Struggles against the Church of Order Military Conflict in Thræsh's Hold | World Anvil

Struggles against the Church of Order

This article concerns itself with some of the ways dissident groups or heretics have attempted to fight back against the Church of Order over the centuries of its existence.  

Part One - Witches

  Due to the nature of their philosophies, Witches face a veritable Goliath in the form of the Inquisition and the Church backing it. Witches, do not adhere to a single organizing body and some don't even share a creed. Essentially, a Witch can perhaps count on her personal contacts or friends, most commonly her students and/or mentors, to come to her aid, but beyond that she is on her own.   So, the question is, how do they fight back against the Inquisition? To start with, the main mode of operations is to simply avoid open conflict alltogether. If they do not actively try to get the Churches attention, Witches living in sparsely populated areas can simply avoid having to deal with Inquisitors alltogether. Unfortunately, sometimes the Church has something to prove or is trying to tighten its hold on the local area and is actively pursuing this often dormant conflict of faith versus tradition.    

Deescalation and Friction

  If avoiding detection by the Inquisition is no longer an option, the next possible route a Witch can take is to deescalate the confrontation by simply choosing a new home somewhere else or she can increase the amount of effort required by the Church to accomplish any of the steps along the way. If identifying, tracking, finding, capturing and finally killing the Witch each takes significant effort on behalf of the Inquisitors, eventually they may find that they are expending too many resources for their goal. Each step along the way is an additional point where small actions or behaviours by the Witch can disproportionately increase the amount of work required by the other side.  

Escalation and Deterrence

  As a final resort, a Witch that is unable to avoid her divine punishment by the Inquisition can make use of one last retaliation. She can have her Familiar or another ally mark her murderer by the Thrash, which will brand them for all other witches as an irredeemable enemy.  

Part Two - Heretics

  Though technically Witches are also heretical by nature, it makes sense to separate them from other heretics. Depending on the region in question, there are those who still cling to older faiths than that of the true Gods of Order, who refuse to convert even under the pressures extended by the largest church of this world.   These unbelievers have several choices, though which one is wisest for their position depends very much on the influence the Church already has in their lands. Those living far away from the larger population centers of the world, in small, backwater villages or at the fringes of the larger Kingdoms have little to fear of the might of the church and as such can even afford to be openly hostile to preachers sent by the new faith. Some simply drive the priests out of their communities, while others may even make martyrs out of them.   Those living under greater scrutiny by the church or close enough that a larger bishopric may send more manpower their way if they cause legitimate concern, have to tread more carefully and most often simply oppose the preachings of the Church with their own, while remaining more civil and at most resorting to civil disobedience.   Lastly, those living in fully converted areas, where the Churches supporters have all the power, must take their worship into secrecy, keeping their faith alive out of the eyes of the Inquisition, hoping against hope that one day the Church may become more lenient of other faiths.  

Part Three - Fae

  While a clear minority in terms of sheer quantity, Fae interactions with the church are always hostile by nature. Due to the opposed cosmology of the Divine and Thrash, Fae are natural born enemies of the Divine beings that are worshipped by the Church of order. Because of this the churches pursuit and hunt of all things Fae is one of the longest and bloodiest conflicts in history.   Because of this inherited animosity, all fae will try to undermine the work of the church wherever they can, be that by leading mortals off the familiar trodden path or by defacing the image of the gods, specifically their seals.

Cover image: by Ninodonlord (via Midjourney)


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Jan 20, 2024 11:05 by Lia Felis

Nice article, thank you!

Aspiring fantasy writer and part-time Dungeon Master. Dragon Goddess of Evera.