Heroes of Midhgardhur
This is the church of Dyovis as it was established in the West, in the old heartlands of the Norrani Imperium. The Hierarchy teaches strength through unity, and unity under the Hierarchy (and the Hierarch himself. This reflects the unity of Heaven, in which there is but One True God (Dyovis), whose will is executed by his Only Begotten Son, the Ransomer, Redeemer, and Savior of mortal races, Melkartes Soter, himself an Avatar of his father, and thus God, born of God and mortal woman (Blessed Alkmena, Mother of God).
The Hierarchy admits of no divinities beyond Dyovis (and his Son who is an Avatar of Himself, Melkartes Soter). He is served by seemingly semi-divine beings called Angels, but they are not gods. Many great prophets and martyrs have been granted a sort of semi-divine status as Saints, but these are not gods. There is only the One True God and His Son Who Is Himself.
It is the teaching of the Church that the Hierarchy was begin by Melkartes Soter himself, the Son of Dyovis, who appointed the Patriarch of Norra to be his vicar in the world. It is on this basis of this that the Patriarch of Norra has claimed the title of Hierarch, claiming total dominion over the faithful of Dyovis and his son Melkartes Soter.
The holy scriptures of the Hierarchy are collected in a text known as the Codex Dyovianus. It is treated as a single book, though it collects several disparate sources of inspirational wisdom together into a sometimes seemingly self-contradictory body. Dyovians are taught that these apparent contradictions are due to mortal inabilities to comprehend the ways of Dyovis.
Ranks of the Hierarchy
- Hierarch – The Supreme Patriarch, The Patriarch of Norra
- The College of Patriarchs – Patriarch
- Archbishop (“Archepiscopus”)
- Bishop (“Episcopus”)
- Priest (“Presbyter”)
- Deacon (“Diaconus”)
Below these are the lesser holy orders, including monastic orders and holy warriors of the Church.
The Cult of the Saints
The Saints of the Hierarchy are not considered true gods, but semidivine individuals blessed by Dyovis and able to interceded with him on behalf of those who revere them. Some were early martyrs of the Church, some were great leaders and preachers, and some were actually pagan divinites adopted into the Church (as was the case with most of the gods of the Norrani Imperium) – the church teaches that these pagan “gods” were actually garbled memories of great heroes blessed by Dyovis, and that the Church has restored them to their proper place as intercessors with the true god, Dyovis.
The Hierarchy maintains the doctrine (particularly prevalent in the West) that the Norrani Imperium, the Golden Empire, was divinely ordained by Dyovis himself, and that the fall of that empire was due to the wickedness of folk who ignored that the state and church should be as one under Dyovis and his vicar, the Hierarch. The collapse of the Golden Empire was blasphemous, and Dyovis demands that it rise again. Many in the West add that the Silver Empire of Palnorra is likewise somewhat blasphemous, as it lays claim to the inheritance that is rightfully that of the Hierarch and Hierarchy.
Out of this doctrine has come the increasingly popular idea of Chrysades – holy wars waged on behalf of the Church of the Hierarchy for the ideal of the restoration of the Golden Empire under the Hierarchy (“chrysos” is Palnorran for “gold,” hence “Chrysades” to restore the “Golden Empire”). The Church has not yet formulated an exact doctrine of Chrysades, but it is only a matter of time before Chrysaders begin wars to reclaim the Holy Lands of the Golden Empire for the Hierarchy.
The Coming Schism
There is a deep divide within the Hierarchy between the way it is practiced in the West under the Hierarch’s close guidance, with Norrani as the sacred language, and the way in which it is practiced in the east under the rule of the Silver Emperor of Palnorra, where Palnorran is used as the sacred language. The Hierarch makes claim to sovereignty over all Dyovians everywhere, whereas many in the east see the Hierarch as a distant figure, with the Silver Emperor being the only sovereign they acknowledge. Many within the Church foresee a coming schism, a divide between Western and Eastern Dyovianism, in which the Hierarchy may lose control of the East entirely. Fortunately for the Hierarchy, most Dyovians seem reluctant to hasten the day when they become a faith divided.
Relations With Outsiders
Those who are not of the hierarchy, whether Urrabite or of some native religion, are known as paynyms, and are considered accursed and damned. Urrabites in particular are known as saracens, a term derived from an ancient tribe known as the “Sarakenoi” in Palnorran and “Saraceni” in Norrani and the Urrabitic tongue.