Conquest of the New World
The Vaticine Church of the Prophets
The Reformed Vaticine Church remains the most powerful and dominant religion in Euros. Its creed comes from the teachings of three Prophets; each claiming the world was created by a single deity as a riddle for humanity to solve. The closer we come to solving the riddle, the better we will understand the mind of God. The Church also holds that a fourth Prophet will someday emerge, casting all of existence into a cosmic struggle for the souls of humanity. Two holy texts, the Vaticine Book of Common Prayer and the Book of the Prophets, are the groundwork for Church doctrine and practice.
The Church has currently fallen upon difficult times. Allegations of corruption and greed have turned many away from its authority. The Hierophant, the head of the Church, died in 1666, and one of the Cardinals directly beneath him disappeared under mysterious circumstances… as did the archbishops beneath him. Until a replacement is chosen, the Cardinals cannot elect a new Hierophant, leaving the Vaticine without an effective leader.
In the vacuum of power, the Inquisition – charged with rooting out enemies of the Church – has gained more and more authority. Under the fanatical leadership of Cardinal Esteban Verdugo, it has become obsessed with destroying heretics and punishing sinners, all for the greater glory of God. Verdugo feels he must be cruel to be kind and will sacrifice as many people as necessary to ultimately save their souls.
The Objectionist Reformers
In 1517 AV, an Eisen monk named Matthias Lieber presented a list of inflammatory questions to the annual Diet in Castille, challenging every notion of Church authority and calling for widespread reform. He was excommunicated immediately, but fled to his homeland before a death sentence could be served. He translated the Book of the Prophets into Eisen and a new religious movement, dubbed Objectionism, came into being. Objectionism embraces the same basic tenets as the Vaticines, but feels that the Church is not needed as an arbitrator between God and humanity. Priests cannot absolve sins and the Church cannot perform miracles; those abilities belong to God alone. Therefore, humanity should appeal directly to their Creator for absolution and guidance, not some mortal institution acting as His proxy.
The Church of Avalon
In 1622 AV, King Richard IV of Avalon asked the Church for permission to divorce his wife and was denied. The act prompted Richard to pass the Act of Supremacy, establishing a new religion with himself at the head. Forty years later, Queen Elaine solidified his defiance when she refused “to acknowledge the Castillian right to rule Avalon”. The subsequent Church of Avalon has come to reflect the unique perspective of the Glamour Isles. Theologically, it falls somewhere between the Vaticine and Objectionist beliefs. Priests have honored the Sidhe by officially accepting the ancient superstitions as “a part of God’s puzzle”, along with relaxing a number of other, less popular, beliefs. Faithful followers of the Church often refer to themselves as “Vaticine without all the bother”.
The Ussuran Orthodoxy
Literally meaning “right worship” or “right teaching”, the Ussuran Orthodox Church was the first institution to break away from the Vaticine Church. It rejects the teachings of all Prophets after the First and holds that the First Prophet paid a visit to Matushka before appearing in Numa. His eloquent words caused Matushka to awaken and cast her magical blessing over the Ussuran people. Orthodoxy views the coming Fourth Prophet in an entirely different light than the Vaticines. He is called Legion’s Prophet and will turn the arrant Vaticine Church into a tool for the powers of darkness.
The Orthodox Church uses a unique holy text, a compilation of all the writings of the Prophet’s Nine Witnesses, unedited in a single volume. It is called the Orthodox Canon of the Prophet and has never been changed or updated in any fashion since its initial assembly.