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Daechism (Talashi: , Da'echma'ag; Lower Tziyahani: , Dayi'ichma'az) refers collectively to the various interrelated religious systems prevalent across the Endori-Chovi cultures of Tersa before 3589 Ʋ. Daechism was never formally incorporated by any one religious institution, and specific beliefs varied heavily by region. Nonetheless, there were a number of common beliefs practiced across Tersa, and the polytheistic pantheon of each individual belief system typically included a number of gods common to all others. The ancient polytheism of Daechism should not be confused with the modern Tarechamism, as although Tarechamism draws heavily from pre-Varakanic religious beliefs, the High Dyumshil places a heavy emphasis on the unity of religious practice and the validity of the Echeged.
The most central beliefs across all variations of Daechism were the ideas of Equilibrium ( , Da) and Spirits ( , Echi). Equilibrium represented the balance which Daechists saw represented in the natural world: the life of people and objects in general was one of coming and going. Spirits were believed to exist in every object in the world, both fabricated and natural, and these Spirits would see to the downfall of any thing which aimed to overcome the Equilibrium. Group meditation among members of the same clan was a common way to achieve an Inner Equilibrium, while the actions of the individual were entirely beholden to the notion that everything should be done in balance. In such a way, if a person were to die without Inner Equilibrium, common Daechist belief held that their Spirit would be tormented for the rest of eternity. Likewise, were a person to die in a state of Inner Equilibrium, their Spirit would find peace.
The Daechist pantheon was based on a distinguishment between the three kinds of Spirits: Inanimate, Animate, and Divine. Inanimate and Animate Spirits include all the objects found in the physical world, while the Divine Spirits were seen as having the ability to transcend physical form and manipulate the ethereal forces underlying the existence of the world. While the exact number of Divine Spirits varied by particular culture, the Kadi ( ) are the principle five Divine Spirits found common to all forms of Daechism. Among the Kadi, Vatu ( ) was considered the progenitor of the four "living" deities, those being Teza, Riat, Vezma, and Gayed. In all Daechist traditions, Vatu is said to have destroyed itself to create the world. The divine essence of Vatu was so powerful that it manifested itself into the four successor Divine Spirits, each of whom then found some aspect of the world over which they possessed similar powers to Vatu. The degree to which the Divine Spirits could influence the physical world varied so greatly among the various Endori-Chovi cultures, though some form of divine intercession was common to all of them. Some groups held that these "living" deities then created smaller incarnations representative of more specific aspects of their powers, while some groups held the Kadi to be the only existent form of Divine Spirit.
Daechism no longer exists as the prevalent religious system of the Endori-Chovi, though some view the succeeding Ikyefism as a continuation of refined and unified religious practices which are intrinsically linked with Daechism. As Daechism is still practiced by small, disparate groups in largely isolated or rural areas of Tersa, to consider Daechism a more primitive version of Ikyefism is viewed as a retrospective misrepresentation of the former. While a great deal of aspects of Daechism were incorporated into Ikyefism by Varakan the Conqueror, the two are considered to be different belief systems entirely. This is due mostly to the fact that Ikyefism separates the divine aspects of Daechism from any form of incarnation in the physical world, whereas Daechists believe the physical world to be entirely dependent upon and subject to the Divine Spirits. Nonetheless, the similarities between Daechism and Ikyefism persist, and the incorporation of many Daechist rituals into Ikyefist beliefs is believed to be a key way in which the latter drew so great a number of adherents away from the former.
Common Daechist belief holds that the world came into existence when the progenitor Kadi Vatu destroyed itself and gave over its essence to the creation of a material cosmos. It was believed that sometime in the future that the total essence of Vatu would once again recompose itself, though exact beliefs as to how far along the world was on this path varied among culture groups. In the creation of the world, the more purified parts of Vatu's essence manifested in the four living deities of Teza, Riat, Vezma, and Gayed. Each Divine Spirit embodied some aspect of Vatu's essence, and as a result, each Divine Spirit fought against one another to obtain the complete power of Vatu. This period of strife between the Divine Spirits is sometimes called the Gead-bar-Gaaydadi ( — — , lit. Conflict in the Heavens) and it came to end with the creation of Sabel and intelligent creatures.
The world as it exists is seen as the realm of life within the greater cosmos. The heavens represented the realm of death and were made up of two realms which continuously transitioned between one another. The day and night skies were seen as representative of these two realms of the heavens, one in which dwelt the Spirits of ancestors who died in Equilibirum, that of day, and one in which dwelt those Spirits which died without Equilibrium, that of night. The sun was viewed as the focal point of the unified Animate Spirits in Equilibrium, and to reach this unity with other Animate Spirits meant that one's soul would achieve eventual unity with the coming of the next incarnation of Vatu. The Animated Spirits that inhabited the realm of night were viewed as unable to achieve unity with the cosmos and thus unable to do so with the coming incarnation of Vatu.
The Divine Spirits ( , Di'echi, lit. "God-Spirits") of Daechism were commonly differentiated by all Endori-Chovi cultures in three primary groups: the "Dead" Kadi, the "Living" Kadi, and the Budi ( , lit. "Lesser Gods").
The "Dead" Kadi included only the progenitor god Vatu, whose self-destruction was believed to have created the cosmos. Vatu was made of a pure energetic substance which materialised as both physical and ethereal, and Vatu's decision to destroy itself came through its desire to create balance. As Vatu was all-powerful, it did not believe that any one being should wield absolute influence over anything else. This is closely aligned with the Daechist virtue of Equilibrium, which posits a notion of harmonic balance being the most important goal of any intelligent life. There was a great deal of variations among the culture groups over the nature of Vatu and its residual influence on the world. Some culture groups believed that Vatu would eventually reincarnate itself once the cosmos had achieved a state of full Equilibrium, while others believed that Vatu an emeninet being in that unity with Vatu could be achieved in the state of death without the need of its reincarnation. In any case, Vatu was universally believed to have no ability to influence the material world, as such power would amount to the absolute supremacy of one being over the entirety of creation. For this reason, Vatu was considered "dead" insofar as access to its essence was not possible in a human's lifetime.
The "Living" Kadi refers to the four most powerful gods in Daechism: Teza, Riat, Vezma, and Gayed. These Kadi manifested as a result of the unifying nature of Vatu's essence, which coalesced itself into the Living Kadi shortly after the creation of the cosmos. At first, these gods harboured a large amount of resentment for one another and participated in an extremely long period of conflict which only ended after their coming together in the creation of a mortal realm over which they would share their power. Each Living Kadi represented one aspect of the mortal world, typified through their association with certain seasons. Teza represented both Spring and birth, Riat both Summer and adulthood, Gayed both Autumn and eldership, and Vezma both Winter and death. The seasons represented periods over which one Kadi held power over the mortal realm, though it was also believed in some cultures that the other Kadi still held the power to influence the mortal realm even if it were not their season. Seasons were typically inaugurated with a celebration of the going god and a welcoming of the coming god, and these resulted in massive feasts, interclan sports competitions, and offerings of goodwill to fellow people, the Diunati, and the respective Kadi.
The Budi were the least powerful of the Divine Spirits, and represented singular aspects of the cosmos. Some culture groups did not worship any Kadi, while evidence exists of certain cultures worshipping more than a hundred unique Budi.
The Daechist belief in Equilibrium was universal across all variations of the religious system. The name Da ( ) is used in every descendant language of Proto-Endori-Chovi to mean balance, harmony, and unity. Equilibrium is a state of inner and outer balance with the cosmos. Those who had achieved Equilibrium in life were called Dati ( ) and played a significant role in their local communities as spiritual teachers and seers. While most Dati became Diunati ( , meaning "priests," or more literally "holy people"), a life dedicated solely to spiritual devotion was not required to achieve Da. Instead, the achievement of Da was considered to be possible for any person of any circumstances at any point in time. There were several ways in which one was capable of achieving Equilibrium, and each of these methods only required action on the part of the individual. To be recognised communally as in Equilibrium, however, one had to go through a series of rites of trial which varied according to culture group but were universally administered by already recognised Dati.
Generally, Inner Equilibrium ( , Ba'arda) was achieved through prolonged periods of meditation after the ingestion of Besha'ak ( ). The Besha'ak was viewed as an essential tool in the connection of the individual's Spirit to the rest of the world, and large quantities were typically given to a prospective Dati in order to foster strong emotional impulses. The trials could last for up to several days in some cases, and these long trials were typically only undertaken when there was a period of doubt by the adjudicating Dati during the initial phases of the trials. Once a person was viewed as having achieved Equilibrium within themselves, a second phase of trials was initiated with heavy emphasis on external stimuli. Some culture groups would hold elaborate ceremonies involving entire clans, hamlets, and even towns, with festivities held afterwards to celebrate the achievement of a new Dati among a clan or hamlet. Once a Dati had proven themself, they were expected to undertake a period of living in the wilderness as a final proving of their oneness with nature and the world. Upon their return after a varied period of time, they would reside with the Diunati of their hamlet or travel as a spiritual guide among a circuit of hamlets, villages, or towns.
Most people were not believed to be capable of achieving Equilibrium within their lifetime. It was believed that those who died without doing so would have their Spirit led into the night sky, and that with the coming of the next incarnation of Vatu their Spirit would be purged from existence after an indeterminate period of chaos and suffering. Those who had achieved Equilibrium in life would be in unity with the coming of the next Vatu, and thus would be able to live again in the world to come after the present. Traditions varied among the different Endori-Chovi cultures as to whether the next world was a more utopian-like one or one more akin to the present world. Only select people within a clan or hamlet were even given the opportunity to undertake the trials, and this highly exclusionary system caused many to join cults dedicated to specific living Kadi in the hopes that their own devotion might lead to the triump of one Kadi over all the others and the possibility of unification with that victorious Kadi through their devotion.