1. Basic Information
Religion: Zodoism, followers often called Zodoists
Religious Identity: The Church of the Holy Body, though each follows a different "aspect" of Zodo; Templars of Mercy would fall in here as well though the aspect they follow is often regarded as "anti-zodo" to some.
Founding Date: Year 650 of the First Era (as a religion as a whole)
Religious Center (5th Era): Will - the Grand Cathedral of the Eternal Flame in Capa City
Zodo? - Theocracy of Vega
Spirit - no singular church since Spirit went "missing"
Power - no church since Power was shattered
The Templars of Mercy - somewhere in Chalcedonia
Religious Authority: Although none within the Holy Body would admit to it, the Holy Body is not one singular church. There are different "Churches of the Holy Body", who each follow a different aspect of Zodo. As such, each has their own leadership structure. The most promiment one at the time however is the Church of the Holy Body in Capa City which worships Kious Zodo (Will of Zodo), so we will focus on that one.
The head of the church is the High Priest, who currently is Amos. It is said that the High Priest answers to Zodo himself, who in this time comes in the form of Kious Zodo. Kious Zodo would be the direct head of the Church in that regard. The church then splits into two branches: the Holy Ministry of Rube Knights and the Clerical Order of Divine Ministry. The Rube Knights is the militant arm consisting of devote highly trained templars. It is headed by the Grand Inquisitor. The Clerical Order is the order of priests, and of course is headed by the High Priest. Under him are Cardinals who direct the priests and faith leaders.
Religious Scripture: The Divine Incantations
Core Values: The Church as a Whole - They profess that Zodo is the one true god of all things and he gives way for all beings to become god-like themselves. They don't believe in good versus evil, or at least they don't publically profess to believe in such. Instead they believe in just positive or negative morals of conduct and that the 'good' or the 'bad' of one's conduct is never simply black or white and depends upon the circumstances behind the conduct. They believe that all spirits are connected and it is the spirit that holds the ultimate power, given to them through the Power of Zodo. They believe that one could become immortal, but should they die they would go to Xodod and their treatment in Xodod would depend upon their overall conduct and their strength of faith in life, if they were generally good and had strong faith, they would spend the afterlife as lords of Xodod, otherwise they would be bound to the same faith as all nonbelievers being tortured for eternity.
Those who follow the Will of Zodo believe that the Will and by extension Kious Zodo is the true coming of Zodo, that others before were fake. The more devout do not acknowledge other apsects of Zodo, with many never knowing of the other aspects. They believe that the Will is simply Zodo, and serve him as supreme. "Will over All" is their moto, and the way they live their lives and treat others. Everyone must serve the Will of Zodo or their life is forfeit.
Those who followed the Power of Zodo back in the Fourth Era (and some who still do) don't hold to the same extremes as those who follow the Will. While thanks to Taal the other aspects of Zodo had been forgotten, they understood that there was something greater. Some took to the oath of "Power over All" while others took to the oath of "Power to Protect All". The later became known as Taalinites, and eventually became the Templar's of Mercy.
Those who follow the Spirit of Zodo believe and acknowledge all other aspects of Zodo and believe that the Spirit is the part of Zodo that deals with spiritual matters. They are very fundementalist, taking every word of the Divine Incantations as the ultimate truth, but over all are farily decent people. "With Spirit We Overcome" is their moto.
There is a church in Vega that strangely has a different version of the Divine Incantations. They believe in only Zodo, though they think Taal Zodo was that Zodo and will one day return. Many of their believes and actions seem to resemble more the Church of Mogen David however, and it is questionable if they really are a true church of Zodo.
As of this time, it is unknown if the other aspects of Zodo have any churches or followers, though it is quite possible that they exist.
- 31st of Marpenoth - Day of Divine Assension and Holy Ablution - the day they say that Zodo set his plan in motion for the deliverance of all pure followers
- 21st through 30th of Ches - Week of Holies - the week the church formally batizes in blood new members, following the tradition set by Ormus
- 8th of every month - day of spiritual fasting and prayer
- 40th of Fore Yule - Advent of Ablution
- 10th of Viresse - Day of Moral Repentance - remembering the Great Magic War and the Martyrs of the Church
640 First Era: Ormus, now a priest of Mogen David and an archeologist, was sent by the church to investigate a new asteroid that fell in the Pyre Desert, one which held ruins of an odd structure on them. There he discovered the Divine Incantations, a book that was written by Zodo himself back when he had a body. Only Ormus didn't know this as he could not read the language. Ormus was instructed to translate the book.
650 First Era: Over the 10 years of translating the book, the words of Zodo found a weakness in Ormus's lack of faith, and began to corrupt him. When Ormus was finished translating the book, he felt that the book contained a hidden truth. He started the Church of the Holy Body to spread this new truth, becoming the first organized church of Zodo.
655 First Era: To protect his church, Ormus created a group of knights. Hearing them called rubes - basically beginners and worthless, Ormus grew to like that term. He thought that such a term would make the enemy underestimate his knights, giving his knights the advantage. So he had some armor made and colored ruby red, and named his knights the Rube Knights. They were called the Rubes for short.
660 First Era: Returning to the site where he found the Divine Incantations, Ormus discovered the Orb of Spirit. He used its power to add power to his sermons and make the church grow.
680 First Era: Ormus was captured by templar knights of the Church of Mogen David, as were some of hisfollowers. They were all executed for the crime of Zodo worship. The Church of the Holy Body goes into hiding, as does the Orb of Spirit.
1998 of the First Era: Lector Clairstory finds the Orb of Spirit. He becomes the leader of the Church of the Holy Body, which had come out of hiding in 1940.
2001 of the First Era: Controlled by the Orb of Spirit, Lector Clairstory forces himself on Clara Mercleis. Taal is born and given his mother's maiden name.
2005 of the First Era: A silver elf by the name of Xerxes Ironwood finds the Orb of Power while treasure hunting with some friends deep within one of the ruins that were part of the asteroids of Xenodelphia; which fell near the Crystal Mountains. Upon finding it, out of greed, Xerxes kills his friends. The Orb transformed Xerxes into a xodian.
2018 of the First Era: Xerxes and Lector Clairstory meet. Lector Clairstory agrees to follow Xerxes.
2034 of the First Era: Xerxes declares himself as Xerxes Zodo. He outlaws worship of Mogen David within the empire.
2078 of the First Era: The free people of Nor'Ova meet the army of Xerxes Zodo in what becomes Forsaken Valley. A major battle with the remaining nuclear weapons and the power of the orbs takes place, which lays to waste the region. Xerxes is killed, but the Orbs as well as Lector Clairstory have disappeared. Trismegitus also dies on the battlefield. Taal however is overcome by the battle and falls into a deep sleep known as Dark Paralysis. And thus marks the end of the First Era.
145 Second Era: Lector Clairstory recovers the Orb of Spirit. Using it, he gathers those faithful to Zodo and uses the Orb to teleport them all to the caverns of the Blessed Mountains on Feli Isle.
344 Second Era: Lector Clairstory and his faithful leave the caverns of the Blessed Mountains. They begin building the Theocracy of Xodia, with Lector Clairstory, the head of the Church of the Holy Body, as their leader.
798 Second Era: Qu'ion Sulnas, son of Emperor Sulnas II, discovers the Orb of Power. Influenced by it, he assassinates his father and takes his place, becoming Emperor Sulnas III.
799 Second Era: Through the Orb of Spirit, Lector Clairstory discovers that the new ascian emperor has the Orb of Power. Believing that this might be the return of a Vessel of Zodo, Lector Clairstory sends Emperor Sulnas III a letter suggesting a treaty between their nations; Xodia would provide Rube military support as long as they were treated as equals.
800 Second Era: Swayed by the Orb of Power, Emperor Sulnas III agrees and makes a shaky alliance with the Theocracy of Xodia.
Throughout the Third Era the Church was largely underground. This was until the rise of Taal Zodo near the end of the Third Era. In the Fourth Era the Holy Body was the only sanctioned and legal religion in the Known Lands of Nor'Ova, due to the control over the area by Taal Zodo. With Taal Zodo's defeat in 850 of the Fourth Era though, the Holy Body was split in several parts and almost decimated. The arrival of the Will of Zodo and his High Priest, Amos, though has brought a revival of the Church. Thanks to the rise of Kious Zodo in Capa City, the Church now again enjoy governmental support.
3. Holy Symbol
The symbol of the Church of the Holy Body is the Eternal Flame.