Rapturian

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Rapturian was a high Alation priest who brought massive religious division to the Vastion people of the Light Era. The period of his influence is known as the Great Divide. His variant of Alationism is often referred to as Rapturianism and his followers are called Rapturians.

Rapturian Teachings

Rapturian taught his own branch of Alationism. While common Alationism teaches that the one god Adrastatirok formed Riiga as well as the sun spirit Ashmah and the moon spirit Gulemn, Rapturian taught that there is a third spirit aspect. He taught that Riiga itself -- the land, the planet, the earth -- had its own separate spirit that often went unacknowledged, and that worship of this third aspect was the secret to connecting with Adrastatirok fully, acquiring divine truth, and gaining access to the god's power. Despite these claims, his high charisma, and his intimidating presence, there are no records of him performing magic beyond old rumours and tales.

History

From around 150AL, the Red Temple began to divide into different creeds among the Vastion people as high ranking priests debated theological issues and different interpretations of sacred texts. The primary division was between Dualkedorians and Arngosians, and following decades saw a distinct lessening of the authority of the Red Temple in society. Word of this division spread to neighbouring peoples, and soon travellers from Alacas came to the Vastions living in Umber Bay and started teaching Alatianism. Initially the teachings were rather harmless and did not conflict with the Red Temple's teachings, but in 194AL a high Alatian priest named Rapturian convinced the people of Velen that Alatianism was a more stable and trustworthy religion than the Red Temple, and that the Alatian god Adrastatirok was more powerful and authentic than Nikina. A very aggressive minority of the people of Velen ousted the Red Temple and drove away any who did not agree with Rapturian's teachings.

By the time word of the situation in Velen reached the ears of the high priests in Umburn across the Ellecil Channel, Rapturian had had his town fortified, and he had the support of the entire body of upper class families of the town. At the time he claimed that the truth needed protection against the impending lies and attacks that would surely come from the Red Temple. And sure enough, the Red Temple gathered enough funds and support to mobilise a force which soon made its way to the continent and toward Velen. But this act of retaliation on the part of the Red Temple was not interpreted by the people as necessarily positive. Many people living near Velen heard of the approaching Red Temple army -- at that time called the Red Templars -- and believed that the Red Temple would not act like this if Rapturian was truly preaching falsehoods. And so Rapturian gathered even more supporters beyond Velen itself.

The Red Templars, consisting primarily of militia, suffered low morale as they were not convinced that fighting their way through all the resisting commoners on the way to Velen was the right course of action. So for around five years Rapturian and the Red Temple fought for control to become the dominant religion, with neither side making significant progress over these years. It wasn't until 201AL that a force of priests skilled in both military and magical ways -- called the White Templars -- were brought in as reinforcements after having spent the last few years training. Despite Alationism having rooted itself deep in the mindsets of many in and around Velen, they had no displays of magic to show the might of their god Adrastatirok. After several months of the Red and White Templars slowly making their way toward Velen as skirmish after skirmish broke out, they finally reached Velen itself. The moment they came into sight of the city, all the upper class families of Velen who had previously offered Rapturian their support, influence, and wealth, turned on the Alation high priest, and Rapturian was executed for crimes against the Vastions and against Nikina himself.

After the death of Rapturian, Alationism all but vanished from the area ... save but a few of the high ranking families, who went on to follow the religion in secret by gathering in hidden temples built underground attended by carefully chosen individuals. This secret worship continued on for centuries, and some say there were still hidden worshippers -- often simply called Rapturians -- as late as the founding of the Benevan Empire, before Emperor Halartus Benevarus launched a large scale investigation into these secret cults and had them all removed.