Anethionism is an alternative interpretation of the Holy Light introduced by the Half-Elven cleric Anethion shortly after the Second War. The teaching differs greatly from the orthodox interpretation. Anethion has always wanted even the simplest peasant to be able to follow and appreciate the Light, but knew that hard and complicated philosophy was beyond every man’s grasp. The Light of Anethion has taken the form not philosophy and esoterism, but of poetry and moralistic storytelling. Rather than understanding, Anethion asks of his followers to simply follow a checklist, promising them a reward in the here-after should they succeed. Anethionism as a coherent teaching is written down in several works: The Holy Scripture and the Book of Recitations. Much more lore remains unwritten and lives on as an oral tradition amongst the followers.
The Holy Scripture Edit
Cover of the Holy Scripture is decorated with the large white cross, symbol of Anethion, and inscribed with several quotes.
There is nothing holy but the Holy Light, and no truer teaching than that of Anethion.
Praised be the Holy Light, the illuminator of the world, and praised be Holy Anethion, Light's humble envoy, the illuminator of men.
The Light sees all: your actions and your thoughts alike. In the end, they will be measured and weighted and should your life be found wanting - eternity of torment awaits. Know this, and live accordingly!
Book of Anethion Edit
[The Book of Anethion is a majestic and breath-taking work of poetic art - using vivid and lucid metaphors and anthropomorphisms to express the inexpressible. This work is full of powerful imagery and miraculous tales of Anethion's life and teachings, moral lessons expressed in such a vivid and accessible way that even a child would understand them. Critics might say that this book is but a bundle of tall tales and poetry none of which are true, but even they should agree that a fundamental ethic teaching forms the cornerstone of all the 'myths']
Over four-hundred pages of this work take you through northlands of Lordaeron before the plague as you follow the life and work of the Half-Elven cleric Anethion. The tales are told in a third-person narrative and it is unlikely that Anethion himself wrote this book. The message of the book can be summed up as follows: The Light is an omnipotent and omniscient sentient entity which embodies Good, Purity, Rightfulness and Justice in the universe. The Light is not bound by space - it is present in the heart of every living creature and whispers to all, prodding them to live a life of virtue and good. It is within every man's grasp to achieve a degree of purity and earn a place within the Light in the afterlife by simply expressing faith, living a good life and filling every-day deeds with a sacred meaning. Faith in the light is simply defined as blind acceptance of Light's wisdom, realization that the Light's design is good and will lead to a better future. A man of Faith will not fear anything as long as he follows a virtuous existence since in the end, Light will set everything straight. Death, disaster, disease, pain are all nothing, reward of a virtuous life is well-worth all the earthly calamities. Anethion teaches that men should realize a higher meaning to life and instead of moving through existence as if it was a boring, mandatory chore they should fill everything with divine purpose. A baker bakes bread not to earn money, but to make a world a better place. Friendliness to neighbors, general kindness, acts of charity, helpfulness, auspiciousness are all the traits a man should develop to attain the Light's rewards. It all sounds fairly simple:
-Your only driving motive must be to make the world a better place
-you should actively act on that motive
-you should avoid harming your fellows (footnote explains that it means fellow Anethioneans)
-you should seek to actively improve the life of those around you, through deeds and kindness.
Then Anethion goes to explain that His teaching is only meant for Humans and High Elves, and that other races which follow the Light have their own teaching which is right and true in its own right. Races that do not follow the Light have not been Chosen, or have not been chosen -yet-. By the end of the book Anethion argues that races and creeds should be isolated from each other, and that all his teachings are meant to express relations between Light-worshipping races and peoples. For instance, if you kill a troll the Light won't see it as a crime, whereas killing another human is a sin, In the final tales it becomes apparent that an enemy of Light-following races is also the enemy of the Light and must be defeated. Afterlife forms a rather central role in Anethion's narratives. According to Him people who live a virtuous life will reap the rewards in the here-after - they will rejoin with their friends and loved ones and enjoy an eternity of peace and joy. Faithless will be forgotten and their souls will dissolve into the dark background of the cosmos. Their existence will ultimately come to an inglorious end in oblivion. Enemies of the light and sinners will be tossed into the Nether where they will be eternally tortured by foul demons.
Book of Bernard Edit
[Book of Bernard retains some of vivid imagery and epic story-telling of Anethion's book, but it is much grimmer]
For over two hundred pages Bernard speaks of the Scourge and evil which befall Lordaeron and in a series of tales about saints and martyrs argues the merit of martyrdom, pain, suffering and hard life when it comes to attaining virtue. His book can be summed up as follows: Faith can indeed be expressed by blindly accepting Light's greatness and a virtues existence attained by a good and pure life, but there is another way. The Light judges all depending on their abilities, and the Light is pleased when men seek to go beyond their normal capacities in the name of the Greater Good. Back-breaking work, for instance, is pleasing to the Light. For instance a man who works all day in harsh conditions for a noble ideal without sparing himself is living a good life. Slacking, on the other hand, is a sin. Keeping faith despite the pain is another way to prove your purity. If a martyr does not denounce the Light under severest torture - he will be accepted in the after-life. Most controversially, Bernard argues that pain purifies the soul - self chastising is one way to prove your faith, and torturing others is a way to redeem them of their heresy and save their souls from the clutches of the Nether. Martyrdom takes a central role in his narrative - dying for the Greater Good is pleasing to the light, and more horrible is the death the more pleasing it gets. Innocents may be felled in the name of the Greater Good because since they die for the Greater Good, their souls are embraced by the Light, and everything is set straight. Evil and Doubt are diseases of the Soul, pain of the soul. According to Bernard evil men who turned to the Light are more righteous than men who always followed the Light. This part of doctrine is not accepted as Canonical, as a footnote will inform the reader. Book of Bernard forms ideal justification for zealots to commit acts of self-chastising, self-sacrifice and wicked trials of faith, but it also justifies torture and indiscriminate killing of suspects (The Light will recognize its own!)
Book of Waldemar Edit
[Unlike the previous works Book of Waldemar is a hard to digest theological narrative written as an essay. A man not well-versed with language and faith is very likely to misunderstand this doctrine.]
For almost three hundred pages Waldemar argues that Faith must be protected, doctrine must remain unchanged and unchangeable and those who doubt should be exterminated. The core message of his word is: Evil is everywhere and at all times seeks to ruin our world and doom our souls to ever-lasting damnation in the Nether. Only through unbreakable faith, purest virtue and unyielding devotion to Good can we ever hope to defeat Evil in its many manifestations. According to Waldemar (and Anethion) Evil starts when a sentient being denies the light's prodding to good, The Light compels us to do good, and to choose not to, is to prefer a path of evil. Since evil triumphs when good men do nothing. All who do not follow the Light are potentially agents of Evil and must be either converted or destroyed. Not all are meant to receive the gift of unbreakable faith, but they are not lost - they are supposed to follow the Light through self-discipline and loyalty. According to Waldemar it is possible to train a man to become a Faithful, and all means are justified by the cause. People of weak faith, in the end, are those who allow evil into our world and only when they are either re-educated or exterminated can we even hope to start winning the war against evil. In the end, evil can only be defeated when all its agents are obliterated and when all world believes in the Light. When evil is forgotten, only then is it truly gone. Needless to say those who raise an arm against the faithful are enemies of the Light and must be destroyed without mercy and afterthought. All in all, Book of Waldemar is a perfect zealot's handbook which contains an immense amount of self-righteousness disguised by clever rhetoric and apparently flawless theological reasoning. It is better to kill a thousand innocent than let a single heretic walk free.
Book of Richard Edit
[Book of Richard is a heroic tale of chivalry and bravery, of faith and courage. It reads like an epic saga with a captivating story-line, yet contains the ethical teachings. Book of Richard is a departure from zealous ravings of Waldemar, but is still very much influenced by them.]
For slightly over hundred pages Richard tells us about a brave Chapter Shadowbreaker on a quest to smite evil. This adventure is filled with metaphoric encounters and deep underlying ethical lesson. This is roughly what can be learned from this work: Faith is that which earns us the Light's rewards. Everything else is secondary. Faith must be blind and absolute, undoubted and unquestioned in order to produce the result. We must stand without fear and doubt against the forces of evil, never compromise our believes and our values - such is the way of the Light. We must strike against everything that is even remotely wicked, having faith that the Light will save those who are worth saving. Light's justice is absolute, we don't have to fear anything as long as our intentions are pure. Light will separate the good from the wicked in the end. Courage, valor, fearlessness - they all matter. It is the duty of every man to stand up against evil and fight it without mercy and hesitation, even if it shall be his end. Odds do not matter, evil must be fought at all times - to suffer it, is to be an accomplice. Richard tells a romantic tale of a young man who puts his faith in the Light, and in the Light alone and lets his heart and intuition guide him - despite the odds the man succeeds over and over again, becomes a mighty Shadowbreaker of the chapter. The story ends with the man letting a blasphemer go without addressing him, and in the next battle he falls by the enemy hand. A single moment of neglect can ruin impregnable stronghold of faith - such is the lesson.
Sacred Duty Edit
This section deals with the practical issues of following the teaching of Anethion. Rituals, prayers, daily chores. The most important points are the following:
Every morning a good follower of Anethion must meditate upon his intentions. You must seek to eradicate all greed and selfishness and replace them with a single purpose: to make the world a better place. Your every action must be driven by this one motivation! You work for those who enjoy the fruits of your labor, you act friendly and kind because it makes the community better.
At evening a follower of Anethion must meditate on his day. You must inspect your deeds and what has happened. If ill fortune befell you- it must've been either a trial of faith or a punishment. If first is the case, meditate on its meaning - if second, seek out the fault.
You must inspect your thoughts and your feelings and ensure that your motive remained pure throughout every decision you made - to make the world a better place.
At the morning you should turn yourself to the East upon waking up and praise the Light for ending the Night. Express gratitude for Light's ability to illuminate all evil and thank it for all the Good and Warmth it gives our world.
At noon you should turn yourself to the Light and praise it for giving you strength and faith, for warding away ailment and giving you a chance to work for the Greater Good. Had it not been for the Light, life on Azeroth would be the only life there is - and death would be nothing but oblivion.
After sunset you should turn yourself to the West and praise the Light for every Good that has happened this day, Without the Light, kindness and good could not be.
Maintenance of Faith
Faith must be maintained daily be recitations. For this you should refer to the Book of Recitations (be mindful that there are two versions: one for the Inquisition and another for simple faithful). You should recite ten every morning, ten every midday, ten every evening and ten every midnight.
Inquisitorial version demands greater faith and might not be suiting for all faithful.
The faithful may also use the book of Invocations for the same purpose.
The Virtues of Anethion
1) Weight your own words and deeds on the same scales you weight and judge the deeds of others. (footnote indicates that once again others means ‘other followers of Anethion)
2) Your only intention should be to make the World a better place and that intention should vanquish all greed, vanity, arrogance and desire.
3) Seek not to harm Light's creatures with word or deed (unless you have the wisdom to sacrifice for the greater good)
4) Speak the truth to illuminate all lies
5) Be charitable to those in need to eliminate the evil of poverty.
6) Be a good and helpful friend and family-member to fight the evil of isolation.
7) Do not take that which has not been given to you by others or obtained through hard work with noble intentions.
8) Give moral support and kindness to those who need it to fight the poverty of soul, a thousandfold worse than earthly poverty.
9) Suffer no evil and fight it at all times with deeds, words or thoughts, to the very limit of your abilities.
10) Speak apostolically to those who do not yet follow the True teaching or whose faith is wavering to save their souls from eternal damnation.
Book of Recitations Edit
Recitations of Holy Anethion Edit
- The Light is everything that is Pure, Good, Righteous and Just in the universe; the Light is greater and more splendorous than we can possible imagine and the words of our language cannot possibly describe it in all its glory and magnificence.
- The Light is distant, but it is also close, the Light penetrates the whole universe and fills it with its Divinity; the Light is omniscient and omnipresent, it compels us to live a life of virtue and do Light’s work.
- People live to survive, a pale and stale existence, only to die in the end –the Light teaches us how to fill our lives with Its Divine Purpose, fill them with its splendor and radiance and enables us to obtain immortality and purity of soul.
- The Light has delivered us from the Horde and the Legion, the Light has guided us in our darkest hour, the Light fills our lives with Divine Purpose and in exchange it asks only for our Faith.
- Our faith in the Light is submission to the Light’s sublime wisdom, acceptance of the Lights omnipotent power, knowledge that the Lights ultimate goals are Good and Righteous.
- Through Faith in the Light we shall overcome any fear and resist any temptation, endure any hardship and defeat any challenge and by following in the Light’s footsteps we shall obtain joy and glory in the here-after. Have faith in the Light, and It will fill our lives with meaning and Divine Purpose!The Light is sword and shield in our hands, the plate on our chest, the girdle about our waist and the cloak on our shoulders – but we are the Warrior.
- Evil is everything that is malign, wicked, unjust and corrupt in the universe; Evil seeks to ruin our lives so that we may lose Faith in the Light, and then it shall seek to twist our souls and doom them to ever-lasting damnation!
- Doubt is the Right arm of Evil, have Faith in the Light, and darkness shall never touch our souls. Have faith in the Light, and all earthly hardship and evil will be contemptible.
- Our Sacred Duty is to live a life of virtue and fight evil, filling our lives with Divine Purpose, consecrating our deeds and dedicated even the puniest work to the Light contributes towards the Greater Good, Light sees all and rewards all faithful!
- The Light is wise and sublime, and teaches all Light-following races the unique way of worship. Humanity is a Light-chosen race in its own right and our ways are our own.
- The Light is present in every Man’s heart, and to deny the call of Good is to walk the lonely path of wickedness!
- The Light has promised its chosen children an existence of peace and prosperity, glory and joy - an Empire of Virtue, and will render it all to us when our Sacred Duty is fulfilled.
- He who raises an arm against Mankind shall be pushed back by force of arms and strength of faith; he who seeks to bring ruin upon Humanity shall find only his own end and will be obliterated without mercy and afterthought!
- Only those of the Light’s Chosen races can be redeemed by our efforts, others are destined to drudge a Lightless Existence until the day comes and the Light chooses them as well.
- Souls of the Pious shall be embraced by the Light, and rejoin their friends and family in the here-after; Souls of the faithless shall be cast into oblivion and forever forgotten; souls of the wicked shall descend into the Nether and know ever-lasting damnation and torment, feeding on their own filth!
Recitations of BernardEdit
- Strongest Faith has been tried and contested; we shall never walk away from challenges of faith and instead meet them head-on, to emerge purer and stronger from the fray.
- Those who lived a wicked life in defiance of the Light and then repented, showing remorse for their countless sins and putting unbreakable faith in the Light are especially loved – their souls often purer than of those who knew no evil.
- Doubt is the Light’s enemy, doubt denies us the splendor and rewards of Faith; know that to seek challenge of faith and to be in doubt is not the same. First is to walk into battle, prepared and well-equipped, second is to dismantle the walls of your own castle.
- Strikes of the hammer purge iron of impurities, so shall the surges of pain purify the Soul.
- The harder Light’s Work weights upon our shoulders, the greater the rivers of sweat that flow down our back and our face, the mightier torrents of tears from our eyes and higher the fountains of blood from our wounds – the more righteous and pleasing are our deeds.
- Through pain we shall go to purify our soul, through hardship we shall go to strengthen our Faith, we shall do what must be done without doubt to affirm our devotion.
- To die doing the Light’s Work is the greatest sacrifice; those who perish in the name of the Sacred Duty are embraced by the Light and watch over the faithful of Azeroth from above.
- There are no impossible feats, only insufficient faith.
- The Faithful are never defeated – only the faithless are!
- The harder the work, the greater the sacrifice – more splendorous the reward.
- We do what we do not for our own glory, but for that of the Light!
- A grain of sand leaves an invisible trace upon the face of the rock, million grains of sand and thousands of years reduce the rock to nothing. So shall every good deed count towards the Greater Good.
- One man of faith can overcome any challenge and vanquish countless wicked, a thousand faithful shall march over the world in a relentless onslaught of Good – a bane to the heretic and the wicked!
- Pain purifies the soul; the greater is the deathly pain of the heretic and the faithless, the greater are the chances that the Light will be merciful and embrace him in spite of his many sins.
- Second to a faithful life, loyal and devout, is a martyr’s death – he who dies in hellish pains in the name of the Faith shall become a lighthouse of hope and inspiration for the faithful, his legacy forever radiant.
Recitations of WaldemarEdit
- Light is present in the heart of every man, and to each one it whispers, compelling him to do Good; to deny this call of Good, is to prefer a path of wickedness.
- Our world is full of men whose faith is questionable at best, they fall for the smallest temptations and lose faith at sight of puniest challenge – they are the secret passages the evil uses to pass behind the bulwark of Faith erected by our protectors.
- Unbreakable Faith is a blessing not all are meant to receive; those deprived of it must keep true to the Holy Path by means of discipline and loyalty!
- Disciple and Loyalty of the people can only be ensured if the institutions of Faith and its ministers are unquestioned and undoubted; to undermine the authority of the Church is to deprive the men of their chance for redemption and good life!
- Mankind is a Light’s chosen race, whoever raises an arm against us, raises an arm against the Light and shall face Light’s wrath!
- We are the agents of Light’s power and splendor, but also of Light’s wrath and justice!
- A single agent of evil in our midst has the potential to compromise everything we have accomplished, a single sin can bring about despicable suffering, a single moment of doubt can allow darkness to crawl into our world – we must fight them all wherever we find them, and whenever we suspect them!
- In line of our Sacred Duty we are bound to bring harm upon ‘innocents’, we work for the Greater Good of humanity and let us make sure that their ultimate sacrifice was not in vain! Remember that a death for the Holy Cause is pleasing to the Light.
- Let the wicked and the heretic taste the fruits of their own labor, deliver upon them the discord, the doubt, the pain and the ruin they sought to bring upon us!
- To witness evil of any magnitude and remain passive, is to share in its wickedness and become an accomplice of the malefic powers which seek to bring ruin upon humanity – let not a single one escape our righteous wrath!
- Those of questionable faith and feeble mind will always question our methods and condemn them, let it be known that only the wicked should fear us and our ways.
- Those who question the righteousness of our work do not know the price of safety and of freedom, for the price of it is paid in blood and sweat. Only when we are no longer there to protect them, will they realize the true horror we shield them against!
- Despicable evil may grow from a tiny seed of corruption; it is our duty never to overlook presuming that it may do no harm.
- Redemption is a gift only the few receive, live knowing that Light is almighty and shall redeem those who can be redeemed and embrace them to the here-after, all we have to do is to speed the date of their trial!
- Victory against evil is only possible when all its agents have been utterly vanquished, their foul legacy confined to oblivion and their souls cast into the Nether to the last one!
Recitations of Richard Edit
- Faith alone can overcome all of the Light’s enemies; the terrible tools and weapons of the Chapter simply serve to make our work faster and more efficient, and with the amount of evil to purge we need all the speed we can get!
- It is the Faith, blind and unquestionable, which grants us Light’s powers; moments of charity, noble deeds, virtuous thoughts are but a battlefield on which our Faith is strengthened and proven.
- Faith is discipline of mind, through willpower and determination does one vanquish all doubt, question and reason from his thoughts until only blind and pure devotion remains.
- A weakling does not raise his sword against the wicked because he has no faith in his success; a hesitant one doesn’t charge into battle because he has no faith that the Light will grant him victory; a coward fears death because he has no faith in Light’s mercy and rewards in the here-after.
- Those who do not know the true price of life question our right to exterminate all agents of evil without mercy; those who had to pay the price question our right to grant them mercy and a second chance.
- Stand where you are and fight for a noble cause, for a magnificent and heroic death strengthens our world whereas a coward’s flight lets evil pass.
- With your sword at the heretic’s throat you choose to spare him, why? Do you not believe in the truthfulness of Light’s judgment and the verdict It shall pass; know that the Light will recognize its own and never hand out a punishment which is undeserved.
- A single man sings falsely; yet a choir fills the air with angelic sounds and weaves the tethers of unison to join all men as one. Only when we are of a single mind and single purpose will our flaws be truly undone.
- Life is a war against evil; from this war there is no escape and no refuge, and he who refuses to fight it is a deserter.