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We believe in Spode, the one true Deity, singular and infinite, who encompasses all existence and yet is one, who is Dei'nar, the Force of Creation, and Espotha'nar, the Encompassing Heaven, and Eola'nar, the Voice that Brings Truth and Raala'nar, the Primordial Chaos. From it all order and reason emanate and into its shadow we shall return once it wills it so. We believe in Spode's Messengers and Prophets: their enlightenment is our Scripture and our key towards liberation and reunification with the heavens, may Spode have mercy on us all. Whosoever proclaims this creed with faith and truth in their hearts, let it be known by all that they are Spodist, no matter their species, age, sex or rite. All is One. One is All.

- The Uniate Creed, a universal symbol of faith agreed upon by the churches of the Great Communion.

The Divine League of Uniate Spodist Nations, usually referred to simply as the Uniate League, is an intergovernmental organisation of Spodist nations founded in 2810 following the Marko Colonial War and Da Reckoning. It serves as a secular extension of the Great Communion, a monumental reunification of the Gigaqudrant's many Spodist churches: most of the League's member states either have one of these Uniate churches as their state religion, or large portions of their populations that adhere to them. A brainchild of the Divinarian nationalist Phaunar Tansimael and Pazumiri cleric Kazari Selfar, the League serves as a spiritual successor to the pre-War of Ages Church of Spode, more so than its actual legal successor, the Holy Empire of the Divinarium.

Rather than a small tightly knit federation of only a few species and sectors like the Divinarium, the League is a global encompassing union, spanning throughout many states and several galaxies, much like the Church of old. Its key member states are the the League's original founders, the Divinarium and the Grand Spodist Church; amongst its other members are the Mirusian Theocratic Congregation and the Successors of Mas'asi. Certain non-Spodist-majority states, that however possess large Spodist minorities, are accepted into the League as observers. The League's governing body takes form of several Synods, each devoted to a particular aspect of the life of the faithful, from arts to trade, formed from representatives brought from each member state.

The League does not aspire to be a state or even a political union, nor to displace regional empires and alliances such as the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene or the Allied Bunsen Galaxy: its vast extent makes such a goal impossible to achieve. Rather, it operates on a different level: to foster a sense of fraternity and kinship between fellow believers, to facilitate trade between its member states, alleviate technological gaps between, as well as to aid them preserve their cultures and traditions. However, despite being an economic and cultural union first and foremost, the League also possesses significant soft power through its religious authority, and is associated with a number of military religious orders, as well as the armies and fleets of its member states - which, while not obliged by to partake in military operations ordained by the League, are often compelled to do so by honour and faith.

HistoryEdit

MembersEdit

The League's membership closely reflects that of the Great Communion: as a rule of thumb, if the majority of a state's population belongs to a Spodist church which is part of the latter, then it is likely admitted to the former as well. Despite its religious character, member states of the League do not necessarily have to be theocratic, or have a state religion: a "historical cultural connection to the Spodist nations of the Gigaqudrant" is all that is necessary to be accepted into. Despite this fact, certain Spodist-majority nations, like the TIAF, have specifically rejected membership, or joined only as observers. These nations' rulers have stated that entering the League would contradict the secular character of their governments, or even pave way to their eventual theocratisation.

Outside the aforementioned observer states, which also include some nations with significant Spodist minorities such as the Tybusen Intergalactic Allied Federation, all members of the League are considered, at least de jure, to be equal. However, due to their historical importance in the Spodist world and their role in the League's formation, the Grand Spodist Church and the Divinarium are de facto primi inter pares, especially in religious affairs.

Note: This list is currently under construction and is incomplete.

GovernmentEdit

The SynodsEdit

Uniate Synod Emblem

Rotten become the fruits of wisdom which are not shared.

- An excerpt from the Scrolls of Faith, used as the Synods' official motto

The League does not seek to supplant the sovereignty of its member states. Though some of its leaders certainly wish for it to one day become a Gigaquadrantic power, they do not intend it to be, nor to ever become, a true empire: this was the mistake of the Clericarchs of old which they shall not repeat. Instead, the League's methods of governance are largely indirect, and its decisions advisory. However, to rely solely on strongly worded messages would of course be folly, and lead to impotence and corruption. This is why Synods exists.

Synods are, simply enough, councils of professionals in a certain field that gather to formulate the official stance of the Uniate League in said field. For example, the Synod of Reason determines which sciences are forbidden for the faithful and which would lead to prosperity in this world and the next - and should thus be developed - and protects the rights and interests of scientists in the Spodist world in general. Certain Synods are relatively unimportant and lack true authority; others, like the Synod of Commerce, are vital to the League's functioning.

With very few exceptions, the Synods never make laws: they are not legislatures per se. Rather, they provide advice. Said advice is enforced on the local level by the member states themselves: in purely theocratic states this is done via clerics subordinate to the Grand Synod; in secular League states, through pro-League Spodist parties and movements. Should a League member act against the "party line", it is entirely within their capability. However, the individual authority of the Synods' members - as they only accept those who are already esteemed in their countries of origin - and the sacral aura that surrounds their posts, appointed by the highermost clerics of the Great Communion, makes sure their voices are usually heard. Those who continuously disrespect the advice of the League's holy insitutions are subject to economic sanctions by its member states, which, to smaller countries, can often prove debilitating.

Grand SynodEdit

Emblem of the Grand Synod

To all those faithful who hear me, let it be known that this crown is no longer mine alone. The burden that it carries, of ten thousand Clericarchs before me who wore it, cannot fall upon an empress of but one realm. Let the Diadem of Twilight thus fall from my head and become the symbol of this august body, for it now wields the power of the Divine Throne of old.

- Clericarch Iovera upon the formation of the Grand Communion

At the pinnacle of the League's power structures is the Grand Clericarchal Synod of the Holy Diptych, or the Grand Synod for short. First convened in 2800 by Kazari Selfar, it numbered over 500 attendees, high priests of Spode from all over the Gigaqudrant, and mostly concerned the matters of faith and the Great Communion's formation. However, the Second Grand Synod of 2810, which was much smaller, was already a political institution, and its members discussed not only religious dilemmas but also the issues of international relationships and the newly formed Marko state. This was the start of the League proper, and the Grand Synods now convene every 8 Qaelorian years.

The Grand Synod is comprised of the highermost religious authorities of every church that accepted the Great Communion, which hold the title of Hierarch. However, certain clerics of lower rank are also sometimes present at its meetings, such as the Patriarch of the Successors of Mas'asi (technically subordinate to the Clericarch of the Divinarium). This is largely done for the sake of representation, as the Communion churches' structure does not necessarily reflect that of their member states. For instance, the Hierarch of Bunsen - the Divine Regent of the Pazumiri Church - represents not just the Grand Spodist Church but also the Spodists in the Tybusen Intergalactic Allied Federation. Also for the sake of representation, the Grand Synod is also advised by the Synod Temporal, comprised of secular officials brought from each member state. Though relatively impotent compared to its secular counterpart, it has a say in managing the League's shared budget and can veto the Grand Synod's decisions, though only by overwhelming majority.

The Grand Synod's Hierarchs are considered to collectively wield the same spiritual power as the Clericarchs of the Old Church, and indeed the institution is stated to be the official successor to the Divine Throne. However, its actual powers are of course much more limited than those Jaharan or even Telfar possessed. Its main task, outside of solving the occasional spiritual conundrum like if Spode can exist outside of the universe, is appointing members to the lesser Synods and setting the broad goals and plans for the nations of the faithful. Every meeting is thus concluded with a certain motto, which represents the direction of the League for the next years. The motto of the last Grand Synod, convened in 2818, was Peace and Resistance, showing the League's dedication to resolving the new galactic conflicts.

High SecretariatEdit

Emblem of the High Secretaries

If the Hierarchs are the manifest wisdom of Spode, we are its manifest will. Or rather, that is what we always strive to be.

- Phaunar Tansimael

While the Grand Synod is not assembled, the stewardship of the League's institutions falls instead on the shoulders of the two High Secretaries appointed by it. Their office (sometimes referred collectively as the High Secretariat) is compared by some to the office of Lord Protector in the Ecumene, but is officially descended from the Old Church tradition for the Clericarch to have two chief ministers under them: one a layman, the other a priest. In a similar way, while one High Secretary is always a high-ranked cleric (though not an Hierarch), the other never is, and comes from a secular background.

The High Secretaries, officially at least, are simple caretakers who merely enact the will of the Grand Synod. Yet their de facto powers are quite wide, as all of the Synods ultimately answer to them, thus granting them a say in all of the League's international projects. They also represent the League's interests in international diplomacy, and are thus considered by many to be its face in foreign politics. That being said, the High Secretaries are still bound to act within the edicts of their superiors, and can be evicted if they continuously disobey them. It should also be noted that much of the office's current power comes from the fact that its holders are also the League's founders; in theory, if Tansimael and Selfar step down, their sucessors would not enjoy as much authority as they do at the moment.

AstrographyEdit

Restoration of Vendespode

The reconstruction of Enara City on Vendespode.

As League membership is not based on astrographical factors (like, say, in the Pan-Andromedan Ecumene or the Polar Crystal Alliance), but solely on religious and cultural kinship, its territories are highly disjointed. Its member states are spread over the entirety of the Gigaquadrant, from the distant Quadrant Galaxies throughout the Endless Space to Bunsen. This is both a strength and a weakness for the League. Though in terms of economy, its great extent grants it access to numerous galactic markets, it also makes it more difficult for its member states to come to aid if one of them is invaded. The wormhole network created by the Divinarium alleviates this issue somewhat, but it works primarily for trade vessels and cannot transport large military flotillas.

Very few territories are actually governed by the League's directly - owing in part to the nature of the organisation, in part to how disjointed its member states are. Even most stations and facilities built under the League's initiative belong de jure to the states in whose space they were constructed, or to the religious orders under its jurisdisction. However, there is one important exception: Vendespode.

Upon the Great Communion's formation, the once-lifeless former homeworld of the Radeon people and the holiest world for the followers of Spode has been partially restored to life as a joint effort by the League's members, and turned into the League's headquarters. The reconstructed ruins of Enara, once the capital of the Old Church, have been domed and rebuilt to house the offices of the Synods and the High Secretaries, with the formal Clericarchal Palace turned into the Hall of Assembly for the convening Hierarchs. Vendespode serves as the focal point of the League, and thus belongs to no state in particular; yet all of its members are expected to send their ships and troops to safeguard this holy place.

MilitaryEdit

Golden Flag Parade

The parading warriors of the Order of the Golden Banner, and its grandmaster, Graltoc Eldenfalth

There shan't be one great broadsword in the hands of Spode. A single sword may break, or dull, or miss its mark, blinded by vice. But let there be in its place a thousand lesser blades, for while one may fail, the whole shall never falter.

- Grand Master Graltoc of the Order of the Golden Banner

The League does not have a true shared military. Outside of a few flotillas devoted to the protection of the League's jointly owned stations and facilities, donated by its member states, there is no real unified Uniate army that the Grand Synod or the High Secretaries can call upon. This is part of the League's original foundations: it was meant to be built first on foremost on shared faith and culture, and not through force. Therefore to avoid the League becoming an imperialist giant, any large-scale military projects are strictly forbidden by its foundation charter.

However, that is not to say that the League lacks teeth: it can protect its interests, albeit in a more unorthodox way. Under the Grand Synod's protection there is a number of religious military orders, devoted to the protection of the faithful or the propagation of Spodism. Some were formed recently, while many predate the Grand Communion but felt honour-bound to join it. Although the League cannot directly fund them, it guarantees these orders the right to bear arms (as long as they stay within the borders of Spodist morality). These militant groups frequently use military-grade equipment, vehicles and spaceships, and although disorganised, are fanatical and numerous, and provide the League with enough muscle for power projection, especially if one also accounts for the actual militaries of its member states.

It should be noted, however, that the Spodist orders cannot be directly commanded by the League's government: many are dedicated to protecting specific holy site, or battling a specific enemy. It thus often takes a declaration from the Grand Synod itself to coax these orders into acting - it has to be decreed that Spodists are persecuted somewhere, or that a certain country has committed a grave sin against Spode and needs to be punished. It takes further effort to make different orders work together as a cohesive force, as their members are often quite proud of their history and would refuse to serve under an outsider.

Order of the Golden BannerEdit

Order of the Golden Flag
  • Headquarters: Vendespode
  • Leader: Grandmaster Graltoc Eldenfalth
  • Motto: We stand on guard for thee.

Formed shortly after the Great Communion, the Order of the Golden Banner was formed under the initiative of Kazari Selfar as an organisation of pious and patriotic Spodists to defend the newly rebuilt holy world of Vendespode. The Order took their colours after the golden-yellow of the sands which used to cover the Radeon homeworld, and their main emblem - the laurel-tailed serpent coiling around the orb of balance - after the legendary vine dragons that once prowled these sands. Like these fearsome beasts, the Order is dormant, yet vigilant, in times of peace, but will readily take arms and retaliate with deadly force once the holy world is threatened anyhow.

Due to the importance of their mission, the Golden Banners are funded well enough to field their own fleet and armour, and receive much better training on average than members of other militant orders. Many of its soldiers and officers are former members of the military, and all of its adherents treat their duty with cold professionalism and thorough dedication. Golden Banners are also specially trained to operate in hostile environment, so as to endure the lifeless wastes that still cover much of Vendespode, and their vehicles are engineered to withstand extreme heat, sandstorms, and even dark essences. This makes members of the Golden Banner very sought out in conflicts involving extreme environmental conditions, either as specialists or as instructors.

Order of the MissionistusEdit

Missionistus Symbol
  • Headquarters: Narzaspoda
  • Leader: Brother Mahalalel
  • Central Prayer:: In Spode there is peace. Elsewhere, there is only death.

Hailing from the Narzass sector of an unknown galaxy, they were originally formed as an extermination army bent on the destruction of the Psionic users in the Tigris Galaxy after seeing it grow and take away a big portion of Spode believers. They passed into the annals of history as fanatical warriors who would stop at nothing until their goal would be fulfilled, reknown to punish the mighty Civatrons for 10 long years of war. After being defeated at the end of the Inquisition War, the survivors retreated to the Andromeda galaxy, where the quadrillions of Spode followers welcomed them.

Spore 2017-01-31 23-39-18

The Missionistus landing on a new planet, eager to spread the word of Spode and bring order to the galaxy.

Today, their fanatism still lives on. After their arrival in Andromeda, the Missionistus diligently dedicated their efforts to preach, sometimes by the use of force, the teachings of Spode. Although their doctrine tends to be violent at times, their constant pursuit of heretics and corrosive philosophies, such as chaos worshipers, has helped to spread Spode worship in Andromeda, opening the way for preachers and bringers of Spode's word to establish lasting congregations in the fringe worlds of the League.

The Missionistus dedicate themselves to recruit new members into their order by sending splinter flotillas to planets near their sphere of influence in times of peace. When the opportunity to dedicate a great crusade to Spode comes, all followers belonging to the Order of the Missionistus are assembled in one of the great, yet technologically stagnated, three main fleets. Their exploits, albeit unorthodox for the Church of Spode, have helped cement the line, in a way, between order and chaos in the galaxy. Their emblem is interpreted as a shield to all who put their trust in Spode, yet it's sharp edges symbolize that they will pierce any threat when necessary.

EconomyEdit

Crepuscular Commerce Hall

Large centers of commerce like Sanctuarium are key to the League's trade network.

Let it be decreed, that as the joy in the hearts of those who follow Spode is the greatest evidence of its Truth, it is natural for the faithful to wish to spread this joy. Therefore no artificial barriers to withhold the faithful from sharing their material and spiritual wealth shall be suffered by this Synod.

- First Decree of the Synod of Commerce

The Uniate League's most notorious contribution to the Gigaqudrant has been its numerous economical projects meant to facilitate trade between its members. Since 2810, through the policies of the Synod of Commerce, tariffs between Uniate states have been significantly reduced and numerous free trade agreements signed - known collectively as the Synodial Compacts. As most members of the League are spread across the Gigaquadrant with no actual shared borders, the Divinarium has been funding the construction of a large-scale wormhole network to connect the most important trade hubs in the alliance. This would allow goods to be transported bypassing important Gigaquadrantic hyperlanes, serving to strengthen the economical independence of League states (at least from the unbelievers).

So far, this network is far from complete, with only the most important wormhole routes (such as Andromeda-Bunsen) finished - yet its effects on international economy are already felt. The League's existence has changed how trade is conducted in the Gigaquadrant. Large centers of commerce and industry, such as Sanctuarium in the Milky Way and Petragar in Bunsen, were allowed to extend their businesses beyond their home galaxies, exporting their products and services to previously untapped markets. Detractors of the League claim that the Synodial Compacts are merely tools of Crepusculum and Quilyuon's economic imperialism, but its supporters would point at the increased growth of the smaller League states' economies and state that domination by greater powers such as the Civilisation is by far the greater evil.

However, material goods are not the only thing that the new agreements have brought. Equally important, if not more so, is the transmission of ideas and beliefs. After all, the League was originally formed to protect the identity of Spodist nations and safeguard their cultural heritage, and this can only be done by making their own culture stronger. Media of all kinds produced by its member states are translated into different languages and spread all over the Spodist world. Meanwhile, the Synod of Reason funds international scientific projects and actively promotes technological exchange. Thus, even the smallest, least advanced members of the League can share in some of its most advanced members' know-hows.

QuotesEdit

Now, isn't that glorious.

- Phaunar Tansimael

We will lead the people of Spode into a new brighter future - not as kings, but as equals.

- Clericarch Iovera

The Ecumene wishes the people of the League well. Let us never forget the importance of Andromeda to the Spodist religion and the Spodist religion to Andromeda.

- Lord Protector Viabel Shantis

GalleryEdit

SymbolsEdit

TriviaEdit

In-universeEdit

  • The snowbloom that is used as the main symbol of the Uniate League was traditionally associated with Divine Seranai, the first unifier of the Radeon species, who was said to be fond of it since childhood, having been born in a snowbloom garden herself. Her followers thus occasionally bore it on their banners, yet despite this fact it would never become an actual state emblem of the Old Church. Thus the snowbloom became a common symbol of Spodism and Spodist culture, yet remain free of political undertones, which allowed Tansimael and Selfar to use it for the League.
  • How the Isio'Nar and the Anointed are involved in the League remains to be seen, although it is certain they are involved somehow: it is likely that at least some Synods have some Anointed members carefully steering the Spodist nations in the direction beneficial to the Isio'Nar. In terms of religion, reverence of the Messengers was decreed in the Uniate Creed to be acceptable, but not enforced.

Out of universeEdit

  • The Uniate League has no true real-life inspiration, although it was influenced somewhat by a number of real-life IGOs, and the relationships between the Christian churches in Eastern Europe.
    • The term Uniate itself was taken from the Uniate Churches in Ukraine and Belarus, which retained their traditional Orthodox rites and maintained a degree of independence, while accepting the rule of the Pope and considering the Catholics in Western Europe as brethren. The churches in the Uniate League and its member states exist in a similar state.
  • The Uniate League as a concept was planned since Summer 2016, but the article itself was written over the course of January 2017.

Further ReadingEdit

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