The following overview of the Ilevan religion has been prepared as a part of my preparation for the revision of The Sword of the Lady. Enjoy!
Alright, listen op ye barbarians! I am Alemarobe, priest to zee god-emperor Arzemheba, and I am here to teach ye abo’t civilized religion.
Zee first t’in’ ye probably notice is dat Ilevan religion has lots of gods. Den ye probably ask stopid question like, “Vhy do Ilevans need lots of gods? Ve only have von’ god. How do dey even keep track of dem all?” Zee answer is dat ve is civilized, and not barbarian idiots vho interrupt important religious lessons! Also, not all zee gods are zee same. Dere are some dat are more important den ot’ers, and all of dem have certain roles and positions in pant’eon: just like some people are more important den ot’ers and have different roles in society (zee owner of dis blog-t’in’ has just told mee dat ye actually have dis veird concept of equality among people, as if ye ver all zee same…ye are very strange!).
For example, zee god I serve, zee Emperor Arzemheba, is zee most important god. Ye t’ink I am jost exaggeratin’ beca’se I am priest to him, bot dat is not troe! Arzemheba really is zee most important because he is zee ruler of zee gods. He is zee god of order, law, and visdom. He can see everyt’ing at vonce—and he is zee actual Emperor of Ileva, so he is very important! He is ruler over zee Empire here, and over zee gods in deir vorld, vhich is not a physical vorld like dis von’ bot is like anot’er dimension or somet’ing…it is complicated! I cannot expect ye to understand, simple barbarians, since yer brain can barely handle von’ dead god as it is!
Dere are two ot’er really important gods, besides Arzemheba. Dere is Inesvi, zee goddess of var, virgins, and revenge. She is zee vife of Arzemheba. Ye probably ask, “Vait, vasn’t her name Enusvi? And how can she be zee goddess of virgins is she is married?” Zee answer to last question is dat ye do not vant to mess vit’ her: she bites down vhere it horts a lot. It is safe for Arzemheba because he has zee iron phallos—bot ye do not, so don’t try it! Zee answer to second question is dat ye are stopid barbarians. Inesvi has alvays been spelled dat vay, and especially has never been spelled vith silly letter “u” dat makes ye sound like a cow vhen ye say it. Zhoron lang’age does not even have dat stopid letter (zee owner of dis blog-t’in’ says dat he spelled it dat vay in his bo’k as some kind of pig-Latin version of Venus, and dat he even wrote Zhoron as Suron, but obvio’sly he vas vrong: it is beca’se he is barbarian as vell!).
Anyvay, vhere vas I? Oh, yes! Zee t’ird really important god is Irlomi, zee goddess of zee moon, rivers, vives, and mot’ers. She is zee von’ vho vaters all our lands, or floods dem if she gets upset. Ye may say, “Dat is jost zee irrigation systems and zee rivers,” bot vhat do ye know, ye stopid barbarians? Irlomi is areal and genero’s goddess and sister to Inesvi. She, Inesvi, and Arzemheba make up zee Triad: zee t’ree highest gods in zee vorld.
“Vhat about ot’er gods?” ye ask. Finally, an intelligent question! Zee ot’er gods each have deir roles, but dey are not as important. Dere are ten ot’er major gods besides zee Triad. Dere is Lan, zee god of zee forests and of hunts. Den Hati, zee goddess of zee seas and fishing. Den dere is Shangre, zee god of travelers and roads. Den dere is Lebeni, zee goddess of zee hearth and home…she is not very important unless ye are a voman, but she is also goddess of zee sun, so she is important in a vay. Dere is also zee god Gonja, zee god of zee forge and craftsmen. Den dere is Ngeta, zee god of fertility, and Mejni, zee goddess of passion and art. Den ve have zee god Shocha, vho is zee god of harvest and rice, and zee goddess Teji, vho is zee goddess of vine and grapes (zee owner of dis blog vould like me to say dat Teji has an important feast in zee spring vhich is an important part of his bo’k but she vas called Thenaai, but Thenaai is not even a close to a vord in Zhoron, so is stopid bo’k—vho cares?).
If ye’ve been countin’, barbarians, and if ye can count, ye notice dat ve is missing von’ god. Dat is zee god Mochazh—bot do not say dat name o’t lo’d! It is very bad lock! Instead ve vill call him by anot’er name, Az-Anlajodma. He is zee god of zee undervorld, darkness, misery, and suffering. “Vhy do ve have such a terrible god?” ye ask. Now ye is back to zee stopid questions. Vhy do ye have devil? Is zee same t’ing. Az-Anlajodma is zee bad god, bot if ye give him sacrifices and pray nicely maybe he leave ye alone. Better to pray to Arzemheba, dough, since he beat Az-Anlajodma and killed him…maybe (he is a trickster god, alright? It is hard to tell!).
At dis point maybe ye are t’inkin’ dat is all zee gods, but dat is very stopid. Of course dere are lots more gods. Dere are gods for families, regions, phenomenon, and even priests. Technically I am a god—how else vo’ld I know all dis about zee ot’er vorld? Bot dey is not as important. Ye can vorship von’ or two if ye have good reason, like if dey are yer family’s god, but mostly ye jost need zee 13 gods of zee pat’eon.
“And how do ye vorship?” Dat is stopid question. If ye need somet’in’, ye pray to zee right gods to give it to ye. If ye need a go’d harvest, ye pray to Shocha, and also Irlomi and maybe Lebeni. Is best if ye pray to an image of zee gods or at a shrine, and is even better if ye give a sacrifice. Ye probably t’ink dat “sacrifice” means dead, burnt animals, but vhy do ye t’ink gods vo’ld vant dat? Nobody vants dat! Leave zee gods somet’in’ nice at zee altar, like food or drink, or clothes or jewelry, den dey vill do somet’ing nice for ye. Dat is how it vorks! Ye only need a blo’d sacrifice if ye have done somet’ing to opset von’ of zee gods, or if ye are trying to get Inesvi’s attention. Inesvi only accepts blo’d sacrifices, because dat is how she is. She vill also take homan sacrifices, mostly on zee battlefield, bot sometimes ye can sacrifice somebody to her beforehand so she von’t kill so many people in zee fighting. Some people say all zee gods accept homan sacrifices, bot dey are wrong. It is jost all priesthood initiations require dying to zee old self, and sometimes zee initiate is not vorthy and so it becomes just dying, period—bot dat is not zee same t’ing! Ve also tell lots of stories abo’t zee gods. Dey are go’d stories, too, better den yer stopid stories abo’t yer boring dead god, anyvay. And dere are lots more of dem, beca’se ve have lots more gods and dey are moch more interesting and do many more t’ings den yer dead god.
So, as ye can see, it is a very civilized religion, very go’d von’, too. Ve vill let ye keep yer stopid barbarian religion, so long as ye pay taxes to Arzemheba and obey him! Now go, barbarians! I am done talking to ye!