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The Holy Cross

The Holy Cross is a patriarchal religion with its Holy See in Ganon, the city of Sanctua. Its teachings are mostly concerned with the fate of the soul after death and the Church purports to be the only way to save one's soul through following their teachings and adhering to their precepts.

The Holy Cross religion is 2000 years old from first inception, and originates in the teachings of Aleron, a peasant who tried to bring unity to the people of Ganon and cast off their household superstitions but preaching of a unifying single deity that governed them all. The Emperor Julien, who at the time controlled what is now Ganon, Sperana and Toltana, claimed divine right to rule. The common people, oppressed beneath the rule of this tyrant, were receptive to Aleron's teachings of punishment to wrong-doers, and a heaven that accepted all pious men. As Aleron's followers grew in number, so too did they begin resisting Julien's soldiers. The cult meetings of Aleron's teachings were held in secret, and Julien's forces were unable to locate Aleron, his Disciples, or to identify his followers who began calling themselves Aleronists.

A great largess was offered to any man, woman or child who would give Aleron up to the Emperor. Aleron famously responded to the bounty by saying, "any man who values the devil's bounty before his own soul, is welcome to come unto me, for I will offer him deliverence." Indeed, the largess was doubled three times before anyone claimed it. Sadly, it was one of Aleron's own Disciples who claimed the bounty, Tristan. Upon discovering his betrayal, the other twelve Disciples threatened to bludgeon Tristan to death, but Aleron nobly flung himself between them to protect his betrayer, saying "He has come unto me, brothers, as I had offered. Do not condemn him for the depths that hold his soul - that is torment enough. Rather, we are blessed to have his hands, that we may pull him up into the light."

However, Aleron was captured shortly thereafter by Emperor Julien's guards and taken for public execution if he would not renounce his teachings. He said, upon the block, "I can no more escape my bonds, than can I cease to believe in God". He was bound to the Wheel Cross, a popular method of punishment for heretics and rebels, and over the span of the following days, picked apart by carrion birds. It was said that Tristan fought his way past the guards to the dais in the effort to shoo the birds from his teacher's body, and claimed to hear the last words of their martyr: "And so, Tristan, I bring you into the light..." 

Emperor Julien installed a ring of guards around the Wheel Cross to prevent any others from interferring with the condemned man's punishment. While Aleron spoke nothing further for the duration of his punishment, the Guards attested to a light pouring from him as the last of his blood left his body, and that when he had died, the corpse was intact - no wounds from the birds, no disfigurement; his body was whole and perfected. The Guards, one and all, defected to the Aleronists and the city rose up against Emperor Julien. In the fire and bloodshed that followed, the Emperor was overthrown and a great many were slain. Shrines were destroyed and known pagan households burnt to the ground. The riots continued for an equal number of days as it took for Aleron to perish (some say five, some say seven), until finally Tristan and Olivier (the leader of Aleron's Disciples), along with Pierre, Paul, Mattieu, Martin, Lucas, Jean, Gilbert, Étienne, Daniel and Bertrand demanded the rioting to stop. Olivier spoke to the people, and called for peace. He impressed upon the Emperor's young son, Alexandre, that peace for his people was within his grasp, and that Aleronism could lead him towards that peace. As the young Emperor's Advisor, Olivier help steward the empire back to stability and peace, and in the years that followed, Emperor Alexandre declared the Holy Cross to be the oficial religion of both the monarchy and the nations he commanded. 

In the establishing years of the religion, the Emperor was considered the holy ruler of both church and state, but as the Empire began to face unrest within its borders, and with the eventual fracturing into Sperana, Ganon and Toltana, so twoo did the church and state divide. Some claim that it was this division which caused the three nations to lose cohesion, as each beleived differently regarding the order of power: Toltana believed them one and the same, and that power ought to be held by one official, and thereafter only recognised the Pope's authority, not that of the separate Ganonian King; Sperana beleived their Speranian King (a devout man) to be the supreme power on Uphelios, whilst God ruled in Heaven; Ganon believed the Pope to have supreme power over the rules of governence of mankind, and that their King governed only the political State.

The methods of worshipping the Holy Cross extended throughout the world, those the versions and styles of the other faithful nations are heavily influenced between which father nation was active in converting their people. The one aspect that unites all Holy Cross nations is that all recognise the supremacy of the Pope in all religious matters, regardless of other more secular alliegances and concerns.

They are a highly missionary faith and have converted the following nations: Ganon, Sperana, Toltana, Laosland, Tantland, Tokaskan and Beracco.

Their Crusades have been the cause of more war and international strife than any other faith or cause. Many choose to join the Crusades or Missions are a way of erasing old crimes and sins.

The Curtiss Cross is one of the most powerful and effective methods of stamping out heretical behaviour and crushing infidels, such as pirates and those following other religions.

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