The Emblem of Smmizol
|Origin||8th Millennium AK, Monba|
Sommizol is the oldest surviving religion of the Darsi people. While most Darsa today are secular atheists, Zolmon, the followers of Sommizol, are still the largest religious group in the United Provinces. Sommizol first evolved in Ancient Monba, and through a span of millennia gradually absorbed the practices and cultures of ethnic religions as the Empire expanded. This absorption of foreign cultures continued even after the Empire's collapse and grew to become the dominant religion on Darya, with over 3.2 billion followers at its peak in the 3rd century AK.
Sommizol is historically believed to have originated in the 8th millennium AK in Monba, and the subsequent development of the Monbana Empire allowed Sommizol to spread rapidly and become the largest religion in Korat by the Empire's end in the 28th century AK. The expansion of Sommizol thereafter involved colonialism and trade empires, as well as missionary activities in the 7th century AK. By the end of the 1st century AK, Sommizol had become so widespread that its influence could be felt everywhere, even in regions where it was not a state or even majority religion. During the early years of Darsi space travel, conservative elements of Zolmon leadership, including the Zolmon High Council, denounced the relevant activities and organisations as heretical, and instituted a ban on space travel. This ban, and the deliberate ignorance of it by several countries, led to a rapid deterioration of international relations, and eventually the Second Great Darsi War. Secular and theocratic states clashed against each other, resulting in the first use of nuclear weapons and the deaths of millions.
Following the end of the war with a secular victory, Sommizol experienced a dramatic decline as many left the religion, blaming it for causing the war in the first place. Many nations in the 50s TE outlawed Sommizol altogether, although these bans were lifted by the Darsi League's International Court in 65 TE, in line with its principles of freedom of religion. Sommizol thereafter began growing again, although it never achieved the amount of influence it had had prior to the Second Great War. It also fractured into several denominations, most notably Novizol, which split from the older Burizol in the 2nd century TE during the Great Reforms.
Zolmon theology is summarised in Inanmam (creeds) such as the Ramanni Creed. These professions of faith state that the Six Halon of the Gadonnam are the eternal protectors of the universe who together defeated Imham, and that Darya forsook life in order to use their spirit to return life to the universe. The creeds further maintain that Darya will reawaken once the universe has recovered, whereupon Imham will return to destroy the universe once again, completing a cycle that will continue for all eternity. The principle of the Great Cycle (klaSevam), and the death and rebirth of Darya are often referred as the zenKader, meaning "fate of all". Written accounts of the Prophets' (Elca) lives and teachings are compiled in the Hotesa, as established in the 5th millennium AK by the First Priests' Council (Zakerdi Landa).
Most Zolmon fall into one of two denominations: Novizol (60–80%) or Burizol (20–30%). The largest population of Zolmon in the United Provinces is located on the continent of Luksarus, Darya, where 65% of the population is faithful. Sizeable Zolmonni communities are also found throughout the rest of the United Provinces, as well as in Hope, the Eteno Union, and Karalian Empire.
Sommizol is a Mavibi compound noun originating from the roots Som (eternity) and Zol (way, route, or path), making the literal meaning of Sommizol the "eternal way". In a religious context it denotes belief in the cyclical nature of the universe. Zolmon, the word for an adherent of Sommizol, is itself a compound of Zol and Mon (person), and means "traveller" or "one who follows the path".
Zolmon mythology and beliefs are codified in the Hotesa, which is the most important text in the religion. In its early history, Zolmon myths were transmitted purely orally until writing was introduced into Monbana society by the Karnasaurs in the 5300s AK, and were subject to variation until their standardisation in the First Priests' Council held at Torenya in c. 5000 AK. In particular, there may have been influences from interactions with other peoples, including the Meryo and other Maranin cultures, especially as the Monbana Empire expanded and absorbed local cultures and peoples.
Sommizol is polytheistic, and centres around a Gadonnam ("Brotherhood") of six non-corporeal deities, also known as Halon. The Halon are considered to be siblings of each other, though how they came to be is never made clear; they are instead described as eternal beings. Among them there is what would be described as a birth order, but this discrepancy has never been clarified. While Zolmon doctrine espouses equal worship of all six Halon, the six groups of Prophets as described in the Hotesa are said to each represent one deity.
The Hotesa's opening chapter (Savash) tells of a war fought between the Halon and Imham, a dark, corrupted amalgamation of spirits so powerful that it "equalled the combined strength of the Halon". As a result of the war, according to the Savash, all mortal life in the universe was exterminated. However, the youngest and most courageous of the Halon, Darya, who until that point was "weak and without power", on the eve of the final battle had their powers finally awoken, and Imham was finally defeated when Darya absorbed and purified its spirits. This act of sacrifice left the other Halon heartbroken, and they entombed Darya in a great cocoon, from which sprung the renewal of life.
|2||Hab'arci||Kuronus||Grey||Time||Honesty and Loyalty|
|3||Saf||Havus||Yellow||Wind||Mercy and Healing|
|4||Menekshe||Amarus||Blue||Water||Love and Family|
|5||Atesh||Fogus||Red||Fire||Wisdom and Knowledge||It is believed that Atesh, through the Final Prophets (Sora), granted mortals writing, among other forms of knowledge.|
Zolmon identify the prophets (elca) of Sommizol as those chosen by the Halon to be their messengers. Sommizol recognises a total of 30 prophets, organised into five groups of six, with each group, known as an omada, representing one of the five surviving Halon. According to the Hotesa, each omada was instructed by their corresponding Halon to bring "enlightenment and truth" to the peoples of the universe. Zolmon believe that prophets are mortal and not divine, though some are able to perform miracles to prove their claim. The Hotesa chronicles the lives of all of these prophets. The first omada is believed to have been chosen by Menekshe, who through them established the first Clans and introduced the concept of family. The only omada to have a unique name is the Sora, the final omada. The Sora are believed to have been chosen by Atesh, and they introduced writing and other forms of knowledge.
Reincarnation and the Eternal Cycle