The Rise of The Fallen
The Great Church
The Great Church of The White Lady and The Nine Heroes
Philosophy of Peace, Civilization, Family, and The Sun
Alignment: Lawful Good. The church’s emphasis of family and community pushes it strongly towards Law.
Domains: Protection, Sun, Civilization
Symbol: The Great Church‘s most recognized symbol is The Crescent, a semi-circular crescent transfixed by a single line. This symbol grew out of an ancient tale representing the dawn’s triumph over darkness. Clerics of the Great Church are enjoined against bloodshed (though not actual pacifism), so the preferred weapon of the Great Church is the mace or maul. Paladins in the Great Church’s service tend to prefer the longsword.
Description: The Great Church of Kelsenon is the dominant religion of Alrahon and Elondaron. It was the state religion of the Kelsenon Empire, venerating the worship of The Nine Heroes above all other gods, and casting The Seven Devils as their main adversary.
The Great Church is pantheistic, regarding each of the Nine Heroes as worthy of worship and veneration, though it places The White Lady Cyra Morywn above all as “The Queen of the Gods”. It recognizes the validity of The Elemental Titans and The Four Sisters, but does not require its members to make sacrifices to those gods. It treats pantheons from other regions of the world with much less respect, as it places the Nine Heroes as the stewards of all the other immortals.
Over the centuries, The Great Church has become synonymous with the worship of The White Lady, while the other deities have their own temples and differing traditions. Since the fall of Kelsenon, the Great Church has lost influence, and temples to individual deities are growing ever more common in the Young Kingdoms. The Dawnbreakers actively reject the unified structure of the Great Church, claiming that it focuses more on its own interests and power than on promoting the true work of Cyra Morwyn. As its reach shrinks, the Great Church struggles to remain relevant to modern mortals.
Still, the influence of the Great Church on all the faiths derived from The Nine Heroes is still felt, even if those practices have diverged from the root.
The holy canon of the Great Church is The Book of The Sun and Stars, which consists of two parts. The Book of Stars is a retelling of The History of Erithor, and is the history portion of the work. The Book of the Sun, the later half, contains the teachings, doctrine, and tenets of the faith. The basic tenets are:
- Obey the church’s law and respect doctrine and tradition, even above the laws of the land, for the Laws of Heaven are more pure and just than the laws of man.
- Demonstrate truthfulness, loyalty, and steadfast devotion to a rightful cause. Do good in all your works and deeds.
- Work with others to achieve your goals. Community and order are always stronger than the disjointed efforts of lone individuals.
- Tame the wilderness to make it fit for habitation, and defend the light of civilization against the encroaching darkness.
The holy warriors dedicated to The Great Church are known as The Knights Paladin, and it is from this order that the word “Paladin” has become synonymous with “holy warrior” throughout Alrahon and Elondaron. The Code of the Paladin is perhaps the most famous and well known knight code in the lands of the former Kelsenon Empire. The Knights Paladin are enjoined to:
- Uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice.
- Be constantly vigilant against evil and oppose it on all fronts.
- Protect the weak, liberate the oppressed, and defend just order.