The Salvaged Demesne
The Church of the Radiant Host
Though divine magic has vanished from Mydril, the Church of the radiant host has actually grown in strength and prominence. It seems faith is a more powerful emotion than proof. In that time, the one church has solidified its hierarchy and positioned its cardinals in critical governmental positions throughout the Nurandyr and Dohain. The books say that the cataclysm of 1000 years ago was the culmination of an ancient prophecy declaring that one day the angelic beings that formed the radiant host would merge into a single, all powerful ‘One God’ of light. Not discussed as often is that these same texts indicate the hordes of demons who make up the shadow host would likewise fuse into a single entity of pure and wretched evil. At the time of total unity, the One God of light was supposed to then vanquish the god of sin, and the world would end and be forever united with heaven. Many theories have cropped up in the church to explain why magic simply vanished and no union with heaven occurred. The most common and powerful theory holds that One God, having defeated evil as a divine force, looked upon the mortal races and judged them so rampant with sin that they had to linger in a gray, limbo like place until taint was driven from their hearts by their own hands. Others (often branded as heretics) suggest that the two gods slew each other in that cataclysmic battle and that explains the absence of divine power and to an extent why the connection to natural, arcane energy has been damaged as well. Some say, in very hushed tones, that the god of shadow won, though he was terribly wounded in the conflict. They go on to say that the church’s actions over the last thousand years prove that it is no place of purity and good. Purges, heresies, power grabs, holy wars, and torture have become brutally commonplace in the in the ranks of cardinals and bishops who comprise the upper echelon of the radiant hosts faith. Cardinal Therien of Nurandyr has been particularly vociferous of late in his call to eradicate and convert the heathen orc tribes of the Savage Lands. However, many would point to the numerous local priests whose work can only be labeled as good and simple as proof of the real church’s objectives. Whatever the case is, the church of the radiant host is as powerful a force as one may find in Mydril, and questioning it’s right and authority is an extremely risky pastime.
Basics of the Radiant Host church
The Church of the Radiant Host adheres to the teachings of ancient texts called the Prophecies. The prophecies are the plans and and ideas of the Father of Light. They speak about how he saw the fate of Mydril playing out. That few of his visions have come to pass does not trouble the church hierarchy… in fact, this failure of the prophecies to become reality stokes their fire even more… for they say the failing is not in Lumnos, the father of Light, but with us for all of our sins and transgressions. Were our faith stronger and more pure, they say, Shadow would yield and come back to the loving embrace of her brother and submit to his authority, and balance would be restored in Mydril.
230 years ago, Prophet Gregor Rokar announced a new vision, and laid out the direction of the radiant Host as told to him blessed visions. This lead to the heretic wars, as Cardinal Lyssa Adrial refused to accept the Prophet’s vision as legitimate. Her faction was ultimately defeated when she was betrayed by the King of Dohain. She has become a saint to many who still resist the churches transformation, especially in Chyrath where she Cardinal. Many secret shrines to both Tenebrae and Cardinal Adrial can be found throughout Chyrath to this day. The society of Lanterns is her most lasting and effective legacy however, a force of rebels within the church itself seeking to overturn and reverse the schism.
1. The foundation of the world is a man and a woman. They must love one another, but as seen in the example of Father Light and Mother Shadow, when the woman is not obedient to the man, the world suffers. Thus marriage is our highest calling, and the father must be the head of that union.
2. Lumnos greatest gift to us was our life. In the prophecies, he foresees the formation of the Eternal Garden, a paradise where all of his descendents dwell in harmony. He tells us that only through total obedience to His will can we enter this place. Thus, as the mother must obey the father, so to must the child obey the father. This is our second law.
3. There are many who worship Mother Shadow. The Father of Light tells us she is to be respected and revered, and her gifts embraced soberly and without ambition. She is not to be worshiped, however, for such devotion is to be saved for the Father. So it is that sorcery shall be used only under the guidance of the priests, and only by their will alone. Those who practice outside of official sanction shall be cleansed.
4. The Father of Light once decreed that his children had taken too much, and lost their reverence of their lord and master. These rebels he declared to be demons, and sought to purge them. Thus the Church, under the guidance of it Prophet and Cardinals, may deem one unpure and unredeemable. These ones shall be put to death, as such will please the Father of Light. Those who kill without the sanction of the Church have over reached, and broken the faith of this fourth law, and are themselves now subject to cleansing. Those who wield the sword for the faith shall be given the golden sigil, or shall be blessed by a priest before battle in cases of war. A priest may also look backwards upon an act of killing and determine whether it was conducted in righteousness or is sin. Thus justice shall be determined by the church, and only by the church.
5. Property is owned through hierarchy. At the bottom, a child may claim a thing and no other child shall have it. Next, the mother has rights over the possessions of the child, followed by her rightful husband, who by law owns both mother and child. Lord and King, if sanctioned by by the Church, lay claim to the rights of the commoner. Finally, all that is was made by Lumnos, and so all that is belongs to the church. Final and ultimate claim on all property rests with the Prophet, who is beholden to none save the Father of Light, and knows His wishes intimately.
6. Those who worship other gods must be turned to the light. If they refuse, they expose themselves as demons. Demons may purged, and a priest shall rightfully declare the action just.