Elven Creeds

The Creeds are the defining feature of elven culture. Each one is an elaborate set of philosophical principles, parables and strictures designed to perfect the practitioner in some mystical virtue. There are major Creeds, adopted by tens of thousands, and there are minor Creeds, some existing purely in their sole practitioner, but almost all elves beyond early adulthood are pledged to one.

The Creeds serve as an effective replacement for religion in elven cultures. Clerical disciples of the Creeds gain spells as normal for philosophy-based clerics, and divine spellcasters can use them as effective patrons. Despite that, the Creeds have no personification as such, and are not considered actual beings.

The most common Creed in the Sunset Isles is known as "That Within", a complex series of teachings that instructs the practitioner on the enlightening of the soul to perfect wisdom through perfected nature. Devotees believe in the innate wisdom of the soul and the merit of seeking inner direction.

Less common is the Creed of "That Without", which believes in much the contrary. The soul is innately depraved, and only by painstaking defiance of natural instinct can it be chained to righteousness. Wisdom lies in obedience to the teachings of the elders and doubt of the self.

Individual elves often have slight variations on the basic theme of their Creed, although few are so different as to constitute an fundamentally different belief. Elves native to the Sunset Isles are particularly inclined to this vagueness, as the hard surroundings leave little time for philosophical considerations. Particularly among the young, who have not yet reason to fear Drift, there can be a degree of disinterest in the topic bordering on ignorance.

The changes among the elven peoples in response to the sundering of their native spirits have yet to be fully assimilated by the Creeds. With the Immanent no longer subject to Drift, it's very likely that they will come to adjust their own belief systems to accommodate this new fact. By the same token, True are likely to place greater emphasis still on the change, with the more drastic effects of Drift on their own persons.

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