The priests of the Harvest of Vitae teach that Death is not an end, but a part of the cycle of Valara. Life is not the enemy, but just another part of the same cycle. The dying are not to be pitied, but should rejoice in the knowledge that their Vitae will be cleansed, purified and then reborn. Vitae returns to the cycle of life, death and rebirth, but souls belong to Seneroth, the Paragon of the Realm of Death. While the truth is uncertain, there are various beliefs about what happens to the souls that Seneroth collects. The most generally accepted doctrine is that all are the same in the eyes of the compassionate Seneroth, but the theory also exists that souls are sent on to an afterlife determined by the weighing of their souls. No matter what an individual believes happens to the souls, all agree that the process of death is necessary for the cycle of Valara and should be embraced as natural, necessary and inevitable.
Places of worship for the Harvest of Vitae are called Cathedrals. Cathedrals are castle-like structures built from dark stone. Constructed with the majesty and power of death in mind, they are erected with sweeping archways and imposing towers. Each wall of the elegant, imposing edifice is lined with windows of stained glass which depict endless seas of black sand, great chasms, black pyramids, and occasionally an image of Seneroth with the head of a jackal. A ring of dark sand extends from the foundation, two or three feet wide, and behind each Cathedral is a larger pit of the same dark sand mixed with ashes used as a funeral pyre. Inside, the floors are laid with black sandstone to replicate the feeling of the desert of the Realm of Death. Each house of worship contains an altar that holds a miniature version of a black pyramid and a bowl of a clear liquid. More affluent Cathedrals may also place a mask of a jackal head as well as a pair of Cerberus statues next to the pyramid.
The “priests” of Death don’t generally have a title for themselves, as that would set them apart from the congregation. All are the same in the eyes of Seneroth, right down to his clergy. They believe that they are not above being weighed in the heart of the maze and so do not seek to put themselves above the followers. All will be cleansed and purified in the end.
The Embodiment of Seneroth is chosen at random and serves for life. In order that the Embodiment remains nameless, the Embodiment wears a dark gray mask that covers his or her visage while in Convocation.
Those who seek atonement from Seneroth’s priests are met by a clergy whose face is covered in a light gray mask. The face of the mask is a stern countenance with a hint of compassion. Atonements are carried out in private, known only between the priest, the penitent, and Seneroth.
The symbol for Harvest of Vitae is a jar with an opening in the bottom. This symbol is worn as tattoos on devotees who follow this religion.
Harvest of Vitae
Religion of Death
“Give of my Vitae. Return me to Sand. Death is a journey. Seneroth is my guide.”