IN THE BEGINNING, the ancients tell us, there was only light.
—The Aerau, Origentus of Baghan
The Old Calendar, also known as the Drakeir Calendar, was inherited from ancient Phaeria and its successor states. It represents the deeply pagan past, a connection between the Old Dominion and the distant antiquity of the Drakeir Tyrants. These drakeir astrological symbols still permeate the practice of the occulted science of Astrology. However, since the coming of the Kyrian Confession the Old Dominion calendar has been reworked to provide the New (or Kyrian) Calendar, as seen below:
SPRING (new year)
While the Drakeir or Old Calendar began in the middle of winter, the New Calendar begins with the Springrite, which is tied to the pagan holiday of Ghoralia, the Return-to-the-Living.
The Kyrian Confession
The Confessional Faith traces its roots back to the Manachite religion from which it is ultimately descended. The Manachites, living in the caverns and cataracts of the high desert beyond Khorassis, developed a unique monotheistic faith around the same time as the spread of the Faith of Fire through Phaeria. Most modern Kyrians draw their humble beginnings back to Khreska and his Apologetics, the first major philosophical work to deal with sorcery, and the very ancient Maroetic Texts.
The Confession truly flowered during the Old Dominion when the Maroetic Texts became known throughout the Dominion population of Khorassis and the southern Dominion provinces. It spread like wildfire among the lower classes. Manachism rejected animism entirely, which was a powerful philosophy in the time of the thousand gods of Spyra. The Kyrian Confession held that those who performed the necessary rejection of the world as a vale of sorrow, and the necessary veneration of the pure intellect, would be saved from their plight as playthings of the daimoni and the powerful.
It was with the rebellion of the Prophet Calomanis (which ultimately failed, leading to his blinding by the Dominion) that the Confession found a hold in the Dominion Wellborn Families. The Calomanic Revolt began in 414 Y.F. when the Autarch Orovax lost power in Spyra because a grain shortage choked the city. Calomanis and the revolt captured the Labyrinthine Palace and held the city for three years before the Autarch's aunt, Galara Avax, reclaimed the Dominion and had Calomanis blinded. He went into hiding to begin the transmission of the Faith, teaching the next Occulted Hierophant.
In the years following Galara Avax's death, the East broke up into open warfare and the Confession spread. The many and several faiths of Spyra, used to having either the Synod or a single powerful Autarch to bind them together, launched ineffective and separate campaigns to gain power. The Sacred Autarch Horas stepped into this vacuum, dissolved the Synod, and purged the ruling houses of their priests. When he reached Spyra, the great families were forced to kneel and renounce their gods. This began the Unification Wars of the Old Dominion.
Horas died before proclaiming a successor to the position of Hierophant and his own son, who would be Autarch after him, did not have the sacred training. Thus, the seat of the Hieros and that of the Autarch were fractured. The Hieros ruled in Valaxia, the city of Calomanis' birth, while the Autarch continued to rule in Spyra.
Structure of the Confessional Faith
There are a number of hierarchical positions within the Faith. These are...
Teacher -- a half-priest, generally several in a single temple (secular clerics)
Prelate -- a full priest, generally one in a village temple, or many in the grand temples (trained in a clergy-school)
Canon Cleric -- a lay priest, much like a teacher
Chapter Provost -- the head of a lay chapter, generally the person in charge of a large temple, minister of the coin
Brother/Sister -- a Confessional monk
Abbot/Abbess -- elected head of a Confessional abbey
Archprelate -- a regional temple leader
Metropolitan -- a powerful city-based archprelate
Temple Prelates -- the so-called Church Fathers, the old council of the most important archprelates
Prelate of Valaxia -- the Hieros or Hierophant, the Light of Lights, elected by the Metropolitans of the East and the Temple Prelates
The Divine Principle
The Kyrian Confession focuses on the three worlds and the Divine Principle. This world, the World of Sorrow, is a false world of matter. The intermediate world, the World of Forms, is a smoky place where daimoni and magical energies gather. The World-to-Come, where the Divine Principle resides, is the perfection of all things, where only universal forms can exist.
The Divinity enables all things to exist by virtue of the universal forms within it. It has no real emotion or ability to influence the world—indeed, it is incapable of knowing species but only genera, often described as looking down on a city from the peak of a high mountain.
Most peasants, commoners, and even devotional priests do not make this distinction, however. They continue to anthropomorphize the Divinity in their daily lives as well as in their thoughts and prayers.