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Time stands still for no one. The oppressed of one age may become the mighty of another. So it was with the Messianic Voices. Once they were but one small note within a much larger chorus. Yet, their persistence and their faith in the Son of God proved of moving mountains.
Whereas more respectable religious mages were consumed with their own private struggles, the Messianics grew stronger and their zeal spread like wildfire, winning an empire to the cause of Christ. Oppressed no longer, the Messianic Voices shaped an entire culture with their songs of praise to God Almighty. More so than any other group of mages, they hold the Dark Medieval age in their hands - for good or for ill.
The Messianic Voices' paradigm was built on a Foundation of Divinity (Relationship to the Divine), which empowered the Singers to call on the aid of four Archangels: Gavri-El (who has dominion over fire, healing, motion, and reason), Mikha-El (who has dominion over leadership. light, and war), Repha-El (who has dominion over creativity, peace, and water), and Uri-El (who has dominion over darkness, death, fear, and earth).
Early History Edit
Originally created in 25 AD by St. Delius, inspired by Christ, the Messianic Voices Fellowship owes its origin to the Holy Land, much like Chistianity itself. Its earliest members were Jews and Greeks who had converted to the new faith after it was preached by the Apostles and their disciples.
The Early members of the Messianic Voices possessed a zeal that few could match, along with a special connection to the divine. Many of these men and women received visions of angels and even of Christ himself, as had St. Paul on the road to Damascus. These visions utterly changed their lives, granting them the strength to face persecution at the hands of the Roman and Jewish authorities, as well as hidden powers to combat the oppressors. These earliest members of the order could perform of their faith in the Gospel.
The earliest members of the Messianic Voices soon realized that they were not the only men and women to work wonders through their faith. Others mages from a variety of other religions surrounded them, some whom expressed interest (or dismay) at the appearance of the Messianic Voices. Initially, the faithful made few attempts at rapprochement with these other mages, believing them corrupted by evil and drawn to sin. In time, though, they acquiesced, much as Christianity did, realizing that they had to engage the world in order to win souls for Christ and his Church. As much as they feared the taint they might acquire as a result of entering the world that surrounded them, they also knew it was necessary to ensure the ultimate conclusion of God's plan for mankind.
In doing so, the faithful individuals who opened up a new world to them, one in which other theists - from Jews to Egyptians to Greeks, among others - worked loosely in search of wisdom and illumination. The Messianic Voices saw this project as foolish. They already possessed the supreme wisdom and illumination of anything more. Nevertheless, cooler heads prevailed and re-emphasized the fact that the faithful could not continue to reject everything the world had to offer. After all, if God made the world and all its contents, rejecting it outright would be a rejection of God. Thus, the Messianic Voices slowly interacted with these other theistic mages and attempted to learn what they could from them, all the while attempting to win their souls for Christ.
As time passed, the Messianic Voices succeeded in their purpose. They both gained converts among the other theists - who called themselves by a variety of names, including the Singers - and among the general population. More and more influential people became Christians, until eventually even the emperor of Rome joined the faith. With this event, the history of the order changed forever. No longer outlawed or persecuted for their faith, the Messianic Voices enjoyed influence in even the highest places. It was thus only a matter of time before that influence translated into power within the theist community.
And so it did. Despite resistance from mages belonging to certain faiths (most notably the cult of Mithras known as the Mithraic Singers, which they clashed with in 313), the order soon used its power to usurp control of the theist' loose organization, welding it into a more centralized body on the model of the Christian Church. The faithful swelled the ranks of the Curia and eventually even the office of the Pontifex Maximus. Within two hundreds years of Costantine's conversions to the faith, the Messianic Voices became the dominant faction within the ranks of the Singers, effectively shuttering their rivals out of power for the next millennium.
One of the great ironies of history is that, just as the Messianics achieved their greatest power and influence, they had already distanced themselves from the faith that had given them that power and influence. Contact with Roman civilization opened the faithful up to the philosophies current at the time, especially Stoicism and Neoplatonism. Encountering both provided the Messianic Voices with the vocabulary to codify their beliefs for the first time. Previously, they had lacked the sophistication to express their unique viewpoint, except through allusions to Scripture and tradition, both of which were unknown to outsiders. To engage the world, the order adopted its vocabulary and, in the process, a somewhat wordily outlook.
Doing so ultimately resulted in the heterodoxy to which the order now adheres. While the mundane Church moved on, jettisoning much of the baggage associated with Greco-Roman philosophy and warping its terminology to suit its needs, the Messianics did not follow suits. In men such as Origen, Tellurian and Clement, they found a philosophy that matched their deepest beliefs and they adopted it without hesitation. By this time, the faithful mages had become so certain of their own righteousness that they didn't question why the Church did not follow the same path as they. Supremely confident, the Messianics simply assumed the Church would one day correct its "errors" and return to the fold. They began to identify themselves and their beliefs with "true Christianity" - the pinnacle of arrogance.
Dark Ages Edit
The collapse of Rome helped to throw these concerns to the sidelines. With Europe in shambles, the Church was the only organization capable of holding civilization together. it needed all its sons and daughters to prevent an even darker age, including those prodigals whose views differed somewhat from official doctrine. The rise of feudal lords muddied the waters furthers. These potentates meddled in ecclesiastic affairs to serve their own ends, sometimes by sponsoring and protecting heterodox theologians whose opinions supported their policies. The Messianic Voices fell prey to such tendencies as well, particularly in Germany and France.
During this time, divisions grew within the order over numerous matters, including theology. A minority opposed the heterodoxy of Messianic Voices, arguing the its effectiveness in bringing about God's plan would be hampered if it did not adhere to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic faith the mundane Curch preached. This group, called the Inner Doctrine (later to be known as the Cabal of Pure Thought), believed in uniting all of humanity within one Church. Although the Messianics never formally adopted its views, it held great influence at various times in history, such as the Crusades, while at other times its sway receded.