| 
  • If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!

View
 

Church of the Almighty

Page history last edited by Anonymoose 4 years, 10 months ago

History

 

The waning days of the 5th age saw the ominous rise of many doomsday cults. This was a far departure from the relative peace which defined the later stages of the Avalon era. Each cult independently came to the same conclusion and claimed mankind had been abandoned by the gods and disaster would soon follow. They called for mankind to save itself by abandoning the old gods and embracing the one true God, The Almighty. These doomsday cults were systematically persecuted in every corner of the world for disturbing the pubic and preaching heresy. In the twilight of the 5th age, however, one prophet rose to prominence and dramatically altered the course of history. He was known as Dauub the Seer.

 

Dauub had amassed a small following of less than 100 at his cult's height. They had been chased across much of the world while trying to spread his message of salvation against an encroaching apocalypse. His major breakthrough came when traveling through the Northern continent of Couhrraine where he secured an audience wit the King of Celruel. Tylous the First had been possessed with curiosity about these agitators and invited Dauub to his court. He did this despite protests from his council and heads of faith. Despite Dauub's followers cautioning that it could be a trap to finally put an end to him, the Seer accepted the king's invitation. Tylous heard Dauub make his plea and the king then charged the seer to divine a prophecy. "If you are truly a servant of a higher god then tell me of future events that priests cannot," the King charged the seer. If it came true then he would bow his head and accept Dauub's god as his own. Should he be mistaken, the old man and his followers would be put to death as the king's priests urged him. Dauub agreed to these terms and allowed himself to be taken prisoner. A fate which he had unerringly managed to avoid for decades.

 

Dauub prophesied that on the third new moon, of the following year, news of a kingdom far across the seas to the South-East being utterly destroyed by a host of monstrous creatures would eventually reach Celruel. Two years after his incarceration, the news did indeed reach Tylous' court. It had occurred on the exact date he had divined. When Tylous' priests had failed to auger anything true about the future of this magnitude and accuracy, the King Tylous permitted himself to be baptized by Dauub and pledge himself to the Almighty. He had his priests to the old gods executed, the same fate they wished upon Dauub. After a brief period of troubles, Dauub became the Celruel Kingdom's spiritual head and established the Church of the Almighty in the temples which had previously worshiped the Old Gods of Couhrraine. Dauub ceased to be the Seer and took up the mantle of the first Patriarch, the head of the Church.

 

Dauub's second prophecy foretold the coming of the 6th Greater Monster Lord. A being of pure evil who would seek to eradicate all life on the planet. He embodied the sin of wroth and had come to pass judgement on the realms of men for the transgressions of their ancestors. In order to defeat the demon Xrilix, known as Um'Shalax'A'Salor, The End of All Days, mankind would need to stand united. King Tylous, with the assistance of Dauub, began a grand crusade to bring the nations of man under his banner and convert them to the Almighty's church. With Dauub's powers of foresight, the armies and political machinations for much of the continent could not resist. One by one the various nations were subjugated. Only the Free Port Confederation and nations to the furthest northern reaches of the continent escaped unconquered. Dauub would eventually pass away from old age and be replaced with a procession of Patriarchs and Matriarchs. His legacy being whomever was chosen by the Church to his position would bear hearing the word of their god, the Almighty. They would provide spiritual guidance, prophecy and conjure miracles for the salvation of mankind.

 

When news of Monster Lord Xrilix waging his genocide across the world reached Couhrraine, even the unbent nations began to ally themselves with the now Celruel Empire. Together with the exiles from the many nations destroyed by the armies of The End of All Days, all of mankind united to do battle. King Tylous' grandson, Tylous III, would wield a united mankind, and its few remaining inhuman allies, against the onslaught of Xrilix's enslaved monsters and demons. The battle was won with the sacrifice of Matriarch Yolinda and the Hero who exchanged mortal blows with Xrilix. With the 6th Demon Lord's death, the monsters and demons under his charged were routed. A century of bloodshed purging of his scattered forces brought about an era of peace for mankind.

 

In lieu of a war to wage, the Church pledged itself to charity and reconstruction. Many nations and their peoples across the world were devastated in the war. Whole peoples and nations were likewise wiped from existence. With a strong belief in human hegemony, the church spearheaded reclaiming these lost lands for the exiles. It kept the population fanatical and dedicated to seeking out and keeping those monsters which had allied themselves to the monster lord in check. The Church sought to mediate disputes to prevent conflicts between men and even nations from erupting into full-scale wars. It was not certain when the 7th monster lord would come, but mankind needed to be kept unified for when that day came. Such was the mindset and purpose the Church of the Almighty had taken. It quickly became the center of life for man and the sole moral authority.

 

With Yolinda's sacrifice, the position of patriarch/matriarch went unfilled ever since. The administrative powers of the position were divided among a council of Grand Cardinals in its place. This ultimately meant no one man or woman would be privy to the word of the Almighty. Although this began as tradition of deference, it quickly became one of personal greed. The Grand Cardinals became obsessed with their power and were unwilling to dissolve their positions of authority. Without the absolute spiritual authority of the Almighty, the Church would slowly begin to unravel.

 

Centuries of peace have prosperity have taken its toll on the Almighty's church. It is an institution which has preached persistent human unification despite no outward threat. As the various nations of the world sought independence from the Empire, the faith conspired and worked with Imperial authorities to keep unification strong. Religious freedom yet reigned in the Free Port Confederation and far to the north which were dealt with inquisitions and crusades to suppress any and all other faiths, new or old. This strong centralized power corrupted over time and now the Church is a hotbed for moral degeneracy. Although many still enter the service of the Church to do good, the only ones rising to any real power or prominence engage in underhanded political dealings. Larger and larger tithes are declared in the lands of the Empire to keep its public welfare programs funded, holy sites built and maintained, all while coffers were embezzled by unscrupulous clergymen.

 

Beliefs

 

The primary belief of the Church of the Almighty is centered around the Myth of the Fall. Humanity in the distant path had affronted the Almighty and wallowed in their sin. Hubris had led mankind to believe they were equal to, or had ascended beyond, the need to worship The Almighty. Without his guidance, mankind brought great destruction and calamity upon himself. They then lived for thousands of years in ignorance of the Almighty and suffered greatly. It was only in his mercy that the Almighty revealed himself to man once more and offered a path to final redemption.

 

Debate still rages within the Church on the nature of the divine prior to the Dauub's revelation of the Almighty. Some scholars argue that the old gods were merely the work of the Almighty all along. Other scholars hold that the old gods did exist as separate entities, but were inferior divine beings to the one above them all. In their greatest hour of need the old gods were absent and it was in that moment of weakness before inevitable extinction that the Almighty had decided to forgive humanity and offer them one last chance at salvation.

 

Dauub's greater two prophecies also form the central tenets of the Church. The first being his forewarning of the 6th monster lord as proof of Dauub's divinity and the Almighty's mercy. His latter prophecy, just prior to his death, would be his warning of the 7th monster lord. This too came to pass, but not in the manner expected. Dauub's prophecy of the 7th was vague, but it said nothing of the emergence of the human-like monsters or their beautiful female forms. Others claim the other six Monster Lords had embodied a sin, and all that had remained unaccounted for was lust. All the same, the Church holds to the belief that mankind's suffering had been tests all along to deem if they were worthy of salvation. Should they succeed at the final test, then paradise would return to the world.

 

For those who expire in the meantime, the souls of the past and present will be in stasis whose final fate will rely on the actions of the current generations. Once the final Monster Lord is defeated, the souls of the past will join those in the present. A grand celebration to usher in the final era which will be paradise and eternal life in the presence of the Almighty's radiant light.

 

Religious fanaticism increased as the years progressed. A form of Ludditism took hold within the mind's of the Church's most prominent and preeminent scholars. The Almighty was perceived as the infallible father and lord over mankind. Things which explained the natural world that was not in line with dogma were persecuted. The position which asserted that nature moved in predictable ways was seen as an affront to an Almighty which did as he wished and made the Almighty less almighty. Magic theory and experimentation were seen as an affront to his natural order and challenged the miracles his priests yielded. The councils of wizards and magical scholars were shunned to the peripheries of society along with the scholars of natural philosophy.

 

Those inhuman allies which had defied the 6th Monster Lord were increasingly persecuted by a radical human supremacist agenda driven by the most radical factions of the Almighty's church. Where once they traded and interacted with humanity, they were driven out into the hinterlands. The world, and the paradise promised ever after once the imminent final war was fought, was seen to belong to humans alone. Many demi-humans, such as elves, dwarves and halflings, were seen as aberrations. Inhumans such as certain tribes and clans of lizardmen and goblins were seen as potential double agents for this 7th Monster Lord in waiting despite them allying with mankind in the Great War at great personal cost.

 

Should man subjugate themselves to the Almighty then mankind would be saved. Yet even after being saved from the 6th, the coming of a 7th would be inevitable. It would occur at a time far beyond the lifespan of them all and preparations would need to be taken. All of humanity would need to remain united to eliminate this final threat. Upon all seven greater Monster Lords being defeated, the Almighty promised that mankind would be absolved of their worldly sins. The Almighty himself would descend from heaven and personally usher in paradise for all time. This belief became the central tenet to the Church of the Almighty.

 

The state of the Church had deteriorated to such a degree that it nearly collapsed when the 7th Monster Lord finally made her appearance. It had occurred earlier than prophesied as well. The promised 7th Monster Lord had come and was branded as embodying the sin of lust. Rather than wage a campaign of terror and destruction, the 7th monster Lord appealed to carnal pleasure and love. This undermined and sapped away at the harsh oppressive dogma of the Almighty's Church. When their hero arrived, did battle and eventually sided with the Monster Lord, the Church entered into a state of panic. Forty years have passed since that date and a detente in the war between man and monster has reigned. In the meantime, the church has been subjected to a cold civil war in its midst. Reformist and conservative factions bicker and jockey for positions of power while the corrupt underbelly of degenerates wriggle like maggots in a bloated corpse.

 

Organization

 

The Patriarch is the theoretical head of the Church and the successor of Dauub, but this may also be the Matriarch should the appointed be a woman instead. This is wholly dependent upon the voting of the Holy See, a gathering of lower ranked Church officials, who deem in their collective wisdom, who is the most holy among them. Ever since the sacrifice of Matriach Yolinda, the position has been left open since no other man or woman has yet to embody the level of divinity and spirit of faith and sacrifice. Yolinda had prayed to the Almighty as the Monster Lord's army marched upon the capital. Several witnesses saw her fade away into light before the miracle of a massive storm manifested in the invading army's path. It nearly drowned Xrilix's army and bought precious time for reinforcements across the continent to march back and defend the beating heart of the Empire. In its place a council of Grand Cardinals was established. They each hold a portion of the Patriarch's power and each conduct a share of the rituals. Each Grand Cardinal votes with the authority of many rank and file Cardinals.

 

The Cardinals each oversee Church lands equivalent to that of aristocratic Dukes, who belong them are the Bishops who manage the individuals Cathedrals. Priests preside over the other houses of worship from churches, monasteries and shrines. These often come attached to adjoining lands which they manage and extract taxes and rent from those working them. This is separate from the mandatory tithes which worshipers of the faith are expected to pay. These support the many charitable works the Church operates, in addition to the management and construction of new places of worship. Bishops, and most certainly the Cardinals, live in opulence and few in modern times choose to make vows of poverty. Members of the clergy are forbidden from taking wives or having children of their own, so the need for such wealth and leaving inheritance ought to be nil, but the wealth and power of the Church inspires all sorts to take of the cloth.

Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.