20071031

Religion of the First Terran Empire

The KBM (Kaal/Brandix/Meletia) cult began with the Council of Credix in TE 164...thereafter the three dieties were linked in numberless councils and in the pages of the Journal of Experimental Theology, a Terexta-based publication that soon became the voice of the new religion. JET was a rather weird publication: it featured not only scholarly philosophical articles but also theological fiction, ongoing discussions, and a vast number of articles having absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Codified, the new faith spread widely with broad appeal. It stressed the Empire and the Imperial system, and won friends by linking the Throne with the trinity. In 278 Philip L├╝tken officially recognized the KBM cult as the Empire's semi-official religion, and styled himself Kaal's incarnate son. Shortly thereafter the three-spoked wheel was accepted as the symbol of KBM.

By TE 300 Emperors routinely made pilgrimages to Lathyros, to the Mother House in Paris, and to whatever ridiculous and inaccessible site was promulgated as the True Home of Brandix (at least that year).

As KBM became more respectable, some of the thrill left the movement for True Believers. JET ceased publication in 282, and although annual conventions continued to be held in its name, the coterie of readers faded until by 350 there was no more trace of them.

Kaal

The Kaal cult first sprang up in the late TE 30's as a philosophical exercise carried on by an ecumenical group meeting on Lathyros. It struck a responsive chord, and Kaal-worship spread over the next hundred years to the rest of the Empire. For a time there was a hierarchy of Kaal-worship leading to a Council of Elders on Lathyros. By TE 130, though, Kaal-worship was becoming decentralized and stressed the concept of the family leader as the representative of Kaal.

The Council of Credix in TE 164 confirmed the idea of Kaal as an independent god, and it was at that time that the cult of Kaal became linked with those of Brandix and Meletia, while still maintaining an independent structure.

In the eternal trinity, Kaal was seen as the Father God, the masculine principle, the divine embodiment of authority and hierarchy.

Meletia

The cult of Meletia began as a Catholic offshoot. By AD 2100 there were references to Saint Meletia, and by the time the Empire began she had quite a following. By 2150, the Sisters of Mercy had rededicated themselves to work with the poor, and had begun to give up their Catholic orientation in favor of Saint Meletia. The order continued to work out of their Mother House in Paris. In TE 27 the Sisters of Mercy officially aligned themselves with Meletia. Along about TE 100 Meletia began to be referred to as an independent goddess. In TE 164 the Council of Credix declared Meletia a goddess in her own right; when the dust of the Council had cleared, devotees of Meletia found that their goddess had entered into an uneasy trinity with Brandix and Kaal.

In the eternal trinity, Meletia was seen as the Mother Goddess, the Lover, the female principle, the divine embodiment of the generative and nurturing -- but she could also be the stern emobodiment of death.

The symbol of Meletia was a stylized cross bearing a woman's face.

Brandix

Brandix was originally a Tr#skan deity, and a capricious one at that. His/her worship became popular among university students in the final pre-Imperial decade, and was institutionalized over the next half-century as BDA Tr#ska's power and influence grew.

It was not until TE 164, with the Council of Credix, that Brandixian theology became linked with the cults of Kaal and Meletia.

In the eternal trinity, Brandix is the Trickster, the Other, the spirit of youth and rebellion, the divine embodiment of androgyny, change, unconventionality, disaster; the Eternal Outsider. Brandix was a particular favorite of minorities and those on the outskirts of society. He/she was also a traditional advocate for gays.

The Brandixian sacred litany starts: "This hour, call it one. All that has gone before, forget it; wipe it out; it can hurt you no longer. All that will come, prepare to meet it."


copyright (c) 2007, Don Sakers


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