One of the major groups of people you will encounter in Windforge are the Servants of Cordeus. The SOC is the largest religious group on Cordeus. They have a large following around the globe and considerable military and political strength.
The SOC worship the planet Cordeus. They believe that the planet is a god and is the source of all creation. Since Cordeus is capable of creation without the aid of another, they also believe their god to be a hermaphrodite. The SOC consider it insulting to refer to Cordeus as a male or female, and they are quick to correct those who incorrectly refer to Cordeus as “he” or “she”.
The core of the world is considered a sacred place by the SOC. This is said to be the heart of Cordeus, and the place where souls reside. All but the most evil souls will travel here when they die, to bask in the warmth of Cordeus until they are reborn again.
The SOC believe that space is an infinite region called The Void. They believe that only Cordeus can provide protection from this infinity, and that even life cannot exist without sufficient proximity to God. In most cases, Cordeus will accept the souls of the dead back into its heart. However, if someone is judged to be particularly evil or blasphemous during their lifetime, he or she will be banished into The Void, cursed to float alone and isolated in its infinite space forever.
The History of the SOC and The Falling
It is said that the origins of the SOC predate modern civilization. In fact much of what we know about ancient civilization was recorded by the SOC.
The SOC claims to have strong ties to an ancient race of people called the Aetherkin. The Aetherkin were once considered to be blessed by Cordeus, and were granted powerful artifacts that gave them the ability to speak directly with the god. By communicating directly with God they were granted knowledge and favors beyond the dreams of modern civilization.
For an eon, the SOC served the Aetherkin believing that they were the blessed ambassadors of Cordeus. As the Aetherkin’s knowledge and power grew, so did their confidence and independence. This empowered them to travel away from God into The Void.
It is said that The Void corrupted the Aetherkin, and their lust for power grew substantially. They lost all humility and began demanding too much from Cordeus. These demands caused Cordeus to lash out in anger. The god cursed the Aetherkin and banished them into The Void never to return. Then, to punish all that served the Aetherkin, Cordeus flooded the world with poison gas. This gas purged the world of almost all life. Only those deemed most worthy were able to survive. The SOC claim that the ocean of gas that surrounds the core to this day is the remnant of this gas, and that it remains in order to serve as a reminder of this event which they call The Falling
The Remnants of The Aetherkin
Historians are uncertain about how much of the SOC’s history is myth, and how much is actually true. Evidence of both mass extinction and the ruins of an advanced ancient civilization can be found throughout the world, so some of it might at least be grounded in fact.
The SOC claim that these ruins were left behind by the Aetherkin when they were banished during The Falling. Although the Aetherkin are now cursed, their ruins and artifacts are still considered to be gifts from God. Thus they are very protective of both, and they claim that they are the rightful owners of all the remnants of the Aetherkin.
In addition to this claim of ownership, the SOC also forbids all research on Aetherkin artifacts, since uncovering the secrets of the artifacts would uncover the secrets of God. They also frown upon science in general for the same reasons, but don’t usually speak up against scientists unless they are researching something that the SOC considers sacred.
That’s all for now about the SOC. Let me know what you think. Also, I’m trying to decide whether or not to use gender neutral pronouns in Winforge when I write about Cordeus (writing without pronouns is hard). I’m having trouble deciding which ones to pick if I pick any at all. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.