Cult of Tae'asha'asra [Tie-Asha-Azra]
The Cult of Tae'asha'asra originated from the region of Ushïmaëlys, and is a branch of the Al'Tifali faith, the followers of the Two Fold Queen. It is actively taught at the Ushïmaëlys University and maintained by the Monks there.
Like all Waerd the Tae'asha'asra foillow the Two Fold Queen as their utmost revered being, who guides them between the light and the dark. They hold to her core teachings as all Waerd see them, that death is a path of light, the shadow cast by the light. They view community as the utmost core value to protect, and balance in the world around them as the most important factor in determining "right" from "wrong".
Key theological differences
Less pacifist, the Tae'asha'asra or Tae-as Waerd, are much less likely to sit in their settlements and defend. Partly this is because the Shrublands steppe simply lacks caves and the natural defenses the Semi-Arid Desert affords. The faith itself is much more militant however, believing that communities should be actively defended, that attacking enemies is as good as befriending them, and that defending the teachings of the Two Fold Queen themselves often requires more direct intervention.
"Peace is the prefered status of all living things. To live in harmony and to die in peace, one with the cycle of life in the world around us. However to surrender to violence and fail to protect one's family is to lack harmony and balance. Therefore sometimes taking up the sword and bow is essential to restoring the balance of the world. Thus death is the balance to peace, war to life. None of these must be shunned. A true Waerd must know how to fight."
"There are only two ways to know your community is safe. If all other rivals are either your brother, or they are dead."
A greater focus on the natural world and the spirits that inhabit it. They do not outright accept the spirit world as the Faedin see it, and yet accept "spirits" in a more nebulous and vague manner as an act of syncretism. The balance of the world must therefore however not only include that which is of value to the tribes of Mann, but also all living things. This makes them more hesitant to kill, even though paradoxically they are more accepting of warfare. While they still eat meat, fruits and vegetables commonly favoured by the Kypiq are much more common in the diets of Tae-as Waerd. "The living force of the land is itself important. Without life there cannot be death, and death is merely a stage on the path of life. To respect the land and all living things is therefore essential in avoiding extremities of thought and deed, and thus essential to maintaining the balance."
Linking hand in hand with their Shrublands lifestyle and closer connection to the land and the creatures on it, the Tae-as Waerd also have a closer bond to their horses. Revered as a near necessity when riding the open flat shrublands, it is accepted that all Tae-as Waerd own a horse, and that when going to battle, that horses are an absolute essential. They treat their horses more as pets, replacing the dogs and other animals commonly found elsewhere.
"A warrior without a horse, is a warrior without legs. A warrior without legs cannot fight, and is therefore not in balance and can no longer defend their family."
"Lend your horse your friendship, welcome it into your family, and when you need to run, it shall lend you it's speed."
Contemplative meditation is a required normal daily practice. To seek out the middle path of their own minds and find an emotional and mental balance within themselves. It is common to see workers in the field pause all at once and spend a moment feeling the breeze on their faces and contemplating the world around them.
"The path to balance is not only sought in the physical and spiritual worlds, but also within the mental. Within our own mind is a place of thought that itself must attain balance and harmony."
Accepting strangers is a more common practice, with the Tae-as Waerd being far less Xenophobic than their cousins. Accepting differences and change is seen much more as a normal part of life, and thus essential to balance. Of course, being Waerd they cannot accept too much change.
"Welcome the stranger, for they are part of the growth of the world. They are life as you are life, and with them you may learn to grow. Be wary of those who would harm your family or mislead you though. In this find balance in your dealings with the stranger."
Religious observance is more of a personal issue, left to their private meditations and their fulfillment of life and death on the back of their horses, riding across the shrub-plains.
Within the capital of Ushïmaëlys however the priesthood are active in the community and the University hosts regular public plays, debates, lectures and poetry readings. As such religion takes on a more active role, comparable to that of the Virori as well as other Waerd. This sits well with the Neran in the region, but feels much more alien to foreign Waerd who are not used to the more laid back nature and active thought of the Tae-as Waerd.
The Tae-as Waerd also have a tendency to heavily utilise bright colours on buildings, and decorate indoor areas with flowering plants as much as possible in a way to connect the living world outside with the "dead" world of their houses. Their symbol of the flower Mandala tends to feature heavily in symbology, often intermingled with the eye of the Two Fold Queen, and even at times Faedin symbology.