Religions of House Arkoh
House Arkoh is a group within the Trade Federation House System working to revive the Arkanian race and culture in the Hassaria system. While much of the near-extinct culture can be reconstructed, other parts lay shrouded in mystery or lost to time. The religious tradition of the Arkanian people under Sith rule is part of those things which were lost. Under leadership of Con Semper, the House has established an open policy where any religious tradition that can be shown to have either been practiced on Arkania or is somehow relevant to the mission of the House is permitted to be practiced and in many cases supported outright by the royal families. Currently there are three main branches of faith that most of the citizens of Hassaria fall under: Aedra, Revanism, and Sith Lord Worship.
Aedra was an indigenous religion of the Sith people practiced before the rise arrival of the Rakatta or the rise of the Sith Empire. It centers around the deity Ashar, who many scholars believe to be an ancient Sith who transcended death and took on god-like status to the planet's population after helping his closest followers do the same. This process is similar to the 'Force Ghost' phenomena. Worshipers celebrate a pantheon of ten different deities, who teach that robust inner conflict is the surest to hone one's ability and defeat all weakness and gain immortality. It is believed to have been made extinct during the rise of King Adas and was only reintroduced by Won'Kissai Ethan Travis who himself might have been an Aedra priest, preserved through the millennia. Travis discovered artifacts and teachings in an ancient temple on Tatooine and worked hard with scholars in House Arkoh to corroborate his theories with evidence from Korriban, giving this cult a reliable date and context. Working with the office of the Kissai'Ari, Travis built shrines to the deities throughout the Hassarai system. Adrea has found favor among the intelligentsia and among many of the laboratory-born Offshoots who desire to connect with something of their heritage, although it has a wider following in the areas surrounding its shrines. of the House. It is currently the second-largest religion in the system. It is also the only sith-religion that does not insist on building their religious spaces on force-nexuses.
Aedra shrines usually consist of altars where devotees can leave gifts and sacrifices for deity in hopes of currying their favor. It is common for statues and likenesses of the deity or deities to be placed by the shrines, and larger shrines have come to be housed inside buildings. This, however, is left to the discretion of the priests or the worshipers who fund and maintain their holy site. The faith is very localized around their shrines, so all construction and craftsmanship is undertaken by local individuals and each shrine has thus taken on a more local flair. While not officially encouraged there is an unspoken competition between devotees of different deities or keepers of different shrines as to who can honor their deity more lavishly- thus becoming most favored in the eye of the divine beings. The only themes that link the shrines aesthetically is their use of the macabre.
Darth Revan was a fallen Jedi and Sith Lord who led a splinter Jedi group to defend the Republic against the Mandalorians in about 3990 BGCT. Over several hundred years Revan would change sides in the Force until his eventual defeat. Revan and his followers embraced a then-unique system of balance, using both the light and dark sides of the Force to achieve their goals while aligning themselves with neither of the two. The Sith Lord was eventually defeated in combat, but his followers continued practicing his philosophy and revered him as a special teacher or prophet of the force. Their places of worship revolve around distinctive two-horned altars, symbolizing the dark and light sides which they hold in tension while living in the space between. Revanism is unique in that the majority of its devotees come from outside the system and have chosen to settle in Hassaria, bringing their faith with them. It has won precious few converts among the natives in the system, and those who do convert are usually among the aristocracy. Their temples are built on Force nexuses- those places where the Force is more strongly present. Because of their philosophy, however, Force-sensitive leaders have sought to balance the nexuses by attempting to enchant the area with either the light or dark side, depending on which is out of balance. In some instances, this has had disastrous effects. It is more common, however, to see Revan worshiped as a deity in a form closer akin to the Sith Lord worship.
Less formally-educated devotees believe Darth Revan to one day return to bring balance to the galaxy, while others see Revan as an enlightened teacher who may be present through the Living Force but is nevertheless removed from the physical realm for good. There is no agreed-upon afterlife sought by the Revanites, as the goal of life i maintaining personal and cosmic balance to find strength and freedom in this life.
Revanite devotion appears to have been developed from Jedi or Sith meditation. The practitioner is seated and silently meditates either by themselves or in a group, and they are encouraged to review their past to evaluate where they may have strayed too far to either side of the Force. The vast majority of Revanites are not Force-sensitive, but still believe their actions affect a universal balance that thus affects their own lives. it is also a common practice to attempt to project one's future, so that a carefully balanced and strengthened life can be planned. There are no official leaders of Revanism (that is reserved for Revan himself), but informal leaders and caretakers of altars naturally arise, usually those who are most able to financially support the facility.
Sith Lord Worship
Sith Lord worship is by far the most popular sith-religion introduced to the Hassaria system by House Arkoh and it quickly replaced the teachings of Alissma, the faith most popular throughout the Trade Federation. This worship centers around the ancient Sith Lords. Worships includes such notable Sith as King Adas, Lord Kresh, Lord Ragnos, and Darth Malak. Darth Revan is sometimes included when worshipers conflate this with Revanism. Many of the citizens have taken to worshiping The Sith Con Semper as a deity himself. While the royal family previously had discouraged this practice it now tolerates it, though a state-sponsored temple has yet to be built. Only locally-built shrines currently exist. This faith is founded on the belief that powerful force wielders can become one with the Force and thus gain a sort of immortality. Their presence can be sought by the mortal, and the immortal has the ability to impart power or knowledge on the living. This is very similar to Aedra, except that devotees seek this wisdom by spiritually preparing to encounter the Sith Lords than seeking their blessings with gifts. Temples are staffed with highly trained force-sensitive Kissai priests who have been trained in the nuanced view of the Dark side of the Force unique to House Arkoh. This teaches that there is no shame in honestly drawing on one's own emotions for power in the pursuit of knowledge, but that ultimately instead of drawing strength from weaknesses weaknesses can be eventually overcome. The link between the dark and ideas of 'evil' is broken, as priests teach that the pursuit of strength does not necessitate a hunger for destruction or dominance.
Priests lead devotees in guided meditation in the temple, and each priest is allowed to establish their own way of doing this. This has led to the adaptation of many different forms of meditation in individual temples, and each temple has gained a cult following. Forms vary from one-on-one combat to ascetic contemplation to the navigation of a labyrinth. Relics of the dark Lords are kept in a private meditation chamber below the temple adjoined to the room of the high priest. The high priest alone determines a devotee's readiness and worthiness to seek the presence of the deity using their relics, as exposure to such strength before one is ready can often be a fatal mistake. To aide worshipers, temples commonly have small libraries of the particular Sith Lord's writings and life, and teachings and reflections from the priests or scholars of Veeshas Tuwan. This faith has won much popular support among Offshoots and normal citizens of Hassaria alike. Because if the unique zeal this faith has spread from the Hassaria system into the Outer Rim, with temples being founded in Corporate Sector territory and ungoverned territory where its promise of power in a chaotic climate continues to be a draw.
Because this faith was adapted from the ground up by the royal family and House scholars it has a consistent form and organization. Chief priests are appointed by the Kissai'Ari, and in turn are able to choose their own priests to staff their temple as positions open. Priests must study at Veeshas Tuwan and spend years training at various temples around the system. Temples have five rooms: an entrance foyer, two adjoining side-chapels for private study and meditation, a main hall for guided meditation, and the High Priest's room and reliquary below the main hall. Likenesses and scenes from the Sith Lord's life decorate all chapels and are centers of focus. The architecture matches the general aesthetic of House Arkoh exemplifying gold-accented simple but imposing structures that are meant to invoke awe and harken back to an ancient time of greater power.