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The Sectarian Wars - A History

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“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…

Prelude

It has been nearly a thousand years since the last vestiges of the Tebarian Hegemony collapsed, breaking into small warring kingdoms.  Battles were faught, kingdoms fell, new gods rose to overtake their elders.  The civilizations slowly joined together, following singular leaders and obeying new faiths.  Centuries later, things had settled.  Now, for a time, there was peace on the Continent.  The Modoal Empire controlled a majority of the lands but were not strict in enforcing the state religion, even allowing the Dalraaenites to run several courts in the Empire.  The Regnant and her house lived richly on the backs of the lower classes, who toiled quietly with the blessing of the Church.  The Order of Dalraaen had numerous other courts across the continent while holding their center in the old Judicial States.  The Sisters of Yamasatara quietly patrolled the seas, and the Vautuans were a distant legend for most.  The sleepy continence of the lands belied the disasters that would soon begin.

“Brethren, the Hierarchy has told you that our god smiles upon all.  Not so!  He smiles on you, you who toil under his Glorious Light in the field, you who have borne his earthly harvest on your backs, you who have observed the Lifegiver’s feasts and obeyed his decrees.  But he does not smile on all, brethren.  No, he burns with rage at his so-called ‘Church!’  Who reigns there but the arrogant and the tyrannical?  Who in the Hierarchy have seen the truth in the land which Modoaldus blesses?  They see only bread and cake; you, brethren, see the glory of his Astral Harvest!  Who in the royal family has felt the blessed Golden Light on their bare backs, feeling the peaceful warmth?  Not the Regnant, nor her sisters, nor her cousins, nor any duke or duchess.  You, brethren, you have fully embraced the glories of Modoaldus.  He smiles on you, and he does not forget his faithul.”

-Oracle Barast Vel in his first public sermon

From the ranks of the peasant class came a revolutionary.  His name was Barast Vel, a cobbler by profession, and he made a bold claim: Modoaldus had chosen him as the Oracle, his messenger on earth, and he was to lead a revolution.  His goals appeared both religious and political.  Vel decried the oppression of the upper classes.  He also boldly proclaimed that the Regnant and the hiearchy of the Church had no authority over the faithful.  In place of the hierarchical church, Vel offered a communal faith with authority shared among the faithful.  The lower classes were moved by both their piety and their oppression.  Many in the middle class, smelling a revolution at hand, sided with Vel in hopes of surviving the uprising and making their own nobility in the new regime.  The movement, called the Modoal Communion, grew quickly in the farmlands and poor villages of the Eastern Provinces.

The Hierarchy took quick notice.  Hierarch Scilpus Melphor, the religious head of the Church, immidiately requested a synod to formally declare the Communals heretics.  Regnant Eloria IX, however, refused.  A product of the Five and Twenty Uprising, the Regnant was more cautious and tolerant of lower class movements.  Much to the chagrin of the Hierarch, Eloria suggested doing nothing.

“The people are fickle, Scilpus, and they have seen messiahs before.  This ‘Oracle’ is not a new breed; indeed, we have seen his kind rise every few decades, only to fade away again.  Consider this ‘Communion’ a brush fire.  You can try to stamp it out, but you will only get hot feet.  It is best to let the fire burn away the chaff and fade into ash.”

-Regnant Eloria IX, in a letter to Hierarch Melphor

For months, the problem of the Communal Modoals was ignored by the Church, only referenced in passing by a few priests and pastors.  The movement did not fade, however.  In the Eastern Provinces, more and more peasants began to follow Vel as a savior.  Vel himself began advocating increasingly radical ideas: a Church without a Hierarchy or Regnant in control, a common priesthood among all the faithful.  Merchants of the middle class, moved by the spirit of either piety or revolution, began increasing the costs of produce to the nobility.  Pressure mounted on the Regnant from the upper class and the Hierarchy to do something about the increasingly troublesome peasant movement.  Finally, eight months after the Communion was founded, Eloria devised a solution.

The Quaines Disputations
Suppression of the sect was out of the question, as riots were sure to result.  Tact was needed, decided the Regnant.  Thus Exarch Hardulph Symphorian was sent to Quaines, the capitol town of the Communion movement, to engage in public debate with the Oracle.  Symphorian was the most skilled rhetorician and theologion the Church had seen for a century, having single-handedly written the Treatise of Muron and convincing the heterodox Jaereal to rejoin the Faith.  Symphorian, it was reasoned, would either convert Vel or expose him as a fraud, either result ending the troublesome organization.  Vel agreed to the debate, and the two met in the Quaines town forum.

Exarch Symphorian opened the debate.  His speech lasted for hours, enumerating the Communion’s errors on the Church, the Hierarchy, the Regnant, the role of the peasantry.  Those in attendance were awed by his eloquent Communal-bashing and apologetic for the Church.  Vel meanwhile remained silent.  When the Exarch finally finished with a lash at Vel’s “banal ancestry”, Vel slowly stepped forward onto the forum’s steps.  For a moment, he simply gazed out at the crowd.  Then he began:

“The Exarch has given us many words over which to ponder.  A solid theological defense to be sure; I salute your rhetorics, your Eminence.  But good words are not enough.  Look at these people, Exarch, your people.  This is the backbone of the Church.  These are the people that grow your grain, that cut your stone, that bake your bread, that fill the ranks of your army.  And what do they get in return?  An annual blessing?  Praise from the Regnant on Labour Feast?  More empty words.  They do the work for the Hierarchy, your Eminence, why can they not participate in it?  Why are they excluded from the nobility, why are these not the Exarchs of your supposed ‘holy’ Hierarchy?  How can Modoaldus bless such an inauspicious system?  I will tell you, Exarch, he does not!”

-Oracle Barast Vel, the Quaines Disputations

In a scant hour of speech, Vel turned the debate into a rally for his agenda.  Symphorian and his small guard of Paladins of the Golden Light were driven out of Quaines and marched back to Cedant in shame.  The Communion, meanwhile, snowballed in numbers, putting more and more lands in the Eastern Provinces under its banner.  And thus it was for over another year, a third of the Modoal Empire falling into the hands of the peasant soldiers of the Modoal Communion.  Despite the Hierarch’s warnings of rebellion and licentiousness, the Regnant maintained a policy of silence, completely ignoring the Communion’s very existance.  This strategy of disregard only fed the zealous members of the Modoal Communion and would soon have explosive results.

The Harvester Feast Riots
On the Feast of the Astral Harvester, Vel and over a thousand Communals arrived in Cedcant to peacefully protest following the annual harvest sacrifice.  With the nobility and esteemed members of the Hierarchy safely celebrating in the royal palace, Oracle Vel preached against the nobility’s treatment of the lower classes outside the palace gates.  After a few hours, however, the Regnant’s servants unexpectedly emerged from the royal palace offering loaves of bread and carts of fruit to the masses.  Happily surprised, the crowd of peasants feasted on the gift while Vel and a few dozen of his hardcore supporters decried them.  Hours passed, the masses enjoying the royal feast.  As Oracle Vel and his followers prepared to abandon the demonstration, the royal gates creaked open and a young boy rushed out, crying “They have blasphemed!  They have forsaken the covenent!”  Vel rushed to the boy and asked him to explain himself.  The crowd, fascinated, listened in near silence as he described the royal dining hall filled with suckling pigs, fattened calves, and sweet cakes, all being greedily devoured by the royal family and the Exarchs.  This was blatantly against the laws of the Church, which required harvest fruits and grains as the meal for the Astral Harvester feast.  Vel flew into rage, denouncing the abomination that the nobility had wrought on this holy day.  The crowd grew more and more unruly, and when the royal guard emerged from the gate to form a wall to protect the palace, all hell broke loose.  The peasants rushed forth and attacked the scant guard.  The soldiers, taken by surprised, managed to fell a dozen or so rioters before they were crushed by the weight of the crowd.  The rioters then took to the streets, smashing windows and setting fire to government buildings and noble homes.  The riots went on late into the night until the city constabulary could bring reinforcements from neighboring towns to drive the peasants out.  Forty were arrested and thrown into the state prison, singing hymns all the while.  Word of the riots spread quickly across the Empire, the nobles growing fearful and angry toward the Communion and the peasants becoming more and more angered by the state of the Church and the Empire.  With the Empire in a state of near chaos, the Regnant was forced to give into the Hierarch’s pleading and gave permission for a synod.

The Cedanti Synod
Hierarch Scilpus acted quickly.  A mere month after the Harvester Feast Riots, the Exarchs gathered in the Basilica of the Lightgiver in Cedant.  The Hierarch’s processional prayer that opened the synod quickly set the tone for the meeting:

“Hail, O Burning One!  Heal your holy lands!  Hail, Fire of the Firmament, sent down your flaming wrath!  Forsake not your people, Great Modoaldus; protect us from those who blaspheme your name!  We are your Church: crush all infidels under your trampling heat!  Be our defense against the wickedness of all who oppose you!”

-Hierarch Melhpor Scilpus, processional prayer, Cedanti Synod

For the next three days, Exarch after Exarch gave similar tirades and polemics against the state of religion on the Continent.  A consensus was soon reached: staraphos, a holy war.  All those outside of the Church are declared anathema, not just Communals but also Dalraaenites and Yamasatrans.  The Regnant, who had given permission for the synod to take place, was forced to accept their conclusions which at this point seemed inevitable anyway.  She gave orders to Sir Vedast of Quaines, head of the militant Order of the Golden Light, to mobilize and retake the Eastern Provinces.

The Thentris Pass Ambush

Word of the Church’s declaration spread rapidly throughout the Continent.  Perhaps the only ones more distressed than the Communion was the Sacred Judiciary of the Order of Dalraaen.  Under the Cedanti Synod, the few scattered Dalraaenite courts in the Empire were anathema and subject to the will of the Hierarchy.  The presumed options were to evacuate, convert, or be arrested, none of which were acceptable to the Judicators.  Judicator Corgess Ahrgan organized a small delegation to travel to Cedant and lodge a formal complaint against the Synod’s declaration.  The highway from the Judicial State capitol of Justice to Cedant was a well travelled one, and the delegation was very lightly armed.  This decision would soon be regreted.

As the delegation travelled through Thentris Pass, a valley shortcut just over the border, arrows suddenly rained down from overhead.  Armed men appeared seemingly out of nowhere and brutally attacked the party.  Only one man, a young Advocate, managed to escape.  He quickly returned to Justice and gave report of the ambush to the Sacred Judiciary.  The attack happened so suddenly and viciously that the young man could not identify the soldiers; however, it is reported, he believed he heard one of them utter the name of Modoaldus.  Judicator Ahrgan, known for his usual temprate nature, flew into a rage.

“What in the name of all that is just does the Empire hope to accomplish?  First they insult our faith with their anathematization.  And now they slaughter a peaceful delegation?  By Saint Ajor’s fist, they are practically begging for war!  And for what reason?  We have had nothing but peace for decades.  What the Church of Modoaldus has done is an outrage.  If we are to find any of Dalraaen’s Justice in it, we must see these events for what they are: a call to arms.  The Modoal Empire has grown weak and corrupt.  Brethren, you know of the injustices found among the Imperials.  The Church scourges her own people that the nobles may feast.  They have forsaken even their own laws; by their own covenent, they are sinners and criminals.  As the ruling body of the Order of Dalraaen, it is our duty to bring about justice in all its forms.  I tell you, brethren, this unfolding is revealing our duty to us.  If the Empire has sinned against both its law and the Divine Laws, we must bring swift justice.  May Saint Sephor protect us, Saint Ajor fight with us, and Dalraaen find us upright in the law.”

-Most Honoralbe and Most Holy Judicator Corgess Ahrgan

Now the Order of the Gavel, led by Magistrate Grand Master Baeleric Kytherion, began to arm for war.

Major Events and Battles Timeline

MACS = month safter the Cedanti Synod
MCA = month of the Communal Age

3MACS - Battle of Meadberry Hill: The first battle between the Communals and the Imperials.  Sir Vedast of Quaines leads paladins of the Golden Light into the borders of the Eastern Provinces.  The paladins were outnumbered by surprisingly well-armed and -trained peasant troops.  The paladins retreat after inflicting heavy casualties on the Communal army; the Hierarchy declares the battle a victory, but the Order of the Golden Light is less certain.

4MACS - Vel forsees the Zodiac of Truth, a group of fighters that defend Modoaldus’ people against the corrupt Hierarchy.  The Fighting Five are revealed a 10 days later.

6MACS - Battle of Wayfarer Plains: Paladins of the Order of the Gavel, led by Magistrate Grand Master Baeleric Kytherion, do battle with paladins of the Order of the Golden Light, led by Sir Vedast, on the freelands between the Judicial States and the Modoal Empire.  Battle lasts five days and is largely a stalemate, with neither side taking heavy casualties.  Both retreat.

11MACS - Battle of Kinnair: The Communal army, led by Carll the Good and Joral the Eye, invade the border town of Kinnair.  The local guard are caught unawares and quickly defeated, with some citizens uprising against them.  Kinnair becomes a staging area for an invasion of the Imperial lands, and the tall tales of the battle quickly spread.

15MACS - First Battle of Kursan Forest: Arbiter Ariston Nikomachus leads the Order of the Gavel against encamped paladins of the Golden Light.  The Imperials are scattered and the Gavel paladins build a fortress in the woods, marking the first significant ground taken by the Dalraaenites.

18MACS - The head of Exarch Symphorian is found at the gates of the royal palace with a note attached: “The Gaping Maw will be nourished.  His glorious rising is unstoppable, his awakening is at hand.  Your gods cannot help you now. -Paragon Shrade, slave of Vautu”.  Vautuans, who were thought long extinct, are added to the list of heretics.

19MACS - The Blood-soaked Evernight: On the evening of Everday, a Modoal holy day celebrating Modoaldus’ presence even at night, the Vautuan horde, led by Overlord Pogrom, completely raze the Imperial village of Ruselle, near the Southern border.  The entire town, which houses no soldiers, is destroyed and all are killed.  A day of mourning is declared by the Regnant a week later.

22MACS - Treaty of Kursan: Magistrate Kytherion meets with General Lythan at the Gavel fortress and signs a mutual protection treaty.  The Dalraaenites and the Communion become reluctant allies against the Vautuan and Imperial threats.

30MACS - Battle of Thentris Pass: Overlord Orison leads a contingent of Vautuan troops against Gavel paladins led by Arbiter Nikomachus.  The paladins hold the pass and eventually drive off Orison, but with considerable casualties.

36MACS - The Erill Rebellion: The Gnat secretly organizes a rebellion in the trading town of Erill, deep within Imperial territory.  Merchants suddenly refuse to sell food to the town nobles, servants abandon their duties.  The town constables themselves arrest the local duke.  The Gnat organizes a small batallion and moves South toward the Quornat Mountains.

37-39MACS - Siege of Artroa: A Communal army led by Derrald Small-Village and Groaning Wuru blockade the city of Artroa, a Imperial citadel protecting the primary pass through the Quornat Mountains.  Blocked by Derrald’s troops on one side and the Erill batallion on the other, the citadel slowly starves.  The Imperial monks who live in the local monastery eventually convert and open the gates, allowing Communal troops to rush in and capture the city.

45MACS - Conversion of Tharros: Overlord Polemic appears in the Dalraaenite town of Tharros.  His dark magic and silver tongue, along with Shrade’s influence, converts the entire town to Vautu’s cause.

48MACS - Ambush of Melrai Coast: Sister Arc-Tyen leads the Sisters of Yamasatra and a small herd of leopard seals in a surprise attack on a seaside Vautuan camp.  The Vautuans there are killed.

50MACS - Pledge of Catagia: Abbess Shai-Jin and a garrison of Sisters meets with Magistrate Kytherion and General Lythan at Catagia, a coastal town in the Judicial States.  They agree to a mutual protection pact against the Vautuans and the Imperials.

55MACS - The Reckoning Day Sacrifice: On Reckoning Day, the Dalraaenite holy day of enacting justice, Sir Vedast and his Golden Light paladins attack the Dalraaenite outpost of Cortön.  They unleash a new weapon: Modoaldus’ Blaze, a massive piece of Modoal crystal that is large enough to burn a watchtower.  The local garrison is burnt to the ground and only a few of the Dalraaenite soldiers escape.

57MACS - Battle of Rusella Creek: Dalraaenite and Yamasatran soldiers hold off the Order of the Golden Light and their Modoaldus’ Blaze a stone’s throw away from Justice, the Judicial States’ capitol.  Sister Arc-Tyen and her Sisters turn the tide just before the Dalraaenites are nearly overtaken.

62MACS - Battle of Tarchna Swamp: Communal troops led by Joral the Eye and Derrald Small-Village raid a Vautuan camp discovered in Communal territory.  Pogrom and the Vautuans are cornered when Paragon Shrade appears and unleashes powerful magic against the Communals; Carll is severely wounded and the Communals withdraw.

70MACS - Second Battle of Kursan Forest: Vautuans raid the Gavel fortress at Kursan late at night.  The paladins drive them out, but are exhausted from the battle.  At dawn, Golden Light cavalry storm the forest.  The Gavel paladins fight back, and Magistrate Kytherion is mortally wounded.  Warden Sir Adsair Typhaeus takes up the Celestial Gavel, apparently a Guardian of the weapon, and frenzies the Gavel paladins to drive out the Imperials.

74-77MACS - The Golden Arrow: Using Modoaldus’ Blaze, Sir Vedast and the Order of the Golden Light push through the pressing Communal armies.  They recapture Erill and Artroa, pushing through the mountain pass toward Kinnair.  Fighting in the town is fierce and the paladins are forced to raze the city, demoralizing some (including Vedast).

77MACS - Battle of Quaines: The Golden Light paladins reach Quaines, the capitol of the Communion and Vedast’s hometown.  The Fighting Five lead the Communal army for eight days against the Imperials until defeat seems imminent.  Suddenly, Vel takes to the battlefield, riding silently toward Modoaldus’ Blaze.  As the paladins prepare the weapon, the Oracle speaks a few words and hurls something (a vial of serum created by Voltuppe) at the crystal.  It cracks, then shatters into a million pieces.  Filled with zeal, the Communals rush the stunned Imperials and drive them out of Quaines, capturing Sir Vedast and a platoon of paladins.

78MACS - The Glorious Conversion: Vel convinces Vedast to convert to the Communal faith, and Vedast in turn converts his remaining paladins.  They vow to serve Modoaldus and defeat the Church.

80-82MACS - The Black Spear: In a sudden move, Paragon Shrade orders his Overlords to abandon the Modoal Empire and make for the Judicial States.  Forces led by Orison, Pogrom, and Shrade himself win battle after battle, driving the Order of the Gavel further toward Justice.  The Yamasatrans take many casualties as well.

82MACS - Concord of Quaines: General Lythan agrees, at the behest of Sister Arc-Tyen and a delegate of the Sacred Judiciary, to send troops into the Judicial States to protect Justice and finish the Vautuans.  Vedast agrees to take his converted paladins along with Groaning Wuru, General Lythan, and a batallion of Communal troops into the Empire to drive back the weakened Imperials.  Carll, Joral, Derrald, and the rest of the Communal army make for the Judicial States.

86MACS - Siege of Justice: The Vautuan army successfully drives the Gavel paladins and the Sisters back into Justice.  The city loses access to food and supplies.

87MACS - Battle of Justice: The Communal army flanks the Vautuans as they siege Justice.  As the peasant soldiers battle the Vautuan horde, Warden Kytherion and Arbiter Nikomachus rally the Order of the Gavel and rush out the city gates; Sister Arc-Tyen does the same with the Sisters of Yamasatra.  The battle lasts a fierce two days.  In the end, Pogrom is killed by Derrald Small-Village, Orison is defeated by Warden Kytherion, and Polemic is shot by Joral the Eye.  Paragon Shrade and a few Vautuans escape and head for the sea.

88MACS - Rout of Shrade: When Shrade and the surviving Vautuans reach the shore and make for their hidden barque, a Yamasatran monastery ship looms over them.  Abbess Shai-Jin herself leads the Sisters and an army of leopard seals against the Vautuans.  Shrade and all his followers are killed.

89MACS - Sister Arc-Tyen leads the Yamasatrans out of the Judicial States and back to their floating cloisters.

88-94MACS - The Imperial Campaign: Vedast and the Communals retake territory lost to the Imperials and push through Imperial forts, encampments, and cities.  Much is due to Vedast’s knowledge of Imperial strategy.  A small group of Gavel paladins led by Arbiter Nikomachus joins them.

The Long Assault & The Fall of Cedant

94 months after the Cedanti Synod declared them heretics, the Communal Army finally surrounded the Imperial capitol of Cedant.  The small group of remaining Imperial soldiers, consisting mostly of loyalist Golden Light paladins and royal guardsmen, retreated into the city walls and held the gate.  Although Oracle Vel and the Fighting Five were prepared to use every last resource to batter down the gates, General Lythan and Sir Vedast suggest a more prudent strategy: starve them.  The Imperial grain stores had been low for months, lacking the usual peasant harvest.  Given a few more months, the city would be completely out of food and be forced to surrender.  To stiffen the blow, Lythan ordered the Communal Army to destroy the city’s aqueduct, cutting off a majority of the city’s fresh water.  And so for four months, from late summer to early winter, the Communal Army waited while Imperial Cedant starved.  No one moved into or out of the city.  Almost daily, Hierarch Scilpus appeared on one of the wall’s parapets to curse the Communion and implore the “true” Modoals to convert:

“You are snakes, a den of vipers led by a even more venomous snake-charmer!  Is this how the so-called faithful treat the people of this land?  Torture them, deny them water and food, the most basic needs of life?  You would let fellow worshippers of our God die in thirst and hunger?  How many have you killed today, Communal?  A dozen died last week from starvation, two just yesterday.  At least three will join Modoaldus in the Sky-Glory by day’s end.  How many more will you kill, Communal?  Or perhaps this is the justice those in the North speak of.  Is this how Dalraaen swings his gavel?  Does Ajor harvest our lives for your glory, just ones?  Or is this all the cold will of the sea goddess the heathens worship?  Tell me, vipers, I must know!: for why will the venom take us tonight?”

-Hierarch Melphor Scilpus

For every insult and pleading the Hierarch threw at the Communal Army, Oracle Vel had another.

“See how the Great Sun God has saved us!  We were once impovrished, poorer than the most forsaken heathen.  But Modoaldus blessed us with his Zodiac of Truth, which has razed the hypocrites.  When the Empire threatened to crush us, Modoaldus turned their most beloved leader to ours, the true cause.  And now Modoaldus has led us to siege your city as a sign of his glory.  Repent, sinners!  You can end this madness!  You now sit starving in your walls because of the heretic Regnant and Hierarchy.  Do as your God demands: crush them!  End this foul mortal institution called the ‘Church’ and join our holy ranks!  Look at your golden night, Sir Vedast of Quaines.  He, too, served the Church blindly until his eyes were opened by the prophesy.  Now he fights for the true faith, for Modoaldus’ glory.  Join us, Cedanti!  It is your inheritence!”

-Oracle Barast Vel

Though not one passed into or out of the city walls, the Oracle’s silver-tongued words stirred those inside Cedant.  As food continued to dwindle and with no foreseeable end, the urban peasants grew weary and discontent.  Finally, after four months under siege, at the first snowfall of winter, Cedant exploded in chaos.  The peasants attacked the city guard and Golden Light paladins that protected the gate.  Though both sides were exhausted and the peasants unarmed, the sheer number of city dwellers overwhelmed the guards.  Within a scant few hours, the peasants threw open the gate.  Oracle Vel gave a mighty cry, and the whole of the Communal Army rushed into Cedant.  With only bodyguards protecting the Hierarchy and Regnant, the royal palace and cathedral were swiftly captured.  Many lesser nobles were killed, and the Exarchs and royal family were captured and tortured by the zealous warriors.  Oracle Vel entered the city in triumph to the cheers and adulations of the now-converted population.  Over the next week, public executions were held in the town square, seeing the death of the royal family, the Exarchs, Hierarch Scilpus, and Regnant Eloria herself.  The end of the Imperial Age had come.

Questions were raised even as the old guard fell.  How would the Modoal lands be governed now?  Would there be a democracy?  Anarchy?  Oracle Vel quickly answered the question: all duties of the former Regnant and Hierarch were assumed by him.  In a short month, Vel assigned nearly all functions of government to various appointees, nearly all established veterans of the war and the Communal movement.  Voltuppe became Minister of Land, Lythan the Commander-in-Chief, Sir Vedast was made Advisor General.  Even a few of the Dalraaenite soldiers who recuperated in Cedant were offered positions, though they all declined as Arbiter Nichomachus prepared to lead them back to the Judicial States to rebuild.  The function of these ministers was quickly made clear, however: Oracle Vel micromanaged every aspect of the old Empire, now called the Great Modoal Communion.  Advisors who contradicted or even just publicly doubted him were dismissed.  Though no one dared speak it, some in the upper echelon of the new government began twas mad.

1MCA-8MCA - The Oracle’s Reign: Oracle Vel rules the new Modoal Communion harshly.  Piety is strictly enforced.  Anyone suspected of conspiring against the Oracle is executed.  Any dissidents are quickly silenced.  General Lythan is executed for conspiring to overthrow the Oracle’s “glorious reign.”  The masses still follow Vel as a religious leader, though they are far more fearful of him.

8MCA - The Martyrdom of the Oracle: Vedast, an appointed advisor to Vel, begins to doubt his status as “Oracle.”  In correspondence with Voltuppe, they both agree he must be deposed.  Fearful of an uprising from a collapse of the Communal movement, the two decide to assassinate Vel in his sleep and make it appear as a natural death.  Voltuppe creates a poison and places a drop into Vel’s mouth as he sleeps, killing him painlessly.  Vedast somberly presents the news to the masses the next day: the Oracle has passed onto the Sky.

8MCA-??? - The Golden Age of Modoaldus: Vedast of Quaines takes the reign after Vel’s death and leads the Modoal people into a new age.  He creates a nearly classless society and the common priesthood and faith Vel dreamed of.  After his long and peaceful reign, he is canonized as Saint Vedast.

1MCA-120MCA - The Corruption of the Order: The dark god Vautu used the Sectarian Wars as a distraction to influence his strongest enemy on the mortal plane: the Order of Dalraaen.  The Order was weakened enough by the wars for the intombed Vautu to corrupt the hearts of the highest members of the priesthood.  Judicator Corgess Ahrgan releases the priesthood from ties to the Divine Law, allowing them complete independence in legal matters.  The Arbiters are corrupted, taking bribes, ignoring justice, and doleing out lethal punishment in the courts by their own hands.  The Sacred Judiciary breaks into quarreling factions, and the Order falls into chaos.  Within the decade, the Judicial States are gone and the faithful flee to different gods.  Only one monastery remains, where Kytherion—the last loyal priest of the Order of the Gavel—hides the Celestial Gavel.

Roleplaying Notes
The Sectarian Wars are designed as a setting insertable into any game.  How you use the Wars and their background is entirely up to you.  A GM might place his PCs in the midst of the war, forcing them to choose sides and face questions of religion and truth.  The Sectarian Wars could be background events, setting the scene for what is to come.  Or a game could be set immidiately prior to the outbreak of the wars, leading the PCs to discover the causes of religious strife and witness the end to a thousand year peace.  The setting of the Continent can easily be adapted to connect to a larger campaign, or operate by itself.

If the Sectarian Wars themselves hold no interest or use in your game, one might use the individual faiths as stand-alone modules, perfect for a cleric or paladin to follow, or to insert as a religious power in your own setting.  The possibilities are for you to decide.



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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Dozus
March 29, 2007, 23:23
0xp
Finally up! The last faction should be added in the next few days. I just wanted to make sure the main sub got up for the quest deadline.
Voted Scrasamax
March 30, 2007, 2:58
0xp
Wow. That was a long read and I've not gotten into any of the factions. I love that Vedast has made an appearance and would have to have seen a link back to him somewhere.

And all this time I thought Communists were supposed to be atheists.
Dozus
March 30, 2007, 5:03
0xp
I added the Zephyrous Icon to the Sectarian Wars freetext. St. Vedast himself will get his own sub in due time.
Voted valadaar
March 30, 2007, 9:45
0xp
Ah, a Magnus Opus indeed. As with Scras I'll need a bit of time to dig into this one.

Well done!
Voted Cheka Man
March 30, 2007, 13:01
0xp
A religious Mao-type Communist.
Voted Murometz
April 6, 2007, 9:52
0xp

I am voting on this because Dozus is too kind with the co-authorship stuff.

This is PURELY Master Dozus' vision. I marvelled at this labyrinthine expose of religion, six months ago, when he first introduced me to this world, and I still marvel at it now!

Incredible scope and majesty!

The only thing I can truly say I did, was log approximately 14-16 hours of total time in chat with Dozus, discussing his unique vision. :)

so, I will vote, and if anyone has a problem with that, I can meet you in the schoolyard after class and pummel you!

Ancient Gamer
April 6, 2007, 11:04
0xp
I don't have a problem with it, but I do want to pommel some! Seeya after class!
Voted Wulfhere
April 6, 2007, 11:58
0xp
This is impressive. A panoramic overview of a religious conflict that sweeps a continent, with politics and religious strife, madmen and murder, prophets and hypocrites.

I wish that I'd written it.
Voted manfred
April 15, 2007, 14:25
0xp
Now, that was _some_ long piece! I admit to be overwhelmed by all the battles, places and people, but that is to be expected by a historical tractate. I also wonder how that classless society looked in the end, but that's nothing major.

All in all, solid work.
Voted Strolen
April 15, 2007, 18:13
0xp
I really liked the major events and battles timeline. While some of it might be a bit difficult to absorb into a game, the sub is worth its weight just for the ability to have a bulleted history that is immensely useable.
Voted Chaosmark
April 17, 2007, 19:01
0xp
I have yet to read the 4 religious orders, but the submission stands completely on its own without them. I like it.


Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

Blood Lover!

       By: Murometz

Forsht Bligo is a dwarf who loves the taste of blood. He's become quite the connoisseur over the years. Pigs blood, sheeps blood, cow's blood, if it's red and warm, Forsht considers it a delicacy. The fresher and hotter the better. Forsht will often sneak up on cattle, prick them with his dagger, and catch the flowing blood in his orc-skull drinking cup. His life goal is to taste the blood of every living animal. Although he has not yet sampled humanoid blood, he is not averse to doing so if the right opportunity presents itself. He is not particularly unpleasant if approached and can be easily befriended. Its just that he simply can't get enough of the "Juice of Life", as he calls it. Forsht's troubles come in the form of frightened and angry villagers who have proclaimed the misunderstood dwarf a vampire. Since Forsht is amused by this, he does little to dissuade anyone. This will lead to some dicey situations for Forsht in the near future.

Ideas  ( NPCs ) | February 19, 2006 | View | UpVote 2xp


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