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Medieval Conspiracies

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  • Medieval Conspiracies

    Before Malleus Maleficarum was formed in the 15th century, and officially recognized by the Pope in the 16th century, do you imagine there were any Church sanctioned Hunters in Western Europe? Did Benedictions exist yet? If so, who wielded them?


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  • #2
    I think that 'conspiracy of saints' is in order. Middle Ages are tumult era where many people claiming having powers from God - and filling lists of official Church saints. And Benediction look like saints miracles.

    But then schisms come. In 1054 we have official Great West-East Schism ( already two-three centuries in the making) and then Luther's Reformation in 1517 year. For me, creation of Malleus Maleficarum was Vatican contreformation move to centralize power over 'blessed' hunters, in various churches.

    So yes, I think from at least time of Apostoles, should be conspiracy of 'Saints' - people blessed by the God in hunting monsters. I would not be surprised if they even come from Old Kingdom of Israel traditions.

    I would simply called them 'Saints' or 'Blessed' in Latin or Greek. 😎 ( Will check it later how it would translate. )
    Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-26-2020, 10:00 AM.


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    • #3
      There is also Cainaite Heresy. I do not remember much on them as read them once, years ago, but they were clearly connected to the story of Church and Cain Myth in Christanity.


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      • #4
        'Saint' in Latin is Sanctus, Blessed is 'Benedictus'. In Greek is Agios (Αγιος) and Evlogiménos (Ευλογημένος), respectively.
        Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-26-2020, 12:30 AM.


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        • #5
          First take on late Antiquity and Medieval forefathers of Malleus Maleficarum. 8-)

          Benedictus
          God’s Army

          Quote: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ( Matthew 28:17–20 )

          Lord have commanded us all to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons. Benedictus were in the business of last one. Started as one of many communes of Christians in few years after Jesus resurrection, what would later become conspiracy was local group of worshippers. When they were confronted with demon possessing their people in their region, they come to what they God command them. Benedicti captured victim and prayed all night for it’s soul. Lord has answered them that night and cast out demon.

          Worshippers quickly found out there are many other monsters that need to fight on, passing as false idols. Many of them assume guise of pagan gods. When Christianity come to Rome, Benedictus were already thriving hunters compact in their communes. Some members were blessed by the Lord with powers of miracles, after long prayers. Later known as Benedictions, they become mark of the forming conspiracy. Those that were having them were putted as leaders of their communes, priests or layman.

          When Christianity become state religion of Roman Empire, Benedicti become main conspiracy of newest Church. Still, divided internally on many topics, it was connected by their mission and powers of Benedictions from God. But once Church start to crack, the group also. Tradition of Benedictions endowed members leading their congregations brought internal strife and conflicts between what later would be described as cells. Many leaders had many conflicting ideas over what good Christian hunters should really do. Only the backbones and prudence of the Church may have tempered the characters of the subsequent Benedicti. The most stable structures of ecclesiastical powers let conspiracy to flourished. It’s no wonder that organisation followed where the Church was strong, even when, from time to time, ‘heretics’ in it’s ranks show up or separated from main body.

          Problem came when Church broke. In 1054 come East–West Schism that split Christians. Till this time were already Benedicti on West and Evlogiménos on East, but they treated as brothers and sisters in faith. With schism come fall out of breaking links even in hunters conspiracy. With coming centuries, decentralized Orthodox Church was getting worse when it comes to helping his Benedicti. They show up, spontaneously, but structures were fractured. On West, Popes doctrine made them much more stable. Not in the closest to centralized Malleus Maleficarum of coming centuries, but in Latiners world conspiracy was thriving, even with internal conflicts. The slow killing blow to East came with Fourth Crusade and sack of Constantinople in 1204. Still, from time to time, there are rumors of Benedicti spontaneous showing in Orthodox parishes.

          Benedictus was as strong as their Mother Church. Heresies like Cathars shook it’s communities. It is why Inquisition was created in year 1184. It was local cleansing movement in Languedoc in south of France. In passing decades, coming Popes called next Inquisitions to various regions, making it more and more constant institution in Church. In 13th century popular were callings sages of ecclesiastical law in tribunals. By 14th century almost all countries of Europe, beside England and Castile, had their own Grand Inquisitor. Inquisition fought with heresies from Roman Church. Many cells of Benedictus looked like those, so they were attacked by those tribunals. Spanish Inquisition was called in 1478 and was greatest embodiment of this institution. By that time, most cells incompatible with the thoughts of the Popes had gone out. In 1487 published is book Malleus Maleficarum and in few years compact of previous Benedicti based on this was formed, in secret. In 1567 Pope Paul III recognize Malleus as official Shadow Congregation of hunters. Rest of the Blessed needed to join – or be killed.

          The Enemy

          There is literal Hell in this world. Demons, warlocks and monsters stalk the God’s Earth. We must fight them, in the name of Lord. Each monster is disgrace in the eyes of the Father, but forces of Inferno – demons and witches - has priority over other threats. Even demonspawn that try to talk they do their own Vigil under command of this witch Lucifuge from Milan.

          Factions

          Benedictus have very loose organization, with each Endowed leader ruling local Church commune he or she rose up. They are, however, bounded by the factions inside the Church itself – and later, in separate Churches or Orders. Almost constantly are showing rouge members, starting their own heretical cults.

          Latiners are those in Catholic Church that follow Pope as leader of their organization. They try to connect with rest of West Church, however, sometimes members are called heretical simply by being different than rest of the flock. Name comes from that they follow liturgy in Latin. From this group future Malleus Maleficarum will come.

          Orthodox are those following Greek Rite and egalitarian take of various Patriarchs on the East. This take on ruling the Church leads to much more individual sway – and many Benedicti in this faction are much more independent. This freedom comes with the cost of much weaker structural support. In coming centuries, Orthodox hunters will stop being world conspiracy, becoming rather Endowed compact.

          Undecided are those like they are named – unsure what future will have Church and what should the do. They do not want to follow one dogma over another, much more wanting to strife to prefect hunting. In later years, they successors can start groups like Long Night.
          Last edited by wyrdhamster; 02-29-2020, 10:10 PM.


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          • #6
            glamourweaver, what about other organisations? We know that Cherion Group in those times was known as Acheron Shipping & Trading Co. or the House of Katz - any other Compact or Conspiracy surviving from Middle Ages? Surely Council of Bones would have some incarnation of it in those times.


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            • #7
              I actually would prefer Benedictions to start with the MM. While I am not against having older Christian compacts, having yet another catholic conspiracy with the same Endowments not that far from the MM's creations feels like it cheapens it a bit, IMO.

              And yeah, some incarnation of Cheiron is definitely around, and so would the Council of Bones, the AKD and the Ascending Ones. The Lucifuge also probably have some presence, even though they are still relatively young, and also the Cainte Heresy in some different structure, and some incarnation of the Knights of St George (needs to check out some dates, but they were around in the Crusades, at the very least).

              Now, if Benediction would have been in the hands of some non Church backed organization, especially not a Catholic one, it could be interesting. The Chathars come to mind, for example, even though I still need to double check some dates.


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              • #8
                Thinking about my year 800 game in Constantinopole, I thought about homebrew Compacts and Conspiracies that could be active then. Of course, one of them should be connected to military or police ( in previous century it was the same ), so analyzing my own write-ups of military units in Byzantine Empire Dark Era...


                Originally posted by Byzantine Empire Dark Era
                Tagmata ( gr. TaHmata ) – meaning Regiments – were special unit created circa 750 AD, separated from Themes armies, mainly Opiskion one. It was elite force, full professional, loyal to Emperor himself under his personal command, to be deployed where he need them. They were divided into six divisions – three cavalierly and three infantry. Cavalierly where named the Scholai, the Exkoubitores and the Vigla ( la. Watch ), named after various Palace forces. The Hikanatoi (Gr. "the Able Ones"), were established later by Emperor Nikephoros I in 810 AD. Each was four thousands man strong. Infantry units were called Noumeroi ( Gr. "Number" ) , the Teichistai (Gr. "The Walls") and Optimatoi (Gr. "the Best" ). The last one were dedicated to organising baggage train for cavaliers on campaign. All of them were stationed in Constantinople ( Noumeroi and Teichistai ) or in near provinces – Thrace or Anatolia -, waiting for direct Emperors orders. They were not other supreme commander of Tagmata.
                So interesting would be Tagmata related military Compact. Good name sounds as Vigla ( literal Vigile ), but then as groups idea I think that Optimatoi sounds as much more interesting - 'helping' others prepare to conflicts. Sound as something hunter org would do in the long plan... What do you think about it?


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