As a scholar of Riggleman Manor Archives, in good standing with the scientific and religious communities of Warrington. I, Nicodemus Pandit would like to present this general summary of the religions of Pillar and Bolster Heart to the community at large. I do this in order to bring about a basic understanding of them and lead the good peoples of this world into a way of belief that suits their interests and morality. As such, here is my list of the known religious beliefs of our world.
Akolian Religion: This is the religion where peoples worship the God named Akol, often referred to by His full name Akol Ramous. In this religion, they believe that Akol is the creator of all things and that he resides in a spiritual realm called Afterlife. From this realm, he is said to rule all beings. He is said to be nearly all-powerful, and nearly all-knowing, but is not considered omnipresent. Because He is not completely powerful, His adherents believe him to be a much more personal God than the Nameless. He is closer in relation to His creations and therefore much more involved in their day-to-day lives. Often people will pray to Akol hoping to gain his favor and hoping to call his attention to their plight or issues.
It is often important for the Akolian devotees to give thanks to Akol when things go well. Akol is most often considered male, even though He is not ever depicted as having a physical body. Several examples of scriptures from the long past have been found in archives and in these Akol is referred to as male, so that is how He is most often referred to. Adherents to this religion believe that when they die, their bodies will combust into flame (that much is not debated) and then their souls will go into Afterlife (the spiritual realm) and be with Akol for all time. This is achieved through good works and following the scriptures of Akol. The Smoke of a person who dies and goes up from the flames of their consumption is what they believe carries the person’s soul to Akol in Afterlife.
Worship of the Nameless: The Nameless is a deity to which the peoples of Pillar often worship when they reject the deity or belief of Akol Ramous. The Nameless is believed to be an all-powerful deity who has yet to make themselves known but is believed to exist due to the logical nature of there being some form of causer for the beginnings and endings of all things. While there are no scriptures per se about the Nameless, there are many philosophical writings about their nature. When considering the Nameless, it is believed they are all-powerful, all-knowing, and omnipresent.
As such, they are believed to be the creator of all things and the beginning and ending of all things, including life. The Nameless is not considered male or female, but a separate type of being with no gender at all. Believers of the Nameless say that one’s actions should be governed by an internal compass of morality. As such, each person is accountable for the good they are aware of. In this way, the amount of good a person adheres to within life will determine their afterlife and the good they experience there. If they are evil, they will experience evil. If they are good, they will experience good. This is no direct place peoples go to, but just an experience they will enter after death.
Enlightenment Worship: The worship of the Enlightened beings of Pillar. The enlightened beings of Pillar and Bolster Heart are the beings with the capacity to be aware of themselves and actively think about morality and others. As such, believers in this philosophy espouse that the greatest amount of good is seeking what is good for the most enlightened beings in any given circumstance. As such, they believe that debate and argument are some of the chief ways to understand morality. When in a debate, their rationale is not to change the mind of the person they are arguing with, but to win the argument and then to influence the people hearing the argument. When the greatest number of people are influenced, they see this as the greatest and rightest form of good and morality. While this might not seem like a formal religion, but more of a philosophy, the adherents would agree with you, but still consider this their religion. They do not believe in an afterlife for enlightened beings, believing that their current life is the only life they are able to live and as such should make this life as good as they can, given it is all that there is. Because of this, they are often given to excess and hedonism as well.
Flame Adherents: This is an off-shoot religion of the Enlightenment Worshipers which was discussed above. The Flame Adherents religion is one where the peoples worship the fact that all enlightened life comes to an end in the Flame of Consumption as they call it. If you will remember, in the world of Pillar, whenever an enlightened being dies, fifteen seconds after death, their bodies burst into flame and are completely consumed by this flame until only ash remains. This is a normal end to enlightened life on Pillar and is distinct to only enlightened beings. Non-enlightened or as they are often called, “wild” beings who are not thinking and rational beings are not consumed in fire upon death.
Their corpses remain intact. They believe that because only enlightened beings are consumed in flame at the time of death, this makes those beings special in a divine sense. Many of the precepts of the Enlightenment Worship are maintained here, believing in the utmost good for the most enlightened beings, but a large difference between the two religions is the belief held by the Flame Adherents that the combustion in flame at the end of life is a signifying event that the enlightened beings will be brought into an afterlife of some sort, either good or bad.
Dragon Worship: This is the religion that exalts the worship of the Great Dragons who sleep throughout the world. There are four known Dragons who sleep within Bolster Heart and a rumored two others that sleep on top of Pillar, but no one knows where they reside. However, the people of this religion believe that one day the Dragons will awake to lead the enlightened peoples of Pillar and Bolster Heart to a promised land; a land where they will live forever with the Dragons in complete harmony.
Believers in this religion often pray to the Dragons by name, believing that they can hear them in their dreams and will cause favorable outcomes. Believers of this religion believe that upon death, they will enter an afterlife made up of the Dragon’s dreams, awaiting the time they will awaken with the Dragon and be led into the promised land with all those still alive. Upon death, they believe the Smoke from a person’s body after combustion is what transfers their soul to the Dragons.
Superior Humanism: This is a racist cult where the adherents believe that the human race is superior to all other enlightened peoples on Pillar. Races such as the Flemi (rabbit/human hybrids), Kyoten (sheep/human hybrids), and especially Brown-dogs (intellectually equal, but physically similar to wild dogs), are seen as less than the human race. This religion is not currently widely accepted in most regions of Pillar. The island country of Rathen is the only known place where this religion is openly practiced freely. As such, other races present in this country are often enslaved or outright killed in the name of Superior Humanism.
Soulism: Throughout the world, this cult is largely seen as evil and perverse. While this cult might seem similar to Humanism, it is very different. The adherents to this religion see themselves as an offshoot of Superior Humanism. Their beliefs line up with Superior Humanism completely save for one main difference. They do not believe that other races should be enslaved, but only that they should be killed. Along with that though, they see the smoke from those deaths as something that the other enlightened races stole from humans. As such, they often slaughter numerous peoples at a time and believe that breathing in their Smoke allows them to consume those beings’ souls and therefore restore balance to the world. They do not believe in an afterlife of any kind but believe that breathing in the Smoke of other enlightened beings will bring about power, wealth, and social status to them personally.
Atheism: This is the belief that there is no such thing as God or any form of the divine. As such, people who hold to this belief allow their own moral compass to guide their actions believing their personal beliefs and morals to the guide to right and wrong. They do not believe in an afterlife of any kind.
Nicodemus Pandit, Head Librarian for Riggleman Manor Archives
Taken from Religions of Pillar and Bolster Heart, by Nicodemus Pandit, Chapter 2, Section 1, Year: NL20317