Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Hundred Saints

The Church of The Hundred Saints, despite the name, is ostensibly dedicated to the worship of two deities: Solus, The Ineffable Father, The Radiance On High, and Terra, The All-Mother, She Whose Flesh Is Soil and Whose Bones Are Stone. The difficulty with venerating and obeying this god and goddess is that, according to The Doctrines, The Mother exercises no authority and gives no guidance, while The Father's majestic authority and guidance are ineffable: discerning His will is as looking to the Sun - He gives sight to all, but to look directly to Him is to be blinded.

The only way to learn the will of The Father is to look to The Saints, those who have walked between the Sun and the Earth and manifested the blessings of both Father and Mother (blessings such as renown, fertility, wealth, power, and pleasure). The Church of The Hundred Saints venerate these Saints, preserving hagiographies of their blessed lives and holding them up as living examples of the Father's will.

There are far more than a hundred Saints, however. (The Venerable Viebalde, a monk of The Church, preserved the stories of a hundred Saints in his Hagiograph of The Hundred, still a central canonical text of The Church; but, many Saints have been added to the various canons since his time - including Viebalde himself!) In addition to the several hundreds of Saints venerated by most sects of The Church, each locality in Cora-Mar and beyond often venerates dozens of local or otherwise unknown Saints, likely bringing the total well past a thousand - a figure which ever grows. 

There, that's around a hundred saints.

Many Saints begin as kings or heroes, either of recent times or of the legendary past, their words and deeds warped or even fabricated with the passage of time.

Other Saints began as deities in their own right, whether of the distant ancestors of the current denizens of Cora-Mar, of conquered peoples of the past whose gods were absorbed into The Church's Panhagion, or of neighboring cultures whose religions become syncretized in the borderlands between. 

It is common for the Hierarchs of the various principalities in Cora-Mar, and especially the Inner Six, to be canonized after their deaths (or even during!), though inevitable political and doctrinal divisions lead to Hierarchs held in highest esteem by some sects to be deemed anathema as false or apostate pretenders by others. Wars have been waged over the canonization of a divisive Saint, and Saints have gained their fame through the waging of those wars.

We will see examples of Saints of all three origins in the coming weeks. I am planning on writing up a single Saint each week as one of my Wednesday or Friday posts, for several reasons:
1) It's a good way to create specifics and history of the game setting I'm currently attempting to develop.
2) Legends and references to the Saints themselves would add depth to the campaign I'm running right now, as well as future games.
3) It sounds like fun.

Stay tuned!

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