First Order established

In 390, after years of work, Talon of Pritt invented the printing press. Everyone was very interested in this, as everyone in the world loved to read. Until now, the word 'writer' had commonly referred to anyone whose job it was to copy out books and other reading materials by hand. Soon, though, it would refer exclusively to those who wrote the original, which would then be copied by printers. The old writers were now out of jobs, so most of them became printers.

The word of the invention was spread at first largely by spirit-talkers. They were all very interested in printing the O'Gas. But no village had complete hand-written copies. They all had the earliest parts, the books of Connor and Brigitte, Brist, and other early spirit-talkers. They also had books of local spirit-talkers, but nothing recent from other villages. And so, they sent people around from village to village, collecting all the disparate books, so that they could be put together in an official O'Gas, for all the Land to read. It was during the years that this gathering went on that word of the invention was spread to the common people, who started printing secular as well as quasi-religious works.

It was difficult to keep up with the developing books of the O'Gas, as spirit-talkers still talked to spirits, and so new parts were written. There were also parts written that were not about conversations with spirits. Finally, the spirit-talkers decided they would need a central organization to their religion. Until now there had always been a minimum of contact between villages, and people seemed to like it that way. But this situation struck the spirit-talkers as very disorderly, and they realized their whole religion was based on order. So they set out to distinguish themselves from the rest of society, by making themselves more orderly.

In 404, they gave their religion a name, calling it the Order. They then established a hierarchy within the Order. All were still called spirit-talkers, but that term also came to refer to the lowest level of the Order. There would from now on be one spirit-talker who presided over the Order, and he would be called arch-bishop. Under him, each village would have its own bishop, and some of these would have vicebishops. Under these were the ordinary spirit-talkers. In Brist's time, of course, there had only been one village, and he'd been its bishop, but that was more of an honorary title, not an actual position as it now was in the Order. It was decided, however, to retroactively recognize him as the Land's first arch-bishop.

In the same year the Order was established, it founded the village Monab, which would be the religious capital of the world, where the arch-bishop would reside. The village was actually first proposed, during the Order's organizing, by a spirit-talker named Archibald, who was upon Monab's founding voted its bishop. (Arch-bishop was Malcolm, though they joked between them that maybe Archibald should have been arch-bishop because of the 'arch' in his name.) All spirit-talkers would make a regular yearly pilgrimage to Monab for a religious conference in the month of Su'gin. Aside from this, spirit-talkers would regularly send aides to Monab to deliver messages, including new passages for the O'Gas. The aides would then bring back any new information from Monab to the various villages.

The Order had vague hopes that the secular world would be influenced by their new system, and start organizing itself politically, form a central government, and other such things. It did not. But, the Order was content for the time being.


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All contents of this site David A. Ward

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