The Religious Practices of Homo altum: A Comprehensive Description

For the last week, or there abouts, I had enjoyed being outside.  Be it hiking or trad climbing, I had certainly made the most of the good weather.  This had been the longest spell of such stunning conditions since 1299, the Year of the Long Summer, which had lasted three weeks in total, rather than the normal one week.  I had persued my hobbies, but I desired to try my hand at a new pass-time, namely, wildlife photography.  What with a degree in Zoology, I have always had a keen interest in studying the behavior of animals and the interactions with their environs.  One of the most interesting animals of all is the Hue-man, largely due to their complex and manipulative social structure.  Among all the clans and tribes of Hue-mans which exist, all hold this social structure to be above all else.  But one group is different, and I propose it to be a newly discovered sub-species, known as the Cly-murr.

All study contained within is speculative, based on one case study of Cly-Murrs during a migratory stage in the life cycle, with four subject individuals.

After I first suspected a separate sub-species, I launched into my research with a gusto.  After years of searching, I have finally been able to track down a small group of Cly-murrs and study this strange and secretive breed on, what I suspect to be, a migration of sorts.  The group gathered just on the edge of the Mourne mountains, an area I believe to be of some religious significance to the clan, and began what could be a ritualistic pilgrimage.  They had donned strange garments, which were presumably to represent individual gods, as they were branded with names such as; “Rab”, “North Face” and “Montane”.  Presumably each individual favors one god or another, but pays smaller tribute to the others.  They also carried large sacs, presumably carrying heavy loads for some unknown purpose.

I kept my distance as they began walking, for what seemed an endless or aimless distance.  Soon it became apparent that the group was heading towards a cliff-face situated in the Annalong valley.  As they sat at the base of the feature, I speculated as to the significance of this place.  Ideas included a visual navigational tool, and even an area of magnetic disturbance, which drew them here.  As I watched through the view-finder of my camera, it became clear.  For the Cly-murrs this was a sacred site.  They seemed to view the cliff itself as a deity, and were here to pay homage to it.  They took our some small book, and huddled around it and murmured strange words, which the meaning of which in its own right merits years of study.  They then separated into two pairs, each choosing a portion of cliff-face to move to.

As each pair then produced from the sacs, various shiny metal objects, which made a great chorus of clangs.  It was becoming clearer now, these were some kind of offering to their primitive gods, which they planned to leave scattered at the base of the cliff.  But then they began the most peculiar activity, one of each pair would start ascending the cliff face, placing offerings at random points as they went.  All the while, the second would hold some kind of tether, attached to the one higher up.  As they had left the small book unguarded, I sneaked into their camp to investigate.  After translating the text, I formed a hypothesis.  I propose that this is a religious text, known as a “Gaiid” book.  In this book, is a list of trials of faith, which are completed as atonement for angering the gods.  These trials were routes up the cliff face, and each had a specific name.  For example on pair were perusing, I believe, “Aristocrat”.

The key parts of this atonement seemed to be the physical effort of movement, and the offerings left in the face.  I guess, but have no evidence to support the claim, that the tether is used by the individual on the ground, to increase difficulty by pulling downwards often.  Then the second individual follows the same route, removing the offerings, so as to use them in more of these trials.  Dressed in my camouflaged gear, I moved closer, to sit quietly on the slope behind the pair.  I spent a while taking photos for my study, and making notes.  It seemed as though the two in each pair insulted and harassed each other during the trial, again I suspect that mental stress is part of the trial.  I decided to name this pair “Kylo” and “J-M-E”, as it would make writing my notes easier.

For now, I gave them some privacy to perform their penance, and watch the second pair.  I suspect that these two were from a different village, as they both dressed mainly in blues, whereas Kylo and J-M-E wore darker shades.  These two, who I had take to naming “Toto” and “Boris”, also seemed to be older and more experienced.  They were also more astute to their surroundings, as they nearly spotted me.  I sat still so as not to attract attention, but one remained sure I was present.  As he looked directly at me a gust of wind passed me, and in a last ditch effort I swayed slightly, in an attempt to mimic a bush in the wind.  Thankfully, this reassured or fooled the being, and no more notice was paid to me.  I had begun watching Toto and Boris just after completing a trial, and Toto seemed to have had a religious experience.  He appeared to believe he was possessed by the spirit of a deity called “Alan Bennett”, or at least the demi-god son of said spirit.

As a result of his possession, Toto spouted what he claimed was prophecy for most of the time that I watched.  The whole group seemed to agree with his claims, and listened to him as a child would to a teacher.  As they regrouped and planned the next set of trials, I stealthily moved to a vantage point which would overlook the face they all seemed to be pointing to.  My spot was perfect, it allowed me to conceal myself, while also being only 20m or so from the cliff.  I quickly constructed myself a hide, and lay down in wait with my camera pointed towards the group.  It seemed that Boris and Toto were to perform “Short, Sharp, Shocked”, while J-M-E and Kylo would attempt “Primitive Dance” (an appropriate name).

As both groups began their religious practice, I felt privileged to be the first of my kind to have access to this secretive art.  I watched as Boris moved upwards, to a point half-way up the rock-face, where he made a significant offering, and seemed to spend a time praying.  While this happened Kylo and J-M-E passed under him, they seemed to be increasing the amount of praise given by doing this, and finished their trial on a ledge to my right.  Meanwhile, Boris Struggled greatly in his penance, surely he held this god in high regard, or had angered it in the past and was determined to show fidelity.

While Boris toiled in his self-inflicted torment, J-M-E and Kylo both came closer to my hide.  They watched on at the scene before them, slowly edging forwards, finally sitting beside me.  I froze and held my breath, any movement now could result in my death.  For what seemed like an age, they moved away and joined with Toto, presumably to listen to more of his prophetic word.  This was my chance, as Boris reached his goal and sighed relief, I collected my things and dismantled my hide.  I had risked enough today, I waited in a safer spot until they collected their things.  As they walked back to the beginning of their pilgrimage, I followed, eager to document the last portion of this rare event.

I conclude that the work I have done on the culture of the Hue-man sub-species, Cly-murrs, is seminal.  Furthermore I propose that further and extensive study is carried out, to confirm the suspicions contained in this report, and identify any further aspects of Cly-murr life which is of particular interest.