Dyrkun Gudanna, [dɪəːkuːn guːdɑːnɑː], (literally translates as "worship of the gods") is the official state religion of and most practiced faith in Duncanheim. It is a polytheistic religion, based on a large number of deities, each of whom has differences in their form of ritual and worship, as they are individual gods and goddesses. It is often referred to simply as "Dyrkun".
Dyrkun temples are circular structures, containing shrines to one or more deities, and named most usually as "Hus [Name of Deity]", although temples dedicated to more than one god may be named "Hus Gudanna of [Location]". The central temple in Kattenden is simply named "Hus Gudanna", as it is considered the primary temple for both the city and country at large.
Temples are most frequently used for personal offerings, often at scheduled events, and for rituals on holidays, which occur on solstices and equinoxes. Common offerings include wine, beer, liquor, flowers, bread and other foods, sexual acts, and personally-made offerings, such as works of art or wood-carvings. Of course, certain deities are known to like (or dislike) certain forms of offering, which the local priest or shaman will advise the potential offerer about.
Temples are staffed by priests and/or shamans, depending on circumstance. Larger temples will typically offer services beyond basic rituals, including healing, religious education, and, in some temples, tattooing.
As Dyrkun has many different gods making many different requests of their followers, a unified set of doctrine is difficult to establish. However, there are certainly commonalities throughout the faith.
The Soul and Afterlife
Dyrkun holds that humans are composed of three basic structures - mind, body, and spirit/soul. Upon death, it is believed that the body ceases function, the most salient parts of the mind are subsumed into the spirit/soul, and the spirit/soul itself departs to an afterlife. There are many afterlives in Dyrkun, considered to be Otherworlds and sections of the Underworld. Dyrkun also holds that reincarnation can and does occur, after some time spent in the afterlife, although this time could be as short as a single day if the soul is in a rush to return. Reincarnation is not necessarily mandatory, although most believers hold that eternally remaining in an afterlife happens either as a high reward (if the specific afterlife is a pleasant one) or, although this is believed to occur less frequently, a terrifying punishment reserved only for those who have truly and irrevocably angered a particularly wrathful deity (if the afterlife in question involves some form of punishment.) Most, therefore, believe that they will spend some time in an afterlife before returning.
Ghosts with clear human characteristics are often held to be the spirits of people who did not find their way to an afterlife, because of confusion and/or fear.
Morality in Dyrkun is considered to be somewhat subjective, due to the multiplicity of divinity. However, there are some things that are generally considered absolutely immoral, such as the killing of innocent people, the violation of the divine rights of another, and wanton destruction of living things with no reason. Beyond these, other ideas, such as maintaining virginity or not eating meat are considered personal dedications to specific deities, and are not part of the broader morality (although pescatarianism is an increasingly common dietary choice). There are also tribal traditions which are given similar regard to morality, such as the Draumelskenderi tribe's refusal to eat eels.
Dyrkun (and, more broadly, Duncanheimian culture in general) holds there to be three basic genders of adult human: man, woman, and duoman. Duoman are so called because they are believed to have two souls, one male and one female. They are often expected (though not required) to be particularly spiritual, as they have one more spirit than other people. For this reason, many duomen become shamans, priests, healers, or hold other professions outside of religion that require greater sympathy, such as caretakers, nurses, doctors, and the like.
Transgender people are now considered to have the soul of their preferred gender, a change from the older philosophy, which held transgender people to be duomen whose soul of their preferred gender was overpowering the other soul.
There are many deities within Dyrkun, each with their own specialization. Some are geographical deities, such as Kattena, goddess of the Katten River, and her daughter, Kattendena, goddess of the city of Kattenden. Others are exclusively nature deities, such as Orn, the god of eagles. Most deities, however, are pluripotent, meaning that they serve more than one purpose. An example is Cernunnos, god of forests, a section of the underworld, some forms of magic, and the embodiment of the wilder side of positive masculinity, among other things.
Almost all deities in Dyrkun have very human-like characteristics, in that they experience emotions, have thoughts, and behave generally as humans do, although with more power, immortality, and strong personality traits. In rare instances, deceased ancestors may be elevated to the status of gods, although this is usually considered to fall under the category of "very high reward", in terms of afterlife.
(A notable exception to the principle of deification as reward is Drulludrenger, an ancient chieftain who, according to legend, was so insultingly haughty, prideful, and murderously vain in his life, despite never accomplishing anything of the slightest merit, that upon his arrival in the afterlife, the gods promoted him to the status of deity, which he accepted; only during his deification ceremony (when it was too late for him to refuse the honor), did they tell him that they were appointing him as God of the Mud and Slime That People Scrape Off Their Shoes Before Going Indoors. Drulludrenger is not typically worshiped at major ceremonies, does not have his own temple, and is usually only invoked when someone replaces a doormat.)
This article is incomplete and will be expanded at a future point