P O N T I F I C U M
H I S T O R I A
“B O O K O F T H E P O N T I F I C A T E”
A U T H O R E D B Y Y . B . K A R A K U L A K
I N C O N J U N C T I O N W I T H
T H E I M P E R I A L A S S O C I A T I O N
THE EARLY CHURCH
I. & II. High Priests St. Evaristus I and St. Clement I
PAPAS EVARISTUS PRIMUS ET CLEMENS PRIMUS
The first heads of the Holy Faith appointed by the successor of Horen, Owyn I.
III. High Priest Sixtus I
PAPA XYSTUS PRIMUS
IV. High Priest Alexander I
PAPA ALEXANDER PRIMUS
V. High Priest Pontian I
PAPA PONTIANUS PRIMUS
VI. High Priest Stephen I
PAPA STEPHANUS PRIMUS
VII. High Priest Paul I
PAPA PAULUS PRIMUS
VIII. High Priest Paul II
PAPA PAULUS SECUNDUS
IX. High Priest Sixtus II
PAPA XYSTUS SECUNDUS
X. High Priest Liberius I
PAPA LIBERIUS PRIMUS
It was under Liberius I when the great Priestly See of Pontian I was ravaged, the archives of the Faith lost, and the Priesthood destroyed. Whilst the majority of mankind still heralded the faith of Horen I, there was no singular Head of Faith until the High Priest Marcus; instead , the Church’s dogma was governed by various clerical circles who acted as peers. What little is known about the Church prior the Sack of Pontia was due to texts saved in his escape.
XI. High Priest Marcus I
PAPA MARCUS PRIMUS
The first and last leader of the Faith under the line of Horen, he was appointed in the reign of St. Daniel whom sought to restore the Priesthood after centuries of decentralized clergy. He proved able and competent in swaying the various religious circles to submit to his authority.
XII. High Priest Bernard I
PAPA BERNARDUS PRIMUS
The first non-human leader of faith and the first recorded leader of the Faith under the usurper Perea and Sheffield dynasties, before which the Church was held in high regard by the line of Horen. Bernard was of halfling origin and relatively mild-mannered.
XIII. High Priest St. Everard I
PAPA EVERARDUS PRIMUS
The progenitor of House Hightower, Everard I was the last High Priest of a unified Oren. He died a martyr, attempting to prevent the non-believer Sheffield king from abolishing the Church entirely. After his reign the kingdom splintered, causing the Church to be absorbed into the Phoenix Kingdom of Renatus and lose a great deal of power and influence.
The First Interregnum
The First Interregnum was caused by the split of Oren into Hanseti, Renatus and Salvus.
THE RENATIAN PONTIFICATE
XIV. Prince-Archbishop James I
PAPA IACOMES PRIMUS
The first of the Renatian Pontificate, James I was the son of Everard I and was appointed to the position of Leader of the Faith by the Lord Regent Reynard Lycian. His carnal desires and greed was well-noted by peers, as he often wasted away church funds on courtesans and masquerades.
XV. High Pontiff Pius I ‘the Bloody’
PAPA PIUS PRIMUS CRUENTUS
The second of the Renatian Pontificate, Pius I was a high elf born of the noble House Silverblade under the name of Gideon. Instated by the newly-crowned Godfrey of Horen. Famed for his lechery and libertinism, Pius was known to have impregnated several noble ladies and was notably violent and bloody in his behaviour.
XVI. High Pontiff Bl. Adeodatus I 'the Simple'
PAPA ADEODATUS PRIMUS GRACILIS
Adeodatus was also of House Silverblade, born Boiendl Silverblade. Having been significantly less problematic than his two predecessors, Adeodatus’ reign was stagnant however peaceful. He was a pious and charitable mystic, who spent much of his church tithes tending to the poor and sick. However, he is infamous among tavern-folk for the wild-stories of his reign; a famous fresco of the era depicts him running about in his undergarments through the streets, his speech was cluttered with abrupt and offensive shouting, and his attempts to regulate and legalize prostitution in Oren stirred deep controversy among reactionaries and conservatives. This eccentric nature prove to be his downfall, as many of the clergy demanded the more disciplined and orthodox Lucien to take upon the papal laurels, and soon enough, the simple Adeodatus I resigned from his post. Despite his outbursts and oddities, he was recognized for his piety upon his passing and later beatified, for his goodwill and simple nature.
XVII. High Pontiff St. Lucien I 'the Good'
PAPA LUCIUS PRIMUS BONUS
The fourth and final of the Renatian Pontificate, Lucien I was Velwyn Ashford, a member of the Order of the White Rose who was a prominent reactionary and human supremacist. A pious High Pontiff who believed wholeheartedly in fulfilling God’s work, Lucien’s reign was uneventful however during it the Church’s good reputation was restored and various significant theologians were fostered under his tutelage.
XVIII. High Pontiff Owyn I
PAPA OVENIUS PRIMUS
[r. 1435-1444] [1378-1444] [Goddard Carrion]
The controversial successor of Lucien I upon his exile, Owyn was one of the more notable heads of the Faith. Throughout Owyn's long and tumultuous reign, he acquired large tracts of land and political power for the Church not seen since the days of High Priest of Pontia. In modern times as then, he was reputed by many as corrupt and ambitious, and is more notable for his achievements in secular policy than in the faith. However, to others, he was acclaimed for his contributions to the Siegmundic prophecy.
The Second Interregnum
The Second Interregnum was caused by the abolition of the Pontifical throne by Owyn I, a deeply heretical move which was immediately resisted by clergy.
XIX. Blessed High Ecclesiarch Radomir I
PAPA RADOSLAUS PRIMUS
[r. 1444-1448] [14??-1456] [Francis-Joseph Carrion]
The only head of the Faith and the Church being called High Ecclesiarch due to his extraordinary nature of ruling as a King and High Pontiff during varying periods of his lifetime. Born as Franz Joseph Carrion, Radomir is an extreme reformist who aimed to mold the Church into a tool of both power and precision so it might spread the word of God by the sword and the cross. However, his reforms had led to radical bills such as the Bull of Dibley, and as a Pontiff is condemned for attempting to make the Pontificate hereditary. He soon realized his folly and amended his bills, but later resigned due to frustration of his abilities. Over a decade later he inherited the Orenian throne as King Francis, before being butchered in the Franciscan Massacre.
XX. High Pontiff Lucien II 'the Unready'
PAPA LUCIUS SECUNDUS IMPARATUS
[r. 1448-1451] [141?-1451] [Signus Cross]
High Pontiff Lucien II reigned as High Pontiff after Radomir. He was the first High Pontiff elected by the Ecclesiastical Synod, the college of Bishops convened to choose a successor to Radomir in the wake of his leave. Lucien II was a Lucienist that sought to expand the Church's presence in Oren. He oversaw the establishment of the Order of St. Lucien and the assimilation of the Teutonic Order into the Church, as well as reviving a tradition of regular mass and fasting in the significant cities. However, during his reign his neglect to manage his subordinates led to his lack of political sway and, according to some, his death as he was assassinated through poison.
XXI. High Pontiff Regulus I
PAPA REGULUS PRIMUS
[r. 1451-1457] [1399-1457] [Castus II Winter]
A relic of Godfrey's era, the imperial traditionalist Regulus was unanimously chosen by the Ecclesiastical Synod to take control of the Faith after the death of Lucien II. During his reign, many doctrines were established and clarified, yet his issues in unifying the various sects, and later openly tolerating and patronizing Darfeyist and Rovinist plots had led to the brutal Franciscian Massacre and a sharp decline in moral authority. His station was brought under heavy scrutiny after its lead role in overthrowing the Carrion dynasty and replacing it with the Chivay dynasty. Regulus retired and abdicated his title shortly after Emperor Peter I's coronation.
THE DARFEY ERA
XXII. High Pontiff Bl. Pius II
PAPA PIUS SECUNDUS
[r. 1457-1457] [1418-1457] [Michael John Mary of Longueville]
“Pro Deo Et Patria”
Pius II is known for being the shortest-lived head of Faith, his reign lasting a paltry six months. While of outstanding learning and particular renown, this staunch member of the Rovinist-Lucienist fellowship soon found himself deposed in favor for the notorious John of Darfey himself. He was hunted down and killed by his former colleagues after trying to resist his deposition, known for little else other than being a pawn in their political machinations.
XXIII. High Pontiff Paul III 'the Wicked'
PAPA PAULUS TERTIUS MALUS
[r. 1457-1460] [14??-14??] [John Jrent]
There are few held in such high contempt in the Church histories as the figure "John of Darfey", a bastard of low cunning and malevolent intent. Little is known about the Jrent's early clerical career, but his rise to prominence began under Radomir I where he found himself appointed as the Bishop of Corazon. From thenceforth, John of Darfey utilized political connections to severe and poison the human state, fostering deep sectarian issue and dissent which culminated in the Franciscan Massacre. However, growing resentment against his political dogma and abuse of clerical authority led to his deposition by the Chivay government.
The Third Interregnum
The Third Interregnum was caused by the abolition of the Church at the hands of Robert Chivay and the institution of the Reformed Communion, a caesaropapist tradition presided by High Patriarch Thomas I, which greatly curbed the rights of the clergy. Church activity waned until the Vibian Coup, and the Canonist Church was restored by the will of Thomas I.
THE KEEPERS OF THE REFORMATION
XXIV. High Pontiff St. Daniel I 'the Reader'
PAPA DANIEL PRIMUS LECTORES
[r. 1471-1512] [1441-1512] [Siguine Otovic Barrow]
The longest reigning High Pontiff in recorded history, Daniel I began his pontificate as little more than an adolescent and ended it a withered man. He witnessed three wars and the fall and return of a unified humanity; the Schism War, arguably the most significant of the three, revolved around the distrust faced against him due to his Carrion blood. However, despite the war and strife surrounding humanity, Daniel was a notable pacifist of weak constitution, choosing to the quill for his battles over blade. He earned the church lands and kept its sovereignty and neutrality throughout the period’s crises, establishing the Church’s presence as one significant yet apolitical; a mediator in disputes and center of higher learning. Prior Pontiffs largely relied on an inconsistent oral tradition to reference and minister faith, but under the reign of Daniel, liturgy, holy scrolls, dogma and histories were chronicled for posterity, enabling the priesthood a far greater understanding of faith and tradition than ever before. He is characterized for his passion for scholarship and academia, evoking a new literary tradition among the clergy, earning him the moniker ‘the Reader.’
XXV. High Pontiff Bl. Sixtus III ‘the Lewd’
PAPA XYSTUS TERTIUS IMPUDICUS
[r. 1512-1518] [148?-1518] [Theodosius Yurison]
Having ascended to the position of High Pontiff following a controversial election, Sixtus III sought to further progress conversion of the Elven subjects of the Kingdom of Oren and to make more efficient the Church, who's attendance has seen better days. He did indeed make great strides in conversion, founding a mission in Malinor with the help of Abbot Radovid of Blaviken. Unfortunately, before all his goals were accomplished, he was assassinated by an unknown man, becoming a martyr for the faith.
XXVI. High Pontiff Bl. Daniel II 'the Old'
PAPA DANIEL SECUNDUS VETUS
[r. 1518-1525] [1434-1525] [Cordal Winter]
The only man to have ever been crowned as the leader of the faith twice, Daniel II (the past High Patriarch Thomas I) sought to finish his late predecessor's work, though he failed in that regard. He was successful in other areas however, commissioning a crusade upon the Lesser Tarchary and with the help of his Pentarchy, founded what was to be Luciensport. Daniel II furthermore spearheaded efforts to end the Owynist Cults cropping up within Kaedrin. He died in his sleep, of old age and mild renown.
XXVII. High Pontiff Bl. Everard II 'the Wise'
PAPA EVERARDUS SECUNDUS SOPHES
[r. 1525-1537] [1489-1537] [Edmond Sarkozic]
The second Pontiff to be unanimously chosen by a papal conclave, Everard II attempted to reassert papal influence, and justly govern the church entrusted to him by GOD’s faithful. He did so with efficiency and under his reign papal influence expanded greatly. Everard confirmed Papal Dominance with the crowning of John Horen I as Holy Orenian Empire, following the untimely assassination of Guy de Bar. With the arrival of the Cordobonese Exiles, the creation of the Inquisition, and the establishment of the Patriarchy of Laurelin, Everard's reign was one of expansion. He was killed by clerical dissenters within the Garden of Adricho. He was slain beside Adrian of Kaedrin. With his death, he left behind a legacy of expansion and strength.
XXVIII. High Pontiff Bl. Lucien III
PAPA LUCIUS TERTIUS
[r. 1537-1546] [1519-1546] [Ferdinand Maurice Paul Eric Ximena Asturias Bolivar]
The first Pontiff to appear from the stock of Cordobonese exiles, Lucien made some reforms towards bringing a less slothful church which worked to some degree of effectiveness. He controversially made enemies in the realm of Oren, but supported their war against the Dwarves, and Dunamis. One of Lucien's only acts of note was his conversion of Lord Protector Nafis Yar. Lucien III died in his bed after being beaten in battle by a horde of Orcs.
XXIX. High Pontiff Tobias I
PAPA TOBIAS PRIMUS
[r. 1546-1552] [1514-1552] [Oliver II Blackwell-Greymane]
One of the last of the line of Blackwell, once lordly vassals of the House Winter. A man with a kind heart who loved GOD and sought to do good in His name, Tobias I struggled largely with disagreements with his own Synod, among whom Charles Francis Horen was his primary malcontent. Among the declaration of Lorraine as a Holy Land and the Annulment of King John of Vandoria’s coronation, Tobias attempted to exert his will in unprecedented ways, which led to his support both from nobility and clergy to nearly disintegrate entirely. He passed away from illness, the last years of his reign extremely stagnant.
XXX. High Pontiff Daniel III ‘the Mad’
PAPA DANIEL TERTIUS DELIRUS
[r. 1551-1562] [1526-157?] [Charles Francis Horen]
The son of Emperor John I, Daniel III ascended to the pontifical throne namely for his ties with the Empire and secular powers. Controversial and disliked amongst the orthodox clergy, Daniel III is marked in his policies in restricting the rights of the Church in the Empire’s favor, as well as attempting to place the Church under the Empire’s control near the end of his reign. Through a vote of the Cardinals, Daniel III was ripped of his vicaral vestments and sent to exile in Aeldin.
XXXI. High Pontiff Theodosius I
PAPA THEODOSIUS PRIMUS
[r. 1562-1567] [1543-1567] [George Nikovich]
The High Pontiff Theodosius I was told to be a man of Raevir birth. A decent priest, when compared to those before. His reign being of a low caliber due mostly to inexperience. A classical man of the Crow, he cared little for his role, continuing the stagnation seen by his predecessors. He, with pressure from his own Synod, revoked the revelations of Daniel III. His reign ended suddenly however with his death, noted as strange due to his younger stature.
THE SIXTAN LEGACY
XXXII. High Pontiff St. Sixtus IV ‘the Scholar’
PAPA XYSTUS QUARTUS PHILOLOGUS
[r. 1567-1577] [1518-1598] [Benegar Gotthold]
A man of the holy book, Sixtus IV’s reign is marked by reforms in clerical mass and ceremony, as well as his patronage to theological studies. He is remembered for his initiatives in institutional reforms, a circulation of the first modern Canonist Catechism, and the renewal of the mass with the publication of the Missa Sixtina in 1574. However despite his holy nature, Sixtus IV disliked the secular responsibilities and abdicated after ten years on the Pontifical Throne, instead retiring for the rest of his days in a monastery. He was canonized a saint in 1671.
XXXIII. High Pontiff Lucien IV
PAPA LUCIUS QUARTUS
[r. 1577-1578] [154?-1578] [John of Luca]
Lucien IV, known specifically for being the second shortest reigning Pontiff in history. During his year-long reign he was noted as being ignorant of many basic clerical principles, and for his radically brutal Flamenist ideals, committing many to the flame for abstract reasonings. He was then slain within his own estate by a lone Dwarf.
XXXIV. High Pontiff Everard III
PAPA EVERARDUS TERTIUS
[r. 1578-1585] [15??-1585] [Bernard Baruch]
Everard III’s reign was characterized by its stagnancy. Very little happened beneath the Pontiff’s watch, save the renewal of Metz, and the expected duties of one in such a respected office. This neglect however reared its head during the eve of the Pontiff’s death, the Immaculate Throne taken by the Raev Exarch, Yaroslav of Vsenk.
XXXV. High Pontiff Theodosius II ‘the Boorish’
PAPA THEODOSIUS SECUNDUS RUSTICUS
[r. 1585-1588] [15??-1588] [Iaroslaus Vasilev]
Theodosius II, before known as Yaroslav of Vsenk, was noted for his wicked election and his eventual demise. His Pontificate, certainly an improvement on the last, also ignored older clergymen and propped up the less experienced, causing dissolution. His lackluster performance in politics was also plain, excommunicating the Emperor which ultimately lead to his deposition.
XXXVI. High Pontiff Adrian I
PAPA ADRIANUS PRIMUS
[r. 1588-1598] [15??-1598] [Lothar Sarkozic]
High Pontiff Adrian I, originally named Lothar Sarkozic, saw the task in restoring orthodoxy and integrity in the Canonist Church as a result of the political and ecclesial fracture of his predecessor. A man of simplicity and doctrinal sobriety, Adrian pursued to resume the traditions of the Church. His Pontificate sought a return to normalcy, a theme that would be overshadowed by the ensuing Coalition War and the schism brought upon by the so-called Lotharic Communion.
THE WOEFUL DECADE
XXXVII. High Pontiff Bl. Daniel IV
PAPA DANIEL QUARTUS
[r. 1598-1603] [15??-16??] [William Nicholas Frable]
“Canonist and Proud”
A product of the institutional church, Daniel IV rose to the pontificate as the presumed heir to the Immaculate Throne from his previous post as Vice Chancellor. His reign saw the continual schismatic efforts of the True Faith, an amended Lotharic Communion and an emphasis a call to revitalize the primacy of the Canonist Church through a number of counter-reform documents and the imposition of the title Fidei Defensor to the King of Hanseti-Ruska, Marius I.
XXXVIII. High Pontiff Bl. Owyn II ‘the Unfortunate’
PAPA OVENIUS SECUNDUS IMPROSPERUS
[r. 1604-1606] [156?-1606] [Rory Othaman]
Taking the name in honor of Exalted Owyn, Rory Othaman was elected and tasked with mitigating the stigma of divided humanity in lieu of the rising political tensions between the Kingdom of Courland and their schismatic church, the Kingdom of the Westerlands and the Owynistic sect, and the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska and the Church of the Canon. Despite his intentions for a reunification, Owyn II was assassinated by Courlanders in his attempts to sue for peace in the city of Aleksandria.
XXXIX. High Pontiff Lucien V
PAPA LUCIUS QUINTUS
[r. 1606-1610] [15??-16??] [Alexander Gray]
An elderly man deeply enthralled in spearheading the cause of reunification, Lucien V continued the efforts of his predecessor, most notably in the formation of the Canonist League to counter schismatic entities. He quickly supported the return and the restoration of the House of Horen. His Pontificate saw the end of the divide in faith among the Kingdom of the Westerlands in which the Canonist Church was recognized once more.
THE BLESSED TIMES
XL. High Pontiff Bl. Clement II
PAPA CLEMENS SECUNDUS
[r. 1610-1622] [1585-1622] [Sebastian Sarkozic]
Elected in a decade that saw the reformation of the Holy Orenian Empire, Clement II ascended the Immaculate Throne having mended the schism that had wracked the Canonist Church in the two preceding decades, his reign saw reforms that reunited the polarization within the clergy and dogma.
XLI. High Pontiff Bl. Everard IV ‘the Diligent’
PAPA EVERARDUS QUARTUS SEDULUS
[r. 1622-1643] [1555-1643] [Joseph Baldemar]
“Miserando Atque Eligendo”
At sixty-seven, Josef Baldemar was elected to the mantle of the Holy Canonist Church following the full reunification of the Church from two decades of schism. Among his first priorities was to combat the Xionist cult who saw steady increases in proselytization. Coupled with feuds with the Daelish and Norlandic pagans, Everard IV reinstituted the Order of Saint Lucien to restore Canonist primacy. During his Pontificate, reports of persistent blasphemy and clerical endangerment from the Kingdom of Santegia were reported, and following news of impending apostasy by their king, the High Pontiff declared a crusade. Following the fall of Emperor John VI, the High Pontiff was placed as Imperial Regent. To prevent continued war, Everard recognized the Kingdom of Renatus and the Kingdom of Marna and dissolved the Holy Orenian Empire, consecrating a tripartite humanity. To stabilize human discord, Everard IV declared the Peace and Truce of God in his encyclical Pax Dei et Treuga Dei.
XLII. High Pontiff Clement III
PAPA CLEMENS TERTIUS
[r. 1643-1648] [1603-1662] [Jack Amador]
“Fide Et Ordo”
Having served in the capacity of Vice Chancellor and groomed closely under the tutelage of his predecessor, Clement III was the ‘heir-apparent’ to the Exalted Throne. His reign saw the tensions between the tripartite social order which began to deteriorate with growing anxieties of a Renatian hegemony and the discontent of the Haensetian kingdom. He is most notably remembered for his efforts in forging diplomatic ties with the Apostolic See of the Exalted and the Dominion of Malin as well as his leniency toward the Rashidun faith. His Pontificate casted a period of tolerance and dialogue with great emphasis on ecumenical relationships as well as moderation within his contemporary political realm. Amidst mounting secular pressure, he abdicated the Pontificate after six years.
XLIII. High Pontiff Bl. Jude I ‘the Hammer’
PAPA IUDAES PRIMUS MALLEUS
[r. 1649-1672] [1616-1672] [Elphias Stem]
“Sunt Etiamnum Fidelium”
As an astute clergyman and Archbishop of Jorenus, Elphias of Metz ascended quickly and was elected High Pontiff Jude, the first of his namesake. His task was defined by his ability to repair the credibility and image of the Church as a result of its perceived recession. He is dubbed as being one of the most prolific authors to hold the Pontificate and is noted for his steadfast institutional reform. Beginning with the abolition of priestly appointments to diocese, the High Pontiff instituted direct appointment of priests to bishops as well as introduced a census for the presbyterate. Jude also codified a renewed liturgical rite, a common Credo for the Church, and declared the Year of the Faithful and the Jubilee of Priests to celebrate the vitality of the Church’s mission. In addition, he is responsible for the certification of the Order of Saint Everard, the Order of the Exalted Throne, the Sisters of Saint Julia, who at their peak was among the largest orders in history, and Chantry. All of which aforementioned demonstrated a performative work for his vocational talent. Among his other contributions is his consolidation of relics recovered during his Pontificate. He is noted for his strong orthodoxy especially on his objection to lay investiture and promoting priestly authority and on his heavy enforcement with the Order of Saint Lucien. He also promoted ecumenical dialogue with the Rashidun faith in the recognition of a concordat of good will.
XLIV. High Pontiff Bl. Siegmund I
PAPA SIGISMUNDUS PRIMUS
[r. 1672-1693/1720] [1625-1725] [George Vankovich Radovic]
“Velykyy Plan Jest Wypaczony Przez Povstannya”
A staunch champion of orthodoxy in the vein of his predecessor, Siegmund I’s policies reaffirmed a variety of traditional values from priestly marriage to sacred textiles, and protected the practice of the then-unpopular Ruskan Rite. His reactionary crusade against Reiter incursions into Canonist domains at the behest of the Dominion of Malin struggled on for several years before fizzling out into a de facto white peace. During the late 1680s through early 1690s, however, His Holiness neglected the administrative and judicial aspects of his position to focus on his grand theological works, The Books of Siegmund I. This came to a head during the investigation of Imperial Prince Cassius Horen, who was suspected by the Synod of massacring a troupe of monastics during a missionary excursion to the Princedom of Rhosenyr. Despite a lack of physical evidence and eyewitness testimony to place him in Rhosenyr at the time, Siegmund excommunicated him nonetheless. This tactless move enraged both Emperor Aurelius I and the Electoral Synod, who both attempted to depose him in 1693. After declaring his deposition contrary to the laws of the church, Siegmund declared the Heartland Schism against his detractors and fled into the wilderness with the contents of the Church’s reliquary, not to be seen again for twenty-five years.
THE SCHISM PONTIFICATE
XLV. High Pontiff Bl. Daniel V
PAPA DANIEL QUINTUS
[r. 1693-1702] [166?-1702] [Elwood of Carolustadt]
“Unitatis In Nostra Aetate”
Following the deposition of High Pontiff Siegmund I, the Electoral Synod nominated their Vice Chancellor, Elwood of Carolustadt, to take up the mantle of the pontificate in such tumultuous times. A paragon of Epulonism, Daniel V’s reign was marked by his close interactions with his flock of laity. While initially labelled an Aurelian puppet by several Highland factions, Daniel managed to win over the majority of the Imperium through a combination of his tranquil, diplomatic demeanor, and a benevolent open-door policy. This, however, would be his downfall, as Daniel was assassinated in his own See by a heathen feigning desire for baptism.
XLVI. High Pontiff Bl. Pontian II ‘the Silent’
PAPA PONTIANUS SECUNDUS TACITUS
[r. 1702-1714] [1656-1724] [Theodoric Andrew Bracchus]
“Ex Umbra In Solem”
Archbishop Theodoric of Markev, Lord Keeper of the Imperial Privy Seal and Professor of Theology at the Imperial Theodosian Academy, was the clear candidate to succeed Daniel V, if only due to his peers’ inexperience in ecclesiastical office. Pontian II spent the majority of his pontificate within the walls of the Holy See, poring over ancient theological documents and upkeeping the church’s several estates within Reza. While this resulted in a well-populated diaconate, a lean yet effective priesthood, and the grandest ecclesiastical library since the See of Pontian I, Pontian II’s introspection came at the cost of his public presence. During his reign, several Pertinaxi atrocities, including the Burning of Ves, proceeded unimpeded by the church, and alchemical and arcane abominations roamed the streets of the Empire of Man. Just as he was beginning to address this grievous issues via the establishment of the Order of Saint Rudolph, Pontian resigned out of wariness, unable to bear the burden of the Immaculate Throne any longer.
XLVII. High Pontiff Everard V ‘the Josephite’
PAPA EVERARDUS QUINTUS JOSEPHUS
[r. 1714-1720] [1678-1720] [Thomas Wick]
“Deus Caritas Est”
An ambitious, young Hanseti friar, Father Thomas Wick won his election unanimously by promising an end to the moral decay rampant among the streets of the Empire of Man. While this appeared to be a promising start, Everard’s agenda soon dispersed to ashes as he became embroiled in the War of Two Emperors. In his fervor to promote the cause of his preferred candidate, Joseph I, Everard not only excommunicated Emperor Godfrey II, but the entire Pertinaxi lineage. As the Josephite legions began to crumble under pressure by Renatian forces, the middling Wick soon found himself at odds with the return of the deposed High Pontiff Siegmund I, forcing the Heartland Schism to the forefront of ecclesiastical thought. During the Council of Ves, both Siegmund I and Everard V agreed to resign their claims to the High Pontificate, and assist in the election of a new pontiff.
XLVIII. High Pontiff Bl. Daniel VI ‘the Holy’
PAPA DANIEL SEXTUS SANCTUS
[r. 1720-1737] [1686-1737] [Guy Haas]
“Unitatis In Nostra Aetate”
When Father Haas called together the Council of Ves, his only expectation was that a resolution between the Siegmundic and Everardian churches be formed, for the sake of ecclesiastical unity in a new era. However, due to his prized non-partisanship during the proceedings, Guy found himself unanimously elected High Pontiff during an impromptu election. During his seventeen-year reign, Daniel VI enacted reforms unprecedented since the days of High Pontiff St. Sixtus IV. A catechism, a marriage registry, and a book of saints were all republished during his tenure, as well as a comprehensive tome of ecclesiastical law to clarify dicey intricacies of church procedure for generations to come. In addition, a flock of eager students and courtiers found their place at the Holy See, where His Holiness offered generous lodgings to all who wished to study the canon and become members of the clergy. This golden era of ecclesiastical scholarship and community presence would eventually come to an end, however, with Daniel VI lying bedridden with gout for several years before his eventual passage to the Seven Skies.
XLIX. High Pontiff John I
PAPA IOANNES PRIMUS
[r. 1737-1744] [1679-1744] [Ernst of Curonia]
“Deus Super Omnia”
An aged relic of the Heartlander Schism, Ernst of Curonia was selected to succeed Daniel VI due to his unparalleled forty years of experience as a member of the clergy. Despite his distinguished tenure, however, John I soon struggled with the administrative duties of his position. The few binding edicts that he issued were dismissed by contemporary scholars due to their outdated ideas and basic record-keeping errors. The stress that accompanied these public gaffes, combined with that brought on by the ongoing war between the Holy Orenian Empire and the Alliance of Independent States, likely contributed to John’s death in 1745.
L. High Pontiff Pontian III
PAPA PONTIANUS TERTIUS
[r. 1745-1752] [1683-1752] [Ide Haraccus]
Pontian III formerly reigned as Serene Prince of Ves, and was the primary author of the Codex Iuris Canonici Danielus Pontifex, the church’s current compendium of law. Grappling with substantive issues such as lay coronation and radical laity, Pontian attempted in vain to increase ecclesiastical authority within the secular realms of humanity. It was during his construction of a new monastery in Helena that His Holiness was assassinated by an unknown figure.
LI. High Pontiff James II
PAPA IACOMES SECUNDUS
[r. 1753-] [1712-] [Godric Virosi]
“Veritas Dei Vincit”
A talented theologian and scribe prior to his ascension, High Pontiff James II is most notable for his role in the human expedition to Athera, leading up to the recovering of the lost verses of Auspice, and the subsequent publishing of the Holy Canon.