Wednesday, April 29, 2020

D20x5 Radical Religions

Thanks to Throne of Salt for these questions, relayed from an NPR podcast or something (in November 2018, these things can sit around for a while), thesis being that religions have five central questions:

-How am I here?
-Why am I here?
-How do I know right from wrong?
-Why do bad things happen?
-What happens when I die?

Here’s twenty answers to each of those questions, to be composited into the base of a con-religion or whatever else.

I used the non-specific “divine”, replace with God/gods/the Force as you like.

Generator automator can be found here:

D20 How am I here?
1 Once we were merely animals, the same as any other, but the divine saw potential in us and gave us the gifts of speech and rational thought.
2 When the world began the divine was alone, and wept tears of loneliness. They gathered up their tears and some dust, and molded it into us.
3 When the divine gave out their gifts to all living things we were the cleverest, and let the others take claws, or shelter from the elements, or delicious fruits, and when those were gone we took the ability to make or take those things for ourselves.
4 Nothing truly begins or ends, but everything is always changing. How you are now is simply the form we are currently taking.
5 Once there was another moon in the sky. The sun impregnated this moon, and it hatched into us. We must honour this lost moon as we do our own mothers, and the remaining moon as we do our mother’s sister.
6 We were transcendent spirits once, but we were caught in creation as fish are in a net and have been trapped ever since. The divine gives us favour as an apology for this.
7 The divine shaped us from mud and moss. We were low, but they raised us high.
8 We were once worms, but we grew in the divine’s own meat and so we metamorphosed into something far greater than flies.
9 The divine usurped their predecessor, and from the mingled blood of that struggle we arose.
10 The divine got drunk one cosmic night and mistakenly created us.
11 Emergent complexity in interacting systems over a very long period of time.
12 When the light of the divine first shone on the world we were awakened by it from the sleep of nonexistence.
13 A monkey fucked a pig, a pig fucked a monkey, and then those two couples’ children found each other and fucked. Those children were our ancestors.
14 There was once a race of beings which were enemies of the divine. That race was defeated, and accepted diminution rather than death. Those that were diminished and swore loyalty to the divine are our ancestors.
15 The divine swept the shavings from another creation onto their floor, and those shavings coalesced into us and our world.
16 The divine was hungry one day, and found a block of salt to lick. By the time they were satisfied the block had been licked into the shape of a freakish creature with two heads, four arms, and four legs. The divine threw away the block in shock, and it broke apart into the first man and the first woman.
17 The wind became amorous one day, and carved a stone into a lover. The wind then breathed life into its lover, and they conceived many offspring. The wind and stone are our ancestors.
18 Not even the divine knows. We simply appeared one day.
19 We were once inchoate things from outside the world and the divine, and were attracted to the warmth and fixedness of creation.
20 Some part of the divine surrendered their power to create the world and make it lasting. That part was our ancestors.
D20 Why am I here?
1 To act as the hands of the divine and work their raw creation into more refined forms. It is most favoured by the divine to refine our fellows into more useful workers.
2 To tell stories and act out new stories to entertain the divine.
3 To keep the world in balance so that the divine may have some rest from their duties.
4 Because the divine has willed you to be. It is not in our ability to comprehend or question beyond that.
5 To serve as the army of the holy against the unholy, to battle it in body and spirit.
6 To follow the proper ways and become divine yourself.
7 To engage in contests with people who believe different things about the world and the divine, and prove that our way is best through victory.
8 To sow the world, cultivate it, and clear it of pests so that it is ready for the final harvest.
9 We are each born with a purpose, but this purpose cannot be known to any other but yourself. Contemplate this mystery, have faith in the divine, and one day you will be enlightened.
10 To witness the genius of creation and give praise for it to the divine.
11 To accumulate wealth so that you can distribute it as gifts to win favour with your fellows.
12 To cultivate something greater than ourselves.
13 To attain a moment of perfect clarity and oneness with existence.
14 So that the divine may know themself through our eyes.
15 To prove that we among all the divine’s creations are worthiest to receive their grace.
16 To one day make worlds of our own.
17 To build an eternal and pious nation that stretches across the world.
18 To be fruitful and multiply.
19 To challenge your mortal limits and go beyond them.
20 To contemplate and calculate, and thereby cause higher thought to spring from base matter.
D20 How do I know right from wrong?
1 If you do things the right way, you will become strong, healthy, and clean. If you do things the wrong way, you will become weak, sick, and befouled. For an individual to follow the right way, their community must go along it first.
2 That which causes pain, grief, and suffering is wrong. That which brings pleasure and joy is right.
3 Experience is the foundation of wisdom, and so the best way to know right from wrong is to obey your elders.
4 If you are one who fights, to do right is to attain glory, and to do wrong is to be cowardly. If you are one who makes, the right thing to do is to make many fine things, and the wrong thing to do is to make few wretched things. If you are one who rules, the right thing to do is demonstrate the favour of the divine, and the wrong thing to do is lose this favour.
5 Right actions are those that increase the welfare and power of your clan. Wrong actions are those that weaken your clan or aid their enemies.
6 If you are ever in doubt about what is right and what is wrong, you need only consult our oldest stories, which were first shared with us by the divine.
7 With reason and intuition. The ability to know right from wrong for yourself is among the greatest gifts of the divine.
8 Study the sacred texts, and interpret the secret meanings which appear only to the wise.
9 Constantly question and critique the way things are now to determine how they should be.
10 Peace and mercy are right, violence and anger are wrong.
11 Truthful things are right, deceitful things are wrong.
12 You will know you’re on the right path when you triumph over beasts, tame wildness, and build great things.
13 Becoming knowledgeable, cultured and learned is right, wallowing in ignorance is wrong.
14 The foundations of right action are order and intent, the base of wrong action is chaos. Ordered things may not always be right, but disordered things never are.
15 Right and wrong are decided by consensus. When in doubt, consult with those around you.
16 The divine leaves signs and omens in the world which indicate the right and wrong things to do when read properly.
17 New things are dangerous, and often wrong, so it’s best to do things as they’ve been done since the beginning.
18 Relinquish your ego and let the divine act through you, and you will do right.
19 Only the divine may know that for certain.
20 Proper and improper choices are revealed to you through dreams, though often obliquely.
D20 Why do bad things happen?
1 The world itself was wounded by some primordial strife, and misfortune is the festering of that wound.
2 Bad things happen because there are evil sorcerers who allow beings which do not belong in the world into it.
3 Bad things happen when we falter and do not correctly perform the rituals which ward them away.
4 In order to strengthen us, as the pounding hammer strengthens iron.
5 Because like attracts like, and so our evil thoughts and actions draw bad things to us.
6 Because there is an anti-world opposite ours which sends bad things as weapons of war.
7 Because the divine is not all-powerful, and cannot prevent all misfortunes.
8 Because the divine is not all-knowing, and so we must send them our prayers and ensure they are inclined to listen.
9 Because the divine is fickle, and sometimes chooses to let misfortune occur.
10 Because we have strayed from what is right, and so the divine sends bad things to punish us.
11 Because the divine is in constant struggle with their equal and opposite, who desires bad things where the divine desires the good.
12 Because there is a finite supply of good fortune in the world, and so one’s pursuit of it will leave another without it.
13 Bad only exists as a subjective judgement, what is bad for one is good for another.
14 Because the divine has gifted us freedom of choice, to choose to create good or ill in the world through our actions.
15 Because without bad things we would not know good.
16 Because bad things are like a spice or silence which causes us to appreciate the good even more than we otherwise could.
17 Because we are wretched creatures and that is our lot.
18 Because we live in the best of all possible multiverses, and that requires worlds where the total good only just outweighs the total bad such as ours.
19 Because we live in an imperfect world removed from the divine.
20 Because the divine suffers eternally, and we can help ease that suffering by sharing it.
D20 What happens when I die?
1 The divine will consume you and be nourished by you, and you will become part of it as what you consume nourishes and becomes part of you.
2 You become a part of all your children and they will carry that part on to their children when they die. If you die without children you will be lost.
3 You will attend to and be tested by the divine, who will use those tests to judge what sort of station you deserve to be born into in your next life.
4 You will sleep within the earth until the next world is created, where you will awaken refreshed and refleshed.
5 If you have acted the right way, you will be rewarded with a fitting palace on the dark side of the moon. If you have acted the wrong way, you will be made a slave in one of those palaces.
6 As long as you are remembered, you will live on past your body in the place people go when they dream.
7 If the correct rites have been performed for you, you will be brought to the sacred land beneath the mountains and lakes, where you will live like you did here only easier and happier. If the rites were not performed, or performed incorrectly, you will be stuck here and become an evil spirit.
8 You will be reborn as the beings who feed on your body. That is why we leave evil people out for the worms, why good people are raised up where birds can get to them, and why it is honourable for animals to allow themselves to be eaten by us.
9 Your spirit will go and inhabit the idol we make in the image of your body, and living people will leave offerings for you so they will be able to call on you for favours. Those who have no idols, or those whose idols have been destroyed and not replaced, will try to take another’s body for their own, and this is what causes sickness.
10 You will have to undergo a perilous journey to the place where the sun goes when it sets, but if you succeed then the sun will make you into a star so that you will live in warmth, light, and good company forever.
11 The divine will transform your heart into a jewel in their regalia, and the purer your heart is the more beautiful the jewel made from it will be. The more impressive the divine’s regalia is the higher their status will become, and as their status rises they will grant us more favour.
12 Everything that you are will disappear and your body will molder until nothing remains. What matters is this life, this world, and what you do in it.
13 Your spirit will escape your flesh and join the divine as a minor divinity in and of yourself.
14 You will then live out your life backwards in the place which lies on the other side of mirrors, and when you die there you will return to the beginning of your life here again, and so on in eternal recurrence.
15 You will be brought to the garden of the divine with all others who have died before you. If in this life you were good then the fruits of that place will be plentiful and sweet, you will find shade when you want it and light when you want that. If you were not, then the stinging insects and the hungry wolves will hunt you no matter how you flee.
16 You will be dead. If the divine finds you worthy before that then they will take you and make you immortal to live with them forever.
17 The answer to that lies behind a veil which the divine has not seen fit to raise for us. Heed not the lies of the necromancers.
18 You will be thrown on the fire tended by the divine. The wicked shall be burned to ashes while the righteous shall become beings of sweet smoke.
19 The whole of your life shall be recorded in the songs of the divine, to be sung for all time to your shame or renown, depending on how you lived.
20 You will be made into a part of the land, to expand creation or refresh a senescent part of it. If you lived well then your land will be pleasant. If you lived poorly then it will be barren.

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