History of the Common Faith

History of the Common Faith
Type History, Religion

There is no consensus regarding when the Common Faith was founded or first practised. Some try for ulterior motives to set a date but those attempts have been considered little more than political manoeuvrings. This is not to say the Common Faith lack significant historical event, just that none can be said to be the founding of the Faith.

Early history

Inkernus writing on "Common rites, faiths and worship"

The earliest mentions of the abstraction of faiths harkens back to the time when the trade sea was explored and trade established. At that point most towns, islands and peoples had their own faith and their own Gods they worshipped. Inkernus the holy wrote

In my travels I have visited many peoples in many towns. While our speech is different and customs so as well there are those things that connect us. The appreciation for that which the sea brings, what is given by the land, and a desire to be in the Gods' good graces. I have spoken to many priests, participated in many rituals, and have come to the conclusion that our faiths are not that different. Yes they differ in practice but not in essence. The Krintians and the Portians for example. Both have a Goddess of earth and growth, highly tied to fertility rites, births and nurturing but they call her by different names and make sacrifice to her on different days. Yet the faith is too similar that I cannot ignore the commonalties. I have drawn similar conclusions regarding the worship of other Gods and have distilled the essence of the divine world into seven aspects.

Inkernus writings did not reach wide distribution and if a copy of them had not been found in the library of Planx they may have been lost forever. While Inkernus writings themselves did not condense the various faiths into what we now know as the Common Faith they may have sparked the process. This condensation of faiths did not happen by mortal design but the process were driven by increased trade and increased interactions.

The temple at Gelo

In the early days of the Common Faith worship continued where it was. The old temples, churches, and shrines to the named Gods were still used. That changed when the temple overlooking Gelo was constructed as the first major house of worship of the Common Faith. It consisted of lower halls that then ascended into a seven sided hall of worship. One side for each essence of the Faith. Being the first proper temple, built by divinely inspired hands, it soon became a goal for pilgrims and others seeking the favour and grace of the aspects. Within two generations it was considered the main hall of worship for the whole Common Faith.

The First Council of Gelo

As the Common Faith grew it absorbed more and more forms of worship. Many kept their practices but instead of worshipping a named God they worshipped the aspect. This led to over time diverging worship within the Common Faith and even diverging aspects. To prevent the Common Faith from fragmenting the Bishop Metropolitan of Gelo called a council to address the situation.

To the council was brought Inkernus "Common rites, faiths and worship" from the library of Planx. It being the first known mention of what was to be come the Common Faith plenty of weight were given to his writings. In the end the council formalized the Seven Aspects and the worship of them into what became the first holy scripture of the Common Faith - "The Common rites and worship".

Modern history

While the Council of Gelo did standardise the Common Faith time has a tendency to change everything. Local variations appearing and worship of Holy men and woman becoming more common. While the aspects and the worship of them remained the same the practice surrounding them is what diverged. These variations made the abstract faith more relatable and there were those advocating the variations being core to Common Faith. Still there were those seeing these variations as a weaker form of worship removing mankind from the divine.

The One Common Faith and the Divine movement

As a reaction to the yet again increased fragmentation of the Common Faith two movements started to gain traction. First was that of the One Common Faith desiring a new Council of Gelo to revise the conclusions of the previous. To say the One Common Faith was a unified movement is an exaggeration. It became a banner to rally around for various minor movements desiring a crater centralisation of the Faith. Many princes and other rulers threw their support behind it. Apart from desiring a new Council there were calls to revise doctrine back to the conclusions of the First Council, calls to abolish worship of Holy men and woman and even calls to enforce the Common Faith (as decreed by some Council) as the only Faith.

The Divine Movement was a more extreme movement. They argued that the modern enlightened mind should have no need of Aspects and other intermediates between her and the Divine. By worshipping an Aspect your worship was lessened. What was to become a cornerstone of the (later to be named) Divine Faith was the idea that those of "enlightened and pious nature" had a responsibility to bring those of not such nature into the Divine Faith to save their immortal beings. They gave themselves the responsibility to save others from what they saw as false and lesser worship.

The Council of Solentum and the defenestration of Suliat

To appease the moderates of the various movements the Council of Solentum was called. What then begun was almost four months of sometimes very heated discussion during the warmest summer in three generations. Little was agreed upon, and what were agreed upon were general statements none could agree upon how to implement. Tension within the forums and outside kept rising, especially since the Divine Movement was mostly ignored and often times locked out. As summer started to come to an end there were signs of progress as both tempers and the air cooled, and also because many uncompromising hard-liners had left. Then mid September a group of Diviners breached into the main forum demanding to get the floor to help save everyone's immortal being. Their leader, a woman by the name of Suliat and originally from the Southern Lands, was assaulted by a group attending the proceedings and literally thrown out a window from the third story.

Results of the Council of Solentum

The Council ended vary inconclusively. As those of the Divine Faith withdrew from the proceedings the princes and other rulers supporting them declared My realm, My faith and many of them began to enforce the Divine Faith. This had the unfortunate consequence to rile up hard-liners of the Common Faith as they saw their brethern becoming subjugated and often forced to convert. Furthermore there was a title included in the High Chancellor of Brux that stated the High Chancellor was the Guaranteer of the Common Faith, those professing it, and all their corporal and material essentials, the Protector of the Common Faith in laymen's terms. That led to several Archbishops and Bishops Metropolitan to demand the High Chancellor exercise her obligations and defend those of the Common Faith. At the same time the Diviners had start to demand that part of the High Chancellor's titles to be removed or they would be forced to secede from the Commonwealth. Trying to maintain stability and the realm the High Chancellor issued a decree that

Each ruler, each man and woman of enlightened nature, each fisher of the sea and tiller of the lands, and each contributing to the prosperity of the Commonwealth was to be free to choose and practice their own faith according to their own convictions without fear of repercussions and interruptions.

Unfortunately what was intended at a gesture of consolidation ended up being received as insulting. No matter from what perspective you approached the decree it was too weak and didn't go too far. This coupled with personal insults given and received during the Council led to old grudges being dug up.

The War of the Disagreement

//See The War of the Disagreement

The tensions build up over the last decade and put on the edge during the summer in Council led to the following spring tax collection being harassed. There were princes refused entry to the Commonwealth's tax collectors and some even went as far as imprisoning them. To re-establish rule of law the High Chancellor was forced to send troops with the collectors. This backfired spectacularly and before the first snows had fallen the ground had become red from minor skirmishes. Hostilities calmed down during the winter but when spring came around what begun as a defiance against the High Chancellor and the realm that abandoned them became a free-for-all. Before the summer solstice the internal conflict had drawn international interest.

The Peace of Dacia

After a generation of war peace was finally signed. While it had begun as a religious conflict it certainly did not end as one. Already during the first year the religious arguments for war had given way to political. For the Common Faith the important parts of the peace was a re-establishment of a unified common doctrine, but one that gave room for celebrating holy men and women. It was also given position as state religion within the Commonwealth and in other realms, a change that de facto changed very little. Diviners were given recognition but that was all feeding their resentment. The lingering resentment among those of the Divine Faith have spurred them on to seek lands of their own.

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