Ferengi Religion

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The basics of the Ferengi religion, particularly its view of the afterlife, are a good indication of the Ferengi values that have shaped their leisure activities.

The Great Material Continuum

Ferengi belief, simply stated, is that all societies exist in alternating states of having and wanting, and are metaphorically seen as a great flowing river comprised of material acquisitions. If wanting gains dominance over having - or vice versa - then the great river churns and overflows, becoming dangerously unstable. And as the river goes, so does society. Instability is not prosperous in the long term.

Someone in financial trouble often finds himself tossed to the shores of the great river by a wave of inflation. Similarly, he might run aground on a shoal of hardship and have to swim to safety. Finding his way back onto the river requires financial consolidation, a realigning of his investments, the selling of his property, or even a dreaded loan.

To stay afloat on the river, you must carefully navigate by balancing profit and loss, acquisition and liquidation, while also keeping an eye out for opportunities farther along the river's course. One who deftly navigates the great river can, in effect, steer the river's course toward opportunity. Those skilled in this earn great prosperity, and a second chance to pursue profit in the afterlife.

The Divine Treasury

The sacred palace of the Ferengi afterlife. Everything from the walls to the furniture is made of the purest gold-pressed latinum. A sign above the entrance to the Divine Treasury reads: "Please have your profit-and-loss statement ready for inspection before entering the Divine Treasury."

When a Ferengi dies, his spirit goes before the Registrar of the Divine Treasury, who decides whether they deserve to enter. This involves much cringing, bribery, as well as well placed obsequious groveling. If the Registrar is impressed by the deceased actions, he is allowed to enter.

Once inside, the deceased bids on a new life under the supervision of the Blessed Exchequer and Celestial Auctioneers. If they have acquired enough profit in life, they simply pay for a new one and are reborn, earning the chance to gain yet more profit. If they did not earn enough profit, their bid fails and their spirit is banished from the Divine Treasury and locked in the Vault of Eternal Destitution forever.

So, a Ferengi gets only once chance at a profitable afterlife. A prosperous Ferengi gains a second life, and if he earns enough profit again, a third, and even a fourth.

Many believe that the richest, most powerful Ferengi throughout history - the Grand Nagi - are sometimes actually reincarnations of Gint, the first Nagus and creator of the Rules Acquisition.

The Vault of Eternal Destitution

The worst possible fate after death. Every Ferengi banished to the Vault becomes the property of a Vault Auditor. The Auditors form a council called the Regulation Committee, which is lead by the Desecrated Auditor - the most powerful and influential Auditor. The Committee oversees every aspect of business and life in the Vault. These policies, known as the Laws of Destitution, are harsh.

The Auditors charge outrageous accommodation expenses, high income taxes, service charges, and strictly regulate transactions. Painstaking financial audits and fines await all who break the laws. Though it is possible, few Ferengi ever manage to bribe their Auditor to overlook transgressions. Fewer still gain enough wealth to buy the title of Auditor and get to own slaves themselves.

To scare their children into behaving, Ferengi mothers recite stories of the Demons of Despair. These demons are evil spirits from the Vault of Eternal Destitution, and used to be Ferengi who were generous, charitable, generally unconcerned with profit, or otherwise heretical.

Legend says that the demons take shadowy forms and escape the Vault for a time, stealing latinum and other valuables from miscreant children.