"We must never forget that only in Himself can Man find the strength to overcome those who wish to prey upon Him. Only in His own brother can Man find community. We, Man, are Exalted, First among Creation. "
-Macharius (The Ascension of Man, I:xiii)
The Cabal is the dominating religion in Western Eria, rather, it is the dominating system of belief. The Cabal consists of several philosophies, all with the common belief that Man is the purest and most advanced of all the races, and that the individual is inferior to the community. In the Second World War, the Lord Solar was the greatest of the generals of Scythian Empire, and after the victory he claimed the Aelevian Peninsula, and his tribe, the Penderii, settled the area that now forms the Kingdom of Pendrell. Other tribes followed the Penderii's example, and settled Livonia, Wezell, Corillia and parts of what is now the Enlightened Scythian Empire (ESE). These realms, with the exception of ESE, are all named after the tribes that settled there, and each brought their own philosophies into the Cabal. The Cabal itself was founded by Lord Solar Macharius, and represented a clear break, not only with the Scythian Empire, but with the Temple of Man Supreme (to be explained further in a later post). Over the centuries that have followed there have been a few religious wars.
The common denominator between the different sects, cabals and orders that form the Cabal of Pure Thought is the teachings of Macharius, and central here is the book 'The Ascension of Man'. Apart from this, there are several differences amongst them, and just as there have been fought wars between Temple and Cabal, blood has been shed over differences within the Cabal as well. To try to avoid open conflict, the leading figures of each of the philosophies met in a Grand Council in the capital of Pendrell, Crondor, in YE 745. The result was the appointment of the Ministerium as the highest body of the Cabal, with seven ministers as its highest authority.
The Ministerium is an amalgam of most of the orders that make up the Cabal, the universities and colleges of Western Eria, as well as several lodges and more than a few more or less secret societies. It has the final say in matters of doctrine, and since its founding at least three orders have been declared anathema. The latest of these is the Black friars, a monastic order of orthodox Macharites. In later years, the Ministerium has also gained an enormous amount of influence in the Pendrellian Parliament's House of Scholars.
The largest of the factions that make up the Ministerium is the Presbyterium. Originally, the Presbyters were a small movement of preachers following the teachings of Artemis Prester, a Macharian predicant of the 7th Century of Enlightenment. Fyermark attacked the nobility, as he believed that birth alone did not set one man above another, and he died in prison after having led an uprising in northern Pendrell. Since then, the Presbyters have moderated their doctrine somewhat. They remain unpopular among the upper classes, but have gained a substantial following amongst farmers and craftsmen. Today they are control a majority of the House of Commons, as well as the House of Scholars.
As a result of increased Pendrellian dominance and focus over the last century, both the Wezellian Syndikaat and the Adolfians of Livonia have ceded from the Ministerium. Whether this will lead to open conflict in the future remains to be seen.
Orders of the Ministerium:
- High Fellowship of Craftsmasons
- University of Man
- University of Stafford
- Collegium of Pure Thought
- High Council of Guilds
- Cabal of the Dragon
- University of Ardenburg
(List is not complete)
The Wezellian Syndikaat
Most Wezellians follow the teachings of Adam Herzog, a great 5th Century Neo-Macharian philosopher. His greatest work, 'Prosperity', lays out the ideal state as one where every day's worth of labor is part of the same economy. The Herzogenites place great value on hard work, thriftiness and clear thinking. The successful merchant is the model all men should strive towards, but a lowly farmhand is just as important. Each cogwheel has to work perfectly to drive the machine of he state.
In YE 1021 the merchant houses of Wezell declared the Royal House bankrupt, and subsequently took over all lands owned by the Crown (apart from seven castles and estates), all executive authority, and instituted a constitution. Now the King of Wezell holds only ceremonial powers, and the realm is ruled by an oligarchy of the seven largest merchant houses as the Wezellian Syndikaat.
- The Ministerium was behind the attempted assassination of the Pendrellian king on St.Revan's Day in YE 997.
- The Ministerium is controlled by an Outsider.
- The Ministerium's plan is to bring all of Eria under its control, by force if necessary.
- One of the Seven Ministers is a Shaitani-cultist.
- The Syndikaat plans to throw Eria into a geat war to make more money.
- The Syndikaat is controlled by a circle of wizards.