The Trinity

The Trinity, or the Church of New Divinity, is the approved religious body within the The Protectorates. Colloquially known as the Faceless, the Church follows a strict set of beliefs that arose from its origins in Refuge. These beliefs were originally aimed at preventing another Godling War but have since become a force of oppression.   The Church teaches that there is a singular divine force with three Aspects, or Faces. These aspects convey the cycle of birth and rebirth of souls through continuous servitude to the greater good.   Worship of other Gods is not tolerated within the Protectorates, and historically the Church has supported the invasion of other cultures and a sublimation of their beliefs.

Mythology & Lore

The Deepkin and Arkin tell of the Three faces of the New Divinity in their myths of Deeptime, during the Elderkin's defiance of the Elder Gods.  
When the Kin were just one, at the dawn of Deeptime, we were slaves to the Elder Gods from beyond the Void. These were the Gods of pure hunger that devour all things. Uncounted generations were born into slavery and lost down the gullets of the Elder Gods.   But over those long generations, we became aware of a voice that whispered to us in our anguish. The whisper came from the Blood of the Earth, and the Blood of our Kin. It whispered to us of a cycle of birth, sustenance and rebirth. And the whispers became a roar as more and more of us heeded its words and felt its power. The voice that whispers we call Uhd - The Prime Duality.   From Uhd, our ancestors learned to harness the Blood Magics of the Earth and we forged the New Divinity and the banishment of the Elder Gods. It is through the three faces of the New Divinity - Creator, Preserver and Destroyer - that our freedom and the freedom of all living things is made possible.  
- Uhd and the Cosmic Defiance
  Within the Protectorates, this telling that the Kin created the Trinity is seen as the worst of heresies. Instead, it is taught that the Trinity is timeless and the source of all things. They teach that it was such heretics that led to the Godling Wars and the Destruction and any such blasphemy risks a repeat of those calamities.

Divine Origins

The Church of the Trinity within the Protectorates is an evolution of the beliefs in the New Divinity by the Elderkin.   The worship of the New Divinity all but disappeared during the Ascendency  . This time saw the unprecedented fragmentation of belief into thousands of personality cults that resulted in the The Godling Wars   and ultimatelyThe Destruction   .   The Church of the Trinity was formed by the survivors in Refuge in direct response to those calamitous events. This was where the doctrines of the Bound Aspects and the Faceless Saints were formed, along with the Central Heresy that attempted to enforce limits on the interpretations of faith and divine power within Refuge and ever since.

Tenets of Faith

The core truths of the Church of the Trinity:   Truth of Unity
The Three Aspects of the Divine are One. The Aspects are Creator, Preserver and Destroyer.   Truth of Service
All things live to serve the greater good, and will benefit from that in turn.   Truth of Renewal
When someone dies, their soul is reborn, and their physical remains become sustenance for new life.   Truth of Faith
Faith is power. To follow a falsehood is to give it power.    

The Secondary Doctrines

These truths are supported by a number of secondary doctrines.   Doctrine of Requital
The quality of your service to the greater good in one life directly impacts the quality of your next life.   Doctrine of Bound Aspects
There are only three Aspects of the One. To believe in another is to give it power. The Aspects are bound to three to prevent the Multitude.   Doctrine of Faceless Saints
Without a face, the multitude are but mirrors of the Three. All heroes and saints must remain faceless to prevent the Multitude.  

Heresies

The rules to prevent what the Church sees as the greatest risk inherent in all religions on Shadowfire.   The Central Heresy of Proliferation
No-one can create new Aspects of the Divine other than the Three. Those who claim to, are worshipping demons and risk the Multitude.   The Multitude
The greatest of all sins that would arise if the Central Heresy is allowed to spread unchecked. This is what the Church of the Trinity was established to prevent - a repeat of the Godling Wars and another Destruction.

Priesthood

The structure of the Trinity is hierarchical, but interpretations of the Doctrine of the Faceless Saints means that the identity of every priest across the entire structure of the Church remains unknown. They all wear masks whenever they appear in public or in any official form. If a priest's identity is ever revealed then they can no longer be a part of the priesthood.   The seniority of each priest is symbolised by the masks they wear. The plain cloth masks of the acolytes, up to the ornate masks of the high council made from precious and magical metals.

Granted Divine Powers

There is no denying the central truth that faith is power.   Priests often travel within the lands of the Protectorates, and even as Missionaries beyond, providing healing services to people in need. The most gifted among them have been known to prevent the passing-on of a soul, or being able to guide and quicken the soul's journey towards a desired rebirth.   Others have been known to channel more destructive magics - the wrath of the Destroyer - as avenging warriors, or the gentle guile of Preserver in manipulating the minds of people, alleviating anxieties, or even removing the memory of trauma.  

Divine powers beyond the Church

Many who have been granted divine powers are priests of the Church, but many are not.  The Maskless will often retain powers, and many people with faith in the Trinity will exhibit powers with mo formal ties to the Church.  Those not part of the Church usually practice in secret, for fear of being tracked down as Heretics.

Sects

The Faithful

  The dogmatic core of the Trinity priesthood seeks to subsume and destroy other faiths across the world of Shadowfire in support of the Doctrine of Bound Aspects.   Due to this, they have supported the Protectorates invasion of the Brightweld Mountains and Uferbrech, and agitate for more aggressive measures against the many faiths they see across the other lands.   Most seek to do so through peaceful conversion, but there are elements which pursue and support more militarised and coercive measures.  

The Maskless

There are incidents where a priest has become unmasked, whether by choice, accident or against their will. If their faith remains strong, and they have not been fully excommunicated, they can remain aligned to the Church as one of the Maskless.   While not official priests, some of these retain considerable influence amongst the priesthood. Controversially, some will skirt the very tenets of the faith and become celebrities and public spokespeople for church-related matters across the Protectorates.  

The Unbounded

There is a growing splinter-group of priests and academics within the Church who seek to overturn the Doctrine of Bound Aspects. The are horrified at the violence that has been performed in the name of the Church across Uferbrech, and seek a more inclusive way for the faiths of the world to co-exist. The members tread lightly and risk unmasking or even full excommunication.  

Cabal worship

Despite the Church of the Trinity's best attempts, there is a large swathe of citizens across the Protectrates who pay regular homage to the Heroes of the Cabal , which borders on open worship.   The Church has tried to quell and subsume this worship by calling them Saints of the Trinity, and ensuring all statues remain faceless across the lands it has influence. However, many people still carry with them trinkets of worship, or keep hidden shrines in their homes.
Type
Religious, Organised Religion
Alternative Names
The Church of the Trinity, The Faceless
Permeated Organizations

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