This survey will cover several since-abandoned beliefs and belief systems held by pori early in our history. These beliefs are examined for their content or practices entailed, what led to the beliefs, and why the beliefs have been abandoned. The majority of the beliefs examined in the literature are centered on Porrair in different aspects. The most prominent theme is the placation of the pori’s parental Deity Porrair, including assumptions on what will or will not appease the Deity, what her views of all mortal species are, and what her ultimate desires for the species are. The other notable theme covered in this survey is our sense of self and identity as a species, rather than an extension of a Deity left to work in Omneutta in her absence.
Since the Timekeeping Reset and the absence of Porrair in our—the collective pori species’—lives, records and findings of contact with our parental Deity have faded from collective memory, been poorly maintained, or been entirely lost. We have allowed assumptions and guesswork to instead take it’s place for generations, and only within the last two centuries have we examined the perceived need to placate Porrair.
Previous writings have discussed this examination one subject at a time—focusing on the matter of the moment—where this survey seeks to compile these writings and view this questioning as a whole movement that has changed and shaped pori culture over several generations into something that would likely be unrecognizable by our volcano-dwelling ancestors.
The least formalized literature is where we will begin in this survey: discussing the cultural and governmental decision to move out of and away from the interior of volcanoes. In the initial report highlighting the many needs to be met by moving away from volcanoes—Report 275.4-2—the Hanullzis inadvertently started a centuries long discussion on fulfilling the assumed requirements of Porrair. Less covered are the nearly two decades of discussions on the subject of whether or not moving from the geographic locales that Porrair had placed our ancestors would be acceptable to the Deity. Eventually, cultural opinion swayed in the favour of the move, and it was not well documented whether the pori of the time did so under the idea that it would not anger Porrair, or that they did not care if it would do so, in light of the issues that made the move necessary.
Issued after the move, Report 312.7-11 examined the role of the to-that-point relatively unused concept of “political pull”, concluding that in this new political system it would not be possible to conceive, ratify, and execute a cultural change this monumental without the widespread and overwhelming approval of the pori at large. While it was noted earlier that detailed records of exactly what this approval was based on—and it remains true that it could be a combination of the two previously mentioned reasons if not more—it can be inferred from the lack of other documented events that this is the first time that the pori were at a large scale discussing challenging Porrair’s perceived preferences.
Porrair is attributed a watchful eye over her species and to some extent all Sentient Species; she is heralded by the moniker “flaming eye” several times throughout The Po, and the rest of the Ontiba as a whole. We have documentation of Porrair seemingly watching pori from impossible distances—not within material fields of vision—from The Po, but very little documentation from Before Time exists of this behavior outside of that resource. We have collectively assumed this practice continues in After Time, and this belief was strengthened by our early contacts with other species. Of particular interest to this survey is Report 98.9-1—one of our first recorded contacts with turths—that reported widespread cultural knowledge even in 98 A.T. of Taruthe disguising himself as statues of himself in order to keep a closer eye on his species.
While we have no statues of Porrair—marble or otherwise—it has long been assumed that Porrair engaged in the same or similar practices. Seen in the book of Zisloomall, Porrair has in the past been prone to expecting progress reports, making inquiries, and overseeing more often than necessary. It is not without cause to expect this to behavior to have continued after the Timekeeping Reset, but it seems to be an incorrect assumption provided with no evidence to support.
Furthermore, there is recorded but unpublished conflict within academic discussion on Porrair’s view on the species as a whole. In the book of Agaellzis, she says in certain terms that the pori is nothing more than an extension of her ability to conduct more experiments. Yet the other two serve different purposes. The implication of the exchange is that if there were more pori like Agaellzis, they would serve the same functions.
Another set of beliefs to unpack center around the daekoiz, or are at least useful to center around the least supported. Despite no evidence in The Po to confirm such or to originate the belief, it is seen in several reports—Report 87.4-19 is believed to be the first and Report 471.10-2 the most recent—that the daekoiz were created by Porrair to be stewards or guardians of the environment. The most plausible evidence in support of this belief comes from the events preceding and necessitating the move outside of volcanoes that saw several decades of increased encounters between pori and the animals.
While this survey will not detail and refute each explanation of the belief, the following will be mentioned for the purpose of consolidation: pori have yet to discover a natural defense or invent any otherwise from the creatures as an indication they are to act as barriers to us, that their documented lifespans dwarf ours—a belief springing from a single daekoiz documented through Report 128.1-4 to 428.1-1—in order to adequately pass on protective knowledge, and that they can consume without danger the very material we are made of as further evidence of the first point. However, it must be stated that the documented overpopulation across Parallelium contributed more to the increase in encounters in that there was less molten material available to both pori and daekoiz causing resource scarcity conflicts, and that the same rate of encounters per-thousand-pori likely held true with an increased number of pori yielding an increased number of encounters.
While it does not seem to be an erroneous belief, the writer has noted that the daekoiz would have required collaboration with the Deity Quarrnyl in order to produce—some of these collaborations are recorded in the Ontiba and others are not—along with the collaboration between Porrair and Aster to produce the pori ourselves. Despite these creative collaborations and despite her at-times-described overbearing presence in the Before Time lives of the pori, Porrair is not attributed the descriptors for these same feats unlike Quarrnyl and Aster being described as “motherly” or “protective” respectively. Twenty-seven days were spent exhausting every single retained Report for any mention of either descriptor with none found.
Though we assume Porrair to have restrictive views of the Sentient Species as a whole and pori specifically, this survey of the available literature suggests that this is not the case. Despite her recorded exchanged with Agaellzis and several recorded instances of interrupting Zisloomall’s work, there is no further evidence that these practices or views continue past the Timekeeping Reset. As early as her directives to the species—long past the time of the first three pori—Porrair implies agency to the pori. This implication was caught by the academic community though unpublished, and not by the pori as a collective whole. No published literature documents any reasoning behind why this interpretation of her Directives are not shared among all pori.
Further evidence to the point that Porrair does not or no longer holds these restrictive views is that there is no documentation of her behaving in similar fashion to other Deities to whom these views are also ascribed. While Porrair is often interpreted as being disappointed with the original three pori’s progress throughout The Po, she does not take to the extreme measures of Davoto as seen with the avoc Lu’Sca.
To Be A Pori
Apparent in each of our daily lives are the invocations of Porrair. Whether it be in the context of experiments, manual labor, governance, education, travel, or any other corner of pori life, pori by and large invoke our parental Deity’s name in hopes of success or as thanks for perceived success. We have long operated under the assumption that knowledge is Porrair’s; see Report 396.5-2 for a finding that many pori of the time spread the fable that Porrair continued to work without the aid of pori after the Timekeeping Reset. The idea that all of Omneutta’s knowable discoveries have either mostly or entirely been made by Porrair and are being slowly accessed by the pori through Porrair invalidates the actual work that pori have done themselves.
This section will focus on how our views have formed into this framework, and why it is erroneous. Like many of the previous beliefs we do not have enough data or literature to be certain where or when the belief originated, but its development and spread across Parallelium can be tracked, roughly. Seen through the overwhelming majority of reports between the years 150 and 290 A.T. either begin or end with crediting Porrair for discovery, knowledge, ability, or resources involved in the report. Nominally this behavior appears benign, but when combined with the overwhelming belief of many pori that the knowledge itself is Porrairs—hoarded, controlled, or otherwise allowed to be discovered by pori—it discredits the work of the pori themselves made in these reports.
It is not only in the reports, but in the utterances of each end every pori around the writer and likely each reader are these invocations of Porrair. Discussed earlier, Porrair’s view of Agaellzis as continuation of her work—not simply remaking her discoveries or reproducing her findings but a key factor in work she did not have the time for—should perhaps be how we see ourselves. Is this not a justifiable basis for a cultural and individual identity, or do we resign ourselves to believing we are only allowed what Porrair gives us? While pori are not at the philosophical depth of kets and turths, it is a question that should be contended as a whole, rather than in pieces as we have been for the last few centuries.
Central to the pori existence in many ways is the reliance on observational data and confirmed hypotheses. Operating under the assumption that we are not individuals contributing our knowledge and work into collective gains is diametrically opposed to how we organize our research: it is inconsistent with the data we have. If a department repeatedly ran experiments or studies based on direct contradictions to repeated observations we would understandably sanction the department and adjust the personnel structure accordingly. These beliefs of Porrair are unconfirmed, and yet we have for centuries believed in them and lived their eventualities to the detriment of creating not only a collective cultural identity independent of Porrair, but individual identities.
In many regards we have moved beyond these beliefs by coincidence and not well-governed thought, collectively changing without giving thought to underpinnings of the beliefs but abandoning them nonetheless. Two examples with different examples of belief abandonment but consistent underpinnings are the early division into racial classification of pori and the style of music at one point used to worship Porrair. Both of these practices are at their core based on incorrect and unsubstantiated beliefs regarding Porrair, and both were abandoned not because those beliefs were challenged.
Upon contact with other Sentient Species such as the kettlah, it was believed that like them—and crucially, without any corroboration from Porrair’s writings or effects—we were divided racially. Observationally, we knew that there were inherent differences between the races now known as Ylargi, Yleia, and Yluiar but we had assumed for several generations that these were superficial differences. However the kets were propagated as a species from the first generation: each of the first ket was the progenitor for the race; each race was truly a different sub-species, meant for different tasks from Haket. We took this to mean our species were parallel, that our races were meant for different tasks, since Porrair had assigned different roles for each of her first three pori, and quickly set out to determine which race each of the first three were.
Music in pori culture—more aptly classified as organized sonic guides now—was originally created for the purposes of worship of Porrair, explicitly to prove that we were capable of grasping the complexities of Omneutta. This complexity took on new forms during the period mentioned in the prior paragraph in which pori thought themselves purposefully different based on what we now know to be mineral concentration at time of genesis, and took on further complexity as these different forms cohered following. The complexity was ultimately abandoned recently with only a few reports—491.7-2 mentioning it in passing as a new form of music gets commissioned for the first time and 478.8-1 which describes the height of overcomplexity negatively—chronicling the end of several centuries worth of musical practice without commenting on the origin, or necessity.
The unconscious need to center Porrair permeates perhaps our most notable achievement as a collective species: our balanced form of government. This has not always been the case; the government has not always been balanced, but has always been permeated by the notion that Porrair is central to the governing process and not the pori who are governed. Currently, both the citizenry as a whole—referring to non-elected and non-appointed officials—and the Hanullzis are roughly equal in that the Hanullzis alone has the power to introduce legislation that affects the whole of Parallelium, but it takes the citizenry to ratify it. Officially the citizenry has the highest level of political power as a group due to nothing passing without their approval, but as individuals they have less political agency than the Hanullzis. This level of balance is a uniquely pori invention and is the basis of our current political climate.
This balance is threatened by the long-held belief of the citizenry that an artifact of Porrair’s—specifically her crown—if found would identify a “true” monarch of the pori. This “rightful” heir of Porrair’s would lead the pori alone or without the balance of the current government. This belief is not mentioned directly in many reports, but some tenets of the belief are mentioned in Reports 273.4-10, 488.2-5, and 412.5-7 for example. A pori who could sit on the crown as a throne and not be lit aflame would be an indication that this pori has been chosen by Porrair and the pori as a species would again be subservient the will of Porrair, albeit indirectly through this pori. This idea is still structurally embedded in our current government by the role of the Hanullzis, etymologically derived from the Ontrett word for “monarch”. Though the Hanullzis no longer has the political pull to orchestrate or implement ideas wholly on their own, the concept of a theocratic rule is not far from possibility. Though not explicitly identified, our right to be free of the will of Deities via autonomy and self-governance is an implicit aspect of the Timekeeping Reset.
This survey has examined the unintentional collective pori withdrawal of beliefs that place the assumed needs or desires of Porrair above our own. Though not the result of a central examination of these beliefs and why we held and hold them has not been officially held we have arrived at the departure of many of these beliefs for various reasons. This survey should be the beginning of this central examination, to begin examining the central role that Porrair implicitly plays culturally and explicitly question its necessity. There are likely further beliefs that have not been examined in this survey due to a lack of mention in prior official reports. More research, study, information, and data will lead to a more complete understanding of these beliefs and their impacts on our soceity.
Reports to this point—due to the lack of explicit study of the issue—contribute little to the discussion. The significant flaw of the literature is the lack of explicit study of these beliefs themselves rather than their interactions with our culture at large. This lack of study creates critical other issues, particularly dearths of valuable information such as voting motivations regarding the species’ move out of volcanoes among others.
We should center our own agency in forthcoming research, looking for how these beliefs have hindered this agency, and if we should abandon these beliefs due to lack of basis in established and observed fact, how that abandonment will impact our agency.