The Old Way has always been the way of man: gods that were their domains, harvest and springing stag, rills and mountain peaks, served by shamans, Druach votaries, goat-leapers and wind-witches. Cut down time and again by the empires of men, the ancient rites find accommodation, and spring back when empires fall. But this time, they have competition: the Church.
In the dark years after the breaking of the Millennial Empire, it was commanded that three prophets receive the Revelation that there is but one God: Odaus, the sage of the East; Invictus, the young soldier of the West; and Amalthea, aristocrat of the ravaged Millennial homelands. Spreading the word and the blessings of holy miracles, the three found each other within a decade, and the Church was formed. Then, on a mission to convert a King of the North, Odaus betrayed the Lady Amalthea to the barbarians to save his own skin, a despicable act for which his followers in the East blamed Invictus. So was born the schism of the churches, West against East, with Amalthea as martyr.
|Folk-saints Phoebe and Mitras counsel King Thonar|
Enemies of the Church are many. The benighted Eastern followers of Odaus, even more infuriating for their claim to the true Revelation; the Anti-God or Devil known from the Revelation, a subtle fellow with many secret worshippers and guises; the Powers of Beyond, demons of utmost Chaos who enter the world through the gates of human desire; and those who cling to the Old Way, although these are the least of the Church's worries and are even somewhat tolerated in the Alatorian hinterland.
|Silvanian mendicant friars|
Raise, then, the equal-armed Cross and let the banners of the Church advance! But make sure that the Cross you raise has the horizontal bar over the vertical - the Western church's Hilt of Invictus - and not the vertical over the horizontal - sign of the Devil's own heresy, the Staff of Odaus, sacred to the Anti-Church of the East.