"Their so-called god, it is claimed, loves, and thus love is their virtue. Foolishness! Love is only fear of loss, and fear is among the keenest of weapons in our arsenal. Let us turn their virtue onto itself, and draw more souls into the Devouring Maw."
- The Paragon, address to his Overlords, in the second year of the Sectarian Wars
"O Victorious Maul, send down your fury!
O Hammer of Justice, bring Dalraaen’s law!
O Weapon of Righteousness, cast out the unlawful!"
- Magistrate Archivinus Kelstori, Ode to the Gavel
With the patronage of Dalraaen, this heavenly mace is the focus of the Magisterium’s strongest order. Its darker roots, however, are hidden even to its wielders, and its very existance threatens the world.
“He is the Astral Harvester, the Lifegiver, the Sun King. Without him, the world is naught. And we, the members of his Divine Church, serve only at his command. It is by this holy order that we convert the universe.”
- Exarch Hardulph Symphorian
Not only a faith but a state, the Imperial Modoals are the largest force in the Continent. Can they hold their position as the Sectarian Wars begin?
"Hear, O Servant of the Just One! Hear and stand ye before him, the Celestial Judge! Hear and write: ‘Thus speaks the Great Lawgiver, before whom the world shall be tried, the one that is just and righteous beyond all - I am the Law. I am Dalraaen.’"
-The Didache of Law
The worshippers of the Celestial Judge have kept peace and law for a thousand years. When they see great injustice across the Continent, what can they do but fight?
“‘Hear! That which you warred for it gone. In its place is my own creation under my own authority. This Blessed Great Blue is my patronage and you will have no part in it! Lest you soil my sacred waves, I will cause them to crash onto your lands and drown your own creations. End your fighting: the seas are mine.’
Thus she spake from the Merciful Deep.”
- Yamasatran oral tradition
The mysterious Sisters of the Sea watch the events of the Sectarian Wars unfold from the safety of their monastery ships. But how long can they remain neutral before war is brought upon them?
“And into World they cast him, deep below, beneath stone and water and flame. In World’s Heart, doth gape the Peccant Maw, yet starved as the hunger grows unabated. Terror, irony, horror, farce! That which ends all is trapped beneath all.”
-The Tale of the Maw, “The Enslavement of the Devourer”
An ancient cult, the Vautuans worship their god with zeal. Chaos is their sacrament, death their prayer. Will the followers of the Gaping Maw free their god and destroy the world?
“Woe, brethren! What hath these gods wrought? For a thousand suns we have had peace, and now in an instant the light is being extinguished. How can any survive in these Wars of the Sects?”
- Arbiter Ariston Nikomachus
The Continent and its faiths have thrived with little fuss for a millenium. And now, with a few holy words, all of heaven, earth, and hell seem to be at war…
In the Middle Ages, and even up to the early twentieth century, most of Europe's executioners were related: the Sansons and Deiblers in France, the Pierrepoints in England, etc. The reason for this was that, it generally not being socially acceptable to, well, kill people, executioners and their children could, generally, only marry other executioners or their children.
The parallels with massively inbred, Hapsburg-style dynasties are obvious- imagine a rather clever but politically inept satirist noting this, and being sentenced by the latter to a meeting with the former; even worse, imagine a dynasty of deranged and deformed executioners- think Texas Chaisaw Massacre with government funding.