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The empire was a concept conceived by the first man to ever reach the pinnacle of both fighting and piety. Ducount Veres was a humble priest in a small undefended village. History books state that one day a group of raiders came in to ransack the village and capture its women for slaves. Ducount single handedly warded them off killing several in the process. He ministered to those who survived and converted them to his moral dogma. When the Church heard of his great exploits they immediately ordered him to leave his station and become a "crusader" or holy gladiator for them. Though he liked his humble station he respected the Churches orders and began to fight criminals and barbarians within the coliseums of a hundred provinces. Every battle he won he became more popular among the masses. His strict discipline, innate skill and faith made him a paragon among fighters. He single handedly became a celebrity and figure head for the Church. Congregations across the land swelled as his influence spread and it was not long before he became a potent political figure.
Flurous Maxus was a power hungry politician and a ruler of one of the largest provinces in existence. He noticed that his people idolized Ducount and feared that he may lose his control of the province. He sent assassins to kill Ducount, but they failed and the plot was blown wide open. An angry mob stormed the palace and Flurous was taken from power and executed. The crowd demanded that Ducount become their new leader, and he regrettably obliged to try to quell the chaos and anarchy that had flooded the province. The Church fully supported this move and created the first theocracy. Before long these ideas spread and revolutions in several provinces turned them into theocracies all under Ducounts command. He did not ask for this new power but saw it as a gift from God for him to spread his teachings. Before long he had formed an empire of theocratic provinces loyal to the Church and to God.
Leaders of other provinces feared this new growing trend towards theocracy and feared the Churches growing influence among its people. This fear was the seed for the Great War which lasted for over fifty years. Triggered by a rash of new rebellions and demands by the people to convert the government to a theocracy, an atheist alliance of provinces was formed to crush them. The power of the Church was too great and after millions of deaths and decades of war (justified by the Church as a small price to pay for the enlightenment of the entire civilized world) the Church influence stretched across all parts of the civilized world. The last province to fall was one that had been long forgotten. A massive peaceful commune deep within the forest refused to join the Church instead wishing to worship the Mother Nature and forest spirits. The Church denounced these pagan Gods. The next chapter in history is one of the most controversial.
The peaceful forest people had never been known to take up arms against anyone, preferring pacifism and the use of passive resistance. The Church claims that a missionary group was assaulted and massacred by the savages, and this initiated the near genocide of the forest people. The time in which a military force was assembled and the efficiency in which the forest people were eliminated proved too quick to not have been premeditated. Literature on the Church's banned books list states that the missionaries were actually killed by the Church's crusading army itself to provide an excuse to invade the forest province. Any talk of this event being anything but a holy crusade with the divine favor of God is considered heresy and heretics are immediately executed (or brought into a prison from which they never return).
A small group of forest people managed to escape during the invasion of the crusaders. Using the forest for cover, they slipped through the Dark Wood and over the Bastion Mountains into the uncivilized world.
For ninety years the Church maintained complete control of the civilized world, not allowing anyone to leave into the untamed wilderness beyond saying that God had stated that devils and demons roamed these parts ready to consume the soul of any who would enter them. A massive temple/fortress was constructed in honor of Ducount and the empire he had (unwittingly) forged. This vast memorial was the size of a city and housed some of the highest levels of the church. Its walls were constructed of the most sacred metals found from rocks that had fallen from the sky and it was impenetrable in every respect. Holy relics of great divine power were stored within it and it became known as the "North Star" of the Church's empire, lying in the northern part of the civilized world just south of the Glacioust Mountains.

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