“Father Salas, as an authority on matters of The Golden Rule of Gideon, if you were instructing a new convert, what would you say is the most important thing they should know about it?”
“A greenback?”, Salas spit on the ground in contempt.
“No, let’s say it’s someone from across the sea. An islander, perhaps.”
“Almost as bad, but at least an islander’ll usually keep ‘is word. You can ne’er trust a greeenback. They are no respecters of laws nor of men, and commit all manner of treacheries.” He paused to take a sip of ale and swallowed it hard.
“Well, to start, our patron, Gideon, is the supreme power of the world. He created everything, even the other gods, though some of them rebelled and ain’t worth my spit, nor a newcomer’s spare thought.
“It is Gideon who caused the oldest faith, The Golden Rule, to be written. The Golden Rule is the complete collection of the doctrine Gideon set out for us, and our dedication to following The Golden Rule determines our fate. In the end, Gideon weighs us, gives us our due measure, and if we are found wanting, he takes his due from us.”
“I see. You mentioned other gods?”
“Aye, I did. Gideon’s consort is Bethany – called the White Lady. She is the goddess of home and hearth, gives us comfort in times of need, and if we do right by her she might well intercede for us with Gideon at the Great Reckoning if we are good and share our blessings with others and with the Church.
“Then there are the Dark Gods that rebelled. Their followers call them Oberon and Viviane, but we know them by their true names; for they are none other than Bachus, the Horned One and Morrigan, the Death Crone, masked to lead the unwary astray with their false faith that they call The Greenway.
“And finally, there is Chalandris, the Spirit of the World. Chalandris inhabits all the land and the deepest oceans, from the desert wastes to the highest mountains, across the plains and the hills and valleys, the meadows and swamps. Chalandris takes no side between the Lord and Lady of Light and the Dark Ones, but looks after the world instead. The Greenway of Bachus and Morrigan is nothing more than a twisted version of the laws of nature adapted to serve their own dark purposes. This is how you can see that their Greenway is false, for all it is, is a mockery of Chalandris.”
“You mentioned a Great Reckoning? What is that?”
“At the end of all days, Bethany will descend in all her glory, collect all the souls of the world so they will not suffer. Then, she will draw up all the souls of those who have died throughout all the ages and they will be brought together to Gideon’s Golden Hall, where every life that has ever been lived will be judged by Gideon according to The Golden Rule, with Bethany interceding on behalf of those who have earned it. Those who are deemed worthy will dwell with Gideon and Bethany for all eternity in their Golden Halls, while those who are found wanting will receive a traitor’s death, same as that Bachus and his Crone.”
“You said that the Dark Gods rebelled. What happened there?”
“Aye. Seems as back at the dawn of the world, Oberon, who had been created, you’ll remember, by Gideon, thought that he should rule it. Gideon had even created Oberon’s consort, the beautiful Viviane. But that wasn’t enough for Oberon. He was greedy. So great was his greed and envy that he was completely consumed by it. His greed and envy influenced Viviane, as well, and before long, they both looked upon Gideon’s works as their own birthright. But to come into what they believed was their inheritance, they had to be rid of Gideon and usurp his place in the heavens. But Gideon is wise and saw the treachery in their hearts; and once he saw what they had become, he cast them down before they could unseat him. Gideon then named Oberon “Bachus, the Horned One”, and he took back Viviane’s beauty and named her “Morrigan, the Death Crone”. The Dark Gods, Bachus and Morrigan, lie always in wait to lead astray those who waver in their faith to follow The Golden Rule. It is not good to even speak of them.”