The D'ni developed along numerous philosophical and religious paths in the 9400 years that they inhabited the Cavern. DRC Research speaks of an official Church of the D'ni religion as originally established by Ri'neref, but there were numerous times in D'ni history that the Church took a back seat to the tide of public opinion and belief. It seems that eventually, either the Church altered its own teachings, or the people abandoned the Church, as virtually everyone followed the more isolationist teachings of more recent prophets like Gish by the end of the Mee-Dis War (circa 7000 DE).
- 1 Basic concepts of the D'ni religion
- 2 Rituals and rites
- 3 Priests and prophets
- 4 Yahvo
- 5 Sects and cults
- 6 Extremist Factions
- 7 Religious buildings
- 8 Important figures in D'ni beliefs
- 9 References
Basic concepts of the D'ni religion
- Children (by D'ni standard, those under the age of 25) were not accountable to Yahvo for their actions and decisions; rather, it was the parents who were held responsible for the actions of their children.
- The D'ni had laws and commandments against adultery, though as with similar religious commandments on Earth, they held little sway over some (including a few kings).
- Through the grace of Yahvo, healings and miracles were possible.
- The power of Writing Ages was a gift from Yahvo.
- D'ni religion spoke of angels that could take people away, presumably to the Perfect Age.
- The D'ni believed that when one dies, his/her soul is brought to the Judgment Age to be judged for their conduct in life. If the person was good, they were brought to the Perfect Age (equivalent of Heaven). If the person was bad, they were brought to Jakooth's Age (equivalent of Hell; Jakooth was the equivalent of the Devil in D'ni religion).
- Taygahn (tAgan), "to love with the mind," was a chief cornerstone of D'ni belief. The word implies a close, personal relationship with and knowledge of another person. While in a religious sense, taygahn implied a relationship with Yahvo, the same word was used to describe a relationship between spouses. The concept of taygahn had grown more important in later years, with some believing that only taygahn with Yahvo was needed to go to the Perfect Age, and that following Yahvo's commands to the letter was not needed.
- Marriage was considered an important component of life's journey, and was very much encouraged, as the D'ni believed that it strengthened one's relationship with Yahvo in ways that nothing else could provide.
Rituals and rites
The D'ni had many holidays and feasts, such as the three Feasts of the Maker:
- First Feast of the Maker - Leenovoo 10, March 27
- Second Feast of the Maker - Leebro 20, June 21
- Third Feast of the Maker - Leevofo 18, November 11
More information about these feasts is not available, due to the lack of information about Garternay—where they originated—and how the religious beliefs of the Ronay were transferred to D'ni during its founding.
Not much is known about D'ni funerals relating to religion, save the farewell prayer "May Yahvo receive your soul/May we meet again in the next Age."
Priests and prophets
Women were believed to be more in tune with Yahvo's commands, making them ideal candidates for receiving prophecy and guidance. Prophetesses were often advisers to the kings, ever since the time of King Shomat. The prophetess and the king were supposed to remain objective with one another and the people, so relationships between them and their kings was frowned upon. However, as in the case of King Mararon, this rule was not always adhered to.
Pregnant women were believed to be much more insightful and as a result, part of the pregnancy experience (although not part of any official ceremony) was using that insight to gain revelation from Yahvo. This meditation was expected to primarily guide the women to their child's future and purpose, and was taken seriously. It was believed that a woman's highest duty was the guidance of her children.
Oorpah was a prophet on Garternay. His prophecies and other writings were compiled into several books called the Regeltavok Oorpah. Select passages from this book can be found in the Prophecies and proverbs section of the Archive. Some of Oorpah's prophecies related to the Great King, while others were words of guidance, relating the virtue and morality.
Supposedly born mid-link while his mother escaped an explosion on the Age of Trases in 4334 DE, he was rumored to be able to see beyond time, into the past, present, and future. His book, Words, and its accompanying journal, were written in 4500 DE, and detailed the destruction and rebuilding of D'ni, as well as the signs that would foretell of its coming. He is reported to have died in 4606 DE, though some claim to have seen and talked with him after his supposed death.
Prophetess and advisor to King Ahlsendar, she published a book in 1520 DE called The Book of Nemiya. In it, she denounced Ahlsendar, calling him a fraud and a liar. While initially unpopular, it gained traction as more and more of D'ni became disillusioned with Ahlsendar's reign. Nemiya vanished in 1527. Some claim she was assassinated by Ahlsendar's successor, Solath, while others claim she was taken away by angels.
A supporter of the Great King and the original teachings of Ri'neref, he denounced all sects and encouraged participation in the official Church and belief in Yahvo's commandments. Originally denounced by King Rakeri, he later became the King's personal adviser and prophet.
Gish was a much more hard-lined prophet than Tevahr, preaching the commandments of Yahvo and nothing else. He denounced Tevahr and the Great King, claiming that taygahn alone would not save them, and that it was diluting the people's worship of Yahvo. He also demanded cessation of outsider interaction. Gish was frequently imprisoned and ultimately assassinated by the Relyimah at the order of King Adesh, and quickly became a martyr for his cause. By the end of the Mee-Dis War (circa 7000 DE), almost all of D'ni believed in his isolationist teachings.
Most D'ni religions worshiped a deity called Yahvo, the Maker, who was believed to have created all Ages in terokh jeruth, the Great Tree of Possibilities. While He created all possible paths, He chooses not to see along which paths people go, so that they can choose for themselves. This fits in with the concepts of the quantum mechanics by which Linking Theory is defined: observing anything closes some possibilities (destroying quantum waveforms). Yahvo's unwillingness to observe gives choices and agency to people to choose their own fate. However, Yahvo is not a disinterested god; while He gives freedom of choice, He also gives commandments and direction to people.
Sects and cults
At various points in D'ni history, the D'ni turned away from Yahvo and the teachings of the official church, and looked instead to nature or elements to provide the answers and guidance they sought. The year 2500 DE is often referred to in D'ni history as the height of "religious confusion," at which time here were over 2,000 registered sects operating in D'ni. This number was drastically reduced by later kings, such as Rakeri, and by the end of the reign of kings, most of D'ni fell under one religious umbrella.
This cult believed that the ancient Books held special powers. Jolatha (King Solath's wife, and King Me'erta's mother) was a member of it, and sought to discredit Ri'neref's church and encourage the cults to grow. She—and presumably the entire cult—was against the Great King, and considered him a foolish fraud. Jolatha wanted to discredit him and broke the Tomb in which he was buried, removing several Books and a fragment of the King's robe. This action inadvertently released a plague into D'ni which ravaged the civilization for decades.
The Sacred Stone
Like other cults of its time, the Sacred Stone did not focus on Yahvo, and it is unknown if He was even a part of the religious teachings of the cult.
The Cult of Water
Nothing is known about this cult, not even its actual name. Its existence is known only through the DRC's research notebook on King Me'erta, who commissioned the construction of the Temple of Water.
The Writers of Yahvo
This eventually became one of the three largest cults in D'ni. They believed that it was their duty to write a link to the Perfect Age.
As with any belief system, some individuals in D'ni took their beliefs to extremes, often turning violent and many times plotting against their own people to get what they wanted. Unless otherwise stated, these factions were all extremely opposed to the involvement of outsiders in D'ni culture, and were willing to fight against it with force if necessary.
Judges of Yahvo (regolahnteeokh yahvo)
The Judges, as they were often called, believed that they were to exercise Yahvo's judgment on those who could not truly understand Him as they did. The Judges were responsible for the Pento War, the death of King Koreen, and the events which set in motion the death of King Ahlsendar's family in the 1300's.
Blood of Yahvo
This faction was responsible for the death of King Yablehan's son, and are one of two organizations believed to have been responsible for the kidnapping of King Ishek's wife and the assassination of King Loshemanesh.
Light of D'ni
The Light of D'ni was the other of the two organizations believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of King Ishek's wife and the assassination of King Loshemanesh.
This faction was responsible for the deaths of 400 outsiders and 78 D'ni in an explosion on Meanas in 4954 DE.
All religious buildings were constructed along the line of the Great Zero, which was reserved for religious or governmental buildings unless otherwise permitted by the reigning king. Several of these structures were built along an "alternate" Great Zero line as proposed by King Me'erta in the 1800's.
Temple of Yahvo
This was the official temple of the official Church, commissioned by Ri'neref himself and completed in 63 DE. It was heavily renovated in 3112 DE by King Rakeri, and featured many paintings by the famous D'ni Renaissance painter Fahlee.
Temple of the Great King
This structure was built during the reign of King Ja'kreen to the precise dimensions required by the prophecies of the Great King, and was completed in 643 DE. At the end of King Ahlsendar's reign, he entombed himself in the temple, along with any Books that had been infected by the plague he had unleashed upon the Pento. This structure renamed the Tomb of the Great King in 1502 DE, and was later buried by government-sanctioned construction under Kings Naygen and Kerath.
Temple of the Tree, Temple of Water, Temple of the Sacred Stone
These three temples were constructed during the reign of King Me'erta, and were built along his proposed "alternate" Great Zero line.
These rooms, found in many of the outlying neighborhoods in D'ni, face a floating sculpture, which is thought to be a representation of the seed of the Great Tree of Possibilities. In these rooms, the D'ni could reflect on their place in Yahvo's plans and meditate or pray as they saw fit.
Important figures in D'ni beliefs
The Great King
Believed by many to have been King Ahlsendar, his coming was foretold in the Regeltavok Oorpah, said to be sent by Yahvo to guide his people. His actual effect seems to have been rather muddled, as many believed him to be a fraud for the actions he took later in his reign.
A character in Words, The Deceiver is one who claims to be the Grower, but is nothing more than a charlatan with a few cheep parlor tricks to back up his claims. Based on the journeys Yeesha has sent numerous explorers on, it seems apparent that Guild Master Kadish was The Deceiver.
The person foretold by the Watcher as the one who would rebuild D'ni after its fall. The Grower is said to have many special abilities, including the ability to link without Books and travel through time at will. Obviously, this was a very powerful figure for those who followed the writings of the Watcher, and it comes as no surprise that several people have tried to claim the title for themselves. It is believed by many that Yeesha is the Grower; in fact, she believes this herself.
- Book of Ti'ana (page number needed)
- One Myst fan reported that RAWA once mentioned a Guild of Clerics, which may relate here, but this is unconfirmed.