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 The Holy Church Of Erathis

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PostSubject: The Holy Church Of Erathis   Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:54 pm

The Holy Church of Erathis was founded by Aonu almost immediately after crossing over to the new world. It is said that Erathis gave Aonu a glimpse of this new world before he had cross and told him that only if he could uphold her laws would his people be allowed to stay.
Before he had crossed he met with those who were to become his most trusted members of the church:
    Maonin, a dwarf cleric who had previously worshiped a lost god of the past ages. She renounced her god and vowed never to speak it's name again in honor of Erathis, she was blessed for her show of devotion by being filled with the light of Erathis and was able to wield Erathis power as an extension of her own. After the journey she became the first of the Voice and was tasked with teaching the new population the true nature of Erathis. She was responsible for passing down the laws that would become the fundamentals of society. Statues and art representing Maonin often depict her as a elderly dwarf with long dark hair and gentle feature that betrayed her old age. She passed on to be with Erathis about 50 years ago, her name is still held in reverence and used to describe someone who is particularly kind or loving ("My grandmother is the best person I know. She has the touch of Maonin about her"). She was entombed under the Spire on the second sublevel above Aonu's tomb. The great church that stands outside the Spire grounds was erected and named in her honor and is the site of many celebrations and where the upper crust of society goes to pray to Erathis.

    Ashq, a human male who was skilled in the arts of war. Just before the crossing a small contingent was sent by a lord of the old world to snuff out the followers of Erathis. Some believe they were jealous of the new world, while other point to the turmoil of the time and wonder if the lord saw this new following as a threat to his land. Many members began to be shaken in their faith and thought perhaps they had made a mistake following Aonu. Aonu called to his followers to defend their choice and that this unprovoked attack would be against everything Erathis stood for and represented everything evil in their world. When he called for true believer to come forward and stand only one came forth, Ashq. One of the few members of Erathis' peoples that had officail marital training, Ashq had seen his share of combat and longed for a world where his skills would not be needed. As he came forth the sky opened forth and a ray of light struck him, he felt Erathis power embrace him, when he turned to the people his words seem to command them and install bravery. The invaders were fought and given no quarter, Ashq himself was said to be seen as the avenging might of Erathis given life on the mortal world. When they had reached their new home Aonu appointed him the First Paladin of Erathis and he was charged with being the enforcer of Erathis laws and will. Ashq was killed in the Dark under unknown circumstance near the time of the completion of the second city, after much debate church elders chose to name the new city in his honor as he had been the most responsible for the expansion of Erathis light in the new world. His tomb is in the Great Citadel in the north nearest to the Great Dark where he was struck down.


The Church is made up of 3 parts and based out of the Spire:

    The first and most prominent is the Voice which was established by Maonin, the primary function being to pass down Erathis words to the people. This includes laws and edicts regarding magic, money, family, etc whatever it is that Erathis wishes for her people the Voice will make sure that her words are heard far and wide. The members of this sect make up 65% of the church; clergy, judges, powerful merchants, mayors, and more are often initiated into the Voice and are usually in places and positions that allow them to pass the church/Erathis words to her people. Most small villages and towns will have a member or two of the Voice whether it by the town clerk or mayor or it could be members of the local church that serve this purpose.

    The second part is the Will which was established by Ashq. If there were a true military arm of the church this would be it, members of the Will are chosen early on. The Will stands to be the backbone of the Voice and serves to enforce Erathis laws and protect her people from harm. Families often send their sons and daughters to the Will as a means to a better life or in hopes of elevating their family name. It is quite a boast to tell people that your child is in training with the Will to carry forth Erathis' light or that in fact your relations are members of the holy order. Paladins, clerics, warlocks, wizards and fighters, along with soldiers, mages, and priests (consider them the lesser versions of the heroic classes) that are stationed on the Dark border and throughout the world are all members of the Will. Their members are tattooed with a symbol of a clenched fist somewhere on their body (usually the arm, leg, or back)

    The last of the sects is that of the Sight. Not much is known about them save that Aonu established the order as his highest and most trusted members. It is said that only those that have seen Erathis herself may join this order. They can be identified by the mark of Erathis (a symbol of the rising sun) that mysteriously appears after their acceptance into the sacred order. This is the only sect that can use magic as they see fit as they have been accepted by Erathis as being incorruptible. Aonu, Ashq, and Maonin were the original members of the Sight, it is unknown how many members have been accepted currently.


The Spire is made up of 8 levels, or rings, with each one rising closer to the light of Erathis(the gem at the top of the Spire). Members of the church are given status based on their standing in the Spire. Most members are simply of the First Ring but this shows that they are official member of the church and not just a parishioner or initiate. Each Ring has a council that decides who will be allowed to join from the Ring below, the highest Ring was made up of only Aonu and is currently said to be occupied as none have been worthy of being that close to Erathis since.

The laws of the church and thus Erathis are very straightforward:
Murder is punishable by death
Manslaughter is punishable by death or banishment
Theft is punishable by execution if the theft is severe, but milder levels are punishable by imprisonment and usually comes with loss of a limb (some time ago a cat burgler was caught and had a foot removed so that he could no longer climb etc)
Threatening of another with use of magic is punishable by death or imprisonment for no less than 10 years. Even if the accused can not actually use magic the hint of it is enough to be punished
Bodily harm of another in any act other than self defense is punished by imprisonment all the way to death depending on severity and intent (A man who punches another man in the gut in a bar fight will be jailed but not killed but a gang who beats a man to a pulp will be executed)
Rape is punished by death or banishment
Unlicensed practice of magic is usually punished by death but in some cases will result in banishment to the Dark.
Unlicensed trafficking of magical items such as scrolls, potions, and weapons is punished by imprisonment of no less than 15 years. If an item of magic was used in a crime the seller of said item can be held responsible for the crime as well.

In most cases of banishment the guilty is sent into the Dark with no supplies and if they are caught trying to re-enter will be killed by the guards along the church borders. The church reminds people that if you are going to turn your back on the laws of Erathis then she will turn her back on you and you will be on your own in the Darkness without her light to protect you.
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PostSubject: Re: The Holy Church Of Erathis   Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:04 pm

Well my compliments again to you my friend I enjoy reading this backgroud stuff you come up with... now I have to say I'm Ready to start playing in this setting!!!! Personally I think that's why i died down my activity on the forums I was almost getting burned out of just talking about it now I want to play in it!
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Dean

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PostSubject: Re: The Holy Church Of Erathis   Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:16 pm

Dude we arent actually PLAYING this. this is just random stuff I wrote for fun. Seriously when is that Forgotten realms setting coming out and who is dming it.
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PostSubject: Queries   Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:55 am

Excellent stuff. My usual irritating questions:

1. Are Maonin and Ashq the only/main companions of Aonu? Are there other "founding father" types around, or just those two? Also, are there any places named after Maonin?

2. I notice that there are three main founders of the Holy Church of Erathis and three main religious sects. Is there any other sort of significance ascribed to the number 3?

3. Any particular reason why there are 8 levels to the spire?

4. What does it mean to be a member of the First Ring? More specifically, what is the difference between an "official member" and a "parishioner or initiate"? Are there any benefits to being a member?

5. How secretive is all of this? Is membership public? Are there different rituals for different rings? Secret teachings?

6. How large and how noticeable is the Will? Do these people wear uniforms, or is it more like they go about in secret with the tattoo their only identifier?

7. How often are people banished? (Is it like, cartloads every week? One every ten years?) Has anyone banished ever returned, even for a short while? How effectively are the church folk able to patrol the rather large borders to prevent prodigal sons?

By the way, I'm asking all of these questions from the point of view of a typical Erathian, rather than someone looking for objective truth. So when I ask, for example, does the church have secret rituals, I'm obviously not expecting you to say yes, let me tell you about them. It's more like, I live in America and America has Mormons and Mormons have secret rituals and I have heard about some of these things from a variety of sources in a kind of fuzzy hearsay manner; so what sorts of things do Erathians talk about like that? Or to put it more simply, I'm as much interested in rumor, myth, and legend as in fact.
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PostSubject: Re: The Holy Church Of Erathis   Wed Jun 25, 2008 1:37 pm

1. The would be the foundation of the church, yes. There is the large temple outside the Spire in her honor (some would refer to it as Maonin's Temple) but nothing is as of yet officially named for her.

2. Nein, I mean eight. I mean no

3. Nope just the number they decided on.

4.Basically it is being accepted as a member of the church and not just a laymen. Being a member brings with it more access to the inner workings of the church.

5. Membership is not secret it is usually something very highly thought of, that you are close enough to Erathis to have a place in her church. Like you mention in the end it is like some religions where you don't know unless you are in.

6. They don't always wear uniforms but most of the time someone wearing armor is not a commoner. They operate in the open the tattoo is kind of like a badge or something though just proof someone is who they say they are.

7. Not often, the border is enough to keep at bay with monsters and lesser races so trying to watch outcasts as well would be a hassle. Most of the time if it calls for it the church prefers execution to cut the seeds of corruption out at the source. Imprisonment is common for lesser crimes, though the stories of prison are in such stark contrast to comfortable life in the cities that most want to avoid that at all costs. A good measure would be 1-2 banishments per year between both cities.

Twilight Heights is kind of an exception, a lot of early outcasts were sent packing before there was complete order and a handful gathered there and made a small settlement. The church eventually took control of the area but finds it a useful place to place people who are less reputable. The church doesn't handle issues regularly there leaving it to the people of the settlement to sort things out. The road back into Aonu is well watched and monitored so if someone is relocated to the Heights they will not be allowed back in town.
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