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The theological principal of Salsham'ai belief is that Chaos and Concord are balanced and that if this balance is disturbed or upset it is detrimental to all life. While Salsham'ai society tends towards order - so agreeing with Manrupashnar's philosophy - this is balanced by the wildness of the large expanses of forest. They believe that all things in nature are a combination of Chaos and Concord: a patch of forest might seem chaotic and random but the internal structure of a tree (botany is well advanced here) is an excellent example of a logical ordered system to provide food and sunlight. Equally law and order are vital to maintain society but creativity and inspiration (chaotic elements) are necessary to keep that society alive and vital.

Shroma, Lord of Chaos is a sun deity represented by a wild horned hunter and warrior, while Themnass, Lady of Concord, a moon deity, is a learned and placid mother figure. These are the only gods in their belief system but there is a wide variety of Sidhe (pronounced Shee - fairies, elves and goblins) connected to places, objects and creatures. So placating the tree spirits will make you a better woodworker etc.

Their holymen are known as Loremasters or Loremothers and they combine the role of priests, teachers, historians and healers. Each small village will have one, perhaps with one or two apprentices, and larger towns will have more. There is no formal "church" or award of status, each Loremaster learns by being apprenticed for no less than 10 years. They are self-initiating, the master and apprentice just agree as to when it is time for him or her to branch out on their own. This means that there is great variety amongst the practices of different regions, and newly "graduated" Loremasters usually spend many years travelling widely learning from other traditions and so dispersing their knowledge as well.

Such an informal system might be expected to produce a large amount of charlatans and cranks, and while they are not unknown there are surprisingly few of these. Loremasters work closely with the people and any who might be a disruptive influence are quickly invited to "move on" by the local authorities.

Local community Loremasters tend to be generalists who are "jacks of all trades". Other more specialist types who would be well known as primarily historians, or healers, or mages, or teachers and who would most likely be hermits or work at the Thalsa library or be travelling around seeking out new or lost information.

In Thalsa there is the Great Library (literacy is quite high amongst the population); as part of the Royal Household the Great Mother appoints a venerable and respected Loremaster and he runs it with other Loremasters. It contains copies of most of the writings and knowledge of all Loremasters (one of an apprentice's main tasks is to make copies of their teacher's writings to be sent to the Library) as well as other native and foreign literature. Again most Loremasters spend some time there during their lives, studying and offering their services to assist in its maintenance. There is a small community of lay-students as well, usually the daughters of governing families.

Magic - Pas at
Loremasters are able to channel the "universal life energy" - Pas at - that exists in all things and creatures. They can then direct this energy and manipulate it. This fits into their Balance of Chaos/Concorde theology in that they believe that the energy is essentially chaotic, but the focus of the conscious mind orders it.

In practice a Loremaster could not conjure up an object out of thin air, but can direct the Pas at into objects, people (to heal them), form physical and aetheric shields. Certain minerals and locations are particularly strong in Pas at and so lend themselves to magical workings. When the Shadow Moon is in ascendance it strengthens Pas at generally.

The theory includes the belief that there are four major meridians in the body - the crown, heart, navel and root. These have associated colours and other concordances. Using Pas at a Loremaster can read another's meridians and so help diagnose illness or other problems.

Loremaster apprentices spend many years learning how to channel and direct the Pas at - it takes meditation and mental exercises to achieve control over it. It would require a much greater skill than most Loremasters have to be able to "drain" Pas at from a living person, everyone has a natural ability to contain their own Pas at, that is why it takes apprentices such a long time to learn how to channel it within themselves - however such things are known.

Salsham'ai magic is not as ritualised and formal as Empire magic but some ritual is used as an aid to meditation and focus. Deep trances are often entered into, and if precautions are not taken can leave practitioners vulnerable to physical attack.

Loremasters have the ability to tranfer part of their consciousness, through the Pas at, into other beings - not enough to control them, it must usually be a willing recipient - and see through their eyes, so they often have a familiar, such as a muita or voyhawk, with which they "journey". They can also interact with the Sidhe on the aetheric level using Pas at.

Magic workers have to have served a Loremaster's apprenticeship in order to learn the philosophy and ethical background to magic. However given the fluid and unformalised nature of the Loremasters organisation there is room for undesirable people to learn these arts.

Salsham'ai Index
Way of Life
Places of Interest
The Crown meridian, is on the top of the head, it governs matters of the intellect and spirit. Its colour is violet.

The Heart meridian governs emotions, creativity and communications - it is blue in colour.

The Navel meridian governs bodily functions, health and fertility. It is orange. (The Salsham'ai understand biology and that the internal organs do the actual physical work keeping the body alive - these meridians are the focal centres of the Pas at, where it interacts with the physical body)

The Root meridian is at the genitals, it governs the more instinctive/baser drives, to survive, to procreate, to protect. It is red.

Blue and violet are associated with the Lady Themnass, orange and red with the Lord Shroma.