Ishgardian Orthodox Church
Following the death of King Thordan and his son Haldrath abandoning the throne to become the first Azure Dragoon, the people of Ishgard needed leadership. Thus did the surviving Knights Twelve come together to form the High Houses, which would later form the Ishgardian Orthodox Church. To suppress the knowledge of their part in the shattering of the peace between Dragons and Elezen, they came up with an "officially sanctioned" series of events that would paint the people of Ishgard as the victims who valiantly fought back against Nidhogg and his brood. To facilitate bringing this knowledge to the people, the story of King Thordan was woven into the teachings of the Church alongside their worship of Halone.
Following the revelations of the truth to the beginning of the Dragonsong War, the Church came under intense scrutiny, with many of the people feeling betrayed. While many maintain their devotion to Halone, it is up for debate what place the Church will have in Ishgardian Society.
The Church is led by the Archbishop, who also serves as the Ishgardian head of state. When the archbishop passes away, the title is not handed down to his next of kin, but rather the high-ranking members of the clergy, as well as representatives of the four High Houses meet and select the successor. The archbishop presides in The Vault, where he determines major public policy, which is carried out by officials such as the Temple Knights. The archbishop is advised by the Synod, seven high-ranking bishops of Saint Reymanaud's Cathedral, and is guarded by The Heavens' Ward.
The Holy See
Directly below the archbishop is The Holy See, which views itself as a "maternal and paternal" figure to the people. In its maternal role, it guides the people by teaching the lessons of Halone through the church. In a paternal role, it dictates policy to the people in order to protect them from the Dragons and "preserves the state's sovereignty".
To help spread the teachings of the Church and enforce public policy, the Holy See commands several contingencies, such as the Congregation of Our Knights Most Heavenly, and various other dicasteries.
The Temple Knights
- Main article: Temple Knights
The Knights Dragoon
The formal order from which the Dragoon class originates. It's leader is referred to as the Azure Dragoon.
The judicial arm of the Holy See.
- “The Supreme Sacred Tribunal of Halonic Inquisitory Doctrine is a place where penitents come to stand before the Fury and answer for their sins.”
- Main article: The Supreme Sacred Tribunal of Halonic Inquisitory Doctrine
Doctrine and Teachings
The Halonic Enchiridion
The core teachings of the Ishgardian Church can be found encapsulated in a single book of scriptures, called the Enchiridion. Unlike other sects that worship the Twelve, the Halonic doctrines are very strict, and deliberately reject outsiders who do not conform. This was among the reasons that Ishgard withdrew from the Eorzean Alliance after the battle of Silvertear Skies, and remained fully inaccessible to "outsiders" (such as the player) until the events of Heavensward.
- “A man must gaze not upon the eyes of a dragon.
A man must hearken not the words of a dragon.
A man must lay his hands not upon the flesh nor blood of a dragon.
The archbishop, his Holiness, declares thus, and thus is it law.”
Speaking out or disobeying the teachings of the Halonic church is a very serious crime, and violators of this are branded "heretics." Even consorting with other known heretics can be considered an offense worthy of punishment. The Tribunal exists to investigate accusations of heresy and dispense "justice" if necessary. Those accused of Heresy are allowed the right to Trial by Combat, or the right to have a champion fight in their name if they are unable to fight.
- “One such group calls themselves “peacemakers,” and they wear scouting masks to conceal their identities while they foment heresy. One of my subordinates wishes to infiltrate their group, and I would pay you well to forge me a proper scouting mask similar to theirs.””
- —A Halonic Masquerade
The Faces of Mercy
- “ A band of assassins is said to prowl the mountain passes. The Faces of Mercy, they call themselves. Some think them outlaws exiled form Ishgard, but some go so far as to claim they are part of the Conclave. Whatever the case, they’ve a reputation for being fierce killers to a man.”
- “The infamous company of thieves, brigands, mercenaries, and outlaws who will do almost anything provided the fee is paid up front? Well, it is said that they have connections within all the houses of Ishgard, and that those connections can grant them passage into the region’s many restricted areas, including the Darkhold. The Faces of Mercy do not maintain a permanent headquarters, and they only communicate through a complex network of contacts. Each member will only know the names of three others, and no two members will know the same three. That way, if one is caught and tortured, he cannot divulge more than the bare minimum to his captors.””
- “They call themselves the Bloodbearers, and their leader is a man named Matheonien. He and his minions are all capable of assuming the form of dragons. Such a transformation is possible by partaking of dragon blood─I daresay you have borne witness to it─and it grants the individual unholy strength. Though the sanguine substance is precious, the Bloodbearers have access to an abundant supply owing to their pact with Graoully.””
Important Historical and Mythological Figures
- Main article: Halone
Patron goddess of the religion, also known as The Fury. No Orthodox church is said to be complete without a towering statue of Halone, girt for battle.
King Thordan I (Saint Thordan)
The 'founding father' of Ishgard, said by the scriptures to have answered the call of Halone and led his people to the promised land of Coerthas. The scriptures also teach that he was killed while defending the settlers' caravans from Nidhogg, along with half of his knights. He is the namesake of Saint Thordan's Basilica.
Son of Thordan I, and the first Azure Dragoon. Famous for being the first to defeat the Great Wyrm Nidhogg, and for leading the Elezen people the rest of the way to Coerthas after his father was slain in battle. Camp Dragonhead is built atop a hillside called "Haldrath's March" in his honor. In Riversmeet, there is also a monumental stone sculpture carved in his likeness by the afamed stonemason Percelle.
A former Azure Dragoon said to have wielded the weapon Gae Bolg, striking down a dragon who slew her beloved. Upon exacting her revenge, it is said that she cast her weapon aside on the site the dragon was felled, taking up the cloth in its place and devoting the remainder of her years to uplifting the poor and downtrodden. She was made a Halonic saint in 1289 of the Sixth Astral Era, over a century after her death.
- ↑ In english, Enchiridion means "a book containing essential information on a subject", which the Halonic Enchiridion does exactly for the followers of its church.
- ↑ Encyclopaedia Eorzea, page 036, "Ishgardian scripture teaches that King Thordan answered the call of Halone to lead his people to the Promised Land of Coerthas [...]"
- ↑ Encyclopedia Eorzea, page 047, "A chronology of the Sixth Astral Era", year 545
- ↑ Alphinaud: His name features prominently in your nation's history. Though once defeated by the hero Haldrath, the beast is said to have terrorized Coerthas since Ishgard's founding.