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  1. THE THEOLOGY OF HIGH PONTIFF BL. SIEGMUND I BOOKS I-VII A U T H O R E D B Y H I G H P O N T I F F B L . S I E G M U N D I C O M P I L E D B Y J . J . D E S A R K O Z Y 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 ((Full credit to @Lolzboi, posting for posterity and ease of access)) TABLE OF CONTENTS Book I: Concerning GOD Book II: Concerning Iniquity Book III: Concerning Faith Book IV: Concerning Religion Book V: Concerning Sin Book VI: Concerning Mortality Book VII: Concerning Eternity BOOK I CONCERNING GOD [High Priest, St. Everard I of Al’Khazar being guided by the Prophet Owyn to protect the Faith] It has come, as it has come over the course of its history, that criticism of the Faith and the questioning of GOD that sinks its roots deep within the earthen body of Humanity resurfaces once again amongst us. Its tendrils snaking within to grasp the very stone foundations by which the whole is upheld upon, its purpose to dislodge, disassociate, and ultimately destroy that which binds we, the humble and pious, together beneath GOD’s great glory and sink us all to the depths of nothingness so that they might glimpse the pleasure of our suffering for even but a brief moment. With this plague, which crosses the hearts and minds of both intelligentsia and the masses, the highborn and low, I reach out to you, whether you be of the aforementioned or not, to discuss that which we the Faithful beneath GOD’s Light hold dear in our hearts and keep close in our minds. To discuss by what meaning we have lived, live, and will live upon this mortal plain until our existence here ends through great suffering or otherwise restful peace. Thus, with this in mind, I open now to you my thoughts upon the divine, with the intention that perhaps the wisdom of my words may come and ring the bell of truth to those too blind to its presence to perceive it or those too far astray to hear the sound so that they might be guided back to His path once and for all. But let these I mention not be the sole audience with which I engage, for these thoughts are not meant for the few, but for the whole of Humanity and beyond. Upon the Question of What Is Meant by GOD Let me begin my explanation at the beginning, although it is also the end, of that being which we call GOD, or rather to present the initial before the summation, His work known as creation, upon which our ancestors, ourselves, and our children shall forever be home to for so long as we live. There is not born a Man, Dwarf, Elf, or even Orc from which the question of creation stays its hand and conceals itself from, for within the primal nature of the descendants exists the fundamental question of what, or rather, who or whom brought the existence of all they know, and see, and live to fruition. The question arising most naturally when the youth first looks out and ventures upon the fields, mountains, forests, seas, and skies of the world around them and ponders, perhaps in the most basic of terms, the thought, for whenever we find great beauty, or otherwise pleasure, in a creation we immediately turn our attention to the question of who or what produced it in hopes to garner further understanding, or for a replication of the work. So it is that the answer of what created the world is found in a multitude of sources, or more concisely phrased, the beings known as Deities or Gods, which are found in plethora amongst the array of religions that reside upon this mortal plain, for such great beauty must be made by one equally or more prominently above that which is created. Of these religions those Deities they purport to exist have created the world, whether it be made by a Pantheon of many Gods or perhaps a few Gods and their subordinates, or by a singular God which has created all but resides in one. With this, we might find the answer to what is meant by GOD, the creator, the lifegiver, the alpha, the ultimate, the benefactor of all existence. But from this, how are we to ascertain that which sets apart the true God or Gods from the false God or Gods? Upon the Question of How We Know GOD Exists Above All Others These Deities, as numerous as they are, are piecemeal in their nature, in that through their own beliefs they leave aside pieces from the whole of creation. To the Elven Aspects, for one, industry and man-made, for the lack of a better term, creations are not seen as part of creation, for these Elven Gods only concern themselves with the natural world unchanged and in doing so leave apart from the whole these aspects of creation from their mythos and worship. Or, for yet another example among many that would surely bore you, the Nordengradic God, which only cares for that of the Nordengradic peoples, excluding all others. For he does not spread his Hearth Fire beyond the confines of their realm, and only delves in matters pertaining to that miniscule aspect of creation that is these peoples. Although this shall be delved into at a later time for I do not have the time to dwell upon this matter further, nor does it truly represent the thoughts herein presented. So then, to presume these Gods represent what is true and have made the totality of all creation, they would indeed need to embrace all of which they do not embrace, and are thusly incoherent in the teachings they supposedly provide. For apart from these Gods through which the majority of the descendants, as well as the various races not descended from the first man and woman, propose to exist, GOD stands singularly and in doing so through his singular presence and word, encompasses all aspects of the world. The Fauna and Flora, the seas and skies, the deepest caves and the highest mountains, the depths of the mind and the expanse of the heart, the very soul to which all descendants bear, even if they do not recognise such a thing themselves, are encompassed by Him and within Him, for He does not dwell within one place but within all places, and does not hold one above the other as these other Gods do. And so we might believe, given the nature of the other Gods apart from GOD, that these other Gods are mere creations themselves of a grander God, for a God would surely not be limited in power over creation if they are indeed the creator of creation themselves and would not pursue but one aspect of it continuously out of favour if all aspects were pursued in the beginning to form it. Upon the Question of the Nature of GOD So then, in representation of all there was, and is, and is to be, GOD exists as the whole of His creation and consequently knows of it as an inventor knows of his invention and naturally cares for it as would the same regardless of what aspect might be put through torment at the time. We may then, if it is rightful for a mortal to do such, presume that GOD cares for His creation as a mother would her child, guiding it and correcting it across the fabric of the era’s to form what we now briefly know as our plain of existence, the mortal realm. For if GOD did not care for the wellbeing of this plain, then he would surely allow a field torn apart to be left as mud and not see it reborn anew with fresh grasses, and flowers, and animals that remove the existence of such an unpleasant sight, and instead leave it for all eternity as but mud to never again be graced with the foliage it has lost. And if GOD is akin to that of a mother tending to her child, we might presume there is a love between creator and creation present. As like a child we beckon out to our surroundings looking for a figure by which to gain love from in times of hardship or distress, and like a mother GOD answers, perhaps not by words but, by the grace of all he has given us so that we might feel His affection albeit detached. Upon the Nature of GOD's Love Yet, even with this detachment present, GOD does not seek solely to love unconditionally His creation, as a mother does not unconditionally love her child or the child their mother. For the use of perceived absence, perceived uncaring, anger, or punishment is of the greatest benefit in teaching ones child right from wrong as a mother does throughout her child's life, so too does GOD engage in these same devices in order to guide His mortal creations upon the right, and just, and pure path. From this understanding of the limitations of GOD’s love, to which contesting voices might incorrectly cite as proof of the lack of GOD or even His malevolent nature, in respect to the aforementioned technique of teaching, we can rightfully say that GOD does not truly mean to bring unjust acts, cruel or otherwise, upon those who profess their Faith to Him or those that have wandered from Him. Instead, He merely wishes to press upon us the importance of the guidance which He provides to us, like a mother would do to her unruly son. For the son might not recognise the wisdom in his mother's words at the time of punishment, but may only understand the reasoning of said punishment through the lense of retrospect. Whether it be the following day or the following decade. Upon the Necessities of GOD Thus we must draw from these aspects, those herein observed above, that the true God of Gods, or Creator or Creators as we might dually refer to Him or Them as, must therefore be the creator of all creation itself. Following this, God must be the absolute creator of creation with no peer, for a creator that is co-creator cannot be claimed to be the ultimate God for both creators must have their origins within something more authoritative and thusly powerful than that which is themselves or each other, and cares for His creation through without special preference of favouritism given to one aspect of the whole or another. This caring for creation by GOD must therefore come from a sense of love for His creation, and stewardship of it without abandon or disregard, for as an inventor cares for his invention a creator must therefore care for his creation. Lastly that this love extends itself into the necessary guidance required to keep ones loved one from torment or danger, even if through this guidance punishment must be serviced for not but the reason of betterment of it. So then, from these pieces we find the whole in which we know as the one true GOD, without peer. BOOK II CONCERNING INIQUITY [The slaughter of Saul and the tribe of Horen at the hands of Iblees’ corruption] Following my thoughts upon the divine as so inscribed within my previous work, the course naturally flows to the mortal plain, or more precisely, that which binds the mortal plain to GOD. This binding, of course as is only natural, being the fundamental ways by which He interacts and leads those beings capable of reason. I speak, therefore, of my thoughts upon the Faith, or rather Faiths, of the mortal plain, and to what end they might bring through dedication. For across this expanse about us, and through time neverending, there have come and gone many Faiths. All of them prospecting to the fundamental questions that recognising a God might bring, and all of them, through no lax effort, pressing that they do indeed have the answers to what questions they bring forward. Thus, I shall continue my thoughts fluently as to avoid the unnecessary burden of reiteration and subsequent boredom of you who wish to understand fully what I refer to. And to you who do not read but to find offense or to contest, I say this, read on so that what wisdom I might impart should take root in you and aid you in your venture to the truth of which you have spurned for too long. Upon the Question of the Necessity of Guidance So then, the question would arise, why would a GOD, as authoritative and powerful as He is, not solely reduce all of His creation to that of subservience and complete obedience? For, if He is truly the creator, would He not take offense to those who spurn Him openly or worship others as they would worship Him? Would He not set upon them punishments so dire, or set upon them in the person, that they who wander listlessly without Him be cast to the ground and weep of their ignorance or malevolence? Nay, for to what end do such actions provide? Shall the Creator gift to His creations that which He does not want them to have? But then why gift to His creations will at all? We might see that, in His great love, GOD had created intelligent creatures which we see as the animals of the world, so that they might enjoy His creation. For a monkey, or bird, or fish, or wolf might enjoy the base of it, they cannot enjoy the whole or appreciate the nuances which surround them. For this purpose GOD created higher beings, the father and mother, and from them came we the descendants. Yet the higher purpose to which I have given is not necessarily higher, but more broad in itself. The ability to understand, comprehend, and emulate the same creating hand, and due to this He could not limit the abilities of us as He had done to the lesser beings. Upon the Question of What Is Guidance I speak, of course, of the will of which all descendants bear, as they bear a soul, which provides them the freedom of thought, and judgement, and reflection that other creations such as the fish, or the birds, or the wolves of the world do not enjoy. For this freedom of will is what He has provided to His creation so that it may develop as a child would develop, for a mother that locks her child away from all torments and misdeeds does not aid the child, rather, instead she would harm it more so by doing this than perhaps any other action. To deprive the child, which enjoys freedom of will as we all do, from these things is to shackle and chain them from all beauty, and deprive from them a fulfilling life to which they were created to fulfill. Through this, GOD not only created all of creation in the physical, but He also chose to create the moral, or in essence the dichromatic existence of good and evil should it be boiled down to such basic concepts, within this freedom of will. A second gift so profound that all cultures, peoples, and societies have, for the entirety of our combined history, observed and rendered them to be so true that they make-up the very foundation of all we know socially. That being the hierarchical structure of our families, societies, governments, of our various religions, and of the way we perceive actions taken by individuals or groups. Thereby, through His will, we have been gifted the first and most unrefined guidance from GOD, proving that, as with all creation, He does indeed care for us as He does the rest of His creation and therefore affirms himself to the concepts proposed in my first work. Thusly, once again affirming His position as GOD. Upon the Question of What Is Meant by Faith Further to this, through the gift of morality, His creations, which would be the first man and woman, were given divine guidance in the earliest of days by GOD, as recorded in multiple sources upon the matter, and thus the foundation of the lens by which we see morality was established. Even further to this, with the coming of the sons named Malin, Urguan, Krug, and Horen, GOD set about, as well as the first man and woman, teaching the youths that came afterwards of these same moralities, again recorded in multiple sources. From these teachings, we now see the formation of the first faith present itself. That being, the faith in GOD and His judgements. Of course, in these early days, the idea of faith had not been fully formed, nor even articulated amongst the parents nor the children. All believed equally and wholly in the presence of GOD, and His will, and His creation without contest, or conjecture, or disinterest. However, none knew of this faith that now existed and so could not therefore foresee what the lack of this new faith would bring. So then we find that, as long lasting and fundamentally true as the concept of creation, the concept of faith too shares in our combined history as descendants of these first beings. That being the uncontested truth of there being a GOD, as a child would not contest the existence of their mother, as prevalent and as uncontested as the truth of there being creation. And so furthering to this understanding we can attribute faith to be the concept of guidance provided from GOD, for His judgments are those of guiding us towards a goodness that no other can, and the belief in the goodness of those judgements presenting themselves as the aforementioned idea. Upon the Refinement of the Question of Faith With Faith thusly being that of the belief in judgements made by GOD, we can therefore expand this to the happenings that follow the sons Malin, Urguan, Krug, and Horen, to whom all descendants attribute their lineages, in order to refine what it is. I speak then of the treachery of Iblees to GOD, a creation of GOD that, through the freedom of will gifted to him, rose up against Him in the effort to corrupt and destroy creation entirely. Now, to fully understand the implications of this, we must discuss that which I have put aside earlier, that being what the lack of faith would bring. To begin in this thought, however, the framing of the question is to be set in place. What does a lack of faith entail? The disbelief or disregard of GOD’s judgements? If that is so, then it would exclude from it the truthfulness that one may be lead astray. So then, perhaps a lack of faith is the inability to discern the truth from the untruth and subsequently lose the judgement passed down by GOD? Or, to further this question, a lack of faith is the inability to believe, discern, accept, apply, or all these together that which is GOD’s judgment. To be unable to believe in GOD’s judgement fully, discern GOD’s judgement from simply the word of one who is not GOD, accept GOD’s judgement easily, apply GOD’s judgement as it is handed down, or do these things in unison if it is necessary, to be the most clear in my meaning. With this, we may delve further into the question of the lack of faith among the four brothers in regards to Iblees’ sown corruptions against GOD within them, or more precisely the nature by which this lack of faith might define for us what is faith through the application of what it is not. Upon the Question of Faith Regarding Lack of Faith We therefore begin in the time following GOD’s call for the first man and woman to join Him among the skies, apart from their children. The four sons now left isolated from their teachers, and so are left only with what was passed down, a parable to how we currently reside in this world, and to continue the teaching and adherence thereof. “So the Lord was pleased to lay His favor upon the sons of His first man and woman, and He called the pair forth to reside in Sixth Sky and give the World over to the dominion of the Sons.” - Godfrey 1:14 Following this absence, it is written in the sources from these early days that the sons soon began to drift from the teachings passed down to them. Their attentions diverted to those of the mortal realm in which they now dwelt entirely apart from their parents, their attentions taken from the common discussion with GOD to more earthly matters among themselves. The first most prevalent, depending on the source yet all agree upon the premise, the four sons separated, drifting apart to live apart among their own tribes, these tribes later being the four descendant races, but that is of no importance now, with each taking to themselves their own lands, and titles, and customs. From this we know the lack of faith, the lack of belief, discernment, and acceptance of judgement, was prevalent amongst all the sons people. To Malin in the forests, Urguan in the caverns, Krug in the deserts, and Horen in the plains, came forth Iblees and his corruptions, yet it is only Horen to which the absence of GOD did ring loudly to him and to which he sought for willingly. Yet, through his will to rejoin GOD, Horen did leave his tribe unguarded from the corruptions of Iblees, unlike his brothers who were corrupted easily by the deceiver themselves, for they had lost sight of GOD’s judgements, and warnings, and teachings that were passed down to them. In short of form Malin, Urguan, Krug, and the tribe of Horen lost faith. From this lost faith, or lack thereof, came the inevitable disaster that befell the three brother and the tribe of Horen, these being the weakening of Malin and his people, and Urguan and his people, and the kinslaying of Krug and his people, for at this time all tribes are as the brothers, and the deceiving of Saul within the tribe of Horen. First came the corruptions of GOD’s judgements, the corruption of faith itself through acceptance. The three brothers and their tribes falling to revelry and laziness, laying with one another freely, and holding these corruptions of GOD’s judgements as the proper form of them, as written in the histories for they had no will to accept the judgements as passed to them and so instead chose to rework that which GOD had made for their own benefit. Second came the corruptions of GOD’s judgements through discernment. For each of the brothers and the tribe of Horen could not tell apart the word of mortal men from that of GOD, and so did bring forth the word of mortal men as equal word to that of GOD. Third came the corruptions of GOD’s applications, for as with the lack of acceptance and discernment of the judgements, so too did the three brothers and the tribe of Horen fall away from the proper application of such. This resulting in the loss of adherence to His word entirely and the leading of these first peoples from His path. Fourth came the corruptions of GOD’s faith through belief. For without the acceptance, nor the discernment, nor the application intact, there was nothing to correct the falsity that manifested itself within the fundamental belief. So then, if one does not accept the judgements of GOD and seeks to change them, and cannot discern these changes in judgements from the original, nor the application of those judgements and so changes them too, there can be nothing left of belief for to what does one then attribute to believe if they have rejected all the wisdoms given to them in that regard? And so, we know that Faith therefore must represent these four devices. Those of Belief, Discernment, Acceptance, and Application of GOD’s judgements wholly, truthfully, and without question, or favouritism, or modification. Upon the Question of Faith Regarding the Fruits of Lack of Faith And so we see that the lack of faith spread across the siblings and tribes easily through the corruptions of these devices, for none had safeguard against them save for Horen who gave Julia, his wife, the understanding to watch for and prevent these corruption. Yet, even with this safeguard, her reclusion to her tabernacle permitted Saul, who came with the offerings of Iblees to Horen's tribe, to spread the corruptions throughout her tribe, so much so that upon Horen’s return he found his own people as troubled as he had known they would be with Iblees’ words. Then what became of those of Horen's tribe who bathed in sin and coveted falsity jealously? What became of those men, and women, and children from which took the chalice of Saul and drank the wine of Iblees? For upon Horen's return to the camp, having found GOD and being gifted upon him His blessing, with himself glowing with the holiness of his anointment, these people he once could touch, could no longer touch him. And from him they sank away, and when Horen entered the tabernacle where his wife was tending to their children to speak, and upon his return to the masses he found them laying next to Saul upon the ground. For their sin, and iniquity, and falsity had led them to slaughter one another, the ground stained red with the blood of the corrupted. Then what became of those of Malin, and Urguan, and Krug who participated with their tribes in sin and coveted falsity jealously? To Malin, the oldest of the brothers, along with his people, the corruptions of Iblees gave them sterility, so that their number would forever be overshadowed with extinction. To Urguan, the second oldest of the brothers, along with his people, the corruptions of Iblees gave to them short, squalid, and ugly demeanours, so that they could not stand as equals among their brothers. To Krug, the second youngest, along with his people, the corruptions of Iblees gave them tusks in place of teeth, corrupted their very flesh to strange colours, and gave them a stature to match their insatiable bloodlust. Upon the Question of Lack of Faith From this knowledge then, we see that the lack of faith is to be chained to that which leads only to ruin. To cast aside the lifegiving truth of GOD, to remove from yourself the belief, and discernment, and acceptance, and application of His word, to submit yourself to the ultimate torture and death of yourself both through physicality and through your spiritual being, the soul you once bore purely. The lack of Faith being both the defining, and the limiting of your being, and your existence, and your accomplishments. Through this lack of Faith, the unbeliever has no standard, no guidance, and ultimately no conviction in their beliefs but for the conviction that they shall benefit from the lie they perpetuate upon themselves and others. And with it, no ability to hold themselves accountable for the wretchedness they bring upon themselves, for the wretchedness is all they have, and will know. BOOK III CONCERNING FAITH [The Baptism of High Pontiff, St. Daniel I] Within this book I shall be continuing my thoughts upon Faith, with this iteration concerning itself wholly with the fundamental goodness found within it, as opposed to my previous work which explored the lack of it. So, with as little further explanation of its contents will provide, I shan’t bore you anymore with my explanation of this book, and shall begin where I had left myself. Upon the Question of Faith Regarding What is Faith With this understanding of what the lack of Faith entails, and encompasses, and is, we then move on to that which is left. The leavings being, through the discernment of what it is not, Faith. For if the lack of Faith is defined as the absence of belief, and discernment, and acceptance, and application, then the Faith would be defined as the presence of these things wholly, completely, and without modification. Upon the Question of the Meaning of Faith So then, as naturally as the question arises when discussing the topic, what is to be the benefits of upholding GOD’s teachings above any other mortal or false deities, if not but to preserve one’s self from punishment, as the most forceful of corrections, at the hands of GOD? This being the inverse to the previously explored question regarding the fruits of lack of Faith, yet also as equally flawed. For it is not the punishment from which we remove ourselves from, for the punishment is but only a guidance to the truth, but the goodness of life, and its fulfillment with GOD. So to cower as a dog would do from a brutal, and cruel master when the question of faith arises is to cower from one's own salvation, with any actions done in fear of suffering being numb to the reasoning of why they are done in the first place. For it is not out of cruelty, or malice, or enjoyment of suffering that GOD passed down His judgements to us, but out of love for us so that we might grow within His gardens of creation, and protect it as He has done to us. So with a heart of fear one cannot truly hope to follow the path of GOD, for they have already been led astray. Upon the Question of Faith Regarding the Fruits of Faith With this framing of GOD's love, we might then move to that which is the subsequent joyous celebration of our Faith upon this earth. Glorious is He, for although the corruptions I spoke of are true to each descendant race, for even through the hardships given to us by Iblees’ and his corruptions, we find our savior in GOD ultimately through Faith. It is He that, upon the ending war with Iblees and the casting of him down from this plain, saw what Iblees had cursed us with, and it is He that alleviated those curses with gifts of His own. “So Aeriel came among them, and by GOD’s will the brothers were alleviated of the pains of their imperfections. And thus Krug’s wrath was tempered with honor, Malin’s impotency with sanctuary, and Urguan’s greed with strength of will. But at the command of GOD, Aeriel did not alleviate Horen’s pain. For to Horen, the Lord promised the Skies.” - Godfrey 2:16 To Malin and his tribe, he gave them sanctuary in the form of the grottoes and lifegiving abilities they enjoy within their realms. The tending to the plants and the animals with masterful ability, so that they might know of the parenthood they had been stripped of. To Urguan and his tribe, he gave them the strength of will each one carries. For even with their physical bodies reduced to those of the other descendants, they know not shame, nor sadness, and instead carry themselves and their brethren with great pride. Pride with which the people of Urguan carry into all things of their race. To Krug and his tribe, he gave them honour. For although they seem as brutish and backwards as any among the descendants, through honour they bind themselves together, and through honour they carry themselves from wallowing in the pits of blood and piss they fight within to greater achievements. To Horen and his tribe, he gave them the Seven Skies. For although humanity may suffer upon this earth with their curses, bleed and die in thousands in their wars, they shan't know of great fear so long as they know of GOD and what awaits them once their pain is ended. Upon the Question of GOD's Gifts Yet even with gifts such as these, most tangible and beneficial, some would question why GOD did not simply remove the curses of Iblees and cast them down with him. For what purpose did GOD see fit to leave these curses upon our combined flesh forever? To understand this, perhaps we must reflect upon the origins of the descendants in regards to Faith, or rather, the lack of Faith. For in a time when there were no curses, when the tribes lived, and loved, and were loved without suffering, or trouble, or hardship, what happened to each? In places of their choosing, with the bounties of all GOD's creation surrounding them, with no wants, or needs unmet, what occurred? For if it was not out of unrest, or displeasure, or some other feeling that the descendants were tempted by Iblees, then perhaps it was out of thought to ease what little pain they may have endured. Or perhaps to increase the pleasures they already knew, and enjoyed to feverish levels of indulgence. All of these perhaps led the descendants astray in those early times, or perhaps some other reason, but nonetheless they were led astray and paid in blood for their transgressions against Faith in GOD's judgements. And so, with this knowledge of their own transgressions being as quickly forgotten as the food they have eaten, or of a wrong they have done another to save their face in their own eyes, perhaps GOD did see fit to leave those marks of iniquity upon His peoples so that, should they think to forget His word, they might be reminded to the cost of what they wish to delve themselves once again into simply by looking upon one another and themselves. The ultimate, tangible, real, undeniable truth of these corruptions and what their fruits will forever be. Upon the Question of Faith Regarding its Entirety And so, as we have delved to understand, that which we most commonly refer to as Faith is the guiding hand of GOD, gifted to us so that we may be led upon the righteous, and good path. From this, we take its devices, those of Belief, Discernment, Acceptance, Application. From them, we understand how each creates the whole, and acts as safeguard for the others. We understand the fruits of lack of this Faith, the detractions of inequity, the curses we suffer from, the ultimate pain we have. And we understand the fruits of this Faith, the salvations we garner, the gifts we have, the ultimate salvation from earthly discomforts. Finally, we postulate upon the retention of our curses at the hands of Iblees, and to what end they service ourselves in reminding us in the physical of each day what it is we work to overcome through faithfulness to GOD. With these thoughts bearing upon us, we then might understand that which we colloquially refer to as Faith in its most rudimentary form, and might yet seek to further refine its principles and doctrines with which we of the current age live to uphold. Those doctrines and principles being the foundations from which religion is built upon as a whole. BOOK IV CONCERNING RELIGION [Saint Jude of Cyranium giving a sermon to the Orcs, before their mass conversion] Throughout my thoughts upon the false gods, GOD, and Faith, I find myself drawing nearer to the question that many have sought to answer for themselves, if not to be fed the answer by their spiritual leaders then, through their own reasoning. As such, I shall build upon my thoughts of Faith in the most recognised institutions across all peoples and cultures, the very religions that espouse to be the true religion, or perhaps the many religions that espouse to be the one true multi-faced religion. Yet, I have little time to delve into each separately, and in doing so would most assuredly bore some, and anger others, so I shall restrict myself to simplistic examples of them. Now, for those who read on to find offense as most assuredly some have in my previous works, I extend a hand to you. For I wish not to confront, nor demean, but to shed light upon areas most dark and murky, revealing to us some modicum of understanding. Upon the Question of the Necessity of Religion From the darkness of the past, the atrocities, the glories, the mediocre, we look back upon the world we once knew from that which we now know, and ask ourselves as to where we shall go forth into? This has been the recycled occurrence across all peoples, and shall continue across all peoples until the end of time. Yet, what do we look back in hopes of finding? Perhaps the history of great wars, the development of art, great musical composers, legends in tales, the glory of a nation, or the humble life of our grandfather, or grandmother. From these we take many lessons, and we look upon these as cautionary stories of error, or glorious stories of victory. But yet there is one thing that has united all of these things for countless centuries, one thing that binds these peoples together not by the colour of their hair, nor the wealth they have accumulated. It is not the land upon which they stand, for many have bled upon it, broke it, and rebuilt it in their image, nor is it the cultures by which they identify themselves from one another, it is the Faith that binds them together, straddles all divides, and assures them of hope in the most terrible of times, and reminds them of humility in the most blessed of times. It is Faith, kept pure of corruptions, and miscarriages, and envious deeds. Their lives revolving around it, whether they embrace it, or deny it, or reject it they are defined by it, and through this definement we see the eternal presence of it. From this, then, we know of Faith through our fathers, forefathers, mothers, daughters, sons, and communities. All bound upon its teachings and guided by its hand through the spiritual world. But then why are we bound so deeply to it? What separates it from all other aspects of our lives, yet allows it to permeate throughout them thoroughly? It is the fundamental of our very beings, the unquestionable, the unalienable, the rock from which our communities, our families, and ourselves are built upon. Faith is the stalwart defender of all we have known, now know, and will know, with itself tethered to us through both tradition and Religion, the institutions from which exude the judgements of GOD passed down to us through the ages, and through the many faces of His servants. And so, the institutions of tradition and Religion is the absolute way in which we descendants connect ourselves to our forefathers, Malin, Urguan, Krug, Horen, and from them to the first man and woman, and ultimately GOD Himself, with all the lessons, teachings, guidance, and otherwise offerings they had received at His behest until the date in which I write this sentence. Thusly, tradition combined with Religion was, and is, and will be the absolute necessity of we, the descendants of GOD, forevermore upon this plain, and within the Skies themselves. Upon the Question of Corruption in Religion Yet, there are those who would point to any given Religion and decry it, for they point to the individuals who espouse it, to the nation that upholds it, to the race that abides by it, and fundamentally ignore that which it is, the foundations it is built upon, and the teachings it professes to be true and unaltered. They point to the knot in the tree and state with great confidence within themselves that, due to the existence of an imperfection, the whole of the tree must be weak, and frail, and ready to collapse, and must be taken down, chopped apart, removed, refined, and remade by our hands, instead of removing the knot of the tree so that it might mend and bear bark once more. These same would say that, the existence of a cut upon the hand necessitates the removal of the arm, for it has been utterly ruined by that damage, while they neglect that the removal of the arm is more detrimental to the wholeness of the person. Yet, such is the case with those who attack Religion for the conduct or beliefs of its individual members or institutions. For although they might serve the Religion, they too are but mortal and may find themselves straying apart from Faith as any mortal being might do. But because they fall astray, it does not equate to them sullying the Religion they serve, nor corrupt the Faith they hold, for to corrupt the Faith or sully the Religion requires a much more sinister devotion than the lack of abidance by its principles with which they might be guided back to goodness should they be shown their error. So then, we might look upon those that fall astray of Religion and Faith as we do a lost child, for in their journey they have lost the sight of their mother and call out, and wail, and cause commotion, but they have not lost the love for their mother, and cease to fuss when she finds them once more. Then what constitutes corruption in religion, if it is not the individual members? What can be shown to be a falseness from GOD's word, a changing of His teaching handed down as truth, and ultimately a corruption in His Faith? Upon the Question of What Is Meant by Religion To find that which it is, we might then utilize the tool of definement for clarification. First, a Religion is defined by its bedrock foundation in a Deity or Deities, for without a Deity or Deities does it not but become a cult of personality, or worship of a mortal man or woman equal to that of worship to the Deities? If it has no Deity or Deities, can it even be referred to as a Religion, and not simply a cultural custom? And of this Deity or Deities, as previously explored in my first work, can they be held as the Creator of creation and not simply a part of creation? Second, all Religions that hold high a Deity or Deities build upon that foundation with the teachings of that Diety or Deities. For without harmonious word to guide, or writings to hold how then can any Religion be formed? And further, if none of these exist, how can the Deity or Deities even be known to exist, or if they showed themselves and yet did not give any of these then how can the Deity or Deities be worthy of worship if they have no care for us as we do them, and violate that which we found to be true concerning God? Third, all Religions are molded upon this foundation from the teachings they have received. For if they do not mold themselves to the teachings, and then work to abide by them, how then might they be a Religion defined and not be but the likes of a cherry picker who takes only the best fruit to market, or none at all? Fourth, all Religions have succession amongst their spiritual leaders. If there is no succession, then how can it be known that the teachings they hold are truly those handed down and not but the works of a mortal who wishes to bend the will of all to their thought of mind by carrying themselves as equal to they? If there is no succession, how can the Religion draw itself back to the four brothers, from which we all came from, the father and mother, and ultimately GOD Himself as we found to be true? All of these must exist in turn and as layered as they are, for if the teachings come before the Deity, then can one trust they are from them? If the Religion comes before the teachings, can one then trust they are giving truthful teachings of the Deity? If succession is lost, can one yet draw themselves to Deity and their teachings? If there is no Deity or Deities, as some espouse, then how can there be teachings, and Religion, and succession of these at all? Upon the Question of False Religions With these we turn ourselves to the multitude of Religions that grace this earth on which we stand, and from which espouse all manners of Gods, teachings, Religions, and successions. For how can there be so many across the world giving so many contradictory statements upon originalities, if all are true? How can there be endless numbers of Deities all claiming creation of their own making, through distinct and disunified chorus? How can there be new and old Gods, some of which have only recently been worshipped, while others have existed for millenia, with all being true? The Elves have their own Gods, the Dwarves the same, the Orcs, and Men alike to these too. Yet, from this plethora might we take examples of each, to give clarity to the thought of what is false, how it is false, why it is false, and finally how this falsehood has brought not but destruction the likes of which Saul wrought on Horen's tribe. Upon the Question of Falsity Within Elvenkind So let us begin with the Aspects, Cerridwen, and Cernunnos, as taught by the Druids and Worshippers of they, are thought to be the ultimate Gods within Elvenkind, their dominion stalwart. Thus the Elves have worshipped them for centuries, yet what are they exactly? In brief, Cerridwen, said to represent fertility, the cycle of life, and the harvest, concerns itself with the growing of the natural world, and its ultimate reaping end. Cernunnos, said to represent the hunt, and general predation, concerns itself with violent acts and revels in death, whether it be from necessity of an animal to eat or an elf to cause plunder it seems. From these, we immediately see that which cannot be true of these Gods. Neither is the Creator for neither concerns themselves with anything but the natural world and Elvenkind. Thus, how is it possible for these to be worshipped the same as the Creator, with the Druids and Worshippers rejecting wholly the truth of the Creator through their worship of these, if they cannot be the Creator and thus the true GOD? So then these must be not but caretakers of the Creators creation, mistaken for himself at best, taken to replace the Creator for the sourness Elvenkind bears at the thought of Him at worst. And to what teachings do these Druids point to hold high their religion? For they speak and speak upon the laws that govern all Elvenkind, yet their great and omnipotent Gods could not have the power, foresight, or ability to codify these laws into written form? Or, perhaps, these laws were spoken to the Druids, yet for lust for their own authority they did not write them down to bolster their own position within Elven society. But if that is true, then how is it possible that these words passed down so many centuries without alteration, abbreviation, addition, or subtraction, at the hands of a lazy teacher, or one not capable of full explanation? And further, how then might we be able to tell if change has occurred within the word and law if there is not to compare it to? Perhaps the Druids seek only to protect their authority, or perhaps they do truly pass on the word, but how might we distinguish between the two? And from these laws, what governs the conduct of the Druids, or all Elves for that matter? Is it the simple nay or yay saying of one particular Druid upon one particular question? Perhaps they hold council and all give their guidance, or worse yet give their guidance only to be forced to repeat it for they lack the will to write down the laws and make them available easily. And what of the Druids that reject these teachings and make known changes in them? Are they brought to reasoning through the words of a Druid solely, or a council of Druids? Do the Druids but speak and speak on the error for they have naught to list but their own recollections of these laws? Worse still, perhaps the Druids live in absolute of the laws passed to them by their Aspects, does this mean each Elf must reside within a Grotto doing not but speaking words and laying with one another for centuries? And what of these teachers, as before their teachings may be incomplete, changed, or otherwise revised to fit their personal preference upon the ideas or what they remember from their own learning, for do they trace themselves to the first Elves that heard from the Aspects, or do they continuously hear from them and must remember each word spoken for a quill is but too unworthy of conveying them to parchment? And from the Aspects that cannot be the Creator, how can these words spoken be known to be true and not the fancies of a higher creation to themselves? Perhaps these Aspects play with their bumbling wards, seeking never ending praise for the nothing they provide. For surely out of love these Aspects would at least care for these peoples, yet they have permitted them to be subjugated beneath great races, brutalized and slaughtered in masses, oppressed and repressed over centuries, and ultimately must lie to them of whatever afterlife they say exists as they have lied about their love. For they take more care in the plants and the lesser animals than these people. Upon the Question of Falsity Within Dwarvenkind Unlike the Elves who have two Gods, the Dwarves hold many Gods within them. A great Pantheon helmed by one they call Yemekar, their Creator, and thusly the one from which all lesser Gods pay homage to. Yet, he is perhaps the most outwardly exclusive God in known existence, plainly stating that he is Creator over Dwarvenkind and solely Dwarvenkind; “Yemekar is the father and creator of the dwarven race.” - The Dwarven Religions: Yemekar, The Maker So openly the High Prelates of the Ar Yemarin Anaros say these words it puts the efforts of writing upon them to utter uselessness when discussing if he is the true Creator. For he does not claim to be the creator of all, and in the truth of that there is honour to be found. But even as it is, why do the Dwarves then not worship the one that is the Creator of all if not but for their own self indulgence at the thought of being the perfect creatures, born from a God separate from all others, then for what other purpose do they resign themselves to he that claims creation over them? Perhaps it is the same as those held by the Elves, that of sourness towards the true Creator of all. And the same might be said of the Pantheon that surrounds Yemekar, for each devotes themselves to an aspect of the Dwarvenkind yet none ventures beyond, as they too declare themselves Creators, yet not as grand as that of Yemekar. The most interesting aspect, set aside from the Pantheon, is that the Ar Yemarin Anaros do in fact carry traditions, teachings, and laws down from Yemekar. This being interesting in that, as admitted by themselves within the Third Holy Mandate, the Ar Yemarin Anaros had dwindled to the point that it was necessary for High King Garrond Frostbeard to appoint a High Prelate from nothing, for even the Prelate Council had fallen to abandon. And from this appointment came a great flurry of works, such as the Prelates of Yemekar, which have yet to be completed. So then, from this, how might a High Prelate, a Council, and the Religion of Ar Yemarin Anaros then be seen as the continuation of itself if it ceased to exist for a period of time? Perhaps within this lack of teachers some aspects of the Faith were lost, perhaps some aspects changed from recollection, perhaps some left aside, perhaps some created from nothing, who is to tell if there are none who were capable of carrying on the teaching? For if the Council had fallen to ruin, then surely there were none beneath that Council that still practiced the Religion absolutely, and thus an appointment to the High Prelates station in hopes of reviving a dead Religion placed it in the hands of a potential corrupter from which any published works regarding the Religion should be questioned for accuracy of their content. But then who is left to question its accuracy? To this the Ar Yemarin Anaros point to the belief their traditions are passed down through craftsmanship, trade, and everyday works, and so long as the trade is plied the truth of Yemekar shall remain. Yet, what this does not account for is the gradual adjustment and refinement of these things, for a craftsman that works in the ways of the ancients produces inferior quality to that of what we produce now, much the same as the younger painter is much worse a painter than to himself that is older who has adjusted his painting. And what of those craftsmen who do poor work, or those uncaring enough to improve, or those that abbreviate or lengthen their processes to achieve a better outcome? To this, it is plain to see that perhaps some of the Faith is kept, but it is not absolute. For if the Faith was capable of being passed this way, then what need is there in the Ar Yemarin Anaros at all, for the people of Yemekar are already being guided through their own trades. Here, lays the great falsity that lays open to those who look, for in that same work, that being of the Third Holy Mandate, it is specifically said that; “Since the landing of our people on these lands our religious leaders have been mostly absent, with no one stepping up to take the official mantle of High Prelate except Thoak of Clan Goldhand for a brief period of time during Hamnil Frostbeard’s reign. Since then all dwedmar have suffered from a lack of knowledge in the ways of the Brathmordakin and a general decline of culture has taken place as a result.” - THE THIRD HOLY MANDATE And so, there is ultimately no traditions, teachings, or unaltered Faith that can be handed down to the descendants of Urguan from Yemekar through craftsmanship, trade, or everyday works as described in that same work from which this premise was born from; “Due to the common occurrence of traditions being contorted through misconceptions, the Prelates of the Brathmordakin are responsible for leading, and ensuring that their respectable clergy does not succumb to chaos, and heresy” - AR YEMARIN ANAROS: CLERGY OF THE HOLY TRUTH And with the aforementioned lack of clergy to keep the traditions, and teachings from contortion of misconception, it only follows that this new clergy that has been appointed due to the absence of itself can surely not be held to be a clergy not ripe with contortions of the Faith through misconceptions itself. Thusly, their own Faith is undone by their own laxness in application, and from this the other devices have fallen away to leave but a shell of what it was. And so the Dwarves have been led astray both by a false God, and their failure to uphold what beliefs they had, reducing themselves to the perpetual oblivion they shall find once they pass on, for nothing Yemekar has promised might be true now for their lack of Faith has taken it from them. Upon the Question of Falsity Within Orckind Seperate to these others are the Orcs who host great worship to their ancestor Krug, from which they recognise their descent from, and a great plethora of Gods that even the Dwarves are placed to shame for their paltry number in comparison to those of these folk. From these many Gods, none stands above another in a most easily discernible sense, for it seems all the Gods of the Orcs stand alone over their own realm and answer to no other. Yet from these, Krug stands above all in his strength, even in death. And so, as perhaps akin to that of the Dwarves Yemekar, the Gods of the Orcs have not claimed creation over all, but only parts of it to which they devote themselves to in the same regards as their worshippers devote themselves to the God of a particular part. Even Krug, as authoritative and powerful as he seems to be, is admitted to being the first of the Shamans, his power being derived from others as all Shamans are bound to. So in this regard it is evident that, although as flamboyant and energetic as these Gods do tend to be, these Gods are not the Creator. Yet, the line of Shamans that guide the horde through the rituals needed to gain favour of one God or another remains an unbroken chain, each having been taught by another, with their origination being Krug, and so in some sense the Orcs are not as barbarous as many of the other descendants would attest. For without the Shamans, the knowledge of Ritual would be lost, and without Ritual, the Gods of the Orcs would remain mute to their devoted worshippers. Yet, to what do these Gods speak upon to the throngs of these tusked men? What great wisdom might be garnered from them? For, in their seemingly endless number, the Orcish Gods in all their Ritualistic behaviour still stumble upon the thought of a creed for themselves. What teachings do the Gods pass down but the indulgence of slaughter that they find so necessary to be conversed with, and from this slaughter a fleeting benefit to not all Orcs, but of a select few or one, with only they garnering abilities or knowledge even with these being degrees below that of a Shaman. So select are these gifts, that the very totems erected in observance of these Ritualistic needs are built by the hands of the Orc that shall receive them, so then we cannot say these are truly teachings for they are not retained upon the masses by the Shamans who profess to know of the Gods so well, or by the general populace of Orcish peoples. So by what then do the Orcish peoples observe the wants of their Gods if not by the mindless and endless Ritualistic slaughter of innocents, for they sacrifice other descendants and themselves, unless that is the sole of the purpose of these Rituals. If that is the case, then are these not Gods but twisted and malignant spirits sent by Iblees to complete the utter corruption of the Orcish peoples for all time? In digressing upon this thought, it is plain to see that the Orcs embrace falsity not in the form of Religion, for what one might call their Faith in the Gods, but in the very Gods, or to be specific, the spirits, from which they obtain the corrupting energies of the impure and boast of them as a great gift to be sought. Thusly, although the Orcs carry on the traditions of their Gods as guided to do so by the Shamans who hold a succession, no teachings of these Gods can be, or are abided by in unison with another, for no universal creed of the Gods teachings exists making such demonstrations impossible, especially when devotion to one God is favoured over devotions to many. And further, what teaching does exist exudes the horrific nature that is bloodlust which is not a mark of the Creator, for the Creator does not wish upon His own creation undue punishments, but the mark of Iblees. So then, the Orcish peoples worship, in their totality, that which is not God, the Void, and from it pull what they can, that being corruption of themselves through what they call gifts, into this plain in defiance of the Creator. Their worship being the destruction of all things good, and the hedonistic embrace of things other to this world. Upon the Question of Falsity Within Mankind Unique to the others, stand the men and women of Humanity, their teeming masses sprawling across all the world. Within them, many languages, and cultures, which birth many false Religions. For we might speak then upon the men and women of the Red Faith, who espouse the All-Father to be the true God over us all, and Creator of all for one such belief. Yet, separate to the Elves who draw themselves to Malin, Dwarves who draw themselves to Urguan, and Orcs who draw themselves to Krug, who do these men draw themselves to but Thoromor Ruric who lived about the year thirteen hundred, and was the first to hear of this God not but over a millenia after all the other descendants heard of theirs. So then, we know that whatever this God might be, he cannot then be the Creator for he did not show himself to Horen in the time he lived, nor Malin, nor Urguan, nor Krug for no history leading to that of the year thirteen hundred records any being known as the All-Father. And so, if he cannot be the Creator out of simply drawing of a line to the four brothers, and the first man and woman, then how can any teachings of his be true and worthy? For Malin, Urguan, Krug, and Horen all heard of teachings from GOD, knew the first man and woman as father and mother, and passed down their teachings to their tribe and children all before this original prophet was born. So then, was the All-Father but a creation of the Creator after over a millenia, with his purpose being that of shining a light to one mortal man as was recorded in the first documents of this Faith? And of the teachings of this God, which were passed to Thoromir Ruric through some method unknown for the light that proved this Gods existence in Thoromir’s eyes did not speak, remake that which is known by all the descendants, with such passages from those who seek to become professors of this Faith espousing; “All beings that are man or are not man were created from man. They were created from man who’s sin and lack of devotion twisted their bodies, souls, and minds into what they are now. Forever cursed with a body and faith that forces them away from the All-Father and his followers.” - ON THE CREATION OF BEINGS, Author Unknown To great chorus. For man is the progenitor of himself through some method, and all others, those being of the descendants, being made from man as well. Perhaps the pupil of the Keepers did not fully grasp that which they believe, perhaps he reports exactly what they believe, in both it draws the question of who, or whom they believe this man to be? Is it but one individual, with themselves holding Horen above his brothers, or many individuals, with themselves holding Horens tribe above the tribes of Malin, Urguan, and Krug? And in this same passage from this same pupil it declares that the Elves of Malin come from senseless slaughter, the Dwarves of Urguan come from greed, and the Goblins, not even those of the Orcs, of Krug come from sin in general, and had the Men of Horen not sinned these other races would not exist today. Further, another pupil describes the state from which all descendants come as; “As the scrolls tell us, menfolk came from what some perceive to be clay bodies with souls of fire.” - ON LIFE, Magnus Ironwood A perception of the scrolls, not even the words themselves. So then, to take the perception of that of the teacher of this pupil, the Creator did not create the first man or woman but, or rather, husks of clay filled with fire, which they take to be souls, and called them creatures. If this was the case, then the great Elven Magi could equal GOD in power, for they bring to life beings made of stone, metal, and clay as described with their powers with somewhat regular efficiency. This pupil goes on to muse upon the thought that these bodies were not ready to take the land which the All-Father has created, if this was true, then why would he give them souls to bring them to that of life like we currently hold? And the last of these pupils I will delve to present, is that of one who discusses salvation; “We are told as Arthas has written, that men and women of the All Father will have our Salvation. Our doom will come, but then a man born of human flesh blessed by the Dawnlord will come to us. He will ignite the pyre of the mortal soul.” - ON THE HOPE OF MAN, Harry Ragnarson From this, then, we must take that only those of Man might enjoy salvation through the lighting of the mortal soul. Yet, if the souls are said to be of fire then how might they be ignited? Is this perhaps a contradiction amongst teachers of these pupils, for should they accurately portray the Faith then the teachings it abides by are false, yet if they make error in their explanation then what teaching might be passed to the next generation of Keepers if these become their teachers? So then, the Red Faith shows plainly the contradictions and false beliefs openly upheld by themselves. For their God is not that of the Creator for he came after the first of creations, his teachings are flawed and corrupt from the contradictions found in his own scrolls, the Faith is then further corrupted by compounding errors, or by virtue of the teachings being corrupt, and succession to the first man and woman of these teachings is broken, for they came thirteen hundred years after the first man and woman. Upon the Question of the Summation of False Religions And so, we find that these Gods, and those not mentioned, are all equally false, their teachings therefore being incomplete and spontaneously inspired by the will of mortal or spirit hand. Thusly, any Religion formed upon them is, by virtue of the foundations it is built upon, false, with any succession after that being entirely irrelevant for if the foundations it is built upon are rotten, twisted, and infirm, how can any build a grand and glorious house to GOD upon them without itself becoming rotten, twisted, and infirm as well? With this in mind, we then find ourselves to understand further the necessity of Religion in our lives, a guiding force of truth, and goodness to the ultimate salvation at the hands of the Creator when our time upon this mortal plain ends. BOOK V CONCERNING SIN [The murder of Saint Godwin of Paradisus at the hands of Harren] Furthering upon my thoughts on the false Gods through the context of their Religious institutions that grace this plain, I shall expand upon my thoughts in this work regarding to what the true Faith must be, as well as what the other Faiths will bring to bear should they be entertained. In this, I shall discuss the Faith we of Humanity bear and its context in this world, to hopefully bring forth the truth of the matter of GOD to those who have and do spurn it for their own vices. So, without further meddling with an explanation, I shall begin promptly where I had left myself in the previous work. Upon the Question of True Religion With these thoughts upon a fraction of the multitude of Faiths we find ourselves surrounded by, those leaders being those of the Druids of the Elves, Prelates of the Dwarves, Shamans of the Orcs, and the Religious leaders such as the Keepers within Mankind which were referenced previously, alongside the numerous and lesser known Religions, we might then question to what the true Religion among them might be, and of this Religion, what its nature might be, and to what these other Religions serve to warn us of? And so, like the events that transpired upon Horens tribe when Saul, influenced by Iblees’ corruptions, led them to a great slaughter along with those of the tribes of Malin, Urguan, and Krug at the hands of those same corruptions, we then must recognize the only fruits to bear from these false Faiths are those of unjust, and impure, and horrid squalor in which those who hold them high find themselves within. But to what do conditions as these find their check? What binds them, and bounds them from our societies, to keep us from their clutches? That is the word of GOD, passed to us from Himself wholly, and truly, and uncorrupted, by any. Upon the Question of the Meaning of True Religion But from where does the word of GOD come from, for some see fit to ignore that which is handed to them by any mortal professing Faith, while yet others reject that which they cannot read for themselves, and yet more refuse anything that they had not bore personal witness to as folly, if not from GOD himself, either in His own person, or by those who are of His service? For instance, GOD gave upon the first man and woman His word so that they might live a life of purity in His creation, and instill in their sons the same virtues instilled in them with GOD’s help. To these others, this word is insufficient for how could any trust the recordings of this time, nor how can any trust these writings if they are not able to read upon their contents freely, nor how can any believe any of these events did happen for none alive today were there to witness it and therefore it is naught but a tale. To the first of these, the recordings are written from the word of GOD Himself, through inspiration, that espouse these happenings in some cases, in a multitude of mortal sources in others, and thus are as traceable, and comparable as any history of this world which they undoubtedly take as the fact of the matter of the time and event discussed within them. So to contest upon this ground is to contest all knowledge they have gleaned from the written word of any, for how can any trust what is truth if not by the ability to compare between writings of the same subject? To the second of these, by what measure do they profess the writings to be inaccessible? Do the documents that record the taxation of Imperial subjects not tell the truth for they are not privy to any enquiring mind to read upon? Perhaps the diary of a woman tells not but lies and slanders for none but herself are capable of reading it? For rejecting the thought that truth might be written and kept from those that seek to obscure, corrupt, or re-interpret that which has been written and taught for the very purpose of keeping the truth the truth is beyond the capabilities of their understanding. To the third of these, as with the first, the mere absence of the individual from the event does not negate the happenings upon which the absence was inflicted upon. For Imperial Court meets regardless of who is in attendance, and the edicts passed from it are as factual as they are applicable to all beneath the Crown. Thus, to reject that which one was not in attendance to witness is most assuredly a step upon the trail of denial. Therefore, as the recordings of this time tell in the writings that have been passed down to us through the centuries, GOD gave to us the word through the first man and woman, and through them to the sons, fathers of all the descendants, these same words. And so, we know of Malin, and Urguan, and Krug, and Horen, and of their tribes, and what befell them at Iblees’ hands, and what brought upon them the curses which all bear, and what gifts GOD imparted to them as explored in the second of these books. Upon the Question of the Foundation of the True Religion And from there, these same teachings were passed down to all descendants equally. Yet, as wrathful as Iblees’ was in defeat, the seeds which were planted within us all blossomed and bloomed into what we recognise as the many Gods of this world, so that we might be taken and lost upon a sea of falsity, to forever despair and be used but as meat in a grinding, and boiling pot. It is with this that GOD recognised that the tribe of Horen followed in His path, for Horen was the only son to actively and dutifully seek GOD in the first years the brothers roamed, and from this was rewarded, and hailed as the first Prophet. Yet, in his passing, GOD witnessed the corruptions seep into these pious peoples once more, and out of love for these men He sent the Aengul Artifai down to Harren, son of Horen, King of Idunia, to give to him His favour the like of which Horen enjoyed to keep these peoples pure, yet Harren did naught but turn from Artifai, instead seeking to reclaim lands from the sons of Krug in a great bloodletting, and when Artifai returned Harren once more turned him away, seeking to revel in his glory, and when Artifai returned once more with GOD’s message Harren relented and accepted. Yet, in his heart burned the lust for personal gain, and envy of his brothers Godwin, and Joren, and from this came the spurning of GOD’s call. And so, as Saul sought to claim the tribe of Horen for himself with Iblees’ whispers, Harren sought to claim the lands of Godwin, and Joren for himself out of lust for power, and from this bore the fruits of slaughter upon Godwin’s people like that of Horen’s tribe at the hands of Saul, and ultimately the kinslaying of Godwin at the hands of his brother Harren. From this, the peoples of Horen became divided more than they had been, once brothers now enemies, and of these enemies fled the son of Godwin, Owyn, to the lands of Joren for safety for seven years. Yet even in this safety Harren’s malevolence had no bounds, and upon hearing of the betrothal of Owyn, sent word to him to make peace and wed upon the land his father, Owyn’s uncle, had once ruled. And so, out of goodness of heart did Owyn travel there with Joren and a great fanfare for a wedding, yet were met by the steel and callous brutality of Harren whereby Owyn was cast down to the sewer out of fear for his life as all he had once known were slaughtered above him. It is here, that GOD spoke to him directly, and directed him to reclaim his place, and return to Him the peoples who were once so pious, now distraught and detestable. It is with this, that the rock upon which the true Faith of GOD is built upon is established, for out of His will was born the second Prophet from the most pious peoples, and from this Prophet was to come the Religion of His word, and truth uncorrupted, and unbroken as it was, and is. Upon the Question of True Teachings From these two Prophets, came the first scrolls of His teachings. The first, by virtue of Exalted Horen, came the virtues espoused by GOD to the first man, and woman, and then to their sons, those of Faith, of Charity, of Temperance, of Diligence, of Patience, of Fidelity, of Humility by which all descendants must abide by, for to stray from these is to bring the rot by which Saul, and Harren, brought upon the tribe of Horen as Iblees brought upon the tribes of Malin, and Urguan, and Krug. The second, by virtue of Exalted Owyn, came forth the guidance to each of the descendants races, and the peoples of Horen, and the mystics amongst all of them. For living a life abiding by the virtues alone does naught but instill a false sense of incorruptibility amongst us, and so ultimately breeds vices from which our Faith will be corrupted. The third, by virtue of Exalted Godfrey, gave to us the context by which we might recognise the sowing of iniquity amongst ourselves, and combat it before it, in its repulsive, and totalic grasp, strips all we know of GOD, and Faith, to replace it with wretchedness. The fourth, by virtue of Exalted Siegmund, provided the culmination of our diligence, the salvation we shall meet, and the signs by which we might recognise it when it comes to us. From these teachings of GOD, passed to us throughout the centuries, and upheld by the Holy Mother Church of Canon without alteration, GOD’s people flourish broadly, and proudly. A living testament to the truth by which GOD has illuminated our lives. Upon the Question of the Meaning of Sin Even with these teachings, and Faith, and Religion, the true word of GOD still finds itself assaulted upon each side, the purity of the word drawing the corrupted from all corners to attempt to feast upon her Holy body, and rip it asunder into an irreparable mess as the wolves do to any animal they hunt. With this, then, what might Sin be seen as? What makes an act Sinful in nature, or might lead to Sinful nature? And of this Sin, is it but the creation of the Creator, and thus a natural part of creation in itself? To understand Sin, in its baseness, is to understand that it is a word, or deed, or desire which opposes the eternal law of GOD, opposition in the sense of known and enacted acts, or unknown and enacted acts against the law of GOD. For one who knows of the law of GOD and chooses to act against it is Sinful in the innermost, and one who does not know the law of GOD but acts against it is Sinful in the outermost. With this, we then look to acts that occur naturally, the sense of that word being a near part of one's conscience, such as kleptomania found in the downtrodden of society, or psychoticism found in those who have suffered a great misfortune for many years. It is not with the intent or knowledge that they break the law of GOD through their deeds, nor even the deed itself, although still wrong, necessarily, but the habitual nature that comes from enacting that deed upon others. For, they have taken into themselves a corruption of their soul that permeates its fault upon anything they take part in. Yet, this Sin, although repeated on a vast scale, still finds itself roots within the first deed enacted by the Sinner, and thus the Sin is not of the natural state, but of a learned one. For they have not been corrected and placed back into GOD’s goodness, or if they have been corrected and refused GOD’s goodness, they have taken it upon themselves to continue their sickened ways. From this, then, we must find that there is no natural state by which any descendant finds themselves in Sin, for none are born in Sin for they are not born to deeds but make deeds after their birth, none are born with kleptomania, nor psychoticism, and thus these things come after. Following, then, these acts conducted against the law of GOD are perpetrated not in His image, nor His will, for He has given to us the gift of freedom of will as spoken of in book two nor has he enacted any Sin upon us, and thusly any choice made by us is of us and no other, with the fruits of that choice bore solely by us, for GOD does not Sin on our behalves, nor does He take necessity in sowing Sin within us but for His own enjoyment of clearing us of it. And of the thought that Sin might be natural in that it exists in the world, and thus must be natural, so too does the will to create, and yet not all might create well, or at all. So then, Sin cannot be a natural state of descendants for not all are affected in the same way that not all descendants are of a creative spirit, and thus the personal inclinations of each sows their ideals upon themselves, for naturally there are to be both goodness and badness, for they are of a coin, in the world, and so neither can truly be said to be of the base trait universally from birth. Upon the Question of the Origin of Sin With Sin being not of the base trait in us, then what might draw us to it, or to the goodness of GOD for that matter? The teachings of whatever Deity our parents hold dear are passed down to us and are of the most intrinsic governance of our personal traits, separate and after those passed to us by our father and mother, and so the most base guidance we receive from birth is that of our father and mother and not necessarily of any Religion. So then, with this in mind, we draw that our father and mother teach us the goodness and badness of the world before any Religious leader might do so, and with this, our immediate carnal, and moral, and spiritual desires are in unison with those of our parents. Upon the Question of Familial Sin And if they are of our parents, then whereby had our parents received these traits from which their child learns? It is only natural that these issues arise from their own lives, for no matter the Deity they worship, the teachings espoused by any God to them are either ignored, unfulfilled, or left to the wayside for other pursuits. And so, we see, that the father and mother of the child impart upon them the Sins they delve into, and those Sins they hold dear. For a father and mother to meet in union outside of the union of marriage do impart immediately upon the child the wickedness of a child conceived in guilt, and surely born to punishment by themselves or by the world abroad. What they partake in is depraved and illicit, the action shameful and improper, vain and unprofitable, and the child from which these deeds create is left with the mark of the itch of their flesh, the heat of their passion marked with lust, and worse yet with the stain of Sin already upon them. The child forever to be haunted with the knowledge of these depraved acts, with which offend against the judgement of GOD, and that same child to be condemned by his neighbors, and himself, for the acts which his parents partook in to defile his name without his consent forevermore. And so, through this deed alone, the parents impart upon the child the rottenness of their own works to forever stink and reek for as long as the child lives, with such foul odors permeating deep into the bloodline that even their grandchildren shall be marked similar in this. And this does not yet take into account those other acts the parents have committed throughout the formative years of the child, nor those they enact throughout the remainder of their lives from which their child still sees, and in part accepts within themselves for the bonding of blood runs ever deeply throughout we descendants, and alike to it our want to imitate one another. With this, then, the child is born into a family of Sin, and yet, even as he might grow, is marked with the same Sins of the parents, cursed to repeat them should no guiding hand interfere. Upon the Question of Communal Sin Yet it is not solely that of the family that imparts Sin upon a child as this, or as another, for if Sin exists within the family then should it not also extend to that of the community? It is only natural that those of the Elders, and Aldermen, and fellow citizens among them that interact, do impart upon the child their own Sins alike to that of the imparting with which the parents do, so alike to the family the community does also impart Sin. For the community roils itself in the toil and hardship of existing, and with it the anxieties of all who live within it do form. For in these anxieties, from the community in which they are birthed, come all kinds of cares that wrack the mind of they who live amongst them, the burdensome worry, they tremble and shrink with fears and terrors, are weighed down with sorrows, their nervousness to these things makes them depressed, and their depression only feeding their own nervousness. The rich and the poor, the married and single, the good and the bad alike are all taken to these things, and from them they all suffer worldly torments, and are tormented by wordly vexations. And from these things, these wretched products of community, are birthed the lusts for worldly joys, the seeking for affluence, the groping for power and authority, the never ceasing hunger that drives men to do horrid, and despicable acts upon one another to achieve respite from these anxieties. And for what? For he who seeks for affluence and riches is drawn to immorality, the sucking of the lifeblood of others for his own gain, his moralities ever shifting so long as they garner him ever more wealth, his own children being reduced to pawns but for his own games! For he who gropes for power and authority is drawn to vanity, his own image becoming all he strives for, his own lusting to authority giving him an uncaring demeanor to any who suffer beneath his hands and feet as he climbs to them, never satisfied with whatever plateau he finds himself upon, and so is driven to climb ever higher ! For he who hungers for release from these anxieties draws himself to shame, for no deed is too depraved, no word is too foul, no action too morbid for his curiosities to be quelled and calmed, and so his hunger grows ever more desperate as each successive thing leaves him only satiated for an inkling of time ! And from amongst all these things, the child is stationed at their forefront, the sickness of the communities Sins staining themselves upon him in the same way those stains of his parents were placed upon him. From this we see that it is not but solely the family that works to foster Sin upon a child, but also that of the community they are a part of, and so is marked with both his familial Sin, and his communal Sin. Upon the Question of Societal Sin From these two places Sin festers, yet if it festers in these then should it not be spread across the whole of society? It is only natural that Sin fostered within the family, and community of this child is only reinforced by that of the society on the whole, for if the family and community impart their own Sins onto others then surely they impart their Sins to the society, and likewise from the Sins of the society to that of the community and family. So then the society that comes from those same communities and families, and the communities from those same families and societies, and the families from these same communities and societies, draws itself upon the greatest Sins of all, for suppose any man is drawn to rule over the whole of society without guidance from GOD, suppose in his hands rests the authority of the whole of his peoples wrested from them by conquest, and governance, and ultimate force of will. Suppose that burdening him are all the lusts of these communities and families, his shoulders growing heavy beneath their combined weight, his worries surmounting all those lesser ones of the individual communities and families beneath his control, his hunger being replete with the ever surmounting distress, his sleep marked with the depths of the ever jittering and fidgeting of unclean and unclear thoughts ! And suppose almost the whole life of all descendants is wrought by these same insecurities, these same anxieties, these same inequalities, and who then might we point to for purity within this filth, when one can scarcely find anyone who does not go astray from the path of GOD, does not return to his own Sinful vomit, and rot in his own dung ! For instead of seeing clearly the squalorous rot they lay themselves into willingly, they rejoice in the thought of wickedness, and Sin, they wish to be filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, envy, contentions, deciets, evil, detractors, hateful to GOD for he sees them for what they are, irreverent, proud, haughty, plotters of evil, foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy ! This world without GOD and His teachings abounds in heretics and schismatics, traitors and tyrants, simonists and hypocrites, the ambitious and covetous, robbers and brigands, violent men, extortionists, userers, forgers, the impious and sacrilegious, the betrayers and liars, the flatterers and deceivers, gossips, tricksters, adulterers, incestuous men, deviates, and the dirty minded, the lazy, the careless, the vain, the prodigal, the impetuous, the irascible, the impatient and inconstant, poisoners, fortune tellers, perjurers, cursors, men who are presumptuous and arrogant, unbelieving and desperate, and finally those ensnared in all these vices together born in society, and community, and family, to forevermark the face of all the descendants who spurn the teachings of GOD. Upon the Question of Sin With this we see clearly, without obscurity, or indistinctness, the Sins passed down to us not by GOD but our own freedom of will, the choices our parents and their parents, our communities and their communities, our societies and their societies all made and make from this day to the end day by which we all shall bear witness to. Thus we see, plastered brilliantly and vibrantly before us, the necessity and absolute requirement for the judgements of GOD to be upheld, and through this the necessity and absolute requirement for the Holy Mother Church, the sole apostolic institution devoted to preserving, teaching, and carrying on His message, to be made a part of our families, our communities, and our societies on the whole of the world, across all races, to keep us as a whole from the Sins of Iblees, and through them, our ultimate destruction and absolute damnation. BOOK VI CONCERNING MORTALITY [Exalted Horen teaching his tribe of GOD after the betrayal of Saul] In this work I shall focus primarily on the societies, communities, and ultimately families from which we are all from as referenced in book five, as the stage for our mortal lives. We each are born to a family, within a community, which is a part of a society, and thus all these are essential in understanding how we as mortals might interact and live amongst one another in the light of GOD’s truth. As such, I shall delve to present each in the context of spiritual life, and relate each to the fruits of the merits each presented to GOD. To those that continue to read my works to find error, let them see by what I reference through history as opposed to solely through the lens of Religion. Upon the Question of Mortal Men Continuing the thoughts upon the three institutions we find in every descendants life, those of family, and community, and society, found in book five, we embark now to understanding how the Sins found in each may be rectified, and cleansed, so that we may enjoy the fruits of this world, and not dwell upon the horrific nature that these things quickly devolve into once left to hold themselves alone without His intervention. For mortal men are not bound to endure the onslaughts of evil, and wicked things for long without drifting to find themselves amongst them, and so the individual is not capable of living a just life if they are left to their own devices with no inputs of another. So then, the individual is easily manipulated, and coerced into actions not becoming of themselves. This leading to the necessity of maintaining the familial, communal, or societal bond at the least to each individual found amongst them, for one twig is not but weak compared to that of the bundle of the same. Upon the Question of Family So then, to speak easily, let us focus on the family, its parts being of a purpose with function assigned to each. Each man and woman born into this world is done through the efforts of the man and the woman that make up their parents, yet their efforts are not the same, nor are they equivalent in nature. The man, as noble, and swift, and brave as he, is set to be the caretaker of the family in whole, his duties to the preservation of his lineage, his birthed blood, his wife, his adopted blood, and himself, his carried blood. The reflection of his diligence over these three things is shown plainly upon the lives of each among them, for a man who does not care take for his lineage has no children or permits them to death and thus ends the propagation of GOD’s greater creation, if he does not care take of his wife then his lineage shall be spoiled by vindictiveness and malice and turned away from him utmostly, if he does not care take of himself his moralities and strength shall falter and wayne until they are but naught. Thus, the man is bound to uphold the moral goodness of his family the very same as he is bound to uphold his own wellbeing, for dereliction in this duty is to curse himself and all those around him with a burdensome and troubled lot who have no strong hand of guidance, much the same as those who languish without sight of GOD. The woman, as gentle, and supple, and steadfast as she, is set to be the caregiver of the family in whole, her duties to the nurturing of her lineage, her birthed blood, her husband, her embraced blood, and herself, her carried blood. The reflection of her diligence, unlike to that of her husband, is shown plainly by the joy within each life among her, for a woman who does not give care to her lineage permits her children to wallow in self doubt and instability, if she does not give care to her husband he has no healing when he is physically and mentally suffering, if she does not give care to herself then she shall fall to the burdens placed upon her and seek safety through vanity and self indulgence. Thus, the woman is bound to uphold the goodness of her family and all those around her in these things, lest they succumb to weakness and envy and untamed anger, much the same as those who languish without sight of GOD. In this, both the man and the woman are responsible for the molding of the child they bear together, its life bound to theirs as its moral, and ethical mind is created in light of their own. A reflection upon that same molding of children that took place when the first man and woman birthed the four brothers, and from them gave to these infants the first breaths of the Faith we all endear ourselves to. Yet, the child as well is to be taken into account within the family, for a child shown the goodness of good acts through disciplined education from the father shall surely grow to be inclined upon the furthering of these things. But a child who is left to his own devices, without guidance from the father, or weak guidance thereof, is left to his own intentions good or bad, and if these bad acts should bear more fruit than that of what good do, then it surely shall be inclined to pursue these acts instead of good. Much to the same as the mother, for a mother who does not calm a child sufficiently, or care for it as necessary, shall surely permit the child to grow ingrained in the giving of great emotions and so too shall bear upon the child the inclination for ever more extreme acts driven by emotion besides that of reasoning. These combined only leading to a great many wrongs to be committed against the good and the bad alike of this world, for the child has been permitted to fester in his own wants and desires and cares, and so too shall embrace these more and manifest them more completely than that of the opposing charity and temperance. Upon the Question of Community From the family, we then extend our eyes outwards to the community that surrounds it. The combination of many separate and distinct families, united by location, and culture, and history, their bonds as deeply rooted as any tree amongst them. From these disparate peoples, divided by blood, comes forth the family in the community, for each knows of one another, and in turn the next, as fondly and well as those who know of their brothers or sisters. In this, then, the community is structured much the same as that of the family, for the mayor, or otherwise leader, of them is alike to that of the father, and his agents, or otherwise attendants, alike to that of the mother of the community. For the mayor, or father, of the community busies himself with the maintenance of the community outwardly, these being arranged much the same way as that of the family with his duties engaging in that of association, those without of the community, his agents, those within the community, and his mayorship, that of his governance. The reflection of these is shown plainly upon the unity found within and without, for a mayor who does not care for association grinds his peoples against those of his neighbors and sows dissent and ultimate quarrel between them, if the mayor ignores his own agents the community shall suffer from neglect and direpair for the objects to which the agents were assigned will lay unattended, if the mayor does not take care for his own office then he damns it to collapse and the disarray of the entire community. The agents, in this, busy themselves with the maintenance of the community inwardly, their works revolving around the support of the community, that of the families held within, the execution of the mayors will, upholding his decrees, and managing themselves, all those agents beneath the mayor. The reflection of these is shown plainly upon the efficient workings within, for an agency who does not support the community permits it to grow resentful to itself and bitter towards their actions with the ultimate outcome of resistance, an agency who does not execute the mayors will permits any good judgements made on behalf of the community to be left unattended and so leave the community to flounder upon its own path to its own detriment, an agency who does not manage themselves effectively shall lead itself to bloating and eventual laxity in the upholding of mandates with its intents shifting to the maintenance of its workforce above that of what it was assigned to accomplish. With these both, the mayor and his agents are responsible for molding and conforming the community they represent to the moral, and ethical prospects expected of it by those who place them in authority to do so. This reflection is alike to that of the child, for each family within the community may make its own choices for its own benefit, with the community enforcing only what is good and right within itself as decided by all families that make its body. Yet, even as a child might be influenced by that of the father and mother, the families shall be influenced in the same way by the decisions of the mayor and his agents, for a good mayor who leaves lax the laws of the community only invites his member families to take advantage of these laxities, and a bad mayor who enforces harsh and unjust rulings upon his people so too forces upon them the bad acts they may partake in to alleviate their suffering. Yet, unlike to the family, the community may be influenced by its member peoples, for a community who brings foul families amongst themselves only permits for foulness to be propagated to all that make it up. And so, in this, these two aspects of our mortal life interact to form what we refer to as community, with the community only being as good as its mayor, and agents, and families combined may be, yet it is more capable of suppressing the bad and rejoicing in the good should enough of good intents be amongst themselves, in contrast to that of the family which is fundamentally more easily twisted through the laxity of but one or both parts. Upon the Question of Society From these foundations of Community and Family, the Society we all live, and love is built, it’s halls of institutions, its chambers of collective knowledge, and its windows to the light of creativity, each reflecting all those beliefs, and ideals, and wants of ourselves that make it. For the Community and Family act as the Father and Mother as referenced previously, and so too may be corrupted, yet Societies own corruption stems from its own nature and not that of another. For a Society may be made of good families, and good communities, but if the leadership of the Society be of a Sinful nature, then all those ruled beneath them shall share in the iniquity and be led to Sin. Yet, in contrast, a good ruler who rules over evil communities and evil families may impart upon them goodness through actions than beliefs. For even though one may hold evil in their heart utterly, if they should be made to provide charity to the poor then all benefit, the evil doer for the actions of purity, and the poor for the receiving of alms. But, Societies give these natures not outwardly, for the corruption lies within the thought of perceived absolute governance. This thought, as malignant as it is, breeds not harshly, nor quickly, but festers for a time in the thoughts of those who are held high. To those leaders of Society that are deemed to be complete in their authority and absolute in their will. For a good man may be turned to evil if his thoughts upon the nature of his leadership be turned from the masses he governs to the desires of himself or his close circle. And so, the rulers of Society must delve and devote themselves to the constant reminding that they are but men, and alike to all men, they are not pure, as discussed in book five, and so must work to overcome their ingrained nature to be truly enlightened and rule with pure goodness and not that of evil. Upon the Question of Good Society To these thoughts, we then might concern ourselves with that of the good ruler, who leads his Society with pure intentions, and good thoughts, and pious will. From these, then, we might draw that the most glorious Societies to grace this plain were done so with the blessing of GOD above them, for the Holy Orenian Empire, from which came the numerous revitalizations of itself, was created over the purity of those who delved to do so, their actions graced by GOD through the coronation done so by the High Pontiff of the Holy Canonist Church to the men that sat her throne. With this benefit, these multiple Societies of the same name went to dominate the regions they inhabited, and united the sons of Horen most effectively and efficiently compared to those of other, lesser, merits. Each ruler being coronated as a ruler who rules with divine inspiration, which of course translates into their effective statesmanship, and long standing rule. So then, a good ruler submits himself to GOD fully before he takes complete authority over the secular world, and within himself offers his own abilities and skills so that GOD may enhance them should he truly walk the path of the rightful ruler. And once he receives these gifts, he sets about to make them take root amongst all those he rules, for the good and bad communities and families alike shall be graced by the purity of one who is graced by GOD, and so these Societies are of a Holy nature. Thus, the Holy Orenian Empire, at its founding, was made to be good and righteous and whole in its nomenclature without error or remission of it, and so might be taken to be a good Society upon this plane. Upon the Question of Evil Society Yet, the corruption spoken of previously is not found quickly, and so even though the Holy Orenian Empire may have been created in the fires of righteous war and cast in the steel of piety, one cannot assume that this nature remains manifest, even should the same ruler be seated upon the throne for its entire existence. For a most stark example of this, we might then look to that of the happenings of the Fifth Holy Orenian Empire. This Empire, alike to those of its predecessors, was founded in steadfast Faith, her first Emperor being coronated and seated upon her throne with great fanfare and celebration, from this came forth sixty-nine years of Imperial dominance, beneath it reigned the goodness of GOD’s light upon all, and each kept safe and secure after the horrors of the Duke’s War. Yet, even in this relatively long period, the corruptions of Society soon manifested themselves, for each ruler slowly waned his devotion to the Holy Mother Church, and through this the Faith of GOD Himself. For they believed themselves to be of absolute authority without peer, for even the High Pontiff, nor the Holy Canonist Church could match their own self indulgence in power with guidance away from this evil. These corruptions leading to the blatant and easily recognised Sins that the Emperors took part in, their last and most heinous within their line being that of Emperor Philip Frederick Horen. A man who was so abhorrent to GOD, that he claimed himself to be free of all Sin while simultaneously rejoicing and relishing in the very acts he denounced having taken part in. From this, the then High Pontiff Theodosius II did see it fit to excommunicate him, a grievous action in his own eyes. And so, Emperor Philip Frederick Horen dispatched to the Pontificate a force dedicated to the murder of a High Pontiff, the glaring and fragrant culmination of the sins of the Horen line at this time. For, near the second the High Pontiff was murdered, while his blood still flowed and bore warmth, a great schism came for the Sinful Emperor, Philip Frederick Horen, then proclaimed it necessary to appoint his own High Pontiff under guise of Ecclesiastical Election. An election held with a sword to the true men of GOD and benefits gifted to those who did his will without question. From this usurpation of the House of GOD on this plain, came forth all manners of works held against the corrupted and evil Emperor. For it was not but a schism that came from his actions, but the whole of his Empire was torn asunder by the men of the Courlandic Coalition. So violent and eager were they to turn the once proud Society that he governed to ash that they crushed his Imperial forces in a matter of years, making it to the doorstep of the Imperial City of Johannesburg. And like to his own Sin, a self destructing and evil thing, he ordered the Thanhium he had stored beneath the city to be ignited, and so committed murder of all those innocents within, and committed suicide so that he may not face the punishment within the mortal plain GOD had set for him. Thus, the Holy Orenian Empire fell to something not truly Holy, and not truly Imperial for its lands had been conquested fully. The fruits of Sin showing their twisted, and disgusting features to the whole of the world and to be written of in works such as these until our final salvation comes. Upon the Question of Mortality From these explanations, we find the answer of ourselves to be wrought in that of Iniquity thus far. Our presence upon this plain not but filled with Sin as described in book five, corruption as referenced within the context of the Fifth Holy Orenian Empire, and Iniquity found in our everyday lives as each of us walks through holy grounds so that we might only but get to our mortal pleasures ever so much faster. Mortality based in Sin shall lead to naught but Eternity in the Void. Alike to that of Saul within Horen’s camp, we find the evil amongst the good working to stain it so that it may resemble itself. Yet even in this, we find that our nature also brings ourselves to that of GOD naturally, as Horen was brought to GOD out of nature and not of his own desire. For all strive to create something of goodness in the world, each striving to meet the virtues GOD has given us, yet each only applying them as we see fit. For a mother may give freely to her own children, but to those of another spurn them away from her and so does not give charity to those without her own kin. So we see that virtue does exist naturally to us to an extent, yet we do not fully give ourselves to it but for our own selfish desires. BOOK VII CONCERNING ETERNITY [Saint Julia expelling the followers of Saul from Horen’s tribe] In my final work upon these subjects, I shall leave this plane and concern myself solely with what comes after, that of the Kingdom of GOD in the Seven Skies. Upon the Question of Death To many among us, the thought of death brings naught but grief and fear, for we fear what might be done to us in this mortal plain, and not concern ourselves with what lays beyond that which we perceive at this moment. From this, we gather many who would turn themselves into a parody of themselves should the promise of a swift and gentle end be given to us so that we might not suffer but another second in a life of suffering. To these folk, I write directly. There is not to fear in death, but the thought that you might fear to greet GOD ever so much sooner than you would if you would live to the end of your natural life. And so, why fear? Why fret? Why tear yourself apart thinking of what might be and what might come? For the journey we all walk ends the same way should we be pious, and steadfast, and righteous in our final moments. So I give to you, worrier, overwhelmed one, child of terror, these words and these words solely: “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” And with these words you should know that death will carry you as gently as any mother would carry her babe, and more quickly than any cart might do, to the eternal paradise of the Seven Skies, wisdom given to us by Him. So fear not, worry not, be overwhelmed not, be terrified not, for GOD shall walk with you as he walks with us all. Upon the Question of Eternity Within Ourselves What lays in the after lays deeply in us, I believe. For the virtues spoken to us by GOD, through the Prophets, are born into us naturally as I briefly mused in book six. For each of us knows of the virtues, indulges in their usage, and cooperates with the needs of them, but for a select few within their direct life. As I spoke, the mother cares solely for her own kin and not that of another, and so gives charity only to her son and not that of others sons. So then, I would think that should the after be marked without suffering as known in this plain, without iniquity as seen eagerly present here, as known as easily as the name of another, then perhaps our nature to espouse these virtues would come unhindered, each man and woman who takes the faith in their hands, and hearts, and minds eagerly and willingly giving to each other and themselves a life in the eternal of virtue. Upon the Question of Eternity Within Others And from each of these individuals who partake in the espousing of these virtues, grows a great and mighty community of all those who have believed in GOD utmostly through the hardships and suffering of their mortal stay. One that is absolutely pure in piety, and free of the burdens of mortality, one that sees and is seen as the pinnacle of ourselves in an organized and widespread people. A glorious testament to what we are in our purest form, that of the children of the four brothers unmolested by the curses and lies of Iblees, to live as purely as the first man and woman lived under the careful nurturing and sustenance of GOD and within His mightiest creation, that of His home. Upon the Question of Eternity From this we then might see a grand and mighty thing like that of our Empires that graced the mortal plain, a unifying and righteous being made up of all of ourselves. The culmination and clear sighted presence of an Empire that all of us strive to create in the mortal plain, a pure and beautiful work, a satisfying and satisfied state, a humble and sturdy Society, a gracious and malevolent body from which stems all goodness, with ourselves looking down upon the mortal plain in the joy of an elderly woman looking upon her grandchildren as they stumble and trip to find their way in their world. All of this, and more, shall be, in my mind, that which makes up the eternity. Ourselves creating the glorious and beautiful afterlife to which we all strive, and all of us, without exception, bathed in the Light of GOD from His throne to us who surround him as many children do to any great story teller, but his words are that of all things and not but a fictition, his tales that of paradise and not of false lands, his joy and his love emanating stronger to us, and reverberating inside us more so than any great love ballad that we have heard has done. Upon My Own Eternity With these thoughts as full and complete as I might make them at this time, with the grace given to myself for perhaps some thoughts may be left incomplete, or some rambling parable left wanting, I bid thee dear reader farewell, for I shall find if my musings upon the after truly are those of truth, or if my mind drifted to that of what I hope it will be, as we all will find when it should come.
  2. T H E A T L A S O F S A I N T S A U T H O R E D B Y J . J . D E S A R K O Z Y 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 ST. JULIA OF PARADISUS [Pre-Modern Era] [Julia, Wife of Ex. Horen] [Pre-Modern Canonization] [Patron Saint of Mothers, Matrimony, and Exorcism] [Golden Rings] ST. GODWIN OF PARADISUS [Pre-Modern Era] [Godwin Horenson, King of Aaun] [Pre-Modern Canonization] [Patron Saint of the Deceased, Ghosts, Heartlers, and the Supernatural] [Skull] ST. JOREN OF PARADISUS [Pre-Modern Era] [Joren Horenson, King of Edel] [Pre-Modern Canonization] [Patron Saint of Winter, Mountains, Highlanders, and the Imprisoned] [Iron Shackles] ST. TARA OF PARADISUS [Pre-Modern Era] [Tara, Wife of St. Joren] [Canonized in 1754 by High Pontiff James II, Eighth Golden Bull of Helena] [Patron Saint of Wives, Flowers, and the Wounded] [Peony Flower] HIGH PRIEST ST. EVARISTUS OF PARADISUS [Pre-Modern Era] [High Priest Evaristus I] [Canonized in 1754 by High Pontiff James II, Eighth Golden Bull of Helena] [Patron Saint of Twins, Chastity, Butchers, and the East Winds] [Right Hand Holding Laurel] HIGH PRIEST ST. CLEMENT OF PARADISUS [Pre-Modern Era] [High Priest Clement I] [Canonized in 1754 by High Pontiff James II, Eighth Golden Bull of Helena] [Patron Saint of Twins, Mercy, Bakers, and the West Winds] [Left Hand Holding Laurel] ST. LOTHAR OF BALIAN [500s] [Lothar Horen, Prince of Balian] [Pre-Modern Canonization] [Patron Saint of the Lorraine Cross, Princes, Courage, and Heraldry] [Lorraine Cross] ST. DANIEL OF AL’KHAZAR [1200s-1320s] [Daniel I Horen, King of Oren] [Canonized by High Priest St. Everard I, 1300s] [Patron Saint of Peace, Cities, Pilgrims, and Travel] [Wooden Stave] HIGH PRIEST ST. EVERARD I OF AL’KHAZAR [1260-1345] [High Priest Everard I] [Canonized by Prince-Archbishop James I, 1390s] [Patron Saint of Holy Tradition, and Those Persecuted for Their Faith] [Red Cross] ST. AMYAS OF YORE [1300s] [Amyas] [Canonized by High Pontiff St. Lucien I] [Patron of Medicine, Healing, Botany, and Wild Herbs] [Wild Herb] ST. MALCOLM OF FJORDHEM [1320s-1360s] [Maèl Col Seighinson, Bishop of Wycke] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Everard IV, 1633, Fifth Golden Bull of Mount Saint Humbert] [Patron Saint of Daelanders, Storms, and the Conversion of Heathens] [Viper] HIGH PONTIFF ST. LUCIEN I OF ULMSBOTTOM [1351-1430s] [High Pontiff Lucien I] [Canonized by High Pontiff Owyn I, 1430s] [Patron Saint of Crusaders, Change, and the Family] [Kaedreni Cross] ST. GODWEIN OF HUNTSHILL [1356-1424] [Godwein Stafyr, Margrave of Schattenburg] [Canonized by High Ecclesiarch Radomir I, 1444, Golden Bull of Dibley] [Patron Saint of Honesty, Woodworkers, and Skin Afflictions] [Oaken Shield] ST. THEODOSIUS OF ISTIAM [1360s-1444] [Bodgan, Archbishop of Raev] [Canonized by High Ecclesiarch Radomir I, 1445] [Patron Saint of the Hussariya Cross, Messengers, Falconers, Fowlers, Translators, and the Raevir People] [Gray Pigeon] ST. PETER OF GAEKRIN [1360-1462] [Peter I Chivay, GMWR, KRD, Holy Orenian Emperor] [Canonized by High Pontiff Adrian I, 1591, Sixth Golden Bull of Johannesburg] [Patron Saint of Military Orders, Victory in Battle, and Plight against Heathens] [Flaming Rose] ST. THOMAS OF GAEKRIN [1362-1435] [Thomas Chivay, GMWR, Duke of Korath] [Canonized by High Ecclesiarch Radomir I, 1444, Golden Bull of Cavan] [Patron Saint of Virtuous Leadership, Discipline, Frontiersmen, and Kaedreni Peoples] [White Rose] ST. ADRIAN OF LEUVAARDEN [1380s-1434] [Hadrien de Sarkozy, Count of Norfolk] [Canonized by High Ecclesiarch Radomir I, 1444, Golden Bull of Cavan] [Patron Saint of Statesmen, Lawyers, and Politics] [Open Book] ST. EDMOND OF LACHSIN [1384-1435] [Sir Edmond Brunswick, SKWR, KRD, Count of Lachsin] [Canonized by High Ecclesiarch Radomir I, 1444, Golden Bull of Cavan] [Patron Saint of Knights, Hospitality, Baronial Lords, and the Auvergnian People] [Mounted Knight] ST. TOBIAS OF SARKOZ [1390-1426] [Toveah Goldman] [Canonized by High Ecclesiarch Radomir I, 1444, Golden Bull of Cavan] [Patron Saint of Merchants, Comets, Wealth, and Charity] [Silver Comet, Gold Coins] ST. THOMAS OF AGER [1400s] [Brother Thomas Denims] [Canonized by High Pontiff James II, 1763, Eleventh Golden Bull of Helena] [Patron Saint of Stonemasons, Builders, Swamps, Glades, and Diligence] [Hummingbird] ST. TOBIAS OF ROSEMOOR [1408-1501] [Tuvya I Sigismund Carrion, Holy Orenian Emperor] [Canonized by High Pontiff James II, 1754, Eighth Golden Bull of Helena] [Patron Saint of Emperors, Tithes, and the Retired] [Blue Ribbon] ST. CHRISTOPHER OF HANSETI [1412-1500] [Kristoff Adolfus Wittlebach von Herrick, OSA, Bishop of Savoie] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Everard IV, 1626, Fourth Golden Bull of Mount Saint Humbert] [Patron Saint of Martyrs, Victims of Strife, and Bishops] [Rosary] ST. RICHARD OF ALDERSBURG [1422-1475] [Richard Ashford de Bar, OSA, Duke of Juvanos] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Daniel II, 1523, Golden Bull of Luciensport] [Patron Saint of Bastards, Transmutation, Bravery, and the Desert] [Golden Circlet] ST. WILFRICHE OF HANSETI [1426-1456] [Reverend Wilfriche Buron] [Canonized by High Pontiff St. Daniel I, 1486, Council of Fursten] [Patron Saint of the Teutonic Cross, Brotherhood, Chancellors, Opponents of Setherin, and Franciscan Martyrs] [Black Mace] ST. HUMBERT OF BAR [1428-1524] [Humbert Ashford de Bar, Bishop of Felsen] [Canonized by High Pontiff Adrian I, 1591, Sixth Golden Bull of Johannesburg] [Patron Saint of Regents, Perseverance, and Defiance against Evil] [Collosus] HIGH PONTIFF ST. DANIEL I OF ABRESI [1441-1512] [High Pontiff Daniel I] [Canonized by High Pontiff Sixtus IV, 1573, First Golden Bull of Johannesburg] [Patron Saint of Scholarship, Canonist Coalitions, Fidei Defensors, and Literature] [Aged Scroll] ST. OTTO OF VANDERFELL [1455-1501] [Otto Arius Rovin, KRD, Duke of Vanderfell] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Daniel II, 1523, Golden Bull of Luciensport] [Patron Saint of the Schism War, Ward Fathers, and Haeseni Peoples] [Bald Eagle] ST. EMMA OF WOLDZMIR [1460s-1492] [Emma Vladovic] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Lucien III, 1540, Fourth Golden Bull of Visiga] [Patron Saint of the Schism War, Soldiers, Loyalty, Valour Against Odds, and Adrians] [White Sword] ST. JUDE OF PETRUS [1467-1507] [Jude of Cyriaum, Abbot of Cyriaum] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Everard IV, 1633, Fifth Golden Bull of Mount Saint Humbert] [Patron Saint of Scholastics, Authors, and Monasteries] [Inkwell] ST. PUBLIUS OF PETRUS [1468-1548] [Publius Bracchus, OSA, Baron of Aesculus] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Pontian II, 1714, Second Golden Bull of Jorenus] [Patron Saint of Military Officers, Mercenaries, and Deacons] [Bronze Chalice] ST. CHARLES OF PETRUS [1485-1513] [Karl III Barbanov, Duke of Haense] [Canonized by High Pontiff Theodosius I, 1565, Tenth Golden Bull of Holofernes] [Patron Saint of Strength, Fortitude, and Prisoners of War] [Golden Crow] ST. NOAH OF PETRUS [1490-1552] [Noah Wheezer, Bishop of Istria] [Canonized by High Pontiff James II, 1754, Eighth Golden Bull of Helena] [Patron Saint of Cathedrals, Ranches, Spring, and Mayors] [Chicken Egg] ST. NAFIS OF AL-DIRAHK [1495-1569] [Nafis Yar, OSL, Lord Protector of Vandoria] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Daniel VI, 1726, First Golden Bull of Ves] [Patron Saint of the Farfolk, Fishermen, Diamonds, Converts and Revolution] [Uncut Diamond] ST. MICHAEL OF CORDOBE [1498-1547] [Miguel Cortez, KWS, Count of Entusia] [Canonized by High Pontiff St. Sixtus IV, 1576, Second Golden Bull of Johannesburg] [Patron Saint of Passion, Exiles, Service and the Eighteen Years’ War] [White Bull] ST. JOHN OF AESCULUS [1501-1551] [Johannes Vos de Ruyter, Archbishop of Cistercia] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Everard IV, 1626, Fourth Golden Bull of Mount Saint Humbert] [Patron Saint of Judges, Missionaries, and the Wrongfully Accused] [Green Staff] HIGH PONTIFF ST. SIXTUS IV OF FELSEN [1518-1598] [High Pontiff Sixtus IV] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Jude I, 1674, Fourth Golden Bull of Rhodesia] [Patron Saint of Theologians] [Brass Bell] ST. CATHERINE OF FELSEN [1532-1574] [Catherine Francesca Horen] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Daniel V, 1693, First Golden Bull of Carolustadt] [Patron Saint of Integrity, Innocence, Refugees, and the Vessian People] [White Gloves] ST. ARPAD OF VILACZ [1591-1660] [Arpad Vsevolod Ivanovich, Baron of Vilacz] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Siegmund I, 1719, Coronation of the Last King] [Patron Saint of Focus and Vitality] [Dancing Bear] ST. HENRY OTTO OF ALBAN [1594-1624] [Henry-Otto Barbanov, Count of Bihar] [Canonized by High Pontiff Clement III, 1643, First Golden Bull of Rhodesia] [Patron Saint of Commoners, Justice, and Fatherhood] [Wooden Scales] ST. ROBERT OF METZ [1595-1670] [Robert Rovin, OSL, Auxiliary Archbishop of Rhodesia] [Canonized by High Pontiff Everard V, 1718, Fourth Golden Bull of Jorenus] [Patron Saint of Poetry, Feasting, and Inquisition] [Chicken Leg] ST. JUDITH OF CZENA [1618-1675] [Judith Ann, Abbess of Judzcya] [Canonized by High Pontiff Everard V, 1718, Fourth Golden Bull of Jorenus] [Patron Saint of Wayward Women and Nuns] [Cowl] ST. RUDOLPH OF MARKEV [1646-1700] [Rudolf Wagner, Archbishop of Jorenus] [Canonized by High Pontiff Bl. Pontian II, 1714, Second Golden Bull of Jorenus] [Patron Saint of Redemption, Musicians, and Beggars] [Silver Key]
  3. RULING: THE CROWN v. KAROLY DATE ARGUED: 14 Tobias’ Bounty 1760 PRESIDING JUSTICES: The Duke of Sunholdt KCHE, Chairman Mister John Huss, Associate Justice Jasper Cardinal Renzfeld, Associate Justice PROSECUTION: Mister Joseph Adler J.D. SSE, Solicitor-General Sir Frederick Armas KHE J.D. SSE, Prosecutor Mister Johnathan Ivory, Assistant Prosecutor DEFENSE: Mister John Everard Pruvia J.D. SSE, Defense Attorney THE OPINION OF THE COURT; By unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has elected to acquit the defendant on all accounts, by virtue of a lack of evidence for any specific charge. The witnesses presented by the prosecution entirely failed to prove, without doubt, that the defendant was guilty of any of the accused crimes. The defendant pleaded innocent on all counts, and despite arguments by the prosecution that the Bench failed to engage in clarifications in the defense’s opening statement, the Courts affirm that any such lack of clarity could not have had significant alteration to the outcome of the case, by unanimous decision. Notable, however, is the request of members of cabinet for the resignation of the Chief Justice, Sir John d’Arkent, for his ineptitude and failure to allow these clarifications that the prosecution felt severely damaged their case. The Courts of Law are not beholden to the executive branches of government, including the Solicitor-General, and even the Archchancellor. The Courts are instead beholden to the Senate, who may issue impeachment, as a check on the power of the Imperial Courts. These Courts have had two trials of major consequence, and both ended with the defeated side condemning the Court. The Supreme Court is, however, appointed by the Cabinet and confirmed by the Senate, both of which are extensions of the Emperor’s will. As His Imperial Majesty’s shield against the critical and varied matters of jurisprudence, it suffers the ire of the populace in judgement, popular or not. In this way, we preserve the integrity of the Emperor’s personal jurisprudence. Should the Courts succumb to political ire whenever an unpopular ruling is made, the Courts will instead be a whimsical body, and complete failure. The Honorable, Sir John d’Arkent, KCHE Baron of Selm, Duke of Sunholdt Chief Justice of the Supreme Court The Honorable, Monsignor Jasper de Sarkozy Associate Justice of the Supreme Court The Honorable, Jan Haas Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
  4. 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 J . J . D E S A R K O Z Y 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 [James Hightower] 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 [Gideon Silverblade] 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 [Boiendl Silverblade] 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 [Velwyn Ashford] 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. GODDARD’S DYNASTY 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. LOOSE FOOTING 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] “Deus Persto” 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. THE REKINDLING 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.
  5. xboxersz

    Alchemist's Guild

    ((MC NAME: xboxersz Discord: Cash4Gold#1763)) Name: Yusuf Karakulak Age: 18 Race: Human Reason For Joining: To further my studies in natural philosophy in a formal, academic environment. Affiliation: N/A
  6. MC Username: xboxersz Discord: Cash4Gold#1763 Which Category you wish to work on: Tech-Power Why you wish to work on that Category: I’ve completed coursework in the foundations and history of science/technology, and have a brief history of work experience that includes the maintenance of considerably large machines. It’s a field that I have a vested interest in, and I’d enjoy the opportunity to examine how the IRL development of technology interacts with arcane, alchemical, and mundane aspects of the server lore, along with overarching server themes. What you want to see from that Category: I’d like to establish the limits of LoTC technology in a manner that opens it up organically for even further development and discussion later on in the server’s arc. The problem with setting static limits to technological progress is that some players will immediately begin to charge towards that limit to reach it as soon as possible. Once such a static limit is reached, players and characters will lack room to grow, and then stagnate and lose interest. I’d like to see a dynamic techlock with milestones that can be reached over time with research and development by player groups. As time goes by, a wider breadth of devices should be available for development by players, instead of simply them hitting a static ceiling within a few months.
  7. Jasper casts his vote.
  8. Official Update After a recount conducted personally by the Secretary of State for Civil Affairs, the Imperial Office of Civil Affairs hereby reaffirms that the results of the elections are correct and valid. Jasper Cardinal Renzfeld, Secretary of State for Civil Affairs
  9. From his seat upon the electoral dais, Jasper Cardinal Renzfeld rises to place his slip of parchment into the voting receptacle. As he approaches, the cardinal’s mouth opens for a brief moment, but the courage he was able to muster during the last synod does not return to him. Silently, he drops his vote into the bucket before beginning a muted return to the remaining congregation of electors.
  10. IMPERIAL COUNCIL OF STATE RECRUITMENT NOTICE For the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Intelligence Issued and Confirmed by His Imperial Majesty, Peter III Antonius, 14th of Godfrey’s Triumph, 1739 His Imperial Majesty is searching for qualified candidates to fill the roles of Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Intelligence, both crucial administrative positions within the Imperial government. Each position is accompanied by room and board within the Imperial court, a state-of-the-art workspace, a seat upon the Imperial Cabinet, and a small annual stipend. Those who meet the qualifications below and are interested in one of these positions should submit a résumé to the Department of Civil Affairs for review ((Discord: Cash4Gold#1763)). Succeeding an application window of three months, candidates who have passed the initial round of review shall be contacted for an interview. SECTION I SECRETARY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS DUTIES: The duty to ensure the continuing good relations of the Holy Orenian Empire with the foreign nations of the continent The duty to report on the relationships which the Empire maintains with the states of the world The duty to provide for the welfare of Orenian subjects who should travel abroad, negotiating peacefully with foreign states for their continued safety, and making such incidents known to the Council of State as should be known The duty to ensure the loyalty and stability of the Empire’s foreign holdings in a manner consistent with the Emperor’s peace The duty to sustain the contentedness of foreign subjects and vassals, measuring their welfare against that of the state, and to never prejudice them to costly and weakening rebellion The duty to inform the Crown and the Cabinet of the customs of their subjects so they may better administer them The duty to organize meetings with foreign dignitaries, and to periodically travel to foreign lands in the Emperor’s name, acting as his favored ambassador and negotiator. The duty to negotiate and establish treaties on behalf of the Holy Orenian Empire, as the Emperor’s peace may demand PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: 15+ years of experience in foreign diplomacy or trade Master-level or doctoral-level degree in a field related to international studies, the humanities, or the social sciences Close familiarity with the ruling regime of states bordering the Holy Orenian Empire Working knowledge of all documents signed between the Holy Orenian Empire and foreign governments from 1720 onward Willingness to work abroad for up to four months out of each year SECTION II SECRETARY OF INTELLIGENCE DUTIES: The duty to safeguard the unity and security of the realm before considerable threat has arisen The duty to oversee covert action and special operations in line with the Crown’s policy objectives The duty to create material which inspires proper action among the Imperial citizenry The duty to obtain reliable and actionable intelligence of interest to the Crown The duty to belay attempts at subversion by identifying enemies of the Crown both foreign and domestic The duty to inform the Crown and Council of State, within the scope of intelligence, in regards to political matters PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: 15+ years of experience in state governance, journalism, academia, or related fields 5+ years of military service 5+ years of experience with matters concerning national intelligence Master-level or doctoral-level degree in the humanities, engineering, medicine, the arcane arts, or a related field Working familiarity with the vassal states of the Holy Orenian Empire and their leadership Willingness to work abroad for up to four months out of each year
  11. His Eminence Jasper Cardinal Renzfeld, Ph.D., M.Div., approaches the ballot box with vigor, clutching a folded slip of parchment in his hand. Glancing back as he submits his anonymous vote, the young Sarkozic addresses his fellow electors. “Your Eminence, as a lay member, and a, erm- A junior member of this, ah… Body, I understand that my words may not yet carry significant weight. However… As His Holiness’ personal secrea- Ahem, secretary, during his final days, I, uh, believe that I may perhaps shed some wisdom upon our proceedings today.” After taking a moment to emit several hacking coughs into his hand, Cardinal Renzfeld continues with a confidence not seen during his introduction. “High Pontiff Daniel VI was a kindred spirit, a spry theological mind, and a humble servant of all GODly creatures upon the mortal plane. He brought unity to GOD’s humble servants during a period of significant strife, and bestowed upon the Holy Canonist Church a new age of excitement and progress surrounding the scriptures and traditions of yore. The successor to such an eminent figure within the annals of history should be one of similar stature, holding the virtues of charity, faith, fidelity, humility, diligence, temperance, and patience close to his heart. With this in mind, I host no regret in informing you that I’ve submitted my ballot in support of Peter Cardinal Helena. There are few members of the clergy with more humble beginnings than the Cardinal Helena. For a humble mudlarker to not only excel in his seminary training, but earn a Ph.D. in Canonical Ethics, is an astounding feat. No less incredible is this thoughtful, upstanding cleric’s ascension not only to the Electoral Synod but to the seniormost post in the Imperial court, advising the Lord Protector on matters not merely secular, but ecclesiastical and ethical in nature. I’m confident that His Eminence would perform the duties of the Vicar of GOD with grace and aplomb, and with enough thought, I have no doubt that you will reach the same conclusion I did.” With that, Cardinal Renzfeld quickly removes himself from the dais, making his way back down to the rest of the gathered cardinals.
  12. ((MC-Name: xboxersz)) Character Name: Hannes Age: 18 Race: Human Hometown: Renzfeld Possible Goals to achieve: Improved knowledge of botanical taxonomy Wanted Role/Job: Secretary ((Discord: You have it))
  13. All Good Things... “Whmmmmp!” It was to this sound that High Pontiff Emeritus Pontian II awoke in the depths of night, from within his vacation villa hidden amongst the Rezan countryside. Comfortable in solitude, the aging clergyman had dismissed his personal retinue upon his retirement from the Immaculate Throne, only requesting their company during travel or major ceremonies. This, unfortunately, meant that the disembodied sound alarmed none but Pontian himself, and as such, he was to investigate the matter personally. Slipping from his bedspread, Pontian gripped fiercely at his cane, before embarking on a difficult journey down the staircase towards his front door. But alas, the nature of his twilight disturbance would forever remain unknown to him, as upon Pontian’s descent to the second step, his well-worn, poplar walking stick, stricken with a large crack down the length of its body, finally snapped in twain, casting his body down the remainder of the flight of stairs. When a sole attendant finally arrived to receive the High Pontiff Emeritus’ outgoing mail, he was appalled to find the poor wretch motionless, crumpled at the bottom of the stairs, still in his silken nightgown. For Pontian’s fellow members of the Pontifical Curia, such tragic news was processed swiftly, and his remains were embalmed and interred within the crypts of the Blessed Basilica of Saint Rudolph. *Amongst the towns and cities of humanity, small pieces of parchment are distributed to the public, with more officially notarized copies sent to the courts of major nobility.* “It is with solemn countenance that the Holy Canonist Church announces the death of High Pontiff Emeritus Pontian II due to an unforeseen accident, and implores all Faithful to join us in prayer for his immortal soul. Born Theodoric Andries Bracchus, High Pontiff Emeritus Pontian II was raised in Markev by his family, the cadet House Bracchus de Ruyter. After a brief period of managing his family estates, he received the sacred sacrament of ordination in 1683, before a variety of diocesan assignments in Adria, Haense, Curonia, and the Crownlands of the Empire of Man. During his considerable tenure as a clergyman, he was an active participant in the Arberrang investigation and the Schism of 1693, and even served as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal for Emperor Augustus I Horen succeeding a post as Imperial Election Commissioner. The reign of High Pontiff Pontian II, brought about by the untimely assassination of Bl. High Pontiff Daniel V, was marked by concord amongst GOD’s people, and a return to the simple, traditional values of times past. Such peace was assisted by his strong personal relationships with the realm’s secular leaders, such as King Wilhelm Devereux of Curon, Imperial Archchancellor Edward Morris, Duke Paul Varoche of Adria, and Emperor Antonius I Horen, who he coronated in 1707. For laymen during the Pontianic Era, the clergy was known to be a bastion of virtue and humility, with little unnecessary interference in the lives of its Faithful. However, as his private and studious nature would abet, Pontian quickly grew weary of the duties of the Immaculate Throne, leading to his resignation in 1714. In his personal life, Pontian was an unwavering patron of local artisans and artists, even commissioning a portrait from Empress Helen Elizabeth Horen herself. He was known as one of the most prominent scholars of humanity, studying at the Academy of Holm and holding academic positions in theology at the Academic Union and Imperial Theodosian Academy. Many of his secular views were inspired by his heartlander brethren, including the redeemed Ser Septimus Bracchus, prominent statesman Bl. Prince-Bishop Claudius Bracchus, and the controversial parliamentarian and tradesman Fabius Bracchus. During his final years, Pontian’s singular lament was the desire for more familial interactions. Within the Holy Canonist Church’s ecclesiastical records, High Pontiff Pontian II shall henceforth be granted the epithet ‘the Silent’, for his patient and unassuming mannerisms, and aversion to the fanfare of public ceremony. It is our hope that his diligence, willpower, and stoicism inspires such venerable traits in the contemporary Faithful.” REQUIESCAT IN PACE. ☩ Theodoric Andries Bracchus de Ruyter, 1656 - 1724 Pontifex Maximus Pontianus Secundus, MDCCII - MDCCXIV High Pontiff Emeritus Pontian II (r. 1702 - 1714) EX UMBRA IN SOLEM
  14. From outside Saint Rudolph’s Basilica, High Pontiff Emeritus Pontian II offers the new High Pontiff a thunderous round of applause. “A splendid choice, indeed!”
  15. SECUNDUS TAURUM AUREUS SANCTUS JORENUS SECOND GOLDEN BULL OF JORENUS 2nd of Horen’s Calling, 1714  His Holiness Pontian the Second, High Pontiff of the Church of the Canon, Metropolitan of Judeburg, Successor to the High Priesthood of the Church, Supreme Pontiff of the Church of True Faith, Keeper of the Canon, Missionary to Aeldin and Svatum, High Servant to the Exalteds’ Testaments, Humble Servant of the Faithful and Vicar of GOD doth decree… TABLE OF CONTENTS: SECTION I - DIOCESAN RECONSTRUCTION SECTION II - SYNOD APPOINTMENTS SECTION III - CURIAL APPOINTMENTS SECTION IV - BEATIFICATION SECTION V - CANONIZATION SECTION VI - NULLIFICATION SECTION VII - HOLY ORDER OF SAINT RUDOLPH SECTION VIII - ABDICATION SECTION I - DIOCESAN RECONSTRUCTION As the Church continues its leal service to the continent of Arcas, the following changes have been established. THE ARCHDIOCESE OF JORENUS - Encompassing the Kingdom of Haense and its respective lands and minor vassals. Administered by HIS EMINENCE, CAIUS THE ARCHDIOCESE OF RHODESIA - Encompassing the Dual Kingdoms of Renatus and Marna, their respective lands and minor vassals. Administered by HIS EMINENCE, ZACHERY THE METROPOLITANATE OF LENDUS - Encompassing the Diocese of Villavia and the Diocese of Curonia. Administered by HIS EMINENCE, THOMAS THE DIOCESE OF CURONIA - Encompassing the Kingdom of Curon and its respective lands and minor vassals. Administered by HIS GRACE, ERNST THE DIOCESE OF VILLAVIA - Encompassing the Principality of Vilachia and its respective lands and minor vassals. Administered by HIS GRACE, BORIS SECTION II - SYNOD APPOINTMENTS The following elevations to the Synod have been made and are held as such. TRIARCH OF THE CANON; HIS EMINENCE, ZACHERY TRIARCH OF THE CANON; HIS EMINENCE, THOMAS TRIARCH OF THE CANON; HIS EMINENCE, CAIUS The Triarchy is appointed and authorized with the governance of the Church through the will of HIS HOLINESS, PONTIAN II SECTION III - ECCLESIASTICAL APPOINTMENTS To bolster the Curia of The Most Holy Mother Canonist Church upon the continent of Arcas, the following appointments are reaffirmed and reconfirmed. VICE-CHANCELLOR - HIS EMINENCE, CAIUS NUNCIO TO THE PONTIFICATE - HIS IMPERIAL EXCELLENCY, EDWARD MORRIS PONTIFICAL SECRETARY - HIS EMINENCE, THOMAS SECTION IV - BEATIFICATION We the Pontificate, by our Apostolic authority and jurisdiction, does hereby recognize the following additions to the communion of those beautified for their extraordinary model of piety and glory to the Holy Mother Church: His Lordship Ser Laurens de Ruyter shall be styled as Blessed Laurens de Ruyter for his benevolence and generosity, and faithful service to the faithful in Haense. In 1676, Blessed Laurens de Ruyter vanquished and was slain by a pair of Elvish magi attempting to assassinate Blessed Robert Lothar Barbanov, saving his life. Father Claudius Bracchus shall be styled as Blessed Claudius Bracchus for his exceptional statesmanship, and dedication to the practical application of GOD’s virtues. A former Prince-Bishop, Blessed Claudius Bracchus gave loyal service to the Holy Canonist Church, Imperial Parliament, and Duchy of Adria before his untimely demise in 1690. His Eminence Alexander Frederick Horen shall be styled as Blessed Alexander Frederick Horen for his passionate defence of the faithful, and brief but effective tenure as Bishop of Cyrilsburg. His devotion to GOD was such that he left his previous position as Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal to be ordained a priest. SECTION V - CANONIZATION We the Pontificate, by our Apostolic Authority does grant approbation for the following sanctifications to the communion of saints for their extraordinary models of piety and glory to the Church of the Canon: ☩ Blessed Publius Bracchus shall be styled Saint Publius of Petrus in recognition of his unparalleled service to GOD, His church, and His people. Declared the patron saint of military officers, mercenaries, and deacons, Saint Publius’ virtue shall henceforth be symbolized by a bronze chalice. Born of a mercenary and a baron's daughter, Publius Bracchus had been driven from his country estate by bandits into service of the Reformed Kingdom of Oren, before beginning a long and illustrious career in the military. Following an enduring service leading the Second Akovian Regiment until its reformation under Vanir rule following the death of King Vydra, he shortly was enrolled into the Order of Saint Amyas. During that service, Publius helped improve the reputation of militant holy orders by insisting on repentance and confession rather than execution for the sins of non-humans, and he was soon made privy by King Olivier de Savoie. Serving as the first Lord Steward of Felsen, Publius enjoyed a reputation of being both kind-hearted and highly motivated, often promoting the values of canonism to the metropolitan city. His faith, like many others, was tried by the Duke's war - even losing a Cousin he had sided against, Count Jace Bracchus, after Jace was caught in an extramarital relationship with a nun. Following Jace’s execution, it is said that Publius had made many offerings to the church on his own behalf, hoping to preserve his soul. Never losing heart, Publius then intervened against the genocide of Highlanders and the Raev by offering refuge to all clergymen of Adria and old Haense following the death of Siguine Barbanov. Protection of the clergy led to a broader protection of Highlander laity, who had been mercilessly killed due to racial hate from Savoyard and Lotharingian Heartlanders. After undoubtedly saving many lives, his son Deacon Aemolius' death in a raid led him to defend all members of the church. Growing older, more of Publius’ children would join the church and also form the de Ruyter family in respect to their mother's culture, as his second wife's children were designated the heirs of the Barony of Aesculus. Amongst such descendants were Saint Johannes de Ruyter, Lord Magistrate Laurens de Ruyter, Blessed Ser Laurens de Ruyter, and High Pontiff Pontian the Second. Serving as the first Arch-Chancellor of the Quintus under Emperor John Frederick, Publius played a key role in mending the rifts of humanity, often citing its chosen status aneath the Canon as the primary reason for political unity. These efforts came in a timely fashion during perhaps one of the most pivotal wars in history - the Eighteen Years’ War. Battling pagans and heretics alike from Vandoria, Urguan, old Haria, and many other long-extinct nations, it is said Publius Bracchus eventually retired due to old age. Appearing only once after his retirement from the privy council as he assailed Rocco Romstun for his repeated disrespects of the passing Emperor John Frederick, it is said that he died of natural causes in the Anpalais palace soon after having an audience with Emperor John Sigismund. ☩ Blessed Rudolph of Markev shall be styled Saint Rudolph of Markev, for his exemplary scholarship and devotion to the canon over the course of several decades as a prominent clergyman. Represented by a silver key, Saint Rudolph is established as the patron saint of redemption, musicians, and beggars. A quiet, introspective minister of middling origin, many of the personal details of Rudolph Wagner’s life are lost to time. The majority of knowledge about his life comes from his written works, and the public records of the Holy Canonist Church. By the time of Rudolph’s ordination in the mid-to-late seventeenth century, he was already an established Highlander tradesman for several decades. In 1686, he published his first political treatise, Pax Cordis (Common: “Peace of Heart”), which was immensely popular amongst clergymen of the time. In 1689, he gained his first official post within the clerical hierarchy, as Bishop of Cyrilsburg. Following the deposition of High Pontiff Siegmund I, Rudolph was promoted to Archbishop of Jorenus and Pontifical Secretary under Blessed High Pontiff Daniel V in 1693. It was during his tenure as Pontifical Secretary that Archbishop Rudolph published the compilation of his life’s theological work, Hymnal and Prayers of the Canon. A collection of hymns, parables, and prayers, Hymnal and Prayers of the Canon quickly proved to be a valuable tool in both liturgy and the education of the faithful. Tragically, Rudolph resigned from his clerical posts due to poor health in 1700, and died soon after due to gout. SECTION VI - DECLARATION OF INVALIDITY It has been brought to the attention of the Immaculate Throne that the Writ of Bastardization and Disownment, as issued by Adrian de Bar in 1531, contains invalid clauses. The referenced clauses are included herein: “The marriage and matrimony of matrilineal type between the individuals Frederique de Bar and Otto Rovin is declare null of its matrilineal clauses, all offspring born from such a union to be known thus as simply ‘Rovin’ rather than ‘de Bar’. These actions come as punishment for the sordid acts levied by this bloodline against the whole of the house; it is necessary to remove an arm that rots so as to save the greater body, and so is that the decision of His Excellency, Adrian de Bar.” The rite of matrimony is a sacred one, and alteration of the initial conditions of a marriage can only be performed by a member of the College of Bishops, or the High Pontiff. Thus, because this declaration of nullity was only performed by a secular authority without approval by a relevant member of the Holy Canonist Church, it is invalid, and its contents are not binding. The offspring born of Frederique de Bar during her marriage to Otto Rovin legally possess the surname Ashford de Bar, not Rovin. SECTION VII - HOLY ORDER OF SAINT RUDOLPH Due to pressing temporal issues that endanger the safety of the canonist faithful, the Holy Canonist Church henceforth establishes the Holy Order of Saint Rudolph to defend GOD’s flock from threats both secular and ecclesiastical, and to investigate crimes against ecclesiastical law. The Holy Order of Saint Rudolph (OSR) is defined to possess sects both militant and inquisitorial, under the supervision of a singular Grandmaster. An ordained Grand Chaplain is also necessary to maintain the ecclesiastical and moral standing of members of the OSR, and report to the Grandmaster concerning liturgical matters. The Holy Canonist Church henceforth appoints Father Otto of Judeburg to the post of Grandmaster, and Archbishop Zachery of Carolustadt to the post of Grand Chaplain. SECTION VIII - ABDICATION To the Canonist Faithful, As I look back upon the last decade, I am filled with a paternal pride at what GOD’s people have accomplished. The reconstruction of the Empire of Man upon a new continent, the renewal of passion for virtuous living amongst our brethren, and the construction of unsurpassed facilities to honor the Exalted, host the sacred rites outlined in the Holy Scrolls, and to house those downtrodden and in need of assistance. We have made great strides towards true devotion, and even without the foresight of the Exalted Siegmund, it is clear to me that the future only holds more success for His chosen peoples. “Verily, brother, the Lord GOD is the Most Incomparable, and none can surpass Him, for He has no equal. And verily thou must find satisfaction in service of thine own realm, the realm of all men.” (Owyn, 7:6) Just as GOD decreed through the Exalted Owyn, I have found great satisfaction in service to the realm of man. During my tenure as High Pontiff, I have overseen the re-establishment of independence of the Holy Canonist Church from undue secular influence. I have filled the ranks of the church with a legion of scholars, warriors, and servants, and updated our records to reflect the decades of prosperity between their last compilation and the present. However, the burden of the Immaculate Throne is a heavy one, one which manifests itself harshly upon those who take up the position of High Pontiff. I am no exception, and although I number only fifty-and-eight years upon the mortal plane, I feel the aches and pains of those centuries-old. With looming troubles upon the horizon that require the tenacity and energy of a more youthful man, it has became clear that it is time to pass off my position to another. Thus, in accordance with the procedures established by Blessed High Pontiff Clement III, High Pontiff Daniel IV, Saint High Pontiff Sixtus IV, and others before them, I hereby declare my abdication from the Immaculate Throne on the Second of Horen’s Calling, 1714. The Immaculate Throne shall persist in a state of Sede Vacante until the Electoral Synod chooses another candidate to fill the position. GOD bless and keep the lot of you, and may you walk in His light. Yours lovingly, High Pontiff Emeritus Pontian II ☩ IN NOMINE PATRIS, et Horenus, et Exaltus Honorem. Amen. ☩ REJOICE! GOD’S FAITHFUL TOIL NO LONGER. EX UMBRA IN SOLEM
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