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Re: [livingworld] Re: Suloise Gods and Keoland

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  • rich trickey
    Let me just clarify that I was indeed addressing both the Triad, who I understand has had fairly strict rules set by the co6 about what goes in the region, as
    Message 1 of 20 , Apr 9, 2000
      Let me just clarify that I was indeed addressing both the Triad, who I
      understand has had fairly strict rules set by the co6 about what goes in the
      region, as well as the co6, and the gazetteer's authors (Erik Mona, et al).
      I have been following the updates to the documents in the list vault, and am
      glad to see that a clear explanation of how the triad is dealing with the
      situation is posted. My complaint, I guess, is with the situation itself,
      which, since I'm not privy to all the dirt, doesn't make sense to me,
      especially given things like the Gran March situation I qouted.
      In asking for some details, I didnt mean to imply ya'll should break your
      NDAs just to keep us all happy, but perhaps those higher up should have
      'leaked' a few tidbits, or allowed some basic synopsis to be given out.
      Truth be told, I don't even live in the triad's area, but joined the Keoland
      list and got interested because the Sheldomar has always been the focus of
      my campaigns, and I was interested in seeing how things were being handled.
      I will say, that besides my complaints about the religious situation, I
      think the triad has done a fine job so far. At least that explains why I
      haven't really offered to tackle any projects, I'm on extended hiatus in
      California now, but will be heading home to florida this summer, and the
      bulk of my creative effort has been focused on what I might contribute to
      the PoUlek triad. I just tend to try and point out things that I feel don't
      work, not trying to gripe at the ones doing the work, though I admit I may
      come off that way sometimes.
      I am interested in seeing the gazetteer info on the religion thing, and
      perhaps we can reopen the discussion then, when the facts are known.

      Rich


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: <frank@...>
      To: <livingworld@egroups.com>
      Sent: Wednesday, May 31, 2000 11:01 PM
      Subject: [livingworld] Re: Suloise Gods and Keoland


      > --- In livingworld@egroups.com, "rich trickey" <rpgguyrich@h...>
      > wrote:
      > > 3 MILLION???
      > > Is that a canon population figure now? Good lord, the whole kingdom
      > is only
      > > about 2 or 3 hundred miles across!
      >
      > It can hold the state of New Jersey in it 13 times over...
      > >
      > > Anyway...
      > >
      > > So this blossoming nation, now free of religious interference,
      > establishes
      > > Gran March territory as a religious knighthood controlled frontier
      > state?
      > > How much sense does that make?
      >
      > Well lets see, how about it isn't a perfect system they
      > developed. Religion has it's upswings. The church of Heronious got
      > powerful and was asked if it would take on the responsibility of
      > guarding the Frontier. When Tavish the 4th came to power he released
      > all of the vassal states, leaving the powerful church in another
      > country and ending the "problem".
      > >
      > > I hope this is one of the things the powers that be will address in
      > their
      > > gazetteer book.
      >
      > The problem ORIGINATES in the gazetteer. We were told that
      > religion has no political power in Keoland, that Arcane traditions
      > and centuries of heritage have replaced the role of Dogma in the
      > Kingdom. We had no say in this, we protested this, we were told
      > that's the way it is. Someone came up with the Sacrilige to explain
      > a possible reason this could be.
      > >
      > > My main gripe with this whole 'sacrilege' deal is that it is too
      > neat and
      > > tidy. None of the churches objected. None of the churches have
      > secret roles
      > > that somehow get around the law, nothing. BOOM, no more religion in
      > keoland
      > > except for a handful of churches and rude chapels throughout the
      > > countryside. Priests are rare (that is from the current religion
      > document in
      > > the keoland archive), so WHO exactly mentored and trained PC
      > priests and
      > > Paladins, the non-religious government?
      >
      > Have you read anything since the Sacrilige documentation was posted?
      > There are churches, there are priests. There are periods in history
      > where they have made inroads towards restoring their former power and
      > to date they have all been repressed in one way or another. There is
      > an organization dedicated to restoring religion to it's proper place
      > in the Kingdom. In fact it will be an organization the PCs can join.
      > >
      > > I realize that the way the system is set up, some of this is being
      > kept
      > > secret, but comparing this to a home game, if my players cry foul
      > loudly
      > > enough, I will spill a few of my secrets and at least give them a
      > hint about
      > > what is going on. I'm not the only one complaining about this any
      > more and I
      > > seriously hope we'll get some answers eventually.
      >
      > You didn't sign an NDA agreement for your home campaign and you can't
      > be sued for telling your players your secrets. I said on the Keoland
      > list that the Religion situation was handed down from the powers that
      > be. My initial interperitation (misunderstanding?) of the Gazzeteer
      > information lead me to post that religion plays no role in the lives
      > of Keolands populace based on the rustic nature of the kingdom and
      > the lack of gods suitable for 98% of the populace. People screamed
      > bloody murder, a very few made some constructive comments that lead
      > to the explaination we now have in place. I promise you your
      > questions will be answerable once 3rd edition and the Gazzeteer are
      > released and we are allowed to discuss them openly.
      >
      > Frank
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      > 22,345,678 matches to your search term?
      > Inforocket.com is the fast way to the right answer - guaranteed.
      > http://click.egroups.com/1/4521/3/_/3223/_/959839273/
      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
      >
      >
      >
    • Paul Looby
      ... Perhaps the Knights were originally intended to be non-religious by Niole Dra. However, religious sentiment will find an outlet somewhere and perhaps it
      Message 2 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
        > > The Knights of the Watch isn't really a religious order. By that I mean
        >it's not an order directly affiliated with and sponsored by a church.
        >There's a lot of mysticism, and religion plays a big role in the Knighthood
        >(and in Gran March, which diverges markedly from Keoland on that score) but
        >it is not formally a religious order.
        >
        >""Keoland established the terrritory of the Gran March during its early
        >stages, basing it upon a military-religious order of knights.""
        >---A guide to the World of Greyhawk campaign setting, tsr 1983, pg. 22
        >
        >That is the qoute I'm referring to. Things have changed a bit in Gran March
        >over the years, most notably the removal of opressive Keoish lords, also
        >mentioned in the 83 material. I wasn't trying to paint a picture of life in
        >GM though, but point out what I feel is an inconsistency in the Keoland
        >Triad, and the Co6, reasoning that Keoland should be completely
        >non-religious at a governmental level. A non-religious government
        >establishing new territories under the banner of religious knighthoods just
        >doesn't work.

        Perhaps the Knights were originally intended to be non-religious by Niole
        Dra. However, religious sentiment will find an outlet somewhere and perhaps
        it grew within the Knights in Grand March - precisely because there was no
        outlet for it in Keoland. When the Keoish went home as it were, then this
        hitherto hidden religious theme became overt leading the writer of the Guide
        years later to call it a military- religious order, unaware that the
        religious component only evolved after the foundation of the order.
        Alternatively - it might have been a concession to all those paladins etc
        who might otherwise have kicked up trouble at home.
        Personally I favour the first.

        There's ways around this sort of thing as long as one does not become too
        dogmatic. :)

        Paul
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      • Paul Looby
        ... Personally I don t think its too unreasonable to think that in one of the states of the Flannaess that the nobles and mages might have conspired at some
        Message 3 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
          >
          > The problem ORIGINATES in the gazetteer. We were told that
          >religion has no political power in Keoland, that Arcane traditions
          >and centuries of heritage have replaced the role of Dogma in the
          >Kingdom. We had no say in this, we protested this, we were told
          >that's the way it is. Someone came up with the Sacrilige to explain
          >a possible reason this could be.

          Personally I don't think its too unreasonable to think that in one of the
          states of the Flannaess that the nobles and mages might have conspired at
          some time to supress the power of churches. If it is expedient they'll do
          it. We have a couple of Theocracies - why not the opposite (at least at some
          point in history if not today).
          The Supression of the monestaries in England by Henry VIII is a historical
          example (and that was just so he could get hitched again! :P).
          I don't know all the facts, but given the event is called the Sacrilage
          suggests to me that not everyone took it lying down - maybe not bloody
          revolution, but it will colour the relationship between church and nobility
          and there are probably still repercussions in the social and political life
          of Keoland today.
          IMO this makes things a lot more intersting than just another kingdom with
          the nobilty and the clergy intertwined (Pale, Veluna, Ket, Furyondy,
          Nyrond...) and offers an opportunity for plots galore.
          Nothing wrong with a bit of diversity.

          Paul


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        • Ernest Mueller
          From a longtime Greyhawker, I like the idea of a no-official-religion Keoland, and think that some folks may be interpreting this a little too widely. ... I m
          Message 4 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
            From a longtime Greyhawker, I like the idea of a no-official-religion
            Keoland, and think that some folks may be interpreting this a little too
            widely.

            > So this blossoming nation, now free of religious interference, establishes
            > Gran March territory as a religious knighthood controlled frontier state?
            > How much sense does that make?

            I'm not sure of the timeline - was Gran March established before or
            after the Neheli Sacrilege? One way or the other, the order of knights
            would have to be in fealty to the King - they wouldn't object to hem for
            being "religious" if they were loyal, and it seems like a nice place to
            farm out the more militant religious elements to.

            > My main gripe with this whole 'sacrilege' deal is that it is too neat and
            > tidy. None of the churches objected. None of the churches have secret roles
            > that somehow get around the law, nothing. BOOM, no more religion in keoland
            > except for a handful of churches and rude chapels throughout the
            > countryside. Priests are rare (that is from the current religion document in
            > the keoland archive), so WHO exactly mentored and trained PC priests and
            > Paladins, the non-religious government?

            You seem to be under the impression that there are no churches. There
            are. And priests, and paladins, and plenty of "religion". They just
            can't hold political power or land. I'm sure many of the churches did
            object (King says: objection overruled!)

            There could be as much religion as there is in America today - religions
            are free, but are separated from the government. Just not as much as
            there was in Medieval Europe, where the two were entangled.

            > I realize that the way the system is set up, some of this is being kept
            > secret, but comparing this to a home game, if my players cry foul loudly
            > enough, I will spill a few of my secrets and at least give them a hint about
            > what is going on. I'm not the only one complaining about this any more and I
            > seriously hope we'll get some answers eventually.

            What secrets need to be spilled? I think the explanation stands on its
            own.

            Ernest
            --
            Ernest C. Mueller ernestm@...
            Vice President for Technical Development Phone: (901) 251-7000
            Towery Publishing http://www.towery.com
          • Immaculate Image
            From: Paul Looby IMO this makes things a lot more intersting than just another kingdom with the nobilty and the clergy intertwined
            Message 5 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
              From: "Paul Looby" <woesinger@...>

              IMO this makes things a lot more intersting than just another kingdom with
              the nobilty and the clergy intertwined (Pale, Veluna, Ket, Furyondy,
              Nyrond...) and offers an opportunity for plots galore.
              Nothing wrong with a bit of diversity.

              Long-time fans of GH will better maintain their sanity and tempers if they
              realize (as I told Len Lakofka) that LGH has its own set of canon, which in
              some places will be different from the information we all have access to. I
              think Rich has made a wise decision to re-open the argument after the LG
              Gazetteer is available publicly, for that will establish the canon baseline
              by which Triads draw their information.


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            • Caudron, Thomas
              This may be an acceptable solution if there s no way to do it otherwise, but it s not terribly realistic. I mean, sure the King says Objection Overruled but
              Message 6 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                This may be an acceptable solution if there's no way to do it otherwise, but
                it's not terribly realistic. I mean, sure the King says "Objection
                Overruled" but what does he say when the Priesthood replies with "Fine,
                you've just invoked the displeasure of the gods and their wrath will be
                visited upon you and your people until you submit"?

                Wasn't this essentially the quandry the Papacy and the Royalty of the early
                medieval period were in? That, of course, is why they eventually became so
                powerful...and they weren't actually performing miracles to back up that
                threat. Interdiction (essentially withholding salvation from a person or
                group of people) can be a powerful political tool. How long can the ruling
                body of Keoland ignore the wishes of the preisthood?

                The medieval solution was a sort of shared power (albeit distrustfully
                shared) between the Catholic Church and the King. The King held swords at
                the preiesthood and the preisthood held a soteriological (relating to
                salvation...well how else would you say it?) carrot over the souls of the
                populus and the king himself. It was a precarious balance.

                In GH, the preisthood has a great deal more overt power (in that they cast
                spells as manifestations of their divine might and right) and it seems
                incredibly unlikely that they would be disallowed political power in such a
                world.

                -Tom Caudron

                -----Original Message-----
                From: Ernest Mueller [mailto:ernestm@...]

                <snip>
                You seem to be under the impression that there are no churches. There
                are. And priests, and paladins, and plenty of "religion". They just
                can't hold political power or land. I'm sure many of the churches did
                object (King says: objection overruled!)
                <snip>
              • Fred Wolke
                ... [snip] ... Yes, but Greyhawk is different in another way... Medieval Europe was essentially monotheistic. If you didn t get your salvation from the
                Message 7 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                  --- "Caudron, Thomas" <caudron_te@...> wrote:
                  [snip]
                  > In GH, the preisthood has a great deal more overt
                  > power (in that they cast
                  > spells as manifestations of their divine might and
                  > right) and it seems
                  > incredibly unlikely that they would be disallowed
                  > political power in such a
                  > world.
                  >
                  > -Tom Caudron

                  Yes, but Greyhawk is different in another way...
                  Medieval Europe was essentially monotheistic. If you
                  didn't get your salvation from the Catholic Church,
                  you didn't get it at all. In Greyhawk, you have
                  DOZENS of competing deities, each with their own
                  (often overlapping) spheres of influence. Even among
                  the Lawful deities, there's no evidence that there's
                  any kind of solidarity between them.

                  In that kind of environment, it would be fairly easy
                  to play them off each other, converting to whichever
                  faith will accord the Royalty the most power.

                  __________________________________________________
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                • Caudron, Thomas
                  True, but if /all/ the preisthoods are being dismissed from political power, it seems very likely that they will reach a consensus, at least in that they would
                  Message 8 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                    True, but if /all/ the preisthoods are being dismissed from political power,
                    it seems very likely that they will reach a consensus, at least in that they
                    would all agree to fight the common enemy (Keoland's ruling body). These
                    aren't stupid people and all the politiking in the world isn't gonna make
                    them forget that they have no political power. They would have to accord at
                    least one faith some political power lest they have no faith to turn to for
                    deital favor.

                    -Tom Caudron

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Fred Wolke [mailto:othaherzog@...]

                    --- "Caudron, Thomas" <caudron_te@...> wrote:
                    [snip]
                    > In GH, the preisthood has a great deal more overt
                    > power (in that they cast
                    > spells as manifestations of their divine might and
                    > right) and it seems
                    > incredibly unlikely that they would be disallowed
                    > political power in such a
                    > world.
                    >
                    > -Tom Caudron

                    Yes, but Greyhawk is different in another way...
                    Medieval Europe was essentially monotheistic. If you
                    didn't get your salvation from the Catholic Church,
                    you didn't get it at all. In Greyhawk, you have
                    DOZENS of competing deities, each with their own
                    (often overlapping) spheres of influence. Even among
                    the Lawful deities, there's no evidence that there's
                    any kind of solidarity between them.

                    In that kind of environment, it would be fairly easy
                    to play them off each other, converting to whichever
                    faith will accord the Royalty the most power.
                  • kjohnson@komint.com
                    Maybe the Keoland monarchy has some stronger, fearsome power backing it. Or maybe the priesthoods are using some kind of passive resistance movement to garner
                    Message 9 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                      Maybe the Keoland monarchy has some stronger, fearsome power backing it. Or
                      maybe the priesthoods are using some kind of passive resistance movement to
                      garner the favor of the people and will one day rise to overthrow the dictators
                      of Keoland. We won't know until August and would have to trust that the Co6 and
                      Triad members are doing their best with the info they have been given, knowing
                      that they cannot divulge that info to us yet.

                      KJ





                      "Caudron, Thomas" <caudron_te@...> on 06/01/2000 10:59:09 AM

                      Please respond to livingworld@egroups.com

                      To: "'livingworld@egroups.com'" <livingworld@egroups.com>
                      cc: (bcc: Kelly Johnson/HQ/KAIC)

                      Subject: RE: [livingworld] Re: Suloise Gods and Keoland



                      True, but if /all/ the preisthoods are being dismissed from political power,
                      it seems very likely that they will reach a consensus, at least in that they
                      would all agree to fight the common enemy (Keoland's ruling body). These
                      aren't stupid people and all the politiking in the world isn't gonna make
                      them forget that they have no political power. They would have to accord at
                      least one faith some political power lest they have no faith to turn to for
                      deital favor.

                      -Tom Caudron

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Fred Wolke [mailto:othaherzog@...]

                      --- "Caudron, Thomas" <caudron_te@...> wrote:
                      [snip]
                      > In GH, the preisthood has a great deal more overt
                      > power (in that they cast
                      > spells as manifestations of their divine might and
                      > right) and it seems
                      > incredibly unlikely that they would be disallowed
                      > political power in such a
                      > world.
                      >
                      > -Tom Caudron

                      Yes, but Greyhawk is different in another way...
                      Medieval Europe was essentially monotheistic. If you
                      didn't get your salvation from the Catholic Church,
                      you didn't get it at all. In Greyhawk, you have
                      DOZENS of competing deities, each with their own
                      (often overlapping) spheres of influence. Even among
                      the Lawful deities, there's no evidence that there's
                      any kind of solidarity between them.

                      In that kind of environment, it would be fairly easy
                      to play them off each other, converting to whichever
                      faith will accord the Royalty the most power.


                      ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Don
                    • Caudron, Thomas
                      Well, you re right. We can only hope that they have some crucial piece of information that will make all this suddenly make sense. I m not a stickler for
                      Message 10 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                        Well, you're right. We can only hope that they have some crucial piece of
                        information that will make all this suddenly make sense. I'm not a stickler
                        for making sense, mind you, as I am perfectly willing to suspend disbelief
                        in the name of Fun, but I also don't wanna have to work /too/ hard to do
                        that. ;-)

                        It's unlikely that Keoland has a backing power that is stronger than the
                        gods of GH and it is equally unlikely that the preisthood is passively
                        resisting it (since that would be a true GH first! <g>), but we shall see if
                        they can resolve this otherwise obvious error. It ain't like it's gonna
                        keep me from playing. :-)

                        -Tom Caudron

                        -----Original Message-----
                        From: kjohnson@... [mailto:kjohnson@...]

                        Maybe the Keoland monarchy has some stronger, fearsome power backing it. Or
                        maybe the priesthoods are using some kind of passive resistance movement to
                        garner the favor of the people and will one day rise to overthrow the
                        dictators
                        of Keoland. We won't know until August and would have to trust that the Co6
                        and
                        Triad members are doing their best with the info they have been given,
                        knowing
                        that they cannot divulge that info to us yet.
                      • Ernest Mueller
                        ... For a good while in a polytheistic society. In Medieval Christendom there was one church. The rulers could not totally defy them all the time or else the
                        Message 11 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                          "Caudron, Thomas" wrote:
                          >
                          > This may be an acceptable solution if there's no way to do it otherwise, but
                          > it's not terribly realistic. I mean, sure the King says "Objection
                          > Overruled" but what does he say when the Priesthood replies with "Fine,
                          > you've just invoked the displeasure of the gods and their wrath will be
                          > visited upon you and your people until you submit"?
                          >
                          > Wasn't this essentially the quandry the Papacy and the Royalty of the early
                          > medieval period were in? That, of course, is why they eventually became so
                          > powerful...and they weren't actually performing miracles to back up that
                          > threat. Interdiction (essentially withholding salvation from a person or
                          > group of people) can be a powerful political tool. How long can the ruling
                          > body of Keoland ignore the wishes of the preisthood?

                          For a good while in a polytheistic society. In Medieval Christendom
                          there was one church. The rulers could not totally defy them all the
                          time or else the people would side with the church. With 100 different
                          faiths that never work together in the first place, a ban is much
                          easier. All 1000 Rao worshippers write logical protests, all 1000
                          Trithereon worshippers rouse the rabble, all 1000 Hextor worshippers
                          start an insurrection, all 1000 Xerbo worshippers try to withhold $$
                          from the crown - all problems, but each of them small and easily dealt
                          with. No single religion in that environment could command the respect
                          and power that the Church did IRL. In other countries/areas. single
                          religions or groups of religions have more power - you couldn't outlaw
                          religion in the Pale because everyone's a Pholtan.

                          > In GH, the preisthood has a great deal more overt power (in that they cast
                          > spells as manifestations of their divine might and right) and it seems
                          > incredibly unlikely that they would be disallowed political power in such a
                          > world.

                          You are kidding right? It's *more* of a reason to disallow them
                          political power. Just as the Keoish also denied mages the right to
                          power. Someone with both magical and political power is a threat to the
                          Crown.

                          Ernest
                          --
                          Ernest C. Mueller ernestm@...
                          Vice President for Technical Development Phone: (901) 251-7000
                          Towery Publishing http://www.towery.com
                        • Caudron, Thomas
                          I address monotheism vs polytheism and henotheism ( course I don t use those big words) in an earlier email, so here, I ll just address the part I included
                          Message 12 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                            I address monotheism vs polytheism and henotheism ('course I don't use those
                            big words) in an earlier email, so here, I'll just address the part I
                            included below.

                            I think you may have misread my sentence. I wasn't saying that the
                            powers-that-be would allow priests to assume political power becuase they
                            demonstrate power, but rather that because of the power they demonstrate and
                            the sphere of influence they inherently possess (deital) they would be
                            forced to allow them political power. The threat they represent means that
                            they /will/ be a part of the political process, whether the ruling class
                            wants it or not.

                            -Tom Caudron


                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Ernest Mueller [mailto:ernestm@...]

                            <snip>
                            > In GH, the preisthood has a great deal more overt power (in that they cast
                            > spells as manifestations of their divine might and right) and it seems
                            > incredibly unlikely that they would be disallowed political power in such
                            a
                            > world.

                            You are kidding right? It's *more* of a reason to disallow them
                            political power. Just as the Keoish also denied mages the right to
                            power. Someone with both magical and political power is a threat to the
                            Crown.
                            <snip>
                          • frank@compunet-2000.com
                            What follows is the Keoland Triad s attempt at an explaination for this unique situation. Religion in Keoland by Robert S. Madigan Intro: This document will
                            Message 13 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                              What follows is the Keoland Triad's attempt at an explaination for
                              this unique situation.

                              Religion in Keoland by Robert S. Madigan

                              Intro:

                              This document will cover in broad detail the status of religion in
                              Keoland, then give specific examples of extant priesthoods and how
                              they
                              function in the `low religion' setting.

                              The Sacrilege

                              Before the Sacrilege, there was a time when the various religions
                              were
                              politically powerful and enjoyed many legal rights, a natural state of
                              affairs seen in many nations of the Flanaess. And this brought along
                              all of the factionalism inherent in such a situation, though the
                              Oeridians
                              benefited from the situation since the Oeridian Pantheon is
                              aggressive
                              and robust compared to the Suel. Compare the list of Intermediate
                              Oeridian powers with the Intermediate Suel powers (neither can claim
                              any greater gods). The Oeridians have deities such as Celestian,
                              Erythnul,
                              Fharlanghn, Heironeous, Hextor, Pholtus, Procan, Zilchus and probably
                              Trithereon and St Cuthbert (who are listed only as common, but whose
                              descriptions can reasonably place them with the Oeridians). The Suel
                              list includes Kord, Lendor, Wee Jas, and Tharizdun and possibly
                              Olidammara or Ralishaz (both listed as common). It is not difficult
                              to
                              imagine that the Oeridian priesthoods were more powerful than the
                              Suel.

                              The Sacrilege enabled the two very different pantheons to exist in
                              relative peace. With no need to compete for which faith would be the
                              State
                              Religion, and by extension which culture would be dominant, there was
                              no need for the two pantheons to compete for followers or influence.
                              Each faith still looked for converts as they normally did, but on a
                              much less intense level than before the Declaration, when the Suel
                              churches
                              were seeking to redress the power imbalance.

                              The Sacrilege even had the effect of giving the various faiths a
                              common ground to work from, for the first time in some cases. Very
                              few
                              of the
                              faiths were happy at what they too perceived as sacrilege. And NONE
                              of
                              the faiths were happy when their legal rights were stripped from them
                              shortly after, even considering the compromises the Crown made.
                              Several lawful and neutral faiths of both Oeridian and Suel pantheons
                              formed
                              the first Divinity Council, devoted to changing Keoland's new
                              policies. They failed in their primary purpose and the
                              `Sacrilege'
                              continues to
                              this day. Over time, the churches came to see some benefits of the
                              `Sacrilege' and devoted their combined attentions to other
                              matters.
                              (The
                              Divinity Council will be discussed more fully below).

                              Historical Events of Note:

                              Torlen's Folly and The Sanctuary of Pyremius:

                              When the Sheldomar was still a collection of petty fiefdoms, before
                              they had formed a great and tolerant nation, there were several major
                              challenges to peace between the two peoples. The most serious of
                              these
                              were certainly "Torlen's Folly" and "The Sanctuary of Pyremius".

                              There had been several events building up to Torlen's Folly.
                              Instances
                              of religious persecution between the Oeridians and Sueloese had bred a
                              growing resentment between otherwise peaceful neighbors. In an effort
                              to lessen tensions and remind people that they had more to gain from
                              friendship than war, a great festival/tournament was held, where all
                              people could come and compete in martial displays, musical
                              performances,
                              etc.

                              By the third day, the mood had started to relax when disaster struck.
                              In a wrestling bout, a priest of Kord killed a popular young knight
                              of
                              the
                              Order of the Glorious Thunderbolt (devoted to Hieroneous). The
                              Knightly order was present in some force, participating in the
                              contests of
                              martial skill. Outraged, they immediately took the Kordite into
                              custody. Unfortunately, there were no other military bodies of
                              significant strength
                              near enough to prevent what happened next, and the guardsmen of House
                              Amber, who had suggested and hosted the festival, were not strong
                              enough to challenge the Hieroneans (and many would not lift arms
                              against their friends anyway). The Sueloese nobles in attendance,
                              along
                              with several high-ranking Kordite priests appealed to Lord Amber,
                              claiming that the priest should be tried under Sueloese law, under
                              which
                              priests were granted separate trials presided over by religious
                              officials. Lord Amber was unable to convince the Hieroneans to accept
                              that
                              demand and in a very public, and unpopular, display, Patriarch
                              General
                              Johaan "GreatAxe" Torlen's, tried, convicted and personally
                              executed
                              the Kordite priest for `murder'. Then the Knights took the
                              broken body
                              of their young knight and departed.

                              This caused an outrage among the Suel, particularly because the
                              Kordites' request for religious sanctuary and trial according to
                              Suel
                              law had
                              been summarily denied.

                              Shortly thereafter, a skilled spy and assassin in the employ of a
                              minor branch of a Suelose noble house successfully infiltrated the
                              Knights of
                              the Glorious Thunderbolt and poisoned the Patriarch General. Although
                              the Knights were able to save the General's life, the spy escaped
                              in
                              the
                              confusion. Drawing upon mighty divinatory magic granted by
                              Hieroneous,
                              the Patriarch was able to discover the identity of his attacker, a
                              priest of Pyremius, and the noble who had hired the assassin.

                              Trodden immediately set out with a force of 250 Knights, drawing
                              almost all of his reserves from several fortified abbeys in the
                              surrounding
                              area. When the army arrived at the noble's lands they demanded
                              the spy
                              and the noble be handed over to divine justice. The noble refused,
                              from his fortified manor house and magically sent for reinforcements
                              from his parent house, Neheli. The nobleman admitted to being a
                              follower
                              of Pyremius (not illegal at the time) and demanded justice under
                              Sueloese law.

                              This caused another quandary. House Neheli had not known that there
                              were still devotees of Pyremius within their cadet houses, and
                              detested
                              the worship of The Blazing Killer. However, a legal right had been
                              claimed and Suelose law protected the treacherous duo from trial in
                              secular
                              courts, and certainly from the church army besieging their land. But
                              the Oeridians were demanding blood.

                              Then fate stepped in again. While Torlen had most of his men
                              encircling the Suel noble's stronghold, an opportunistic band of
                              Hextorites,
                              using teleportation magic, appeared at the Hieronean's various
                              strongholds and challenged the garrisons at each to combat, invoking
                              Oeridian
                              law. In the slaughter of Hieroneans that followed, first in single
                              combat then in group duels, several entire garrisons were destroyed,
                              then
                              defiled.

                              When word reached the Patriarch, he pulled out most of his troops and
                              thundered home. The Sueloese noble and his assassin promptly fled
                              and were never heard of again.

                              And Torlen? The Patriarch General fell in battle against the
                              Hextorites who had slaughtered his men, in a battle that laid waste
                              to
                              a fair valley
                              and several villages.

                              Early the next year, during the Great Council at Niole Dra, House
                              Neheli and House Amber masterminded the shocking proposal that would
                              become the famed `Neheli Sacrilege', due in no small part to
                              Torlen's
                              Folly and The Sanctuary of Pyremius.

                              Neheli Sacrilege by Sam Weiss:

                              (The Neheli Compromise)

                              During the Great Council at Niole Dra (-342 CY), Keogh of Neheli, a
                              great-nephew of the legendary Uhas of Neheli, stood up at a critical
                              juncture
                              and made a startling proposal that has since become famous in Keoland
                              and infamous beyond its borders.

                              The Council had deadlocked on the issue of a Royal Church and it
                              appeared the entire proposal for a Kingdom was about to fall apart
                              when
                              Keogh rose and proposed that no faith be recognized by the Kingdom.
                              He
                              suggested this would serve to protect the churches from any excess
                              of the Crown and any desires it might have to force them to violate
                              their principals. He also suggested that to protect people from any
                              excess of
                              the various faiths, that no church be allowed to own land within the
                              borders of the new Kingdom.

                              All the bickering ceased at that moment as the assembled nobles
                              considered the shocking proposal. For the Suel, a long legacy of
                              theocratic
                              meddling with crown decisions suddenly appeared to have a solution.
                              Hopefully, it might also mean no Rain of Colorless Fire would follow
                              them to their new home when a future mad King would listen to false
                              priests and direct a new generation of Mages of Power to unleash
                              themselves upon an enemy. To the Oeridians, most of whom had turned
                              south rather than follow the dominant Aerdy further west, it
                              signified
                              a
                              chance to avoid the savage conflicts between rival faiths like those
                              of Heironeous and Hextor which while driving the Aerdy in their
                              conquests
                              were already showing the seeds which would later destroy their Great
                              Kingdom and which was the major reason they had sought their own
                              way.

                              Clovis of Amber, the leading Oeridian nobleman of what was to become
                              the March of Middlemead finally stood and announced that the House
                              of Amber supported the proposal. Whereupon it was passed by unanimous
                              acclaim by the assembled nobles.

                              As Keoland grew and made contact with the dying Aerdy Great kingdom,
                              knowledge of this state of affairs began to spread, albeit in garbled
                              form. Despite the devastation it was causing within their own lands,
                              the many priests within the Great Kingdom were quick to denounce this
                              state of affairs within a foreign sovereign nation. As a result, and
                              because of the widespread influence of the Great Kingdom up to modern
                              times, the event is still referred to as the Neheli Sacrilege. Such
                              use even coming to dominate in the Sheldomar Valley.

                              Later, in his Chronicle of Secret Times, Uhas of Neheli was to
                              comment
                              on this maneuver of his great-nephew. He stated that while the
                              benefits
                              to the newly formed kingdom were significant, the timing of his
                              proposal and the sure knowledge that Clovis would support it so fully
                              had to be
                              known to Keogh. When later, in support of Malv of Rhola (later Malv I
                              of Keoland) Keogh also proposed restricting the throne to only those
                              related by blood to the either the Rhola or Neheli, Clovis was almost
                              forced to support this measure as well. When Keogh also proposed the
                              permanent Council of Niole Dra in a manner which ensured a permanent
                              Oeridian majority on the floor such that the nobles of the Blood would
                              always have final approval of the next monarch many wondered why he
                              would do put the perceived fate of his House in the hands of
                              outsiders.
                              That Keogh and Malv were rivals was well known to all. That Clovis
                              and
                              Malv were worse rivals was a well kept secret. And while Clovis died
                              during the reign of Keogh I and Malv I suceeded him, the land is
                              known
                              as Keoland and not Malvland. A fitting tribute in the opinion of the
                              author, especially given the long term benefits of the religious
                              compromise proposal that would not be apparent for many long years.

                              Despite nearly unanimous support for the Sacrilege among the
                              nobility,
                              there was significant resistance from the churches.

                              One of the legal offshoots of the Sacrilege was a law passed that
                              made
                              it illegal for churches to require tithing from peasants who lived on
                              church lands. The sponsors reasoned that the peasants might live on
                              land owned by the church of Pholtus but travel a few miles to a
                              chapel
                              of
                              Hieroneous to worship, and would tithe there. A Suel faction that
                              feared the stronger, more popular Oeridian pantheon in fact secretly
                              sponsored the law. It was designed to break the churches hold on the
                              peasantry. In all of the uproar over the Sacrilege, this important
                              law
                              was
                              almost completely overlooked by the clergy of the day, and
                              judiciously, the King only invoked the law in select cases until some
                              time later,
                              when it was too late for the churches to significantly protest.

                              Another byproduct of the Sacrilege was that the Crown stopped
                              granting
                              court titles and noble holdings to church officials. This was not a
                              law,
                              but merely an understood policy within the Royal Houses.
                              Surprisingly,
                              in only a few decades, most of the noble holdings granted to clergy
                              ended up in escheat, reverting to the Crown (clergy generally have
                              fewer offspring, even in churches that do not require celibacy, and
                              crusading faiths have a high mortality rate).

                              The Revocation by Robert S. Madigan

                              Several years after the Sacrilege, the Council realized that for
                              there
                              to truly be a freedom from the specter of religious
                              `interference' in
                              the ruling
                              of the newly formed nation, there would need to be changes to the
                              legal status of the various faiths. Both cultures had a history of
                              special legal
                              privileges for clergy. High- ranking members of Churches were often
                              granted court titles and enjoyed all of the rights of that rank. Some
                              had
                              even been granted noble holdings, before the Sacrilege.

                              Clergy also fell outside of the secular legal system. Clergy, and in
                              some cases, even lay members of the congregation, were tried by a
                              Divinity
                              Court, made up of representatives of several different churches, and
                              if found guilty, punishments were handed out by religious leaders.
                              Evil
                              churches were legally permitted (although frowned upon), although any
                              violations of the King's Peace (murder, arson, etc.) were to be
                              tried
                              in
                              Divinity Court by representatives of various faiths. This did keep
                              most of the evil faiths in line, or at least gave them pause
                              (Hextorites did not
                              fare well under the judgement of Hieroneans, for example. And no one
                              fared well under the judgement of Pholtus' priests). Importantly,
                              the
                              restriction on evil faiths did not apply to actions taken against
                              people of other cultures. For example, Hextorites were not punished
                              under
                              Oeridian law when they slaughtered the Flan or Baklunish or Suel (but
                              the law DID extend to non-Oeridians under the protection of Oeridian
                              lords, i.e. living in an Oeridian Barony).

                              The King and the Council of Niole Dra knew that in order to be truly
                              free of the Clergy, they had to assert the Crown's authority over
                              them.
                              There had been several instances when the Divinity Court gave only
                              token punishments to infamous criminals who also happened to be
                              powerful church leaders, and several instances when they had handed
                              out barbaric punishments for minor transgressions, depending on the
                              affiliation of the offending priest and the affiliation of the
                              priests
                              sitting in judgement. This had been causing trouble among both nobles
                              and
                              peasantry, and had once even broken out in a minor rebellion in an
                              outlying province.

                              In another remarkable and historic move, King and Council met with
                              the
                              heads of all of the major churches in Keoland, Oeridian and Suel.
                              Citing
                              several contemporary, high profile failures of the Divinity Courts,
                              the Crown proposed a repeal of the clergies' legal exemptions and
                              an
                              abolishment of the Divinity Courts. In the heated debates that
                              followed, the Crown agreed to tax immunity for all faiths to last for
                              200 years,
                              immediate outlawing of all evil faiths, and instead of abolishing the
                              Divinity Courts, clergy had the right to choose which court they
                              would
                              be
                              tried in. Over time, because of the reputation for just rulings in
                              the
                              secular courts, the overwhelming majority of clergy took their
                              chances
                              in
                              secular courts rather than face the `mercy' of opposing
                              faiths. A few
                              generations later, the Divinity courts had ceased to exist.

                              The Revocation, coupled with the law prohibiting churches from
                              demanding tithes from peasants living on their land and the Crown
                              policy of
                              not granting noble titles or holdings to clergy, put religion in
                              Keoland in a firmly subservient role to the Crown.

                              The Divinity Council and The Excommunication

                              This ancient body was originally formed by various good, neutral or
                              lawfully aligned faiths to attempt to pressure the Crown into
                              repealing the
                              Sacrilege and later, to restoring clergy exemptions from secular
                              court
                              and the right to demand tithes from their peasantry in addition to
                              taxes.

                              The early tactics that the Council included refusing clerical aid to
                              nobles (though not generally to peasants), refusing to pay taxes (a
                              tactic later
                              made moot by the 200 year exemption), and even subtle magical
                              manipulation of key nobles. However the most famous and least
                              successful was
                              the Excommunication.

                              Several lawful churches, Hieroneous, Pholtus, St Cuthbert, Wee Jas,
                              and other lesser faiths declared all of the royalty and most of the
                              nobility
                              to be anathema. No aid of any kind was to be given to the
                              `heretics',
                              and none of the nobility was allowed to attend worship services or
                              participate in religious rites. In practice though, there was a less
                              than universal boycott. Several chaotic faiths simply ignored the
                              Excommunication and treated the nobility as they had before. Although
                              the lawful churches were loath to admit it, they had a less of a
                              monopoly then they liked to think. The nobles apparently got along
                              just fine while suffering under the threat of eternal damnation. The
                              Excommunication was repealed after approximately two years and the
                              nobility was welcomed back into the graces of the churches.
                              Unsurprisingly, large portions of the aristocracy choose not to
                              return
                              to their former faiths.

                              To everyone's surprise, the Crown learned to adapt to the sudden
                              loss
                              of clerical magic. Nobles were not so eager to lead their troops from
                              the
                              front lines because of the absence of healing magic or resurrections.
                              Wizardly magic had always been a focus on the battlefield, but now
                              they
                              were asked to also assist in divinatory and protective measures,
                              something previously left to the clergy. The fierce Oeridian Battle
                              Mages
                              balked at the idea, but the Suel mages adapted well.

                              The rituals surrounding the Crown, such as coronation, recognizing
                              heirs and creating nobles were all designed to minimize the necessity
                              of
                              religious participation, so when the clergy boycotted such events,
                              there was virtually no effect.

                              After a few years, the Divinity Council saw that their hopes of
                              re-establishing the old ways were slim at best, and several older,
                              wiser members
                              recognized that in many ways they were better off under the new
                              system. This attitude was certainly not universal, but those that
                              protested too
                              loudly or insistently were mostly sent westward, following the paths
                              of the Great Migrations, to found new churches for the faithful.
                              Extremely
                              chaotic faiths like Trithereon, which did not join in forming the
                              Council anyway, remained a thorn in their side for centuries to come.

                              With the main reason for their existence gone, the Council
                              contemplated disbanding, but realized that it was beneficial for them
                              to have a forum
                              for interfaith cooperation, especially since the two different
                              cultures were still getting used to each other. The Council pursued
                              their own ends
                              for centuries, sponsoring quests, aiding churches outside of the
                              Kingdom and gathering their flocks. The Council also pursued a policy
                              of
                              subtly influencing their congregations to accept and support the new
                              kingdom and was in fact a main reason that the two great cultures were
                              able to blend together so well, though of course that was not widely
                              recognized.

                              The End of Imperialism:

                              In CY 483, the new king, Tavish IV, negotiated independence for
                              Keoland's vassal states. The Uleks, Gran March, Geoff, Sterich
                              and the
                              Yeomanry all became independent, albeit, closely related nations.
                              This
                              was another historical event that had a great impact on the various
                              faiths
                              within Keoland.

                              The militant faiths, Hieroneous Pholtus and St Cuthbert, had a heavy
                              concentration of strongholds in the outlying areas, close to the wild
                              lands
                              (the mountains and marshes), where `adventure' was more
                              plentiful.
                              Likewise, there was a significant religious presence for deities of
                              travel and
                              business, such as Zilchus and Fharlanghan, who benefited from closer
                              proximity to neighboring lands and trade. All of these priesthoods,
                              through the Divinity Council, had been trying to influence the Crown
                              to change its expansionist policies. They were wholly unsuccessful and
                              were in fact in danger of being declared traitorous. But when the
                              outlying provinces, which held the most significant concentrations of
                              these
                              `troublesome' faiths, gained their independence, then all of
                              those
                              churches and clergy were suddenly not Keoish citizens anymore.

                              Thus, in one stroke, many of the most zealous, talented, powerful and
                              outspoken religious leaders were removed from the political
                              landscape,
                              in
                              which they were only a minor player anyway, and also from the
                              cultural
                              landscape of the Kingdom.

                              This was the last of the primary causes that has resulted in the
                              current religious landscape in Keoland.

                              Current Political/Religious Landscape:

                              Religion is by no means dead in Keoland. Many faiths enjoy
                              considerable prominence on a local level. The Divinity Council still
                              meets, openly,
                              to discuss matters of faith and matters of national and international
                              importance. But the face of religion in Keoland is quite different
                              from that of
                              surrounding kingdoms.

                              In Keoland, there is a strong history of secular independence. None
                              of
                              the King's advisors are priests, no priests sit on the Council of
                              Niole
                              Dra, nor advise those who do. There are only a handful of great
                              churches or cathedrals in Keoland, and are almost exclusively in the
                              four great
                              cities. Outside of the great cities, priests are uncommon and when
                              found, generally have at most a small church on land rented from the
                              local
                              lord.

                              Traditionally, the largest percentage of priests was concentrated in
                              two places: the large cities and the frontiers. That pattern
                              continues
                              today.
                              In the largely agrarian countryside populated mostly by peasant
                              farmers, it is simply not economically possible to support many
                              religious
                              strongholds.

                              Much of a farmer's crop is turned over to his lord as rent. Most
                              of
                              the remaining crop goes to the farmer and his family to sustain them,
                              and any
                              surplus is sold locally to the lord, or at a local market or else
                              transported overland to a large town (population of 2000 or more). In
                              the large
                              towns, the farmers can sell the surplus crop for coin or barter for
                              goods and services not available locally (like metal tools,
                              medicines,
                              etc).
                              There simply isn't much left over for substantial tithes to a
                              local
                              church.

                              In the larger towns, population of 2000 or more, there is enough of a
                              middle class and enough coin circulating that several fair sized
                              churches
                              can be supported. And the churches minister to the needs of the
                              outlying population either when the farmers come into town after
                              harvest
                              (once per year) or by sending out junior priests to make a circuit of
                              the small towns.

                              The most prominent human faiths in Keoland can be grouped into a few
                              distinct categories. There are only two deities concerned with nature,
                              Ehlonna and Phaulkon. There are three deities concerned with travel,
                              Fharlanghn, Osprem, and Xerbo. Zilchus can also be grouped with these
                              deities. Though Zilchus is not concerned with travel, per se, many
                              merchants offer at least token respect to Zilchus, and members of
                              Zilchus'
                              church are more likely to travel in pursuit of business
                              opportunities.
                              There are four deities concerned with entertainment: Kord, Olidammara,
                              Lydia, and Norebo. And lastly, there are three faiths that I refer to
                              as `crusading' faiths, Hieroneous, St Cuthbert and
                              Trithereon.

                              From the breakdown, it is apparent that an important priority in
                              Keoland is entertainment, probably mostly among the nobility and
                              somewhat
                              among the small middle class found in the great cities. Entertainment
                              is followed closely by travel/business, which is only to be expected
                              in a
                              kingdom as large as Keoland. Keoland also has a strong history of
                              warfare and crusades, which is reflected in the prominence of the
                              crusading
                              faiths. Lastly, there is recognition of nature in Keoland. But the
                              deities that receive recognition are not exactly what one would
                              expect. There are
                              large tracks of forest in Keoland, so the reverence of Ehlonna,
                              mostly
                              among those who live near the forests, to be expected. And the
                              reverence
                              of Phaulkon is almost certainly centered in the south, and heavily
                              connected to the reverence of Osprem and Xerbo.

                              But in a nation of farmers, it is telling that nature deities are not
                              more prominent. Both the Suel and Oeridian pantheons have a fair
                              number of
                              deities concerned with nature and people who make their living from
                              the land. That they attract no worshippers in significant numbers
                              again
                              points to the secular nature of the general populace.

                              Attitudes of the Common Folk Towards Religion:

                              In the countryside, most of the peasantry knows very little about the
                              Gods or their doctrines. The people are largely uneducated and many of
                              the most common deities in Keoland don't have much impact on
                              people's
                              daily lives. And when priests make their circuits of the smaller
                              towns,
                              their preaching usually falls upon deaf ears. "That's the
                              Lord's
                              business" is a commonly heard reply. The peasants trust their lords,
                              for the
                              most part, and leave philosophy to them. After all, what does the
                              average farmer care about Olidammara? The occasional bard/priest is
                              good for
                              a few nights' entertainment, but what does it help your work to
                              worship Olidammara? Most faiths are the same, in that respect. And
                              those that
                              sometimes appeal to the common folk, like Cuthbert or Trithereon, are
                              either too restrictive or too demanding. Besides, the Lord makes the
                              law
                              that the peasants live by. What use to claim independence or higher
                              moral law if the lord tells you to do something? That's a good
                              way to
                              have
                              your rent raised or your farm given to someone else. And then where
                              is
                              St Cuthbert or Trithereon, or Any God?

                              In the larger towns, where churches can survive on tithes, things are
                              slightly different. Here the people can see more of a direct
                              connection
                              between the Gods and their lives. There are more people with a little
                              coin in their pouch and a little education in their heads. Worship
                              isn't more
                              common, per se, but acknowledgement isn't uncommon. Especially in
                              the
                              towns that are near the borders, where there is more contact with
                              those from outside Keoland. But many people still look to the
                              aristocracy for direction, and not to the local priest.

                              Attitudes of the Aristocracy Towards Religion:

                              The Aristocracy in Keoland is generally of the same mind towards
                              religion. It is useful and beneficial as long as it is controlled and
                              funneled
                              into proper goals and behaviors. Most noble families have not
                              forgotten The Excommunication or before that, the social problems
                              caused by
                              religions running rampant. There is also a strong attitude of
                              self-reliance. Keoland is, after all, one of the Great Nations on all
                              of Oerth. And the
                              nobility represents the finest that humankind has to offer. Let
                              other,
                              lesser, men sell their souls to a God in exchange for magical powers.
                              Those
                              that can do for themselves, do.

                              This attitude has also been strengthened by the nobility's
                              reliance on
                              wizardly magic. Wizards rely only on their own learning and skills for
                              their power. How abhorrent to prostrate oneself before a "God" and
                              still not gain strong battle magic!

                              The nobility also fosters the peasantry's attitudes toward
                              religion
                              and magic, in order to perpetuate the serfs reliance on the nobility.
                              This is not
                              as sinister a policy as it sounds. The lords truly believe that they
                              are the most capable of making philosophical decisions for their
                              people. And
                              more, it is their responsibility to do so.

                              Healing:

                              Because of the general atmosphere surrounding religion in Keoland,
                              magical healing is a quite different matter than elsewhere. Because
                              of
                              the
                              general distrust of magic among the populace, when people are
                              injured,
                              they tend to go to their Lord first, and leave it up to the Lord to
                              contact
                              a priest and arrange healing. Many lords will make the appropriate
                              donations on behalf of their serfs, as it helps productivity and
                              helps
                              insure
                              loyalty. And most healing is not terribly expensive.

                              For their part, the churches generally abide by this setup. It's
                              notoriously difficult to get the peasantry to trust magic, even
                              beneficial magic like
                              healing. Many would rather suffer than let a `witch' cast
                              spells on
                              them without the reassuring presence of their lord their to protect
                              them. And
                              the peasantry generally cannot make much in the way of donations.

                              The local lords, on the other hand, can make donations to the church
                              and can offer other benefits as well. In some of the mid-sized towns,
                              the
                              lords have worked out deals with the local church to provide basic
                              healing for a set period of time in exchange for lower rents during
                              that
                              period. And having a beneficial relationship with the local lords is
                              usually a good idea, especially for lawful churches.

                              The Current Divinity Council:

                              The Divinity Council meets semi-openly in one of the Churches in
                              Niole
                              Dra, although elaborate security precautions are taken and no one
                              outside the Council knows the identity of the Council leaders (geas
                              is
                              most helpful in this regard). Almost all of the common faiths in
                              Keoland
                              are represented, with the notable exception of the church of
                              Trithereon. There are also representatives of faiths that do not have
                              large
                              followings in Keoland, such as Wee Jas and several non-Oeridian,
                              non-Suel faiths. The Council has many irons in the fire, so to speak,
                              but
                              there are several monumentous events that draw their attention,
                              namely, the possibility of an Imperial Keoland, the Scarlet
                              Brotherhood.

                              Surprisingly, the Council supports an Imperial Keoland. Most of the
                              churches in the Council have strong ties to their brethren in the
                              surrounding lands. And the Council knows what a serious blow it
                              received when the Keoland's vassal states gained independence.
                              They
                              knew
                              where most of their members and strongholds were concentrated. If
                              Keoland were to reincorporate the Uleks, or Gran Ma
                            • Iquander@aol.com
                              In a message dated 6/1/00 1:32:11 AM, rpgguyrich@hotmail.com writes:
                              Message 14 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                                In a message dated 6/1/00 1:32:11 AM, rpgguyrich@... writes:

                                << My complaint, I guess, is with the situation itself,
                                which, since I'm not privy to all the dirt, doesn't make sense to me,
                                especially given things like the Gran March situation I qouted. >>

                                Your quoted section refers to the Knights of the Watch as a
                                "military-religious" order. Many other references from the Guide refer to
                                them as a "quasi-religious" order. I chose to go with the latter
                                interpretation, since it seemed far more interesting (and far less a clone of
                                the Heironean Knights of the Shield). So the Gran March issue isn't really
                                all that critical, at least in my opinion.

                                As Frank has said, there _are_ priests in Keoland. There ARE temples. There
                                ARE religious orders. They just don't have the influence that their
                                counterparts in, say, Veluna or even Furyondy do.

                                --Erik
                              • Ernest Mueller
                                ... No, I read your sentence correctly. My point is that since these folks wield power regardless of land and titles, those who only have power through land
                                Message 15 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                                  "Caudron, Thomas" wrote:

                                  > I think you may have misread my sentence. I wasn't saying that the
                                  > powers-that-be would allow priests to assume political power becuase they
                                  > demonstrate power, but rather that because of the power they demonstrate and
                                  > the sphere of influence they inherently possess (deital) they would be
                                  > forced to allow them political power. The threat they represent means that
                                  > they /will/ be a part of the political process, whether the ruling class
                                  > wants it or not.

                                  No, I read your sentence correctly. My point is that since these folks
                                  wield power regardless of land and titles, those who only have power
                                  through land and titles would naturally like to not have to contend with
                                  those that have BOTH magical/spiritual power and temporal power.

                                  Sure, they have power, but obviously not enough to *force* the
                                  government to allow them lands and titles.

                                  You realize that even in the Middle Ages there were plenty of cases in
                                  which the Church was stripped of lands, clergy not allowed to hold
                                  title, etc. It made the Church mad but happened nonetheless. To call
                                  this "unrealistic" flies in the face of reality.

                                  And in terms of "but what about their spell power" - Keoland is a
                                  civilized nation. Just because someone is pretty powerful doesn't mean
                                  that they can demand title or land - unless they can defeat all of
                                  Keoland, a tall order indeed. High level clerics aren't more powerful
                                  than warriors and mages in the employ of the Crown.

                                  Ernest
                                  --
                                  Ernest C. Mueller ernestm@...
                                  Vice President for Technical Development Phone: (901) 251-7000
                                  Towery Publishing http://www.towery.com
                                • Paul Looby
                                  ... King: You re threatening to act against the king and the nation? We believe that s called treason. If this is the sort of clergy We have - it is just as
                                  Message 16 of 20 , Jun 1, 2000
                                    >This may be an acceptable solution if there's no way to do it otherwise,
                                    >but it's not terribly realistic. I mean, sure the King says "Objection
                                    >Overruled" but what does he say when the Priesthood replies with "Fine,
                                    >you've just invoked the displeasure of the gods and their wrath will be
                                    >visited upon you and your people until you submit"?

                                    King: "You're threatening to act against the king and the nation? We believe
                                    that's called treason. If this is the sort of clergy We have - it is just as
                                    well We have barred you from matters of state. Are We not a wise and just
                                    king?
                                    <to Chamberlin>: Send for the Guard and the mages - We may need them..." :P

                                    And so the Clergy fall into a carefully laid trap whereby they justify the
                                    actions of the Crown against them.
                                    If a single church did that it would be outlawed as an example to the
                                    others. And priestly powers only go so far against the weight of the nobilty
                                    (as the Pholtines in the Great Kingdom discovered to their cost).
                                    Of course the heads of the churchs may have realised this and not acted
                                    overtly. That's not to say they took it without complaint - just that they
                                    didn't call in a fire mission from their respective gods and start a
                                    religious war.

                                    >Wasn't this essentially the quandry the Papacy and the Royalty of the early
                                    >medieval period were in? That, of course, is why they eventually became so
                                    >powerful...and they weren't actually performing miracles to back up that
                                    >threat. Interdiction (essentially withholding salvation from a person or
                                    >group of people) can be a powerful political tool. How long can the ruling
                                    >body of Keoland ignore the wishes of the priesthood?

                                    Not forever of course - but long enough for it to have been a policy. it
                                    might have been rolled back somewhat since (and from what Frank has said
                                    this seems to be the case), but its repercussions would still be felt.

                                    Of course - the nobilty may have framed it in terms of the greater good
                                    (whatever their real motivations might have been):

                                    "There are so many faiths and creeds. The peoples of Our great realm too are
                                    diverse. How then can We say to one church that they are right and that they
                                    should hold primacy over the other? Might this church which We have given
                                    Our blessing to not then make war on the other churches and spread divisions
                                    among the great family of Our peoples? Even as We treat each of member of
                                    that family equally - so We should treat each church equally. Therefore for
                                    the good of the Keoish family and the security of all her peoples, We cannot
                                    allow any church to stand above the others in terms of favour, presteige or
                                    political power.
                                    Surely, My most farsighted Clergy, you can see the wisdom of my decree?"

                                    The other option - if the ruler was determined enough - was a holy war and
                                    nobody wanted that.

                                    Early Keoland needed to weld lots of diverse peopes together. having churchs
                                    shoving their dogmas down other people's throats would have been a recipe
                                    for certain rebellion and religious wars. Keolands's Goodness in this sense
                                    might be seen as tolerance to other's beliefs as opposed to devout smiting
                                    of the infidel. As someone said not unlike the US - many diverse peoples and
                                    faiths, but religion is seperated from governance for unity and the greater
                                    good. Is it so unimaginable that a Keoish monarch might not have thought the
                                    same (especially if egged on by an Arcane elite to curb their religious
                                    rivals).

                                    Paul

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