The Inquisition

As a result of the Church of the Heathen Prophet's reliance on Inquisitors to enforce their will, tales of the Inquisition coming for misbehaving children have become a common method to elicit good behavior within the Northern Reach.


While the tales vary greatly depending upon the desired resultant behavior, they all have their basis in the same basic elements:  
  1. An adult requests a particular behavior from a child or a group of children, whether it is a request to perform a good behavior or to stop or not do a bad one.
  2. At least one child refuses to comply, not doing the good action or proceeding with the bad one in spite of the adult's warning.
  3. Either the adult reports the child to the Inquisition, or the adult is unable to keep the child's behavior from the Inquisition.
  4. The Inquisition comes and takes the child away or places some form of severe punishment on the child.
  Sometimes the tale is told in a way to describe an unknown child or group of children. In other cases the adult telling the tale will abbreviate the elements and apply them to the child directly, stating that the Inquisition will levy this specific punishment against them if they do not change their behavior as desired.

Historical Basis

Various tellings of the tale incorporate assorted true life stories of the actions of Inquisitors taken against those the Heathen Church decreed as lawbreakers or troublemakers, but re-branded and redirected to include children as the targets rather than adults. The tales work because they are grounded in truth and in many cases include elements the child has already witnessed first hand. Disrespecting an elder, disrupting a conversation, taking something without asking, not following the rules, and other common behaviors targeted by the tale feel very similar to the charges of disrespecting of the Heathen Church, disrupting the Church's plans, withholding property from the Heathen Church, or inability to conform with Church expectations levied against adults by the Church's Inquisitions.


Threats of the Inquisition focusing their attention n children for behavior deemed as troublesome is common across the majority of the Northern Reach, especially in areas exploited by the Church of the Heathen Prophet.

Variations & Mutation

The genders, names, and even misdeeds of the children involved in the tale are fluid, and typically selected by the storyteller to elicit the desired response from the listener.

Cultural Reception

The effectiveness of the story in moderating a child's behavior is largely dependent upon that child's perception of the Inquisitors, selected officials of the Church of the Heathen Prophet in maintaining the peace. This in turn typically relies upon the perceptions of the Heathen Church itself.   In wealthier areas of the Northern Reach where the Church is viewed as a benefactor for the good of many, the Inquisitors are largely viewed as righteous keepers of the peace. As a result any threats in these areas to notify the Inquisition regarding a child's behavior are useful to temper severe unruly behavior but are generally only effective to the scale of which the child views their own behavior as "bad" or "illegal." Therefore a child is likely to return a pilfered snack to avoid the attention of the Inquisitors but will not be scared into cleaning their room.   In areas exploited by the Heathen Church, however, a typically child will view the Inquisition with fear and, in many cases, abject terror. These poorer regions have less to spare and gift teh Church willingly, and so the Heathen Church has developed a habit of obtaining its desires by force, frequently through the use of invented legal charges via the Inquisition. As a result children have grown accustomed to seeing the results of the Inquisitors upending the lives of respected adults they know personally, and therefore can easily be convinced the Inquisition will prosecute them because they did not eat enough healthy foods at dinner.   These tales are of course unique to the Northern Reach, as the Heathen Church and therefore the Inquisition has no standing elsewhere in Fillimet. Children directly impacted by the Inquisition are of course the exception, as many tend to have a traumatic conviction that the Inquisition will follow them wherever they go.
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Cover image: Nature Forest Trees by jplenio


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