(All Worldbuilding Wednesday posts are here, and as always, you can ask questions about this or any other Parhelionverse thing on the Tumblr blog! These posts aren’t necessary to understand the comic, but they might be handy for summarizing context.)
Excerpted from Encyclopedia Xenotheologica, v81.754.4Q, abridged, Ponoma Publishing House, a Yima subsidiary
Bear in mind that depicting, praising, revering, or making requests of Raskavaar is highly illegal in many jurisdictions, including nearly all Yima territories. For dispensation to discuss Raskavaar in detail within an academic context, contact your local Xenoculture Campus’s Redaction Bureau.
Raskavaar is the most common name for a mythological figure often revered in pirate circles. According to legend, Raskavaar delivers good or ill fortune to individuals, based on requests written at public shrines. Slightly more often than chance, the requests are answered to an extent that is surprising but within plausibility.
On rare occasions, the requests come true in spectacular fashion- a massive financial windfall, an abrupt and grisly death. Raskavites are quick to claim these as proof of divine intervention, but shrine requests have no meaningful impact on the frequency of these outlier events.
The specifics vary by community- the boundaries of requests, the style of shrine, the syncretic overlap with other local faiths. Raskavaar may be an aspect of another god, an interloper in the pantheon, a fusion of local heroes and saints, or simply a personification of vigilante justice. The moral compass ascribed to Raskavaar varies as well- they may be primarily vengeful or charitable, punishing great injustice or quietly working to level the playing field.
Even among outlaws, Raskavism is a marginal, fringe belief. Most pantheons already have a god of justice, or balance, or retribution, with little need for redundancy. Exact data is unavailable, but Raskavism is projected to dwindle and die within three hundred years, leaving only a strange sociological history.
POLITICAL DOSSIER: RASKAVISM
Yima Family internal use only. Leaks will be detected and summarily punished.
Whenever we seize a Raskavite shrine on our turf, nearly all the prayers for death are invariably directed at our Family. As of last month, there have been 3,470,881 prayers for my death in particular, and that’s only what we know about. (And I barely crack the top 50 in the Family!)
Look, I don’t think some vigilante pirate god is going to kill me in my sleep. But this stuff is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and we’ve all seen the reports of Raskavite rebels cosplaying their god. We couldn’t confirm Raskavite sympathies among the Kiefer-161 insurgents, but their rhetoric was unmistakable.
We have enough thorns in our side- Tyrants, Unfettered– that this cult could very well be the final straw. Squash it by any means necessary.