Friday, August 24, 2007

Religion

Most people in Takshendal accept without question the principle of The Creator. Fervour in worshipping The Creator differs widely from person to person and naturally several schools of faith have emerged over the years. These include the Church of the Almighty, the Church of Humanity, the Church of the Divine Grace and the Church of Holy Law. Each of these is established in the city with several centre's of worship, but none have a monopoly of power and each church maintains its own interests as best it can. An ecclesiastical council exists to mediate any conflicts between the various churches, but this has very little authority beyond inter religious debates.

The Church of the Almighty. This is the strictest of the four churches. Its followers shun any display of human pleasure and regard indulgence of emotion as a sin. They believe The Creator requires absolute obedience and constant prayer and the faithful must pray at last three times a day. Colourful clothing, laziness, rich food and 'frivolous arts' are all forbidden. This church has only a few followers in the city but these few have a loud voice and often stage demonstrations against anything they disaprove of. As a consequence thay are not very popular. The Church of the Almighty is run by a small group of fire brand clerics all of whom take their guidance from the Great Father who is regarded as the Voice of The Creator on Earth.

The Church of Humanity. This is a popular church but with very few followers. The faithful believe the Creator intended life to be lived in the pursuit of absolute happiness and as a result they shun labour and profit and renounce all worldly concerns. The Church of Humanity teaches free love, and its ceremonial orgies and decadent abandon attract much criticism from the other churches who view the neglect of life as distatefull. Once a church has been acquired by the Church of Humanity, it is allowed to fall into gradual ruin. The Church of Humanity is run by a nebulous group of clerics who have no over all leadership but who form councils to deal with any problem that arises. Of all the churches they are the only ones who accept women as priests.

The Church of the Divine Grace. The most popular and sedate of the four churches. The Church of Divine Grace teaches that The Creator made all things in balance, thus equlibrium is the perfect goal for the faithful. As a consequence of its teachings, the church allows two schools of thought regarding all things, the Light and the Dark. Each church has two alters, one to the good in men and one to the darkness. The faithful must choose for themselves which path to take, but always to understand that The Creator's will cannot be explained by a simple choice of personal morality and that all life is a balance between good and evil. The Church of the Divine Grace is run by an established clerical beaurocracy which takes its orders from a Grand Council of priests. In its turn the Grand Council takes its lead from the Head of the Council, known as the First Father.

The Church of Holy Law. A small order who's followers believe that sacrificing themselves to help others is a divine duty. The Church of Holy Law is close in ideology to the Church of Divine Grace, but its followers shun the notion of recognizing the darkness as worthy of consideration, arguing that The Creator gave men a choice in how to to live their lives. The Church of Holy Law operates several several monastry's within and around Takshendal and though it is run by an independent clerical beaurocracy it still recognizes the First Father as the ultimate authority on the divine will of The Creator on Earth.

There are several cults also operating within Takshendal but most are short lived. Only two have survived long enough to be universally known. The Followers of the Dark Lord and the Sunflower People.

The Followers of the Dark Lord believe that The Creator is in fact two opposing aspects of itself and the dark aspect, a power unto itself, rewards anarchy and selfish behaviour. The cult is ideologically opposed to the Church of Holy Law but due to its followers belief cannot maintain the internal structure needed to survive. As a consequence the faithful are nearly always fighting amongst themselves and the cult rises and collapses into chaos regularly. All the recognized churches shun the Followers of the Dark Lord.

The Sunflower People are a strange band who through the teachings of their founder believe The Creator is dreaming and all things are a part of this dream. They have no organized churches or clergy and never meet in large numbers. Their only common practice is in the wearing of yellow robes and in a chanting meditation through which they believe they can speak to The Dreaming Creator. They have no ideology as such but they do practice a form of self medication through spiritual cleansing. Who their founder was is a mystery for he never revealed his identity, leaving behind only a handful of lessons in the art of meditation, passed down through generations.

4 comments:

Palle "Nybyggeren" said...

The Followers of the Dark Lord believe that The Creator is in fact two opposing aspects of itself and the dark aspect, a power unto itself, rewards anarchy and selfish behaviour. The cult is ideologically opposed to the Church of Holy Law but due to its followers belief cannot maintain the internal structure needed to survive. As a consequence the faithful are nearly always fighting amongst themselves and the cult rises and collapses into chaos regularly. All the recognized churches shun the Followers of the Dark Lord.

Could be them behind it all, but who convinced rational merchants to behave so irrationally? Must be a very dangerous demagogue...

moif said...

There is a small problem in your logic... a minor detail you've over looked but which puts very everything into a different light...

Palle "Nybyggeren" said...

That is Misteline's and Silas' job to figure out. I just ask the pertinent questions.

moif said...

I meant in your comment... though your right in that you have fulfilled your particular mission and they have yet to fulfill theirs.