- Main article: The Hierocracy
Before there were ardents, there were priests who were involved a great deal more in politics and ruling the lands. Supposedly for the good of these lands, these priests attempted to seize control of and rule over them, thereby becoming their governing body, and controlling each their people, " ... for their own good." This was known as the Hierocracy.
The priests controlled what people learned, what religious paths they followed, and overall doctrine. They claimed to see visions and prophesy, and that the common people could not understand theology.
|“||"The church back then, it clung to knowledge. Men were not in command of their own religious paths; the priests controlled the doctrine, and few members of the Church were allowed to know theology. They were taught to follow the priests. Not the Almighty or the Heralds, but the priests."||”|
These priests were eventually cast down by Sunmaker and the church's power was broken, shattering the church into many different Devotaries. Even so, many Vorin teachings are still strongly practiced in former Vorin kingdoms.
Symmetry is an important part and holy attribute of Vorinism. The Double Eye of the Almighty, the names of the Heralds and Vorin writing systems are all symmetrical. Many lighteyes will often name their children one letter off from a Heraldic palindrome to evoke the holy term, but not be blasphemous. A ketek - a poem which reads the same forward and backward, was considered the highest and most impressive form of all Vorin poetry.
In Vorinism, people believe in the Almighty; a force of good and the creator of mankind. The Double Eye represents the creation of plants and creatures, while the Divine Prism, with its ten facets, represents the Almighty's Heralds. Vorinism tells of a struggle between forces of the Voidbringers and humanity. Supposedly, the Voidbringers forced humanity out of its afterlife, called the Tranquiline Halls (but readers now know this not to be true).
Practitioners of Vorinism believe that when they die, they continue on in their roles in their previous lives, but toward their regaining of the Tranquline Halls.
Believers avow that the Almighty gives everyone talents, and that choosing a Calling is a way of dedicating one's life to capitalizing on those talents. In Vorin belief, one's Calling is the task to which one dedicates one's life. It's regarded as worshipping the Almighty in the most fundamental way, and of vital importance to the faith.
Choosing a good profession and working hard at it was the best way to ensure good placement in the afterlife.
An oddity about all Vorin peoples is that they avoid overtly guessing the future. Even predicting the highstorms make many uncomfortable. Stormwardens, in particular, make most people of the faith uncomfortable, because they study highstorms and learn to predict them.
One of the central rites of Vorinism is the burning of prayers, which is considered to be the only way to actually communicate with the Almighty. There appears to be no constraint on the form beyond that they must be written down and lit on fire. The prayers are written in glyphs, which is also the only system by which men who are not of the ardentia are allowed to use. Glyphs could thus be used to invoke or protect against the power contained in their names, such as to ward off evil from one's home; appeals to protect loved ones; prayers for success, blessing, justice, or thanks. Glyphwards are prayers, commonly written on cloth and sewn onto the left sleeve, waiting for the day they'd be need to be burned for aid.
Another of those central rites is the interment of the dead. The ritual sayings are a series of keteks, some traditional, others composed by female family members for the event. Ardents burn these poems as prayers in braziers as well.
There are also words of passage spoken by an ardent, echoing Vorin belief:
|“||"Spirit, mind, and body," the wizened ardent said, her voice echoing in the stone catacomb. "Death is the separation of the three. The body remains in our realm, to be reused. The spirit rejoins the pool of divine essence that gave it birth. And the mind ... the mind goes to the Tranquiline Halls to find its reward."||”|
The priests of the Vorin religion are referred to as ardents and the ardentia as a whole. Both men and women can become ardents and thereby, in so doing, exempt from Vorin gender roles defined by masculine and feminine arts.
Each ardent belongs to one of several different Devotaries. He or she is addressed with the title of either 'Brother' or 'Sister'. Ardents assist members of the Vorin community to reach 'Points in their Glories and Callings'.
There are several religious congregations that proper Vorin people join, known as Devotaries. Each specific choice of Devotary is based on a variance in an individual's interpretation of the beliefs, but each Devotary encourages the expansion in the growth of a person's talents. This often had to do with the nature of one's chosen Calling.
So far, known Devotaries are the following:
- Devotary of Sincerity - Members of this Devotary worship the Almighty, but are guided by the belief that there are always more answers to be found; always something to learn. Amongst the membership, one is never penalized for asking questions, even those challenging Vorinism's own tenets. Members are found mainly in Vedenar. The Book of Endless Pages is their guide book.
- Devotary of Insight - No description is given for this Devotary. Many ardents from the Devotary of Insight are seen exchanging dulled lamps from the Palanaeum and putting infused ones in their place.
- Devotary of Purity - Members of this Devotary are focused on emulating the Almighty's honesty and wholesomeness, and pure things.
- Devotary of Denial - Members of this Devotary sought to experience separation from the physical needs of their bodies.
Additionally, the Order of Talenelat is mentioned. It is said its members dislike arguing over religion. This might be a jibe though, hinting at Herald Talenelat's reputation to fight for lost causes and Dalinar's argument about religion.
Vorin temples are always circular, with a gently sloping mound at their centers, by custom rising ten feet in height.
Some of the common teachings/beliefs/practices of the Vorin faith are as follows:
- The finest warriors will have the 'holy privilege' of fighting alongside the Heralds after death to reclaim the Tranquiline Halls from the Voidbringers.
- Lighteyes have been given a holy calling to rule others, primarily the darkeyes.
- Women are expected to cover their 'safe hand' for modesty. Some women simply wear a glove, but higher ranking women are expected to wear clothing that cover the entire length of the arm.
- Women are expected to pursue the fine, 'feminine arts' like mathematics, history, music, and writing. Men learned only glyphs, leaving letters and reading to their wives and sisters. (A man writing is viewed as being unmasculine, even blasphemous.)
- Many of the Vorin people avoid any type of guessing the future or prophecy, most likely due to the events that occurred with the Hierocracy and The War of Loss.
- The faith teaches that the Radiants turned against and abandoned mankind. Therefore, followers of the faith look upon the Radiants as something of evil.
The number ten has pervasive significance in Vorinism, apparently derived from the names of the ten Heralds and their symmetry. The names are used in the Vorin calendar and there are also connections with the magical system recognized by scholars of Roshar.
- 1 Jes
- 2 Nan
- 3 Chach
- 4 Vev
- 5 Palah
- 6 Shash
- 7 Betab
- 8 Kak
- 9 Tanat
- 10 Ishi
Chart is credited to Harakeke.
- The Way of Kings, 18. Highprince of War
- The Way of Kings, 33. Cymatics
- Lighteyes names
- The Way of Kings, 45. Shadesmar
- Oathbringer, 19. The Subtle Art Of Diplomacy
- Mythology of the World
- The Way of Kings, 3. City of Bells
- The Way of Kings, Inter6.
- Words of Radiance, 52. Into The Sky
- The Way of Kings, 44. The Weeping
- Oathbringer, 105. Spirit, Mind, And Body
- The Way of Kings, 7. Anything Reasonable
- The Way of Kings, 48. Strawberry
- Words of Radiance, Inter12.
- The Way of Kings, 54. Gibletish
- The Way of Kings, 15. The Decoy
- Words of Radiance, 12. Hero
- The Way of Kings, 6. Bridge Four
- Words of Radiance, 1. Santhid
- Ars Arcanum