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Reytled, or, literally from Old Allamunnic "The Right Way", as in "the right way to live", is a modern pagan religious movement within the area of Ottonia within the larger continent/cultural area of Belisaria. Dating back to the early 18th century and playing a key role in Ottonian nationalism, there is debate among religious studies scholars about whether Reytled should be classified as a new religious movement.

The roots of the movement can be traced most-directly to the 1709 book The Ways of Our Ancestors by the Tyrrslynder antiquarian and occultist Graegur Hollenswyrth. Hollenswyrth's attempt to reconstruct the religious practices of the Allamunnic, Eonese, Corvaean, Skraeling, and Kamryker peoples prior to the arrival of the Honorian Church in the 6th century CE was widely published and captured many imaginations. By the mid-18th century, a wave of attempted revivals of old traditions had proliferated, especially within the Kingdom of Tyrrslynd, often to the dismay of Church authorities.

Despite criticisms regarding the quality of Hollenswyrth's scholarship, it was not long before a number of other thinkers had joined the movement. Writings by the mystic Wylmina Shoenburg, the historian Jerald Kruger, and disgraced priest Rutger Rikardsunn followed in the mid-18th century and helped to solidify the doctrines of the nascent movement, even as the Honorian Church attempted to suppress the movement with varying levels of success. By the time of the 1788 Jormundean Revolt, much of northern Ottonia, including most of Tyrrslynd, had undergone apostasy from Sarpeticism.

Key to Reytled are the doctrines of Landtyg, Folktyg, and Gastyg, by which a person constructs their soul. Due to these ideas, Reytled often has a strong communalist and environmentalist bent. The Landtyg and Gastyg are often interpreted by religious scholars to constitute forms of animism and ancestor worship, leading many to classify Reytled as a pseudo-animistic religion. Religious practices are often carried out at shrines and temples, either located near the heart of towns or at places of natural or spiritual significance.

Reytled's faith community is very decentralized and for the most part lacks any central governing authority; in the rare instances when a decision must be made among all adherents, a council may be called by consensus of shrine officiants and selected laity. Despite the secular nature of the Federation of Ottonian Republics, Reytled is often considered a de facto civic religion, as the faith is the single largest and most-widespread within the country, and its festivities and practices often include those of other faiths. Some religious scholars have also noticed certain parallels between Reytled and Tsurushiman Kamiseiwa, although given Reytled's nature as a significantly-more-recent religious movement, it is unclear what, if any significance those similarities hold.


Creation and Deities

Reytled's cosmology as an overall religion is somewhat sparse; almost all communities and congregations share a creation myth, a battle between primordial deities representing the classical elements of earth, wind, fire, ice, and void from which the earth (the god Jord), moon (god Mani), and sun (god Sol) are created, as well as the essence from which all souls are formed. From them arise the Almodr (All-Mother) and Mein, interpreted as either a deity or force of death and destruction. Mein is often depicted as a disembodied, gaping maw which devours all which falls into it; the mother of humanity, Almodr, grants life, forms souls and attempts to teach her children how to avoid falling into Mein, and thus, eternal death.


To do this, the Almodr created divine prophets, sometimes conflated with archangels in Sarpetic terms, to guide and teach humans how to live and nurture their souls. The Nine Greater Domains are (lesser) divine figures in their own right, and often form a basis for worship and prayer for intercession for Reytled practitioners. In addition, Reytled practitioners believe in the existence of hundred and even thousands of Lesser Domains, semi-divine spirits of the land, of concepts, and of ancestral souls which ascended due to their wisdom and power. Lesser Domains are often the subject of local folklore, community-specific veneration, or sometimes even treated as household or family deities. In areas where Honorian traditions were once particularly strong, or where Sarpetic and Reytled traditions have blended together, it is not uncommon for the Lesser Domains to be conflated with saints.

The Soul and Death

Reytled beliefs posit that all living things are in possession of a soul at birth. The soul begins small and weak, much like the physical beings they reside within, but can be nurtured and strengthened through spiritual exercise and the development of the Three Ties. A soul that is not sufficiently well-developed will follow the physical body into death, devoured by Mein shortly after physical death. Once this happens, a soul is gone from the world. As such, it is crucial that a person lives "in the Right Way", from which the faith takes its name.

Spirits & Inhuman Beings

In addition to a widespread belief in ghosts and other forms of spirits of the dead, Reytled typically carries with it belief in the presence of numerous inhuman beings.


The Three Ties

Derived from Wylmina Shoenburg's writings is the notion that souls draw strength from each other, through their connections or ties (tygs) to others. In this regard, Shoenburg highlighted three cardinal connections that must be nurtured for a strong soul and the larger benefit of all:

  • Landtyg - a connection to a land and/or community. This idea calls on practitioners to be stewards of their homes and surroundings, and to respect nature and use it responsibly. Although there are multiple interpretations, many also interpret this connection to refer to an imperative for persons to reside in relatively few places over a lifetime so that they may set down roots.
  • Folktyg - a connection to the people around oneself. This idea pushes practitioners towards participation in the social life of their communities, to nurture friendships, maintain ties to their families, and pursue romantic or intimate relationships, as well as to nurture overall harmony within their community.
  • Gastyg - a connection to one's (dead) ancestors and forebears, and, implicitly, divine beings. This is the most spiritual component of nurturing one's soul, and is most often understood to mean that one should participate in religious observances, prayer and contemplation, as well as visitation to cemeteries and memorials. Less-rigorously, it also exhorts practitioners to retell myths, as well as stories of the more recently-departed.

Sacred Spaces

Befitting a religion with ample space for idiosyncracies and unique beliefs, Reytled practitioners make use of a number of types of sacred spaces for their observences.


Perhaps the most familiar to an outside observer, temples in Reytled are frequently devoted to the direct veneration of the Almodr directly, one of the nine Greater Domains, or a local Lesser Domain of great significance, often an Ascended holy figure or a local nature deity. Such temples are relatively few in number, largely only found in towns or cities of some significant size, and often require extensive staffs for community services as well as upkeep.


More common are community shrines, which can be found throughout Ottonia, especially in the North. Shrines are typically oriented towards the veneration of or communing with local spirits, folk heroes, or with the ancestors of the relevant community. Although there are itinerant staff and trained clergy who often maintain and operate these shrines, it is equally common for a designated family or families within a community to be tied to a shrine and to tend to it.


Grottos are inevitably tied to nature spirits, known as Elders, and are perhaps the most minimal of the religious structures associated with Reytled. Often, a grotto is little more than a natural location given the barest amount of upkeep to ensure its accessibility and practicality for use as a location of contemplation or meditation.


Often conflated with cemeteries and grave markers, a Memorial in Reytled is any location or object devoted to maintaining the memory of a deceased person and their soul. While the most common forms of these are Reytled cemeteries (which, despite the name, rarely contain earthly remains), it is quite common for community shrines to contain a roll of that community's deceased, and many households will even include a small area, perhaps a table or plaque, where the names of deceased family members are recorded for posterity.


Reytled is a faith which calls for significant participation by laypersons. However, there is a crucial role for trained and educated clergy. There are two primary types of clergy within Reytled traditions: teachers (Taekaners) and servants (Theaws), educated through different schools and with a certain level of professional rivalry between the two types. Due to overlap with Sarpetic terminologies, it is common for the former to also be referred to as "priests," or "pastors," while the latter are often referred to colloquially as "monks" or "nuns" depending on their gender. It is worth note that this divide primarily exists in regard to trained/professional clergy; families who take up clerical duties tied to specific locations often combine the functions of both, and form a third category, stewards (Stigwards), sometimes also referred to as "deacons".


Taekaners, or teachers, are often in overall charge of the running of a temple, shrine, or grotto. Taekaners are the group which overwhelmingly serves as Reytled's theologians (insofar as the function exists), wisemen and -women, and administer sacraments, and provide counseling and guidance for their communities. Although itinerant taekaners are far from unusual, it is most common for taekaners to be assigned to a shrine or temple and to spend long stretches of their careers in the same place, building ties with their congregations and communities in order to provide better guidance for them. Itinerants are often dispatched from schools by the request of local parishes which find themselves in need of staff.

Because becoming a taekaner requires education and more specialized training, they are often regarded as the scholars and most-learned people in regards to Reytled. This focus on what could be described as "theory" often leads them to tension with their compatriots. In addition, because of this, taekaners often form the closest thing Reytled has to a theological orthodoxy, which can sometimes lead to tension with local practices should that "orthodoxy" conflict with local idiosyncracies.


Derived from an Old Allamunnic word for "servant" (and often still referred to as such), theaws serve as mendicants and assistants. Many are attached to specific locations, temples, or shrines, where they perform necessary maintenance and staffing duties as well as generally assisting the taekaners in their duties. Others perform mendicant duties, serving those in need in their communities, or moving between communities to provide these functions. Theaws are often very well-liked in their communities as they also provide more secular community services, including tending to the sick and disabled and serving as friends, confidants, and helping hands. Theaws tend to experience less rivalry with stigwards than taekaners do.


Stigward is an Old Allamunnic word for "steward", and the hereditary shrine- and grotto-tending families seen in many rural parts of North Ottonia are referred to as both, or, occasionally, as deacons. These clergy often perform hybrid duties of both taekaners and theaws, although they tend to favor the former role more than the latter; it is more common for itinerant theaws to assist these more isolated congregations than there is for a taekaner to take up residence. Due to their more local ties and immersion in local folklore and traditions contrasted with the formal education and training of teachers, it is very common for there to be rivalry, or at least mild tension, between taekaners and stigwards.


The sacraments of Reytled are community affairs, used to mark moments of transition in peoples' lives and to provide community support in times of difficulty. It is perhaps worth note that more than a few of these appear to be at least partially influence by Honorian and Corsanguine traditions. Exact ceremony structures will often vary between congregations, although there will be certain stable, core elements that will exist across the entire faith.


Following a birth, typically about one month after, a formal naming ceremony is held for infants. Namings typically call for the presence of an entire congregation, with pride of place reserved for the immediate and extended family of the newborn, often visiting from out of town. Although exact structure of the ceremony may vary, newborns are often dressed in green and ritually bathed (typically the forehead is rubbed clean with water, although some congregations opt to dunk the child), and prayers for good fortune are said over the child after their name is formally bestowed. In earlier times, when infant mortality was more common, Namings might occur more quickly in an effort to give shape to a newborn's soul.


Religious marriage ceremonies for Reytled adherents can be held anywhere, although shrines or temples are often popular locations. It is common for the actual marriage ceremony to be held with the entire congregation or community present. The ceremony itself is fairly simple, requiring only that the two persons marrying swear vows of loyalty and devotion to one another, until they are separated either by death or mutual parting. Weddings are often followed by parties; typically, the families of the wedded couple will provide refreshment and accomodations for a set number of invited guests, although others are permitted to join uninvited. In such cases, uninvited guests are expected to provide either a gift for the wedded couple, or to bring food of their own to help feed the festivities.

Death & Funerals

When death is expected, it is common for theaws and other clergy to meet with the dying person to ensure they do not, if possible, die with any lingering regrets or unfinished business. This often involves attempting to make peace between former friends and family members, or more mundanely, helping to ensure that a person's financial affairs are in order, as well as comforting and supporting any family.

Once death has occurred, body disposal is swift. Prayers and blessings for an easy transition for the soul are given, and the body is usually cremated. It is considered right and good for a deceased body to be returned to the earth, to nature, and so the most common form of 'burial' is cremation, followed by either the burial of the unsealed ashes, or the scattering of the ashes. In rare instances, a person may opt for a natural burial, in which the unembalmed body is placed in the ground to decompose. The deceased's name is engraved in any relevant memorial areas, whether that be family or community shrines, cemeteries, or in another place with such arrangements. In instances were remains (ashes or unembalmed bodies) are buried, it is very common for a plant to be planted over the body, often a tree of some kind (environment permitting).

The actual disposal of the body is a solemn occasion; it is common for families and attending mourners to wear very dark colors or white (a color tied to ash), usually done in near-silence, while clergy lead the congregants in prayers for the peace of the departed and an easy transition for the soul. Because of the resistance to embalming among Reytled adherents, this process often takes place very quickly, often only a day or two following death.

Afterward, at a time of the family's choosing, typically at least a month later, a wake is often held in a person's memory. Friends and family from far away will often be invited. It is during this time that a person is often properly eulogized, more elaborate memorial arrangements will be completed, and generally-speaking some level of care is taken to ensure that the event is a happy one, a celebration of the deceased's life and legacy. Drinks and toasts will be shared, stories are told, and reminescences are shared. Often, a seat is intentionally left empty for the spirit of the deceased, and the seat will be provided with a beverage, one the deceased was fond of in life, alongside a lit candle. Tradition says that the spirit of the deceased is hoped to attend the wake, and the extinguishment of the candle is believed to symbolize their presence. It is quite common for people to speak to the deceased as if they are there, even though they cannot directly respond.

Holy Days

Reytled tends to include a number of holy days observed by most or all practitioners. In addition, there are frequently local holidays that are only observed by certain communities and congregations. Many of these holidays also serve as federal or republic holidays in North Ottonia. In addition to holidays of explicit religious significance, due to the principles of the Three Ties, participation in public holiday festivities is encouraged by most Reytled adherents.

Feast Days

Most communities, towns, cities, and holy sites will observe a designated feast day during the year, during which the patron of the site, either the Almodr herself, a Greater Domain, Ascended, or Elder, is honored and celebrated, usually with dancing, potlucks, arts, and music.

The Solstices

Forming the nuclei of the major public holidays of Midsummer and Midwinter, the summer and winter solstices are directly observed due to being the longest day and night of the year respectively. Both holidays are organized around community feasts as well as larger street festivals. Midsummer often involves early rising to watch the dawn, and staying up late to watch the sunset of the longest day of the year, whereupon the festivities become much less formal. During midwinter, by contrast, lights are hung up and it is typical for people to party (often drunkenly) into the early hours, often masked.

The Equinoxes

In contrast to the solstices, the equinoxal celebrations are significantly less elaborate, often simple celebrations around the beginning of the accompanying seasons (spring and fall festivals being common).


Saoween or Halloween (the appropriate terminology differing depending on the part of the country) is observed on the evening of October 31st. During this time, along with on Hexenaat (see below), the veil between the mortal and spiritual worlds is considered the thinnest. The night is considered a time of pranks and festivities, with people wandering between houses and community locations asking for "frydkaags" or "peace cakes", sweet pastries or baked goods that are offered in exchange for not being targeted for pranks and mischief. Costumes and masquerade festivities are common, as are more general fall-oriented activities. The following day, it is common for families to make visits to cemeteries or memorials to spend time with the spirits of deceased family-members and give thanks for the good things in their lives (and, traditionally, for the successful completion of harvest).


Hexenaat is observed on April 30th, in a similar fashion to Saoween, as another time during the year when the division between mortal and spiritual realms is believed to be thin. Observance is typically marked by bonfires and the burning of effigies representing misfortune and misery. Frydkaags are often prepared for Hexenaat as well, as the night similarly has a reputation for being a time of mischief. Unlike Saoween, which carries a traditional following-day component, traditional Baeltan/May Day activities have largely been displaced in North Ottonia by Solidarity Day festivities.