gilescorey » Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:02 pm

If Zarus exists, then what is Zarus' portfolio

Image
His domains are Destiny, Law, Strength, War, and Civilisation.

and how does it interact with that of other gods, what are his actual relations with other gods

Code: Select all
Commandments 4:6

Thou Shalt Have No Others Gods Before Me. Man may worship as He pleases but must not forsake the fundamental laws of Zarus.


Meaning effectively that Zarus doesn't care who you worship, so long as you're living by his "fundamental laws." It seems unlikely that he pays much heed to the other deities so long as they're not racially motivated, like Moradin or Gruumsh. But even so, I don't think it matters overmuch. In canon, Torm and Helm are stated to be on friendly terms but their respective churches are bitter rivals -- what's more important is how the individual worshipper perceives other deities.

There's also the aspect of his relationship with Chauntea, making her out to be an aspect of Zarus' forgiveness and the "Mother of Humanity." So at the very least, Zarus obviously looks upon Chauntea with some level of favour. I doubt it's reciprocal, judging how there's a famed spark of romance between her and Lathander but the fact remains.

how did Zarus obtain godhood, when did Zarus obtain godhood?

How did Loviatar become a deity? When?
How did Kossuth become a deity? When?
How did Silvanus become a deity? When?

The point is that it really doesn't matter, a lack of opaque or clearcut history isn't anything new in deific FR canon.

It's possible he's an Interloper Deity, it's possible he's an Ascended Human a la Bane, Bhaal, etc. from long fallen FR history, he could be a Fiend -- hell, you could even get weird and say he and Lathander are the same deity if you want to take a page from that "Pelor the burning hate" book.

As it stands, we have little but ideology.

What else do you need, to roleplay as a cleric or lay-worshipper?
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Re: Zarus

Postby telmarael » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:19 pm

gilescorey wrote:
If Zarus exists, then what is Zarus' portfolio

Image
His domains are Destiny, Law, Strength, War, and Civilisation.

and how does it interact with that of other gods, what are his actual relations with other gods

Code: Select all
Commandments 4:6

Thou Shalt Have No Others Gods Before Me. Man may worship as He pleases but must not forsake the fundamental laws of Zarus.


Meaning effectively that Zarus doesn't care who you worship, so long as you're living by his "fundamental laws." It seems unlikely that he pays much heed to the other deities so long as they're not racially motivated, like Moradin or Gruumsh. But even so, I don't think it matters overmuch. In canon, Torm and Helm are stated to be on friendly terms but their respective churches are bitter rivals -- what's more important is how the individual worshipper perceives other deities.

There's also the aspect of his relationship with Chauntea, making her out to be an aspect of Zarus' forgiveness and the "Mother of Humanity." So at the very least, Zarus obviously looks upon Chauntea with some level of favour. I doubt it's reciprocal, judging how there's a famed spark of romance between her and Lathander but the fact remains.

how did Zarus obtain godhood, when did Zarus obtain godhood?

How did Loviatar become a deity? When?
How did Kossuth become a deity? When?
How did Silvanus become a deity? When?

The point is that it really doesn't matter, a lack of opaque or clearcut history isn't anything new in deific FR canon.

It's possible he's an Interloper Deity, it's possible he's an Ascended Human a la Bane, Bhaal, etc. from long fallen FR history, he could be a Fiend -- hell, you could even get weird and say he and Lathander are the same deity if you want to take a page from that "Pelor the burning hate" book.

As it stands, we have little but ideology.

What else do you need, to roleplay as a cleric or lay-worshipper?

Kossuth is a primordial, isn't he? As well as Istishia, Akadi etc
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Re: Zarus

Postby Hunter548 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:48 pm

Primordials are 4e lore. Noncanon on Arelith.
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Re: Zarus

Postby Ebonstar » Thu Oct 12, 2017 6:45 pm

my toon met Zarus, he was a little stuttering goblin who scratched alot. didnt look nothing like whats above
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Re: Zarus

Postby gilescorey » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:55 pm

Ebonstar wrote:my toon met Zarus, he was a little stuttering goblin who scratched alot. didnt look nothing like whats above

Useful and constructive post, complete with a surely ironic double negative. Glad we have some real intellectuals on this board.
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Re: Zarus

Postby BegoneThoth » Thu Oct 12, 2017 8:58 pm

That Mankind shall know its place in the World and shall know how best to fulfill its destiny, Zarus has made known Commandments to be followed by all Humanity alike. Those of the race of Man who reject the Commandments, thereby reject their Humanity and become as any non-Human race - inferior and subject to the will of Man. It the command of Zarus that all who reject their Humanity be shown no mercy, even below that of the non-Human, who may earn grace by serving Mankind as their natural superiors in all things.

Thou Shalt Make No Pacts That Bind Thee to Other Than the Human. Man shall not serve but may only be served.

Thou Shalt Cull The Weak. Man must strengthen the race and must not suffer weakness or infirmity.

No man or woman shall mate with a non-Human and produce offspring. The mixing of the Human and the non-Human in a being is an abomination in the eyes of Zarus. The offspring of man must be Human, and Human alone, to fulfil Mankind’s destiny. The Half-Human is not Human and must be culled.


So, what's this mean, if you're a human and you hook up with an elf are you some kind of traitor whom should be killed? Shown no mercy? So should your half-race child?

No race-mixing?

It's been bugging me since I read the OP, and then later heard the deity described as pol's fantasy deity of choice, but I just want to know if I'm properly comprehending this here, that this deity bars interracial coupling and actively encourages his followers to hunt-down and slay any who participate in any kind of interracial relationship.
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Re: Zarus

Postby Hunter548 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:12 pm

It means you shouldn't cross-breed with elves/orcs/whatever. ICly wise, when Roland wrote all this he specifically worded it so sleeping with them was fine (Because he was a manwhore who slept with lots of drow) but I could easily see a Zarite being against it.
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Re: Zarus

Postby gilescorey » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:12 pm

BegoneThoth wrote:
So, what's this mean, if you're a human and you hook up with an elf are you some kind of traitor whom should be killed? Shown no mercy? So should your half-race child?

No race-mixing?

It's been bugging me since I read the OP, and then later heard the deity described as pol's fantasy deity of choice, but I just want to know if I'm properly comprehending this here, that this deity bars interracial coupling and actively encourages his followers to hunt-down and slay any who participate in any kind of interracial relationship.

Pretty much. And yeah, I can see why it'd appeal to the 15 year old who listens to The Daily Shoah or whatever, but you can say the same thing about Shar appealing to someone of a similar age who really likes Hot Topic, or Torm appealing to that one /tg/ neckbeard who really likes the Deus Vult meme. You can draw those correlations with just about anything.

The reasoning being that half-races are "impure" and dilute the great and mighty human race with their dirty non-human blood. Anybody who shags an elf or whatever is directly contributing to creation of these so called abominations. Nobody said an Evil deity had to have nice-guy commandments, after all.
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