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History of Ursidaeanism
Ursidaeanism was introduced to the Tokamak region (Teton, North Teton, Alkali) around the year 950. It quickly spread and was readily accepted throughout the region due to its ability to absorb the indigenous animist beliefs of the Tokamaki people.
Ursus Maritimus was the founder of Ursidaeanism and the final prophet of the god Ursidae. He was born and raised in the wilderness east of Tokamak. Little is known of his childhood and young adulthood. At age 26, the God Ursidae, revealed himself as a bright light and admonished Ursus to travel to the Tokamaki people and teach that he is “the one uncreated Creator.” All peoples will worship Ursidae and bow before the final judgement.
Ursus, loved and pleasing to Ursidae, ascended to heaven without experiencing a mortal death. He was so loved by Ursidae for his good works and obedience that he was spared the pain and torment of a continued life on earth.
Ursidaeanism is primarily a belief that current life is temporary and inherently evil. There will be a Golden Age or Paradise on Earth where "Ursidae will reign" prior to the final judgment and future eternal state.
This is not the "end of the world", but the penultimate age, prior to when it is believed that the world will end. Some believe that between the millennium and the final end of the world there will be a brief period to allow a final battle with Surtr.
Surtr is the embodiment of evil and the ruler of this world of darkness. His flaming sword, when drawn, signifies the end of the world. He comes from a land of eternal flame.
- There is one universal and transcendental God, Ursidae, the one uncreated Creator and to whom all worship is ultimately directed.
- Ursidae’s creation - truth and order - is the antithesis of chaos, falsehood and disorder. The resulting conflict involves the entire universe, including humanity, which has an active role to play in the conflict.
- Active participation in life through good thoughts, good words and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep the chaos at bay. This active participation is a central element in Ursidae’s concept of free will, and Ursidaeanism rejects all forms of monasticism.
- Ursidae will ultimately prevail, at which point the universe will undergo a cosmic renovation and time will end. In the final renovation, all of creation - even the souls of the dead that were initially banished to "darkness" - will be (re)united in God.
According to Ursidaean tradition, the beginning of life was fire and ice, with the existence of only two worlds: Melursus and Helarctos. When the warm air of Melursus hit the cold ice of Helarctos, the giant Ymir and the icy bear Thalarctos were created. Ymir's foot bred a son and a man and a woman emerged from his armpits, making Ymir the progenitor of the Jotun, or giant bears. Whilst Ymir slept, the intense heat from Melursus made him sweat, and he sweated out Surtr, a giant of fire. Later Ymir woke and drank Thalarctos milk. Whilst he drank, the bear Thalarctos licked on a salt stone. On the first day after this a man's hair appeared on the stone, on the second day a head and on the third day an entire man emerged from the stone. His name was Bure.
The end times
The Ursidaean vision of the future is bleak. Traditional prophecies, as described in the Malayanus texts and several other texts, say that the world shall fall into chaos and degradation. There will then be a rapid influx of perversity, greed and conflict. Ursidae will return to the earth to rule for 1000 years at the conclusion of which will be the Final Judgment of humankind.
There are differing denominations of Ursidaeanism throughout the Tokamak region.
Beronism: Arktos Beron promulgated Beronism. He taught that salvation and eternal life are granted by the grace of Ursidae. No works are necessary to please, buy, or earn grace. It is a gift of love.
Dualism: Kanuti Kodiak preached an extreme version of Ursidaeanism known as Dualism. Dualists believe in the dual and co-existence of a malevolent embodiment of evil and a supreme being embodying good. They believe humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by evil. Freedom is attained through spiritual knowledge available only to the elite.
Beornism: Bela Beorn believed and taught salvation and eternal life can only be achieved by works. Their fundamental principle for life is to “"struggle in the way of God" or "to struggle to improve one's self and/or society". This concept is known as “berzerker”. Beornists rely heavily on the 3rd principle of basic beliefs listed above: active participation in life through good thoughts, good words and good deeds is necessary to ensure happiness and to keep the chaos at bay. Extremists of this philosophy go to all lengths to perpetuate the reign of Ursidae in his next coming. They believe all peoples should bow and prepare for the coming of Ursidae. Violence toward and annihilation of any that refuse to confess Ursidae as supreme is considered a good deed and will, therefore, be rewarded. In fact, martyrdom is the most expedient way to heaven.