Universal Church of the Celestial Sun
The Church may seem unique, universal. But it is divided into various sects who seek power and have conflicts with each other. The main ones are:
Urth Orthodox – The largest sect and the backbone of the Church, Orthodoxy is what most people associate with the Church. Their priests can be found in all the worlds, from the bishops with his ostentation in the capital, the more humble parish priests in the most poverty-stricken fiefs. While Orthodoxy has gained a reputation for his astute political maneuvering, most priests know little of such things, being entirely busy protecting the souls of the simple faithful. While many may reject orthodoxy by its military role in the Emperor Wars, when tragedy strikes, it is the Orthodoxy they return to comfort.
Sanctuary Aeon (Amaltheans) – An array of healers and compassionate mystics, founded by one of the disciples, Saint Amalthea, the Healer. Everybody loves the priests and priestesses of Sanctuary Aeon, followers of Saint Amalthea. When a Amalthean comes to town, there is always someone willing to offer hospitality to her. In fact, they are so loved by commoners, when one of them has been accused of witchcraft by an Avestite, the Avestite was seized by the population and burned at the stake instead.
Brother Battle – This order of monk knights is the elite fighting unit in the Known Worlds, surpassing even the Emperor’s Phoenix Guard in military skills. Originally created to protect pilgrims and pursue heretics, the order is now privileged to noble houses, Church sects and even guilds to perform elite military operations on many worlds, including the deadly front on Stigmata against the alien invaders, the Symbiots. Despite the rumors of heresy and usury within their ranks, everyone wants a Brother Battle monk at his side in times of distress. Women are also common in the ranks despite the name.
Temple Avesti / Avestites – The Avestites began as a group of religious terrorists, saved by the Church at the last moment before being destroyed to pieces by an angry noble coalition. The Avestites long occupy a majority of seats on the Inquisitorial Synod, and since then has done his duty to search the Known Worlds for signs of heresy, demonism and any other threat to the faithful. Their illiteracy, fear of learning and dogmatic adherence to certain extreme scriptures makes them feared and hated throughout the human space and tend to travel in groups. But they are stubborn, though. Only the initiated more fanatics and devotees are admitted to this sect.
Eskatonic Order – These hermetic sages are often thought of as wizards by the common people but are considered crazy by the nobles and men of the guild. Although there are many within the order who possess profound wisdom and learning, there are many other have much more strange ideas. Standing on street corners telling everyone about the end of the universe is one of the least harmful. Once considered heretics by the Orthodox Church, the Eskatonics were admitted into the fold when their theurgic rituals have proved effective against the Symbionts.
Mendicant monks (Hesychasts): humble monks who seek to dominate and understand the teachings of the Gospel to dominate their minds, their bodies and their souls completely. Contemplation, hermitage and meditation are the zealous manifestations of these prophetic hermits, but quietly.
The Prophet and his Disciples with their virtues:
- Zebulon, the Prophet
- Amalthea, the Healer – Compassion
- Ven Lohji, the Ur-Obun – Discipline
- Hombor, the Beggar – Humility
- Maya, the Despised Woman – Justice (Retribution)
- Lextius, the Rider – Loyalty
- Paulus, the Traveler – Questing
- Mantius, the Soldier – Protection
- Horace, the Cult Man – Wisdom
Incarnates – This sect is strongly persecuted because they believe that the sacred words of Zebulon were corrupted by the early church fathers to meet their political needs. Incarnated believe in the Incarnate Spirit, contained in each sentient being created by the Pancreator. Religion and worshiping the Pancreator does not need a physical hierarchical order and immobilization of the priests and the church, and embodied not allow any greater authority than bishops.
Gjarti – Forbidden belief in Universal Mother and the various nature spirits who live and govern its natural kingdoms. The harmony with nature and the natural balance of things are important to this cult of Gaia. Practiced mainly in isolated fiefdoms of Hawkwood by simple servants.
Zuranists – An animistic worship of spirits and mastery / maturity of spirit. Religion is popular with pseudo-gypsies traveling wilderness and known worlds. The Libro Esperanza serves as the main link and gospel to Zuranists, created by a vision of man. Wise Women (Blanca Madres) and Fortune cards (Fata Cards) are other manifestations of this forbidden religion.
Manja – Ancestor worship originally found between Li Halan before their elevation to grace It still survives and is kept under the most careful and strict secrecy. The service includes call and communion with dead ancestors in secret crypts holding it’s remains.
Sathraism – A religious cult based on the addictive and ecstatic feeling arising travelling through a jumpgate without Sathra dampers on the spaceship.
At the beginning of human exploration it was found that the jumpgate caused a strange feeling when going through them. The effect instantly caused an induction to a drug like high followed by addictive qualities. Using its effects repeatedly can also induce psychic powers in more accustomed users.
There are generally three types of Sathraists.
- Spontaneous type that by accident or fate was converted while travelling without the dampers.
- The second group are Sathraists communities who separated from the rest of humanity to live among themselves without being judged by the Church and State. They live on distant planets not connected to the Known Worlds.
- The last type are hidden Sathraists working with an agenda that Sathraists will be accepted in the society.
Rumors that the Imperial Eye is controlled by hidden Sathraists persists and date from infiltration in previous eras.