|The Ecumenical Testament of the Silver Creed|
|Founder||Apollo The Prebyster|
|Holy Scripture||The Curmhinn|
|Deities||The Ancestral Star-Gods|
|Symbols||A three spoked wheel set upon a six-pointed star|
|Structure and Politics|
|Leadership||Silver Seer, and the Silver Curia|
|Other Names||The Silver Crusade, the Palladine Choir|
|Home Regions||The Throne and Rook Systems, the North Reaches / the holy city of Tuscana|
|Place of Worship||Testamin|
|Major Sects||The Order of Prester Ionas, Ishtari Sisterhood, The Mercurial Brotherhood (Defunct)|
"Rule in the Ancestors name!"
The Silver Creed is an Oberonish religion that came to exist in the aftermath of the First Expansion Era. After the death of the last Immortals upon the planets of Elys, and Aru the faithful of many minor cults banded together to press against the rising secular society of the Starborn colonists. This reaction was further compounded at the battle of the Silver Creed where-hence the religion gained its official name. The religion itself is said to have been founded by the prophet, Apollo the Prebyster. Silvans (as the Silver Creedans are known) believe they are the true inheritors of the Revelations that date back to the time of High King Oberon in the lost homeland of Alltar.
Through worship of the Star-Gods, and understanding their mantras found in the Curmhinn true believers will be delivered in death back to the heaven known as the Golden Hall. The Silver Creed oversees a vast area of wealth commonly known as the "House of the Creed" a term applied to all worshipers, and adherents of the belief itself. Above all sit the Cardinals of the Silver Curia themselves who then bow to the Holy See at Tuscana on Elysa. Canon Law of the Creed is overseen by the Curia, and the Silver Seer himself who is elected among the Cardinals a year after the previous Silver Seers death.
Elder Tongue is the liturgical language of the Creed, and most Parsons conduct their sermons in it. There is a heavy emphasis by many Silvan priests that only the tongue of the Ancestors itself can truly communicate prayers to the Star-Gods.
The history of the Silver Creed is easily obscured, and has been lost to time. What is known is that throughout the Eras of history, the Creed has remained a power unto itself. In the beginning the Silver Creed was nothing more than a collection of Parsons overseeing small Testamins of parishoners. These small parish houses were nothing more than places to bear Witness to the readings of the Curmhinn, and nothing more. Even in the First Systems War the Silver Creed was a minor faith compared against the pagan beliefs (as the Silvans see) that pocketed the soul of Faerin life.
It was not till later Eras that the power of the Silvan Creed would rise to power. Under the Dynastic Eras the people of the Silver Creed came into their own as the Houses soon found themselves no longer in complete control. This increase in prestige led to the spread of Spiritual Indulgences or the given of soulful salvation in response to payment of tithes to Holy Mother Church. This action which began under a collection of Silver Seers was eventual brought directly into the limelight under Martin the Scholar. The low level vicar of a local Legigsu (Seminary College) on Vrijisteden, Asgeir only proved to push the already growing division found between the lay nobility of Throne and Rook.
The Schism as it came to be called or the "Contraversion" only pushed the piety of the Creed even further than before. By the time of the later Eras before the Third Imperial Dynasty the Creed supported a multitude of missionary works, and powerful militant factions chief among them being the Mercurial brotherhood.
It was the Silver Creed's piety that eventually led to it to come to blows against the young Trantheistic faith of the Deux, and then their later execution of the Deuxian prophet himself that pushed the final straw. After many shadow crusades, and conflicts with political or militant factors across the Triad the Silver Creed was placed under the Ban of Gwyn. Thus they were forever forced to give up their arms, and were placed under the title of Houses Faithful. Even then the power of the Silver Curia, and the high holy Father, the Seer was far from diminished.
In the Three Systems Era the Silver Creed seeks to bring unification, and salvation across the Triad and beyond. The coming of the Itzkachana faith from the Southern Reaches, and the existence of the Infernal Houses only push its goal even further.
Beliefs and Practices
- See also: The Prebyster
All Silvans belief that the word of the Ancestors is recorded in the Curmhinn or the Remembrance, a book said to speak of the historical lives of the Immortal Ancestors of the last homeland. Within the book are a core grouping of Tenets known as the Six Testaments or the Six Revelations. A series of beliefs that exist as the foundation of the actions of Silvan life, and faith.
The Six Revelations are:
- All live in sin, as the Faeru were cast out of Paradise for defying the will of the High King and Queen of the Star-Gods.
- The Star-Gods willed Avalon into existence, and thus made it to challenge and strengthen the Faeru.
- Apollo the Prebyster is the true Prophet of the Creed, and through belief in his grand vision can one attain salvation.
- Through moderation and good action in the Prebyster's name can one be rid of original sin.
- Righteous treatment of the order of life is part of the Prebyster's vision.
Interpretations of these beliefs are conducted by the local Parsons of perishes or the lay folk themselves. However, only those with sufficient "piety" alive or dead can truly commune with the Star-Gods. In this relationship people often submit "prayers" at the shrines of local saints, or will even petition the Parson to submit prayers.
Prayer and Witnessing
Upon the fifth day of the week (as some planets have longer years and even weeks) the Parson of the local Testamin calls for his people by ringing the bell of Witness. This brings forth all to worship for that day and hear a sermon by the local Parson himself. This gathering is often called the "Witnessing" and is a time for lay folk to petition the Parson to offer prayers to the Star-Gods, and for the Parson to remind people of their own piety.
The primary rituals of the Witnessing consist of the Sacrament, and the Holy Perception of the will of the Star-Gods. The Sacrament is considered the greatest of the primary rituals of the Creed where the priest receives a minor revelation from the Star-Gods or a Saint as to a way to better the lives of local Creedans. The Holy Perception is then an interpretation of this revelation after a reading from the Curmhinn.
- Main article: The Curmhinn
The holy scripture of the Silver Creed is known as the Remembrance or the Curmhinn and is a collection of texts compiled over the Eras. The first part of the Curmhinn is known as the Elder Cant, a long series of epic poems and sonnets describing the rise the High King Oberon, and the High Queen Titania. This includes the parables of several key heroes such as Nuada the Silver Lance, Perun the Golden Shield, and Ishter the Blessed. The Elder Cant thus focuses upon the original prophets that laid the groundwork of the Creed. From these initial beliefs were spawned the Creed itself which was brought forth when the Prebyster King foretold claiming of the Stars by the Faerin people (this is known as the Apolline Prophecies). Respectively the Elder Cant can be divided into the epics of Nuada, Peru, Ishtar, and then the climatic story known as the Far Quest (a detailing of the rise of the High King of Alltar).
Secondary to the Elder Cant is the Younger Cant, the writings compiled by the followers of the Prebyster after his passing. The Younger Cant is composed of two primary books: The Epic of Songs and the The Epic of Witness. Both Epics focus upon alternating narratives of the Prebyster as he preached and gathered his people before his death. In most cases the Epic of Witness is considered the basis of the Canon Law of the Silver Creed itself.
- See also: Star-Gods
The Ancestors are the center of all Avalonic faith, but their interpretation differs from religion to religion within the Avalon Cluster. Their very existence is often questioned, and their names are often different from planet to planet, even region to region. There are several key deities which place a role within the central worship of the Ancestors.
- The High King - THe High King is one of the two central Star-Gods. Often depicted as a heavily armored figure with glow blue eyes, the stern High King is the one who punishes and metes out justice to all.
- The High Queen - The Primordial wife of the High King, the High Queen is depicted as a golden armored woman with a crystal diadem upon her brow. Her domains of worship often included defense, and the caring of the soul. When idolaters are put to the question in the shadows the High Queen's name is invoked.
- The Lord Jack - The Lord Jack is the son of the High King and Queen and is often called the Star-Prince. A man of quick thinking and spry cunning he often represents strategy, and consideration.
- The Beloved Maiden - The Beloved Maiden is the daughter of the High King and Queen, and it is her mercy that gives sinners the opportunity to bask in the glory of the Prebyster.
- The Void - The Devourer, the end of all, and the father of lies. His name is the Void and he is the antithesis of all things represented by the other Star-Gods. It was he who led the Faeru to original sin, and it is his works that continue the acts of contanimation of the Faerin soul to modern Eras.
The Creedan Saints
- See also: Saints of the Creed
The people of the Creed take the belief of faith quite seriously, and thus the ideal of martyrs or saint are held in high regard by most Silver Creedans. Most of these individuals are carefully selected by the Silver Curia itself, and then anointed after death to gain the rank of Saint within the annals of the Canon Law of the Silver Ecclesia.
- See also: Silver Ecclesia
The hierarchy of the Silver Creed is often called the Silver Ecclesia, and often includes a vast arrangement of the Holy Orders of the faith, and various bishropics overseen by the Cardinals of the faith. Atop sits the Silver Seer a man elected from the Cardinals of the Silver Curia upon the death of the previous Seer. The Seer is a Chosen Lord of the Houses Faithful, and is given a guest seat within the House Senate itself. His power over millions upon millions is known throughout the Triad. Below him sit the Cardinals, those chosen by the Curia to serve as emissaries between the Bishropics, and the Holy See in Tuscana.
The lowliest level of the Faith is that of the Parson, a man entrusted with overseeing the local population of a Parish. The Parish itself is cemented by the holy temple found there known as a Testamin, or the "Place of Testament and Witness". Testamin staffing is collected with a Deacon to serve as the second to the Parson, and then a gathering of altarkeeps who act as choir and assistance in the taking of prayers. The Parson himself collects local tithes (which are sent to Tuscana) and then offers prayers for his lay people.
Above the Parson are the Bishops of the Bishropics who command the piety of their home regions. Bishops are recognized as Princes of Holy Mother Church, and thus are given leeway to call forth missionaries, or even inquisitions into acts of heresy (with approval from local House Lords).
Upon the act of the Controversion the largest grouping of sects such as the White, Crimson, and Emerald Creeds fled the power of the Seerial bull. This has led to a bitter resentment against those who might become to independent from the Testament of the Silver Creed. Thus the Silver Seer at the time forade the existence of separate Sects, and instead limited the existence of independent factions purely to the so called "Holy Orders" of the Silver Creed. Each Order is overseen by a Prester or Prestress (only in the case of the Ishtari Sisterhood).
Prester Ionas was a man who dwelt in the colonies of Rosalshka and Schezniya, and who actively fought the corruption of the local Silver Parsons of the Creed. A devout man he exiled himself upon a lone orbiting pod for five years and lived their as a hermet while seeking the revelations of the Prebyster and the saints. While reading the Epics of the Elder Witness he found himself being touched by the Star-Gods. Hence he founded a holy order of monks to bring the word of the Curmhinn to the heathens of the Stars.
Said to descend from warrior-priestesses from the lands of Duzahk, the ladies and maids of the Ishtari Sisterhood are a unique Order found among both the Controverts, and the Silver Creed. This dual existence has often placed the Prestresses of the Order at odds with the Seer, and if it were not their sacred rites, and guarding of holy sites they would cease to exist. Within the Triad the Ishtari Sisters are entrusted with acting as gatekeepers to the holy lands and sites of the Creed.
The Mercurial Brotherhood (Defunct)
The now dead and defunct assassin's guild that answered only to the Silver Seer, the Mercurial Brothers were once the second most feared Order Militant in the entire Triad. It was they who actively committed shadow war with both the Knights Imperial, and the early cults of the Deux. It is they who pushed the act that would become known as the Ban of Gwyn. Now only a whisper of fairytale, some say they are not dead, merely waiting, biding their time till the Creed would call upon them once again.