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Church of Renardieby Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies
Worshipped in: Renardy (Savage Coast)
Saimpt Renard (Korotiku) - Freedom, wisdom, cleverness, jokes and entertainment, nobility
Saimpt Clébard - Family, loyalty, patriotism
Saimpt Ralon - Life, trade, agriculture, money, food
Saimpt Mâtin - Security, sacrifice, guards
Saimpt Loup - Night, hunting, instincts, animals
Saimpt Malinois - Vengeance, courage, fighters, hunters
Saimpt Soubrette - Arts, talent, persuasion, illusion
History of the Church
The Church of Renardie operates in the territory of the Kingdom of Renardie (previously know as Renardy), on the Savage Coast, and was established around the V century AC by the will of the Bishop of Louvines Richel, tutor of the young King Luuis I, after a period of great revolts headed by his own clergy.
When the Kingdom of Renardy was founded at the end of the I century AC following the union of the five powerful lupin tribes residing in the region, the first sovereign, Kaarlup I (who was distinct in the battles against the goblinoids of the north like the more heroic and victorious), created the rule that the Renardois crown would have had to be handed on for inheritance of blood to its dynasty, and that the coronation would in the future have the blessing of a priest of Luup, but without any effective power of restraining on the part of the cleric. Immediately afterwards was established that the temporal power was tightly in the hands of the monarch and of his noble vassals (the descendents of the five most powerful families), while the clerics of the lupin Immortals (at this time Luup, Maleen and Renard) were confined in the populace, deprive of whichever decision-making power and of the prestige reserved to the nobles, although some of they lived in a palace with the king or the castles of his nobles as healers or diviners of court. The clerical career was not therefore a choice of convenience, but a true vocation, and for this the clergy, although divided and incapable of planning a common strategy, began to gain the respect and the support of the lowers layers (and also the most numerous) of the population, who observed and experienced in person the dedication of the clerics in everyday life. During the three centuries that followed, the successive regnants recognised the increasing favour which the clergy enjoyed, and manoeuvred in order to put the three faiths against the other in order to avoid that mixing and could in some way threaten the authority of the nobles. This game of power gave the Renardois monarchy to support at one time or another, guaranteeing some profit or donating small estates to various clerical orders based on the aid received by these last, and the situation continued therefore to remain unchanged until V century AC, when at the top of the three clerical orders rose more far-sighted and ambitious men, who had previously shared many common battles. It was therefore that the three Patriarchs of the age decided with common accord to gather together in a unique cult the three principal Immortals worshipped by the lupin, and proclaimed the constitution of the Unified Church of the Lupins. Strong of possessed lands and of the support of the faithful, the three clerics presented to King Philou II their request recognising the Unified Church as the official religion of the state and of extending the possibility of granting titles of nobility also to who then it would have become the Patriarch of the Church. Fearing a political schism as a result of the demands of the ecclesiasts and pushed by the nobility that did not have any intention of dividing the power with the clergy, the monarch refused to grant a special power to the clergy and he also refused of proclaiming it a state religion. His attempt however was received as a demonstration of contempt in the struggles of the divine authority, and so the three high clergymen assembled their own forces and urged the people to rebellion both in their own fiefs and in those of the rest of the country. In a few years the climate became incandescent, with riots in the public squares and attacks against the rule and vineyards of the nobility, so much that only the clerics succeeded to hold at bay the crowd that they incited. For harshly criticising the opposition created by the clergy, King Philou made to imprison and then execute the three high clergymen with the accusation of treason, but this was the drop that made the pot to boil over. The country rebelled and was split between the monarchists and the devout, with the result that the monarch decreed martial law and raised the army against its same people in what was subsequently known as the Period of Terror. The remaining clerics were branded as traitors and openly hunted, and many sought refuge in the countryside and steppe, where they were welcomed and protected by the nomadic lupin followers of Luup the Black.
It was just one of these clergymen, Richel, right-hand man of one of the three murdered patriarchs, who gathering the forces of the faithful, and strong support of the nomads marched with an improvised action against the royal palace of Louvines, besieged the king while the army had been dispersed to the four corners of the nation trying to bring back the calm. Richel had the understanding of the Royal Guard and captured King Philou while he tried to escape. With a public speech to the inhabitants of Louvines and to the soldiers gathered in the public square, order the death of the sovereign for the divine will, and that always for divine intervention had been designated to guard the new sovereign, the young son of Philou by saving him, and to instruct him until he became an adult. Therefore Richel took under his protection Luuis still a pup and administered the kingdom in his stead for fifteen years, ratified in 479 AC the birth of the Church of Renardy that had cost the life of the preceding king. Richel is named Royal Tutor and Bishop of Louvines, manipulated the wishes of the young Luuis to his own liking, and thanks to his position did approve all of a series of laws that guaranteed nobility and temporal power as well to the clergy in virtue of the simple possession of land capable of producing quality goods, between which stood out in particular the wine (since for the Renardois nothing has more value than a fine wine). From that moment the clergy set about establishing small abbeys and monasteries on all of the fertile land still uncultivated or unclaimed, obtaining then from the Bishop the acknowledgment of the property and therefore aristocratic status that it contended for. The clergymen of the Church of Renardy that way assumed major power and the landed estate of the Church increased, made the clerics on the one hand spiritual guide of the people and from the other important master winemakers and skilful traders. At the death of Richel, King Luuis XIV definitively sanctioned that the patriarch of the Church of Renardy would have become also Bishop of the capital Louvines, and from that moment the custom became a rule.
In the course of successive centuries the church was reformed and the pantheon initially comprised of Renard, Maleen and Luup were increasingly counting on the figures of deified heroes like Mâtin and Ralon. But it was in the course of the last century that the nation underwent its most epochal change, when in 899 AC from the Glantri the noble Clébard de Clairvault arrived together with his disciples. Assaulted by a horde of enraged goblinoids, the Renardois had already lost their sovereign in battle and the northern part of the country when the Glantrian lupins came to their aid, led by Clébard (who afterwards said of having been guided there by the visions of Saimpt Renard, of whom he later became a fervent follower). Thanks to his own strategic skills and to the preparations for war of his clan, Clébard was able to break into the goblinoid supply lines and coordinating his own actions with those of the noble Renardois leaders, Clébard was finally able to curb the invasion and crush all the goblinoids. At the end of the war the population acclaimed him and he was able to marry the daughter of the previous sovereign, guaranteed to the nation a new strong and powerful dynasty. When Clébard rose to the throne, Renardy was still a kingdom of backward provinces, but thanks to the progressive push of Clébard the nation became a truly illuminated state, with a series of laws and codices that the sovereign proclaimed unifying the ancient lupin traditions with the legal principles that Clébard had learned in Glantri. It was the wish of Clébard that the nation was renamed Renardie, and that the national idiom became the Renardois (derived from the Averoignese), initially the language of the noble class and subsequently spread as well by the bourgeoisie, which is the middle class of merchants and rich gentry. The reformed church was also influenced by the Renardois language, many of the ancient Immortals became “saint” (Saimpt) and also their pronunciation in some cases was modified (Maleen became Saimpt Malinois and Luup was transformed into Saimpt Loup). As agreed with the then Patriarch Sevres, the Church of Renardie started to examine all the existing clerical orders in the kingdom and to allow within itself the more desirable ones, instead forcibly dissolving those that show themselves to be particularly dangerous.
There, however, still exists among the Renardois lupins a few heretics, and in particular the heresy more dangerous it is that Pflarrian. These heretics support the Immortal Pflarr the creator of the lupin, and that the true noble ones are only those lupin that have the blood of the progeny of Pflarr in their veins. In fact, they hand on a custom according to which to the dawn of the country only who showed of having the mark of Pflarr in a mystical ceremony given the title of noble and could govern on the lupin with full authority From the moment in which the actual monarchy was inaugurated, the nobility has instead been established on the practice of the identification of the better wines: in practice the sovereign confers tributes (leaves) that made a winemaker a true and just noble (since the production of wine is the basis of the Renardois economy). The Pflarrians accused the Renardois church and the actual monarchy of perverting the truth for pure opportunism and demanded a return to their origins and to the cult of Pflarr, in order to overthrow the false order of the established nobility and to pay just honours to the creator. For this the order of Pflarr, sponsor of the “nobility of blood”, is considered an enemy of the nation and persecuted by the monarchy and by the church, that instead they support the “nobility bourgeois”.
Structure of the Church
Today the Church of Renardie is formed from the normal clergy that populate the various parishes in which the nation is divided (each of which is administered by a Parish priest, who’s boss is the Bishop assigned to the capital of that region), and from clergymen members of the order devoted to the cult of a specific saimpt (usually organised around a monastery or a city in which it has its own central seat, in which the order has been founded). The Renardois orders are as follows:
- Clebardians: disciples of Saimpt Clébard, specialists in the conversion to the Renardois faith and the indoctrination of the national ideals, often they act as missionaries to foreign countries or direct important academies and seminaries in their homeland. They are also responsible of any investigations within the Church and occupy the key positions in the clerical bureaucracy.
- Loupians: disciples of Saimpt Loup, these lupins are more at ease following an ascetic way made of sacrifice and isolation, seeking enlightenment through the hunger and the contact with the savage nature and primordial instincts.
- Matinites: disciples of Saimpt Mâtin, these indomitable defenders of the faith and the nation make up the armed branch of the Church, this being a militant order that acts as a type of police force in the domains governed by the bishops, and that became joined with the soldiers stationed in the observation towers for watching the borders. They answer for their actions to the Patriarch of the Church, but usually they follow the instructions dictated by the King in matters of national defence and military campaigns in lack of a formal dissent from part of the Patriarch.
- Malinese: disciples of Saimpt Malinois, this sect are feared in the entire nation since it was appointed to supervise and protect the faith, investigate cases of heresy and lycanthropy, and look for the evidence that relates to the holiness of possible candidates. They are consulted besides when it deals with conducting investigations relating to occult events happening in Renardie.
- Ralonians: disciples of Saimpt Ralon, are promoters of the adage “pray and work”, since they join work in the fields and mainly in the vineyards in the prayer devoted to the Immortal. The Ralonians are among the best winemakers of the nation.
- Renardans: disciples of Saimpt Renard specialists in history and in religious and mystical philosophy, custodians of ancient knowledge and devoted to meditation and study rather than action.
- Soubrettians: disciples of Saimpt Soubrette, these clergymen are experts in the arts and usually produce all the works considered acceptable by Renardois religion. They are also kept busy protecting the more precious works of art owned by the Church and they are the best orators, many who often join the Renardan or Clebardian diplomats during important political meetings in order to make worth their influence.
To be numbered among the saimpts of the Church of Renardie, it is necessary to demonstrate that the candidate has performed miracles during his life, and that as a result of his passing, someone has at least performed a miracle ascribable to the divine intervention of those saimpts. Every petition of sanctification is examined by a special tribunal, the Theological Academy, that examines single cases and the testimonies taken, makes searches on the life and the work of the figure who he intends to investigate, and then judges on the base of concrete tests the admissibility or less than the request of divinization, carrying their own sentence in hand to the Assembly of the Bishops. These then, on the basis of the conclusions presented by the Academy, vote on the proposal on the addition of a new saimpt to the Renardois Church, and if the proposal passes with an absolute majority of two-thirds, the individual achieves the canonisation and the status of Saimpt. Until now this procedure has been introduced with success only in four cases (Soubrette, Ralon, Mâtin and Clébard), since the pantheon initially comprised of the cults of Saimpt Renard, Saimpt Loup and Saimpt Malinois. There are numerous other proposals that are still to the assessment of the Academy (in particular that of the canonisation of Vezy, a most important winemaker who lived two centuries ago, is a request that is recycled every five years), and each year at least one is added to the already long list, with the result that in the last three centuries, the waiting time for the resolution of questions of divination is becoming extremely long.