The Astrarri Faith (who’s followers are the called the Astrarri, and who’s holy people are called Gazers) are a faith that is relatively rare in Ruthyr, though the religion not outright banned but heavily looked down upon and suppressed in most parts of the country. The Astarri believe in the cycles of the world, in forces of nature, specifically that there is a spiritual connection between the Stars, the Moon and the Tides of the ocean, and that the cycles of life and death of day and night tell a story that reveals the wisdom of the Universe itself.
History and Organization
Strangely, it is thought that the Astarri may be the oldest faith in Ruthyr, originally the main faith of the now fallen civilization of the Amber Lords who lived in the Greymoon sea a thousand years before the coming of the Covenanter faith to Ruthyr. With the fall of the Amber lords the religion died out completely, but later returned to the land of Ruthyr first with the coming of the Dommo Brood peoples and later with the incursions of the war-like tribes of the Voranjarr. Each people that came to Ruthyr brought their own strain of the faith (the older branch known as the Mirren Branch while the newer version is known as the Tallamonne branch). The holy people of the faith are known as Gazers and they read stars and tides and light of the moon to predict omens and consider important decisions. Gazers build circles of Monoliths that are used to track the movment ofthe constellations and the Astrarri faith has all of its major religious holidays and rituals during clear nights. Thus the religion is one of the outdoors and sea, and most very devout Astrarri choose to live within view of the Sea. Thus the Astrarri have no actual houses of worship, though it is said that the earlier versions of the faith practiced by the Amber Lords did built great temple-observatories in the past Age. The Dommo brood who have a specific version of the Astrarri faith do not recognize other branches of the Astrarri, although interestingly the Talamonne branch practiced by Voranjarr do in fact recognize the Mirren branch of the Dommo Brood nonetheless. Furthermore among the Mirren Branch only women can be Gazers where in the Talamonne branch either one can be Gazers although men are more often found in that position.
Covenanters see the Astrarri as a false faith of a superstitious bygone era. They regularily discriminate against the Astrarri and do not permit their Gazers to practice or preach openly, but they do not outright ban that faith in Ruthyr, but rather except them to keep their worship out of the public eye. In the great City of Saramist there are however more lenience parts of the city, with some districts having Gazers operating in the open; furthermore in the Broken Coast region and especially the Grey moon sea and Mirren sea with with many Voranjarr settlements and the multicultural city of Cartavarre, there is a much more tolerant vew of the faith. Only among cities that are directly controlled by the Order of the knights of the Crimson Crucible are Astrarri jailed or harmed.
Beliefs and philosophy
The Astrarri faith has very little to do with offering Morals or ethics to the people. In fact they teach often of reserving moral judgements and accepting life as it is. The Astrarri believe in the great cycle and that life death, rebirth, hatred, love, charity, theft, war and peace are all the same thing—parts of a great wheel that never stops turning. Balance then between each feeling and time in a persons life is what the Astrarri strive for. Their Gazers (holy people) seek not to make converts but to shepherd those who already believe, they offer insight into the inner life of a persons emotional and physical well being, and though the Covenanters see the Gazers as fraudulent fortune tellers, they are much more than fortune tellers, but also skilled physicians and navigators, and lorekeepers for the societies they live in. the belief of the Astrarri is that people must eventually find balance before they die and then join with the stars above…. they do not offer solace against death, just what they claim is the ability to accept it.