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Embassies: Catholic, United Empire of Islam, Eastern Roman Empire, Right to Life, Catholicism, Israel, Coalition of Catholic States, The Illuminati, The Bar on the corner of every region, Valkia, United Imperial Union, and The First French Empire.
Res Publica Catholicae Borgiae contains 4 nations.
Today's World Census Report
The Rudest Citizens in Res Publica Catholicae Borgiae
World Census experts telephoned citizens from all nations at just before dinner time, in a study to determine which populations were most brash, rude, or brusque.
As a region, Res Publica Catholicae Borgiae is ranked 2,032nd in the world for Rudest Citizens.
|1.||The Senate and People of Orrovia||Conservative Democracy||“Triumphatrīx sit Maris Rēgīna”|
|2.||The Sole and Holy Papacy of Il Borgia Vaticano||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“We Borgia are always threatened, and always survive.”|
|3.||The Crown of Vegvarak||Inoffensive Centrist Democracy||“Qui translati tamen crescunt”|
|4.||The Kingdom of France et Navarre||Iron Fist Consumerists||“Montjoie Saint Denis!”|
- : The Protectorate of Saint Constable of the region Catholics proposed constructing embassies.
- : Embassy cancelled between Legionary Axis and Res Publica Catholicae Borgiae.
- : Embassy cancelled between The EverLit Torch and Res Publica Catholicae Borgiae.
- : The Join Lily of 117th Catgirl Division of the region The EverLit Torch ordered the closure of its embassy in Res Publica Catholicae Borgiae.
- : Trabadius ceased to exist.
- : The Grand Diarchic Principality of The Democratic Unionist Cool Kids of the region BCHS proposed constructing embassies.
- : The Intramarine Realm of Pygania of the region Pecan Sandies proposed constructing embassies.
- : Trabadius arrived from Lazarus.
- : Trabadius tried to enter the region but did not know the password.
- : The Phantasm of Afi-Aftos of the region Fredonia proposed constructing embassies.
Res Publica Catholicae Borgiae Regional Message Board
Sorry I got too busy to keep up with your RP. Whatever became of the situation in Italy?
Having a blast right now with CK3 but the major empires are too powerful, Byzantium and the HRE are invading and converting sub-saharan africa at the moment.
Village of Tenne, Alba region of Palatinus, Holy Trabadian Empire
Two months ago...
"The upper classes keep the system in place so that they do not have to compete with you all for power. They fear you. For every one noble there are one-thousand labourers breaking their backs! While they grow fat you all sheepishly starve yourselves to oblivion! How much longer will you endure?!"
The crowd roared and indignant slurs peppered the swelling of dissent.
"You! How long have you worked in the mines? How long has your father worked in the mines? How long will your sons work in the mines, and their sons? You are a family of slaves!"
Dissent turned into brooding silence.
"Oh look at that. Look at how quiet you have become when faced with the truth! Are you so well trained that when faced with your own condition you shut down? Pathetic, Albani!"
Two green-cloaked men stood in an alleyway and spoke softly to each other. The first to speak raised his head to reveal locks of golden hair escaping from his wide bandana.
"You see it, Caerule? Next is the Nirdame reference."
His colleague, Caerulus Sodalus, glared ahead through his dark blue-tinted hair at the man standing on the crate surrounded by the mob.
"If Nirdame can shed the class system then so too can you all. The Tyrant of Palatinus is a coward and will buckle under the pressure of keeping our rebellion - yes I said rebellion - secret from the Imperator and Senate. To arms! Seize the mines, seize the fields, and topple the class system!"
The blond-haired man put his hands behind his head and sighed.
"Well, he's done it now, Caerule. Old Gaius Rodericus said the r-word. We better head back to Alba before things get out of hand here."
Adacŕ Castle of Alba city, Alba region of Palatinus, Holy Trabadian Empire
"No, no, no! When the mines stop breathing, the eyes of every aristocrat will be drawn to Alba. No! No. This must stop. This must."
"Lord General, diverting the Southern Division army will alert the aristocrats in the north. Raise a militia of new recruits and trainees and squash this peasant uprising under the guise of training exercises. We have enough ore in our stores to make it appear that the mines are still operating. By the time the peasants are dealt with and the mines are re-opened none will be the wiser."
"Brilliant plan, Munense. You have my blessing. Do this. Quickly. Now!"
One hour later...
"And so, I, humble Munensis, servant of His Excellency Godeslas Albequs, Lord General of the Southern Division, hereby order your commission as officers for the purpose of combat readiness drills. Caerulus Sodalus, due to scoring highest on the command examination, you will serve as commander. Flavius Sumvenus will serve as second-in-command. A tactician will be assigned to advise you at the mustering grounds just short of the plains of Tenne. Are there any questions?"
Caerulus saluted, denied having questions, and accepted the baton as seal of office. Flavius received the militia's standard while eyeing the baton in Caerulus' hand.
Militia encampment outside of Tenne, Alba, Kingdom of Palatinus
Inside the campaign tent Caerulus and Flavius somberly crept their eyes over the local map held down by a series of stones.
Caerulus opened his mouth, sighed twice, "What... what do we do?"
Flavius stared blankly ahead. "Well, we kill the rebels."
Caerulus moved his gaze towards the stone representing the enemy camp. "But they're civilians, Flavie. We can't kill the people we're sworn to protect."
Flavius shrugged. "They lost that protection when they rebelled against the Tyrant of Palatinus. Our orders couldn't be more clear." His head still lowered, his raised his eyes and locked Caerulus in his gaze. "You're not... sympathizing with your brethren, are you, Caerule?"
Caerulus let the taunt pass through him and stored it for later. All he could do was maintain his icy stare at Flavius. An eternity passed and Flavius closed his eyes, exhaled out of his nose, and turned his gaze back to the map. A voice like the wind came from the tent entrance.
"Deep in thought, are we?"
The ancient man's chest-length beard hopped upwards as he entered the room smiling with eyes half-closed. His hair was a silvered blue and his grey cloak was clasped by a blue tear drop brooch.
"Sir Gennos Aquas, retired, at your service. The Lord General has sent me here to advise you."
His wrinkled eyes stayed the same as he moved his head to look at each of the two young leaders. He nodded to himself for a while, chuckled warmly and turned to leave. He clasped his hands together and paused, speaking in warm embers.
"You will do this because you are a soldier. You will show mercy because you are human. There's nothing more to consider. Come along now, lads. You have work to do."
Caerulus and Flavius gave each other a conciliatory nod and left the tent just behind Aquas. The men and women had already been drilled and were being moved into position to retake the Tenne mines from the rebels.
Pass of Theodricus; the wilderness near Tenne
Arelis Tarveccainh woke to a dark tent. It felt like morning but the usual glow of sunlight through the cotton of the tent was absent. Just the endless beating of rain that he had fallen asleep to. He got up and began to clothe himself. His cloak was still wet from last night and he shuddered pulling it over his shoulders. Better than nothing.
"It's still raining? This deluge has been going on three days now" said his wife, Sofia, pulling the bed furs over her face in retreat from yet another gloomy day.
"Án" said Arelis, "Sic... I'll make us some tea, but I need to go check the ditches first"
Arelis headed out of the tent and was greeted by a dense fog and sheets of rain. The ditches dug around the tents had done their job overnight, at least. Otherwise the torrents of the past several days would have washed the whole encampment down the side of the mountain. He made his way towards the ditches. Cvalenas was already there, scooping out mounds of mud.
"Arele!" shouted Cvalenas "Come here, let's get this over with"
After what felt like an eternity, Arelis returned to his tent, sloughing off his grimy and waterlogged boots and cloak. He tried to squueze out the water than had inundated his dark-gold hair.
"Hey! Careful where you put those! And come here, I made us some of that tea we picked up in Crenel”
It was a welcome respite from the torrents and muck outside the tent. The tea made the whole tent smell like an Orrovian spice market. Or, at least, what Arelis imagined such a place to smell like. He had never even been as far as Tarventium. He sipped on the tea and relaxed. The world outside the tent could wait for a moment.
It was early afternoon when the hard drumming of rain on the tent slowed to a rythmic pattering. Sofia was drawing herbs in her journal while Arelis chipped away at a flute he was carving. A moment of relief was met by sudden realization of the lazy day's end. With the rain reduced to a drizzle, it was time for the encampment to pack up and move on.
Braidas, the chieftain of their clan, shouted from the outside of the tent. "Arele! This storm's finally letting up, I need some scouts to check the roads up ahead! "
Arelis rose and reached the door of the tent and looked longingly back at it's cozy little world. He met Sofia's green-and-copper eyes as she looked up from her drawings. She smiled.
"Good luck. I'll start packing up."
He went to meet Braidas outside for directions, his feet sinking in the ground - it was still far too soggy for the wagons.
"Cvalenas, you take the path northwest by the mines. Ziedetis, go southeast and check the logging road. And Arelis, I know we were trying to avoid it, but we might as well check the road to Tenne. Let's get off this mountain!"
Arelis waved goodbye to the others and headed northeast on the Tenne road.
Teväiecce Clan Vegvaraki encampment, Pass of Theodricus
The rain and fog of the morning had disappeared, and the Teväiecce clan were gathered around their campfires exchanging stories under a million stars. Cvalenas had returned from the mining path early, as the rains had completely washed out the road, so they would need to move east and awaited Ziedetis' and Arelis' news of the other paths.
"Án, Ture" Braidas said to his grandson. "All the old heroes were put in the sky! That planet there, the Latins would tell you is 'Venus', but it is the great hero Aisuras, riding her horse across the sky, and --"
He cut the story short. There was rustling near Ziedetis' tent -- but he was certainly not back yet. He motioned to one of the men sitting around the campfire to go check out the noise. There was a quick shout in the darkness, before the Varaquius returned leading a shaggy black-haired man in rags, his dagger at the man's throat. Braidas fastened the man's hands behind his back.
"I just wanted bread, Vage" said the man "I meant no harm..."
"That 'bread' looked curiously like silver. And you know we welcome travellers who would ask for help rather than steal from us. What is your name? Why were you hiding from us?"
Braidas gave the man food and learned that his name was Volerus de Tenne. He was trying to get out of his village but refused to say why.
"What will you do with me?" asked Volerus
"We'll drop you off at the next town, tell them we found a thief. You're not a Vegvaracis, so our laws don't apply. Your own people will decide."
"And which is the next town on your path, Erre?"
"Ithaca or Tenne, we're just trying to get off this mountain and sell our goods from Crenel."
The man's eyes opened wide at the thought of being returned to Tenne.
Later that night
Sofia gathered up some furs and some leftover bread and headed out of her and Arelis' tent to a small cave where they had tied up the prisoner, and had been placing emergency supplies for storage.
"Here, Volere, I brought you some furs and some dinner. We can't have thieves but we're not cruel... I'll heat some water so you can wash up too."
"Thank you, sister" said Volere.
"Huh?" Sofia ignored the familiar term and heated up some water. She brought it to Volerus and began to wash her own hands as well.
"I said thank you, sister. Don't pretend like you don't know what I mean. Your night-black hair, darker than mine even... the way your mouth stuggles with those Varaqui 'cv'-sounds... the way you look more comfortable here in this cave than you did outside on a horse... the way you wash your hands like you're still trying to scrub away the grime of rock dust and oil. You're a miner's daughter if I've ever seen one."
"Sic. So what if I am?" said Sofia, feeling self-conscious and spied upon.
"Are you going to let me be taken by these Varaqui? Handed off to the authorities? We've taken the mines, sister, we're not going to let those noble boots walk all over us anymore. Come on, I can see a miner's pain and anger in your eyes as much as you pretend to be a Varaquia."
"I don't know what you mean. And that's up to the cheiftain, not me."
"Oh, I think you do. You've seen your father cough up rock dust while nobles get rich off the silver he dug. Just like the rest of us. Felt the heat of a furnace when you should have still been playing with dolls. You hate the nobles just as much as I do, you just ran away and married a Varaquius to escape your caste rather than fighting for your freedom like those you left behind in Tenne"
"I'm the farthest thing from a rebel or a coward" said Sofia, growing red.
She grabbed the dirty wash basin and hurried out of the cave and shouts followed her out.
"You can pretend all you want to be a Varaquia, sister. You're still one of us! You're still responsible for the fate of your people!"
Five kilometers outside of Tenne, Palatinus
The Palatinean militia slowly yet uniformly shifted from marching columns to one long battle line, three ranks deep. From a distance it was impressive, but Flavius made it a point to remind Caerulus that not everybody was marching on the same step and that the majority of the soldiers had yet to grow their first beard.
Caerulus Sodalus, Flavius Sumvenus, and Genno Aquas were the only three on horseback. Everybody else had been issued armour and weapons but the size difference amongst the boys and men made the wall of Palatinean soldiers seem more like the teeth of a saw. Caerulus knew that most of these soldiers would desert after their first battle.
"I still don't see why you didn't take the town overnight," said Flavius, shaking his head.
Caerulus shook his head and spoke in cold, measured words, "This isn't a war, and this isn't a battle."
Ten minutes after staring down the sleepy town of Tenne, two elder women and one elder man exited the city, holding a statue in front of them.
Caerulus and Genno dismounted and started to approach them. Genno shot Flavius a look and he too joined them. Genno walked to Caerulus' side and spoke under his breath, "That seems to be a statue of Deaterra. Likely they view it as sacred. They know why you're here."
The elders stopped once they were close enough to talk without shouting and glanced at each other. Caerulus shifted his cloak to hide his baton and walked up to the elders, motioned toward them with both palms extended, and bowed politely.
"Salvete, venerati, you honour us with your presence. May the Mother bless us all."
The elders exchanged looks amongst themselves. They muttered a few words unknown to Caerulus, too many of which had "-cv" sounds unfamiliar to him. A woman with exquisite white braided hair and a voice as dry as the Alban hills stepped forward.
"Salve and the Mother's blessings to you too. Tell me, young man, why does Lord General Albequs disturb the Pax Imperatoris in the humble hamlet of Tenne? We pay our taxes to the Tyrant of Palatinus and we offer the prescribed sacrifices to the Trabadian god. According to the old laws there is no reason for us to have deserved invasion."
"Venerata, forgive my impudence. I am tasked with raising and training the local Alban militia. Our military exercises have taken us to Tenne. We would pass through on our way to the mines for the final phase of our drills."
"Young man, you and I both know that neither Albequs nor Procus himself give a damn about the defense of Alba. We're just the tyrant's personal colony. Your militia is unnecessary, and it will only provoke mixed messages from amongst the children. We have no need to rouse them"
She visibly eyed the militia soldiers before meeting his gaze with her cold eyes once more. Caerulus flicked his cloak backwards and produced his baton in his right hand. He held it in front of the old woman horizontally.
"Venerata, Tenne has been harboring dissidents. Shipments of ore have ceased and the Lord General has taken notice. It's only a matter of time before the tyrant himself takes note. Venerata, it is Tenne which disturbs the Pax Imperatoris." Caerulus sighed and lowered his baton. "Please... disperse. Start mining again. Prevent any-"
"Bloodshed?" she said forcibly. "Young man, the mines of Tenne are soaked with generations of blood all because the nobles in Winnea want to build bigger and better palaces. We have had enough. We will labor for ourselves only. Albequs will no longer hold us down and keep us silent. Now please leave."
Flavius was held back from unsheathing his sword by Genno, who shushed him and looked on curiously.
Caerulus reholstered his baton and approached the image of the Deaterra. The old man holding it began to shake, but Caerulus knelt and kissed the image's feet. He placed his hand around the image's back.
"I swear by the Deaterra that unless the mines of Tenne resume production and the dissidents disperse, I will place this town and all of its inhabitants under military rule. If you think Albequs is miserly from afar, just wait and see what happens when he has to be bothered with this little town of yours. You will have until sunrise tomorrow to bring me your response, venerata."
Caerulus bowed to the elders and walked back to Flavius and Genno. Flavius had been stewing in his own rage during the whole exchange. After Caerulus gave the order for the militia to march back to camp, he walked next to Flavius and placed his hand on his shoulder.
Flavius muttered, "You were saying about this not being a war?"
Weeks had passed since Caerulus delivered his ultimatum to the people of Tenne. That night, the townspeople fled the town into the hills. The Palatineans sat in observation for a few days and then sent a few teams to the town to investigate. All wealth, food - everything the militia could have used - had been taken with the townspeople.
Town Hall, Tenne
Caerulus sat at the head of the long weathered slate assembly table while Flavius and Genno conducted their affairs in the corners of the room closest to the door. He stared at the town map which had been pinned down with stones in the center of the table. Chalk drawings of the countryside and suspected locations of the townspeople and rebels bordered it. The drawings sprawled across the table up until the Palatinean aureus which represented the mine entrance. The aureus was flipped head-down, revealing the pomegranate along with other worn out words around the circumference.
Genno dismissed a poorly armored youth and walked over to the table. "Our scouts have reported hearing voices in this area." He drew a small line onto the makeshift map. "There is a small creek here that runs alongside this ridge. It is likely that everybody is in the mines."
Flavius came over and glared at the new stream on the map. He spoke fiery words, "Two hundred people cannot simply disappear without a trace. If they've been hiding out in the mines it'd explain why we can't find them anywhere. We have them trapped now."
Caerulus threw his hands out sarcastically and sat back in his chair.
"Oh then by all means, since it is we who have them trapped then let's get going!" Caerulus leaned forward onto the table and pushed himself up. "But that doesn't solve our food shortage problem. We need supplies if we're to make battle at the mines."
Genno stroked his beard and nodded. "Indeed... the very people responsible for feeding us and supporting our mission took everything with them and left us trapped in the town. It's genius."
Flavius sighed, "And Godeslas won't even acknowledge our messengers. We need more food. We are living day-to-day and almost all of our soldiers are out hunting and foraging. So far we've had eight desertions to date."
Caerulus looked at the floor. "Genno... are there any Vegvaraki hosts nearby?"
"There are a few routes along this region. I can find some Vegvaraki-blooded individuals amongst our troop to help us out."
"Find them. Offer them whatever it takes to get at least one week's worth of provisions for two-hundred so that we can take the mines. This has gone on long enough."
Genno bowed his head and tasked two youths to make contact with any Vegvaraki in the area and bring them to Tenne.
Getting off the mountain had taken far longer than they hoped.
Ziedetis and Arelis had both returned with bad news - the torrential downpour had damaged pretty much all roads off the mountain - but the logging road had been washed out high in the mountain forests, while the road to Tenne was warmer and simply needed bridge repairs before the heavier carts in the caravan could be brought over. Thus the clan made camp at the Aquaclara Crossing, to replace the bridge over the creek rapids and ravine there. Nearly two weeks had passed before, finally, the carts were able to continue east to Tenne. The entire clan was beginning to hate the goods they had bought in Crenel - if they had only their necessities, they would have been clear of the Pass of Theodricus weeks ago.
Forest, near Tenne
Arelis leaned against the tree and quieted his breath, listening to the crunching of leaves. The deer he was tracking - soon to be the clan's dinner before the final stretch to Tenne - had so far noticed nothing. Its large ears listened to soft rustling of the forest, and determining the area to be safe it began to munch on a bush. Arelis reached out from behind the tree, drew his bow ... but suddenly the deer was spooked - it's eyes grew wide, ears shot up, and it sprinted away. Arelis' arrow missed its target, and flew all the way down into the ravine below the woods and thudded into a tree near the path to Tenne.
He cursed under his breath.
It was not long before the source of the disturbance was made clear. A small band of men cloaked in green was coming up the path towards where the clan had camped, the band halted - one of them, his golden hair tied back in a bandanna, had noticed Arelis' misfired arrow and tugged it out of the tree.
He examined the arrow and handed it to his bluish-black haired companion. "Imperial-made... see how fine the craftsmanship is? Either the Legion has noticed what's going on in Tenne, or someone's traded in Crenel recently."
Arelis shouted down into the path. "Ave Midravcei! Are you coming from Tenne?"
A shout returned. "Ave, Amice!" Arelis came down from the hill and properly greeted them. The golden haired one spoke first.
"We need to speak to your chieftain. Alba has need of your clan's help."
"You can't ride a horse until you feed her, friend. Help me get my dinner you chased away first."
The golden haired one looked annoyed. The dark-haired one stepped forward.
"We're not going to make it back to Tenne by tonight anyway, Flavie. Shouldn't take long. Salve, may the moon light your path - I am Caerulus, this is Flavius.
Teväiecce Clan encampment, Aquaclara Crossing
As they continued up the road, Arelis let out 3 short whistles and one long. A long whistle came in return.
"We can continue into the camp. Follow me"
The Vegvaraki in the camp had already packed up everything but their tents, and the carts were already across the rapids. Arelis invited the guests to come sit by the fire in front of his tent.
"Our chieftain, Braidas, will be here soon."
They spoke about the situation in Tenne and the loss of the mountain paths, while Sofia transformed the deer into a venison stew.
"I'm sure you can find some help here... but I'm not sure about the whole clan. Many of us have connections to Tenne, or Ithaca - many of us count family members among the villagers."
"None of us here are traitors like that hoof-fungus Volere though."
"Ah, yes, we took a prisoner some time ago. Fled from Tenne - you might be able to get some information out of him. I hear he and Sofia became great friends while I was off scouting..."
Sofia scoffed. "Yeah, real charmer. I'm sure some will join up just for pay though - with Tenne emptied out I'm not sure where we'll be able to sell the goods from Crenel."
"Ithaca, or maybe Taistas's clan? They're making camp near Dardunelas this time of year, I hear."
"Oh, here's Chieftain Braidas."
Chieftain Braidas was a grey-haired, bear-like man. He wore a blue cloak depicting a jumping deer - which Flavius guessed was also the Clan's emblem as it appeared, with different variations, in banners across the camp.
"So, tell me what's going on in Tenne..."
I was hit by inspiration this afternoon - the result: A Survey of the Faiths of the Imperium, Ancient and Modern:
A Survey of the Faiths of the Imperium, Ancient and Modern
By Tiberius Seppenius Auguratus, A.P.C. 5141
At the Imperial University, Trabdius
While the official faith, and only recognized faith at the imperial level is The Holy Trabadian Church a variety of beliefs syncretized with the imperial religion can be found in the Empire, which derived from the multitude of prechristian faiths practiced during the First Empire. Indeed, many reports exist that these prechristian faiths are not entirely extinct even in the present day, though social stigma and the illegality of apostasy means that practitioners of these faiths deny them to cosmopolitan trabadians, and reject any inquiry from imperial scholars.
Part 1: The Imperial Heartland
The old kingdoms of Hibernalia and Trabadius shared not only a linguistic heritage but also a religious one. Their faith was polytheistic, yet their gods were seen as far from equal in power or authority, and in fact was strictly hierarchical. Iit would be best described as a fully polytheistic pantheon subservient to a dualistic one, which was itself below and all-powerful creator. Deus, the most powerful god and the creator, nevertheless remained in the firmament gave authority of the mortal plane to the twin gods Lux and Tenebra, who held authority over light and dark respectively, and all things connected to those spheres. Lux and Tenebra then delegated the day-to-day maintenance of the world to the Tertii - a large collection of lesser gods who held small spheres of influence, yet acted at the will of their superior be it Lux or Tenebra.
Though the worship of the Old Gods, as they are now called, is all but extinct in the imperial heartland today, the practices of religion nevertheless remain evident in countless Trabadian and Hibernalian customs. Foremost among them are the Trabadian and Orrovian (who will be covered more in the next section) senates. In fact, the writings of St. Trebius indicate that the structure of the senates was directly copied from the hierarchy which controlled the universe - what better way is there to govern an Empire than by copying the way the universe itself is governed? The Imperator, like Deus, bestows authority upon a pair of Consuls, like Lux and Tenebra, so that they might govern over a mass of senators, like the Tertii, which then control small spheres - provinces, cities, etc. The Imperator during this period was expected, like Deus, to remain above and uninvolved in the day-today workings of the Empire.
This religion evolved into the present Trabadian Rite beginning during the rule of Imperator Aurelius IV - who famously lends his name to the modern Aurelius Hibernus line and is remembered today as Saint Aurelius the Greater. Christianity was brought to the Empire by St. James of Julias, an apostle and missionary from the west. He was brought before the imperial court in the 14th year of Aurelius IV’s rule, whereupon he proclaimed the Kingdom of Heaven before the whole court. In sight of the whole court, Lucifer appeared in the form of Lux, weaving lies to discredit St. James and to tempt the Imperator, but the Imperator’s heart was strengthened with the revelation of the true faith, and Lucifer was cast out from the court, and the Old Gods were cast out of the empire.
Saint James was then appointed the Pontifex Maximus of the Empire, and all other priests and Pontifices within were ordered to submit to him. Thus the new christian religion was applied over an extant religious hierarchy, and the traditions hybridized. Angels and Saints replaced the Tertii, but due to the Old Religion's influence a quirk of worship in the heartland, compared to Western Catholicism or even Trabadian Catholicism in the peripheral regions, is that angels and saints are given much more active veneration. Thus christianity in the imperial heartland is remarkable for its ostentatiousness, complex net of rites and traditions, and maintenance of old superstitions.
We shall not cover the peculiarities of the Trabadian Rite at the imperial level with respect to it’s Western Catholic sister-church, as that is outside of the scope of this work, which seeks to discuss the faiths within the Empire itself.
Part 2: The Southern Coast
What is now Dolmastica and Orrovia was an early colonial region of Trabadius, predating even the unification of the First Empire, and so this region inherited the faith of the Old Gods. The earliest accounts of religion in the region suggest an almost exact copy of the original Trabadian faith and exact copies of the divinely inspired governing system applied at a city-state level, however as colonization slowed and the city-states grew into regional powers in their own right, the understanding of the Old Gods rapidly changed. It’s not exactly clear why the religion changed, though scholars attribute it to a number of factors: isolation due to the Sinus Trabadius; the extremely harsh environment the transplanted Trabadians, used to rolling hills and forests, found themselves in; the cutthroat nature of politics in the new city-states. In any case, the nature of the gods and their spheres rapidly changed in the eyes of the southerners.
The largest change was that the gods came to be seen as beings capable of - and quite willing to commit to - immense amounts of cruelty. The Tertii (or Tirzi in modern Orrovian) in particular were seen as largely fickle and vindictive beings - some truly cared about mortals and ruled over their spheres benevolently, but many others were soon to abandon or punish their devotees the instant sacrifices and worship were absent or somehow insufficient. Thus in order to not incur the wrath of a Tertii, it was necessary to provide regular worship and sacrifice, as well as observe various customs so as to not offend them.
Lux and Tenebra (Lux and Tevra) on the other hand were not fickle or vindictive, in fact they were seen as caring quite deeply about humanity - but in a way that made them much like strict parents. According to the Old Southern Religion, Deus was a deeply benevolent and caring creator, but to such a great extent that he coddled all of creation. Mankind was kept in a state of bliss and sinlessness without progress or ambition - as they never faced any adversity. The Tertii, too, never faced any adversity and were spoiled by the creator - leading these immortal beings to be perpetual children and leading to their fickle and vindictive nature.
As Lux and Tenebra were given power over the world and Deus removed himself to the Heavens, the twins (and also husband and wife in the southern tradition) decided to subject mankind to the adversity they had been denied, so that man could rise to the challenge and better himself. In Deus’s original creation, the whole world was a garden, but Lux incinerated the south with his light, creating the vast Dolmastican Desert and Orrovian Wastes, while Tenebra turned the placid sea into a stormy one with terrors hiding in its depths.
Modern Orrovia and Dolmastica largely follow the orthodox Trabadian Rite today, as their priests were forced to submit to St. James as well, though vestiges of the old faith are seen. The most sinister of these vestiges is denied to even exist by the Orrovian and Dolmastican governments - but it is often talked about in hushed tones and secret government forces are rumored to be deployed against it. This sinister vestige is the underground sacrifice and worship of the old lesser gods - the Tertii, as some among the population still believe these beings will bring wealth to their followers and curse those that deny them worship. Less sinister are the various Orrovian and Dolmastican superstitions, such as that one must bless a new boat, or keep the name of a newborn child secret, lest a Tertii become jealous and curse you, or the various charms sold in the marketplaces meant to ward of Tertii. While the Tertii were reanalyzed as angels in the heartland - in the south the good ones were renamed Angelis, while the vindictive ones - which are analogous to lesser demons - retain the name Tertii (Tirzi). Most Orrovians retain harmless superstitions about attracting their attention.
One of the modern peculiarities of southern religion is the beleif in “worship through works”, that is, creating a work of art, music, architecture, etc. is considered a very high and worthy form of worship and a celebration of creation. Perhaps this custom has it’s roots in the old religion as well, as not only overcoming adversity but far surpassing it and celebrebrating it. It is known that the prechristian Orrovians build massive temples to honor Lux and Tenebra, which can still be seen if one travels to the parched inland region of Vasta Negra. According to modern Orrovian tradition Vasta Negra is a desert today because it, unlike the coastal city-states, refused to submit to the new imperial religion and was cursed.
Part 3: Palatinus and the Inland Seas
Beyond it’s two main cultures, Palatinus is also home to the largest population of Varaqui outside of Varaquia itself, whose beliefs are a fusion of Catholicism, the Vegvaraki indigenous religion, and
(Are there Vesulians here too?)
Part 4: Vesulia (Varaquia, Chapter 1.)
In order to properly treat the religious history of Varaquia, we must look at not one but two civilizations - the Varaqui or Vegvaraki, and the Vesulian civilization which predated their presence in the region. Unfortunately no sources exist anymore which tell us about the Vesulian religion from their own perspective, and we are left with mostly Trabadian or Vegvaraki accounts.
According to Trabadian accounts, Vesulian pantheon was headed by a trio: Kailon (related to Deus) Lefkos (Lux) and Temastra (Tenebra). The Tertii also have an analogue with spirits called Senei. It is immediately clear to anyone reading these Trabadian accounts that the Vesulian religion was condemned as an extremely heretical version of the Trabadian’s own Old Gods - and the Trabadians reported various appalling doctrines and practices, among them extensive use of sorcery and human and animal sacrifice. They were also said to believe in reincarnation, rather than an afterlife. However, some modern scholars have suggested the Trabadian accounts are mere slander due to Vesulia being an early arch-enemy of the fledgling Empire, whose religious structure refused the Trabadian Pontifex Maximus’s authority. (Add more from Trab?)
Supporting this theory is the fact that Varaqui accounts of the Vesulian religion paint a different picture. According to St. Aredas of Tovlann, the Vesulians did not believe in reincarnation only, but rather that humans were not truly mortal, but immortal Senei/Tertii trapped in mortal form by the trickster god Lefkos. Vesulian religion promised to free adherents from the cycle of reincarnation on earth, so that they could live with the other Senei in the sky. The evidence for this belief in ultimate death and an afterlife can be seen in the many ancient tombs found in the Crown, which are filled with burial goods and treasures which would be pointless if the soul was merely transferred to a new body on earth. Varaqui accounts also mention human sacrifice, though they imply its use was limited - for example, St. Aredas writes of a Vesulian man who committed adultery and was flayed and thrown into the swamp, so that his sins were carried with him into his next life rather than remaining with his town and bringing misfortune upon them all. The Varaqui also do not mention any divine pair and supreme god above the rest.
Our accounts of old Vesulian religion probably tell us more about early Varaqui and Trabadian religion than Vesulian, and they are obviously political as well - the Trabadian condemnation of Vesulian religion as heretical and evil is due to Vesulia’s status as their old arch-enemy. The more forgiving Varaquian account reflects their interaction with the people they intermarried with and ultimately absorbed.
Part 5: Vegvaraki Religion (Varaquia, Chapter 2).
The indigenous religion of the Varaqui tribes would have been extremely alien to adherents of the Trabadian’s old gods. According to Varaqui myth the beginning of the universe is entirely incomprehensible - with no such thing as time or matter yet existing as we know them. But much as milk will separate into cream and milk when left to sit for a time, the universe ‘created itself’ as the primordial chaos divided itself into distinct units - past and future, material and immaterial, etc. From this division rose two great spirits, Taras and Emnis, each of them the personification and living soul of one half of the universe itself.
Most of what we would attribute today to Taras and Emnis did not exist yet, as there was no mortal world. But some time thereafter, Taras made and became the earth, and Emnis made and became the sky - and with this separation our world came into existence and the many binaries within it were created by each god. Taras became the mother goddess, her aspects the female sex, the earth, fire, the dawn, unconditional and motherly love, mercy, and more. Emnis became the father god, his aspects the male sex, the sky, cold, the dusk, romantic and sexual love, justice, etc.
It is said that as Taras and Emnis created the world, they realized they could not remain within it but had to leave and return to the primordial void. Taras receded from the mortal world and became the goddess of birth, her energy eternally giving life to the world as the Sun. Because of the dual nature of existence, Emnis, however, thus became the god of death - and to finish creation and leave the world, he would need to sacrifice himself and die. Emnis did so willingly, and he died as he exited the world and his divine light was extinguished. Nevertheless, he did not disappear from existence but was brought to life again as the moon. Thus creation was finally realized, and the present reality was formed.
Early Trabadian accounts of Varaqui religious practice obviously regard the religion as polytheistic, and it’s clear the Varaqui built temples to various “gods” or “Tertii”. But this is a Trabadian misunderstanding of the Varaqui divine order. It’s true that the Varaqui worshipped various divine forces - they did not only venerate Taras or Emnis as wholes but worshipped them in their individual aspects. Thus to Trabadians it appeared that the Varaqui had a mother goddess, a father god, a sun goddess, a moon god, a harvest goddess, a winter god, etc. all as separate beings, rather than as worshipable aspects of a divine pair.
The practice of the early Varaqui religion appears to have been quite similar to current Varaqui practices, deeply affected by nomadic life. Shrines were eschewed in favor of worn talismans or amulets, temples were portable, and prayers were often long songs sung in unison while traveling on horseback.
Let us now return to Imperator Aurelius IV of Trabadius, who cast the Old Gods out of Trabadius. According to Varaqui stories, these old gods (simply powerful nature spirits in the Varaqui view) were not cast out of the earth but simply the empire, and some, furious at mankind decided to take out their anger on the Empires nearest neighbors - Vesulia and Varaquia Antiqua (The old Varaqui homeland). Regardless of whether one accepts the old gods as true, the series of events which followed Aurelius IV’s conversion seems hardly attributable to coincidence.
Almost at the same time, Vesulia and Varaquia Antiqua were destroyed by cataclysm. Historians write that parts of Vesulia were swallowed by the earth or had fire rained upon them from the mountains, while Varaquia Antiqua withered into a desolate, frigid wasteland and the rivers suddenly ran dry. It is during Aurelius IV’s reign that the first Trabadian reports of the Varaqui invasion appear. The Varaqui invasion led to the formation of two kingdoms in the northwest of the rapidly collapsing First Empire. The more powerful of the two was built upon the ruins of Vesulia, and became known as Varaquia, Varaquiensis, or Vegvarak - ruled by the famous Tarcatsos the Great (Tarcatius I Magnus). The second kingdom, which would not see lasting Varaqui hegemony, was a newly united and independent Kingdom of Palatinus, under the rule of Tarcatsos’s twin brother, Emintevas the Great (Aementius I Magnus).
The conversion of Tarcatos I to Christianity is recorded in the famous Song of the Twins. According to the Song, during the Varaqui siege of the city of Trabadius following the initial invasion, Chryseia Aurelia, Imperator Aurelius IV’s 19-year-old daughter , left the protection of the imperial city against all advice to convince the barbarian king to turn his armies around. The young king Tarcatsos agreed to hear her pleas, and was impressed by her incredible bravery and unshakeable faith. Tarcatsos realized that the Pricipessa’s faith was the fulfillment of the old Varaqui one, which was simply a prophecy to lead the Varaqui to grace. The two fell in love, Tarcatsos converted to christianity and decided to return to his new kingdom in Varaquia, and this brought an end to the old god’s curse once and for all.
Some histories offer alternative explanations rather than the traditional romantic story - such as that the marriage was in fact a political arrangement. With the marriage, Tarcatsos married into the Imperial bloodline, thus bringing the Varaqui people under its divine protection and ending the old gods’ assault, and allowing his family to be the highest nobility in the Empire second to the Imperator’s own. Imperator Aurelius gained something as well - the Trabadian-Varaquian war ended, and the Varaqui were brought into the imperial fold and became powerful and loyal subjects. Perhaps both the political and romantic reasons are true.
Tarcatsos took to christianity quite zealously and was considered to be a paragon of his new faith. The religion spread rapidly within Varaquia, replacing both the Vesulian and Varaqui faiths except in rural pockets of the Crown - and Tarcatsos aided in the conversion of other realms within the Empire as well. Aiding the conversion was that, like with Trabadius’s old religion, the Varaqui faith was syncretized with the new one. The Varaqui consider their old faith to have been a “prophecy” or “anticipation” of Christianity. Taras was quickly likened to the Virgin Mary, the fatherhood aspects of Emnis to God the Father and Emnis’s sacrifice to complete creation to God the Son. The primordial living soul of the universe was likened to the holy spirit.
This is all reflected in modern Varaqui practices. While worship of the Tertii led to the Trabadian need for ostentatious rituals and observation of various angels, the lack of any such concept among the Varaqui led to the virtual absence of this quirk of Trabadian Catholicism in Varaquia. Rather, Mary, who was likened to Taras, is deeply venerated. Modern Varaqui religion is simpler and more rustic than its cosmopolitan counterpart and reflects the nomadic nature of its people. Shrines and reliquaries and icons are rare, as people keep simple worn crosses and rosaries with them. Outside of major cities, churches are still portable and itinerant, and mass is held when the churches arrive rather than on any particular day.
Remnants of the ancient religion can be found in isolated parts of the Crown, where some people hold onto “aspects” of Taras and Emnis (usually reinterpreted as Mary and Jesus). Thus there are reports that some still worship figures like the “Sun Mother”, though, as explained before, from the Varaqui point of view this is the veneration of an aspect of Mary/Taras rather than any distinct goddess. Nevertheless the government in Csotavac actively tries to bring these areas into the orthodox Trabadian fold.
Part 6: The Frontier Regions and the Coloniae
Happy St. Lucia's Day!