Capathan Spiritual Beliefs
Every Society believes in certain spiritual beliefs. Those beliefs color everything they do. The Capathan people are a warrior culture, semi-nomadic over a wide range of plains, steppes, and hill country. Their belief systems make them quite different from what you would expect.
The Capathan concept of afterlife is different than most. Rather than believing that their souls or spirits or memories would live on, The Capathans believe that the emotions they feel upon death live on. Those emotions effect and empower all those of their (Capathan) blood, just as the emotions of others effect their blood. Thus those who died filled with rage would fuel the anger the living might feel for decades to come. Those at peace or in love would bring happiness for generations to feel. Those that die in battle feeling courage, fuel that feeling in their people for decades to come. Thus dying as a coward (feeling fear) can be seen as a terrible crime, promoting that feeling in those of Capathan blood for decades. Thus how they feel when they die determines how their people fare in the future.
This has created a mindset in these passionate people; that they must 'feel correctly' at all times. They make sure to feel an emotion clearly and completely (as any moment could be their last), and that no 'detrimental' emotion should be entertained for more than a moment. They practice emotions so they can feel them properly.
This mindset has led to these people to several practices of mental discipline. Their training leads them to having near superhuman memories and recall, practiced control over their emotions and drives, the ability to completely hide their emotions (thus appearing to be feeling one thing, while feeling another), physical meditative abilities (having strong breath control and the ability to effect their metabolic systems), hypnotic skills, and a quite sophisticated system of arguments and logics that one would expect of a urban and legal oriented culture, not semi-nomadic warrior tribes.
It also includes one other thing: ritual suicide. The ritual suicide is one of the most holy Capathan customs, reserved as the highest honor one could perform for another; to die for ones loved ones or friends was a sacrifice beyond words, the ultimate expression of love and loyalty. One does die not only to support others, but their entire blood kins, as they will feel how they wish the tribe to feel for decades to come. So a Capathan can literally 'will themselves to death'.
Their spiritual leaders, The P'than, teach these techniques and recite the hundreds of Capathan poems that teach their philosophy and spiritual beliefs. They also guide people though emotions and act as healers when needed.
One side note about their techniques is that it helps them hone their crafts. To feel mastery or pride while crafting is the ideal. However, to truly experience it, you must master the craft or action. Thus they try to perfect everything they can. This extends beyond crafts and making, but into song, weapons training, and game playing.
Of course, their spiritual beliefs effects how they deal with others. They fight without fear. The mental games they play, focusing on emotions or on thoughts, make them a cunning people. These are not simple nomads. They are keen planners and strategists. They try to frighten their targets at death (thus will wear war paint or ugly masks), to weaken the victim's blood for future generations. They are masters of reading the intentions and emotions of others less trained than themselves; thus are dangerous bargainers. They also do not brook common liars. (Not that they mind lies per say, they just can't stand someone who is so stupid or bad at it as to get caught easily.)
As for the other worlds...
Spirits and Ghosts are seen as nothing more than emotional bundles. Their spiritual leaders (P'than) guide the spirit to unravel the emotional strings that bind it together and to the world. Negative spirits (demons in other parlances) are creatures which feed on the emotions of others, causing their victims to feel certain emotions, then either stealing them away... leaving the victim without feelings (thus a living dead, as they have nothing to pass on)... or killing them in a state of fear, pain, despair, or weakness, passing that on to the blood.
There is more to these people of course, but their spiritual beliefs color what they are.
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? Responses (12)
A little dry, (-.5) but other than that, creative, interesting, and new. I like it!
all I can say is I hope to see more! Theres so many things you can do with this.
Interesting crew. Like Spartans meets Samurais meets the early
Gnostics (The Logos) meets the Moonhunter.
The ideas are great, just a little rough around the edges with the overall explanations and presentation. I like the ritual suicide bit a lot, and the last paragraph on spirits and ghosts. Nice!
I like it. It has an ancient and historical feel to it, yet rings Spock and the vulcans to mind when reading about how disciplined about their own emotions they are.
This is a very good explanation on why someone would be this way. Good job yet again Moon.
Very interesting.They would be welcome citizens if they wanted to live in the Crystal City.
Thank you. Done Now.
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I would use this not as a stoic emotionless culture, but rather one with passion and drive. After all, their goal is not to avoid emotion, but rather to feel the correct ones at the proper time (of death).
These are an emotional people. The feel and express emotions. They simple try to have "right feelings", the same way a taoist would try to perform "right living". This practice and reinforcement serves as the foundation for their mental techniques. If practice awareness of what you are thinking and feeling, and guide it at all times, you have control where most people have done.
Remember, they have to "feel", so they can't be un-emotional.
When you have control over yourself, you have incredible discipline and increased self control. That discipline can lead them to increased focus for both mental skills and physical skills. Their skills will be formitable.
Okay. What is the downside to all these awesome abilities?
Umm.. you would have to be Capathan? You would have to be a semi-nomadic individual in a resource limited area.
What is the downside of these? Well, what is the downside of meditation, Taoism/ Buddhism (or any other religion), or education?
You would have to roleplay some beliefs. You might have a superiority complex to those that obviously don't understand how the universe works. If supported by your system, take appropriate gift/flaws.
Also keep in mind, not everyone is a master of all these skills, nor do they all have all those abilities. Being Capathan would give you access to appropriate gifts, feats, or skills. If you were playing a point based game, Capathans would be spending a good number of points to have all these abilities. Most systems would have a limit to taking appropriate feats/ gifts as well.
Very interesting, rather unusual. I like it- as you know I'm always looking for interesting cultures. Might have to nab it for my own!
I really like this - the focus on mastering - not suppressing - is different!