The dominant Religion of the Zhu Empire has no unique name in its but is referred to under the umbrella term of Zhu by most outsiders and in conversation with outsiders. As old as the society itself it focuses on a set way of life and virtues that are to be followed and interpreted in a way that benefits both yourself and society. In terms of Deities it is a monotheistic faith but with various lesser beings of power and prophets within the cosmology that are revered or of great power and sometimes even prayed to, but not considered true deities by mainstream Zhu sects. The focus of worship is a being known as The Great Mother, considered their creator and whose dantian created the Sea of Chi. They were taught about her by the prophet Zhu Shang and the Empire formed under the goal of trying to create a society worthy of the Great Mother one day returning to.
There are three areas of life that the Zhu take note of: The Body, the Chi, and the Soul. When a Zhu dies they aren't buried but laid out somewhere away from wildlife with a sheet over their body, where the family holds a small ceremony over the next few hours their chi converts their body into base nutrients and returns it to the ground (Though people with unstable Chi will literally burn up instantly upon death). Both the Soul and the chi are believed to be brought into the Sea of Chi a mystical realm where where a vast sea of all the Empire's chi flows, seeping through the land and across space itself to the other areas.
There the person's essence is said to be processed by systems left in place by The Great Mother. If a person was honorable their soul is moved on to be joined with her in a state of bliss and enlightenment their chi recycled and sent out into the world on its own, helping keep the land and people healthy (or stored for them to later return). If they were a dishonorable in life both their soul and chi are kept together and recycled into a new life, that will have certain aspects and a vague memory kept over in hopes their soul can learn and have a more honorable life. While believed to be rare, the religion teaches that sometimes honorable people are reincarnated into the world to serve as legendary heroes and new prophets.
The core tenets of the kind of person a devout child of the Great Mother should be.
Strength: Weakness in all of its forms is to be challenged and overcome and not allowed to fester within one's body, mind, or soul. To accept the weakness within is to fail the Great mother and accept dishonor.
Courage: Never allow fear to take hold of your mind, one must fight through it and continue on with whatever causes them distress. To follow Zhu is never whimper in the face of fear, but to bare your fangs and destroy it.
Loyalty: Blood may be thicker than water but Loyalty is stronger than blood. Your loyalty must be the most sacred bond you have no matter who it may be too. When you swear loyalty you must stay true to it as long as it stays honorable, the faith and those who you are loyal to must take precedence over any others.
Honor: The most important of all tenets is to be an honorable person at all times. To disregard Honor is to forsake the Great mother and be a blight on society and those above you. Even in the face of certain death, Honor must be maintained for the integrity of one's soul is more important than the vessel of flesh
Discipline: Having control over one’s life, keeping yourself balanced in the aspects that form a proper Zhu. You must be able to control your emotions and reign yourself in when needed, or have the strength of will to force yourself to learn how. You don't abandon tasks of import and force yourself to see them through to the end. You must be in complete control and no instincts or circumstances should win over your mind unless you want them to.
Vha-Zhē Niang, former head of the organized Zhu religious government. Connections with less legal activities and organizations lead to charges of corruption and her eventually dismissal and arrest by the Qigekki. A replacement has yet to be chosen and various high priestess vie for the position as the Imperial government and the Qigekki council consider who it should be. Despite the serious crimes the current ruler of Zhu has been seen visiting Niang often, sparking rumors of an eventual pardon.
The different types of Priestesses