Children of Tallon
Worshipping the reluctant god
If Tallon is so concerned with its so-called "children", maybe they could come down and visit some time.
Ramzi Bratan, Enoerian locksmith, 2593 AoR
he Children of Tallon is an organized religion based on the veneration of Cervia Polonosa. The name is a direct allusion to Cervia's heritage as a pilot from the planet Tallon. Her revolutionary saga was the spark that fostered the first true civilization - Auld Cervia - on Excilior. Prior to her arrival, the casterway population was exclusively comprised of men. Thus, there was no hope of procreation and there was no real "civilization" to speak of. But starting with her arrival, which marks the beginning of the Age of Cervia, casterways slowly started to build a self-sustaining society of their own. With this in mind, every soul on the planet since Cervia's arrival is believed to come from a direct line that ultimately traces back to her. And since she was from the planet Tallon, this means that all casterways who were born on Excilior extend a lineage that ultimately originated on Tallon. Thus, everyone on Excilior is thought of as a "child of Tallon".
The great irony of the Children is that they venerate Cervia as a deity, but Cervia herself was an atheist and openly scornful of religion. Following in her example, the society she founded was also strongly atheistic. Yet despite her personal anti-religious beliefs, a cult still arose in her honor centuries after her death. And that cult eventually matured into the Children.
ompared to other prominent faiths, the Children are fairly muted in their public advocacy. They do not aggressively recruit new members. They do not directly attack or debate the ideologies of other religions. They do not attempt to insert themselves into matters of public policy. The only place where the Children have a strong, vocal presence in all manner of public affairs is in Gorgania. This is perfectly understandable because the diminutive, theocratic country was founded specifically as the epicenter of the Children's faith and the capital of Meia is considered to be the preeminent holy city of the church. Yet even amongst the bordering countries of Kala and Prielia, it is hard to find overt signs of the Children's presence unless one knows where to look.
This peaceful policy of quiet neutrality is perhaps a major reason why the Children have endured throughout millennia. Like other ancient casterway faiths, the Children's reach has waxed and waned, and in more recent times they have faced the ever-growing menace of the Pontificous Rite. But whereas the Pontificous Rite has made it a point to openly spar with other religions - and has sometimes deployed violent means to stamp them out - they have largely left the Children alone. Although the reasons for this can only be clearly defined by the actual leaders of the Pontificous Rite, the presumption is that they have made no aggressive moves toward the Children because the Children are fastidious about keeping to themselves.
n most regions, and in most public venues, there are scant traces of any of the Children's "assets". The church has witnessed a protracted and gradual decline for the better part of two thousand years, and in most cities there is no "official" Children's architecture and they have little in the way of formal possessions. The clearest exception to this is in Gorgania. As the spiritual epicenter of the Children, many of the country's grandest edifices are, in fact, Children's structures. More specifically, the greatest landmark in Gorgania - the Children's Spire - exists in the capital city of Meia and it has always been an explicit example of church holdings. When it was first constructed, it was a technological wonder of its era and it inspired awe in the hearts and minds of travelers from near and far. In the succeeding years, the Spire has suffered numerous tragedies and it has been rebuilt on three separate occasions. But it still stands today, and it still serves as a beacon of the waning reach of the Children.
That fancy spire wasn't built from refuse and table scraps. Hidden somewhere in that city, there's more where that came from.
Xob Savedra, Nganian wagoner, 3545 AoG
Gorgania's status as the theocratic stronghold of the Children has spawned countless legends over the millennia about the theoretical riches that are hoarded deep within its city walls. In fact, the colloquialism "the riches of Gorgania" has become shorthand to refer to any mythological stockpile of unimaginable wealth. These legends no doubt have at least some basis in truth, for it was the church's financial clout that originally allowed for the construction of the Children's Spire - and many of the other grandiose structures strewn about Meia. However, the imagined mountain of gold on which the church sits is now, almost certainly, more myth than fact (if it exists at all). While the church (like most churches) keeps its finances private, it doesn't take an ingenius detective to realize that their income has certainly shrunk over time. Most likely, their income has been continually shrinking, for a very long time. Anecdotal observations of the Children's activities seems to confirm this - as they have not funded any construction projects, or any significant expenditures, in ages. Nevertheless, every few decades, a new spate of fabulous rumors makes the rounds, painting tales of overflowing vaults somewhere in the dusty basements of the Children's headquarters. These unfounded rumors understandably leave the church uneasy, as they realize that such fairy tales provide an incentive for any greedy powerbroker who wishes to fix the holes in their budget by raiding the Children's coffers.
he church can be thought of, in its simplest form, as the Church of Cervia Polonosa. Although they profess themselves as the Children of Tallon, the basic fact is that no one in the church (and no one else on the planet) has any clue about what Tallon is actually like. The sole casterway tie to Tallon was Cervia, and she's been dead for more than 3,800 years.
Gods are not those bathed in omnipotent glory. The true gods are those who light the way through every word and with every action.
Rouben Rekvish, Gorganian webber, 1062 AoE
Beyond the veneration of Cervia herself, the practical application of the Children's worship is centered on Cervia's Logs. This sprawling collection of journals written directly by Cervia over the entire course of her lifetime has had grand influence over casterways throughout history. They have served as the basis for law, research, and yes, religion. The continued prevalence of her logs is perhaps one reason why the Pontificous Rite has treated the Children with kid gloves. For while most casterways are not affiliated with the Children of Tallon, nearly all of them have some exposure to Cervia's Logs and think of them with high esteem. So with that in mind, an attack on the Children runs the risk of being perceived as an attack on Cervia's Logs and, by extension, an attack on the memory of Cervia Polonosa herself. And for most casterways, this would be akin to an attack on the memory of Mohatma Ghandi, or... Santa Claus.
The first Children were a localized cult of Cervia who first identified as such in 393 AoC. Many in the surrounding population scoffed at these fanatical followers. They (accurately) pointed out that Cervia was an atheist and that she scorned nearly all aspects of organized religion. They also chuckled over the distinction that Cervia's Logs, while replete with insight and wisdom, have nothing in common with other, "traditional" religious texts. They contain no legends. No platitudes. No purported words handed down from a higher power. But these counterpoints meant little to the burgeoning faith of the Children and by the time of the splintering of Auld Cervia in 479 AoC they were much less of a cult and much more of a bonafide organized church.
This trend continued for another century until the founding of Gorgania in 577 AoE. From the very beginning, Gorgania was established with the intention of being an explicit vessel of the Children. Although the church has weathered many periods of waning popularity since then, Gorgania's existence has served as a continual anchor for the faith, ensuring that it never truly goes away.