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The First Believer

Tyriv Post smallWelcome again, scholars, to our next lecture. Today I will continue from our previous lecture on Cosmology and Ancient History, and talk about the Church of the All-Father. I will discuss the time after the Eon War, the rise of the religion of Humanis, and the Origin of the Church of the All-Father.

Post-War Elhal

After the All-Father ended the Eon War, humanity began to thrive throughout the continent of Elhal. Humans believed that they had the continent to themselves. In truth, Giants of Stammiglin were in hiding in the center of the mountains, but their discovery would not be for hundreds of years.

In those post-war days, humanity worked to rebuild from the devastation of the Eon War. Today, there are some structures from the Eon War, scattered throughout Monatobe, but in the other lands those buildings did not withstand the forces of war, weather, and time.

Early Civilizations

Cradle of Civilization

It was a struggle, but with their intelligence humanity found solutions to the problems of housing and food. During this time, humanity clustered in the center of the continent, in the areas of southern Kotkala, northern Monatobe, the eastern plains of Stammiglin, and what would be the west of Arlean.

The All-Father’s influence faded quickly, and the inner drives of Man took over. Soon the region formed into tribes and bands. The will of Humanis began to shine, and humans became concerned about ruling over lands, and over one another. Tribes began to claim territories, declare enemies, and make allies.

The Religion of Humanis

During this same time, writings of Humanis recorded during the Eon War began to circulate among the various tribes. The writings became codified and then proselytized, transforming into a religion. The religion exalted control and domination, and believed that true peace came from total control and not harmony and balance. It would seem like this would be a blueprint for forging humanity into one single, unified tribe, but it had the exact opposite effect.

I speculate, if the religion arose before the maturation of tribalism then it may have been the point about which we humans would have rallied, and our history would be quite different. Instead, each tribe found the writings and formed their own versions of the religion separately, convinced that their version was the correct one, and that unity would come when all others bowed to their version.

As religions go, the religion of Humanis is harsh. It places great demands on its followers, and has cruel punishments for failure. It seeks domination above all others, humans, non—humans, animals, etc. The religion denounces the All-Father for the imprisonment of Humanis, and seeks her return from her earthly prison. It holds a special place for any Mages (A topic for a future discussion), because magic was a gift from Humanis, and those gifted were considered the true bloodlines of the rulers of Humanity.

The religion of Humanis helped to further divide humanity into tribes and city-states. It also caused the populations to start moving out from the center of Elhal to gain space from one another, as well as to conquer new lands. There were, of course, various battles and small wars, but nothing on the scale of Eon War.

Over the span of 500 years, the human tribes spread out among the land and ruled themselves while following the religion of their lost Mother. It was not ideal, but humanity was able to thrive. Cities formed throughout Elhal, and the beginning of cultural identities began to form.

The First Believer

I will rely on the Scarred Scrolls for their telling. This story is both religious and historical, and applicable to this lecture.

The origins of the Church of the All-Father trace themselves back around 1500 years ago; 400 years before the formation of the Empire. It started in the northern desert of Monatobe, in the city of Ceradome, with a dying man named Jaalom.

Jaalom was dying of Withering Breath, which was untreatable then and remains so today. In those days, to keep the spread of the disease in check, those afflicted were exiled into the desert to die; either of the disease or exposure. Jaalom was on his final trek several days into the desert, and did not expect to live much longer.

It was at this time that the All-Father returned to Elhal, to see how the children of Humanis had prospered since being saved from the Eon War.

It should be noted that it is human-centric to think that the All-Father was here only to see us, but no proof from the limited cultural information from the Hoblin or Orcs makes mention of any being such as the All-Father.

As Jaalom walked along the hard packed sands waiting for death to take him, the All-Father appeared. His form was that of a middle-aged man in ornate flowing robes, who appeared with a crown of light. Jaalom froze in fear, having never seen a man of such intensity and raw power. The All-Father reached out his hand and laid it on Jaalom’s breast, and said “Fear me not. I am the All-Father, and I have chosen you to be my children.”

And with the All-Father’s touch, Jaalom was cured. He fell to his knees and cried out of joy, and said “You are my Father in all things, and I am your obedient child.”

The All-Father told him to rise. Through his will, He created an oasis around them, for the two to talk. They sat and talked, watching the day pass into night and again into day. The All-Father told Jaalom all about the creation of the world, the birth of the Titans, and their imprisonment.

Jaalom told the All-Father about the time after he left. The rise of the religion of Humanis, and the battles and wars. The All-Father told Jaalom that he would watch and care over humanity if they would worship him, rather than Humanis. Jaalom renounced the ways of Humanis in that oasis, and became the First Believer.

As their talked concluded, the All-Father told Jaalom to return to his village, and to tell the others what they had discussed; to ask the others to worship the All-Father over Humanis. Jaalom, filled with the awe and love of the All-Father, could not refuse. He bid his eternal Father farewell and set out to return to Ceradome.

Jaalom was not welcomed to Ceradome with open arms. There was much shock and outrage among the townspeople. He assured them that he was cured, and told them the story of the appearance of the All-Father, and the knowledge he provided. But the townspeople did not believe him. They took his words as lies, and in their fear they responded by stoning Jaalom in the streets.

He did not flee, nor raise his hands in defense. Jaalom continued to praise the All-Father, and begged the people to abandon the ways of Humanis and embrace the love of the All-Father. Battered and bloody, he remained in the town square, continuing to preach. Then, in the air above Jaalom, the All-Father appeared in the form of the man with the crown.

The people of Ceradome froze in awe of his power. The All-Father scolded the crowds, “You wicked people! You stone an innocent man, who has only spoken the truth. You would rather believe in violence instead of love. Because you only revere power, I come to you now robed in an aura of power, so that you too may believe. I am the All-Father, the creator of all things. Give up your worship of my child, Humanis, and her teachings of power and dominion. Worship me, and I shall watch over you and give you my praise above all others.”

It was then that the people understood what Jaalom had been saying. They fell to their knees, struck with awe, and came to believe.

The All-Father stayed with Jaalom and the people of Ceradome, he told them of the world, and they came to worship him. He instructed them in the proper ways and laws. It was here that the scribes penned the first of the Sacred Scrolls, detailing the All-Father’s words.

Word began to spread and people from miles away came to Ceradome to learn, and they too became believers. Not everyone was convinced and many tribes held fast to the ways of Humanis, declaring those who followed the All-Father to be heretics, and sentencing them to death.

Seventy days after his appearance in Ceradome, he declared to the people “My time here must come to an end. My attentions cannot always be focused upon you, or all of existence would cease. I must now return to my celestial kingdom of Olamaba to keep the sun rising and the seasons changing. In time I will come again to visit with you. Until then, go forth upon this land, and tell all humans of my love and favor for you, and what they must do to be my good children. Await my return.”

With that the All-Father departed from Elhal.

Final Thoughts

Once again, we see how our human nature to dominate lead to the formation of tribes and factions. We see how the foundation of the religion of Humanis continued to divide humanity, based on the need for total control. We also see that the early humans were unable to hear the loving words of the All-Father, until they witnessed a display of power. The good news is that it would get better and the love of the All-Father would spread.

In our next lesson we will look at the foundation of the Church and the rise of the Four Kingdoms.

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Phil Vecchione

Game Designer, Project Manager, Writer, Podcaster, and Blogger — As a man of many hats, Phil has been working in the roleplaying game industry since 2009 working with Engine Publishing, Evil Beagle Games, Third Eye Games, and Pelgrane Games. His work has won or been nominated for a number of awards, including the ENnie, Golden Geek, and Origins Award. Phil is also a trained Project Manager and applies his mad Gantt Charting skills to all of Encoded’s work.

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