The Chogia Faith is the religion of the merchant Imudring, whose origins, though clouded by long stretches of time, seem to be some time in the late Expanse period. While there are some other adherents, the Imudring rarely recognize anyone not of their own ethnological group.
The origins of the Chogia Faith are one of the great unanswered mysteries. While there is some evidence to indicate that the Imudring themselves arose before the First Decline, those few surviving accounts indicate that they were not in fact united in religious beliefs.
During the First Decline, the Imudring, like all other interstellar groups and enterprises, were cut off from each other by vast gulfs that took sublight vessels decades and often centuries to cross. And yet, when the first reliable records were again made, the Chogia Faith was the common worship of all the Imudring encountered. How they managed to do this is something no scholar has been able to determine, and the Imudring have refused all requests.
The Chogia Faith is a polytheistic faith, with a host of gods, goddesses, demons and other minor spirits. In particular, each tribe or clan of Imudring have their own group of totemic spirits, which are emblazoned on the sides of their ships, bases and outposts.
Common Chogia Gods
There are literally dozens of gods worshipped in the Chogia faith, and different groups may worship different ones. There are, however, some common gods:
Yahveh - The tripartite creator/destroyer/preserver god, who is said to have created this Universe from the ashes of a previous one. Yahveh is said to have done this many times before, and then, changing to its preserver form, protected each universe until the end of the creative cycle when it takes on its destroyer form and causes the great conflagaration that begins the next iteration.
K’mimba - Daughter of Yahveh and worshipped as the goddess of the dead, whose realm is Valam, where the spirits of the dead go to await their rebirth in their ancestors. K’mimba is worshipped by many Imudring and is one of the chief deities of the pantheon.
J’mar - The son of K’mimba and the star demon Uzoy, who is considered the patron deity of hop space. A shrine to J’mar can be found on all interstellar Imudring vessels near the drive area.
Idu - The sister of Yahveh and the chief fertility goddess of the Imudring. Her rites are a secret that are forbidden to all none-Imudring, though some accounts claim that chief among the celebrations is the Idu-hajaid, where the members of two Imudring clans will, upon reaching a treaty or agreeing on an alliance, perform an orgy.
Oj - The Dark One, the Lord of the Singularity, the Negator. Oj is said to be the father of Yahveh and Idu, but unlike them, does not represent birth or creation, but rather absolute death, or the absense of existence. Oj is not worshipped, but rather is reviled as the enemy of Creation. Still, some Oj cults can be found, though commonly anyone discovered worshipping the Lord of the Singularity is put to death.
Spirits and Demons
As has been mentioned, the Imudring also believe in a host of minor spirits, demons and demigods. Many of these serve as the totemic protector spirits of Imudring clans. There kinds are too numerous to be referenced here, but there are some major groups that are generally worshipped or reviled.
The Star Demons - It is said that at the heart of every star is a Star Demon, a creature born in the violence of stellar creation. Star Demons are attributed with all manner of trouble, from minor unexplainable mechanical failures up to the loss of entire ships. Before entering any star system, a ritual is performed by the High Priest to placate the Star Demons.
The Ahsadhi - Said to have been human once, they hard carnal relations with demons, and became creatures of the Void’^1^’. They still long for physical forms, and are said to possess individuals for short periods of time to enjoy physical pleasures such as eating, excretion and sexual congress.
The Esalu - These are the totemic spirits, the ancestors of the Imudring clans who are not reborn, but rather permitted to remain free of the realm of Valam. They guide the leaders of their clans, and are worshipped with totemic forms humanoid, animal and even plant-like.
Each Imudring is given a basic education in the Chogia Faith, so that they may, if needed, perform the proper rites. There is, however, a professional priesthood. Each large ship has one High Priest as well as at least two Priests and assorted Acolytes. There is no ultimate leader. High Priests will have, at regular intervals, a Concave where they decide matters of theology. High Priests and Priests are chosen by the leaders of the Imudring clan.
There are three holy books of the Chogia Faith.
Razal-Yahvenan - This is the so-called Book of the Creation and Gods, which gives the cosmological account (a rather mystical version of Big Bang cosmology), as well as the complete list of gods (some five hundred, with new ones added every once in a while).
Razan-Osai - The Book of the Demons, which is literally a long encyclopeida of demons, spirits and totemic symbols, which also functions as the guide to Imudring heraldry.
Razal-Imudra - The Book of the Imudring. No copy of this book has ever been seen by non-Imudring, and the Imudring claim that it does not exist. It is said to contain such smaller books as the Books of the Heroes and the Books of the People, which together supposedly form a history of the Imudring from their earliest times. If such a book exists and contains what some surmise it must, then it would be invaluable in filling in some very large holes in our knowledge of ancient Terra and of the events of the First Decline.
The Chogia Faith, or at variants of it, have been worshipped by some groups since the early days of the Imperium Era. Usually these are isolated cults of little importance, and are universally ignored by the Imudring themselves, who believe these to be alien blasphemers.
Some groups actually claim to have the Razal-Imudra, and on many occasions scholars have rushed to get copies, only to find that they are based on known frauds, or most certainly new frauds. There are at least a dozen different Razal-Imudras, so variant that even if one were actually the real one, no honest scholar would claim to know.
[-‘^1^’ The Imudring refer to hop space as the Void.-]
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