The Zircon tradition is the culturo-religious belief structure of the Mountain Folk, and is one of the oldest extant religions in Meridian.
While the tenets of Zirconism are as many and varied as you would expect from a tradition so ancient, the general themes revolve around:
- The importance of family and its structure, usually hierarchical (with a tendency towards matriarchy, although gender roles are not as important in most Zirconist communities).
- A focus on honesty and oathkeeping, especially oaths sworn to others directly.
- Strong emphasis on productivity and contribution to society, with leanings towards euthanasia-level commitment to this idea.
- High value being placed on material wealth.
While these facts are well known even by most outsiders, they are far from the most popularly discussed topics regarding Zirconism.
- Years of general population inbreeding has led Mountain Folk to be almost universally colorblind. Common folk whisper that this blindness is limited to everything except precious metals and gems – thus feeding the Folks’ well known desire for wealth.
- There is a very tenacious and enduring belief among the Folk that the Sun itself is poisonous, causing the surface-dwelling races to live such short lives. Variations on this belief generally follow the degree of fundamentalism in the community – conservative groups truly believe that sunlight exposure will slowly turn them to stone, and careful avoidance of daylight will literally allow them to live forever, while “progressive” groups will stick to the belief in general, with care being taken not to be exposed to too much direct sunlight, and the knowledge that they do indeed remain mortal.