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The Septian Church (七耀教会(しちようきょうかい)) is a monotheistic religion formed around the Goddess in the Sky known as Aidios. The High Seat of the Septian Church is established in Arteria.

Background

The Septian church is known to operate across Zemuria, particularly in the western half of the continent. Churches and chapels are present in almost all major settlements, towns and villages in several countries with cathedrals present in most major cities. The church also oversees the vast majority of children's education through the provision of Sunday Schools and classes delivered in rooms attached to the various chapels and churches. It is also common to see musical performances held in church venues.

Most churches have a similar structure, consisting of a large main room with an altar at the front surrounded by stained glass depictions of what is presumably Aidios. facing the altar are several rows of pews with an aisle down the center. There is often a secondary room that acts as a priest's or bishop's office or preparation room, and also another room with desks and a chalkboard for educational purposes.

The Church has a reduced presence in the East of the continent, relying on other groups to help them complete their duties.

Iconography

The main symbol of the church is a large circle featuring a golden grail prominently in the center. Behind the grail is a seven pointed star and several rings and patterns. Around the outermost ring, symbols representing the Sun, Moon and stars are placed at equidistant points. It is not uncommon to see this icon in various places within a church, or to see it embellished on the medallions carried by several members.

Some groups with the church, such as the Gralsritter have their own additional iconography. The Gralsritter ironically do not feature a grail in their symbol, instead using a bell shaped icon of colbalt blue and gold featuring a large golden scale surrounded by wings. The scale's fulcrum bears a strong resemblance to a bishop piece from chess. The scale is topped by the same seven pointed star, only featuring seven crystals representing each of the seven types of Septium.

History

The first appearance of the Septian Church is said to have occurred approximately S.500, which marked the end of the Dark Age by permeating social consciousness through humanitarian aid and social unity, attracting even the Knights' attention.[1]

Contradictory statements about the Septian Church's age suggest that it had been active before it was officially institutionalised. The Grancel Cathedral in Liberl was built in S.80 and is considered the oldest church building in Liberl.[1] Ein Selnate, Grand Master of the Gralsritter, had stated that the chivalric order of the Church has been active since S.200, implying that the Gralsritter has been around since before the Septian Church was institutionalised.[2]

It is also possible that the Septian Church pre-dates the Great Collapse. Bishop Genus of the Crossbell Cathedral states that the Septian Church has been active "immediately after the Great Collapse",[3] implying that the religion may have been active in possibly a different form in the era Before Septian Calendar.

Beliefs

Aidios

“In the beginning, the world was formless, shapeless void. There was only darkness and bitter wind. And unto this void, the Goddess, Aidios, brought light.”

The central tenet of the Septian Church is the belief in Aidios. While Aidios is often associated with protection and blessings, such as the bestowing of the seven all-powerful treasures known as the Sept-Terrion upon humanity, the Church has also named her as a possible cause of the Great Collapse as a trial to alter humanity's perspective on the world.

Whereas Aidios is the central object of worship in the Septian Church, there is no doctrine that believers are limited to believing in Aidios. In various places, the Septian Church exists alongside indigenous belief systems or has incorporated the beliefs into its social teaching. The Septian Church does not forbid the belief in deities other than Aidios.

The Church has long been a source of art, and this has been true since the dawn of the Septian Era. It was around the year 900, however, that the first known likeness of Aidios was created.

The church is known for not contradicting, and in fact incorporating traditional Animistic beliefs, such as the Summer Festival in Erebonia or the Nordic beliefs about the wind.

Testaments

Most knowledge about Aidios comes from the doctrinal statements recorded in writings known as Testaments. Writing not officially acknowledged by the Church are referred to as Apocrypha.

Verses

“That brief hesitation was all it took to spawn a great evil. It crawled through the fields, ran through the hills, and spread disaster in the skies above.”
— Book of Ezer, Verse 2, 'Disaster Unleashed'

“That great tree took root near to a seven-colored spring, and there it granted blessings and joy.”
— Book of Genesis, Verse 7, 'The Primal Ground'

“By the sinner it was rung. Reverberations of the ominous sound declared the start of an era of chaos.”
— Book of Ladder, Introductory Verse, 'Sound of Awakening'

“And the Goddess, having bequeathed Her Treasures, sent forth the Holy Beasts to observe the path the children of Men would take.”
— Unknown

Organisation

The Septian Church is led by the Pope. Under his reign, the Church has been divided into three categories.

 
 
 
 
Pope
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Congregation for
Divine Worship
 
Papal Guard
 
Congregation for
the Sacraments
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Archbishops
 
 
 
 
 
Cardinals
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bishops
 
 
 
 
Gralsritter
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Priests
 
 
 
 
Grand Master
 
Lieutenant of the
Grand Master
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sisters
 
 
 
 
Dominion
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Knights
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Squires

Congregation for Divine Worship

The Congregation for Divine Worship (典礼省(てんれいしょう)) supervises all rituals of the Church, including the church and Sunday schools. The congregation is overseen by a cardinal.

Within the Septian Church, Divine Worship is the most influential faction because of its public face. Archbishop Eralda of the Crossbell Cathedral, for example, has the authority to ban knights of the Gralsritter, part of the Congregation for the Sacraments, for the territory within his jurisdiction.

Papal Guard

The Papal Guard (僧兵庁(そうへいちょう)) is charged with the defence of Arteria. The guards are equipped with temple lances.

It is never stated whether the Papal Guard is installed for a specific threat.

Congregation for the Sacraments

The Congregation for the Sacraments (封聖省(ふうせいしょう)) controls the heritage and retrieval of artifacts. The congregation is supervised by a cardinal. The Gralsritter belong to this faction.

Relation with Ouroboros

Like the Congregation for the Sacraments, the society Ouroboros also seeks artifacts, in particular, the Sept-Terrion required for the Orpheus Final Plan. There are, however, some differences in their approaches to artifacts.

The Septian Church has dedicated its chivalric order to retrieve 'live' artifacts to subsequently seal them away in Primal Grounds underneath buildings of the Church. Ouroboros, however, collects the Sept-Terrion for a greater purpose aimed at guiding "the souls of all"[4] and hand them to people to help them, such as the Fool's Locket to Hermann Conrad[5] or the equipment required for the stage at Arc en Ciel.[6]

In a conversation with her Anguis, the Grandmaster of the Society said that in time there would be a 'reaction' to what had transpired in the Gospel Plan, but that it should be left to the Church to deal with. The exact meaning of this statement or exactly who would be 'reacting' is yet to be revealed.

References

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