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[Dark Eras fan] Byzantine Empire

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  • #61
    As we are at religious matters in Byzantine Empire, let’s talk about…

    Creation of Eastern Orthodox Church
    From the iconoclast Council of Hieria in 754 - called by Byzantium Emperor that wanted to ban icons worship in the area of Empire – rose tension between Pope in Rome and Patriarch of Constantinople about then One Church influence in Byzantium.

    When Second Council of Nicaea in 787 reverted the rulings from Hieria, Church governing differences rose. With added changing in Byzantium usage of Latin to Greek in official matters – and slow creation of Byzantine Rite of liturgy ( also known as Greek Rite ) by this – the two Churches started to split, even if technically all of future Orthodox Church was in 9th and 10th century still under government of Pope from Rome. Remember that even now Orthodox Church Patriarch of Constantinople is de facto only one of Archbishops in synod – even if he is treated as ‘spiritual leader’ of East Church, titled primus inter pares (first among equals).
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 12-13-2018, 10:36 AM.


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    • #62
      Photian Schism of 863 – 867
      In 858 layman Photius supporting young Emperor Micheal III ( he was only 18 years old then ) was elected in place of previous Patriarch – Ingatius - and was hurriedly consecrated bishop within one week contrary to the canonical rules but not without precedent in Constantinople. After some tensions with Pope Nicholas I, Pope reinstated Ingatius on synod of 863 in Rome.

      Much of conflict between Rome and Constantinople rose over centuries from Filioque issue – that in short, is question does Jesus is god that created Holy Spirit. In 865 First Bulgar Empire had accepted Christianity from the Byzantines after a short war that resulted in conversion Kniaz Boris I and promise to convert his people. On meeting refusal from Photius for a separate patriarch for these new Christians, Boris had invited Latin missionaries from Rome. In 867, Photius attacked these Latins for adding the Filioque to the Nicene Creed. He did not make this accusation against the Western Church as whole, still less against Rome, which at that time had not accepted this addition to the Creed. Only in the late 13th century, when the Filioque was central to Byzantine polemics, were his arguments adopted, and few had even referred to them until then.

      With the approval of the Emperor, who feared what was seen as an advance of the Franks close to his capital, Photius invited the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem to meet in Constantinople and pronounce on this "encroachment". This 867 synod took the grave step of condemning Pope Nicholas as a heretic and declaring him deposed.

      Kniaz Boris I of Bulgaria would further complicate relations between Rome and Constantinople by approaching Pope Nicholas. Photius was aware of Boris's approaches and sought to ease his mind on how to be a Christian Leader by writing, 'On the Duties of a prince'. Boris had also asked the Pope 115 questions, which Pope Nicholas answered in Responsa Nicolai papae I. ad consulta Bulgarorum (The Responses of Pope Nicholas I to the Questions of the Bulgars). However, due to the popes refusal to appoint Formosus as archbishop of Bulgaria, the kniaz once again turned to Byzantium, who granted Bulgaria autocephalous status during the 4th council of Constantinople.

      Nicholas died before news of this action reached Rome. In the same year, Emperor Michael III was killed, and his murderer and successor Basil I deposed Photius, replacing him by Ignatius. After the death or deposition of the two protagonists, their successors reestablished communion, thus ending the schism, though not the disputes between the two sees.

      Ignatius upheld Byzantine claims to Bulgaria no less strongly than Photius. And when he died in 877, Photius was made patriarch again. Pope John VIII was more flexible than Nicholas I and at a council in Constantinople in 879–880 his legates confirmed acceptance of Photius as patriarch and agreed to an arrangement whereby Rome was given nominal authority over Bulgaria but actual jurisdiction was in the hands of Constantinople. Bulgaria would remain autocephalous until 927, when it would be elevated to a Patriarchate during Peace accords with the Byzantine Empire.

      Further north than Bulgaria, in Greater Moravia, Saints Cyril and Methodius, who had been sent by Emperor Michael and Photius, sided with the Pope against Photius.


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      • #63
        10th and 11th century West-East Church problems
        The 10th century relations between Pope in Roma and Patriarch of Constantinople were very tense. Filioque issue – that in short, is question does Jesus is god that created Holy Spirit. - and celibacy of priests were often risen on various synods. It is sometimes claimed that celibacy became mandatory for Latin Church priests only in the eleventh century; but others say, for instance: "(I)t may fairly be said that by the time of St. Leo the Great (440–61) the law of celibacy was generally recognized in the West," and that the eleventh-century regulations on this matter, as on simony (selling churches offices and roles ), should obviously not be interpreted as meaning that either non-celibacy or simony were previously permitted.

        "Despite six hundred years of decrees, canons, and increasingly harsh penalties, the Latin clergy still did, more or less illegally, what their Greek counterparts were encouraged to do by law—they lived with their wives and raised families. In practice, ordination was not an impediment to marriage; therefore some priests did marry even after ordination. The tenth century is claimed to be the high point of clerical marriage in the Latin communion. Most rural priests were married and many urban clergy and bishops had wives and children. A terrible picture of the decay both of clerical morality and of all sense of anything like vocation is drawn in the writings of St. Peter Damian, particularly in his Liber Gomorrhianus. The style, no doubt, is rhetorical and exaggerated, and his authority as an eyewitness does not extend beyond that district of Northern Italy, in which he lived, but we have evidence from other sources that the corruption was widespread… Undoubtedly during this period the traditions of sacerdotal celibacy in Western Christendom suffered severely but even though a large number of the clergy, not only priests but bishops, openly took wives and begot children to whom they transmitted their benefices, the principle of celibacy was never completely surrendered in the official enactments of the Church."

        In 888, two local councils, that of Metz and that of Mainz, prohibited cohabitation even with wives living in continence. This tendency was taken up by the 11th-century Gregorian Reform (c. 1050–80), which aimed at eliminating what it called "Nicolaitism", that is clerical marriage, which in spite of being theoretically excluded was in fact practised, and concubinage.


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        • #64
          Great Schism of 1054 and it’s repercussions
          In 1053, the first step was taken in the process which led to formal schism between West and East Church. The Greek churches in southern Italy were forced either to close or to conform to Latin practices. In retaliation, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Michael I Cerularius ordered the closure of all Latin churches in Constantinople. In 1054, the papal legate sent by Leo IX travelled to Constantinople for purposes that included refusing to Cerularius the title of "Ecumenical Patriarch" and insisting that he recognize the Pope's claim to be the head of all the churches. The main purpose of the papal legation was to seek help from the Byzantine Emperor in view of the Norman conquest of southern Italy and to deal with recent attacks by Leo of Ohrid against the use of unleavened bread and other Western customs, attacks that had the support of Cerularius. Historian Axel Bayer says the legation was sent in response to two letters, one from the Emperor seeking assistance in arranging a common military campaign by the eastern and western empires against the Normans, and the other from Cerularius. On the refusal of Cerularius to accept the demand, the leader of the legation, Cardinal Humbert of Silva Candida, O.S.B., excommunicated him, and in return Cerularius excommunicated Humbert and the other legates. This was only the first act in a centuries-long process that eventually became a complete schism.

          The validity of the Western legates' act is doubtful, since Leo had died and Cerularius' excommunication applied only to the legates personally. Still, the Church split and the fundamental breach has never been healed, with each side sometimes accusing the other of having fallen into heresy and of having initiated the division. Later Crusades, the Massacre of the Latins in 1182, the West's retaliation in the Sacking of Thessalonica in 1185, the capture and Siege of Constantinople in 1203, and the imposition of Latin patriarchs made reconciliation more difficult. Establishing Latin hierarchies in the Crusader states meant that there were two rival claimants to each of the patriarchal sees of Antioch, Constantinople, and Jerusalem, making the existence of schism clear. Several attempts at reconciliation did not bear fruit. In 1965, Pope Paul VI and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Athenagoras I nullified the anathemas of 1054, although this nullification of measures taken against a few individuals was essentially a goodwill gesture and did not constitute any sort of reunion. Contacts between the two sides continue: every year a delegation from each joins in the other's celebration of its patronal feast, Saints Peter and Paul (29 June) for Rome and Saint Andrew (30 November) for Constantinople, and there have been a number of visits by the head of each to the other. The efforts of the Ecumenical Patriarchs towards reconciliation with the Catholic Church have often been the target of sharp criticism from some fellow Orthodox.


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          • #65
            I feel like I am back in my old history courses here, albeit with less aegumentation. Ah, the wonders of a medievalist background...

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            • #66
              I've found this very cool site with a 3d model of Constantinople in 1200 A.D.

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              • #67
                Returning after long time no writing - but probably with new cool ideas. As Plague of Justinian (541–542 AD) is now canonically in CoD one of historical instances of Contagion ( from Contagion Chronicles ) that also cemented Jeremiad Sworn faction - and with previous Requiem for Rome pointing that it's time Lancea Sanctum took power in Constantinople - I think I would base setting on Sworn groups alliances from CC, rather than classical each races splats only split.

                Then we have historic Sworn split over monster races respond to Contagion in Justinian times, that became de facto 'monstrous parliament', kinda similar to Camarilla of Rome, but limited only to Byzantium and connecting to all monsters in Empire. And it’s cross factions idea is to stop next Contagion to show up in area, that returned in small portions till 8th century. This system all start to break down with passing centuries and not seeing next great Contagion up to the disintegration of Eastern Roman Empire itself.


                The 'wings' - i.e. Sworn - would be:
                • Jeremiad - Religious and morality centered monsters. Connected to mortal ( future ) Orthodox Church. After 6th century – most influential Sworn faction. – Typical members splats: Lancea Sanctum, Iron Masters, Storm Lords, Silver Ladder, all Beasts following Dark Mother.
                • Cryptocracy – Monsters sustaining government and rules in society. They are left-overs from original Camarilla of Rome. Connected mostly to Eastern Roman Emperor’s court. - Typical members splats: Athanatoi ( rests of Camarilla, future Invictus ), Ivory Claws, Guardians of the Veil, Seers of Throne, Winter Courtiers.
                • Ship of Theseus – ‘Contagion is evolution’
                • Rosetta Society – Rosetta believe Contagion to be a message from another world which someone has to decipher ( Probably ) – As Rosetta Stone is from 196 BC from area of Hellenistic Egypt – I can see their existence in Byzantium era.
                • Zero Hour ? ( Probably not, as they are probably too modern to be in Eastern Roman Empire times )
                Last edited by wyrdhamster; 12-14-2018, 03:36 AM.


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                • #68
                  With the Justinian Plague, we can easily see connection of werewolves, joining with vampire and mages fights against epidemic – especially from Hunters in Darkness.

                  ‘According to contemporary sources, the outbreak in Constantinople was thought to have been carried to the city by infected rats on grain ships arriving from Egypt. To feed its citizens, the city and outlying communities imported large amounts of grain, mostly from Egypt. Grain ships may have been the original source of contagion, as the rat (and flea) population in Egypt thrived on feeding from the large granaries maintained by the government. The Byzantine historian Procopius first reported the epidemic in 541 from the port of Pelusium, near Suez in Egypt. Two other firsthand reports of the plague's ravages were by the Syriac church historian John of Ephesus and Evagrius Scholasticus, who was a child in Antioch at the time and later became a church historian. Evagrius was afflicted with the buboes associated with the disease but survived. During the disease's four returns in his lifetime, he lost his wife, a daughter and her child, other children, most of his servants and people from his country estate.’


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                  • #69
                    Virulence and mortality rate of Justinian Plague

                    'The number of deaths is uncertain. Modern scholars believe that the plague killed up to 5,000 people per day in Constantinople at the peak of the pandemic. The initial plague ultimately killed perhaps 40% of the city's inhabitants and caused the deaths of up to a quarter of the human population of the Eastern Mediterranean. Frequent subsequent waves of the plague continued to strike throughout the 6th, 7th and 8th centuries, with the disease becoming more localized and less virulent.


                    After the last recurrence in 750, pandemics on the scale of Plague of Justinian did not appear again in Europe until the Black Death of the 14th century.'


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                    • #70
                      With Contagion Chronicle Kickstarter now – and seeing the previews of book – I revision Sworn and False for this Dark Era.

                      Sworn and False of Byzantine Empire
                      In brackets are names for modern counterparts of those groups. Historical factions use mechanics the same as their nowadays decedents.

                      Sworn of this Era:
                      • Jeremiad - Religious and morality centered monsters. Connected to mortal ( future ) Orthodox Church. After 6th century and it’s Plauge of Justinian – most influential Sworn faction. Typical members: Lancea Sanctum, Iron Masters, Storm Lords, Silver Ladder, all Beasts following Dark Mother.
                      • Athanatoi (Cryptocracy) – Monsters sustaining government and rules in society. They are left-overs from original Camarilla of Rome. Connected mostly to Eastern Roman Emperor’s court and army. - Typical members: Athanatoi Convenant ( rests of Camarilla, future Invictus ), Ivory Claws, Guardians of the Veil, Seers of Throne, Winter & Spring Courtiers. Also martial monsters, like Blood Talons, Adamantine Arrow or Summer Court. ( See below why. )
                      • Omphalos (Rosetta Society) – Researches of sacred and secret, they name comes both title for mythological stone letting to communicate directly with gods – and Astral Space barrier that many mages and beasts find in their journeys. Typical members: mages from Keepers of the Word and Pancryptiates Orders ( in 12th century they merge into modern Mysterium, but in this Dark Eras they compete inside Sworn ), beasts, Mekhet vampires.
                      Zero Hour do not have it’s direct representation as Byzantine army was strictly connected to administrative rulers, dividing Empire into Themata. Many generals and soldiers are part of Athanatoi Sworn, even when they use sometimes they own made Intel Vector. But, for time being, all night-dwellers martial groups join Athanatoi.

                      False of this Era:
                      • Horde (Naglfar’s Army) – Literal ‘barbarians at the gates’ – and on the inside. Over centuries, Easter Roman Empire had many enemies – Huns, Khazars, Arabs, Vikings, Ottamans and many, many others. Each of this groups was coming with next war that could ‘end the world’. What was joining them was secret support of night-dwellers, wanting to tear down Empire, once and for all. However Horde was not only on the outside – but was infiltrating Night Society in the inside. From the times of Ancient Rome, at least handful of monsters were doing their own ‘Saturnalia’, preparing for the end of world. With enemies on the outside and inside – Byzantine Empire finally was no more. In 900’s Horde dogma mixed with Vikings legends of Ragnarok – and modern Naglfar’s Army was created from there.
                      Last edited by wyrdhamster; 03-28-2019, 03:20 AM.


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                      • #71
                        There is interesting implication of this Sworn factions spread - most of Mage Orders ( with Seers counted ) and most of Seasonal Courts of Changeling ( Winter, Spring and Summer ) are in the Athanatoi - and they all cooperate in sustaining the Empire, but also compete with each other. The only left are Keepers of the Word with Pancryptiates in Omphalos - and Autumn Court that, probably, will be split in two - those that are more interested in 'moral lessons' will come to Jeremiad. Those Autumn Courtiers interest in knowledge will come to Omphalos. It's also interesting that most influential after Plague is Jeremiad - when with the largest number is Athanatoi. But later are fighting constantly inside of them, so it has reasons.

                        I still don't have idea where Tremere - as Pentacle Order in that time - should gravitate to. Maybe Jeremiad, as they look for 'immoral' mages?

                        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                        From History of Awakend topic, based on Left Hand Path book:

                        '8th century AD: Tremere join Diamond - In Eastern Europe, one or two Tremere demanded hospitality at Diamond wizards’ towers. Quickly follow them whole cabals, showing carcasses of monsters they fought to assure good intentions. Tremere were warrior-sorcerers and students of the soul who promised to lead the Awakened to a new age of splendor, built on the ashes of burning enemies. They hunted Seers and Scelesti, but demand selected Reapers and vampires as tribute for the balance of their wrath. They preached that Atlantis’s faithful willworkers were the natural lords of souls. Anyone who challenged their crowns deserved to burn. '

                        '1099: Banishment of Tremere - Silver Ladder lictor Caterine Bedlam told the Convocation of Antioch what many now suspected: the Tremere was a Legacy of Reapers who hunted their own kind. It labeled them as Nefandi by Convocation, with banishment and ‘forgetting’ of Tremere Order members – their magical tools were destroyed, as any grimoires, soul stones, or imbued items they created. Their Shadow Name becomes illegal to utter and were replaced in all Consilium records by “Nefandi:” the name that is not a name and cannot be spoken. As other Convocations followed move that of Antioch done, within few decades Tremere were officially excommunicated from Diamond be every European Convocations, becoming target for Reaper hunters they ones been.'


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                        • #72
                          Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                          There is interesting implication of this Sworn factions spread - most of Mage Orders ( with Seers counted ) and most of Seasonal Courts of Changeling ( Winter, Spring and Summer ) are in the Athanatoi - and they all cooperate in sustaining the Empire, but also compete with each other. The only left are Keepers of the Word with Pancryptiates in Omphalos - and Autumn Court that, probably, will be split in two - those that are more interested in 'moral lessons' will come to Jeremiad. Those Autumn Courtiers interest in knowledge will come to Omphalos. It's also interesting that most influential after Plague is Jeremiad - when with the largest number is Athanatoi. But later are fighting constantly inside of them, so it has reasons.

                          I still don't have idea where Tremere - as Pentacle Order in that time - should gravitate to. Maybe Jeremiad, as they look for 'immoral' mages?

                          In all likelihood, it is individuals who who'll gravitate towards difference sects of the Sworn and the False, not entire factions.
                          Last edited by Second Chances; 03-28-2019, 01:04 PM.


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                          • #73
                            Originally posted by Second Chances View Post

                            I all likelyhood, it is individuals who who'll gravitate towards difference sects of the Sworn and the False, not entire factions.
                            Truth is spoken here.


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                            • #74
                              Originally posted by Second Chances View Post
                              In all likelihood, it is individuals who who'll gravitate towards difference sects of the Sworn and the False, not entire factions.
                              True, but stereotypes are made on some basis. Like, most Blood Talons will be in factions related to military or para-military types. So some generalization are to be made in setting building, to see how situation looks like, in broad strokes.


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                              • #75
                                Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post

                                True, but stereotypes are made on some basis. Like, most Blood Talons will be in factions related to military or para-military types. So some generalization are to be made in setting building, to see how situation looks like, in broad strokes.
                                True, but the problem is that there's a lot of ways that person might take that an interpret it in any crossover sort of situation, nevermind in context of the Contagion.

                                Like, going with the Blood Talon, it's easy to read them as going Zero Hour, thanks to Protagonist Warrior cast, buuuuuut

                                Any Talon that is concerned with the betterment of themselves into being an Apex Predator will have cause to be in the Ship of THeseus.
                                Any Talon that has an abundance of humanity in their pack and considers their wellbeing something to govern over has cause to be in the Cryptocracy.
                                Any Talon who considers the Contagion who can reasonably consider it's warp and weft an affront to Moon and Wolf has cause to be in the Jeremiad.
                                Any Talon who thinks that their's no action too drastic against winning against the Contagion has cause to be in the Crucible Initiative.
                                Any Talon whose willing to win against foes that challenge them and their pack no matter the cost has cause to be in the Machiavelli Gambit.
                                Any Talon who thinks this is the end of days and is willing to exploit that to emerge the victor in the new world against ancient foes has cause to be in Naglfar's Army.

                                And I'm sure if I thought about it, I could answer why a Blood Talon would join the Rosetta Society.

                                A Blood Talon will always have prediliections, but what they think being a Blood Talon means and how one should go about it, who makes up their pack, who are their enemies, how they feel about others and whether their character matters more than their actions or not, if they are concerned with the Contagion or not and how much-all of these things will speak to which faction they might join (if they join one at all!) as much if not more so than the mere fact that they are a Blood Talon.

                                THe Factions care about attitudes towards the Contagions and unifying means of problem solving. If the Contagion is not a thing in the game you are running, then Factions are basically organizations of monsters who are united by how they deal with problems and not by the ideology that directs those actions. Such things will largely come down to the local politics and ideas of that bit of the Faction.


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