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Church of Erathis

The Church of Erathis 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 Church

The Church of Erathis was founded before Humanity appeared on Totania by the Giant Kingdom. The Giants worshipped three Gods, Erathis, Kord, and a nameless God. At the time, this God was 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.
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Eden Zunno by Jarhed
  The only records of this nameless God that remain are in the Church of Erathis, where the Giants originally worshiped all three of their Gods together. Major worship of Kord, after their fall, split off and segmented, while the nameless God was gone, leaving only Erathis 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 Erathis. Zunno was a young man who wanted to go further than Nerodil, so he went East. There, he found the Church of Erathis. 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 Erathis preached that he decided to stay there. Zunno had seen how difficult settling a civilization could be, yet Erathis's teachings spoke of civilization, law, and invention. The foundation of a new society was found right in Erathis's text.   Much of Humanity soon followed behind Zunno, and Erathis became the most worshipped God by a majority of the Human population.  

Teachings

Erathis'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 Erathis and as a Person can crumble.”
Belief in Erathis is central to everything, and loyalty to her is desired above all else. With the worship of Erathis, many paths are opened.   One of these paths is that of magic. Magic is seen as a gift of Erathis, 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 Erathis's teachings is believed to make rebellious children and unfaithful spouses.   Another foundational teaching of Erathis is conformity. Conforming to laws is standard for a Goddess of Law, as. itis necessary for a lawful society.

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Cross of Erathis by Yumedatchi
The Holy Trinity

The Church of Erathis technically worships three Gods. First among them is Erathis, the mother. She is the Goddess of Civilization, Invention, and Law. Then, there is Kord, the father, God of Battle and Strength. Then there is the Holy Ghost, a nameless God who is long since dead.   The Church of Erathis views these three Gods as extensions of Erathis herself. They believe that to truly build a perfect society, one must have the strength necessary and know when to battle. This is where Kord's teachings are introduced. The Jihdi Temple of Kord in Baoying is known to distance itself from Erathis'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 Erathis can prevent ruin.  

Other Gods

The Holy Trinity is not, however, the only Gods that are believed to be part of Erathis. As a matter of fact, the Church teaches that all Gods are, in some way or another, an extension of Erathis 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.
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Erathis's teachings, however, go beyond this. Her teachings wish for all people to conform in various ways that are up to interpretation but have led some zealots to attempt to make everyone conform with their ideas of how Erathis wants people to be.   Zealotry is common in the Church of Erathis, which has led some to call the Church corrupt. Many who say this do not live long, and are purged as heathens. Heathens are mentioned in the Foundation, as Erathis says that Heathens are those that do not believe in Erathis.   Yet the Foundation also states to forgive Heathens if they are not harmful and still conform to helping build a functional society. Interpretation of this text has led to loose definitions of these terms, but it is still followed, even if in a vague way.   Another important aspect of Erathis's teachings are her holy items, Erathis's Brick that grants Structure Magic, as well as the Cross of Erathis, which forces people to listen to rules in a fight. These are both enchanted items with Erathis's power, believed to be given only to her chosen. Those who carry these items are the carriers of Erathis's will, or so the Foundation says.  

Priesthood

Priests of Erathis do not choose to become Priests. Instead, they are taken in by the Church at a young age. Those with magic in nearby Human settlements to Gremont, where the Church itself is, are kidnapped and taken into a sort of slavery to become Priests.   Many believe they are brainwashed in some way to want to stay there, while others believe that they are being forced to stay. Few runaways have refused to comment, or are perhaps not able to comment. Those that know of the Priesthood situation with Erathis think negatively of it, yet do not try and change anything. Those with magic simply attempt to hide this fact from the Church.
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Ram Rodraz by Jarhed
  Priests are forced into a dress code where they have uniforms to wear. This uniform is red and gold, consisting of various swirling patterns on the robe. The Red represents the blood of life that makes up the foundation of a body, and the gold represents the light of invention and progress that keeps the world moving forward.   Head Priests of Erathis are known to be very outgoing, visiting Human settlements often. They do checks on different people, going down a register of all known followers and visiting them. Once they have visited everyone, which can often take years, they begin again.   These checks are believed to be to search for mages and those disobeying Erathis's teachings. It is also to spread Erathis's word and keep her in the minds of her followers, as well as to spread the news to less connected followers who may seclude themselves from the world.   Followers of Erathis revere and fear the Priests, who often wear masks and blindfolds when out and about (aside from the Head Priest and his coalition of High Priests).   High Priests are appointed by the Head Priest as potential successors, ones with strong views on the Church's future and how to build it further. The Church always wants progress, so varying opinions are welcomed, though many Head Priests do not listen to the High Priests.  

Sainthood

The Church of Erathis also has Saints, notable figures in the history of the Church that have done great deeds for the Church and Humanity in general.   Of these Saints, Eden Zunno is one. He is called the Saint of Discovery. Another is the Fire Giant known as Agnaus, who built the Church, who is the Saint of Creation.   Further Saints include:
  • Fizar Nun (Saint of Communication)- She was the first to translate the entire Foundation into common from Giant, going through various ancient texts to fully understand the lost language of the Giants.
  • Grol Shetsk (Saint of Invention)- Grol Shetsk was a famous inventor who created many inventions central to Humanity, such as the caravel ship.
  • Alpha Prime (Saint of Law)- Alpha Prime was the first Human Judge of the World Court, and is thusly believed to be the inheritor of Erathis's will of law.
  • Rardan Remon (Saint of the Sea)- The first Human to make a round trip around Elone in a ship (Technically he was on land around the Great Dip, but aside from that he made a full round trip).
  • Carvoll Pyrewood (Saint of the Sky)- The first Human to grasp wind magic to the level of achieving flight. She built a statue of Herself above the Church, and were recognized as a saint for teaching others her technique and boosting Humanity to new heights.
  • Sovus Riz (Saint of Land)- They mapped out Elone and gave the map to the Church. Their map was not complete, as it was a rough outline and did not feature any landmarks in the desert, but it was enough to rocket them to sainthood for their contribution.
  • Choril Rhimman (Saint of Foundation)- She was a structure mage that helped build up Martinau.
All of these Saints are featured on stained glass windows in the Church building, and many even have statues and ceremonies in their honor every year.  

The Structure

The actual Church of Erathis building is in the coastal city of Gremont, the invention capital of the World. It is a ridiculously large structure, almost half the size of the city itself, as it was built to be a common place for Giants to visit. The doors alone are said to "be able to fit the entirety of Humanity at once." This is believed to be an exaggeration to suit Erathis's will and teachings, but no one has ever tested it, so it is possible.   The building is ornate, golden and decorated from top to bottom in over-the-top items of worship. As mentioned above, the windows are stained glass pictures of Saints, and the walls between the windows feature some important moments in Human history.  

Rebellious Forces

For as beloved as Erathis is, her Church can be controversial, especially when it comes to who leads it. Many question the current Head Priest, Ram Rodraz, for his interesting choices. Chief among them is Murphy S. Law, a farm boy who was lucky enough to escape his village to the Magic College before being recruited as a priest. He had many run-ins with Ram, who tried to force Murphy to join him.
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Murphy S Law by RationallyUpset
  While Ram was bestowed with the Cross of Erathis, Murphy has the brick. These two men, with clashing ideologies, are both considered Erathis's chosen. It is unclear who is truly the chosen one, but each has sworn to fight the other again.   Ram claims that they will meet again, and that Murphy will join the priesthood. He has even killed people Murphy has gotten close to, saying they were roadblocks, but now serve as building blocks that will be the foundation of a new, perfect civilization.   Murphy, for his part, has sworn as well. He swore to take out the "False Prophet" Ram Rodraz and make the Church how it should be. The two men are destined to clash, and it is anyone's guess who truly carries the will of Erathis.   Another rebellious force towards the Church of Erathis is that of a former Priest known as Mebror Dosse, who also attends the Magic College. He escaped his chains and looked to reclaim his magic to get back at the Gods, who he sees as a sham. He became disillusioned in the Gods after seeing that it seemed that Erathis rewarded Ram for bringing children into slavery as her priests.   Mebror's plans are unknown, but the fact that he still wears the robes of a priest shows that he is not intending to hide or sit idly by. Mebror Dosse's plans are most certainly building, and both he and Murphy seem to be headed on a collision course towards conflict with the Church of Erathis.


Cover image: by Tama66

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