RiversLtBlue   THE RELIGIOUS FAITHS AND
IDEOLOGIES OF VARZUUN

FAITH AND FERVOUR

THE CHURCH MILITANT: DEFENDING THE FAITH
On Varzuun, there exist several orders of knights whose purpose is to defend Varzuun, her peoples, and the faithful against whatever attacks they may face, be it war, pestilence, the Abominations, or heresies. These well-trained people are capable and willing to defend to the death, if necessary.

THE POWER OF BELIEF: SACRED MAGIC
Over the millennia, many of the clerics, priests & lay followers of Ā-nak have been cited to have cast spells and performed miracles, drawing their power directly from their great deity Himself or from the hierarchy of celestial beings in His service. Contrast with Arcane magic.

MYSTICISM AND RITUAL: ARCANE MAGIC
Of late, a strange cult has arisen around a powerful but long-dead wizard, the Rubann Dharmuzz. Sanctus Dharmuzz, as his followers refer to him, was believed to draw the power behind his great magic directly from the world itself and the ancient secrets hidden within. His followers teach these secrets to their (necessarily) select few wizards and mages who show talent for the magic arts. Contrast with Sacred Magic.

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SACRED SPACES AND PLACES OF WORSHIP
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From Druid’s groves to magical temples to lofty cathedral to the forbidden zones, Varzuun is peppered with places of preternatural power and spiritual significance; places held in reverence and awe by her many sentient beings.

DOCTRINE AND DOGMA

Ā-NAK AND THE "TRUE CHURCH":
Most followers of Ā-nak belong to one major well-organized world-wide church, sometimes called the Corpus Fidelis (The Body Faithful). This body is lead from the top down and the principles of the faith are universally taught (and enforced) throughout the land. The Maedar are also fervent followers of Ā-nak. They have a similar church structure in Suternia, though the Humans largely do not know it exists.

DRAGONS AND THE DRAKEN KNIGHTS:
Far and away, the most powerful clerical and military order of knights has to be the Drakens. Flying into combat on the backs of fire-breathing dragons gave these once-gallant warriors an insurmountable advantage over even the most terrifying of the Abominations, but when valour and lofty ideals give way to complacency, arrogance, and apathy, even the most virtuous of orders can fall from grace an become moribund. Can a new draken, born of prophecy, come along and revive their legendary glory?

MAGIC AND THE CULT OF SANCTUS DHARMUZZ:
The followers of this mystic wizard practice their arcane arts in secret, and often run afoul of many of the more militant knightly orders, who believe them to be a heretical (and dangerous) cult.

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‹—     The dominant religious institution on Varzuun: the Official Church of Ā-nak (Corpus Fidelis):

          The dominant religion & institution for Humans all over Varzuun is The Church of Ā-nak. Most humans who follow Ā-nak worship in the Church of Ā-nak, at one of the many great churches, cathedrals, or basilicas that pepper the landscape.


The Hierarchical leadership structure
within the Church of Ā-nak:
The PRIMUS and The SECUNDI     —›

          The supreme leader of the Great Church of Ā-nak is known as The Primus. His position is solitary, his power is absolute, and his word is beyond contestation. His rulings and decrees, called Nuncios, go out throughout all Varzuun and are usually rigorously enforced. The most qualified person is elected to this position by his peers, and remains there for life. Within the Primacy, the Primus is sometimes called The Supreme Ordinal.

          Ranked number two in succession to the Primus are The Secundi. These four are also elected for life, or until a new Primus must be chosen, at which point, one Secundus will be chosen by peers to move up and become the new Primus. Within the Primacy, the Secundi are sometimes called The Arch-Ordinals.
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‹— The Hierarchical leadership structure
within the Church of Ā-nak:
The TERTII, QUATERNII, and QUINTERNII

          Ranked number three in power are The Tertii. There are twenty-seven such leaders throughout Varzuun. Note: The number of people in each position is based on the formula N=Xx, where X is the rank of power; Thus, 1 Primus, 4 Secundi, 27 Tertii, 256 Quaternii, 3125 Quinternii. Within the Primacy, a Tertius is sometimes called a Sub-Ordinal

          Ranked fourth in succession are The Quaternii. These 256, appointed to indefinite terms, are oft-times called The High Priests (or High Priestesses)

          Ranked fifth are The Quinternii. These 3125, appointed to five-year renewable terms, are usually called Priests (or Priestesses).


Mainstream Clerical & knightly orders
alongside the Church of Ā-nak:     —›

          Several prominent orders are extant throughout Varzunn. Among them The Justiciars (Enforcers) {Flavius & Branco are members}, The Ranulphites (Healers) {Culhane & Bronwyn}, The Mellusines (Defense) {Cyrena}
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‹—     The Draken Knights:
the Official Defenders of Varzuun

          The most powerful quasi-religious institution in all Varzuun is clearly The legendary Draken knights and their fabled Dragons. The Draken Knights for centuries enforced the uneasy peace between the three great races. Now all but a remnant, the Drakens and their dragons once protected all Varzuun against the abominations.

          Korvalis is the legendary striped dragon foretold by the ancient prophecies of Varzuun, ridden by the young Draken Knight Draven Valencourt, formerly squire to the knight Flavius Franciscus. Will Draven and Korvalis restore the Draken Knights to their former glory?



The Rise and Fall of the
Legendary Draken Knights     —›

          Have the Drakens become a moribund order? Over the centuries, the drakens have grow fat off taxes. Complacency, arrogance, and apathy have led to their dwindling numbers and fall from popularity. Their once-great image as the defenders of all Varzuun has given way to an image of pride and self-righteousness. With the rise of other orders such as the justiciars, can the Drakens right their foundering ship and regain their former glory?
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‹— The Temple of St. Dharmuzz in the holy city of Taarnekh-Loash, at Corythandra.

The MOST sacred site for those who venerate The Rubann Dharmuzz as a "saint". Members of the cult make pilgrimage here from all parts of Varzuun, in hopes the "Saint" will embue them with magical ability. Practitioners of ARCANA (Physical magic) also come here from all lands and climes to study their craft. The Church of Ānak considers the Dharmuzzians to be a heretical cult.









Inside the Temple of the Dharmuzzians     —›

          Here, the followers of Saint Dharmuzz learn and teach the arcane art of magic in a cult-like atmosphere. Draven pays a visit to the Headmaster in an attempt to gain an audience with the Potentate Reticulus V, Grand Vizier of the Temple of the Rubann Dharmuzz.
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‹— Pagan and other non-Ānakite Organisations:
The Druids, viDruids, and others

Druids, and other groups that do not follow Ā-nak, including cults malevolant and benign, are extant across Varzuun. Notably among them, the viDruid commune at Kilravock, in Scrantinon. Lead by the lovely & charming MÜ'n'Dru (Pronounced "Moon-Drew") this tribe of total pacifists will not take part in any combat or war.









Evil cults and temples
opposing the Church of Ā-nak     —›

          There will always be enemies of the Church and State. Here, the followers of the monstrous Arch-Liches Morbulus & Hachmöse learn and teach their dark magic and sinister machinations in cult-like temples cropping up across the face of Varzuun.
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