The Church of the All-Father
Welcome again, students. Today’s lecture is an overview of the formation of the Church of the All-Father. This lecture is an introduction to this period of history, and provides the necessary foundation for us to have a deeper discussion at a later date.
In our last lesson we talked about the worship of the Titan, Humanis, and then the arrival of the All-Father. We talked about the First Believer, Jaalom and how the All-Father came to the City of Ceradome to confirm Jaalom’s message.
The Church of the All-Father
During the time that the All-Father visited with the people of Ceradome, the people were documenting the Sacred Scrolls and not focused on organizing a religion. When the All-Father departed, Jaalom and the other people in Ceradome began to wonder how to organize themselves to accomplish the All-Father’s final command: to spread word of his love to all the other Humans in Elhal.
Being familiar with the religion of Humanis, the people of Ceradome created an organization charged with carrying out his final command: the Church of the All-Father. It was loosely modeled in a fashion similar to the cults of Humanis, with a head priest who commanded the followers. Instantly there were problems, as different groups wanted to head the Church and had their own interpretations of the All-Father’s final command. Factions formed and the city became divided on which group they should follow.
Jaalom had not been in Ceradome at the time, he had gone to the near-by towns and villages to spread the word of the All-Father. He returned to a divided Ceradome, and was greatly upset by the behavior of the other believers. He went to the town center and upon the podium he admonished all the factions.
It is written in the First Sacred Scroll of Jaalom:
Have you learned nothing since the All-Father walked among us? Did you not hear him tell us of his children, the Titans, and their constant squabbling, and how they brought about the Eon War? Do you so easily forget the lesson of how Humanis created us to rule over one another, to hold power over each other? Did the All-Father not tell us to let go of power and authority and instead seek brotherhood and love?
I ask you, how can a church, one dedicated to the message and love of the All-Father, hold any power over anyone? How can it speak of brotherhood and love, if it rules over others? How will anyone be able to follow such a flawed model? They cannot.
We must empty ourselves of our own desires to rule each other, we must let go of the idea that someone must be in charge telling us what to do. Rather we have to believe that we will be better by working together, by trusting one another, by loving each other, in the way that the All-Father has instructed.
Overall Jaalom was successful. Not every member of every faction believed in what he said, but the majority agreed and everyone came back together to try to find a new way to organize the Church. It was not an easy process, but most respected Jaalom as the First Believer, and he was able to use that position to keep the group working together.
The Early Church
The newly formed Church had a number of challenges. It required organization if it was going to be able spread its word. It also had to avoid the temptations of power that Humanis instilled within our beings. After much debate and prayer, though, Jaalom and the other believers created the Church structure which stands today.
There needed to be a head of the Church, one that others could look to for direction, and one who could teach the ways of the All-Father, based on the Sacred Scrolls. The believers created the position of First Father, who was selected by the group through a vote (And remains that way to this day). The First Father is not in charge nor commands the members of the church, rather he is an advisor who is greatly respected. He provides his input and his advice, which is taken with great weight.
It should be noted that the title First Father was created because the group elected a man, Emoru, to this position. In the years that followed, the position has been bestowed upon women as well, and when it is the title changes to First Mother.
Jaalom was given the special title of First Believer, to denote his special relationship with the All-Father, as well as to recognize he who brought the church to Ceradome. Everyone, including the First Father, deferred to Jaalom’s judgment during his lifetime.
The Scroll of Ceradome
The Church also made several other important decisions which were codified into the Scroll of Ceradome. This document is the foundation of the modern Church, and later would be key in the formation of the Empire.
Among the numerous proclamations made in The Scroll of Ceradome, there are several key ones worth noting:
The goal of the Church is to spread the message of the All-Father to all the Humans of Elhal.
The most important thing about the church was to spread the word and make it available to all the humans of Elhal. This mandate was key for the church to be present in all the lands before the rise of the four Kingdoms.
It would not be until the time of Kelven the Vessel that the All-Father’s true intent became known; his will was to share his message with more than just the humans. Kelven’s discovery of a sect of Giants worshiping the All-Father, and in possession of a previously undocumented Sacred Scroll, caused a re-evaluation of this proclamation. It also has critical impact on Fiends being welcomed into the Church, which impacts the Liberation of Inkala, all of which will be discussed in future lectures.
The home of the Church of the All-Father is Ceradome, and as such it is the home of the First Father.
This would establish Ceradome as the spiritual home for the Church, and would eventually lead to the creation of the great Cathedral of the All-Father. It would also be the location of the Seal of the All-Father, the mystic protection which kept Ceradome safe through the rule of the Demon King.
At the end of the rule of the Demon King, this statement would be invalidated by Kelven, the Vessel. He would relocate the home of the church, as well as the Seal, to Olmkala. This is also the subject of several future lectures
The Church, First Father, or any other priest or priestess of the Church can never hold any position of authority over others.
Fearing the model of the religion of Humanis, which sought control over others, the Church of the All-Father created a total separation of the Church from those who hold power. This proclamation prohibits a priest of the Church from being in charge of any group of people, be it a work detail out farming, the general of an army, or a queen of a kingdom.
This abstaining from power is a demonstration to the All-Father of the understanding of his message, as well a message to humans (and others) that the word of the Church is one that comes from seeking the best for all, and not for themselves.
Because Priests are human, and our most base desires are for power, there have been some documented cases where this proclamation was broken by members of the Church. It was most often violated during the reign of the Demon King, when the greater Church was disbanded and forced underground, preventing proper monitoring. During this time of restoration, it is once again being properly enforced.
This proclamation is also violated during the initial formation of the Empire, though done with the consent of the rulers of all four kingdoms.
With the formation of the Church and the declaration of its proclamations, members of the Church went forth into Elhal to seek other human settlements and deliver the message of the All-Father. It was a dangerous task, as many settlements had their own cults to Humanis, who were hostile to the All-Father. It was from this danger that the All-Father created the Kiv’uli as a way to protect the members of the church.
Considering our time spent, we will save the story of the Kiv’uli for our next lesson.
Had it not been for Jaalom’s criticism on the various factions of believers, it is possible that there would not be a single Church of the All-Father but rather many different sects. That being true, it is likely that various sects would have formed under the Four Kingdoms, each loyal to its own people. If that had come to pass, the formation of the Empire would have been nearly impossible, and it would have likely lead to Elhal descending into a civil war.
Lucky for us, the wisdom of Jaalom prevailed, and we have a unified Church which has had a key role in the overall survival and prosperity of the humans of Elhal.
Our next lecture will talk about the missionary work of the early Church, as well as the mysterious and holy creatures, the Kiv’uli.