Before we are forced to adjourn
It’s vital the instars all learn
The holiest creed
The one we must heed
Is from dung we are born and return
Way, way, waaaaaaaaaaay back in the day, when the Fundaments first took form, Boorglezar, the cosmic dung beetle, gathered unto him/her/itself all the leftover excrescent crud, the creational dung, if you will, and rolled it all into a big ball. This enormous clod, so the Boorglezarians preach, is the very Oith upon which we dwell. From that original ball of cosmogonal detritus sprang forth all life and pretty much everything else. Whether true or not, this theory, and the resultant worship of Boorglezar, is extremely popular among many of Oith’s denizens. In fact, Boorglezarianism is second only to Hoomanitarianism as the glob’s most prominent faith.
Perhaps the primary reason for Boorglezarianism’s widespread following is the expansive ambiguity in the holy scriptures. Boorglezar, being sort of a universal being, is pretty much all things to all peeps. He’s (I’m going to say “he” even though it’s not entirely accurate) both male and female and also no gender and every gender all at the same time. Boorglezar is the creator of just about everything, but he’s also destined to destroy the Oith at some time in the indeterminate future. He’s a rampaging party beast and a stoic intellectual. A desperate strumple and an abstinent prude. He’s tall and short, fat and slim, boisterous and meek, ingenious and moronic… Boorglezar is the whole caboodle. He’s also nothing, a great brimming void and a barren abundance. He is everything you’ll never be, kind of like an overachieving big sister. Why can’t you be more like Boorglezar?
Because of this myriadical existence, Boorglezar’s followers can pretty much act however they want. As long as they do it in Boorglezar’s name it’s all good. This leads to a great deal of division among the faith’s various sects, cults, and factions. There are almost as many variants of Boorglezarianism as there are Boorglezarians. Many holy rollers pick a few aspects of their gawd and spout the gab in adoration of those ideals and Boorglezar’s idealization thereof. Others embrace the chaotic dichotomy of Boorglezar’s multifarious nature. In many ways, the multiple aspects of Boorglezar are akin to the innumerable gawds of the Karmasuturists and the Pox Aromans or the Patron Stains of the Jeezle Freaks. Each represents a fragment of experience and accepts obeisance in deference to its particular bailiwick. Boorglezar is a pantheon of one.
In the face of such nebulous indistinction, a holy roller might turn to scripture for answers. With Boorglezarianism this often leads to more turmoil. The Boorglebiblios, sacred texts lain down millenia ago by Shimmizar, Boorglezar’s main dude, are a revered and consecrated collection of volumes, the most hallowed writings of the faith and the basis of everything that’s come since. Unfortunately, they’re really, really confusing. The Boorglebiblios are several dozen volumes and many thousands of pages of contradictions, allegories, and cryptic befuddlements. They’re written in such a way that a peep could interpret them to justify or condemn just about anything. And peeps do. Often. It’s unclear whether Shimmizar intended to cause such segmentation among the followers of Boorglezar, but it is what it is.
Thankfully, most of Oith’s influential puparchs preach the happier aspects of Boorglezarianism. Such virtues as tolerance and harmony are encouraged. Instead of focusing on conflict and the divisive nature of hardcore Boorglezarianism, they goad adherents toward the three aspects of devotion they can all agree on: reverence for Almighty Boorglezar, respect for the prophet Shimmizar, and admiration of the sacred ball of dung. Of course the degree to which one of these things deserves esteem over the others is a source of constant debate and occasional warfare.
Did I just say sacred ball of dung? Yes indeed. Dung, and most importantly, dung formed into a ball, is a divine substance to Boorglezarians. It comes from us and we come from it (see, plants and fungus are nurtured by it, we eat them, etc…). We eventually become it when we die (assuming something eats us) and, if Shimmizar’s writings are strategically deciphered, the whole Fundamental everything is made of it, at least the parts we get to interact with. Basically, we are all gawd poop. Whether all this is meant to be taken literally or allegorically is open to (extensive) debate. We’ll leave that for the holy rollers to discuss.
As one of Oith’s most prominent religions, Boorglezarianism is extremely widespread. Its adherents can be found, in one form or another, all over the place. Major boorgthedrals and taboorgnacles exist in most of Oith’s larger burgs, while just about every village from Clorb’s Wang to the The Middle of Nowhere has at least one shrine or chapel. A particularly vehement form of Boorglezarianism is practiced in That One Place With All the Sand. Peeps around those parts are very intolerant of other religions. The worship of other gawds is forbidden by sultanical decree and punishable by all sorts of nastinesses.
One of Boorglezarianism’s greatest monuments is the vast edifice known as the Boorglezarium. Nestled, perhaps even secreted, deep within the looming Teats of Boorglezar wholewhence of the Phesterance, this enormous temple is a tribute to all the many aspects of the Boorglezarian faith. Pilgrims and tourists from across the Oith traipse through its massive maw to pay their respects to the tomb of Shimmizar, to gaze upon the majestic Thousandfold Faces of Boorglezar, and to nab some sweet Boorglezar plushies in the gift shop. We’ll discuss the place in more depth a bit later on, but I figured a mention at this point was relevant.
Although it would take a volume many times the size of this one to describe all of Boorglezarianism’s various factions, and a lifetime far more expansive than my own to experience them all, a few notable sects are about to get their beans spilled…
The Brothers of the Blessed Bone Bucket of Boorglezar: Centered in Floom but gathering followers elsewhere, monks of this order attend to various funerary services and see to the disposal of dead things. Many consider it their holy mission to destroy various spirits …of the danged wherever they are found. Even though they call themselves brothers, sisters are welcome among the order as well. It’s just less alliterative that way.
The Dunglings: The sacred ball of dung being, well, sacred and all, these guys are all about it. They venerate Boorglezar’s hallowed sphere and ponder the significance of the object, not only as a ritually compelling artifact but also as a philosophical and mathematical entity of mystery. Many wonders of existence can be discerned through the study of dung balls, apparently. There’s a whole thing about it, and I’m sure it’s very interesting. Not surprisingly, this sect is popular among dungces and particularly lonely croaches.
The Gelded Strumples: This unusual sect practices ritual castration and… You know what, let’s just move on.
The Instriders: Dung happens. Sometimes a peep just has to say what the goose and accept the things he can’t change. Adaptability is the central philosophy of the Instrider sect. Puparch Throttled Sharm leads the flock from the Metamorphic Taboorgnacle in New Oorlquar, the décor of which is altered daily to reflect the ever-changing and often contradictory nature of the faith. If you can’t change it, roll with it. If you can’t roll with it, grow wheels.
The Undecided: These peeps are so befuddled by the whole conflicted mishmash of personalities inherent to the faith they can’t even make decisions for themselves. What would Boorglezar do? is impossible to fathom when one considers the infinitude of possible answers. To aid in this quandary, the Undecided have devised a solution: let Boorglezar decide. They use hallowed Cubes of Sacramental Resolve. These objects, which are rarely actually cubic, are snazzily crafted polyhedrons with a varying number of sides. Upon each face is a particular word or symbol. An Undecided rolls this die upon waking and continues his day according to the whim of the cube. If the face says “cowardly”, for example, the adherent might spend the day whimpering and hiding behind stuff. If it says “gregarious” he’ll be overly friendly to everyone. The number of faces and how often the cube is rolled are determined by the orthodoxy of the participant. More devotion generally means more decisions are left to Boorglezar, which generally translates to more options and more frequent rolling. An alternate Sphere of Sacramental Resolve, features a liquid-filled black sphere inside which is placed a transient question-answering cube. The devotee asks a question, such as Should I be nice to peeps today? and the sphere answers Without a doubt or Ask again later, or any of a number of other responses.
Rites, Rituals, and Observances
Boorgsmas is the most important holy day in the Boorglezarian religion. Even the most casual follower rolls out the family dung ball and dances a jig or two in deference to the creator. It’s a time of feasts and revelry for most, a solemn and dignified period of fasting and reflection for others. Peeps in Babajuana partake of something called the Babajuana Bountiful Boorgsmas Banquet, a massive city-wide brunch buffet hosted by Sultan Pepper. Even slaves are allowed to partake. It’s festive.
Other holy days include the Feast of the Greased Beast, Boorgbabble, Dung Rolling Day, Shimzmas, Boorglezar’s Big Feed, and a thousand and twelve others. Each sect, cult, and faction has its own observances and I’m not strong enough to carry a calendar that lists them all.
Boorglezarianism is particularly fashionable among croaches and dungces, although a fair number of werms, piles, and others revere the cosmic dung beetle as well. Oofos like him because he has the word cosmic in his title. I’ve never heard of a Boorglezarian horc, but stranger things exist.
A pretty rigid hierarchy abides within the more structured sects of Boorglezarianism. Novitiates enter the Boorgthedral as pre-pupes. From there they may be promoted to instars, planidia, and other higher rankings. Puparchs are the heads of particular orders or taboorgnacles. In That One Place With All the Sand Sultan Pepper rules the roost, both as the secular boss of the land and as the residing theocrat and interlocutor. Peeps say he speaks directly to the prophet Shimmizar, and I wouldn’t risk my noggin enough to dispute it.
Most prominent among Boorglezarian symbols is the omnipresent ball of dung. Holy rollers and other faithful peeps display it proudly upon their person and in their homes.
While many factions and sects have their own clerical dress code, some garish and opulent, others meager and dull, the faith as a whole doesn’t have a standard vestment. The color brown and other oithy hues are popular.
Sins, Virtues, and Offerings
Despite the incredibly diverse ways in which the religion is practiced throughout the world there are a few cardinal virtues that hold true for all Boorglezarians. Foremost among them is the obvious reverence for Boorglezar, his prophet Shimmizar, and the sacred dung ball. Insulting, defacing, or otherwise failing to show deference to any of these could get a holly roller snubbed. Each sect has its own various merits, ethics, injustices, no-nos, and forbearances, but respect for Boorglezar and his jazz is pretty universal.
Atonement, too, takes many forms. From simple, tedious dung rolling to holy quests in the name of Boorglezar, such penance depends on the severity of the transgression and the tenets of whatever particular sect is involved.