Fading Suns and Flaming Heresies
No single institution has as much impact on day-to-day life in the Known Worlds than does the Universal Church of the Celestial Sun. Despite the Church’s many factions and sects, the average peasant sees it as a giant monolith, dedicated to saving humanity from the evil inherent in the universe. As far as they can tell, all the priests work toward the same goal, hand-in-hand, fighting evil together.
Never mind the fact that they call one another heretics; the Church itself is good. The peasants’ view only changes when someone tries to replace the sect of their ancestors with a new one.
Orthodox priests spend their time tending to the spiritual needs of their flock and defending the faith from outer and inner evil — whether it be aliens, barbarians or the heresies of other sects.
Brother Battle monks spend years training to become the most effective agents of the Pancreator’s Justice in the sinful universe. Their strict discipline and martial training make them incredibly efficient soldiers, although they rarely heed secular military commands.
Despite the order’s name, women can become monks.
Eskatonic priests scour the universe for mystical lore to help defend the faithful from evil. Their questing has lead to many new discoveries which may better life for all — or open a Pandora’s Box of secrets best left hidden.
Temple Avesti (Avestites)
The heavy robes of these fanatics are instantly recognizable — as are the smoking flameguns they bear to enact a literal punishment on the sinful. This sect long ago gained most of the chairs on the Inquisitorial Synod, much to the regret of its political enemies.
Sanctuary Aeon (Amaltheans)
This healing order was founded by Saint Amalthea after her travels with the Prophet and has continued since then to bring grace and mercy to all. Amaltheans are deeply beloved by the peasants they selflessly aid.
Those of the Celestial Sun faith but not in one of the major sects are often classes as Mendiacant Monks or Hesychasts. These believers are often hermits, wandering preachers or members of secluded friaries.
There are three major Hesychast Monasteries; “St. Hombor’s Monastery” on Ravenna (House Hawkwood), “Maelstrom Monastery” on Nowhere (Imperial), and “St. Palamedes’ Monastery” on Midian (House Li Halan).
The Chorali are a loosely organized group of musically talented members of all sects of the Universal Church. With no strict tests or hierarchy, they nevertheless recognize their own on the basis of talent, reknown, age, and knowledge of hymns.
This heavily persecuted church sect believs that the holy words of Zebulon was corrupted by the first church fathers to suit political needs. Incarnates believe in the Incarnate Spirit contained in every sentient being created by the Pancreator. Religion and worship of the Pancreator does not need a physcial and restraining hierarchial order of priests and church, and incarnates allow for no higher authority than bishops.
Forbidden belief in the Universal Mother and the various nature spirits that reside and rule her realms. Attunement to nature and the natural balance of things are important to this Gaia cult. Practiced by simple serfs of mainly secluded Hawkwood fiefs.
The structured and colourful religion of the Kurgan Caliphate. The All-Maker, the maker of Stars is resposnible for creation of all things. The Caliph is his prophet and his voice in the material world. With his unworldly insights and communion with the All-Maker, the Caliph can rule justly over the Ordul-Diin – the Faithful Horde. Although not acknowledged, the religion shares many things with that of the Universal Church, such as belief in the purity of ones soul, Zaiboulu the first Prophet (Zebulon), Palu the Traveller (St Paulus) and Heru the Wise Man (St Horace). Important manifestations of the religion are the Hajj (pilgrimage) and the Jihads (Holy Wars).
The religion of the Vuldrok Star-Nations is as diversified as the various tribal nations that make up the Star-Nations. However, some effort has been made to order the various deities into one accpetable mish-mash of deities, referred to as the Erdgheist. War Gods, Winter Gods, Fertility Gods and Gods of the Deep Space and Jumpgates are but a few of this Gjarti inspired religion.
A animistic worship of spirits and master/maturity of ones spiritual self. The religion is popular among gypsie-like people travelling the wilds and Known Worlds. The Libro Esperanza serves as the main link and gospel to the Zuranists, created by a man of visions. Wise women (Blanca Matres) and fortune cards (Fata Cards) are other manifestations of this forbidden religion.
Ancestral worship originally found among the Li Halan before their Elevation to Grace. It still survives and is held a careful secret. Worship includes summoning and communing with dead ancestors in secret crypts holding their remains.
A collective name for all those foul and fallen humans and aliens that worship the dark entities from the Qlippoth (Hell) and the Darkness Between the Stars. Always seeking ways to taint or entrap the souls of men and to destroy the worlds and humanity as we know it today. In reality, the ideologies and goals of these cults are as diverse as their dark gods. Many innocent cults are often accused of being antinomists, before ending their days at the pyre.