Holy Church of Achaea

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The Holy Church of Achaea, based in the Chrysalis Basilica within Shallam, was an organisation dedicated to the ideals of Good. Guided by the Codex of Light bestowed upon them by the Gods Pentharian, Lorielan, and Tarah, the Church strove to uphold Righteousness, Order, and Light while opposing Evil, Darkness, and Chaos. Two Houses, the Templars and the Empyreal Assembly, formed the bulk of Church membership along with the Imithians who were from other Houses or no House at all.

History

According to legend, the Church was founded by Imithia, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Pasiphae, when she held the Rite of Ending to both commemorate the life and mourn the death of the last of the Offspring. Though originally composed of a few devout friends of Imithia, the Church grew slowly, eventually giving birth to the Templars and Priests. Though much different from their modern-day counterparts, they each played important parts in the functioning of the ancient Church.

Though based in the Delosian Basilica, the Church had many branches and chapels in other cities, including the Minorus Basilica in Ashtan and the Tower of the Luminai in Shallam. The Luminai were a scholastic sect; the most ardent opponents of the ancient Occultists and guided the Church's fight against them. Though denied by the Church, the Occultists claim that the Luminai and the Church perpetrated many injustices against them, including torture and the destruction of their scholarly texts. The Luminai, likewise, claim that the Occultists were responsible for the arson that destroyed their tower within Shallam. One member of the ancient Luminai who survives today, Sir Gladius, is the former bloodsworn of the priestess-turned-Goddess of the Sun, Mithraea.

The Church was responsible for many of the highways within Sapience, built under the Archprelacy of Raphael I. Through their construction, continental commerce was improved, travel hastened, and the Church was able to extend its influence to a greater degree within Ashtan and Shallam. It sponsored the building of outposts and chapels in all of the great cities as well as Tenwat and New Hope. The Church held great influence within the Seleucarian Empire whose founder, Nicator, the Church named Fire Saint. It had blessed the coronation of every ruler of the empire; an absence of this blessing was seen as a sign of disfavour from the Gods, and on one occasion prevented the immediate accession of Prince Mycale after the death of King Valerias. While it often placed itself as a neutral mediator, healing wounds physical and political during the world's conflict, its influence tended to wane greatly in Ashtan though it continued into modern times in Shallam.

Other Church notables include:

Modern Times

The Modern Age saw the relocation of the Church's base of operations from Delos to Shallam by the Logos, and the renaming of the Templars guild to the Paladins Guild. Later both guilds became Houses and went through bouts of renaming and reform. The Church became a subordinate but essential part of Shallamese government, an arrangement which not only contributed to a heightened spirituality and strengthened force of arms but also political embroilment over time.

Miraman 24th, 568 AF saw the end of the Church era. A string of miraculous signs in the six city-states followed a prophecy by Imithia, leading to divine symbols appearing in the air above the Chrysalis Basilica and Shallamese Royal Palace, creating a silent explosion which bathed Sapience in its incandescence. A spire of emerald appeared in its afterglow, dubbed the Citadel of Light, a symbol of the union of church and state. The Citadel itself was destroyed along with the rest of Shallam in 612 AF.

The Church's influence settled into Cyrene for over two centuries in the form of the Ordine Vashnar Lumeni, a community of Cyrenian devotion users. After the fall of Shallam, it continued through the founding of Targossas until the Bloodsworn Gods abolished the order in the 630s.

Prelates

The Church was lead by a council of three Prelates who selected an Archprelate to serve as their chief. The three prelates were the Mayan Prelate, House Lord of the Empyreal Assembly; the Justiciar Prelate, House Lord of the Templars; and the Imithian Prelate, who was chosen by the Divine Patron of the Church.

Archprelates

# Name Term Comments
1 Isildur 223-276 First modern Archprelate
2 Brigit 276-293
3 Aldair 293-334 Longest serving Archprelate
4 Dru 334-360
5 Roncli 360-379
6 Meri 379-386
7 Keturah 386-405
8 Meri 405-408
9 Arithorn 408-426
10 Torain 426-453
11 Tanaar 453-457
12 Rho 457-470
13 Verrucht 470-481
14 Meleah 481-482
15 Silas 482-496
16 Ellodin 496-502
17 Runa 502-508
18 Palanor 508-519
19 Mathonwy 519-540
20 Lachlan 540-546
20 Colgano 546-568 Last Archprelate

Imithian Prelates

# Name Term Comments
1 Brinn 285-298 First Imithian Prelate
2 Kyrienne 298-319
3 Alpine 319-340
4 Starrsong 340-368
5 Itkovian 368-400 Longest serving Imithian Prelate
6 Solontus 400-423
7 Julya 423-448
8 Tanaar 448-453
9 Vivienne 453-467
10 Lachlan 467-498
11 Zenui 498-503
12 Quoren 503-519 Resigned in order to serve as Mayan Prelate.
13 Sethai 521-528
14 Azor 528-542 Defected to Mhaldor
15 Colgano 542-546 Appointed Archprelate
16 Ferrous 546-568 Last Imithian Prelate

For a list of Mayan Prelates, see the list of the Patriarchs/Matriarchs of Angels of the Empyreal Assembly. For a list of Justiciar Prelates, see the list of Grand Champions of the Innocent of the Templars.

The coat of arms of the modern Church of Achaea was a trio of interlocked silver rings on a field of blue, representing its priestly caste, its templar arm, and its foreign congregation of laymembers.

See also