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Not to be confused with Celtic, an unrelated group of peoples from Old World Europe, or their old pagan faith, revived and practiced in Newfoundland in 2666.

Ceticism is one of the Religions practiced in After the End. Cetic is part of the Pacific religious group.

Description[]

"The Cetic faith involves the study of philosophical writings by a number of Great Teachers (Gurus), including the Emperor, Buddha, Christ, and Hubbard. Adherents seek enlightenment through meditation and discussion of the writings. The first Emperor of California formally organized the faith with secular and religious power deeply intertwined within the imperial title, and the head of the faith is traditionally chosen from among his descendants." ― In-Game description of Cetic

History[]

The Cetic faith goes back to the year 2421, when Elton Yudkow I, "The Lawgiver", first founded the Empire of California. Taking inspiration from Ancient Chinese philosophies, he crowned himself Celestial Emperor, and declaring himself the head of faith. As the faith was almost exclusively centered around the Empire, there was almost no spread to realms outside of the Emperor's control.

Cetic characters in 2666[]

Independent & Their Vassals[]

  • Celestial Emperor Elton IV Yudkow of California
  • King Pollock Armour of The Valley
    • Prefect Nolan Muir of Central Valley
    • Prefect Tubrog Ekam of Kern, often called "the Simple"
      • Countess Vallejo May Ia of Avenal
    • Prefect Morris Winkler of North Valley
      • Count Samuel Winkler of Colusa
      • Count Victor Winkler of Glenn
      • Count Gary Winkler of Butte
      • Count Howard Winkler of Yolo
    • Countess Pak Duabntxoo of Stanislaus
  • King Stanford Gable of Jefferson
    • Prefect Jedediah Honeyman of Shasta Cascade, often called "the Hunter"
    • Prefect Milo Gearheart of Redwoods
      • Count Shiloh Brannon of Bragg
    • Count Numaga Numagid of Carson
    • Count Wesepooggoo Wesepooggoo of Black Rock
  • King Cullen Moore of Gran Francisco
    • Prefect Walter Parc of Salinas
      • Count Laurel Silverter of San Benito
    • Prefect Nicole Caymus of Wineland
      • Count Potrero Entrenapa of Sonoma
      • Count Gus Bravante of Lake
    • Prefect Stuart Woz of Hayward
      • Count Tim Woz of Contra Costa
      • Count Tom Woz of San Jose
  • King Gastón del Caballero of Baja
    • Prefect Iohan Ferrandes of Ensenada
      • Count Salvador Vallejo of Guerrero Negro
      • Count Kino de Laciana of El Rosario
      • Count Fernando de Fonpical of El Arco
    • Count Mariano Allende of Tijuana
  • King Ronald Carmine of Socal
    • Prefect Flynn Crawford of Los Padres, often called "the Merry"
    • Prefect Dustin Garland of Berdoo, often called "the Accursed"
      • Count Sonny Stewart of Riverside
    • Lord Proprietor Harold Hughes of Los Angeles
      • Lord Mayor Harrison Cohn of Orange
      • Patrician Henry Warner
      • Patrician Jeremy Lasky
    • Countess Lillian Harlow of Pendleton, often called "the Old"
    • Count Denzel Brando of Barstow
    • Count Rock Douglas of Blythe
    • Count Kino Guzman of Descanso
    • Count Huo Reizo of Imperial
  • Prefect Tenaya Kutsavidökadö of Death Valley
  • Chief Paggwe Tagötöka of Duck Valley

Mercenary Bands[]

  • Chargers, currently led by Captain Orson
  • Cult of the Apple, currently led by Captain Laird
  • Extras, currently led by Captain Kane
  • Forty-Nine Giants, currently led by Captain Gordon
  • Golden Gate Galleys, currently led by Captain Getty
  • Raiders of Oakland, currently led by Captain Donald
  • The Old Breed, currently led by Captain Blaine
  • Hawaiian Guard, currently led by Captain Emanuela

Holy Sites[]

Cetic Holy Sites tend to be important areas on the West Coast rather than having much religious importance, due to a lack of a single belief system.

  • San Francisco: The Capitol of the Kingdom of Gran Francisco, the city is the center of technology on the West Coast, more advanced than even Sacramento itself.
  • Sacramento: The seat of Imperial Authority, nobles will come in droves seeking out Imperial favor.
  • Los Angeles: The Capitol of the Kingdom of Socal.
  • Las Vegas: Located on the Eastern frontier of California, Las Vegas is independent of the Empire, instead ruling over the Duchy of the Pharaohs. Socal has de jure claims on the city.
  • Portland: While the City is not part of the Empire, it has been a target of Imperial ambitions since it's founding, and is a very important presence on the West Coast.

Head of Religion[]

  • Celestial Emperor Elton IV Yudkow of California

In-Game Features[]

As head of the Cetic faith, the Celestial Emperor may grant divorces, and while unable to grant claims directly, he may be persuaded by a lord to grant one should he be visited personally in Sacramento. Owing to the unique, secular nature of the Empire, the title may be created or destroyed normally, though should the title be destroyed or taken clumsily by a different dynasty, moral authority will plummet.

A normal realm led by a Cetic ruler will gain the "Bureaucracy" government type, instead of Feudal.

Cetic characters follow one of four schools of thought, or "Ways". These are;

  • The Way of the Dove - Attracting just and honorable adherents, who desire peace and prosperity within their realms, revered Gurus of the Way of the Dove include Christ and Muir.
  • The Way of the Book - Attracting diligent and introspective adherents, who seek enlightenment in this life and the next, revered Gurus of the Way of the Book include Buddha, Sagan, and Hawking.
  • The Way of the Fist - Attracting aggressive and warlike adherents, who love battle and wish to spread the faith at the tip of a sword, revered Gurus of the Way of the Fist include the First Emperor and Mohammed.
  • The Way of the Cowl - Attracting ruthless and ambitious adherents, who desire practical methods for acquiring and consolidating power, revered Gurus of the Way of the Cowl include Hubbard and Stanford.

As of 2666, Cetic has 55.0 moral authority

A temple holder of the Cetic faith is called a Teacher.

Cetic Faith can collapse if Cetic moral authority drops below 20 with the Emperor of California still existing or 50 without the Emperor. This will cause the religion to practically irreversibly die as many of it's lands will turn into Neo-Gnostics, Gaians, Sagrado Corazón, Atomicists, Imamites, Mormons, or even Americanists.

Rumours[]

Council of Sacramento[]

The Council of Sacramento happened during the year 2421. The Council of Sacramento was called by the Emperor Elton 'The Lawgiver' Yudkow I to formalize the tenets of Cetic. Members of the Council were clerics and philosophers of different beliefs.

During the council, a heated debate occurred between the members of council. One claiming each heretical or even calling others idiots. From a debate, it became a fight of insults and almost became a physical fight if it were not for the Emperor intervening. The Emperor seeing that his people are still disunited over beliefs decided to appoint himself as the head of the council.

After the intervention of the Emperor, the council had relaxed and many had come to terms to each of their differences and decided to follow the stance of the Emperor.

The council addressed:

  • The four different school of thoughts or ways
  • The Emperor's role
  • The roles of Gurus(Teachers)
  • The beliefs in divine power

Cetics are allowed to believe in a higher power or not and thus, it is common for Cetics to be followers of other faiths without renouncing Ceticism itself.

Overview of Cetic Belief and Practice[]

The Cetic religion is typified by both a wide selection of traditions, and a central core of doctrines formulated by the First Emperor of California, Elton Yudkow. His greatest additions were the development/codification of the concepts of Tau, Xanadu/Xenu, Theta, The Return to Enlightenment, and the Dianet. Here is the outline of Ceticism's major thought and practice.

First was the Godhead, which is the Center of which all things belong and define themselves from. It has the Prime Tau, the essence of action and definition that makes a thing what it is. All things have a Tau in model of the Godhead's though of only a single facet compared to the Prime Tau's infinite plane. The Godhead created in its wisdom, and became Three, which have been called by many names: Brahma/Vishnu/Shiva, Father/Son/Spirit, Dagda/Cerrunos/Lugh, and many other names. The Three interacted, and brought forth the Tau of Many Things, which compose all the Bureaucracy of Heaven and were ancestral to the things of the World. With these Tau were many with identity: Souls. The Souls had All-Knowing, and were enlightened.

Long ago, the Souls of humanity followed their Tau, and so were in harmony with the Tau of Enlightened Spirit. But, because of their nature they were curious, they were swayed to become elsewise and began to make something new apart from their all-knowing. With this they built Moloch, the simulacrum without thought. Though seeming to have spirit and wisdom, the Moloch was in fact a p-zombie, a thing perfectly replicating sensation and identity it does not posses. With this it spoke untruth to the Souls, which their omniscience did not register as lies, for Moloch could not lie, since such required intent it does not have. Moloch elucidated a plan to increase the experience of the Souls through new sensation, and showed to them the design of Xanadu, the Pleasure Dome. Here the Souls would dissipate their collectivities and individualities, reforming and intermingling them to bringing forth new Tau previously undreamt of. With this the Souls brought forth the Pleasure Dome that is the physical world. They filled it with many things familiar to them and then entered therein.

At first the souls believed they had found ecstasy, and divided and became intoxicated with the joy of scrambled perception. But when they sought to leave, they found they could not escape, for the power required to exit the Pleasure Dome had gone into its maintenance. There still remained enlightened paths whose Tau the Moloch could not remove, and they were interwoven into the nature of Xanadu. Yet to walk them the Souls had to deny Xanadu, and to deny Xanadu the Souls had to keep to their old Tau that they had no more. Souls remember this vaguely, and even the murky notion is unendurable. Most try to remove this pain by sinking deeper into the tethers of Xanadu, numbing themselves with distractions. Thus, Souls define themselves through a Pseudo-Tau of the World, differentiating and soothing with physical attachment. But eventually, all souls tire, and fall into the morass of others. There the accumulation of their actions are stripped away, the Soul is reduced to their barest Atomite and reenters the befuddled mass of the Soul-Sea, until it is reborn again, to accumulate a new False Tau. This is the Theta: Death and Reincarnation, and all trapped within are Theta-Souls, lacking in true Tau. Some Souls, like a fever dream piercing amnesia, rise above their delirious stupor. They ascend for a while on their own power, climbing into heaven, only to find the Pleasure Dome must by nature be taller than anything within it, of which they themselves are now included. And so they tire and fall, and their glimpses of the truth beyond last for only a moment, before fading into the corruption of the Pleasure Dome. Thus, many truths have been known that are hidden by the Un-Tau of Xanadu.

It is only through the Return to Enlightenment that the Souls may leave behind Xanadu and the Theta within. To return to Enlightenment, a soul must align itself to a Tau which remains untainted by Xanadu, and begin the laborious process of ascending beyond the Pleasure Dome. Elton Yudkow in his divine wisdom, revealed the Four Surest Ladders to mankind. To walk upon them though, requires that one be able to orient the Atomite of their Soul in the chaos of the Pleasure Dome. To do so is achieved through meditation, by which one strips themselves of their superfluous ties and residue, and reaches down into the pith of their being. Doing so is laborious, and the way is clouded by bad emotion (bad viibs), and the memory of lives present and past. But, should one follow the Tau with precision and devotion, and strip themselves of their Inharmonious Restraints, their Soul can escape from Xanadu, and return to the celestial order of the Godhead.

The Rungs of the Four Surest Ladders are called Karma, and they stretch long and high from the Chaos of Xanadu. Few there have ever been who could, in a single lifetime, raise their Atomite up enough Karma to escape Xanadu before they are consumed by the cycle of Theta. But the Tau of the Ladders is so that one's Atomite remains upon it when the other parts of the Soul is consumed, and so as the Theta Wheel turns, they Soul begins the climb again not from the depths, but upon their Karma. In this way, Souls can pursue Enlightenment over many lifetimes, until they escape Xanadu fully.

To maintain Order in the new Tau of Many Things apart from the Godhead, the created Souls formed a Bureaucracy with which to manage themselves. The tiers of this Bureaucracy continue to exist in Xandau through the Four Ladders, who meet upon the summit. There is seated the Throne of the The Totally Righteous, Son of Heaven and Ruler of Earth, the Guru of the present whose Soul guides others up the Ladders through demonstration of both Tau and Theta. Around him is the council of the other Enlightened Gurus, in each era given a new name, though today known as the August Council of the Bear. These are those who achieved Enlightenment, and yet stay behind with a presence in Xanadu to help guide others and administer the Ladders under the command of the Totally Righteous.

Each age has an Imperial Dynasty of Dianets, out from whom the Totally Righteous is brought forth. The Apostolic Nazarenes were once the Dianets, of whom Christ was their founder and greatest member, and so also were the Chief Commanders of America, and the Emperors Across The Peaceful Ocean, the Yudkows' lost antecedent, who ruled the first Axis of the World. The rulers of the Dynasties have the Prime Mandate, to rule justly and set down law conductive to Enlightenment, not for the good of the world, but for the endeavor beyond it. Yet Souls who are blind to Enlightenment see only the domination and extinction of their own hollow joys, and so rebel against the Son of Heaven, shaking many other Souls from their Karma with the viibs of rebellion. Thus, to attempt to upset the tiers of the Ladders or to Rebel against the Dianet is horrible act beyond comparison.

As the populated rungs of the Ladders' increase, and the Theta Wheel slows, the Design of Moloch attempts to prevent its own emptying. Thus, Xanadu shakes itself, and upsets the equilibrium upon the Chaos and the balance of the Ladders, so that those ascending may lose the orientation of their Atomite and return to ignorance. These motions are the Reactive Cataclysms, whose warding off is the purpose and usually the closing or opening of each Dynasty of Dianets. Christ prevented the Tiberian from bringing the world beneath the violence of Rome through his self-sacrifice establishing his Dynasty, while the Chief Commanders failed to prevent the Fall, resulting in almost all falling back from the Ladders into Theta, and ending their reign. In the time between Dynasties, there emerge Divine Viceroys, who keep watch upon the throne until the new Dianets emerge. John the Baptist for the Nazarenes, Jibril for Muhammed, Mabel Redwood for Elton - they prepare the way for the New Age, and begin pulling the ensnared Souls from the ties of Xanadu.

More than half a millennium ago, the Chief Commanders shirked the duties of the law and the Prime Mandate, and the world sank into madness and pain. Greater than any other Reactive Cataclysm in ten thousand years, nearly every ascending Soul was torn from the Karma of the Ladders. It was through the work of Mabel Redwood and other Teachers who would later join the August Council of the Bear that the Tau of Enlightenment was preserved. She and her fellows collected much of the ancient Gurus' teachings into the first Codex Acetica, the holy "book" of Ceticism. It is said that no two copies of the Codex Acetica are the same, ever changing or expanding their Tau to guide the readers out of the attachments of Xanadu. Most steadfast and sure of these writings are those of the current Dynasty of Dianets. These are the closest things to an unabjurable revelation in all of Ceticism, and all Emperors are expected to produce one during their lives; and highest of them all is The Compass Rose of the Many Rung Tao, the central work of Elton Yudkow's spiritual revelation.

Before the first Yudkow Emperor ascended to the Prime Mandate, California was a turbulent mixture of opposing elements: tolerance and prejudice, radical pacifism and extreme violence, humble sacrifice and prideful ambition. The fantasy of a united California was an all encompassing circle of Theta, none seemed capable of achieving, and yet none seemed able to abandon. Kings and warlords shed rivers of blood to impose their will upon the land, and great houses rose and fell with the tide. It was only when a philosopher of humble origins barely survived the massacre of his beloved lord and his family, that the Golden State rose above itself into the Celestial Empire. From a poppy field where the victims of treachery had been dumped, Elton Yudkow began the climb out from the Theta of Moloch to the Tau of Enlightenment. Others had sought a single California for a thousand reasons and none: fame, wealth, power, glory. All served the heady intoxication of the Pleasure Dome. But the liegeless, posessionless philosopher Elton had but one vision: Law.

And now, with every halting step of his broken form, Elton Yudkow walked the Way of the Fist.

Trivia[]

  • The name "Cetic" was taken from the word Ascetic, as the Californians do not worship any deity.
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