Reformed Temple of New Velothis
The Reformed Temple of New Velothis is a polytheistic, fictional-reconstructionist religious organization that serves as the de facto civil religion of The Independent State of New Velothis. It is based on the Tribunal Temple first seen in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, however, it does not aim to be an exact recreation of the in-universe Temple with its many fatal flaws and corruptions, but a living and growing tradition adapted to the unique needs of its members. Many Faithful of the Reformed Temple of New Velothis identify as "pop culture pagan," though others have chosen to distance themselves from the label.
Temple Faithful are granted automatic citizenship in the Independent State of New Velothis. As in Morrowind, hierarchy of the Temple is heavily tied to Great House Indoril.
Beliefs and Practices
The Reformed Temple of New Velothis emphasizes orthopraxy over orthodoxy, so, the precise individual beliefs of the Faithful may vary from person to person. That being said, there are a few things that can be said to be uniting beliefs among Temple Faithful.
RTNV Faithful revere the Tribunal of Almalexia, Sotha Sil, and Vivec. Though many only actively serve one Patron out of the Three, the official doctrinal position of the Temple is that they must be honored together as Three-in-One as well as individually.
The Reformed Temple of New Velothis takes as its moral system the Seven Graces: Humility, Generosity, Courtesy, Daring, Valor, Justice, and Pride.
Some of the Faithful may work with or worship other entities with origins in the Elder Scrolls universe, however, worship of the entities known as the Four Corners of the House of Troubles (Sheogorath, Molag Bal, Mehrunes Dagon, and Malacath) is prohibited, both for the individual safety of the Faithful and for the fact that these entities wish only to oppose the will of the Tribunal. Worship or traffic with the Four Corners is the only stated act of heresy in the Reformed Temple, and will result in a "what are you thinking" talk, followed by expulsion from the Temple if one does not consider that maybe they've made the wrong choice.
Occultism, Magic, and Witchcraft
Due to the Temple's roots in the pagan community, many of its members identify as witches or occultists of some kind. The strongest occult influence within the RTNV is reminiscent of Thelema, but all paradigms of practice are accepted under the Temple's umbrella. The mystical arm of the Temple is headed by High Diviner Varistrane.
Most magickal workings undertaken by the Temple as a whole, in keeping with the Fictional Reconstructionist ideal of combating disenchantment by merging other worlds with ours, focus on establishing a connection between this world and Tamriel, specifically Morrowind.
Literality of Belief
The literality of belief in the Tribunal is left up to interpretation. Most Faithful believe in the "everything exists somewhere" variant of multiverse theory, which allows for such things as fictional gods not being as fictional as previously thought. Others may not believe in the literal existence of the Tribunal, but find the rituals, moral system, and community to be useful for their own psychodramatic narrative.
The seeds of what would become the Reformed Temple of New Velothis were planted in November 2018, by three people who NV citizens will likely know as Calden, Ildemyne, and Varistrane.
At the time of the Temple's founding, Calden was a new worshipper of ALMSIVI who had come to faith through an Elder Scrolls Online roleplay guild initiation that had had more spiritual resonance than he'd expected it to. After some bad experiences that had come as a result of involvement in esoteric spiritual communities on the internet, he was hesitant to attempt to find or create community based around the Triune Way, but fate was soon to take a different course.
Varistrane, an acquaintance (at that time) of Calden's who had been a follower of the Triune Way for some time already, began to find common ground with Calden in matters of faith soon after that. As they further got to know each other on that basis, they both began to ask the same questions: "Are there more of us? How can we find them?"
The answer was soon to come, as Ildemyne, another of Calden's longtime friends, began to feel the same pull—initially to Almalexia, but later, to Vivec. Prior to this, Ildemyne's primary interest in the universe of The Elder Scrolls was the Khajiit, not the Dunmer, but various dreams and signs led them to the Triune Way all the same. This development hardly signaled the beginning of the effort to rebuild the Temple, as that would not come much later, but it certainly signaled the beginnings of a community of Faithful, small as it was.
As the founders learned to work together as a team, and the community grew under their guidance, it became clear that each of them had a role to play in the rebuilding of the Temple in this world. These roles were ones that they seemed to fall into naturally—Varistrane as esoteric mystic, Calden as teacher and guide in matters practical, Ildemyne as stabilizing force. And eventually, each of them, through independent revelation, came to receive a title. Calden, following the example of AYEM, became Initiator and High Cleric. Varistrane, following the example of SEHT, became Prognosticator and High Diviner. And Ildemyne, following the example of VEHK, became Justiciar and High Ordinator.
The Temple as a whole began its existence as a small, relatively disorganized Discord server of loosely connected friends and acquaintances, with one or two less than successful attempts to go public. It formally opened to the public on 5 June 2019.
The Reformed Temple of New Velothis is divided into three Orders—the Order of Clerics, which is headed by Calden, the Order of Diviners, which is headed by Varistrane, and the Order of Ordinators, which is headed by Ildemyne. No one Order has any more power within the Temple than any other, however, the Clerics serve as its public face, the Diviners as its mystical/occult arm, and the Ordinators as its internal justice system.
Each Order has its own hierarchy and training system, many of which are still in progress at the time of this article's creation.
Role in New Velothi Politics
Officially, the Reformed Temple of New Velothis stays out of New Velothi politics, however, its membership and House Indoril are closely intertwined to the point that the opinions of the Temple will often affect the opinions of House Indoril to a significant degree.