The Culture Which Connects Regional Cultures United by Faith
The Holy See is a religious organisation which arose in the region of Helden in the aftermath of the warlord period after the fall of the Empire of Midland. The See built itself around the preaching of Chalanna who discovered the Crown of Thorns, an ancient artefact connected to The Grey and the metaphysical entities from before Time. Chalanna sought to establish one temple for all Gods to be worshipped, for he had seen the end of the Great Dance once before and sought to change the Destiny of the Realms.
In the political instability, the Holy See established a foothold in Helden by building a citadel-temple and spread missionaries and parishes throughout the regions of the Old Empire. By the modern day in 4E 297, the Holy See Territories (amalgamations of political entities which have accepted the Holy See as their primary religious body) have stretched further than the Empire ever believed they could achieve, despite the theology varying quite differently to what Chalanna originally envisioned.
From the Confederacy of Vallatorlan to the den of thievery the Yoshan City-State, all races and cultures and ethnicities are somewhat united in the overarching interpretations of deities and worship. This is known as Ecclesiastical Culture, and while it does hold many variants and differences over such a vast area, the symbols and colours associated to each deity and aspect of worship are largely uniform and transcend previous barriers.
Common Symbol & Colour Associations
Lord Courga the Summer King
As the primary deity of the Holy See, Courga is the Patriarch of the Magus Family of Celestials and All-King of Gods. His holy colour is gold - or yellow - which represents his rulership over all the Realms and therefore ceremonially associated with power and royalty. Only those in the Holy See with divine authority to rule are allowed to wear gold with the exception of Courgan priests, and those with traditional family connections to gold such as tartan or coat of arms.
He has multiple symbols attributed to him that can be found in Ecclesiastical Culture, namely candles (commonly seen anywhere in the Territories during the Winter months for that is when Throff the Great Hag Goddess of Winter rules the Mortal Realm and those faithful to Courga seek the warmth of his fire and light), scales (in respect to His judgement of decisions being final), and a spear (which has often influenced cultures to believe a golden spear is an additional symbol of royalty and divine rule).
Lady Galana the Spring Queen
As the wife of Courga in the eyes of the Holy See, Galana herself is a symbol for marriage which coincides with her governing over the spheres of fertility, maternity and family. Her holy colour - green - is present in all marriages conducted by priests of the Holy See in temples dedicated to Courga. Often, this will manifest in the dress of the bride or whatever the regional culture informs the bride to wear during the ceremony.
Lady Galana has multiple symbols attributed to her that can be found in Ecclesiastical Culture, namely scythes (which denote her governship over agriculturalism and farming, as well as a symbol used in urban environments to denote midwiferies. Humans according to the Holy See were born from the mixing of clay with Galana's blood from her miscarried child with Courga, and as such she protects pregnant women from the Curse of Galana - miscarriage - to happen to them) and sables (whose fur is another symbol of royalty and divine rule in connection to Lord Courga).
Sindla the Defender of Mortals
The Holy See venerates Sindla as the Goddess who guides Souls upon their entrance into Mortis Realm and is an important governor of the sphere of death for this purpose. Her holy colour - black - is intrinsically connected to death and mourning within the Territories so much so that no other colour is allowed within temples dedicated to Sindla, during funeral ceremonies or in places of burial - known as Sindla's Acres.
Sindla has multiple symbols attributed to her that can be found in Ecclesiastical Culture, namely owls which are emblazoned everywhere with any connection to death. Owl feathers adorn any person connected to the worship of Sindla, as well as a common symbol to wear to denote the loss of someone close in the family such as widows and widowers.
Iatro the White
Iatro is one of the few deities from the Chaos Family which are venerated in the current iteration of the Holy See, and her interpretation has been changed accordingly to one of healing and alchemy. Her holy colour - white - is found in infirmaries to denote purity and health.
This is mixed with the original symbol of Iatro being a serpent, originally used to denote poisoncraft and secrecy. Within the Holy See, a coiling serpent is a symbol of healing.
Prompts Advent Calendar #5 WorldEmber Article #6 10k Article
In this most holy festival of Bealtain, we provide offerings from our devout community in representation of the one true pantheon of the gods in accordance with canon law of the Holy See. To the everlasting bonfire of Courga's divine law we cast the following: A beeswax candlestick of golden hue for the Summer King; a sable pelt dipped in nettle soup for the Spring Queen; a chunk of grey iron ore for the Protector of Peace; the speckled feather of a barn owl for the Defender of Mortals; the blood of a hound for the Enlightened; a strand of blonde hair for the Lazy; the cast-off skin of an adder for the White Goddess. We hope that this will prove as a show of faith for the Celestials of Chaos and Magus to not look away from this humble community for the coming months until Samhain Eve.
Holy See Territories
- Kingdom of Analand & Jabaji
- Principality of Ardena
- Kingdom of Buerach
- Heldenic States
- Kingdom of Moravia
- Grand Duchy of Rivercrown
- Kingdom of Ruddlestone
- Confederacy of Vallatorlan
Yellow is also a symbol of law in respect of Courga, with legal officials wearing yellow robes in all Holy See Territories except for Vallatorlan who don black as a sign of respect and mourning after High King Maucom Bondsbreaker was executed by the Vallatorlan Parliament. Despite the High King being reinstated, Vallator courts have decided to keep the tradition with consent from the Pontifex Maximus.
Some cultures who have converted to the faith of the Holy See have been allowed under certain cases to continue worshipping the War God Slangg in tandem with the Helden-preferred Libra or Sindla. These nations namely being the Principality of Ardena and Confederation of Vallatorlan. As such, this inclusion in the Territories have influenced Ecclesiastical Culture somewhat.
The holy colour and symbol of Slangg in pre-faith Ardena was white and a dove, which was in the time of the Midlandian Empire together a sign of peace. Ardennese culture - and now Ecclesiastical Culture - view a white dove to be a symbol of war and coming bloodshed. Witnessing one near a shrine to Slangg (or Libra or Sindla anywhere in the Territories) is viewed as a message of coming conflict whether physical, or to take on Slangg's other aspect, mental conflict.
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