The Lady of Sorrows weeps for her husband and children: The Fire Father who was slain by the Stranger, and the Wayang, many of whom were hunted by the False Lord's creations. She is the Keeper of the Cycle of Life, by which the Wayang are born and reborn, becoming shadows on death until they may start anew. Indeed, the Wayang revere all shadows as the past and future lives of their people.
History (Oral) Edit
We lived in caves, in the land beyond, we did. We worshiped the Father of Fire and the Mother of Shadows, the creator and the recreator, and lived well for millenia in our dark, nameless land. In that time we had our own heroes and legends of old, like yourselves, yet they had no names, for we had no voices, for we had no need. We told our tales with our puppets, that of the Slayer of the Nightstalker and that of the Great King, of the mighty and just Father and the kind and nurturing Mother. We lived our lives in silence and peace... until he came. The Stranger who named himself Lord, and brought with him beasts and war. Our mighty civilization was laid low, for we knew not how to fight. And so we hid, those few that were left, the Mother watching over us while the Father challenged the Lord. The Father was vastly outnumbered, but he alone wielded fire to keep the army at bay while they fought. The Father bested the Lord easily, though made the mistake of letting the villain live, for no sooner was his back turned before the lord was upon him again, slaying him and dousing his flame.
Sumbru's fate was preordained. The gate was the key, for out of death came life, the salvation of a culture long oppressed and on its last limbs. For years they ran and hid under the Lady's concealing shadows, always under pursuit of the Lord of Night. She wept for she could not save us, she could not slay he who slew the Father, and she had not the strength or power to create a new gate, so she looked further out into the unknown for a way out. And so we ran, discovering our voices and learning to fight for many years more, until she found the answer. She found Sumbru's gate.
The Lady felt the bond weakening as the connection broke; she preserved it, and opened it before us so that we could finally escape. That was when we came to the city, both already ravaged by war. It could not stand up to the Lord's minions as she had hoped, and within the week, they had overrun the city as well. Thankfully, this world was stronger than the one before, and together we could push the hordes back, even if we could not destroy them or him. Containment would suffice, and so it did for a few decades, before He tried a different tactic. Whether through promises of wealth or power, he found followers among the humans that had stayed, and had a stronger foothold in the city. Worship of the Lady, as well as the older gods of Sumbru, was outlawed under punishment of death.
The Lady still speaks to and through us, but her presence feels weaker. She was bound to the other side and so she had to stay, but the spirits still guide us and others now too, as those few who survived flocked to the comfort of this new, benevolent goddess. The Great Cycle continues in this strange new world.
Clergy and Practices Edit
She has no true organized religion; instead she blesses certain individuals with powers and wisdom allowing them to commune with their dead kin, among other things. These oracles are revered almost as much as the shades that possess them and the Lady herself, and are usually the leaders of the people. Communing usually involves sealing oneself in a room (or similar closed area), lighting a fire (representing the Old Father), and speaking to both their own and the shadows of puppets placed around the flame.
Holy Texts Edit
Much of Wayang history is oral, and many stories are portrayed through shadow puppet plays. There are roughly 200 that are committed to memory by the priesthood (individually called Dalangs), though efforts are being made to inscribe them into a single text, the Buku Bayangan.
Shrines and Temples Edit
There are no permanent places of worship within the city, as public worship is strictly forbidden by the Inquisition. Most followers have a hidden shrine within their home, usually centered around the hearth. The Dalangs must also make efforts to conceal themselves, as their inborn powers and relation to the Lady make them heretical figures, and thus are ripe targets for servants of the Lord of Perpetual Night.