Revelationism is one of the religions practiced in After the end. The origins of the faith are ultimately Christian in nature, but due to the trauma of the apocalypse and centuries of isolation and turmoil, it has been greatly distorted and become a new religion. Revelationism is part of the Pagan religious group.
"Revelationism’s origins are ultimately Christian in nature. The trauma of the apocalypse and centuries of isolation and turmoil have led to great distortions in the faith, emphasizing the supernatural and the miraculous while forgetting the Holy Trinity altogether, replacing it with a vast and sometimes inconsistent pantheon of gods. One of the most prominent Revelationist deities is the “Serpentine God”, who often manifests his will using living snakes. This fascination with snakes has caused most mainline Christians to view Revelationism with deep suspicion at best and outright hostility at worst." ― In-Game description of Revelationist
- High God: The Light
- God Names: The Serpentine God, The Burning Bush, The Voice, The Light and The White Lamb
- Evil God Names: The Deceiver, The Beast, The Angel of Death and Miss Babylon
- Scripture: The Legends
While many within the church see Revelationism as a devolution of the Christian faith, the reality is more complex. In the rural areas of America, where oral tradition is just as important as the written word (if not more important), the stories and tales of the Old Testament, and the miracles of the New, took on a life of their own. The Serpent who betrayed God and tempted Adam and Eve became a Promethean figure, granting knowledge to Humankind. The story of Jesus healing the lepers broadened, and it is believed any pious preacher may have that ability, so long as he is of a strong will.
Due to its origins, Revelationism is one of the most widely practiced Pagan religions in America, with adherents as far south as Florida, as far north as Lakotah, and as far west as Custer. The true heartland of Revelationism, though, is in the Uppland- the former states of Tennessee and Kentucky.
Revelationists have largely been from among the Appalachian, Dixie, Gullah, Riverlander, and Tuskegean cultures with the Tuskegean culture holding the most holy sites in the faith. Those being in Atlanta and Little Rock. With the Appalachian, Riverlander, and Dixie cultures holding only one holy site each among them. The religion has certain South-Anglo influences though most faithful in 2666 are of the Upland cultural group, being either Appalachian or Riverlander due to the spread of Evangelicalism westward by the Southron Holy Columbian Confederacy and Voodoo northward by the Cajuns of Louisiana. These two forces have largely pushed the Revelationists into the uplands.
Revelationism is polytheistic with aspects of totemism and animism. The three main gods of Revelationism are the Serpent God, the Burning Bush, and the Light.
The Serpent - Promethean Figure
The transformation of the serpent into a Promethean figure is theorized to be the source of the term Revelationist as the Revelationists have nothing theologically tying them to the Book of Revelations. According to the theory, before the Revelationists began to resort to oral tradition and disregard the bible, an individual had a revelation - a realization brought about from the study of the scripture. A revelation that set in motion the gradual evolution of the Revelationist religion; the serpent did not lie to Eve. In Genesis 3:4-5 of the KJV (which seems to have been the now largely lost scripture the Revelationist followed with only four copies known to exist in the present year) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. This is later followed by Genesis 3:22-23 which reads; And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. The revelation that the serpent was telling the truth would have been followed by another revelation; that God lied to the first humans. Genesis 3:1-3 reads; Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye, shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
According to the theory, these two realizations lead to the polytheism and reverence for the serpent among the Revelationists as oral tradition and vindication of the serpent transformed the traditional Judeo-Christian narrative into something different with the serpent becoming more than another animal in Eden but a god who enlightened Humanity when God, who lied to the first Humans, sought to keep them in the dark. The theory postulates that some vilification of God along with this rational lead to him no longer being revered among the Revelationists- for if he lied he can't be entirely good, and as Humans are not entirely good and Humans are like God knowing good and evil it's reasonable to assume his judgment is just as flawed. Genesis 3:21 where God creates coats of skin to cloth Humans before exiling them may have been expanded into the killing of some other animals in Eden to make such skins as part of this gradual vilification.
Eden - The Afterlife
Eden and Heaven have merged into one among the Revelationists due to the shared concept of paradise. The Serpent, who to them enlightened Humanity with a conscious capable of recognizing evil- an aspect God didn't want Humanity to have, has become the lord of this paradise where (as with Heaven in Christian faiths) one goes when they die. The Serpent is a judge in Revelationists theology who determines how well one has utilized the ability to recognize Evil. What one is in the afterlife is determined by the Serpent with goodly people having more positive positions in the afterlife while wicked people are given negative roles. To the Revelationists, this translates into 'will one be an Angel or a Demon?' The concept that the deceased become either after death is non-biblical but was popular in fiction before the Event. The thought that a beloved parent has become a guardian angel is a comforting one. Just as the thought that the evil of a wicked man may still linger in an area to torment the living is frightful. As Pagans the Revelationists believe in Physical Gods, and the Serpent is no exception. Said to inhabit the Mammoth Caves deep below the Earth where like the underworld of Hades the paradise of Eden can be found, its entrance guarded by the Burning Bush to keep the living and wicked from entering.
Burning Bush - Bringer of Righteous Wraith
The Burning Bush's place as a god of Righteous retribution derives from the gradual corruption through oral tradition of the story of Moses which also includes the Revelationionist's snake god. Mose's snake consuming the serpents summoned by the priests of Pharaoh's court continues to be seen as God proving supremacy over all other gods though in the Revelationist iteration it's of course the supremacy of their serpent god. The plagues of Egypt are seen as having been brought by the Burning Bush. As the burning bush commanded Moses to go forth to Egypt and free his people. The Burning Bush, much like the Flaming Sword of Christianity, guards the entrance to Eden in Revelationist Theology.
The Spirit - Messenger of the Divine
The Spirit derives from the Holy Spirit of Christian theology though among the Revelationists has taken on a character of its own distinct from God and the Trinity. The Spirit is the supreme god of the Revelationist though not the one they speak of the most. When a Tonguespeaker or other faithful begins speaking in Tongues it's called the Tongues of the Spirit. The Spirit is where the more Pagan aspects of Revelationism show itself with the spirit inhabiting followers and acting upon people expressing the lack of a separation between the Physical and Spiritual domains. The Spirit is said to guide the dead to judgment before the Serpent. Christ through the Spirit performed miracles and by living a pious life others may become so in tuned with the Spirit to have the power of healing for the Spirit is life. So powerful is the Spirit that it can return the dead to life should they have yet to reach judgment before the Serpent. Believing in physical gods the Revelationists believe that the further away from Mammoth one is the more likely one is to have not completed the journey. It's also believed that the Spirit, having the power to return the dead to life, can even petition the Serpent for a better afterlife for those who along the journey have changed away from their wickedness in life. This 'Ghostly Journey Through the World' takes the place Purgatory holds in certain Christian sects. Halloween is considered a time when one is more likely to see the dead passing through the world, and the demons who seek to pull them away from the path to Eden. The Spirit is seen not as coldly judging and rational as the serpent nor seen as punishing of the wicked but rather as a merciful and goodly entity who will lend its power to the pious who seek to perform miracles such as Christ.
A defining aspect of Christianity isn't recognition of Christ as a religious figure for Islam also recognizes him though as Prophet rather than a messiah. The defining aspect that distinguishes Christianity from other Abrahamic religions is the view of Christ as a messiah who has come to redeem humanity from sin. This is an aspect that the Revelationists lack as they do not view Humanity gaining knowledge of Good and Evil as something Humanity needs to atone for. As of 2666 Christ among the Revelationists is seen as a great healer and model for those seeking to live a good and righteous life with his service to Humanity seeing the Spirit return him to life. As such he is seen as being without vice, and having achieved this an inspiration- something people can achieve, to become as virtuous. This differs from certain Christain sects who attribute Christ's sinless nature to divine heritage, being an Archangel, or among oneness beliefs being God come to Earth in the mortal flesh. These are attributes the Revelationist does not attribute to Christ making his virtue seem more Humanly attainable.
The Light - The High God
The Light, despite the prominence of the Serpent in Revelationist theology, is the High God though the Revelationist do not speak of the Light often. What can be gathered from accounts of Revelationist Spirit Quests and by missionaries into the tribal lands of the Riverlanders is that when the Serpent slithered out of the Mammoth Caves into the world he saw the Light, and it was good. The Light is 'Good' which banishes the Darkness which is 'Evil'. As an unorganized religion, the Revelationist are diverse in their myths regarding the light with different emphasis being placed on the Serpent slithering out of the darkness and into the light.
An Eden Myth
The term 'God is Light' has been reported along with an account of the Serpent's enlightening of mankind that has the Light taking the place of the Judeo-Christian God. In these iterations Eden was not at first 'underground' but rather moved their during 'the deluge' which is (because of unorganized religion) either 'the Event' or 'the great flood'. Rather Eden was a land above ground into which the Serpent entered after emerging from the Mammoth Caves. There the Light formed Humans of clay and its warmth hardened the clay and the spirit-filled them and Humanity had life through the spirit. The Light and the Serpent where from two different worlds, the Light from the stars above where it fought forever against the Darkness and the Serpent from the dark caves. The Serpent learned 'Good' through the Light and the Spirit in the garden found a joy it had not known. The Serpent having this experience believed it was important for Humanity to also know 'Evil' in order to appreciate 'Good' the way it had come to. The Light, who struggled against the Darkness always, did not agree with this. To know Evil is a weakness as the Darkness will as it always does struggle to snuff out the light. Knowing Evil is to be open to it. The Serpent spoke of it's own experience and how seeing the Light had bettered him. If one does not know Evil how are they to known when the Darkness is working upon them? Would it not be better for mankind to know Evil so they may fight it as the Light does? But the Light did not seek for any to perish in such conflict. The rest of the story typically follows a narrative similar to biblical accounts of Eden though with inclusions of other gods from Revelationism involved. The 'Rising and Setting' of the Sun and the Moon are often explained in such legends. The Serpent having returned to the Mammoth Caves away from the Light, and Eden sinking into the Earth are also included. Some have that the Serpent was blinded by the Light others simply that until Good triumphs over Evil the Serpent will not emerge. The Light is associated with the Sun though also said to be with in each person as a tiny flame, a personal light, that goes back to Humans being created of clay with the light being a key to long life by fueling it with good works and safe guarding it from encroaching darkness.
These are the five Revelationist holy sites;
- Atlanta: Before the Holy Columbian Confederacy spread Evangelicalism through out Alabama, Georgia, and Mississipi Postadventism, Revelationism, and Charismaticism where more abundant. Atlanta was for a time the southern most center of the Revelationist faith with ties to the now marginalized enclaves in North Florida and South Georgia. As a religious center of Revelationism it's practitioners derived from the Pre-Event Pentecostal population. Atlanta is now under Evangelical control.
- Knox: Knoxville was like many Revelationist holy sites a major Pentecostal location before the Event and given the proximity to Mammoth may be the birthplace of the Religion.
- Mammoth: The extensive Mammoth Caves are seen as leading to Eden, and as home to the Serpent God who slithers through the Earth. The Cumberland River to the south of this county is also associated with the Serpent God.
- Memphis: Was the location of the international headquarters of the 'Church of God in Christ' which was the world's largest Pentecostal church before the Event. The Revelationist concept of 'Speaking in Tongues' derives from Pentecostal influences likely deriving from this community.
- Little Rock: Little Rock was the location of the First Pentecostal Church, and like most former Pentecostal centers in the south became a major location of Revelationism centuries after the Event.
Great Holy War Targets/Core Regions
Ordered in decreasing importance
- Kingdom of Uppland - 5000 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Appalachia - 500 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Ozarks - 500 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Missouri - 200 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Carolina - 200 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Chicagoland - 200 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Ohio - 100 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Deitscherei - 100 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Magnolia - 100 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Dixieland - 100 Crusade Weight
- Old Dominion(Kingdom) - 100 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Allegheny - 50 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Platte - 50 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Michigan - 20 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Louisiana - 20 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Colorado - 20 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Hudsonia - 5 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Gotham - 5 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Columbia - 5 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Superior - 5 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Iowa - 5 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Jacinto - 5 Crusade Weight
- Kingdom of Comancheria - 5 Crusade Weight
- Rulers cannot demand conversion.
- Priests may marry and inherit titles.
- Women may own temple holdings and be chosen as Spymaster.
- Fairly weak rulers can prepare invasions.
- Fleets can navigate major rivers.
- Rulers can raid infidel neighbors for loot.
- There is (and can exist) no religious head, though the religion can be reformed.
- Adults may ingest a small dose of snake venom to undergo a vision quest.
- A Revelationist may decide to devote themselves to the service of one of the religion's main three deities- the Serpent, the Burning Bush, or the Light. Devotees of the serpent work to do his bidding in the world. They are drawn to exposing the plots of the wicked, of identifying evil and facing it. Those dedicated to the Burning Bush see themselves as devoted to righteous retribution. As instruments of divine wraith. Those of the Light are dedicated to peace for the light does not wish for any to perish. They do good by use of words to fuel the light of the faithful and bring others out of the darkness.
As of 2666, Revelationism has 20.0 morale authority. Revelationist temples are called Snakehouses. A temple holder of the Revelationist faith is called a Tonguetalker. A Revelationist 'Court Chaplain' is called a Thaumaturge. Revelationists may choose one of three gods to devote themselves to; the Serpent, the Burning Bush, or the Light. A ruler can prove his worth and zeal by participating in a snake-handling event. This has a chance of converting the ruler to Charismatic. Revelationist characters may celebrate Halloween. The Religious Head of Revelationism gains the title Righteous Assembly.
- Follower of the Serpent
- Follower of the Burning Bush
- Follower of the Light
Revelationists have two societies connected to their religion; Lucifer's Own (which is accessible by public practitioners of various other faiths as well) and the Meltan Warriors with the Meltan Warriors being a Revelationist's Warrior Lodge with an added stipulation that zealous characters CAN'T join it.
Revelationist Characters in 2666
Independent & Their Vassals
- High Chief Ellis Crockoone of Tenesi - Duke tier title holder whose territory includes the Holy Site of Memphis and is due south of the Holy Site of Mammoth. Tenesi as a realm has a rival in Kentuckiana to the North but also feudal Catholics to it's West. To the south is the Songbird tribe who are divided among the Charistmatics and Revelationists but are lead by Occultists chiefs.
- Chief Aaron Roy of Cheatham
- High Chief Ronald Cygnus of Kentuckiana - Duke tier title holder of Kentuckiana has Catholics to it's West and South. It has Rust Cultists to it's North.
- Chief Patrick Mudcray of Mammoth - Count tier title holder whose primary title is the Holy Site of Mammoth. His territory borders two Duke tier title holders, the Catholic Bluegrass to it's North and fellow Revelationists the Tenesi to it's South.
- Sheriff Hoss Daggett of Black Hills
- Sheriff Perce Drips of MiArmstrong
- Sheriff Armstron Gunnison of Custer
- Sheriff Galen Hiramson of Kickatus
- Lawman Othniel Capper
- Chieftess Henrietta Amberfield of Independence
- Chief Bradley Escreve of Blue Licks
- Chief John Lee Pettimore of Sequatchie
- Chief Vick Procambarr of Chillicothe
- Chief Simon Strate of Carthage
- Chieftess Violet Turner of Little Mo
Vassals of a Lord of Different Faith
- Chief Angus Clyman of Treasure
- Chief Absalom Dobytown of Kearny
- Chief Corbin Dollarway of Millwood
- Chief Timothy Granlo of Coteau
- Chief Henry McDaniels of Dardanelle
- Revelationism has some aspects based on real practices in some Pentecostal churches, primarily snake-handling.
- While public practitioners of Revelationism can join Lucifer's Own (due to Revelationism having Christian origins) 'Satan/Lucifer' is not directly a figure in Revelationist theology. Specifically he's not one of their 'Evil Gods' though through traditions such as Halloween the Revelationists do have a concept of a Witch.