Aalism is the official and only accepted religion and belief in the Kingdom of Valencia. It's named after its god, Aal, and its followers are called Aalans. Its main book is called the Scripture of Aal, and among other topics, contains the seven commandments of Aal: obedience, abstinence, sharing, sincerity, humility, purity, and fasting.
A citizen of the Kingdom of Valencia is usually an Aalan, but foreigners can be too. The belief in Aal is fairly extended in Mediah, and there are known foreigners inside Valencia who become Aalans. There's also a difference between being simply a follower of the faith as part of the Valencian culture and studying the faith. While the Valencian schooling system teaches about the faith, there are advanced religious studies dedicated to become a scholar on the subject and therefore being appointed as an official in religious matters.
While the appointed leaders/guardians of the different sanctums are considered the most devoted of Aalans, some of them are exempted of their religious beliefs to be able to properly do their jobs, like the guardian in charge of the Sanctum of Fast not having to fast.
Pilgrimage and the seven commandments
It's believed Aal's birthplace is the Pilgrim's Haven, currently a graveyard for the fallen in the last war between Calpheon and Valencia. It's the last place the pilgrims visit to pray after having visited the seven sanctums.
The pilgrimage is an event that occurs once a year for the Aalans. They travel all around the desert following the commandments of Aal and visiting the seven sanctums, one for each commandment, ending in the Pilgrim's Haven. Its beginning is signaled by the golden star rising over the southern sky.
“Aalans planning a pilgrimage go through a rigorous packing process. They need to prepare everything: a healthy camel, clothes, food, and even a nice company. Since even merchants take a break from working during pilgrimage, people often have to fight to buy what they need. The most important thing in preparing for the pilgrimage is, of course, the right mindset. Soon-to-be pilgrims abstain from being talkative, alcoholic beverage, raw meat, and even overly sweet fruit in order to stay away from any form of corruption.”
First sanctum: Fast
“On their annual pilgrimage, Valencians fast until they reach the second sanctum, the obedience. It is extremely dangerous to cross the burning desert without drinking even a drop of water, but many Aalans choose to endure this ordeal to remember Aal’s teaching by suppressing their desires to overcome hardships.”
Second sanctum: Obedience
“Obedience, the first virtue of the Aal’s seven commandments, has its roots in accepting Aal as the only God, a core Aalan teaching. Valencians believe that Aal created the land we live on, and therefore we must obey His law. Sanctums keepers who devote their entire lives to Aal are considered the epitome of Aalan life and revered throughout the kingdom.”
Third sanctum: Abstinence
“Abstinence in Aal’s commandments teaches Aalans to suppress their bodily and mental desires and walk with the Lord. Overlapping with the fasting commandment for the most part, this commandment teaches the followers to always be vigilant against pursuing excessive physical and mental pleasure.”
Fourth sanctum: Sharing
“Every Aalan must donate a certain amount of their earnings to the poor according to Aal’s teaching. Thanks to this principle, Valencia is free of the starving, and the culture of donation has deeply settled down. However, outsiders criticize this tradition as it only promotes the “laziness begets laziness” phenomenon.”
Fifth sanctum: Purity
“The principle of Purity teaches Aalans to stay away from anything corrupt, and this covers not only food and clothing, but also types of actions. Something outsiders consider natural and common can be seen as abhorrence and taboo by Valencians. This gives hard times to many Valencian traders who do business overseas.”
Sixth sanctum: Humility
“Arrogance is possibly the most abhorred quality by Aalans. Even the powerful royal family has to tone down the luxury or cut down the size of the procession when they present themselves to the people. One of the reasons that account for such negative public opinions on the former king Imur Nesser was his excessive arrogance.”
Seventh sanctum: Sincerity
“Diligence is one of Aal’s seven commandments, and it is also one that most Aalans find the hardest to adhere to. Due to the generous culture of donation and sharing prevalent throughout the kingdom, and Valencia’s bottomless source of wealth, some people do not mind mooching off the system and other people at all. Those who diligently do their part to make a living are admired, of course, but a stereotypical Valencian is still a laid-back lazybone to the eyes of outsiders.”