“Music is what cannot be contained in words and we cannot let remain silent.”
-from Rafe the Bard
Armonija is the term used to describe the variety of cultural, religious, and philosophical beliefs of the Littlefolk of Pachiomadio. It is, generally, a religion that pays homage to their ancestors and to the jungle that protects the Littlefolk. Practitioners worship a unified spirit of the Littlefolk people that they refuse to discuss except in song. While some religions place particular importance on the Ascendants, on one Ascendant, or on the Walking Gods, Armonija practices worship of the “spirits of places”, the wisps and bits of the Loom that permeate the world and link everything together. Music is seen as the means of communicating with the Loom, a way of bringing the harmony that defines the Loom into the real world.
Armonijans have a very syncretic outlook, and are rarely dynamically opposed to any belief structure. Anything that inspires awe in a viewer (or, more often for the Littlefolk, listener) is a holy and sacred thing. While all things are permeated by the Loom, there are certain places that serve as a link between The Loom and the world, places that inspire a feeling of awe and reflection. To make something holy and sacred is to turn it into something that inspires awe—a place can be made holy by being made beautiful, and can be desecrated by being spoiled.
The afterlife among Armonijans is depicted as a dark and scary desert one’s soul goes to after death, until your name is incorporated into enough song to bring you back into the world in another form. The names of all children born to a particular tribe or village are carried on a staff by the shaman, the Namekeeper, using the braided writing system of the Pygmy language. When someone dies, the name is unstrung from the Namekeeper’s staff and hung in a shrine, so someone may sing that name the next time they visit the shrine and help bring that soul back into the world.
Language of good and evil is absent from Armonija. Rather, actions are taken as “pure” and “impure”, or, literally translated “melodious” or “discordant”. Purity rituals are common among practitioners, and many crimes are forgiven if the perpetrator undergoes the necessary purification ritual. Great crimes, such as kin-slaying, result in the destruction of one’s name and thereby sentencing that person of an eternity of wandering the underworld