Though we are mere mortals,
in His name we fight to the last!
We Protect! We Fight!
None shall stay our Righteous Wrath!
-Litany of Fury, verse 3
Church of EatosEdit
One of the predominant religons on Fontraile, Eatoism has been very strong upon the continent since it's inception over a thousand years ago. While it it is not as prominent in Miranda as it may be in Paramis or Westerly, many churches and parishes dot the entire continent and still have a sizeable following in the nation.
Currently, the Church is split into two different branches following a scism of beliefes that occured 300 or so years ago. The Eastern Branch, who's main place of worship resides in Westerly and preaches defence of the innocent, reguardless of race; and the Western Branch, whom reside in Paramis, and teach the commendation of the profane, looking down upon all fiendish influence.
Eatoism followers believe in the ever watchful gaze of Eatos himself. Most commonly, he is also known as 'The Vigiliant', symbolizing his ever watching gaze over the mortal realm. Because of the duality in the church caused by the spliting into two different branches, Eatos is commonly depicted as carrying a sheild in his left hand, and a massive warhammer in his right, symbolic of each branch's teachings. The Eastern Branch, whom preach protection of the innocent, also refer to him as the Defender of Mortals, depicting him with his Sheild raised to protect those behind him. While the Western Branch, whom actively hunt the profane, and refer to him as the Slayer of the Wicked, depict him with his hammer raised to smite a foul demon.
At the core of Eatoian Faith, no matter the branch, is the three duties; Duty to the People, Duty to the Vigilant, and Duty to a Beloved.
- Duty to the People: This duty stresses courage, justice, valor, protection of the weak, and respect for the laws of the land. To break this Duty is to betray the trust of those the Church has sworn to defend.
- Duty to the Vigilant: This duty stresses obedience to Eatos himself, to obey his tennants and commandments, as well as generosity, devotion to the church, to champion good against evil, and to put forth the faith before mortal desires. To break this Duty is to betray Eatos himself.
- Duty to a Beloved: This duty pertains to the concept of courtly love, devotion to one's loved ones, and a healthy respect for everyone. To betray this Duty is to betray your loved ones.
Priests of Eatos, like their Lord, are protectors, healers, and upholders of the law. They are seen as personal emissaries of Eatos, and he gives them power to heal and protect his followers, and to combat the minions of evil. There are many paths available to anchorites; most choose to wander the world and spread his word, while others lead congregations of lay people in his worship. Others yet devote their lives to the study of religious writs in an attempt to further understand the nature of the divine.
Eatos’ clerics are not expected, per se, to actively give sermons or seek out converts (many do however), but rather to inspire people and spread devotion and thanks to their god by living up to the principles Eatos teaches in their words and deeds. Clerics generally tithe roughly 30% of the acquire to Eatos, and Eatos smiles on those of his followers who donate money to the needy and poor who suffer at the hands of evil, use clever tactics in battle, or fight for and gain glory and renown.
Priestly services to Eatos include triumphant battle hymns and sermons, offerings to copper statues of the god at the temples and parishes, and the sharing of hearty, strengthening foods such as meat and full-bodied red wine.
A large contingent of Eatosan clerics and knights can be found in war zones, where they serve to alleviating the suffering of those in them with their healing magic and doing their part to offer succor to the victims of said armed conflict. It is relatively rare that the church will openly side with any particular faction in an international conflict, instead often attempting to get those involved to the negotiating table.
The Church of Eatos dates back long ago, durring the middle of Fontraile's dark ages. It began in what is currently Paramis, a fledgling empire at the time and a far cry from the national powerhouse it is today.
At the time, a popular rumor amongst Knights Errant of the nation that there was one knight, a man possessed of such power and compassion that he could surely not be a mortal, walked the lands, teaching the ways of what he called 'The Vigilant'. Whether it was a simply a mortal invested with celestial powers, or indeed an avatar of the newly-formed god of Valor, none could say, but he certainly existed. His was a lonely existence, constantly on the move, rarely, if ever, sleeping in the same place twice, and he quickly gained a following in his short career, during which the knight spoke of the god of valor, the very 'Vigilant' that he spoke of, and the tenets one must uphold. More and more people began to follow this man's teachings, many of them comming together under this belief. Eventually, these became the tenets of the church of Eatos; the Eatoian Code that all members of the church abide by to this very day.
The church grew in popularity as the tenets espoused by the lone knight were that already espoused by many knights and nobles of the realm - protect those who cannot protect themselves, show fairness in your endeavors, and so on - but in codifying them, the religious aspects of the church picked up very quickly. Common folk who wanted to learn to be heroes in their own right flocked to the church of Eatos, and knights and nobles alike found the church and its ideals matching them fairly solidly. To this day, the Eatosan faith is one of the more common ones on Fontraile, and to say that in a land where many religons dominate the nation is quite a feat in of itself.
The Colossus IncidentEdit
As the church became more and more popular, many a parish began to pop up all over the continent; starting in Paramis and then eventually branching out to as far as the edge of what is now Augustgrad. In spite of this, however, the church was not quite unified as a whole; each parish taught the same core rules, but with different doctrines, some leaning towards peity and charity, while others became little more than sellswords for the people. All of that changed however, with the advent of what became known as the Colossus Incident.
Roughly 40 years after the church's inception, a string of vile deeds began to make it's way across the continent. The source of it seemingly coming from a growing group of harlequins whom called themselves the Cirque la Tuerie. Dressed like jesters, harlequins and fools, this newformed group became one of the earliest examples of high profile cults that would eventually plague Fontraile. They proclaimed their acts were all to 'Set the stage for the greatest finale this world has ever seen.', and engaged in ritualistic murders, desecration of holy sites, and the usual cult fare at first. However, things began to escalate when their leader finally made his appearance: a powerful Visage named Shan-Dalaar. With his unveiling, the Cirque's actions became much more prolific and devastating, culminating in three counts of regicide, the defilement of the daughter of the then current Paramisian emperor, and the complete genocide of race of steppe dwelling minotaurs.
With these inexcusable actions being completed, every parish on Fontraile united under the name of their lord before engaging in active combat with the Cirque. Wherever they clashed, holy hymns mixed with fiendish wild laughter. In order to flush out the cult cells forming in the many cities of the nations, the early makings of the Church's infamous Inquisition was born, making use of rather harsh tactics against the Cirque's members to interrogate them.
Then, on one summer day, the absolute worst happened. Gathering most, if not all, of it's members at a single site near the current Paramis-Miranda Border, the Cirque enacted perhaps the largest blood offering in history; murdering each and every one of it's members in what can only be described as an orgy of blood and disembowelment. With this offering, as well as the feindish magics provided by Shan-Dalaar, a hellish portal ripped open in the veil. A gate to hell itself had opened, corrupting the very earth around it into a hellish red rock known as Hellstone... and from the portal itself came a great titan of Hellstone itself, the Hellstone Colossus. A machine crafted by the lords of hell to serve as guardians in it's realm, this particular colossus had gained sentience, controlling its own little slice of Hell. Spurred on by it's self-proclaimed herald, Shan-Dalaar, the machine began it's trek across the continent.
Though every nation on the continent banded together to attempt to destroy the beast set before them, nothing seemed to work. It's powerful body shrugged aside all forms of seige weaponry, and proved virtually unassailable to mortal magic. As cities and villiages fell, it seemed that the powerful war engine was unstopable. Then, help came from the most unlikely of places: a feindbinder that had been working in the Cirque la Tuerie, whom had survived the inital offering that had brought the Colossus into the mortal realm. As perhaps their final act as pennace for bringing the beast to the mortal realm, the Fiendbinder summoned a Greater Demon Spirit to help bind the Colossus and break it's protective charms, allowing it to be assailed by a group consisting of men and women from all nations and one Celestial Channeler from the Church. Though most of that team would not return from this effort, the Channeler, whom is known a the Church's very own St. Alphina, would eventually strike the killing blow upon the Colossus's Heartstone, overloading it with Holy Energy and shattering it. With it's main power source gone, the war machine collapsed and discorperated, the hellstone that consisted of it being buried deep underground.
The First CrusadeEdit
The Colossus incident was an absolute train-wreck for the people of Fontraile. From the moment the creature arose, people became certain that it was the end of all things. Many went insane at the sight of the beast, and countless more fell before it in it's wake across the continent. During this time, it became increasingly apparent that the existing governments didn't have a comprehensive way to deal with situations involving fiends and the like. In addition, the rip in the Veil between the mortal realm and the feindish realms from the colossus allowed incursions from Gehenna, Hell, and the Abyss to become more common. Possessions were a danger as well, and there needed to be means to thwart them.
The Eatosan faith began to train knights who were of their faith in ways to deal with them, trained clerics for battle, and began to put out the order of warrior-priests they are now. Thus came the first Paladins and Chaplains; owing their fealty not to any specific lord, but to the church itself and to the people, there was relatively little resistance to the Church doing this, especially given the circumstances. From this point on, the Church threw everything it had into understanding, analyzing, and learning to destroy fiends. In the aftermath of the first Colossus incident, the church found itself needed more than ever, as the colossus had left a wake of destruction and horror that demanded immediate attention. Between fiends materializing in the wake of the Colossus and a torrent of wounded, the church lent itself to the cause in earnest; thus began what is known as the First Crusade.
Gathering all of their number in Paramis, the Church's armies began a march across the entire nation of Fontraile, smiting fiends where they popped up, liberating towns from the controls of cults and Greater Demons that had materialized in the real world, as well as repairing and rebuilding whatever infrastructure they could. The first stretch of the march lead into what was modern day Miranda and DeMidian, descending upon the demonic hosts that plagued the local towns and cities; with the first great victory being the liberation of the then Mirandian Capital from fiendish influence. With Miranda liberated, Queen Yvonnette would lend her own forces to the cause, bolstering the church's forces with her nation's famous Spellsword Knights. With each liberation came a bolstering to the Crusade's numbers and soon, the might of the entire nation was behind the Church's march till it ended in what is now Westerly, on the 27th of September.
The end of the First Crusade was marked by the Battle of Sleht Rise, a great and mighty battle that occured upon the Sleht Mountain range in Westerly. A Daemon Price had materialized and amassed a grand army of Cultists and Daemons to clash against the coming crusade.