Moroz Holy Tribunal

From Aurora Information Uplink
Jump to: navigation, search
Moroz Tribunal Symbol.png
"The Eye," Holy symbol of the Tribunal representing the 'four corners' of the universe with a central 'eye' of the Tribunal watching all. Necklaces of the symbol usually leave the central 'eye' capable of rotation.
"Our gift is the divine, theirs the mundane"

The state religion of the Empire of Dominia, the Moroz Holy Tribunal is an eclectic mixture of old Earth faiths and the adaptations given to those faiths by the colonists of Moroz. More conservative members of the faith are known to adopt some traits from Sk'akh, a recently arrived faith in the Empire. Worship revolves around a female supreme being known commonly as "Goddess" in all languages. The elites of the religion are made up of the Tribunal members that commune directly with the Goddess. From their communions, the Tribunal create edicts to be followed by the faithful. Disobeying an edict can be met with the death penalty in the worse case, typically by firing squad or ritual suicide. It is rumored by the faithful that the Tribunal possess psionic powers gifted to them by the Goddess. The Goddess is often called Three of One due to her three minor aspects: the Soldier, the Scholar, the Artisan. These three spirits are personifications of the most important aspects of Dominia society. Tribunal priests agree that all three are equally important, and that malign spirits can be attracted by an imbalance in the Great Three. Priests often stress the importance of balance, both in matters of spirit, in society, and in personal life.

Followers of the Tribunal believe that upon death the faithful edict abiding followers are joined with the Goddess directly and become part of the Goddess' paradise. Faithless people simply cease to exist upon death, while the evil are instead condemned to wander the material world as malevolent spirits. It is also believed to be possible to communicate with the souls of faithful dead through prayer, should one be faithful enough. The Tribunal also believes that malign spirits and demonic entities exist and that their priesthood is gifted with divine powers with which these entities can be fought and beaten. The faith has an antagonistic view of positronics, and views them as soulless.

The priesthood utilize the "Tribunal Codex" which contains the latest up-to-date edicts and litanies, and many worshipers hold copies of the Codex in their homes. It is the nearest thing the Tribunal has to a traditional holy book. Priests of the church are allowed to marry.

The Priesthood

Initiate

Initiates are those who have felt the calling of the Goddess through the Tribunal. After applying for entry at a temple hopefuls undergo an interview which both clarifies if the applicant really wants to join the Tribunal as well as their knowledge regarding the faith and their qualifications. Finally the Initiate undergoes a series of exams. This process usually takes upwards of a month and if the applicant is successful, they are inducted into the Tribunal as an Initiate. And Initiate's life is that of study and general menial work - ranging from clerical office activities and public speaking to manual labour such as maintaining Tribunal facilities. Every year the Initiate is expected to complete a written exam alongside a thesis relating to the faith. This is marked by the Priests. After three years have passed and the Initiate has all three exams and defended their thesis successfully, then they are inducted into the ranks of the Priests.

Initiates are expected to wear white robes or any white clothing and apply red paint around their eyes and ears to represent "watching" and "listening" to lessons taught.

Priest/Priestess

Priests are expected to administer to the faithful and as such are assigned to a position somewhere within or without the Empire to perform religious rites and to watch over the faithful. This is especially important outside the Empire where Priests also act as watch dogs to ensure Dominian subjects are keeping faith. Many Priests choose to branch off into either scholarly or military pursuits. Many Priests believe it is their duty to further refine the faith through academic study, and they often serve as educators in the Empire. If a Priest deems themselves worthy they can petition the High Priests to enter their ranks. This prospective Priest should be able to demonstrate their advanced knowledge of the faith and their commitment to it through their deeds. If a High Priest chooses to sponsor the applicant then their application will be presented at a yearly meeting of the High Priests and the Holy Tribunes. The High Priests will then vote on who they would like to enter their ranks with the Holy Tribunes holding veto powers over the affair. If the Priest is voted to be raised higher then they will be inducted into the ranks of the High Priests.

They are expected to be clad in red and gold robes/clothing and always wear red paint around their eyes with a strip of red paint an inch wide running from their bottom lip to their chin. The red paint around the eyes representing the eyes of the Tribunal and the red paint on the chin the mouth or "words" of the Tribunal. The priests tend to carry staves made of wood clad in carved obsidian or in some cases steel anthames with obsidian blades. The obsidian, though difficult to shape due to its brittleness, is used due to its warding properties - the Tribunal believes it can protect against evil spirits and creatures. It's customary for the priests to powder or paint their faces white however, most priests of the Primaries class tend to leave their faces free of powder and paint. Unathi priests also wear red paint around their eyes with the two vertical red lines - around an inch thick - beginning on both sides of their muzzle, joining under their "chin". Priests can be of any gender.

Edict Keeper

A role within the Tribunal that ensures Priests and the faithful keep to the edicts, Edict Keepers are devout students of Tribunal law and interpretation. They also seek out and punish edict breakers and are those assigned to 'shutdown' synths. Keepers are supported by religious soldiers called Saviors due to the belief that their activities save those who have strayed from the grace of the Tribunal. These soldiers carry out any physical punishments meted out in accordance with the edicts. Due to the need for strength, many Saviors tend to be geneboosted humans.

High Priest/Priestess

The High Priests/Priestesses control the church across various sectors dependent on the number of faithful in that area. Understandably there are a considerable number of High Priests/Priestesses localized within the Empire. At present only one oversees the faithful within Biesel, High Priestess Elisabetta Caladius, who operates out of the Biesel Grand Temple within the House Volvalaad estate located in Mendell City.

High Priests/Priestesses garb themselves in much the same way as Priests. It is customary for High Priests/Priestesses to choose to embody and aspect of the Goddess. This is reflected in the style of robe with those that embody the Soldier incorporating a ceremonial breastplate or armor, those that embody the Artisan having much more functional robes for the crafts and labor and finally those that embody the Scholar having more clinical robes for the sciences. There is no hard and fast rule on how a High Priest/Priestess might stylize their robes so long as they keep the sacred gold color.

Holy Tribune

Numbering four all together, the Holy Tribunes commune directly with the Goddess and receive instructions directly from it. On the basis of instructions given they produce new edicts to be followed by the faithful. They are the supreme authority of the faith, and hold significant power in the imperial court.

Tribunal Apostasies

Despite the intensely authoritarian and domineering nature of the Empire of Dominia several notable Tribunalist apostasies have managed to emerge in the Empire of Dominia, with most their roots back to the territory of Fisanduh. The Empire's looser grip over the region, combined with the rebellious nature of Fisanduhians, has led to a fertile ground for the growth and success of apostasies and other heresies that the Empire would stamp out without a second thought. Of these apostasies only two have managed to elevate themselves to positions of notability to the point where they are known outside of the Empire of Dominia: the Communion of Three in One and the Universal Holy Morozian Tribunal.

The first, and more popular, of these apostasy faiths is the Communion of Three in One. This apostasy of the Holy Tribunal suggest an antithesis to the Holy Tribunal: that it is not needed, and that one can directly commune with the Goddess without the assistance of one of Her voices in the material plane, such as a priestess of the Holy Tribunal. Its followers were originally a group of disheartened Tribunal initiates that proposed the radical idea, and were exiled from the Empire as a result of what was seen as apostasy by the Holy Tribunal. They found themselves in Fisanduh, and have since managed to grow and prosper in a territory that is technically not part of the Empire of Dominia. Due to their decentralized nature the Communion's faithful hold an incredibly diverse amount of viewpoints on the Goddess and the Tribunal, and can often be found as far afield as the Republic of Biesel and Coalition of Colonies.

The less popular of these apostasy faiths is, despite its name, the Universal Holy Morozian Tribunal. Observers have postulated that this lack of membership is due to a simple reason: its attitude towards one of the most feared concepts in the Morozian faith: positronic life. Universalists believe that as IPCs are creations of humanity, they retain a modicum of the Goddess' innate goodness within them despite lacking a traditional soul. Cyborgs, however, remain unacceptable to the Universalists as a method of imprisoning the soul and destroying it. Due to its extremely radical beliefs and small amount of numbers, the history of the Universal Holy Morozian Tribunal is somewhat spotty and hard to verify. Most scholars believe it originated near Fisanduh, before being forced into it by the Holy Tribunal. Many of its members now find themselves abroad out of necessity, and can be found in the Coalition or the Republic of Biesel. The Fifth and Tenth Edicts are irrelevant to Universalists, as they believe them to be a corruption of the Goddess' will.

Tribunal Doctrine

One of the foundations for the Tribunals beliefs is that the soul is the actual person, and the body is a vessel it inhabits.

For robotics, the Tribunal believes that synthetic parts cannot possess a soul as such synthetic limbs are highly frowned upon. To the Tribunal the concept of cyborgification is to have your soul sent to oblivion and cease to exist.

The Tribunal believe true AI in the form of positronics and the like to be an abomination. They believe that as they have no link to the Goddess they benefit from no positive influence from the Her and thus are intrinsically and irredeemably evil, acting as magnets to malign spirits and demonic entities. Not only this, but they see it as an attempt by the Goddess' creation to elevate themselves to the level of the Creator. Only the Goddess can create souls, and to make an inherently soulless creation is evil and arrogant beyond all measure. They often make reference to the Glorsh Rebellion as an example of the end result of allowing true AI to exist.

The Tribunal believes that when a body is cloned that the soul is snatched out of the spirit realm and put back inside the body; cloning is not creating a new person, but a continuation of the same individual. What cloning machines label "mental interface failure", the point at which a body may no longer be cloned, Tribunal followers recognize as the faithful's soul moving on to the Goddess' paradise, or the faithless' soul dissipating from existence.

Burial rites require the body to be treated with respect and any open wounds sealed or cauterized. A priest oversees a funeral process and gives a sermon on the individual, which are traditionally communal affairs, assuring the attendees that the individual in question has joined with the Goddess. If a person dies and is cloned then the former body is simply an empty, rather useless vessel, and should be disposed of as soon as possible.

Non-traditional relationships are largely irrelevant to the Tribunal with same sex relationships accepted by the mainstream. Depending on a person's social status or family non-traditional relationships may be frowned upon but by and large no one especially cares. However, romantic relationships between species are highly frowned upon by the citizens of the Empire, particularly the nobility. The Moroz Holy Tribunal does not perform marriage ceremonies between individuals of different species, and such a relationship is often a one-way ticket to being disowned.

Key Edicts of the Tribunal

It's important to note that edicts relate to religious law, not state law. Stealing for example is covered by state law, not edicts. Though breaking an edict can lead to a death penalty as per the first edict, the church usually settles for some form of penance - typically in the form of donations to the Tribunal. The edicts themselves have been interpreted differently by members of the Priesthood but the main schools of thought are "Jakakhism" (or Jakakhist) named after Tribune Lien Jakaab and the more aggressive "Kaelkahism" (or Kaelkahist) after Tribune Kasam Kaelesi. The Jakakhist school is the most commonly adhered to across the Empire whereas Kaelkahism tends to be followed by hardline conservatives. An antagonist Dominian may follow a much more violent interpretation of the edicts known as "Nul'akh" or just "Nul" in which the breaking of an edict is punishable by death in all cases and that the fourth edict - Respect the laws of other Empires etc should be interpreted literally - it only applies within other "Empires" and as such, would not matter in Tau Ceti. Nul'akh is considered an embarrassment by the church. Below are some key edicts.

The First Edict:
The Tribunals edicts are absolute. The breaking of an edict is to be punished.

Jakakhist Interpretation: -Can- be punished with death but not always. A lighter form of punishment such as fines and imprisonment are usually preferable.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: -Can- be punished with death but not always. Corporal punishment (flogging) is usually preferable.

The Second Edict:
Praise the Goddess in all that you do, and bless those who assist you in your workings.

Jakakhist Interpretation: Keep the Goddess and the ancestors in your heart and be respectful to those around you.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: Actively thank the Goddess and the ancestors for their aid mentally and verbally. Actively give blessings to those around you where appropriate (they helped you, they helped others etc).

The Third Edict:
Spread the good news of the Goddess in all that you do, that all may receive her blessings.

Jakakhist Interpretation: Proselytize through your good works and deeds, with words if appropriate, that all may be redeemed and made better under her light.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: Actively spread the news of the Goddess, that all may be redeemed and made better under her light.

The Fourth Edict:
Respect the laws of other Empires but worry not as they shall soon be brought into the Tribunal's benevolent reach. 

Jakakhist Interpretation: Don't break the law of other civilisations. If you do, seek forgiveness from the ancestors and hand yourself into the host civilisations authorities.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: Don't break the law of other civilisations. If you do, seek forgiveness from the ancestors and either return to Dominia to be punished or seek out a Tribunal Priest to seek their forgiveness and follow their directions. Color the area around your eyes black as a sign of regret until instructed to stop by a Priest.

The Fifth Edict:
All synthetic life forms within Dominia space shall be sought out and destroyed where found.

Jakakhist Interpretation: All synthetic life forms within Dominia space shall be sought out and brought into custody to be tried in Tribunal court before being banished from Dominian space. If they can't be brought in then they should be destroyed.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: All synthetic life forms within Dominia space shall be sought out and destroyed on sight.

The Sixth Edict:
Lies are abhorrent before Her, especially those told for personal gain.

Jakakhist Interpretation: Lying for personal gain should always be avoided, though lying may be excused in other circumstances.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: Lying for personal gain is especially abhorrent, and lies should be avoided unless they are necessary to prevent harm to Goddess' faithful.

The Seventh Edict:
Animals, while below the rest of Her creation, are still made by the Goddess. They should not be treated cruelly or wasted.

Jakakhist Interpretation: While hunting is permissible as long as the meat is not wasted, animals should not be pointlessly mistreated..

Kaelkahist Interpretation: All parts of an animal who is hunted should be used in some way, and any form of willful mistreatment toward an animal is abhorrent.

The Eighth Edict:
Those who escape the divine court's judgment must be destroyed where found.

Jakakhist Interpretation: Anyone who runs from punishment or judgment should be sought out and encouraged to go back into church custody peacefully. If that is not possible then they will sadly need to be forced. This is not glorious nor joyful and those who run should be mourned.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: Anyone who runs from punishment or judgment should be sought out and handed back into church custody. If that is not possible then they will need to be destroyed. Those who run deserve this fate and should not be mourned.

The Ninth Edict:
Those who escape the divine courts judgment and flee outside Dominian space should be encouraged to return and confess so they might face divine judgment. In death they shall be absolved. It is the duty of all the holy to encourage those that flee to return to us, so that they might be forgiven."

Jakakhist Interpretation: Anyone who runs from punishment or judgment outside of Dominia should be sought out and encouraged to go back into church custody peacefully.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: Anyone who runs from punishment or judgment should be sought out and handed back into church custody if this is legal within the space the edict breaker has entered. If that is not possible then they will need to be encouraged to go back into church custody peacefully but aggressively. Any who run deserve this fate. Do not mourn them.

The Tenth Edict:
Augmentation for the sake of augmentation is a corruption of the temple that is one's body, and can risk the very soul should one proceed too far with it."

Jakakhist Interpretation: While augmentation for power or vanity is sinful and vain in the eyes of the Goddess, augmentation for medical reasons, such as the loss of the limb or loss of an organ, is passable. However, one should engrave the Eye into any prosthetic installed, have it blessed by a Tribunal priest, and - if external - have it blessed in a holy oil weekly.

Kaelkahist Interpretation: It is better to perish than to corrupt your form with mechanical augmentations.

Litanies

The holy litanies tend to be phrases spoken by the faithful of the Tribunal during there day to day lives or by Priests during sermons. They are usually repeated until whatever situation they were spoken for has passed. Key litanies are listed below.

The Litany of Protection

Used when in danger or when about to be put in danger.

Goddess through the Tribunal,

The Tribunal through me,

Goddess protects,

The Tribunal protects,

Thus I am immortal.

The Litany of Concentration

Used when there is a need to focus on a pressing task whilst ignoring distractions. It is to be repeated slowly.

My mind is water,

Guide my thoughts.


The litany is sometimes spoken once and the below then repeated.


Flowing. Flowing.

The Litany of Combat

Used when in combat or prior to combat.

Goddess gives,

The Tribunal sees,

Thus I keep faith,

Thus I have no fear,

Thus I have no mercy,

Thus I have no regrets.


The litany is sometimes shortened in combat for ease as below.


Only Faith,

No fear,

No mercy,

No regret.

Litany of Holy Dedication to the Immaculate Tribunal under the Goddess

Used during religious "dedications" (worship).

Priest Says:

One Empire

Under the Goddess,

Whom through the Tribunal, reigns.


Worshippers Say:

One Empire.

One Goddess.

The Tribunal.


Priest Says:

We serve the Goddess fully.


Worshippers Say:

Without reserve.


Priest Says:

Faithfully.


Worshippers Say:

Without question.


Priest Says:

Together.


Worshippers Say:

Without hesitation.


Priest Says:

One Empire.

Under the Goddess,


Worshippers Say:

Whom through the Tribunal reigns.


Priest Says:

Goddess bless the Immortal Empire.

Goddess bless us all.

Retrieved from "https://wiki.aurorastation.org/index.php?title=Moroz_Holy_Tribunal&oldid=17197"