“Desire and pain comes not from the thing itself, but from your self. Know this, and know the power to revoke evils.”
- from Ragana the Crone
The Discipline is the the dominant religious and philosophical movement within Helligimark. While Helligimark is technically a holy nation under the Ascendant Church, the Giants of the Discipline do not pay much homage to any Saint beside their native one, and choose to ignore or rework many of the religious practices of the larger church.
It is based on the writings of Ragana the Crone, an Ascendant, who taught that the pleasures of the immediate world are incomplete, that virtue is sufficient for happiness, and that it is the pure control of one’s own will that can give a person access perfection. For practitioners of the Discipline, nothing is considered “good” or “bad” aside from the things within their own control. Ragana claimed that a person could be sick and yet happy, in peril and yet happy, dying and yet happy, in exile and happy, in disgrace and happy. One needs to modify their own willed outlook through the force of reason to interact with the world, not seek out and consume the world in service to inner desires. Part of Ragana’s teachings included meditation and self-dialog so that practitioners of the Discipline could constantly rediscover why they practice the Discipline in the first place.
The end goal for a willing being, according to Ragana, is flourishing. Ragana’s philosophy is one that is based on a theory of ideal forms, the notion that there is an ideal version of what is manifested in the world. Ideal forms are ones that most perfectly represent the purpose of their form, and the purpose of an object is whatever that object does best or most uniquely. This means that a craftsman is in pursuit of some ideal version of their product, and through discipline and sufficient iterations an ideal can be made real. Ragana’s teachings is that the ideal form of a person is one that manifests a the unique function of willing beings best— that of willed reason.
Another distinctive feature of the Discipline is its cosmopolitanism: All people are manifestations of one universal spirit and should, according to the Ragana, readily help one another. Ragana was a preacher of a nationless ethic, one that does away categorically with notions of slavery, class, and nationalism. To be sentient is to be a part of this universal spirit, a willing creature that seeks to flourish.