The Religion Children of Kina replaced the nature worship of Tar and the spirit worship of the Jeweled Cities. It was originally founded by Tupelo Cornus. Subsequently, it is led by the Eldest Child of Kina.
Kina is called by three different names by the Children. Each represents a different aspect of her nature. Kina, the Mother of the Night is the giver of life. Khaditna is the Great Deciever. Khadi is the Devourer of Souls.
Jonas Grant, Shahidi of the Radjura faith, made the first attempts to explain the Children to non believers through entries in the Radjuric Codex in 409. In 445, A compilation of religious writings and theological discussions was published. "The Call of the Mother" is considered the definitive canon of the church.
For views on how the Children of Kina see other religions, see Kina Comparative Religions.
Kina is pictured as a giant woman, with jet black skin and white eyes. Some say her skin is worn and stretched, like that of a corpse. Others say it is smooth and supple, and wondrous in its curves. Her dark hair is wild and unkempt. She has six arms and six breasts, and her mouth is full of long, sharp teeth. She is pictured topless, seated with crossed legs and arms extended. About her neck is a necklace of bone and 51 human skulls. In one hand she holds a ruemel, the other a skull-topped staff wove with thorns. About her waist is a belt from which dangle 105 dismembered male genitalia, worn over a ragged skirt of tiger pelt. Witnesses who have had visions of her say she carries about herself the stink of opened graves, mold, and corruption.
The Aspects of Kina Edit
Each aspect of Kina has its own name. It carries with it a unique theology.
Kina, the Mother of the Night. This is her maternal aspect, and closely tied to her fearsome appearance. She represents the two most fearsome acts- birth and death. The Children believe that all men are born in darkness, and return to the darkness. They believe that all souls come from her, and all souls return to her. She is there as a person’s mother is there, to guide, to keep safe, and to provide love and direction. The Children believe that from one’s mother comes knowledge of right and wrong. To a child, they believe, the wrath or a mother is more terrifying than the fiercest storm. Birth and death are important concepts to the Children. They believe all things, even the universe, has a mortality. Kina does not bring death, death merely is.
Khaditna, the Great Deceiver. In this aspect, Kina possesses the knowledge of all souls that have come to her, for all time. This includes the knowledge from other gods and demons, as indicated in her creation myth. Into each soul she puts portions of her grand design. Those who believe they are masters of their fate, controlling the destiny of themselves and others, will find their hubris thwarted. Scholars within the community of the Children explain how Kina’s role as the guiding mother is subverted by the fear of having to make decisions on one’s own. To the Children of Kina it is essential to face her Curse, the terror of uncertainty, as willingly as they accept Blessings from her beautiful, nurturing, maternal aspect. For them, wisdom means learning that no coin has only one side: as death cannot exist without life, so life cannot exist without death. Khaditna teaches that this awareness is the only true gift one can have.
Khadi, the Devourer of Souls. In this aspect Kina acts as judge upon the lives of her followers. Upon death, all souls returns to Khadi. There she judges your entire life, to see if you have lived a just and good life. If so, your soul is taken into her bosom with all the other souls until it is time for it to be reborn. If you are found wicked, or cruel, your soul is consumed by her, lost for all eternity. In this aspect, she is great and terrible to behold in her anger. She possesses the knowledge from all deceased souls, so her wrath with those she finds disfavor can be great. Mercy is not one of her traits. A soul is given only what it has earned in life.
Commandments of Religion Edit
Her belief system is simple, and her commandments straightforward.
--> Know that the Kina is the eternal night sky. All things come from her, and all things return to her.
--> Know that the Kina holds within her all that has gone before, and is the progenitor of all that is possible in the future. Into you is given great and terrible power to shape the world.
--> Know that all creatures who can think and ponder are children of Kina.
--> Know that your salvation or destruction is within your control, the Mother of the Night will not save you from yourself.
--> Treat all living things as you desire to be treated. Life, when possible, a quick and painless death where necessary.
--> Treat all your brothers and sisters in a manner such that you would willingly trade paths.
--> Know that upon death, you will be judged by the motivations of your actions, and by the knowledge of those that have gone before.
To the Children of Kina, how you treat others is of paramount importance. In direct contradiction to the idea of might makes right, Kina places importance on the intention of the action. Why you are doing something is more important than the actual outcome. As limited beings, a human can only approximate and guess the outcome of any event or decision. The world is too vast to be able to predict what will happen perfectly. So the best you can do is try to keep to her commandments and have faith.
The Children of Kina don't care about the body after death. It is far more important to assure the soul a quick and painless transition from life to death. Lingering and painful deaths obscure the soul’s route back to Her. bodies can follow any disposal practice.
Origin Story Edit
It is widely believed that Tupelo Cornus created the Children of Kina in its entirety. Others, closer to the actual events, say he was indeed a prophet, protected from birth and gifted with visions and knowledge of events that were yet to come to pass. In his writings are found the origins of Kina:
In the far distant past, while Telluris was yet unformed, those we call gods fought against a great demon. Each time they cut the Beast, droplets of sparkling blood fell from it. In turn, each droplet became a duplicate of the Beast, and thus the gods were overwhelmed. In fear, each god offered a portion of themselves to the Lord of Fire, and from his head, Kina sprang into being. She fell upon the duplicates, consuming them, and with each one her emaciated black skin grew full, and she grew bigger. Glowing sparks shown forth on her skin as one by one she consumed the duplicates, filling the sky with her presence. In the ecstasy of destruction, she consumed the Beast, dancing her joy and roaring with her pleasure.
Fearing what they created, the gods turned to the Lord of Fire to bring Kina under control before she destroyed the very foundations of the world in her ecstatic dance. The Lord of Fire assumed the guise of an infant, and his cries stilled her dance. Kina fed the Lord of Fire at her breast, retuning his power to him. Thus it will be, power coming from her and to her, forever, the Lord of Fire declared, setting her as the heavens above to watch over the world.
This origin story points to a key point about Kina. One that her followers debate. In a way, the Mother of the Night was an empty vessel. Into her, the gods put portions of themselves. Then, into her came evil as well. So they believe that all souls have portions of the designs of the gods, as well as seeds of their destruction. That is why she requires people to look inside, to worry more about why they do things rather than the consequences. Is it the god spark, or the demon spark, that motivates them? In recent years, this has become a topic of spirited debate. Some theologians argue that Khaditna represents the demonic side of Kina, luring people to a bad end. Others claim Khaditna is most acutely aware of this dichotomy, and seeks to enlighten.
There is a certain sect, called the Deceivers, who see an apocalyptic future within this origin story.
Sphere of Influence and relationship with other religions Edit
The Children of Kina hold the sacred grove of the Nighthawk in Tar as their spiritual center. The Regions of Tar and the Jeweled Cities have majorities who follow this religion. They have working minorities in the all areas controlled by AQUA and Celero.
Ever since then, there has been much discussion about the Lord of Fire’s relationship with Kina. Some say they represent the two fundamental substances in the world- energy and matter. The Lord of Fire is the motivating energy; it was he who brought life to the pile of parts from the other gods. Kina is the body. In a duality popular with the Children of Kina, energy cannot exist without matter, nor matter without energy. A body without energy is inert. Energy without form is chaos.
Quotations about Kina Edit
My Mother is consciousness, the indivisible Awareness, Reality, and truth. The night sky between the stars is her perfection, the depths of the ocean her echo. The unbounded is always cloaked in darkness, the inebriating darkness of my beloved Kina. - Tupelo Cornus
“Children call upon their mother, comprehending not the difference between need and desire. The Great Deceiver will deny you your earthly delights, despoils your pleasures. What you need is found only in in the darkness beyond adversity.” – Opus Petrichor
Men seek mercy, but there is no trace of mercy within you, Devourer.
You have cut off the heads of the children of men to wear as a garland about your throat,
their manhood’s as a belt about your waist.
In you, there is an end to their futures.
It matters not how much I plead “Mother, Mother”. You hear but do not remark my anguish. – Tupelo Cornus