Akhenism is a monotheistic religion. It is ancient, dating back to the beginning of the Old Kingdoms. The Mandorlin, a collection of books believed to be divinely inspired, is its primary foundational text. Akhenism is the basis for three major global faiths: the Temple, Zantine Akhenism, and Vormundism.
Akhenists worship "the god" ("Akhen" in Old Exekian), an omnipotent, omniscient creator deity. Driven by a constant desire to create, Akhen is said to have made the universe for his pleasure and sentient life out of loneliness.
His first sentient creations were the immortal Exekians, whose fickleness and idleness disappointed Akhen. One Exekian, Callidora, was willingly transformed into a selkie, while Akhen forcefully turned two other Exekians, Monaxia and Lostris, into the first humans.
The earliest known religious texts originate from roughly 3,900 years ago. Who wrote the Mandorlin is unknown. The name "Akhen" is Old Exekian in origin, meaning "creator" or "artist". Over the next several centuries, most of the original copies of the Mandorlin were lost or destroyed, and the text was edited at various points to make it more palatable or to better suit the changing times.
The modifications to the text were carried out by the fellinar, the elite clergy within the Old Exekian Empire. They claimed to operate in the best interests of the commoners (lower class Exekians) and human slaves, most of whom were illiterate and uneducated. The intellectual classes were aware of the alterations, and while some such as Matta sought to preserve the remaining copies of the original texts, most turned a blind eye to it as they knew there was no infallible way of telling which texts were original and which were not.
After the fall of the Empire in the First Exekian War and the creation of the kingdoms of Apicarta and Zantium, Akhenism remained a fixture among the humans, until an Apicarta-exclusive offshoot, the Temple, was created in 72 AYZ. The Temple altered the text further to suit its agenda; namely, they sought to demonize the Exekians. Ancient Exekian art and writings were destroyed, it was forbidden to speak, write, or read Old Exekian, and the Temple began depicting Exekians as monsters bearing the mark of demonic evil.
Foundation of Vormundism
In 162 AYZ, the human prophet Dagda Vormund founded Vormundism. Initially they were considered a cult rather than an official sect. Vormund himself claimed to have created a true translation of the Mandorlin from one of the last surviving original documents, preserved by the heir of Matta, Kemet.