Mundhum (Various Eastern Kirat languages: "way of the spirits"), called Khas-Kirati religion by foreigners, is a decentralized faith with highly centralized sects.
Both Magarati and foreign scholars regard the various tribal beliefs of Vendriothos (better known as the Magarat region) as having born from the fusion of Buddhism brought by Argean Ipachi tribes with the Hey˙va faith practiced by the Xrevaro-descent Yaxa people and Protacism brought by the Corinthusi (ancestors of modern-day Roendavarians) after they began conquest of the area starting in 119 BCE and established the colony of Corinthus Vendriothos. The Magarat region experienced "further religious synthesis" when Domanania was conquered by First Mahang Srijunga the Conqueror as he established the Khas-Kirat Empire and the Magarati Doman citizens brought their native religions with them.
Further contact with various religions around the Isles such as Jimenean Catholicism, Jacirianism, Old Nyssic Paganis and Nyssic Presbyterian Church enriched the religious thinking in the Khas-Kirat Empire until the imperial declaration of Reformed Mundhum in 1575 by Yengdem Hangma (the then Mahang of the Khas-Kirat Empire). She and her followers claimed that a unified faith was necessary to unite the religious diverse peoples of the Khas-Kirat Empire and that it was necessary to protect the realm against the Crusades declared by Razzgriz, Dothrakia and Eurania (which were declared in response to Khas-Kirati aggression with Yitoria being a Crusader State). The implications of this new religion (which deemed the the diverse tribal beliefs as merely its sects and "foreign religions" within the empire as secondary religions) were the primary reason for the religious revolts by hangates now known as the Heavenly War (1579 - 1701). The resulting peace resulted in Reformed Mundhum becoming the dominant faith of the Khas-Kirat Empire but also ensured "Freedom of Religion" especially in hangates that had historically followed the so-called "foreign religions".
Depending on what sect he or she follows; an adherent of Reformed Mundhum can be polytheistic, pantheistic, panentheistic, pandeistic, henotheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist with most of them also adhering to vegetarianism, nonviolence, belief in rebirth (as spirit animals) and infinite number of universes. While not as common as in the past, many Khas-Kirati men still tend to follow the sect of his wife or have her faith as his secondary religion (if she followed a so-called "foreign religion"). This ancient practice was prevalent among the hangs who would conquer foreign territories, marry a local woman (often a former princess) for legitimacy and convert to her religion. As per the peace agreed in the aftermath of the Heavenly War, Reformed Mundhum highly discourages proselytism and encourages adoption of secondary religions. Thus, as a consequence, almost all of its adherents tend to be Khas-Kiratis (in particular citizens of Athara Magarat). This has led to accusations that Reformed Mundhum is an isolationist and exclusive ethnic religion.
Since most adherents of Reformed Mundhum lead religiously syncretic lifestyles and many sects have close ties with so-called "foreign religions", it is not uncommon to find Protacist priests performing birth, death or marriage ceremonies. Surveys conducted also found that most adherents of Reformed Mundhum in Athara Magarat felt close connections with Roendavar; with the two nations often being termed "the last pagan strongholds in the Isles".
A particular common theme in the various sects of modern-day Reformed Mundhum are the Vargas; spirit animals tasked with guarding an individual, a particular location or even nations. Some polytheists consider Higher Vargas and Great Beasts to be animal forms of their deities while monotheists consider all of these said Vargas and deities to be different forms of the one and only God Varga. Both Magarati and foreign scholars agree that the concept of assigning Higher Vargas to Great Beasts to nations is derived from the Protacist practice of designation new lands they encountered as realms inhabited by exotic mythical races.
The four categories of the Vargas are:
Atma Varga or Personal Varga - Each person has his or her own Varga; who is usually the reincarnation of a distant ancestor or in some cases, that of a lost family or friend. In the past, a person's Varga used to be his or her recurring visions of a particular animal at the age of twelve. Those who were unfortunate to not the get the visions were helped by shamans with special medicinal herbs to induce the visions at their thirteenth birthday. Since 1996 in Athara Magarat, that is no longer the case and thirteen year old children take part in the Species Entrustment Examination (SEE) to determine their Varga; which can be anything from a common rodent like chuchu or Ipachi rat to uncommon animals such as Kirati eagle or Yak Maruwa hornet.
Chhetra Varga or Higher Varga - When explorers and conquerors from the Khas-Kirat Empire went on their travels, they found that the Isles possessed many small islands. Thus came the reasoning that each of these islands must have a unique Varga that is rare in other islands. Higher Varga are also associated as guardians of villages or cities or even a particular region. Usually, only shamans, priestesses, hangs or individuals of authority could channel a Higher Varga such as a Chuli leopard or Highland goat.
Great Varga or Great Beasts - The Great Vargas are beasts with god-like powers. The Khas-Kiratis then positioned themselves as followers of the great Yellow Dragon and started assigning Great Vargas to almost each and every culture or civilization they encountered. Great Vargas were often national heroes who reincarnated into these mighty beasts. The Yellow Dragon was reincarnation of Srijunga Hang, the founder of the Khas-Kirat Empire. The Great Varga of a nation could change with time. The Yellow Dragon of the Khas-Kirat Empire (914 - 1918) has been replaced by the White Tigress.
God Varga - God Varga is the lord of all Vargas and the one who spawned the 50 or 60 Great Vargas. Each Khas-Kirati tribe or Reformed Mundhum sect has differing opinion on what exactly the God Varga is. Yumaists will say that God Varga is their supreme mother goddess Yuma whereas Mastoists will say the God Varga is the eternal energy Masto and so on. The Kisan tribe will say that the God Varga is the World Tree whereas the Four Kham peoples will argue that the God Varga is actually the First Human who utilized all of her magic in giving life to the Great Vargas and so on. There are also those who believe that all deities and Vargas are just different forms of the God Varga.
Subhagi the White Tigress
Subhagi is believed to the reincarnation of Khas-Kirati Eastern War's hero Su Hangma; who is nowadays considered the Greatest Athara Magarati despite having born in Xrevaro and served the Khas-Kirat Empire mostly on frontier wars. Su Hangma had said at her deathbed that she had seen too much war and wished to return once again in a time of peace. Her status as the country's Great Varga began in 1996 after the reunification of former Empire of Magarat core territories as a new country called the Athara Magarati Federation of Hangates. Despite Subhagi's recent origins, White Tigresses are quite ancient to Khas-Kirati myths.
Subhagi and the White Tigresses mentioned in Khas-Kirati myths before her were most likely inspired by the Chuli Leopard.
ăriv literally comes from the Doman word for crow. When Khas-Kirati invaders came to Domanania, they noticed that the locals venerated the crow with military ranks including the bird in the symbols and festivals celebrating its presence. This was because Tqm (pronounced as: Dah-yah-mah) the goddess of war shape-shifted into a crow to start the First War. Like the Doman war goddess, ăriv the Great Varga is associated with trickery and as an omen of war.
ăriv was most likely inspired by the Doman crow.
When the Nine Gyarong Gun of the Khas-Kirat Empire invaded the Tabajara Empire in 1122, they were amazed by the skills of the JaekarÚ warriors, who could reportedly decapitate a horse with one swing of their Arapuß. Khas-Kirati legends state that Yakecan Taba, the last Emperor of the Tabajara, reincarnated as the Great Sea Beast DragŃo after his death.
DragŃo seems to have been based upon the KarÚ Crocodile.
Jarayo the Ancient Deer of Life
When the Khas-Kirat Empire established contact with Roendavar in late 10th Century through the Kilat Hangate in Samudera, they were mesmerized by the country's dense forests and ancient buildings merging nature and grand works of architecture.
Despite the name, the Ancient Deer of Life seems to resemble the Gael Antelope; which were once common throughout the Gael subcontinent in the past but are an endangered species now.
When Khas-Kiratis came to Xrevaro, they saw the great care Xrevarans took in taking care of bees not only in hives but in the wild as well. That, along with the Festival of the Bee which takes place in the spring, and the symbolic attachment of bees to goddess Sesit, "Mother of Man" and "Queen of the Heavens" in Hey˙va religion, got Sev˙ the Giant Bee assigned as Xrevaro's Great Varga.
Sev˙'s design takes inspiration from the Xrevaran bee but on a much more gigantic scale.
Another common theme among various sects of Reformed Mundhum are the "Kumaris"; preteen girls who are believed to be the vessels of Higher Vargas. While each town has its own Kumari who never speak in public and are supposed to be emotionless; the High Kumari of Athara Magarat, said to be the living vessel of the nation's Great Beast White Tigress, is seen as the unifying figurehead in Reformed Mundhum akin to Catholic Popes or Muslim Caliphs; despite her role being highly restrictive and many sects refusing to revere Kumaris. Marrying the High Kumari of Vendriothos (the former name of this title) was one of the ways "gain prestige" in the race to become Mahang. However, only hangs from outer hangates were allowed to marry the High Kumari. Though not confirmed pubicly, retired Kumaris supposedly earn 5 million USD.
Though Reformed Mundhum is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, and atheism among others; it is often referred to as henotheistic (involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others) as there is an established pantheon. Different sects worship a different deity from the pantheon as the supreme god whereas polytheists tend to worship certain deities depending on the circumstance.
Most of the deities in the pantheon were tribal gods of various Khas-Kirati peoples until the imperial declaration of Reformed Mundhum in 1575 by Yengdem Hangma.
In before the Deus Vult comments :P
Who else should be added to the "last pagan strongholds in the Isles"?
i've attempted but just cant be bothered most of the time - probably should get back to doing it
Google Docs then?
yeah i'm gonna get ainslie stuff backed up now - a lot of my more recent stuff is backed up already since I've changed the way I use docs to write factbooks