Temple of Rayquaza

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Temple of Rayquaza

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The Temple of Rayquaza

((Disclaimer: While reading, it is important to remember that these are the teachings of this religion as they have been passed down. People always have and always will have their own interpretations of these subjects, which means these do not have to be strictly followed if that is something your character would not do. These descriptions are not comprehensive, meaning that players have a lot of wiggle room when it comes to behaving however they’d like as a follower of a religion. For totally specific viewpoints on certain social issues, please contact a member of the Lore Team directly))

Cosmology:

(( PLEASE NOTE: These are the BELIEFS of Rayquazanists. This cosmology and origin story should not be assumed to necessarily be true.))

The Temple of Rayquaza teaches Rayquazaism. This is the worship of Rayquaza, known to be the Dragon Lord, guardian of the Earth from the sky, the keeper of balance, and upholder of peace.

The Temple of Rayquaza teaches that Arceus created the universe and world, as well as all the Gods that are known. However, the scriptures state that after this point, Arceus ended their work and had the other Gods take over in the creation part.

These gods were created and started out as formless, primal forces. While not always the case, Arceus would make trios: Dialga, Palkia, and Giratina for example. This was the case for Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza. This was done to keep a balance, to make sure one God didn’t try to overpower and usurp the other for their power in the domains they were made to rule and protect.

Groudon, Kyogre, and Rayquaza were created to watch over the mortal planes, though they could not rule over all of it at once. Therefore they split it between three. Kyogre would claim the vast oceans, wanting the powerful storms and winds to represent her power. Groudon would rule over the chaotic landscape, believing that the earthquakes and volcanic eruptions would be a true testament to his strength. This left Rayquaza with the last domain, the Sky. It was more peaceful than the other two, and at first glance, it wouldn’t be the greatest show of his power. But Lord Rayquaza did not mind, not feeling any urge to flaunt his power as his two siblings chose to. Rather, he was fascinated by the potential of what the Earth could become and wanted to learn and experience all of it. Compared to Groudon and Kyogre, he chose a pacifistic and focused more on the pursuit of knowledge than power - which made his two siblings view him as weaker.

Despite the claims to Earth Arceus allowed his children to take, Groudon and Kyogre were not satisfied, yet. They desired the power to create life on their planes in order to rule over, to truly feel like the Gods Arceus had made them to be. But Arceus was hesitant, having suffered betrayal from one of his eldest children, Giratina. He did not wish to suffer this again, so he initially refused. Groudon and Kyogre were furious, and Rayquaza feared the worst for what could happen to the planet. So he went to Arceus and vouched for his siblings, stating that as a trio was made to keep the peace, that one would not be able to become more powerful than the other two - or as Arceus feared, more powerful than himself.

Arceus thought over the request but ultimately agreed. Rayquaza was the most trusted of the trio in his eyes, one who chose not to show off what power he was given. Rayquaza then made a second request: to be able to create life for himself. He said that this would be able to help him watch over the Gods of the Land and Sea down below, to make sure they would stay in line. He also wished to do so in order to help him with his curiosity of all things about the planet, to enlighten his experiences more. Arceus agreed again, and so Rayquaza returned to his domain. With Arceus’s blessing, Rayquaza used his power to make the first Dragons - Latios and Latias. They were given the power of extremely fast flight to soar alongside Rayquaza in the sky, massive claws to grip onto the harsh terrain of Groudon's land, and sharp fins in order to swim greatly through Kyogre's ever-expanding sea.

As for Groudon and Kyogre, they were overjoyed that Rayquaza had convinced Arceus to change his mind when they found out. Perhaps a bit too overjoyed. Soon they would be creating massive amounts of mortal subjects for them to rule over, without the same care and precision Rayquaza had put into it. But this wasn’t enough for the two, as they became envious of each other. When Groudon made a creature, Kyogre one-upped him, or vice versa. It became a cycle to try and be better than the other, which built much tension and anger between the two. However, they couldn’t try to destroy and sabotage what the other had made, for Rayquaza was always watching from the skies, ready to come down and restore balance if one tried to gain the upper hand.

But despite the vigilance of Rayquaza and his creations, war between Groudon and Kyogre could only be prevented for so long. Fed up with Rayquaza’s constant surveying, the two deities put aside their differences briefly to enact a new plan. They would team up against Rayquaza and defeat him, for while Rayquaza could stop their schemes individually, together they would be too much. Afterward, they’d then fight each other to become the top primordial.

Rayquaza was lured down from the sky by Groudon and Kyogre, with the claim that they wanted his help to make eternal peace. But as Rayquaza left the security of the clouds, the two launched their assault. Rayquaza tried his best to fight, begging his beloved siblings to come to their senses. But Groudon and Kyogre did not share Rayquaza’s belief that they were all equal - there would be one top God of Earth, and it would not be the Jade Dragon. Badly beaten, Rayquaza managed to flee, with Groudon and Kyogre not attempting to pursue. They believed their brother wouldn’t dare try to interfere with their fight after the beating he took. With the dragon out of the picture, Groudon and Kyogre took the fight to each other, with Rayquaza forced to watch the beautiful planet he loved being destroyed by the conflict.

Not wanting to see all of this work and beauty torn asunder, Rayquaza begged his father, Arceus, to step in and finish what he himself could not. But Arceus wanted no more to do with his creation, due to the various issues that it forced him to resolve in the past. After all, allowing them to create life led to the current situation in his eyes. But Rayquaza’s pure heart, loyalty, and devotion to Earth weren’t unnoticed either. So without fear of being betrayed, Arceus granted his son the powers of not just the sky, but of the stars and heavens that surrounded Earth as well. For while this did break the rule of Trio, where one can be checked by the others, Rayquaza had vowed only to use this strength for the best interests of Earth. With this newfound power, Rayquaza rushed back down to his beloved world to end the conflict once and for all.


Upon Rayquaza’s return, Groudon and Kyogre warned him to turn away, or that this time they wouldn’t be so merciful for meddling in their affairs. But Rayquaza didn’t back down, so Groudon and Kyogre ended their fighting momentarily to fix their previous mistake and finish off Rayquaza. However their confidence soon turned to horror as they witnessed Rayquaza’s newly given power, and they weren’t strong enough to defeat him as they had before. After a long and intense conflict, Groudon and Kyogre were finally defeated, both having exhausted their Primal Power in doing so. Both begged their brother for mercy, to spare them despite their horrible sins against their realm. Rayquaza, with the purity in his heart, did - but with the harsh warning that he wouldn’t hesitate to step in if the two ever endangered the planet with their conflict again. Weakened and scared, Groudon dug deep into the Earth where the sky could never be seen, and Kyogre retreated to the deepest parts of the ocean, where no light ever shone.

With the conflict finally over, Rayquaza decided to willingly limit his power as he had been before, not wanting it to corrupt him as it did Groudon and Kyogre. With the promise to only use it if the Earth was in danger, or if Groudon and Kyogre were to rise and conflict again, Rayquaza now roams the skies and watches over the entire planet to not just continue his pursuit of knowledge, but to also bring peace and prosperity wherever he ends up.

History:

((History will be written in the future! This is published now so people can RP out the beliefs of the religion

Views:

The core values of Rayquazaism are peace and kindness, as well as keeping a balanced life. Just as the sky is open and free for all to bask in it, the teachings state that no one should be prohibited from the joy of living life due to their status. Helping and educating the poor, resolving conflict, and promoting peaceful will are highly emphasized values that members of the religion are encouraged to follow. They also value the sky as the protector of life and all creatures that soar within it.

Because of these beliefs, there are not many dietary restrictions. However, it is forbidden to eat any type of animal that can fly in the sky. This mostly resides in bird meat, with the exception of flightless birds such as Farfetch’d (though most of this forbidden meat is usually taboo or gross either way, such as dragon meat). However, some Rayquazians choose not to eat these flightless birds either, just by classification. While alcohol is not forbidden in the religion, it is seen as a clouding of the mind, just like a clouding of the clear sky, which is looked down upon by Rayquazians.

Education is very important to Rayquazaists, believing that an educated mind is a clearer mind. They also believe that being educated about the world and the people that live in it can prevent conflict, and create balance and peace. The more clear and open the mind is, the closer one is to the clear and open skies above - and by extension, Rayquaza who lords over them. As such, many priests choose to act as teachers of ordinary education, to promote the growth of knowledge of humanity as a whole. Rayquazaists, while they may not agree with the beliefs of other religions, are encouraged to learn about them in order to understand the viewpoints of those who do not share their faith.

As Rayquaza found it in himself to forgive his siblings after their terrible crime, forgiveness is another thing promoted in the religion. Followers are taught to not hold grudges against others, for that is only a path to destruction - evident by the destruction that resulted from Groudon and Kyogre’s feud. However, Rayquazaists also realize that forgiveness does not come instantly in some cases. While grudges against another are heavily looked down upon, it is understandable for one not to forgive someone easily, and it is expected that the person looking for forgiveness must work for it.

Dragons are considered to be sacred Pokemon in the religion and are treated as such. As the descendants of Rayquaza's original creations, and Rayquaza being regarded as the "Dragon Lord” or the “Jade Dragon”, there is a lot of draconic imagery in religious art and representation in texts. Many followers believe that a bond with a Dragon is the first step to a bond with Rayquaza. As such, many Rayquazaists have a Dragon as their partner or full Dragon teams. The harming or mistreatment of dragons, if not in self-defense, is seen as a crime against Rayquaza itself. However, in the two denominations of the religion, there is a dispute in the event of Pokemon battling (more information can be found in the denomination section).

Latios and Latias are revered as minor gods in the religion, for they were the first beings of life to be created in the world. They are said to act as Rayquaza's assistants, an extra set of eyes and ears. They fly across the world to help monitor the various regions and to report to the Dragon Lord for any disturbances in the natural order.

Rayquazaists believe that peace is the best way to bring balance, with many choosing not to fight if they can prevent it. However, there is more dispute between the two denominations in regards to the extent of what measures are the proper ways to promote peace and balance (more information can be found in the denomination section).

The Rayquazan afterlife is believed to be one's soul being able to join Rayquaza in bright, cloudy heaven if they lead a good life. From there, they can continue their education about the world and sky, and help him keep the balance of all-natural things. It is considered the ultimate freedom, being able to fly and experience the sky in all of its might. For those who rejected a good life and were greatly unkind to other people or Pokemon, then their soul is said to be stuck in the dark, deep areas of the Earth where Groudon and Kyogre hide from Rayquaza. This is not permanent, however, for once the soul truly realizes what it has done wrong and truly regrets their action, they are given the chance to try again in the form of reincarnation. Once the soul has lived a good and kind life, it can join Rayquaza in the sky.

A ‘good life’ consists of being good to all humans and Pokemon, and not show cruelty or hold grudges. Respecting the balance and circle of life is important. Many Rayquazaists are encouraged to try and forgive all they have not yet before they pass, to truly let go of the mortal plane and ascend high.

Denominations:

While all Rayquazaists believe the core beliefs listed above, there are some that have caused dispute on how to be interpreted within the church. This has led to the split into two major denominations within the Church, the Sky Walkers, and the Cloud Runners. One major dispute comes from the belief of harming dragons. The Sky Walkers believe that unnecessary battling counts as the harming of Dragons, and is an insult to Rayquaza. The Cloud Runners believe that battling is actually a tribute to Rayquaza, to show the strength and bond the trainer and Dragon has. As such, they also argue since they can be healed with no permanent damage afterward and that if the Dragon is willing to battle as well, it does not fall under this sin. Another topic of debate is the ways of upholding peace and balance. The Sky Walkers hold the belief that anything can be peacefully resolved without conflict and that pacifism is the correct path, while the Cloud Runners believe that fighting for peace may be the only way to achieve it, but only as a last resort. However this does not mean using excessive violence - they still believe in showing mercy to fallen enemies, just as St. Martin had done in the past, and that there should be no more fighting than there needs to be in order to uphold the balance of the world. (For more info on St. Martin, see the lore for Temple of Kyogre). Not all worshippers of Rayquaza fall into these denominations, however, as some hold beliefs from both as a mixture, or different beliefs entirely.

Interfaith Relations:

Those who worship Rayquaza tend to politely disagree, to put it mildly, with Groudon and Kyogre worship, for the reasons given in the Cosmology and Beliefs section. None are outright hostile to the religion, rather try to understand the perspectives of their worshippers. For many, especially between friends, it would usually be relegated to jokes and possible periodic arguments at tense moments when it comes up. Rayquazaists don’t attempt to avoid those who share different beliefs, therefore there aren’t many cities that are exclusively Rayquazan. However, an ethnic group called the Draconid People live in Hoenn. While they are spread out across the region, they are mainly clustered at a village in Meteor Falls, where many followers of Rayquaza come for their wisdom and insight of the God they’ve worshipped for generations (https://bulbapedia.bulbagarden.net/wiki/Draconid_people). For predominantly Kyogre and Groudon areas, see the lore for the Temple of Kyogre and Groudon respectively. However, for historical reasons and similar beliefs, Rayquazaists tend to have better relations with Kyogorists compared to Groudonists (see Temple of Kyogre lore for more info).

Rayquazaists don’t tend to hold distaste for Groudon and Kyogre, rather seeing them as beings who are still working for themselves to feel worthy of forgiveness by Rayquaza. Of course, this view of Groudon and Kyogre, as well as how they are depicted in the Cosmology, may cause distaste from their worshippers.

Form of Worship:

Rayquaza temples are typically built in areas high away from civilization, if not the highest points in the region they are in. This is done to not just have as much as a connection to Rayquaza and the Sky as possible, but to also give Rayquaza a place to rest from his long flights without straying too far from his realm. The Sky Pillar is the most famous temple, with some worshippers even making pilgrimages as it is a common belief that this is Rayquaza’s preferred resting spot out of all of them.

The reading of the Rayquazan Scripture is an important aspect of regular Rayquazan services and holidays, not just for teaching of the religion but for re-affirming good values into the worshippers.

As mentioned before, education is important in the religion so many priests exist as teachers, for both religious and ordinary education. This is mainly for their belief that education helps make a person's mind more clear, and can prevent conflict by having individuals more informed of the different aspects of the world and others. Priests are not required to be celibate, though some choose to be on their own accord. The purpose of a priest is to attempt to bring education to those who lack access to it and to help find solutions to prevent conflict. Therefore, Rayquazan priests can be typically seen helping overseas in more impoverished regions.

Priest services are recommended for marriages, funerals, and other religious rites, though it is not required if not wanted. The religion does have priest-led weekly service, though worship isn’t limited to this. Some priests tend to be nomadic and help spread and teach people about their beliefs across the regions they live in, so many regions where the Temple of Rayquaza is prominent tend to have a priest in the area. For those who remain at the temples, their duties are to help answer religious questions, host smaller services such as prayer groups, and maintain the upkeep of the temple itself. And of course, prayer can be done in families, or by oneself. Other priests also lead several Orders in the religion, with one of the oldest being the Order of the Splitting Sky (the same Order that raised St. Martin!).

Finally, Rayquazan religious communities share the beliefs of Kyogreists of the importance of charity and volunteering. With Rayquazaists believing that everyone deserves a good life, worshippers are highly encouraged to donate and volunteer to help those in need, while the Temple itself donates sizable amounts of money earned to various charities, orphanages, and other aid projects.

Scripture:

The holy writings of the Rayquazan religion are known as the Canon of Rayquaza. It is composed of 28 books. Important parts of the writings include Enlightenment, which speaks of Rayquaza’s love and fascination of learning about the Earth, Animosity, which speaks of the conflict between the three siblings, and Tranquility, which prophesize that Groudon and Kyogre will one day fight again, but that Rayquaza will come and stop the second threatened destruction of the world from their conflict. However, the recent re-emergence of Groudon and Kyogre has challenged this belief. Some outright deny that they even came back from their hiding. A few even believe the prophecy was flat-out wrong or misinterpreted in the Canon. The most popular belief, however, is that this was the first of smaller conflicts that will happen before the great final battle, with Groudon and Kyogre having minor triumphs over each other that do not put the world at stake until then.
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