| The Selladoran Clerist Wars|
In the year 2827 a power struggle erupted within the church of Aesia that would eventually lead to the founding of the rogue nation of Gideon to the south west. Though this is the year recorded as the beginning of the Selladoran civil war, the clerist wars have their origin nearly two centuries before.|
It was a young acolyte named Bazin Rochefourt who wrote a thesis on an aspect of the faith of Aesia, as was custom amongst new members. Bazin chose for his essay, entitled, "The Nature of Faith", nothing less than a discussion of the divine nature of the goddess herself. It was this essay, written in the year 2642 in the Abbey Of St. Planchet, just outside of the village of Grimaud, that would eventually bring the nation of Sellador to the brink of dissolution.
Bazin, a historian interested in the ancient druidic ways, postulated in his essay that Aesia was not the source of all life, but rather an entity that sprang forth from, and is therefore a part of, the cycle of life and the natural forces of the world. Bazin's views were by no means new: druidic cults had held this belief, and been tolerated by the church, for hundreds of years. Bazin's essay went a step further, however, and suggested that the clerical spells and powers granted by faith in Aesia did not originate from Aesia herself, but came from the spirit of the priest instead. The goddess, in this case, acted as a sort of divine amplifier, allowing the cleric, via his faith, to produce the miracles of healing and protection for which the clerics of Aesia are so valued.
Naturally, this caused an uproar within the church. Bazin's essay was denounced by the more conservative members of the faith as heresy. He was accused by Grand Inquisitor Moldvay of deifying mortals and placing the humble servants of the goddess on the same level as Aesia herself. The essay was defended by Archbishop Mentzer, a man who often argued that faith and feeling were the same.
Bazin Rochefourt was excommunicated from the church and lived the rest of his days as a doctor. Though the church had turned their eyes from Bazin, he nonetheless kept his faith. He never lost the ability to heal with his prayers, or drive away the dark things of the world. To his friends, such as Mentzer, this was proof of his hypothesis.
As time passed, word of the powers that Bazin had continued to wield, without the support of the church, began to spread. Slowly, an ideological movement began in the church; those who ascribed to it were known as "Bazinites". The movement was quiet at first, passing copies of Bazin's essay secretly amongst themselves. The essay was still considered heretical by the church leaders, and any caught in possession of a copy of it were punished. The punishments increased in severity as the movement, despite opposition, continued to grow.
In 2827 the Bazinite movement had gained enough strength that it rose to challenge the church. Several high ranking members of the church's hierarchy confessed to being Bazinites, and began to lead an ideological revolt. Words were exchanged, threats were made, and eventually arms were drawn. The Clerist Wars had begun.
It would be five years before the Clerist Wars would draw to a close. In the summer of 2832 a Paladin by the name of Arthay Verdain, a general of the Bazinite forces, led his forces against the armies of the Aesiest church. In the mountain passes dividing the south western he won a major victory, securing the future of his fellow Bazinites. It was thus that the nation of Gideon was founded and Arthay Verdain was proclaimed its first king.
Sellador, defeated and without recourse, grudgingly recognized Gideon as its new neighbor. It was not without thoughts of revenge, however, as it bided its time and made secret plans that would ensure that Gideon would one day return to Sellador, and its people to the "proper" faith.
Related Articles: Arthay Verdain, Abbey Of St. Planchet, Gideon, Midland, Sellador.
Contributor: Shawn Nicolen