City Tour: The Church of the Divine Flesh

The CHURCH OF DIVINE FLESH, or HOUSE OF CONSUMPTION, was the first church built on the battle. The city largely spread out around it, although that's not so evident today. This is a major reason behind the church's power and prestige. It doesn't hurt that they bought up a lot of land, which they later sold for great profit, or rent land to others. It's certainly the richest of all the churches, in influence if not in gold and jewels.

They worship DOKONALI, the God of Perfection, Physical Prowess, Pride and Power. A lot of warriors follow him, as do some merchants, and the more energetic, power-hungry and gluttonous nobles. His clerics have to be seen to be believed; and we're in luck, because there's one, together with his entourage. Yes, that bloated man being carried in that iron-contraption, that's the cleric; high-ranking too, judging by his size. Those muscular men, the ones straining under the weight, are the acolytes, studying hard so that they can be ordained, blessed, and become clerics like their rotund mentor.

It's an odd religion. Until they receive the 'Blessing of the Faith', the followers exercise their bodies and minds, preparing themselves for perfection. The twice-daily sermons are intense training sessions. Then, when they are ready, the acolytes take the blessing– a ritual involving eating a chunk of raw flesh, said to represent the flesh of DOKONALI himself; and then spend the rest of their service living too excess. The clerics eat, drink, carouse; they ingest and smoke drugs, have orgies; you name it, they 'consume' it. That's how they got their other name, the Consumers. The largest, greediest, clerics rise quickly through the ranks, and take on their own entourage of acolytes, who attend to their every need in exchange for their teachings.

Why do they go to such extremes? Balance. They firmly believe that to become perfect they must embrace both extremes; and, of course, believe that it is not until they die and pass into their God's realm, that they will achieve their perfection; which, for them, is the same as becoming gods themselves, for who else could ever embody perfection?


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