This is part 2 of three parts. For intoductory notes on all three, see Religions of Erce, pt 1: The Old Faith.
The New Order
Unlike the individualistic mystery cults of the Old Faith, the New Order is strongly community oriented and wholly focused on the rise and betterment of mankind.
Over 1700 years ago, just prior to the founding of Nydecia, the Nine Gods of the New Order joined to make something wholly new: A unified pantheon working for a common goal: The undeterred growth and expansion of civilization.
Where the Old Gods were satisfied with their co-existent hegemony over Chaos, the Nine proposed a new world order: To altogether drive Chaos from human lands and establish realms where denizens of Law could do more than just exist; where civilization could grow, prosper and develop entirely free of the threat of the monstrous forces of Chaos.
Thus were the Dominions of Law born, with Nydecia the first and mightiest of its kind. With the rise of the empire, the New Order likewise spread to the furthest corners of the West, bringing with it an ordered and cultured society.
The New Order mandates propitiation of all the Nine, though not necessarily in equal measure, and upholds a codified doctrine and worldview. People may favour one of the Nine over another, but it is with the understanding that one does so out of affinity for one part of a greater whole. The Nine represent the total sum of conditions for the prosperity, stability and spread of human order - To forsake one is to forsake all of human order and prosperity.
|The Nine are a more civilized breed than the Old Gods.|
Unlike the pious orders of the Hearthstone Church, the priesthoods of the Nine are intimately involved with society as active participants. Its initiates fill diverse cultural, political and mercantile roles to sustain the proper orderliness and welfare of the community – From the myrmidon schools of Corban to the judiciary courts of Orena; from the Lore Masters of Estaran and the Heralds of Elonis, to the current world emperor himself: Who is the high priest of Calanthe.
In return for this benevolence, the Nine demand regular and subservient worship, offerings and conduct – It is this very devotion that empowers the Dominions to be impenetrable to the forces of Chaos and facilitates their expansion.
Despite this, the Nine are not exclusive or jealous gods. Devotees can be initiates of Old Faith mystery cults, even supplicate the White Goddess, as they please, if only the Nine receive their just dues in prayer, offerings, conduct and view.