Church of Titanius
|Main • Tropes|
|Church of Titanius|
The symbol of the Titanist religion
|Scripture||Book of Visions|
|Sacred language||Classical High Elven|
|Headquarters||Yanus, Kingdom of Froturn|
|Regions with significant populations|
The Church of Titanius is a monotheistic religion originating in the Kingdom of Froturn, whose followers make up the majority in Froturn, Etrand, Etrancoast and Artaburro. Followed by over seven million people, it is the largest religion on the continent of Artograch. Titanists worship a god named Titanius, the God of Light, believing him to be the only deity who actually exists (considering every other one to be an impostor), all-powerful, omnipotent, guiding his faithful via prophets, heroes, revealed scriptres and historical events. The religion's main holy scripture is the Book of Visions, but several other, later books have became part of the canon as well, formally unified as the New Canon in 377 AEKE.
The Titanist religion is organized through the Church of Titanius, which is headed by the Hierophant, its relations with secular authorities guided by the Yanus Protocol. Not all self-proclaimed Titanius-worshippers are part of the Church of Titanius - several self-proclaimed believers disagree with official church doctrines, which leads to them being branded as heretics and persecuted by the Inquisition accordingly, with the most famous heretical community being the Order of the Eternal Crystal Flower.
The Church of Titanius has been the state religion of the Kingdom of Froturn ever since it has existed. It is said that before the unification of the High Elves by Queen Salvia the Great, each and every High Elven tribe had their own local deity with a different name, and the High Elven religion wasn't actually monotheistic but monolatristic.
After Salvia unified the realm, she did not ban the worship of the local deities, instead, she proclaimed that her own was the superior one, and all the local deities were lesser gods. Some of the more loyal clan leaders renounced their own deities, "demoting" them to mere saints, wrongfully deified prophets or prophets-turned-demigods; while the more fierce clans continued to be staunch worshipers of their own deities, reluctantly paying lip service to the official stance that their god was subservient to the all-father Titanius.
After Salvia died and Froturn degenerated into a collection of warring states ruled by petty warlords and their clans, there was only one thing - other than language and culture - that was keeping the High Elves of Froturn together: religion. All of the warring clans, to justify their claim on the title of King of Froturn, renamed their own local deity to Titanius, claiming to worship the one and only true god. Eventually, by the 9th century BEKE, Froturn was re-unified, both in secular and religious matters. Local deities were banned, the Titanius worshipped by the King of Froturn was proclaimed the one and only true god - everyone who disagrees would be branded an infidel and burned on the stake.
The newly unified state of Froturn cemented this newfound religious unity by compiling a holy book, the Book of Visions, adopting the Yanus Standard of the Classical High Elven language as their holy language. New courts of law were formed to enforce religious laws, promote Orthodoxy and discourage Heterodoxy - the precursor of the Inquisiton. The Yanus Protocol was signed to regulate relations between the state and the church.
Fast forward to six centuries later, to the reign of King Naeredus the Missionary - the Titanist religion starts spreading beyond the borders of Froturn. Titanist missionaries visit Etrand, and while they initially failed in gaining the high amount of converts they anticipated, in the late first century BEKE, a tribal leader named Corlagon converted to Titanism, unifeid the then-pagan tribes of Etrand during Corlagon's Wars of Unification, forming the Titanist Kingdom of Etrand.
Three centuries later, the Word of Titanius has spread ever further - Etrand has annexed former Hulra, while the Principality of Artaburro was founded in formerly unclaimed territory. While previously at odds with the Cult of Nature, due to the historical competition for converts, after the Demonic invasions of Artograch, the two religions have entered good relations - they borrowed ideas from each other, borrowed arts and symbolism. Cultural exchanges occurred, the two religions borrowed a lot of concepts from each other. It was the the golden age of mixed arts, when Wood Elven, High Elven and Human music, paintings, sculpting and architecture were joined as one, when Titanist churches were decorated with flowers previously only found in Dragoc, when the people of Dragoc gladly drank Froturnish wine.
During the 8th century AEKE however, this religious harmony was starting to rot as Queen Cairi of Dragoc began sending missionaries into Titanist countries to convert people to Naturalism. This caused a crisis in the religion, as many religious leaders began wondering what has made their flock so susceptible to being stolen away by a foreign religion. To make matters worse, King Bryant I of Etrand and King Cael'mus of Froturn took action to reduce the Church's power, supposedly in the name of religious tolerance, but in reality with the motivation of increasing their own royal authority and wealth at the expense of the Church.
King Cairbré I of Etrand in the late-middle 8th century has banned foreign missionaries and did what he could to hand back the power to the Church that his father had discreetly and gradually stripped away from them, giving the Inquisiton the green light to do as the please. A little less than one century later King Ivahó of Froturn did the same as Cairbré, banning missionaries, bringing religious relations between the Church of Titanius and the Cult of Nature to an all-time low.
Sevaral priests believe that the actions of Ivahó and the late Cairbré (and his successors) are little more than symptomatic treatment for the problem at hand, and the reforms have to be made to eradicate the problem at its cause, to make the Titanist religion appealing and fresh again - however, with the limited intellectual freedoms within the church, proponents of reforms often have to lay low, because - quite counterintuitively - in this time of perceived crisis, it is much easier to get accused of being a heretic and burned on the stake than centuries ago.
The most basic premise of the Titanist religion - at least, according to present-day interpretations - that darkness, chaos and bleakness is the natural state of the world. According to religious doctrine, in the begging, there was darkness and chaos, and anything that was born in that era got immediately destroyed. This period was long, but somehow, Titanius was born, the sun-good, the personification of light and order. Titanius fought against the darkness and chaos, and ultimately won - his victory resulted in the creation of the world as we know it today, with all its land, stars, water, and most important: organic life, such as plants and animals.
He also created more intelligent animals, gave them souls and the ability to verbally communicate complex and abstract concepts. He guided them to build up civilization - according to present-day, as well as the ultra-orthodox interpretations - the natural state of the world is dark and bleak. In the nature, the cute and the beautiful gets eaten by the ugly and the hungry, the strong wolf and bear. In civilization, the strong shall not harm the weak, and the weak shall not fear the strong, as all are judged equally under the law for their crimes and merits alike, just as in heaven. But the peoples Titanius has given the gift of civilization abused this gift, and went overboard - they exploited the weak, they grew fat on the backs of the starving, they waged wars amongst each other for the pettiest of reasons, and destroyed the only positive part of nature: its aesthetical beauty. So Titanius created the Proto-Elves, whom he sent as a scourge to destroy the Shár Empire, the greatest and most decadent civilization the world has ever seen.
Alas, the Proto-Elves failed to destroy the Shár, but cracked their empire's foundations to bring them close enough to collapse. For this, they receive a mixture of punishment and reward - they were expelled to an island of paradise that they were assigned to the guardians of, but they could only reach it after a long and arduous journey that involved lots of blood and sweat. In this island of paradise, they had all they could eat, but were forbidden from waging war amongst each other. In the end, however, darkness rose again - as darkness wasn't defeated yet, it has taken seed amongst the Proto-Elves. Their life could have been perfect, but darkness and chaos wasn’t fully destroyed yet, and has worked with all its force to destroy Titanius and his created world. Evilness has corrupted the souls of the Proto-Elves, who destroyed their paradise succumbing to the temptation to stray away from Titanius.
The god of life could not have allowed evil to be dominant again, so he punished the Proto-Elves, and altrough he didn’t take away their soul,he started to torment the Proto-Elves with natural disasters which fored them to leave the island. After the left the island, Titanius destroyed the island.
Altrough the people have forgotten about Titanius, Titanius hasn’t forgotten about them. He led them to the continent of Artongrach. He also created the Angels, whose duty is to help the people to turn back to the right direction. It has been very long since the Proto-Elves split into 3 races, but the High Elves were successful to turn back: they saw the light and Titanius adopted them. The god of light promised that those who start to go on the path of Light are rewarded with afterlife in Titanius’s New Eden. So more and more children of Titanius turned back to him, and regardless of how many people did they split to, Titanius always accepted them gladly. But evil hasn’t been sleeping for long, corrupted and damned souls, who turned to the Darkness, became demons and swore an oath to destroy everything. Altrough many people believed that the evil demons will be victorious, Titanius sent his strongest angels: the seraphim. And with their help, the demons were defeated.
The Church of Titanius believes in a mixture of reincarnation and heaven-and-hell. They believe that people go through a time of paradise as a reward or a time of suffering as punishment before they eventually reincarnate. Nortiimus is equated with hell, and it is believed that the Demons are little more than physical manifestations of the most evil and wicked souls.
Without enough space to write down everything, we only wrote the creation myth in a simplified version, and in addition to a creation myth, Titanius also has laws, which determine what is good and what is evil. We don’t have space to write down all of them, only the most important ones:
- Respect Titanius and never curse his name, never blaspheme
- Do not live a selfish life, serve the community of Titanius.
- Order should be the most important in your life, never give in to temptations of chaos.
- In order is broken, do everything you can to restore it.
- Respect everyone who is devoted to the Path of Light.
- Try to convince people to start following the Path of Light.
- If someone turns to the Darkness, punish him/her for the blasphemous act.
- Use all your strength to destroy the creatures of chaos and darkness.
Good and evil
The Titanist religion - like the majority of monotheistic religions - makes a clear and rather absolutist distinction between good and evil... however, it is also important to note that it also makes a distinction between two types of evil: Cold Evil and Fiery Evil. The earlier is associated with decay (both natural and unnatural), parasitism, vampirism, undead, primarily spreading via infection rather than brute force.
|The Light Side||The Dark Side|
|Cold Dark||Fiery Dark|
|Associated element(s)||Air and Water||Earth||Fire|
|Associated emotions||Happiness, sadness, love||Fear, emotionlessness, apathy, selfishness||Hatred, anger, lust (for power)|
|Associated colours||An assortment of bright colours, but chiefly yellow||Grey, dark green, desaturated colours||Red, magenta|
|Associated creatures||Angels||Liches, Vampires, theriantropes and other undead creatures||Demons|
Ultimately, the Cold Dark or Cold Evil is considered the Lesser Evil, for two simple reasons: one is that it is a much lesser threat to the living (slowly sucking away life, but always leaving some, instead of quickly extinguishing it for all time), and that it has always existed, and will always exist. In fact, the contrast between Light and Cold Dark can be understood as the contrast between life, growth versus natural death and natural decay; wheras the contrast between Cold Dark and Fiery Dark can be understood as a contrast between the slow and natural decay and inevitable death - a sadly inevitable part of every mortal's life - and a fast but brutal, undignified death. Plus, it is said that the ultimate battle is between angels and demons, heaven and hell, not living and dead.
While one may ideally wish for a life free of both parasites and immediate threats to one's life, one must admit that the earlier is in a way, the lesser evil: because the continued existence of their host is in every self-respecting parasite's best interests, a sufficently intelligent parasite can be reasoned and negotiated with - in contrast, barbaric and demonic forces that desire one's absolute dsstruction cannot be reasoned or negotiated with, as they only listen to brute force. And thus, the forces of Cold Darkness will always find a way to coexist with the forces of Light against all odds, being a pervasive force of nature constantly lurking in the shadows - in contrast to the forces of Fiery Darkness, who will always attempt to use brute force to eliminate the Forces of Light, or die trying.
Hence it could be said, that the duality of Life and Death, or Light and Cold Darkness, is considered part of nature, while Fiery Darkness is considered an unnatural phenomenon, a force outside of nature, thus an inherent threat to both Light and Cold Darkness.
Attitudes towards sexuality
- See also: Titanist attitudes towards sexuality
Reproduction is seen as the primary function of sex - while recreational sex is not considered a sin in itself, believers are still discouraged from indulging in it in excess.
Homosexuality is considered a sin, and before the invention of Sodobane, people were actually burned for being homosexual. After the invention of sodobane, religious perception of homosexuality has shifted from viewing it as a deadly sin to viewing it as a "sinful disease" - a curable disease, for which it is a deadly sin to reject cure, Sodobane.
Attitudes towards marriage
- See also: Marriage in Artograch#Titanist countries
Attitudes towards executions
The Church of Titanius dictates, that executions must follow two criteria to be considered lawful:
- The death must be "clean", as in, leaving the deceased's face recognizeable and identifiable, with any intentional disfigurement of the deceased being out of the question
- The death should preferably be quick and painless, with hanging and beheading being the preferred forms of execution.
Despite this, the Church still metes out punishment that violates this rule - for example, sodomites, necromancers, undead, heretics and apostates are typically punished by burning on a stake, which goes against both criteria. The Church justifies this by stating, that the rules only apply on the faithful (and members of tolerated religious minorities), and don't apply to sodomites, necromancers, heretics and apostates, who are considered to have sold their souls to the devil (while undead are considered soulless husks) - the demon taking one's soul was the fast and painless death: the criminal is already dead, and is merely being symbolically purified by fire - as the common saying goes, “Only taint exists within that soul now. Fire will purify their soul”.
The subject remains controversial to this day, as several theologians believe, that the aforementioned criteria applies to everyone living under Titanist rule, and that burning on a stake is a "pagan thing" or "Neressang thing".
Most of Titanius’s worshipers are part of the Church of Titanius: this means that they assist in the building of new temples, they play Church tax to the priests, and they attend rites in the churches. In addition to that, they also pray to Titanius at home. This would be alight, but there is also church corruption, exploitation of believers, and sometimes the Inquisition appears, which has only innocent victims most of the time. So this is why the cult of “outcasts” is born. Those are the ones who believe that the Church has not right to exist, and only the faith matters. The Church persecutes those who belong to the “outcasts”. The outcasts usually hide in old sanctuaries and ruins, and their rites aren’t led by a priest, instead an average believer.
Although they do not call themselves “outcasts”, instead they call themselves “True Believers” or “Orthodox Titanists”, but those of the Church regard them as heretics and and (wrongfully) associate them with demons, that means they use their Inquisition to purge Etrand and Froturn of them. The truth is that an average “outcast Titanist” is usually much more religious than an average Priest from the Church. The most famous “outcast” community is the Order of the Eternal Crystal Flower.
A lot of heretics - such as the aforementioned Order of the Eternal Crystal Flower - reject parts of the New Canon and consider some books within it apocryphal (of questionable authenticity), and only accept the Book of Visions in its entirity.