Go Back   Aelyria > Lorebook

Church of Faith

The Church of Faith is the formal, organized religion of the Aelyrian Empire.

Contents


[top]Abstract

Originally founded as the Sisterhood of Ioannes by Princess Rhea, the daughter of Emperor Constantine and Empress Michelle of the Second Empire, the Church of Faith is the formal, organized religion of the Aelyrian Empire. It is often referred to in social and political circles as the most powerful and influential faction in the realm. The Church of Faith bases most of its power out of the Holy City of Sacrum in the Sodality of Carmelyn, as it has since its creation.

Overseen by the Hierarch, historically called the Archprelate and a Council of Princes, the Church of Faith operates as a fairly complex entity governing the spirituality of the realm and as the self-proclaimed proper way to gain favor with the gods.

To this day, the Church of Faith is second only to the Crown in power, partially because of the sheer size of the organization and because of the vast amount of resources held under its control.
Further Reading: A Primer to Religion, A Primer to the Pantheon

[top]History

In the brightenings of the Second Empire, Princess Rhea founded the “Sisterhood of Ioannes” with the intention of serving the community through healing, community outreach and spiritual guidance. At the Council of Jiems, Emperor Constantine, Rhea’s father, recognized the entity as the Church of Faith under Archprelate Lancaster. This marked the first official time that regulations and guidelines were set in place for the spiritual leaders across the realm who had been practicing the generalized idea of the faith without guidance. The church would remain quiet until the eventual succession of Lancaster by Archprelate Maximillian, also known as Duke Baxter Iracor of Chesley.

Under the guidance of Archprelate Maximillian, the Church of Faith gained much of its prominence and political influences that it has retained to this brightening, including the foothold in the Sodality of Carmelyn and the massive, unmatched hand it has over the Holy City of Sacrum. Opposing the authority of the Crown, Maximillian called for the excommunication of the Emperor and subsequently sought to overthrow the government itself. This was done through use of the Sacred Synod: a council of pro-Chesleyan clerics within the church, which declared that the Church of Faith was in fact a separate, sovereign nation. He called this act a "Patriotic Revolution.” Historical scholars in the Church of Faith agree that this was the final decision of greed that sealed Maximillian's fate. However, his lasting influence is still felt by the church to this brightening, especially in Carmelyn and Arium provinces. This radical minority of the Church of Faith in Chelsey, referred to as the Church of Aslan-Immanuel, was eradicated by the majority under the leadership of Priestess Vesta from Trysvale. Shortly thereafter, Vesta was elected and confirmed as Archprelatess and it was mandated that the Church of Faith has secondary authority to the crown on spirituality.

Things remained quiet for awhile until the Thalia Intendency, where Archprelatess Vesta sent the support of the Prelatine Guard to reinforce local cities and villages following the defection of the Imperial Guard. When the Prelatine Guard was used to harm the public by Thalia, Vesta committed ritualistic suicide to answer for the crimes she perceived herself guilty of in Ioannes' eyes so that she could face his judgment at the Sun Throne. Vesta’s death passed the position of Archprelatess to Aerienne Sarista, an Ancient Aelyrian, and the Church thrived again under her rule.
Further Reading: Ioannes, King of Gods
Compassionate and firm in her rule, Archprelatess Sarista immediately went to work disbanding the fabled inquisition and imprisoning many of the corrupt Prelates. Sarista’s attentions were quickly diverted, as her deranged sister was presented to the Basilica Ecclesiae and imprisoned. Before judgment could be passed on the necromantic danger of the two Sarista sisters, Lilienne escaped and kidnapped Aerienne, leaving the Archprelacy once more vacant.

The council once again convened and attempted to combat the chaos that was presented to it by the disappearance and assumed death of Archprelatess Sarista. As it was impossible for Acting Regent Alexander Nighthawk to confirm a new Archprelate, the Church concluded that it was capable of choosing a new head independent from the Aethercrown. Eventually Nighthawk attempted to solict aid from the Church as he collected the pieces of the destroyed Aelyrian government, but failed to assist the Church in electing a new Archprelate in Aerienne’s absence.

Over one hundred eras would pass until Aerienne Sarista was heard from again. Shortly thereafter, her title was stripped from her after the fall of Trysvale and Zerdargia at the hand of the Church of Faith’s army under her command, the Court in Sacrum demanded Aerienne propose a new Archprelate quickly. Under the Regency of Milo L’Evienne, Arienne proposed Llanwyn Siannodel to be her successor, and he was accepted. Unfortunately, Llanwyn’s mysterious size-altering disease ended in his disappearance, and Ovan Hastra was appointed a few years later by Milo L’Evienne to the position of Archprelate of the Faith.

[top]Church Structure

The Church of Faith holds seven total ranks that members generally fall into. However, the varying orders it entertains and encompasses can complicate the process. As a general rule, all Church officials are assigned the following seven ranks and the Orders are left to their own devices for hierarchy, with the exception that the Prince over their order is the de facto head of that sub-faction.

[top]Overview of Church Ranks

These are the ranks within the Church of Faith.
The Hierarch of the Faith: The Church of Faith is overseen by a Hierarch, sometimes called “Archprelate.” The Hierarch is the chief advisor in all spiritual matters in the Kingdom and is often thought to receive blessings from the gods themselves. He is also the commander-in-chief of the Archprelatine Guard, or Paladins of the Church, the Prelatine Guard, and the Magi of Faith.

The Hierarch is also responsible for the appointment of the Council of Princes under his tenure and has the ability to remove any number of them as he sees fit.

The Princes of the Faith: The Princes of the Faith, or collectively, the Council of Princes, are divided up into fourteen unique seats and are the elder spiritual advisors within the church. They also serve as experts in their assigned field and deal with matters for the church based on the duties designated by their titles. Many Princes serve as the heads of orders within the church. A female in this position is referred to as a Princess. It is also acceptable to refer to the Princes by the archaic term, “Prelate.”

The twelve Princes are:
The Prince of the Benedictine Servants of Hospitality
The Prince of the Cardonolet Brothers and Sisters of Divine Healing (also Prince over the Holy City and Sacred Blessings)
The Prince of the Kindred of Carmelya
The Prince of the Logicians
The Prince of the Fist of Maj
The Prince of the Honorable Ones
The Prince of the Keepers of the Kings’ Way
The Prince of the Arakmatan Patriarchy
The Prince over the Basilica Ecclesiae
The Prince over Law, Order, Justice and Church Protocol
The Prince over the Tithes of the Faithful
The Prince over the Sacred Histories and Divine Theology
The Prince over the Prelatine Army, Magi of the Faith and Paladins of the Archprelatine Guard.
The Council of Princes also participates in Conclave, a meeting including the Adjutants and Hierarch where financial and physical necessities of each province are conveyed to the church-proper and can be adequately addressed.

The Prince over Law, Order, Justice and Church Protocol also presides over the Quaestio, which includes the Patriae and Arch-Patriae of a province where a spiritual offense was made. Quaestio is Church court that has the power to sanction a person for transgressions against the Faith, as backed by Imperial Law.

Adjutants of the Faith: It is the responsibility of the Adjutants of the Faith to preside over the functional workings of the church in a province, but they are not usually responsible for direct spiritual leadership. All Adjutants serve as the church’s financial eyes and ears within a province and receive requests for additional funding, resources or manpower from the Arch-Patria over the area. There is only one Adjutant per province.
Further Reading: A Primer to Geography
Adjutants also participate as members of the Conclave which is a meeting they share with the Princes and Hierarch. It is at the Conclave that the Adjutants convey the needs of their province, and vote on their approval or disapproval.

It is important to note that the Adjutants are equal in terms of rank and importance to the Arch-Patriae.

Arch-Patriae: An Arch-Patria is the senior or high priest in a province for the church. It is their duty to serve as the main spiritual leader in the province, and as such, they regularly meet with the Patriae of the major cities within their jurisdiction to address any spiritual concerns that may need to be shared with the church as a whole. Arch-Patriae are typically formally trained in divinity and theology in addition to being well versed in any historical knowledge that is necessary to support teachings.

Arch-Patriae are on the same level as Adjutants and meet with them regularly to pass along physical and financial needs of the church’s outposts in their province to the Conclave so that they can be addressed. Arch-Patriae are also charged with being the leader of Aetherian theology and answering any questions that may arise from members of the province in matters of faith. It is not uncommon for the Arch-Patria to be intricately familiar with varied teachings on the main Aetherian pantheon, and to also possess a copy of the Holy Triance.

It is important to note that the Arch-Patriae are equal in terms of rank and importance to the Adjutants.

Patriae: The Patria, or High Priest of a specific temple, serves as the senior or seasoned spiritual leader to the attending members of his particular assignment. A Patria’s responsibilities include mentoring the priests and novices, coordinating outreach programs from their particular temple, and participating in the Quaestio, or Church Court. In the case of larger towns and cities where several Patriae exist due to the plethora of Church of Faith established temples, the greatest or richest temple’s Patria often acts as the spokesperson for the collection of Patriae. This particular Patria is often called the Patria Primus, and will bring requests and issues from their city’s Patriae to the Arch Patria whenever necessary. Often, the Patria of the Temple of Ioannes, if one exists, will take this position. In his stead, the position normally falls to the Temple of Aslan, and trickles down from there. The only exceptions are found in cities with a strong bias towards one Aetherian over another.
Further Reading: Aslan, God of Honor
Priests: It is the responsibility of the priest of a temple to serve as spiritual guidance for visitors and members of his city. While duties can vary based on the orders given out by their Patria, priests generally maintain the daily tasks to keep the temple in good appearances. They also meet individually to provide guidance, prayer or to simply listen, depending on what the visitor might need.

Novices: Novices are newly inducted and enthusiastic members of a temple or section of the church that are seeking to become priests in the place that they have joined. Novices are very much apprentices and are overseen by a mentor priest and by the Patria of the temple, providing education in the ways of the church, the teachings of the faith and all manner of knowledge necessary to be an effective advocate of the faith.

[top]Progression through the Church of Faith

Various orders within the Church of Faith will have their own progression, but positions within the church itself follows the following outline.

[top]Novice to Priest

Anyone is able to join the Church of Faith as a novice, and in this rank serve as apprentices to the priest and Patria of the temple. To progress through the ranks and become a full priest of the church, a novice must prove himself to the temple’s Patria and take an oath of his choosing to serve the Church of Faith. Above all, they swear to uphold the ideals of the church and abide by the tenets of faith laid out before them.

[top]Priest to Patria

As a priest, a member of the Church of Faith may choose to enter the clergy and serve in that capacity as Fathers or Mothers. They may also choose to join an order within the church or advance to Patria through contact with the Arch-Patria of the province. To become a Patria, one must pass a series of examinations to show compentency not only in their desired temple’s beliefs but most importantly that of the Church of Faith. A priest also typically serves within the temple he wishes to oversee for a number of years, to develop knowledge of how various temples to his particular god operate.

Patria are encouraged to obtain knowledge in divine theology.

[top]Patria to Arch-Patria

Patria normally advance to the position of Arch-Patria when the current provincial Arch-Patria retires or dies. Arch-Patria are appointed by a Council of Princes, specifically the Prince over Law, Order, Justice and Church Protocol, the Prince over the Sacred Histories and Divine Theology, and the Prince over the Holy City and Sacred Blessings. The Council considers input from the Adjutants, and will test candidates on their knowledge of the conditions of their province and the spirituality aspects of the Church of Faith they believe the new Arch-Patria should be familiar with.

Arch-Patria are required to have some knowledge in divine theology.

[top]Appointment of the Adjutants of the Faith

Adjutants of the Faith are typically appointed to their positions from the priests in the clergy of Diana who are serving under the Prince over the Basilica Ecclesiae, the Prince over the Tithes of the Faithful, or the Prince over Law, Order, Justice and Church Protocol. Candidates for the position of Adjutant of the Faith for any of the provinces are tested on their knowledge of the Church of Faith’s monetary endeavors and asked to display a competency in some form of accounting, even if they have no official training.

[top]Appointment of the Princes of the Faith

Princes of the Faith are appointed from either clergymen within the areas of service who display a vacancy, if the Prince is not for a particular order, or are naturally appointed through succession in the varying orders that serve within the Church of Faith. The Hierarch is required to approve of all Princes before they can be officially considered such and any disagreements between the present council and the Hierarch may be put to a vote. An eleven out of fourteen vote must pass to overrule the Hierarch’s approval.

Princes of the Faith are the forefront of knowledge in their assigned area and as such are tested by the Hierarch and occasionally the council to ensure that they are the correct person for the position. They are required to have knowledge in divine theology in addition to anything else specific to their appointment.

[top]Appointment the Hierarch of the Faith

The Hierarch of the Faith is officially appointed by the Defender of the Faith, or the current ruler of the Kingdom of Aelyria. Candidates for the position of Hierarch are put forth by the Council of Princes, and are usually found within the council itself. Uncommonly, the council may put forth someone of lesser rank if they believe that the person is blessed by or appointed by the gods.

[top]Orders within the Church of Faith

While the number of orders within the Church of Faith can vary based on the Hierarch’s decisions and the assessed need for their services, there are eleven orders of note, both in current operation and from a historical standpoint. Some of the orders listed here are no longer active, but their members may revitalize them at a later date.

The Church of Faith allows the existence of the orders due to the benefits that a specialist group of clergymen can offer to the faction as a whole. Favoritism is not seen as a violation of Prae’ry unless the order begins speaking out against or failing to acknowledge the sovereignty of Ioannes. Orders are required to adhere to the standards and practices of the Church of Faith and in turn are provided with support as a sub-faction of the greater faction. They also provide the Church of Faith with excellent resources for specific questions about lesser known gods in the event that an unspecialized clergyman cannot answer. So long as an order has a specific purpose that does not violate the views of the Church of Faith or the tenets they abide by, it is allowed to exist in harmony as another facet of the faction in society.
Further Reading: Religious Cults

[top]Benedictine Servants of Hospitality

A popular order among priests and citizenry alike, the Benedictines are operators of the realm’s hospices, hostels, healing houses and asylums. Specializing in the areas of law and theology, Servants also occasionally serve in defense of the innocent across the realm in the secular courts. It is not uncommon for the Servants to offer counsel and support to anyone who is to stand before the Quaestio.

[top]The Cardonolet Brothers and Sisters of Divine Healing

Cardonolets devote their lives towards working with the poorer folk within a city or the rural citizens in the immediate surrounding areas. They are healing specialists and spend much of their time devoted to paths that will heal the physically sick and mentally ill. Much research is conducted by the Cardonolets in an attempt to develop innovative techniques to perform their personal mandates.
Further Reading: Thaumaturgy, Vocational Skills

[top]The Kindred of Carmelya

The Kindred of Carmelya focus worship on the Goddess of Nature, also associating her with hope and victory. Following in the footsteps of Carmelya, they spend their time assisting in difficult childbirths, working with the military to heal and provide, or wandering among the destitute to instill hope. The Kindred of Carmelya are most often found in the rural regions surrounding cities as they feel it is in the wilds they are closest to their chosen goddess.
Further Reading: Carmelya, Goddess of Nature

[top]The Logicians

As a group of Orod worshipers, the Logicians employ logic and reason to live their lives by and provide services to the church as theologians and teachers within the academy. They are also the forefront in divinity education and the histories of the church. Some believe they may assist the church by chronicling events, but given the private nature of such documents it is hard to say definitively. It is common that the Logicians will be called upon by the Prince over Law, Order, Justice and Church Protocol to sit in on cases of Quaestio.
Further Reading: Orod, God of Logic

[top]The Fists of Maj

Formed in response to Archprelate Maximillian’s opposition of the Church of Faith through the Cheslyean Church, the Fists of Maj are a militant order that eventually spawned the Prelatine Army after serving as the honor guard to the Council of Princes. The Fists of Maj now serve the church through the education of members of the church’s militant arm in warfare and as advisors in combatant situations should the church require them.
Further Reading: Maj, Arch Archon

[top]The Honorable Ones

As warrior-priests who worship Aslan, the Honorable Ones advocate honor, fairness and the protection of the innocent. They are quick to speak out against militant decisions they disagree with such as Vesta sending the Preatline army to Intendent Thalia or Archprelatess Aerienne’s disbanding of the Holy Inquisition. In recent times, they are considered as the precursors of the church’s Paladins.
Further Reading: Aslan, God of Honor

[top]The Keepers of the King’s Way

The Keepers, a group dedicated to the worship of Ioannes alone, advocate that the church should hold the values of the Sacred Three above all other teachings. The Keepers are also incredibly aggressive in their movements against things they consider evil, such as the Vysstichi cities or well known bases for Aeternian worshipers.

[top]The Arakmatan Patriarchy

Officially centered around Aslan-Imannuel and rooted in the Order of the Sacred Oasis under the Dorins, the Arakmatan Patriarchy is a foreign-absorbed seat of the Faith that has been tolerated by the church due to the autonomous state of the Sultanate. The Church of Faith’s influence on Arakmat is at the mercy of the Arakmatan Patriarchy. Though the two are unlikely to part ways due to necessity for one another, the Hierarch attempts to appease the Sultanate whenever possible.

[top]Disbanded Orders of the Faith

The following orders are officially considered disbanded in the Church of Faith, but may regain their prominence at a later time.

[top]The Holy Inquisition

Now disbanded, though rumored to still exist in the bowels of the Church, the Holy Inquisition was an underground sect that sought the destruction of heresy wherever it was found by any means necessary. After its forced abandonment by Aerienne Sarista, the Inquisition has grown quiet but still seeks the destruction of threats to the Faith and eventually hopes to be publicly recognized by another Hierarch.

[top]The Brotherhood of Maj

A cult that was incredibly dedicated to Maj with an attempt to somehow raise him to the same level as the five Aetherians, the Brotherhood remained hidden from the church while working from inside it to facilitate its defamation. Publicly, the Church of Faith denounces the existence of the Brotherhood of Maj and its last known whereabouts or radical attempts to elevate Maj have long been lost.
Further Reading: The Brotherhood of Maj

[top]The Hands of Diana

Originally trained as healers, the Hands of Diana were a sect of priests devoted to the worship of Diana as Queen of the Heavens. After Diana's fall from grace, the order was disbanded. The Hands focus on healing within the cities in the homes of wealthy merchants and the upper class, a practice which originally spawned the Cardonolets.
Further Reading: Diana, Former Goddess of Mercy, Eclipse of Chaos

[top]Economical Impact

The Church of Faith officially owns most of the land surrounding the city of Sacrum, giving it rights to a large portion of the Vesta. It also claims many of the economically viable properties in the area but it is impossible to adequately list them all. Additionally, the Church of Faith claims rights to most of the business conducted within the city of Sacrum and surrounding areas and receives much of its funding from the salt mines of Terramarique.

The Church of Faith has official rights to the salt mines of Terramarique, though the government of Aelyria provides the labor to mine the commodity through deposition of prisoners upon the remote island. This arrangement provides the Church of Faith with more than adequate funding to conduct its endeavors and allows the government a place to put prisoners in a secluded area but still to a productive use.

[top]Duties and Obligations

The Church of Faith is charged with many duties to the Aelyrian people. First called as spiritual leadership, the Church of Faith under Constantine was given secondary authority to the Crown in all matters relating to spirituality and salvation. However, the actual collective is given a Divine Mandate as laid out by the Holy Triance, a book constructed of tales from interviews of the Ancient Aelyrians Michael and Gabriel shortly before the coronation of Empress Fire. While the beginning section, “Shei’ry”, contains the history of the world, the “Prae’ry” contains instruction for how mortals are to live their lives to seek favor in Ioannes’ eyes in the form of parables.

From Prae’ry, the Church of Faith developed the tenets of faith that govern both the Church leaders and body. As the official religion of the Aelyrian realm, the tenets of faith are recognized by most citizens but are unfortunately difficult to uniformly enforce.

[top]Tenets of the Faith

Orders within the Church may have their own mandates for followers who adhere to them, but retention of membership to any of its orders is completely optional. These however are the mandates of the Church of Faith itself.

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before Ioannes, the embodiment of Law, Order and Justice. All Aetherians are worthy of praise, but none are higher than Ioannes. Worship him as the ultimate creator and honor his virtues.

2.Thou shalt not worship Aeternians and Planetars, nor erect temples or create sites to honor their values. Blasphemous are those that worship the Aeternians and Planetars, committing the greatest possible offense against the purity of Order.

3. Thou shalt not speak ill of the Aetherians, least of all Ioannes, nor shall there be any acts committed against them or their messengers.

4.Thou shalt not take life needlessly. All creation is of Ioannes and only those that have been claimed by the Aeternians and the Planetars, who are unreachable for salvation, should be put to death.

5. Thou shalt support the works of the Church of Faith and its Hierarch, who is chosen by the gods to be a mortal vessel upon the Aelyrian Realm. Blasphemous are those who defame or attack the Speaker of the Faith, the ruling body recognized as the Defender of the Faith, or any spiritual leader within the realm.

6. Thou shalt always speak the truth, regardless of consequence. To lie is to be in the company of The Corruptor of the Truth, who acts against your creator.

7. Thou shalt safeguard those who are helpless when it is within thy power and thou shalt assist those in need if it is within thy realm to do so.

[top]Daily Rituals and Practices

While these traditions may vary for the different orders within the Church of Faith and also across the Realm as cultural influences impact the ceremonies or rituals, it is accepted that all priests are able to perform a certain set of brighteningly tasks.
Holy Union: Following the example of Ioannes’ union with Diana, the Church of Faith empowers its priests to perform a ritual binding two people together. This is often referred to as “marriage.” The priest personifies the role of the late Olsyréa, who the Church believes was an Archon prior to her fall from Aetheria. Prior to the ritual’s performance, the couple and the priest pray to Ioannes to ask for his justice, Aslan for his truth, and Orod for the official binding to be recorded in his enormous book. It is thought that if the union is not meant to be, that one of the mentioned gods will intervene and the priest will find it difficult to continue.

Burial: Priests within the Church of Faith often perform ceremonies and hold services of bereavement for the family of departed souls. While acknowledgment of Jalat is minimal within the Church of Faith, priests who hold funeral services focus on prayers for mercy and comfort for those who are left behind while also leading the gathered survivors in prayer to Ioannes for swift judgment. They also implore Ioannes to not allow the soul to slip back through into the Material Plane as a ghost and will often bury the body with a triangle tucked between its crossed hands to remind any soul that ends up lost and returns that they need to let go and return to Aetheria where they belong.

Spiritual Guidance: Priests of the Church of Faith provide daily direction to citizens of the towns where their facilities are located, whether they are in matters of repentance or direction. This requires basic knowledge of the will of the gods, but it is understood that anyone seeking spiritual aid will be able to find it within the halls of any of the Church of Faith’s temples.

Birth Blessings: Upon the birth of a child, it is not uncommon for the faithful to bring the newborn to a priest of the Church of Faith and request a blessing. Priests often implore Ioannes to rear the child in what is good and justified and Carmelya for a healthy life throughout their days on Telath.

Coming of Age: When a child reaches an age that is considered by their race to be a mature adult, the Church of Faith often puts the child through a series of affirmations that dedicate their lives to what is honorable in the eyes of Aslan and just in the eyes of Ioannes.

Induction to the Clergy: Though induction ceremonies vary depending on where the priest is to join, all rituals begin with an anointment in the sunlight by the Prince over the area the priest is to join. Thought to be an acknowledgment before the Sun Throne itself, the priest is required to take vows related to the church in front of his peers and the overseeing official. Notably, the vows do not normally include a vow of celibacy, as priests are still allowed to marry. They are then given the garb of a clergymen, a white robe and a small cloak with a triangle emblazoned on its back.

[top]Celebrated Holidays

The following are a list of holidays officially celebrated and honored by the church.
Corinalia – Melora 14: Traditionally celebrated with a parade, live music, food and entertainment, the festival of Corinalia is the Church of Faith’s answer to the personification of love. In direct opposition of Olsyréa, the heathen Planetar of Love, the Church of Faith takes Melora 14 to remember the pleasantries of Queen Candace du Rose, exemplifying her outpour of love as a gift from the Aetherians, with whom she now resides.
Further Reading: Olsyréa, Planetar of Love
Kestrel Tourney – Ioannes 1: Often promoted by the Fists of Maj, the Kestrel Tourney is typified by warriors and knights gathering to display their might in honor of not only their houses, but the Aetherians themselves. Many knights or warriors associated with the Church of Faith use the tournament as publicity to discourage Aeternian followers who are working against them.

Memorianam – Imperos 15: A day on which all businesses and offices close to remember the fallen heroes and soldiers who died in defense of the Realm Memorianam is also important to the Church of Faith as they remember fallen paladins, warriors and champions who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the faith.

Prima Vera – Cryaxtum 1: Led by the Kindred of Carmelya, citizens all across the realm who are involved in the Church of Faith use Prima Vera to acknowledge and give thanks to Carmelya for her provisions as handed down by Ioannes. Cryaxtum 1 is considered the first day of spring in Aelyria. Typically, the elderly or senior officials in the temples or orders are allowed to plant the first seed in the city’s local field. The Kindred tend to organize the elders of the city itself to participate in the first planting.

Priaestas – Ulyris 1: Thought to be the brightening that the Sun Throne of Ioannes is focused most prominently on the Aelyrian Realm, Priaestas is a holiday where the Church of Faith advocates its followers to go above and beyond their normal duty of good works and perform extraordinary feats in Ioannes’ name. This is considered the first day of the Aelyrian summer.
Further Reading: Holidays in Aelyria

[top]Symbolism of the Faith

Though symbolism of the Faith tends to vary across the realm, there are a few unmistakable signs that represent the religion of Aelyria. Some of the other Aetherian imagery created most certainly stems from the church, but may be representative of a particular deity and not related to the Sacred Three or the Church of Faith directly.
The Triangle: Also a symbol of Ioannes, the Church of Faith employs the triangle as a symbol out of respect for the god of gods and the sacred three. The pinnacle of the triangle is always thought to be Order, while the two feet of it are Law and Justice. The Church equates that order can only be obtained through justice and the law.

Three Blades: Perhaps a nod to Aslan’s contribution to his father’s agenda, this symbol showcases three weapons placed hilt to tip in a triangle. While the weapon used may vary from place to place, a longsword is the most common form.
Further Reading: Religious Symbols

[top]The Church’s Views of the Aetherians

These are the official views of the Church's view on the various Aetherian gods.

[top]Ioannes – God of Gods, The Creator, Keeper of the Sacred Three

The Church of Faith sees Ioannes as the god of gods and believes he is responsible for the creation and dictation of all other gods in existence. Ioannes is also credited by the Church as the creator of the multiverse. He is regarded as being a just god, but not one who is quick to forgive. The Church also believes that Ioannes bases his judgment in the afterlife on the works that were preformed while the soul was alive. Souls that are beyond saving are to be sent to stand before him at the Sun Throne so they can be judged and punished. Followers are encouraged to pray to Ioannes constantly despite any beliefs in other deities especially in times of struggle, when life feels as if it is falling apart, at the death of a loved one, and for guidance to do what is right. It is also mandated that Ioannes should be prayed to whenever beseeching other deities, asking that he support them in the requested task. Many followers reduce this requirement to the statement, ”according to the will of Ioannes” at the end of all prayers.

[top]Aslan – The Prince of Aetheria, Truth’s Advocate

Aslan, the son of Ioannes, is viewed by the Church to be more important than all other gods who are not a part of the Sacred Three. Sometimes, the church equates justice’s truth to Aslan, giving the rightful connection to his father and forming the interconnectedness that the Faith represents, both through the Sacred Three and the symbolic triangle. Aslan is the patron god of the paladins and the church often encourages prayer to him when a person is in need of courage, honor, or seeking the truth.

[top]Carmelya – The Life Giver, Breath of Life, Divine Mother

The Church views Carmelya as worthy of praise due to Carmelya’s role in creation of all living things. They believe that through Ioannes’ perfect order, Carmelya is responsible for the way that things in the universe become more ordered by forming organic structures such as animals, people and nature itself. Followers are encouraged to pray to Carmelya in matters of childbirth, health, fertility, and provision for life from the land such as in farming or wilderness travel.

[top]Orod – The Great Logician, Father of Wisdom

Orod is praised by the Church as being responsible for the gift of wisdom and logic to mortals. His role in Ioannes’ divine plan is viewed to be justice and the carrying out of law through the ultimate gift of critical thought. Followers are encouraged to pray to Orod for wisdom, to see the correct path they should take in decision making, and for an expansion of knowledge.

[top]Maj – The Supreme Captain

The Church of Faith regards Maj as worthy of praise because Ioannes gave him the task of guarding the Exercitum, the force that binds the multiverse together. Maj is also the captain of the Archonic Phalanx, an army of Archons, and so the church encourages followers who are military leaders to look to Maj for guidance.

[top]Phedos – The Great Strategist

The Church of Faith regards Phedos as an Archon of equal importance to Maj, due to his hand in the creation of the elven races and the task Ioannes gave him: to guard the Divine Magic. The Church encourages military leaders to look to Phedos for guidance on the battlefield because he is regarded as the Archon of strategy and tactics.
Further Reading: Phedos, Archon of Magic

[top]Cetheron – Our Tireless Warrior

Another Archon seen as equally important as Maj and Phedos, Cetheron is regarded by the church as the shining example of what a warrior should be. Soldiers and paladins are instructed to seek Cetheron’s tireless devotion and enduring loyalty both on and off the battlefield.
Further Reading: Cetheron, Archon of Soldiers

[top]Markalin – The Supreme Admiral of the Seas, King of the Waters

The fourth of the four Archons that are seen as equally important due to their specific purposes as laid out by Ioannes, Markalin is viewed as the most volatile of the lesser deities in Aetheria. Seeking to curb his wrath while the Imperial Navy is out at sea, priests often accompany vessels and pray to the Archon on behalf of the crew. They also will occasionally lead a ship-wide prayer in heavy storm conditions. The Church of Faith believes that the easily changing weather on the oceans and seas around Telath is a reflection of the Archon’s temperament, but respect him for his command of the Aetherian Navy and encourage mortal sea-farers to pray to him for protection. In addition, the Church instructs followers to seek Markalin’s guidance whenever they encounter inclement weather at sea. It is thought that in addition to controlling the waters, Markalin is responsible for all seafood bounty that mortals are allowed to extract from the sea. While Carmelya may have given them life, Markalin allows the inhabitants of Telath to extract them from his charge and for that followers are encouraged to thank him.

There is no official order devoted to Markalin due to the extreme lack of importance placed upon him for the mainland. However, scholars believe that should the Church of Faith ever become well-established in the Eunesian Isles, an order to the Archon of the Sea is sure to follow.
Further Reading: Markalin, Archon of the Sea

[top]Secular Influence

Historically, the Church of Faith has attempted to influence education, mostly at the Universitas and Collegio levels. While the curriculum is handled by varying offices of the Crown, the Church of Faith often lobbies to have a place in what is being taught. Barring a successful infiltration of the education system, the Church resigns itself to offer discounted teaching on the Collegio level in all manner of things through the Tower of Serenity in Sacrum, and also through the temples that are established in each province or city.

As the official religion of the Aelyrian Realm, the Church of Faith exercises certain rights under their interpretation of the Articles of Imperium, including that crimes against the Church’s doctrines are also punishable by law. While this easily applies to the worship of the Aeternian gods, it is considered a grey area in terms of planetars and the persecution of their followers. Citizens who violate Prae’ry, the laws of the Faith, can be overheard in Quaestio, or Church Court. While one can appeal to secular government for nullification of a Quaestio ruling, the Church of Faith brands the person a heretic. Rulings in Quaestio are thought of as punishments that must be prescribed for purification of the soul. While heretics are rarely forgiven, it is common for the Church of Faith to forgive followers who are purified in this manner.

The Church of Faith is also unofficially known for having an extensive natural intelligence network within the realm. Most of the information gathered comes from whatever priests in the temples overhear to keep them in tune with the city they are serving, but there are rumors that other branches and orders of the Church of Faith may use the informant’s reports to pursue some of the less known and less well received agendas, such as forceful removal of Aeternian worshipers in government positions and the heads of those temples throughout the land. Many believe that this sect of intelligence gathering is where the inquisition and its counterparts often spring up, prompted by a particular set of worrisome information.

Finally, as with all benevolent organizations throughout the land, the Church of Faith provides aid to the homeless and the needy as well as can be afforded. Often, cots are set up in temples after disasters, clothing and food is given to families who cannot afford it themselves, and Church coffers are accessed following disasters. The Church of Faith is one of the largest land-owning entities within the Aelyrian Realms and also possesses the rights to Terramarique. In Diana, it holds claim to the majority of the businesses in one way or another.

[top]Credit

Original write-up by Trinity


Created by Charybdis, August 9, 2014 at 02:35 PM
Last edited by Straylor Leonard, April 7, 2016 at 02:55 PM
0 Comments, 1,486 Views
Page Tools
Rate This Page
Rate This Page:


Posting Rules
You may not create new articles
You may not edit articles
You may not protect articles

You may not post comments
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your comments

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:45 PM.


 
 
Terms of Use :: Feedback

Aelyria ™ Version 3.4.0
Copyright © 1989-2017 Play by Post LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Aelyria ® is a Registered Trademark of Play by Post LLC.
Created by Juan Gonzalez and People Like You.