7th Sea: A Great Star Falls – Religion in Théah
The Vaticine Church of the Prophets
The Vaticine Church has existed since the days of the Numan Empire in one form or another, and its adherents make up nearly half of the population of the western Théan nations, with a presence in every country. The Vaticine Church preaches the words of all Three Prophets.
The core teachings of the Church are that the world is a riddle created by Theus for their children to solve, that all are equal as long as they worship Theus, and that sorcery is sent by the enemy of humanity - Legion - to tempt them away from the path of Theus. The extent to which these beliefs are respected or even firmly adhered to varies heavily depending on how strong the church's influence is on the area; many people are adherents in name only.
The Church is ruled by a Hierophant, however the most recent Hierophant died under mysterious circumstances a few years ago. The council of Cardinals, who have the authority to elect a new Hierophant, have been unable to decide due to several members disappearing mysteriously.
The Objectionist movement began in 1517, and was started by an Eisen monk named Mattias Lieber. It has increased in size and influence in the past thirty years, but until then open practice of Objectionism usually resulted in being killed on sight by Vaticine authorities.
The Objectionists follow the same core beliefs as the Vaticine Church, with a few major differences: they reject the authority invested in the Hierophant to speak for Theus, believing only the Prophets may do so; and they believe on Theus may grant forgiveness of sins, not the Church.
The growth of the Objectionist movement has been the trigger for many conflicts in recent history, chief among them the War of the Cross in Eisen.
Ussuran Orthodox Church
The official religion of Ussura, adapted in part from the Vaticine Church in a much earlier form. The Ussuran Church believes in the teachings of First Prophet only, and for this reason is often disdained by the Vaticine
The Ussuran Church teaches that the First Prophet awoke Matushka, the guardian of the land, and that the magic of Ussura is not sinful in the eyes of Theus as it is in tune with Nature and a gift of Matushka.
Church of Avalon
Like Ussura, Avalon also has its own faith that is adapted from the teachings of the Vaticine Church. The Queen is the head of the Church, however there is an Archbishop that organises the various dioceses and answers to the Queen.
The traditional religion of Avalon, dating back to before the Prophets. It venerates the spirits of water, earth, and air, and believes the Sidhe to be part of the spiritual makeup of the world. It is not known to what extent the religion is practiced by the people of Avalon in current times, but it is believed that the Queen's chief advisor is a Druid.
The Druids lack a formal church structure, and as such Priests of the Druid faith do not require the Ordained/Cloistered advantage.
The ancient faith of the Vestenmannavnjar, still practiced to this day in many places. The Vesten believe in Grumfather, the Grey Wanderer who created the 25 Living Runes, the incarnation of the Words of Creation. He is also the being responsible for selecting each new High King.
The faith of the Vesten is filled with nature and ancestral spirits, all of which remain powerful as long as their names are remembered, and the twenty-four warriors who slew the Great Wyrm and gained the power of the Living Runes. This is the source of the Vesten's magic, but also of many upheavels in their mythology.
The Vesten also believe in the coming of Ragnarok, the final battle in which the spirits of the ancestors will rise and join the Grumfather in fighting the Great Wyrm.
The Living Mythology lacks a formal church structure, and as such Priests of this faith do not require the Ordained/Cloistered advantage.