Church of Athena
The Church of Athena is one of the largest religious organizations in Totania. Located in the city of Gremont, it’s influence is felt throughout most of the Human kingdom.
Origins of the ChurchThe Church of Athena was founded before Humanity appeared on Totania by the Giant Kingdom. The Giants worshipped three Gods, Athena, Leigong, and the Nameless God. At the time, this God was not nameless, but once the Giant's civilization fell, most records of him were wiped out. The final nail in this God's coffin was his defeat and death at the hands of a party of God-killers. The only records of this nameless God that remain are in the Church of Athena, where the Giants originally worshiped all three of their Gods together. Major worship of Leigong, after their fall, split off and segmented, while the nameless God was gone, leaving only Athena as the major deity mentioned in the Church. Goblins took over the Northern part of Elone, where the Church is, after the Giants. Due to worshipping a God of War, the Goblins tried to dismantle the Church once, but upon realizing how truly massive it is, the Goblins instead decided to party within its walls, as dismantling it would have taken centuries. When Humans arrived on Totania, thanks to the clearing of Goblins by the first Court Wizard Varth Dreamless, all of the territory once owned by Giants and Goblins was now theirs for the taking. It was Eden Zunno who first found the Church of Athena. Zunno was a young man who wanted to go further than Nerodil, so he went East. There, he found the Church of Athena. It was a gigantic structure, one of the few full structures that still remained from the Giants. He recognized it as a place of worship and respected it on his visit. It was when Zunno saw what Athena preached that he decided to stay there. Zunno had seen how difficult settling a civilization could be, yet Athena's teachings spoke of civilization, law, and invention. The foundation of a new society was found right in Athena's text. Much of Humanity soon followed behind Zunno, and Athena became the most worshipped God by a majority of the Human population.
TeachingsAthena's Holy Text is chronicled in a golden book with red lettering on it, known as "The Foundation." This book features all of her major lessons and preachings. The most important teaching in it is as follows:
“Your belief is your foundation. It must never shake, because if it shakes, every part that is your being as a Follower of Athena and as a Person can crumble.”Belief in Athena is central to everything, and loyalty to her is desired above all else. With the worship of Athena, many paths are opened. One of these paths is that of magic. Magic is seen as a gift of Athena, and is to be cherished by those that have it. Another path is that of family, as worship is central to a tight-knit family unit. Disobeying Athena's teachings is believed to make rebellious children and unfaithful spouses. Another foundational teaching of Athena is conformity. Conforming to laws is standard for a Goddess of Law, as. itis necessary for a lawful society.
The Church of Athena technically worships three Gods. First among them is Athena, the mother. She is the Goddess of Civilization, Invention, and Law. Then, there is Leigong, the father, God of Battle and Strength. Then there is the Holy Ghost, a nameless God who is long since dead. The Church of Athena views these three Gods as extensions of Athena herself. They believe that to truly build a perfect society, one must have the strength necessary and know when to battle. This is where Leigong's teachings are introduced. The Jihdi Temple of Leigong in Baoying is known to distance itself from Athena's teachings, saying it is a heretical way of viewing their God, but they applaud them for trying. The Nameless God has no followers, and little is known about him other than the fact that he created the Giants. He is viewed as the end of Civilization, and the symbol of what to avoid when running society. He is worshipped out of fear, believing that prayers to that version of Athena can prevent ruin.
Other GodsThe Holy Trinity is not, however, the only Gods that are believed to be part of Athena. As a matter of fact, the Church teaches that all Gods are, in some way or another, an extension of Athena and must be respected. However, worship of those Gods or intermingling in any way with them is frowned upon by most worshippers and even outright banned in the Church itself.