Vashtism: The Nocturnal Covenant

There is naught but opportunity in this world. An endless sea of possibilities brought to life by our Lady Vashti
— Priest of Vashti

Founding

The founding of Vashtism comes out of the duality between the sun and the moon, order, and chaos. The Lady Vashti is represented by the moon and is associated with the opportunity of life and the beauty of the unknown. This idea was brought about by followers of Isati'Vol a manifestation of Vashti on Teora. There is little evidence that this was an actual entity that walked Teora. It is more than likely a mythical story to represent their beliefs, but the name of Isati'Vol is still uttered in prayers. Vashtists have had a very negative reputation based on the strange activities of their early followers. A ledger found in the Iornaian mainland says:

They wake during the sunset to prowl the forests chanting the name of their lady. They take with them the freshly cleaned tools of the hunters and hunt the massive gerucats, taking their pelts and eating their meat. Often they leave the gerucat's horns, sharpened and tied, to be made into new spears for the day hunters. Some of the spiritweavers believe that they've been taking the local children and turning them to stews in the night, but I've no idea how they would have enough room in their bellies for such nonsense.

This nocturnal lifestyle certainly was strange but it allowed for many Iornaian villages to prosper as many of the natural predators of Iornai had actively been hunted rather than preying on sleeping bodies.

Moon Temples

Vashtist villages began to raise during the late First Era. Their buildings were delicately crafted into circular dome shapes to emulate the roundness of the moon. They left an opening near the center like the pupil of an eye so that they could see their lady as she crossed the sky. Inside the temples was a small pit near the entrance in which they would toss the bones of animals and bio luminescent stone native to Iornaian caves. It was taboo for the Vashtist to create fires as it would quickly give away their locations during the hunt, and any source of light was dull or reflective. A bowl of water would be placed on an alter in the center underneath the hole which would reflect the moons light when the moon was directly above it. It's believed that the consumption of this water during the moons peak was a way to purify the body, a communion with their lady above.

Opportunity and Chaos

Vashtism is the embodiment of opportunity and chaos. This is not believed to be a negative thing by the Vashtists as opportunity is a blessing of potential for every person to reach for the their dreams. Chaos on the other hand is harder to argue for as it is the negative side of opportunity in which things fall apart. To the Vashtist chaos is considered a lack of ambition, this is explained by a Vashtist poet,

Opportunity is swimming out into a seemingly endless ocean instead of wasting away on a remote island. Chaos is swimming out into that same ocean but decidedly tying one’s legs and arms together before diving in.
— Jorana Salim, Vashtist Poet

It is a staple of Vashtist belief that one accepts chaos or embraces it willingly, that horrible things don't just happen to people. It is one's responsibility to pick themselves up and push forward. Take that leap of faith and step into the unknown.

The Silver Lady

Or Vashti is the goddess of Vashtism. She is normally depicted as a gorgeous Jistorii woman with silver hair and large up-swept horns. It is believed that she sleeps during the day and during the night she watches over the world. She only speaks in songs and whispers and many of her priests claim to have received her guidance through the form of these mediums. She is very motherly and loves her children (Jistorii) referring to them as her 'own blood,' in the prophetic texts. It is said her love is boundless for the people of Teora so much so that:

The seas themselves reach up to her when she makes her celestial flight across the sky.
— Engraving on Iornaian Ruins