With the disappearance of the Anointed One and his closest acolytes, the rest of his followers were left to their own devices. A few leaders rose to prominence, attempting to unify the now fractured and lost believers. Among them were two, Eton of Anaryn and Hypnos of Illarya. Eton would go on to write the Codex of Purity, the primary collection of the works of the Anointed One and the basic scripture for the Church itself. There were many other local leaders, and their communities took on various forms, independent of any unifying structure. It was not until the rediscovery of Eton’s Codex of Purity that a unified church doctrine began to emerge.
Although many gods were once worshiped throughout the empire, in time The Annointed One was adopted as the official state religion. The Emperor Quad’ra the IV anointed the feet of Lorend the Unshod, naming him the first Pope. The church claims autonomy and authority from the Anointed One Himelf, while the crown claims sovereignty based on this ritual, wherein the emperor gave the pope his authority. Depending upon the relative strengths of subsequent popes and emperors, the debate has been the cause of conflict between the two institutions.
With imperial acceptance and bureaucracy, the church gradually exercised control over the once fractured flock. Many sects were absorbed until only the Hypnosts remained independent of the church. They were forced to the fringes of society, and became a minor, more mystical sect. Often the targets of inquisitions and crusades, they nevertheless continue to maintain their existence.
The Temple Prima was built shortly after the founding of the church, taking nearly a century to complete. It stands upon an island in the middle of the River Albrahma, the site of the Anointed One’s ascension. The Temple Prima exists beyond the rule of the Empire, and no imperial authority extends within its bounds. In fact, many have sought sanctuary within the temple, though just as often the Popes turn such people back over to the Empire. However, no emperor has tested this “law” by defying the church. The idea of Sanctuary continues throughout the empire, in every church throughout the lands, with varying degrees of sanctity.
As the church gained acceptance, it eventually replaced the empire’s old Gods. Most people forgot they ever existed, and only those studied in religious history even know of them. Their likenesses and traits were absorbed into the faith, and they eventually took the forms of the Church Saints. With the discovery of the new lands to the west, the Church is again confronting foreign gods, and it is for this that Inquisitors have once again been sent to the frontier, to purify the faithful once again.
Pope Loucum Clemo is the current Pope. In the month of of the Judge 5541 he completed the Ritual of Demihuman Suppression. Its effects are meant to suppress the rise of heroes from amongst elves, dwarves and halflings. He also announced the Age of Punishment to be followed by the Age of Abatement.