The Ar Hana belief system
During their exile from the Quaiyore western shores, the people who were not yet known
as the Ka'Shari lived as refugees for the first time. Seeking a place where to fund a new
homeland, a famous mage among them was inspired by visions that recommended him to follow
a bright star in the southern sky. Needing hope, these refugees were convinced to follow
him, and they were rewarded. As it was said in the visions interpretations of this sage,
they finally discovered a place where the star they were following appeared to form a
constellation shaped as a crown with four other stars set on the polar axis. Once they
reached this region, more and more people experienced visions and discovered magic powers
related to a strange mystic feeling they connected to the brightest star in the Crown
Constellation recognized as a goddess they called Ar'Hana.
As their people settled in the area, the new mystics discovered the magical properties of amber they called Sun Pearls. Using this matter to store rituals and then to enhance its effects, they were able to unleash enough magic to allow the fundation of the city they always dreamed of. Sun Pearls became the back bone of these mages power and they began to look for individuals that would harvest such strange 'stones' in deep woods or on harsh coasts (such characters would become later the first members of Shemaini (secret circles)).
Decades later mages-priests had gained more and more influence, and with the zealous help of the recent caste of scholars, they were able to transmit their beliefs to the populace by the means of a pantheon of four gods relatives to the goddess Ar'Hana.
Shemaini : The Secret Circles
Shemaini are a kind of secret societies that are led by priests-mages.If they're not really secret, these groups tend to hide their rituals and gatherings on desert islands or in the depths of the main ships. Gathering according the ancient calendar under the tutelage of mystics, they keep their lore going through storytelling, numerous initiation rites.
Shemaini are the most faithful agents of the Ka'Shari sages. Like praetorians, they protect their knowledge and artifacts and are willing to accomplish any mission their masters would ask for. At least one fleet leader is an influent member of one these groups. There could be any number of Shemaini among the Ka'shari. When you meet a sage, you could be sure, there is a Shemai in the surroundings. Groups gather between 5 to 15 members which are ranked according a complex series of grades and titles (which differs from one Shemai to the other).
Once a member is initiated in a Shemai, a sun pearl is incrusted in his forehead. This shows him an emissary of the goddess will and allows mages to transfer magical effects that Shemai members could then trigger. Some gems incrusted are not sun pearls but crystals that have similar if less potent properties. These crystals were gathered during the Ka'Shari travels...
Many of Ka'Shari recognized heroes were shemaini members... Which is not a surprise as storytellers are themselves pillars of these groups. ;-)