Cult of Olmaca
From Burning Wiki
On a world on which they were not born, humans make a new home. It is an ancient world with strange races seemingly born of myth and legend, but there is a darker secret there. One that will bring into question the origins of all those that call Urya home.
David W Henley
James, Megan, Mike, Nate, Tony
Here is where the story begins.
Justinian Theocratic Empire
Staunch defenders of the faith of the Unnamed God, the Justinian Empire has led the reformation of the lands of men. They have reclaimed the broken lands of the continent of Danlorn-Assa and the empire sits at their heart. Others claim dominion over regions of Danlorn-Assa, but with time, faith, fire, and sword the imperials intend to spread their faith and rulership to all peoples of Urya. But all is not well, recently their leader has died of illness without a clear successor. The church's authority is threatened by dissenters and heretics from within, as well as barbarians from outside her borders. It is a time of doubt and confusion, with rumors of yet another war close on the heels of a decade-long conflict in the east.
Sedes of Australis
The southernmost Sedes of the empire, and one of the three wealthiest, Australis is home to some of the most elite troops of the legions. It is best known for its production of marble, olive-oil, and wines, and its deep harbors along the New Sea make it the most traveled of the Sedes. Wealth and a warm climate make it attractive to merchants, nobles and mercenaries alike.
The Sedes of Australis is actually a geographic region that encompasses most of the southern continent of Danlorn-Assa. The region is also claimed, or a majority of it is, by the Nepalese Empire. So it is that the people of the Imperial Province of Doge are on the frontlines of a cold-war, for the moment, and the Isle of Cassia is heavily garrisoned as a result.
Doge, founded 0053AR, is the southernmost province of the area under Imperial control. It is considered the northern border of the Sedes Australis and the doorway to the south. For this reason there are many more foreign peoples and traders present in the province than elsewhere in the empire. The province is known for its fine timber and artisans, fruit that cannot be grown in other parts of the Empire, and grains suited to warmer climates. Doge enjoys a Warm-Temperate climate that at certain times borders on Sub-Tropical. The province boasts three large cities: Trassus, on the southern tip of the mainland; Irusi, the northern port of Cassia; and Belona at the southern extreme of Cassia and the Empire. These three cities are among the most advanced and definitely the most cosmopolitan of any in the Empire.
Those foreigners that visit Trassus are confined to the port district of the city; any found outside this area are detained, questioned and sometimes imprisoned. There is a similar policy within the walls of Irusi, but it is modified. Those coming to Irusi can leave the city through the Puerto Mare’—Sea Gate—as it is known. This gate will take them from the city proper into the surrounding countryside. In Belona there is a similar gate and policy. Those foreigners leaving by the Sea Gate can only reenter the city by the same gate. It is a criminal act to do otherwise, and if the reason for the transgression is linked to more serious crime then the punishment can be as severe as crucifixion. Other than the three major cities there are dozens of smaller ones, hundreds of villages, and many times that number of smaller settlements and private acreages.
The people of the province are for the majority Theoc, though there have been a few cases where some foreigner has done a great service for the Empire and been rewarded limited citizenship, and lands in Doge on the Isle of Cassia. Those that live within the province are by imperial law required to honor and serve the church and her teachings. Those that do not follow the faith of the Unknown God are required to convert upon acceptance of the citizenship and may not leave the church and remain in the lands of the Empire. The average Australo is of a medium to olive complexion with dark hair and eyes. They are average height for an imperial ranging form 5’7” to 5’ 10”, and of medium to heavy build. They often have curly hair and beards, which some treat with olive oil. Their dress is varied with all the styles to be found throughout the empire, and sometimes in the southern empire of Nepal-Assa. They are an open people—as much as the empire’s laws allow—and love to build long-lasting friendships and alliances. These are often as strong as a familial bond, and sometimes adoptions do occur making them just that. There is a saying in the province that, “Australo blood and wine are the thickest in the world.” The meaning has to do with the intense loyalty of the Australo to those they consider friend of family, and the bitter enmity they have for those that are adversaries or enemies.
Because of the influx of foreigners peoples of all the more advanced lands can be found within the port cities. Throughout the province the people of the empire are mainly Australo, but there are some of the Eos, Aquiline, and Vespertini.
It is imperial edict that no god but that of the Theoc may be worshipped upon the soil of the Empire. Those that are found to do so are incarcerated, charged with witchcraft and heresy, and then executed. There are no exceptions to this law.
Theoc is the only language spoken by the majority, but other languages are spoken in the ports of the province.
Provincial Capitol is Trassus.
Provincial holidays are the same as those followed throughout the empire, and a few local to the area in question.
Law in the province is the same as the remainder of the Empire.
Crime and Punishment
Crime and punishment is defined the same as stipulated throughout the Empire.
The seal of the province incorporates the Imperial seal, the seal of Australis, and a Battle-Cross.
There are three legions assigned throughout the province and there is a Dux—pronounced Deuce, or among the common people Duce—and three Legates assigned to command them. There is one legion, the 7th, headquartered in Trassus; the other two legions are the 3rd in Irusi, and the 11th in Belona. All of the legions are veteran units with well-trained and competent men in command.
Isle of Cassia
Port of Irusi
The city of Irusi has been plauged by serial killings for over an annum(year) and there is no resolution in site. People live in fear and the city has suffered from the loss of nightlife and trade with outsiders. Compounding this is the death of the empire's leader and the cancellation of a local annual festival. This is the background for the arrival of newcomers, and one who is returning home after a long time away. Arriving in the city he is appraised of the situaiton by his step-father, a man of influence with the city's government and underworld alike. The welcome home is marred by the stories of the killings, conflict with the city and empire, and news of the Imprator's(Leader of the Empire and Church) death.
Figures of Note
These are important NPCs in the Sanguine Blade storyline.
Abbot Vencizo Domini
Abbot Domini has been at the head of the Order of Augustine and the Basilica for over 20 annum, and is without doubt one of the most powerful people on Cassia. Vencizo was born in the Province of Aquilo 56 annum ago, born to a farmer and his wife the future clergyman knew that he would be something more than his forebears from the first time he entered his parish church. The boy grew quickly into a young man and took orders at the age of 14, for the next 20 annum of his life Vencizo served the church and empire with all of his faith and courage. He spent several years as a missionary in the Sedes of Eos among the Jute, and their cousins the Bres. He was a close associate of Bishop Gaius Recto and helped found the cathedral of Lund B’jet, the greatest bastion of the faith in the east. When word reached him of the fall of the Empire’s holdings in the area of Lund B’jet, and the death of the Bishop Recto, Abbot Domini was deeply wounded and has yet to recover fully. His nature is one of temperance and patience but the seed of hatred has taken root and begun to blossom. His correspondence to higher officials of the church and the empire has begun to reflect his belief that the east should be declared apostate, heretic, and irredeemable. If this should be done then all those that would enter the Empire from the East would then be subject to the laws concerning heretics. In short, they would be seen as guilty of crimes against the Theocracy and subject to immediate execution. Further Domini has pressed that a full crusade be called against the pagan peoples of Eos, and that the lands should be scourged and salted so that no other may ever again inhabit them.
This hatred has been curtailed with great effort by the Dux of the Province, but has begun to worry those around the Abbot. There are those of the secular ranks that have hinted at the threat such sentiment might pose to the stability of the eastern empire. Some believe that this threat is grave enough that the Cardinal-Abbot should be censured and removed from his position on Cassia and within the Province of Doge.
Dux Varro Cassius
Cassius is a man of great complexity and desire. He is drawn to the Church and the power offered there, but unable to disconnect himself from the secular world and the role of a soldier turned politician. The Dux earned his admittance into the roles of the Equs during his thirty plus years in the legions. He was 16 annum of age when he chose a soldier’s lot over that of an aspirant cleric, though he had served as a page and altar boy at the Basilica of St Leonidus in Libertina, capitol of the Province of Liber. When he had been studying to take the orders he met a man that was a tribune in the legions of Vespertinus. The Tribune told he stories of all the glorious adventures and the great victories won in the name of God and Mother Church over his career and that every young man that didn’t serve the church as a cleric should serve as a soldier. After a few weeks of talking with the Tribune, Cassius made his choice to the disappointment of the Bishop that was the head of the Basilica’s clergy. But the Bishop blessed him and wished him well in his future service to the Imprator and the Church. In the early years of his service Cassius didn’t do anything extraordinary and came in time to doubt his choice. But, then when he was a twenty-year veteran and Primus of a legion led by Dux Cicero Orba, Cassius traveled into the dark and pagan lands of Myr. There among the great pyramids of the Myran he found the truth. It was a simple truth and one that would sustain him through all the years of service as a soldier and politician. The heathens had power. It was a sinister and occult power unlike that of God, which had sprung from unnatural acts and pacts with the devils and spirits of this world. A world that he was to learn was not one that man was born upon, but brought to by God to cleanse. This message was not spread among the common people, who knew nothing of a world other than this one, and only among the elite of the nobility. Many believed that the passages in the holy script declaring man as God’s child were referring to his creation on another world long ago.
He swore an oath in a temple dedicated to one of the Myran gods that he would uphold the church and her work. That those that turned away from God in this world of alien power and deviltry were no better than the bestial creatures bred on the face of the world. They deserved no different or better fate either, they should be slain and burn in the fires of Hades, in fact they were worse for the simple lack of faith that they had displayed. The creatures born of this world were ignorant of the faith until man came bearing the word of God and the scriptures on which the church was founded. They could be pitied if not forgiven when they refused to repent and convert to the true faith. He joined the ranks of the Armored Cross and learned more and more through years of service—in secret—to the order. It was during this service that he learned of some of the dark cults hidden within the very fabric of the world and of the plots to overthrow the empire and bring down the church espoused by some of them.
Cassius was retired over 15 years ago and took up the mantel of public service before his armor could collect dust. He rose in the ranks quickly due to his connections with the influential knights of his order, and powerful allies in the military and civilian government. Five annum ago he was appointed the Dux of Doge and took up residence in Trassus, but winters in Irusi and Belona. He feels that he is better able to rule the province by experiencing the day-to-day life of its people. This has led to his habit of walking the streets of whatever city he is residing in simple clothing and listening to and talking with the citizens. Those of his guard are very unhappy with this, but are not able to invoke any sort of emergency authority over the Dux to make him desist.
Black Gustav, that is what they called him as long as he can remember. Among his family in Aquilo Province he was known as Black Gustav because of the color of his hair and eyes, passed down to him from his ancient Imvori forebears. Gustav grew up among the whalers of the Northing Isles, and spent much of his youth aboard the great oil ships that made many Captains rich men. But those ships made more of them dead. It was the danger, and the watery graves of many of his fellows that made up Gustav’s mind to leave Aquilo behind. Once he decided to do so he spent another 15 annum in the western province of Liber. In Liber he learned to buy and sell from a man that was like his father, until that man cheated him. When the deception was out in the open Gustav took his vengeance on his ex-mentor and spent six days killing him by inches. Though Gustav never considered himself an evil man he always understood the power of violence and learned to use it well. With his ex-mentor gone, and the man’s rivals snapping at Gustav’s heels, once more he pulled up stakes and found another part of the empire to start fresh in.
He had always wanted to visit the warmer southern region of the empire, to taste its fine wines, and food. All his life he had heard tales of the warmth of the lands of Australis, and more of its people. Now he found himself without ties, or direction and decided that it was time to act on those dreams. So that night he made his way out of the city that had been his home for 15 annum and made his way south. Months and many miles later he found himself in the heart of Irusi, caught up with the many smells and sounds that all the outsiders brought with them as they mingled unfettered with the local peoples. The people, the sights and sounds, the soul of the city spoke to something in him that until then Gustav hadn’t known was there. For the first time Gustav felt pride in his city, and his empire, and it was then that he decided that he would protect both with all his wit and will. But unlike most he didn’t seek out the rank and file of the legions, or the tonsured celibacy of the church. He would bring to bear all his skill and cunning from years of survival on the seas, and in the dark alleys that had been his crucible.
He formed a guild of dock-men and handlers, invested in the designs and ideas of a local architect, and helped to shape the future of the city from the ground up. That was almost a generation ago, and now as he enters his winter years the maestro is looking for a pupil to take on the shadowy empire that he has built. Many of his lieutenants vie for his favor and jockey for a position that will put them close enough to learn his secrets. Or slit his throat while he sleeps, Gustav can’t really be sure which. Of them not one has what Gustav is looking for in an heir, a love of the city that will equal his own. So, he waits and watches all those near him, and the ones that are the most troublesome to him seem to always find their way into the harbor, or the canals along the shore.
The killings in recent times deeply trouble the man, and he has often lent his aid and influence to help the Polis in their investigation. Gustav is able to send agents into places that the Polis could never go, mobile markets, and brothels, Koonah-dens and every other illicit place within the districts of the Polis and Subura of Irusi. The killing itself is not the cause of Gustav’s ire, but that, neither he, nor his people control such blatant use of force, and that the fear it inspires undermines his power with the people of the city. This he cannot abide, or allow.
Gustav is a large man, well over six feet, though now stooped with age, heavy muscle sheaths his upper body and legs in knotted bands. His eyes are coal-black and most say that by looking into them one can see that Gustav has no soul. His features are deeply tanned and ruggedly lined from years in the sun and exposed to the elements. His nose is a flattened ruin, a trophy of his hard won success. Once when he was still young he was seen as handsome, even winning, by the ladies, but now his hair is the color of day old snow, and there is a tremble in his hands when they are unoccupied. To hide this infirmity he has taken to using a heavy walking stick. It is ornately carved with sea serpents and mermaids along its length. The handle of the stick is slightly crooked and will detach to reveal a sturdy steel-bladed knife. A weapon that has tasted the life blood of many of the “Old Man’s” enemies, and kept him from harm for longer than many of his men have drawn breath.
Gustav has few that he counts among his friends, but one such is Kamal Depta, and the two veterans of the wider world often sit and sip espresso—a drink that is a delicacy and uncommon in the taverns of the city—lost in conversation. The pair is the best-known, and respected Domi of the port district. It is said that not even a fly takes wing without one or the other knowing ahead of time when, where, and why.
Began his life in the brothel district of Agrapur in the Satrap of Lonth in western Nepal-Assa. He was born to a woman in one of the brothels, the bastard son of a Chingani outcast and a Lontha prostitute he was not well thought of by those outside the district in which he was born, and considered of lower class than even the Lontha. Since his ancestors were those that had once enslaved much of the south in the old world they were the target of much hatred and prejudice from the Hyn, Turk, and Bendi that rule the empire in the modern world. When he had reached thirteen years of age he decided to take his chances in the Justinian Theocracy, where he was taken as a house-servant by one of the nobles. Through diligent service he won the respect of his employer and became the noble’s Manservant. While on campaign in the wilds of Myr he saved the noble’s life and was offered a chance to enlist in the army of the Empire. This gave Kamal the opportunity to earn citizenship and own his own property. That noble was no other than Dux Varro, and Kamal is still fanatical in his loyalty to the Dux to this day. Though he shares the features of his southern brothers Kamal proudly wears the cross of the Theoc Church and observes the Ashen Cross. If there is ever a time when he is put in a position that might threaten the Dux Kamal will choose the path that will defend his old friend and benefactor. All other alliances and oaths are secondary to that he gave to the Empire and the Dux. Kamal is taller than average, nearly six feet in height and wiry, weighing little more than 140 pounds. His eyes are a pale hazel that is almost green and framed by thick brows. He wears a beard, which is kept oiled and that is trimmed closely to the jaw line and pulled into a point beneath the chin, where it is curled outward. His skin is brown, slightly lighter in hue than a pecan, and unblemished except for an old scar that runs from his left nostril to the lobe of his left ear. A knife wound suffered when he was a boy of 13 put the scar there. When a purveyor of the brothel that was his home took a disliking to him he only escaped death with the help of his mother and two other of the prostitutes. The man that attacked him was slain and since he was a wealthy local merchant it was best that Kamal depart. Kamal has a fondness for rich fabrics and bright colors, dressing most often in rich reds and gold. He adorns himself with silver jewelry, earrings in both ears, a silver stud piercing his left nostril, rings on the forefinger of each hand and another on the ring finger of his left hand. Kamal is a consummate businessman and has built a small fortune and reputation within the Port District of Irusi. He is loyal to the Empire, but sees the truth when it comes to the prejudice and avarice of some of its clergy and nobles. Kamal has been known to help some of those that he believed were unfairly treated by the officials of Irusi and the Province. In some cases he has used connections with others within the “Guilds” of the area to relocate some of these targets to distant lands, or to remove a threat to their lives within the city. Kamal is stalwart and upright in spite of these connections and affiliations with those of less moral certitude. His most direct association with members of the city’s underworld is with a pair known as Whisper and Shadow. This pair is known in the city as assassins that have often proved their nature to Kamal, and have often helped him protecting those that could not do so alone.
Legate Nacellus Antonio
Legate Nacellus is a driven man, driven to constantly ascend to higher station within the empire. He had an exemplary career in the legions of the empire, and rose quickly in rank. His rapid promotion was aided by the fact that he was born into the Equs, and his family is one of the eldest senatorial families to survive the fall of the old world. Throughout the empire the Legate’s reputation for efficiency and competence is second to none. If there is a delicate matter that needs attention it is often the Legate that is contacted by the Corpus Firma and instructed as to the proper course in the eyes of the church and the Imprator. Nacellus has never failed when he received the call of his superiors the Legate never shirked or made excuses that another man should be called in his place. This devotion and determination, coupled with his positive results is what won Nacellus his position in one of the most important ports in the Sedes of Australis. He is a young man for such an influential post, and this fact has earned him the envy of many of his fellow nobles. This fact is not lost on the Legate and he takes steps constantly to protect his interests and to form alliances with powerful nobles, and freedmen alike. The Publi—the common people—see Nacellus as a champion for their rights, and souls and are loyal and supportive of him in the city of Irusi. For the most part this perception is true, but there is a harder, darker side to the legate and his ambitions. His family is related to that of the Celeri Imprators. If there were ever a time where there was no clear heir to the Empire’s highest seat—such as now—it might be possible for one of his blood, or even himself to assume command of the empire and church. The likelihood of such an occurrence is beyond his ability to calculate, but that there is a possibility is enough to pique his ambition. A distant cousin of his, the lady, Alista Gaius-Venci is missing somewhere in the eastern region of the New Sea. Her confessor, a Father Marius has recently been rescued from an uncharted island north the Nepalese port of Ram-Duapur. The island was the base of operations for a pirate that had preyed upon vessels in the region for nearly to decades. Now it was believed that he had kidnapped the Lady, and still holds her captive waiting for an opportunity to exploit her position and garner some great ransom. Nacellus has taken on the responsibility of finding her and returning her to her father and soon-to-be husband. If he is successful it will be his greatest political coup to date and will engender a sense of debt with the girl’s father and remaining kin. With the voice of such a powerful family, added to that of the husband’s kin, should be enough to propel him into the court in Acropolis permanently if no further. Nacellus is a man of honor, and carries out his duty to the fullness of his ability, but given the opportunity and choice to transfer his household and interests to Acropolis, he will not hesitate to abandon the city and its people. With the string of occult, and grisly murders in Irusi of late he is fearful that his reputation with become sullied should no perpetrator be brought to justice soon. This completely unacceptable to the Legate and he has taken steps since his return to the city to put pressure on his subordinates, using connections within the church in general, and the Basilica of St Augustine in particular. The man or men responsible—it is inconceivable to the Legate that the killings might involve a woman—must be brought to heel within the next 20 daes or he will take steps against those he sees as failing in their duties, or lacking the talent for success. Legate Nacellus is a driven man, driven to constantly ascend to higher station within the empire. He had an exemplary career in the legions of the empire, and rose quickly in rank. His rapid promotion was aided by the fact that he was born into the Equs, and his family is one of the eldest senatorial families to survive the fall of the old world. Throughout the empire the Legate’s reputation for efficiency and competence is second to none. If there is a delicate matter that needs attention it is often the Legate that is contacted by the Corpus Firma and instructed as to the proper course in the eyes of the church and the Imprator. Nacellus has never failed when he received the call of his superiors the Legate never shirked or made excuses that another man should be called in his place. This devotion and determination, coupled with his positive results is what won Nacellus his position in one of the most important ports in the Sedes of Australis. He is a young man for such an influential post, and this fact has earned him the envy of many of his fellow nobles. This fact is not lost on the Legate and he takes steps constantly to protect his interests and to form alliances with powerful nobles, and freedmen alike. The Publi—the common people—see Nacellus as a champion for their rights, and souls and are loyal and supportive of him in the city of Irusi. For the most part this perception is true, but there is a harder, darker side to the legate and his ambitions. His family is related to that of the Celeri Imprators. If there were ever a time where there was no clear heir to the Empire’s highest seat—such as now—it might be possible for one of his blood, or even himself to assume command of the empire and church. The likelihood of such an occurrence is beyond his ability to calculate, but that there is a possibility is enough to pique his ambition. A distant cousin of his, the lady, Alista Gaius-Venci is missing somewhere in the eastern region of the New Sea. Her confessor, a Father Marius has recently been rescued from an uncharted island north the Nepalese port of Ram-Duapur. The island was the base of operations for a pirate that had preyed upon vessels in the region for nearly to decades. Now it was believed that he had kidnapped the Lady, and still holds her captive waiting for an opportunity to exploit her position and garner some great ransom. Nacellus has taken on the responsibility of finding her and returning her to her father and soon-to-be husband. If he is successful it will be his greatest political coup to date and will engender a sense of debt with the girl’s father and remaining kin. With the voice of such a powerful family, added to that of the husband’s kin, should be enough to propel him into the court in Acropolis permanently if no further. Nacellus is a man of honor, and carries out his duty to the fullness of his ability, but given the opportunity and choice to transfer his household and interests to Acropolis, he will not hesitate to abandon the city and its people. With the string of occult, and grisly murders in Irusi of late he is fearful that his reputation with become sullied should no perpetrator be brought to justice soon. This completely unacceptable to the Legate and he has taken steps since his return to the city to put pressure on his subordinates, using connections within the church in general, and the Basilica of St Augustine in particular. The man or men responsible—it is inconceivable to the Legate that the killings might involve a woman—must be brought to heel within the next 20 daes or he will take steps against those he sees as failing in their duties, or lacking the talent for success.
Events of Import
Death of the Imprator
Imprator Julian Octavo Celerus Julian Octavo was 54 years old when God called him to his reward. He was the eldest son of Marius Rufio, and Celesta with three male and two female siblings. He—like all the Imperial family—was born in the capitol, Acropolis on Alorus 22nd 466 CEAR(Common Era after Reformation). Julian was one of the most conservative Imprators in the last century. During his reign of 28 years he reversed several reforms put in place by his father, and bolstered the legions with a twenty percent increase in troop numbers. It was by his order that the most current campaign against the pagans known as the Wasted Ones was launched. In the last decade of his rule he led the empire and her legions during war with the eastern peoples, predominately the Bres. Sadly neither of these campaigns was ended with a clear victory, though one was claimed in the senate and public squares throughout the empire. Julian was a tall, but thin man with severe asthma, which kept him from serving in the legions as is traditional for the future Imprators. In spite of this Julian proved to have a talent for tactics and with his powerful personality was the perfect candidate to rule after his father’s death. Julian assumed the helm of the empire at 31 and was still a single man at the time of his ascension. This fact caused much speculation inside and outside the capitol and empire; several people thought that he had little or no interest in women as a result. The fact was that he had intended to lead a life in service to the church in the Ordi Justine, as a clergyman. When his father died and Julian was chosen to take command as Imprator he laid aside his own ambitions to serve the empire and her citizens. He was to remain single for nearly ten years but finally married Miranda Orella Venci and produced two offspring before she died during childbirth with a third that didn’t survive. Julian was blonde with steely gray eyes whose gaze was steady and more piercing than most. His face was narrow, with a square jaw that looked somehow out of place. His complexion was ashen, as a result of the asthma, but he was still considered a handsome man. In spite of his condition he led an active life and attended many of the sessions of the senate, and Collegia of Cardinals during his time on the throne of the Imprator. He was known to spend hours in the steam rooms of the imperial baths to help clear his lungs so that he was healthier. Julian was almost always in strict control of his emotions and was seen as being standoffish and cold as a result. His twins, Marius III, and his daughter Anna Alba survive Julian, the twins are 12 annum old and being minors neither of them can be chosen to fill the void left by their father’s death. Instead the most likely candidate to assume the Rulership of the empire is Orban Kester Celerus, 44 annum old and a tribune in the legions of the Imperial Guard. He is the second eldest of Marius II offspring and is as capable a man as his elder brother was. Many citizens are curious as to his treatment of his nephew and niece in the years to come as they reach the age of majority. Though it is unlikely they could singly, or together challenge his authority and position as Imprator. Only time has the answers to these questions.
Places of Import
These are important locations within the city of Irusi.
Construction of the basilica was begun simultaneously with the founding of Irusi and was completed 12 years later. It was dedicated to the great Saint and leader of the new empire after the Church Reformation. There are some three hundred clergymen that serve, and or reside in the Basilica. Rumors among the citizens of Irusi have that the basilica is the finest in all the empire with the exception of the Palatine Temple, in Acropolis. The Dux of Doge Province visits the basilica twice an annum, once at the beginning of the New Annum, and again in the last weeks of Xisr’Thas. The first visit is to garner the support of the Abbot, and senior clergy in Irusi and on the Isle of Cassia. The current Abbot, if of an old family that is native to the Isle of Cassia and were among the founders of the new Province of Doge following the Reformation of the Empire in the wake of the Long Dark. Those that are welcomed to the services at the Basilica are the elite of the islands society and the wealthiest of the Theoc landholders on the island. There has been some criticism of the clergy, particularly the Augustine Order, with regard to the availability of the Basilica for the use of the common people of the island and empire. Some accuse the Abbot and the other brothers of favoritism being corrupted by the wealth, and power of the upper class Theoc of the island. Such accusations for the most part are ignored and or refuted by the Abbot and the other brothers of the order. In their defense they point to all the good works done in the name of the Order and financed by the wealth of the Equs that frequent the Basilica.
The basilica, a monastery, and smaller chapel and workshops comprise a compound that is near the Puerto Mare. This location was chosen to allow those traveling through the city to be able to visit the chapel in the basilica without acquiring a Dia-Via. The chapel is visited by thousands of travelers a year, some from as far away as Eos, and Turqestan. But those travelers receive the benefices from the pastor and priests assigned to the open ceremonies and masses. The main building is built of polished granite, and decorated with a brown marble veneer; those that visit see a great similarity in design with the Holy Chapel in Acropolis.
It is often called the “Little Chapel” because of this. The church is secretive about how many lay and ordained members are in service at the basilica, and this a point of curiosity for those more familiar with normal church operations. Rumors run rampant that this is one of the special training grounds for the Church Agents known as Milis di Dei—Soldiers of God. Though the church denies their existence these agents are said to face challenges and threats to the Church with, and by means that might be unseemly for the mainstream clergy to use. Fine gardens rest within the great wall that separates the compound from the city, and placed around the basilica are a dozen statues dedicated to the Corpus Sancti, and representing each of the nine major saints. Also on the grounds are fountains of various sizes and shapes—15 in all—with the largest being out in front of the basilica itself. Throwing coins into the fountain for good luck has become a local custom among visitors, though the clergy frowns on this. The majority of those that serve at the basilica are of the Augustine orders, but there are other clerical sects housed within the compound as well. The largest of these are the Justinians, followed by the Celeri, and finally the Leonites. The majority of the foreign clergy are Justines, they being part of the militant order of the Armored Cross, and barracked with their brethren in the chapterhouse near the Potter’s Gate.
Though Urya is a world rich in the power of magic those that practice its use within the empire do so covertly. With the rise of the Imprator Justinian--Empire's Namesake--magical practice became unlawful within the Empire. This only intesified after the fall of the old world and the end of the Common Era Before Reformation. In the modern empire the church has advocated the complete eradication of magic throughout the known world. It is their aim to bring all peoples and faiths in line with their own and to save others from themselves.
Despite this all forms of magic do exist on the world of Urya, and are accessible by those versed in that powers use. The Source of such arts is known as the Song of the World, or Haj Morgif in the language of the Ulish a race of native origin that is now believed to be extinct.
The most commonly practiced magic is ritualistic and tied to the elements and spirits associated with them and locales. There are myriad variations on theory and practice, and are too numerous to list here. More specific information will be found in character write ups and life-path descriptions.
This campaign will encompass some new settings, but for now has used those listed in the CB, Burning Europe, and Burning Greece, as listed on this wiki.
Savages, Shadows, and Salt
Wherein secrets are revealed that stretch beyond the Isle of Cassia into the savage lands of the Western Isles