Shura Sumi is considered by some scholars to be the most organized and internally consistent of Arcatia’s diverse faiths, and grudgingly admitted by all to be its oldest. With the most nuanced Kharaki translation meaning simply the ‘Shared Path’, Shura Sumi draws its roots from the same ancient traditions as the militant Shura Jashi and enigmatic Shura Nari. It is by far the largest of the three, with more than 80% of Kharakis identifying themselves as adherents alongside massive populations in the northern, northeastern, and western extremities of the Unity, all of Jah, and eastern Pax territory. Serican followers exist as well, with Rastakgan being the only area completely free from its influence.
It’s principles are built on the revelations of a figure called simply The Founder, dead over a thousand years before the collapse and as such ancient enough to prevent any real description or analysis beyond the spiritual. The Founder’s values included the familiar pillars of charity, humility, and righteousness, but far into his legacy (according to scripture) the once mighty faith was fractured and plagued by war within and without. Enter the second prophet of Shura Sumi: The Unifier. As one might expect, the Unifier foresaw a time of great turmoil in which The Founder’s faithful only hope of survival was to stand together and come to terms with the world around them. With the Founder governing the actions of the individual and the Unifier proscribing the commandments of the community, adherents of Shura Sumi have a wealth of scripture and millennia of alleged interpretation and precedent to draw on in guiding their lives. That they are overwhelmingly impoverished, oppressed, or at the very least misunderstood does not seem to disturb the most devout members of this ancient, sophisticated faith.
Nor does the fact that, by any historical standard, the Unifier was a colossal failure. That its grand warning and message of peace came immediately before the tumult and vast gaps in human memory caused by the Collapse speaks ill of its overall effectiveness. And while the faith at the time may have been healed by the Unifier’s actions, it has not stopped Shura Nari and Shura Jashi from splintering off (or enduring through the Unification, as they would argue). Though Shura Sumi’s highest clergy had decreed that the Founder and Unifier are to be considered equal in all respects, two parts of the same spiritual message, the Unifier seems to consistently draw the greatest praise from the faithful, and with it the ire and sometimes open hostility of Shura Jashi and their strict adherence to the revelations of the Founder to the exclusion of all others.
Still, plagued from within and without, the followers of Shura Sumi keep the faith, their spirits lightened with the objective knowledge that they were around long before their enemies and divine certainty that they will remain long after their troubles have been forgotten.