Note! This cult is a work in progress. It is not complete and the details may be changed in the future. Please note this article is from 2000.
The Aeolian Church is a monotheistic religion of Kethaela.
Extracts from The Examples of Karatch
We are the followers of Saint Aeol, who showed us that the Gods of the barbarians are merely men of great natural power. Many outside the church mock us for our beliefs, which they claim are but devotion of the barbarian gods under the guise of proper worship, but we know better.
The Story of St. Aeol
- It is written that Aeol was a young man to whom God had given the gift of knowing languages, so that everyone said he was Kachast come back to life. His native land was called Obron, where all people were so good and pious that they commonly heard God speak back to them when they prayed.
- One day a Waertagi captain called the Great Shipper told Aeol that he had discovered a lost colony of their countrymen trapped on a distant island. They worshipped the One God but spoke a strange tongue, and everyone wondered if Aeol could to speak to them. He agreed to meet them, and became one of those most rare persons of the Dawn Age: an Out Traveler, who went to distant realms upon a Waertagi ship.
- He landed at Frandis Beach where he prayed to the Creator for guidance and protection, then sought the lost people. He found them in dire straits, assaulted by a confederation of evil creatures bent on their destruction. Aeol called on the Creator to help him, and raised a wall around the enemy army. The people went atop the wall and fired arrows and poured fire down until heir foes were dead. The people took Aeol home to their city of Aladis where he set up a church and taught them the ways of Malkion, as God was called when he was Man.
- A tribe of barbarians living in the forests around Aladis made another effort to destroy the good peoples. They summoned Raging Thunder to cast snarling lightning upon their foes. Aeol prayed to Malkion for guidance and help, then personally confronted the great wind. Malkion protected Aeol while the two beings confronted each other. They turned the world around and each set their uttermost Truth against each other. Naturally the Truth of the One God prevailed, and the terrible storm became just a person, who served Aeol thereafter as a personal servant. Aeol proved that the foreign gods were just humans who had obtained great powers, and that God had a greater truth and Solace.
- Then he proved the tremendous power of God. Aeol showed the people that, within his own grimoire, were the sacrifices that he (and thus they too) would make to the men who claimed to be gods. Aeol replaced all blood sacrifices with offerings of bread shaped like animals. Aeol summoned the revealed men to come to the altar and they did, and they accepted the sacrifice, and they agreed to be Great Allies of the Church and grant feats to their followers who made the sacrifices. Only Great Thunder did not receive this, because he had already accepted the veneration of Malkion and become human.
- Aeol was a model of faithfulness to God and performed many healings and blessings in His name. He was peaceful and powerful, and even after his death people experienced miracles at his tomb. Aladis was afterwards inhabited by only worshippers of Malkion, and the lands around it as well. Aladis was later destroyed and the tomb crushed to dust, along with its relics. Nonetheless, some of them were recovered and are powerful artifacts of piety.
- Towards the end of his life a follower of Aeol’s wrote Examples of Karatch, a story of Aeol’s life and teachings. With his last breath Aeol blessed the book and died with his hand resting upon it.
The Divine Saints
The Divine Saints are those beings who were worshipped as Gods by the Barbarians, but are known to be powerful magicians. They are the Patrons and Patronesses of various activities or occupations and can be called upon in time of need. Some, like Sts. Worlath and Earna are worshipped at every service, while others such as Sts. Ehilm, Taurox and Chalarn are the focus of Low Orders.
- Worlath was worshipped as a god by the barbarians in the old days. He is shown as a barbarian holding a thunderbolt.
- When Aeol defeated Worlath, he showed that Worlath was just a man with magical powers.
- St. Worlath is the patron of Travelers, Lords and is called upon for defense against Storm and Tyranny.
- Ehilm was worshipped as the Sun by the barbarians. He is shown as a barbarian surrounded by a golden corona.
- St. Ehilm is the patron of Guards and Horsemen, and is called upon when defending property from invaders or thieves.
- St. Ehilm is primarily worshipped by the military Order of St. Ehilm in Jansholm. This elite force guards against troll raiders from the Shadow Plateau and the Troll Woods.
- Taurox was worshipped as a berserk god of storm and staunchly anti-demon. He is portrayed as a barbarian wearing a horned helmet.
- St Taurox defends the land from the incursions of demons. He is worshipped only by the military Order of the Sacred Bull in the fortress town of xx.
- Earna was worshipped as Mother Earth by the barbarians. She is shown as a barbarian woman holding the sacred Earth Square.
- St. Earna is the patroness of Women in general, and Mothers in particular. She is called upon to aid childbirth, or when the family is in trouble.
- Chalarn was worshipped as the Great Healer by the barbarians. She is shown as a barbarian woman holding a sprig of Healwort.
- St. Chalarn is the Patroness of the Ill and Wounded. She is called upon by healers and those in pain. There are many hospices of the Order of St. Chalarn throughout the lands of the church.
Other Divine Saints
There are many other Divine Saints than those mentioned here. Every occupation has its patron saint, from the farmer’s St. Bartath to the sailor’s St. Dormal, to the merchant’s St Ishaar.
The Bishop Saints
The Bishop Saints are men who faced crises of the church and guided it on the path of Righteousness. They are honored for this, but not venerated and do not provide Blessings or Grimoires.
The Story of St. Arvanad
- Bishop Arvanad was head of the Church of Saint Aeol when Arkat came. He had been a cooper, and so is shown holding a ring.
- Arkat was a terrible deceiver and the bishop saw that right away. He listened to the teachings that Arkat and his western liturgists brought and watched the conversion of many trolls and elves to the foreign religion. Yet he resisted, gently, and from the pulpit warned his people to remain with him, and not join the new church. For that he was later taken and killed and dismembered, then eaten by trolls. But they all vomited out the parts, which were burnt and buried en masse. But people dug them up, and the holy relics saw them through the persecutions that they suffered under the stygian Church of Saint Arkat. The many miracles done by those relics attest the bishop’s sanctity.
The Story of St. Keranel
- Great Keranel was a liturgist among the Aeolians when the Saint appeared and spoke to him. He is shown with a quill pen.
- He was instructed to write a new grimoire, and to found a sacred Order to drive out the Stygians. Foes tried to kill him several times but he escaped, and at last founded the Order of the Sun. Then he went to the barbarians and challenged them, as Aeol had done long before, and Keranel proved that their god was only a man who knew great sorcery. Thus that whole group converted to the Aeolian faith and formed the core of the new order. They called themselves the Knights of Elmal. Their grimoire is Book of the Sun Man.
The Story of St. Faraneol
- Bishop Faraneol was the Archbishop of Mt. Passant. He is shown wearing the miter.
- One day the Proud Foreign Bishop, who called himself Missionary of Righteousness, came to the cathedral at Mt Passant. He presented to Bishop Faraneol a copy of The Abiding Book, which had appeared some years before in Jrustela. Faraneol studied it, gave it to his scholars, and asked the Proud Foreign Bishop what he desired of the Church of Aeol.
- “We ask,” said the Proud Bishop, “that you acknowledge the Book and join us in the One True Religion of the world.”
- “We are of it now,” said Faraneol, “and though our Book is (in part) within yours, yours is not within us.” He gave a similar answer to the Rude Leader of the Stygian church that came to ask for help. He did not allow his worshippers to campaign against the Stygians, however, nor to help them. Shortly afterwards the knights of the Proud Bishop trampled over broken city walls and pillaged cathedral, schools and nunneries. Faraneol was nailed to a tree and tortured because he would not renounce his belief, nor accept the Abiding Book, nor tell where the great grimoire was hidden. Many miracles occurred afterwards at his grave.
The Story of St. Karanal
- Bishop Karanal was the Great Rescuer. He had been a warrior and so is shown bearing a sword.
- For centuries true worship remained hidden and in the hills as God Learners possessed the cities of the coast and warred against the Only Old One and his dragons. At last, though, the Counter Priesthood revealed itself as a mostali pawn when it released Zistor and its legion upon the world. Karanal accepted all the refugees to his hill strongholds. After the terrible machine wars they moved back to wide lands abandoned by defeated peoples.
Manifestations, Icons, and Images
We decorate our churches and shrines with carvings, paintings and tapestries to show scenes of the Saint’s Deeds. Each saint has his own iconography, to allow us to identify him.
God the Creator is never shown except as the double triangle.
Malkion, the form of God as Man, is shown as a fully cloaked figure, except for his mouth showing through a hole in the hood. Thus God, even as Man, is utterly mysterious except for his mouth, from whence come the words of God.
Saint Aeol is shown as a man with the Aeolian tonsure and long robes. He bears in hand “karatch” sign, which is the Word of God the Creator, showing that “all stems from the Word,” as the saint taught.
The Divine-Saints are portrayed as barbarians with the appropriate item as noted above.
The other Bishop-saints of the church are generally indistinguishable from Aeol, except that they hold their own icons: hoop, quill, sword, etc.
Otherworld Home and Life After Death
Aeolus’ Node is called Peaceful Passage. It connects to the nodes of the other saints.
Nature of the Cult
Cosmological Reason for Existence
The Church exists to bring the Truth to the people of the world. They can particularly show how worshippers of the gods and goddesses are in error when they follow their traditions, and offer an alternative.
Role of the Cult in Society
The Church provides for the spiritual needs of the people. It makes no material claims, seeks to teach those who would listen, and encourages nonviolence.
Attitudes and Relationships
The church preaches a generally nonmilitant way of life, and then provides its military orders as outlets for those individuals who need it anyway. However, its general passivity is part of its survival technique of not competing with the local religions – which are often more numerous in membership.
The Aeolians practice the same basic rites (with substituted bread images for living creatures) as acceptable offerings to saintly men of the past. These allow people to bless fields and livestock, hunt, heal and perform other ordinary tasks. They accept pagan sacrifice as an understandable fault done by weak people, being an error imposed upon their ancestors by deceitful sorcerers.
Finally, history has taught them to distrust any and all foreign monotheists who have come in with false interpretations of what God is, with false revelations and magical books, and with terrible deceitful practices that harmed the worshippers.
Mode of Worship, Rituals, and Holy Days
The Great Bishop is the head of the church. His seat is at the cathedral of Saint Aeol at Mt Passant.
Churches are headed by Chief Sacrificers, and may have many or no liturgists serving them, depending upon the size of the congregation.
Distribution of Worshippers
The Church of St. Aeol is found mainly in cities along the coast of the Choralinthor Bay. Membership is lands surrounding those cities is common, but almost nowhere complete. The highest concentration is in southern Heortland. Almost a third to a half of the entire adult population there is in the church.
Center of Power, Shrines, and Sanctuaries
Shrine of Saint Aeol of the Dust is the greatest holy place, which is where the relics of the founder were pounded to dust. It has a grand church and is visited by many pilgrims who rub the dirt upon their faces as they pray.
The Cathedral of Saint Aeol in Mt Passant is the biggest structure and the seat of the Great Bishop. Aeol prophesied that a great center of learning and humility would be built there, and its altar contains one of Aeol’s finger bones.
Altar of Saint Aeolus is where he performed the first sacrifice to the humans who came to accept it.
Latest revision: 29 Jun 2000