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Church of the Divine Flame and Holy Void

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Va'liat flag Mark 2

The Va'liat standard, representing the dual armaments of the Lord of Creation, Valund ln-Sahs, the Flame and Void.

Name

Informal: Va’liat

Translated reads: Flame and Void.

Full formal name: Church of the Divine Flame and Holy Void

Location

The main body of the Va’liat lays within star system al-Vu’sarim, also known alternately as Basilica, the Throne of Stars, and in the cluster Vakraz Mor.

Vakraz Mor is a densely colonized cluster located in the central Nemean Abyss. However, given the oft demonstrated nature of religious institutions to trump geo-political boundaries, adherents to the Va’liat can be found in many nations and among many crews. Both Cartagena and Omega stations have large communities of Va’liavas for example, and the faith itself has begun to make subdued but noticeable inroads into Citadel Space proper post-War.

Governing Body

The official head of the Va’liat both religiously, legalistically, and politically is known as the Divine or the ya-Asalal. In theory their word is absolute and immutable.

In practice however Divines seek counsel and recommendations from both the Ibinhas (the counterintuitively named Twenty Second which is composed of the highest ranking individual from each of the four branches of the Church, or their designated representative) and the Majalis Shushan or, as it is also known, the Holy Conclave.

The Holy Conclave in turn is composed of representatives from every Va’liat held or affiliated territory. Both the Ibinhas and the Majalis elect the new ya-Asalal upon his or her predecessor’s demise or voluntary retirement.

The current ya-Asalal is Divine Mother Semikamir, she has ruled and guided the Va’liat for thirty years.

The current Ibhinhas stands as such:

  • sa-Busjand/Lord Didact Tugorc Hadk
  • ih-Kirsjval/Lady Cleric Severina Valiantias
  • ko-Mjdar/Lord Knight Tertius Sept
  • ra-Sadjain/Lord Inquisitor Zovolonthold

Population

Given the Va’liat’s origin in the core of the Terminus and the natural melting pot that transgalactic religions tend to form, the population of the Va’liat is appropriately diverse, encompassing adherents from virtually every common Citadel race.

That being said, some races have a greater impact and presence than others. The religion itself derives heavily from turian, batarian, and krogan theologies and counts members of all three species among its core demographics. Salarians, asari, humans, and a large number of hanar sects form a significant minority.

Description

Va’liat is the government and the religion itself. A Va’liavas is both a citizen and a member of the temple. Functionally speaking there is no real distinction between Church and State. It’s laws and codes guide the nation as a whole. It’s ministers shape legislation. The Mjdar, the Knights, defend civilians and the faith itself from foes external and internal. 

Similarly, applications for “full” citizenship within the Va’liat (versus lay citizenship which carries with it less immediate responsibilities but also less immediate political representation) mandate a religious education. 

The reason for this primarily concerns the notion of stability. A thought that is echoed in the religion itself: order and chaos, growth and decay, good and evil. Valund ln-Sahs, Saint of Saints, Lord of Creation, with the Void in his left hand and the Flame in his right eternally arrayed against Dhulnan, the Devourer, the Everlasting Enemy. In the Terminus and Abyss stability often represents calm, peace, freedom from the myriad of upheavals and conflicts in the region. As an instrument of stability the Church seeks to provide this for its followers and its people. For the most part it succeeds.

The Terminus and Abyss are not kind to those unable to defend themselves, and the use of violence and military strength in the defense of the faith or its tenets is both recognized and allowed for. It is one of the primary reasons that the Va’liat are notable players on the galactic stage instead of still languishing as a minor faction, confined to a system or two.

The warlord Tacitus Sertorian, later known as Tacitus the Pilgrim and Tacitus Magisterium, was the prime cause of Va'liat's elevation into a position of higher standing, having more or less stumbled across the group during his conquest of the cluster. He became a convert and in turn spread the religion throughout his holdings where it has endured for centuries, out of genuine belief and out of recognition of the organization’s potential political applications.

As a result the Va’liat are no strangers to battle or war, many of the warlords and mercenary groups on their borders number among the faithful and receive material support in turn for abiding by certain codes and defending the realms. And if the nation itself is threatened, or if an enemy crosses the lines spoken or unspoken, they run the explicit risk of a Va’arid. A holy war waged by an army formed of all the faithful who will answer the call. Most of the Va'liat's enemies figure it out after the first couple of burned worlds and elect to go after easier prey.

Notes

The four branches of the Church (and the fifth sub-branch) are each concerned with different study, any sufficiently high ranking official from any branch may lead a Congregation though typically that duty falls to the Clerics/Kirsjval, who also oversee the general administration and bureaucracy of the church. 

Didacts/Busjand are teachers, researchers, and scientists; their duties are concerned with the accumulation and application of technical knowledge. The Knights/Mjdar are the realm’s primary military force and the sole branch that allows for, and is largely dominated by, lay people. The only area outside certain members and factions of the Majalis where this occurs. 

Inquisitors/Sadjain monitor all other branches for corruption, act as an intelligence/counterintelligence agency, and attempt to mitigate the often fiery sectarian conflicts that tend to occur within the Church. They also oversee the use of the Tasuliat, the Poor Men who are the Church’s assassins and paramilitary operatives.

Najhil Holken is now a member of the Va'liat.

Threads

Warbeast: An unusual attack on the Va'liat capital.

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