MotF 211: Last Man Kneeling

MotF 211: Last Man Kneeling

The Challenge

Make a map showing a country whose main religion was once widespread, but is now no longer widely practiced outside its borders.

The Restrictions

There are no restrictions on when the PoD of your map should be. Fantasy, sci-fi, and future maps are allowed.

If you're not sure whether your idea meets the criteria of this challenge, please feel free to PM me or comment in the main thread.
Entries will end for this round when the voting thread is posted on Monday, February 24th, 2020.
Any discussion must take place in the main thread. If you post anything other than a map entry (or a description accompanying a map entry) in this thread then you will be asked to delete the post.

Don't forget to vote on MotF 210!
It had always been the same, barbarians would invade, push the boundaries of the Khemert Empire back, then within a generation they would be assimilated and re-annexed. With that said, the Khemert Empire was always a multicultural one, and as such the spread of its faith was always the most important factor in determining whether a tribe would be re-annexed. It was like that for as long as anybody knew.
Then the Horde came. Thousands of barbarians came down from almost all sided, pushing the Khemerts back in droves, destroying their temples, desecrating holy grounds, and leaving bones, blood, and flames in their path. When the dust settled, the Khemert Empire was a fraction of its former self, the only legacy left being small pockets of Khemertism's followers located throughout the lands once under the Khemert Empires control.
Ériu - the last land under the Lord's light


In the fifth century after the death of Our Lord, the first of His apostles arrived to our shores, in the time our fair isle was known by the name of Hibernia to the Romans. The greatest of them, Saint Patrick, had once been a slave in the island, but returned to bring word of God's love to the people who had made him suffer. He baptised thousands and ordained them as Christian leaders. The sons of Irish kings became monks and the daughters became nuns, building the beautiful monasteries that dot the island and where they could contemplate the Grace of God.

In these monasteries, the monks and nuns created their communities, became closer to the Lord and copied His Word time and time again, recording the sacred writings and the lives of His saints, so that their deeds and ways would never be forgotten. Living away from mundane life and the wars, destruction and chaos that it brought, the Celtic Christians became faithful guardians of the sacred knowledge of the ancient, while the rest of the lands, with weaker-willed Christians and political intrigues, all fell, one by one, to the darkness.

The fall of the Romans led many men to sin, and allowed heathens to roam freely through the sacred lands of the Empire and destroy the Word of the Lord they detested. In Britannia, the Celtic Christians were abandoned by their Roman overlords and left to be enslaved by the Saxon invaders, who destroyed the churches and brought their idols of Wotan to be worshipped in that island. Our brethren either fled to our lands, where we received them warmly, or battled for the light of the Lord not to be extinguished from their land. And although they fought bravely, pestilence fell upon them, killing those who survived the wars. The Saxons now control all of the island, and the Word of God has been all but forgotten.

In Gallia, once a most Christian land, our Celtic brethren too saw themselves conquered by invaders, the Franks who, despite allowing themselves to be baptised, were never as truly Christian as the Gauls had been. Once their line of Kings and Mayors perished in battles against the Berbers to the East and the Saxons to the West, their realm was conquered and the Christian faith died in that land as well. Hispania, Africa and Italia, all lands butchered by the Goths and Vandals, would fall prey to the heathen and would forget their faith and their language. They even forgot how to write and read the ancient documents of their ancestors. In these dark days, the Latin language and text is only understood in our island. The Romans have been forgotten and their cities stand ruined. Their ancient knowledge forever lost, kept safe only in the archives of our monasteries.

We sent our missionaries far and wide, into the world our books tell us about, the Christendom of days past, desperately seeking, in the darkness of the world, for brethren surviving, holding to the Lord's light. To the Churches of Asia we sent missionaires, only to find them in ruins, and the lands of the Greeks conquered by heathen Slavs, the language and writing of the Greeks forgotten. In the Holy Land, the memory of Our Lord has been forgotten. Jerusalem no longer stands, and the location of the Holy Sepulchre is now lost forever.

The only brethren we found were scattered to the winds; our missionaries found, in the deserts of Lybia, those who remain of the Desert Fathers, who once created cities out of the desert devoted to Christian piety, but who are now but a shadow of their former selves, growing older and their herd thinning, as no new followers come to continue the works of the saints.

Our missionaries continue to roam the world, searching for Christian brethren, but finding very few, very spread out, and they themselves with no great hopes to give us. Often the heathen kings and traders who receive us tell us tales of faraway kingdoms to the East where the light of God still shines, which we suspect are the survivors of the Christians of Saint Thomas, but who always seem to be a mountain or sea away from the farthest of our missions. We lose hope of finding another Christian nation over this wretched Earth.

We are afraid that our island too may not remain under the Lord's light for long. The time for our nation may be coming soon. From across the seas to the east of Britannia come new heathens, sailing ships of ashwood, who threaten our island and our people, and attempt to settle in our shores. We attempt to resist them, but we fear they are too strong and that, without anyone to help us in our darkest hour, we shall falter and our nation too shall fall prey to them.

We send this missive as a cry for help. We have paid the merchants at the last ports we reached to share them in the lands we have not had the change to visit, in the hopes they may encounter Christians there to whom the knowledge of brethren in the west may serve of comfort. We may now never have the opportunity to continue our missions. If this missive falls into the hands of a follower of Christ in a Christian kingdom, we ask that you send even if a messenger alone to tell us of your existence. Our island is to the west of Britannia, which itself is to the north of Gallia, beyond the mountains from Italia.

If you find this message and attempt to find your brethren in our island, but find it too devoid of Christians, taken over by the heathens, our monasteries crumbled and our faith forgotten, do not fear. Centuries ago, our apostle Brendan has sailed westward across the Ocean Sea, and he has found the Isles of the Blessed, where the saints live. As it becomes clear this world will no longer be the province of the Christian Lord, our devout have decided it is best the last Christians too forfeit this world, rather than fall into the darkness of losing our faith.

As we send this missive, ships are built along our western shores, and families are sent to the Isles of the Blessed where they'll join the saints, never to return. The last ship from this Earth shall sail with the messengers who delivered this letters to the hands of the merchants at the ports at the end of the world. If your messenger doesn't reach our Christians in time, sail to the west and meet us among the saints. We will be praying for your souls.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen

Florentius, Archiabbas Hibernicorum, Anno Domini DCCCLVII
Hello everyone! This is my first participation in a MotF contest. I hope my map will entertain you. ;)

The last red Banner

"The first Prophet, Kaal Maath the Scholar, comes to see the Qtzesar,
He showed him the Scythe that would cut the evil King.
The Qtzesar didn't listen to the Prophet.
The second prophet, Lehen Hin the Brave, came to the Qtzesar,
He showed him the Hammer that would crush the evil King.
The Qtzesar didn't listen to the Prophet.
The third prophet, Stahl Ahalin the Warrior, came to the Qtzesar,
He had with him the Scythe, the Hammer and the Purple Cloak of the Revolution.
The Qtzesar was dead. »

Suwietism is one of the oldest religions in the world. Its origins are lost in the Flood of Fire 2000 years ago. As far as we know from our writings and oral chants, an evil King ruled over a powerful Empire in the Far North. This bloodthirsty Monarch enslaved the people, plundering and slaughtering all those who opposed his rule.Three prophets went to meet this King, announcing the end of his Empire if he did not change. The King did not listen to them and persecuted them. After the death of the first two prophets, the third prophet, Stahl Ahalin, led the revolt with the weapons of his predecessors and the Purple Cloak. He killed the Evil King and took the title of "Father of the Peoples".
He founded the Holy Suwiet Kingdom. In this Kingdom everyone lived happily, the poor and destitute ate their fill and the exploited hunted the Kah-pital in the snows of the north, the Gulag. The Suwiet people built powerful cities and towns never seen anywhere else. Stahl Ahalin decided to liberate the other peoples of the Earth. But the Kah-pital led by Baron Nuar, brother of the Qtzesar, invaded the Suwiet Kingdom. The Suwiet people endured many of the horrors of this war but succeeded in driving the invaders back to the western confines of the continent.
Baron Nuar, not accepting his defeat, crossed the ocean to take refuge on a cursed continent. From there he prepared a Horror that would sweep the world. He provoked a Flood of Fire on all the cities of the World, causing the death of millions of people. His demonic fire transformed the rich and abundant earth into soiled and sterile land, making the people living there sick. Stahl Ahalin, seeing the destruction of the Suwiet Kingdom, took his people to the mountains of the south, his homeland spared from the flood. Stahl Ahalin before he died gave the red banner of Suwiet and asked his followers to spread it over the whole earth. He also promised his return before the end of time to lead all peoples to Freedom and reveal the name of God.

When he died, his tomb became the centre of all Suwiet pilgrimages. His disciples set out to spread the Suwiet faith with a red banner each. These spread throughout the known world, on all four continents, driving out the last Kah-pital monarchs. But for 1000 years Suwiet has been in decline. Many people reject the red banners. Entire peoples turn their backs on the faith of the three prophets, preferring to bow down before idols. A powerful empire in the Far East, Bharat spreads a new pagan cult on the lands of Suwiet.
In addition, barbarians from the north, coming from the Gulag lands, plunder and ransack the towns and cities of the Kingdom. Finally, the poisons of the earth caused by the Flood are spreading more and more over the last inhabitable lands. Baron Nuar's miasmas kill newborn babies and men in the prime of life.

For many, the end of time has come and the return of the Third Prophet and his two companions is imminent. But will they forgive their followers the decadence and decline of Suwiet? Will they save the people turning their backs on Baron Nuar hidden on his continent? Will we give the meaning of the name of God, "CCCP"?


The story behind Gotland's predicament
By Eliza Calment
5 Dec 2007

On Monday, the Foreign Minister of Poland submitted a report to the European Forum pushing for diplomatic sanctions on the Prussian Republic, more commonly known as Gotland, citing the persecution of the island country's Christian minority. The Gotlandic government has refused to acknowledge these claims, with prime minister Maks Jurgis Kaivasiskas dismissing them as "malign and unfounded". With this Baltic country appearing in the news so often, it has recently become a topic of heated discussion here in England, with sanctions along the line of Sokołowski's proposal gaining widespread support. In spite of this, a common thread in most of this discourse is a general lack of knowledge on what Tengrism is, and how Prussia got into its current situation -- perhaps a relic of an education system that focuses increasingly on empirical sciences at the expense of the humanities.

In any case, I spent four days in Gotland last month to shed some light on the present state of this small and divided country.

What is Tengrism?

Tengrism is an ancient Turkic religion, first recorded in ancient Chinese texts dating from the 4th century BC. It was once widespread, being practiced from Hungary all the way to Manchuria. However, it was gradually superseded by Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism, and today, Gotland is one of two places in the world where it is still practiced -- the other being Manchuria, where it is discouraged by the Chinese government.

Tengrism believes in a supreme deity called "Kök Tengri" (literally "Blue Sky"), a universal being whose spirit pervades all of reality. All other divine beings are regarded as being part of Tengri. The universe is divided into three worlds -- the Earth, the Overworld, and the Underworld -- and shamans have special connections to the two other worlds. Despite the presence and practice of shamans, Tengrist faith is very personal, having no holy book or organized leadership. Thus, these shamans have born the burden of keeping the faith alive, which has been cited as a reason for its current precarious position.

What makes Prussia's religious history interesting is that, ethnically, its people are not Turkic. The Prussians began as a Baltic tribe living in the region now known as Old Prussia. In the Early Middle Ages, Eastern Europe was host to more migrations than one could shake a stick at, and the religious traditions of the Turks transcended ethnic lines as a result. The Magyars (ancient Hungarians) appeared to practice some form of Tengrism by the time of their arrival in Transcarpathia, the Bulgarian Empire briefly imposed it on its Slavic subjects in the Balkans, and, most importantly, the Khazar Khaganate brought it to the ancient Slavic nation of Severia, which dropped its old form of paganism.

As you might have guessed, Severia expanded north, conquering most of the East Slavic and Baltic peoples, and zealously converting them to its newfound faith. As the Severian Federation splintered in the 13th century, the Prussians took control of the Baltic coast, and the Kingdom of Prussia was born.

The people of Gotland

Not long after my plane touched down in Svetroza, the country's outwardly defensive attitude presented itself. To get out of the airport, all passengers had to pass through two security checkpoints, presided over by civil personnel, and the occasional Samogitian Hound on duty. As a Christian and a foreigner, my presence here aroused some suspicion, and I was held up and questioned for about an hour before my papers were processed and I received clearance to leave.

My trip to the hotel was uneventful. Along the way, I had a sense of guilty eagerness that I would witness something big, something that might rivet my English audience and define what I was here to explore. Against my expectations, the streets were quiet.

I met with my first interviewee the next day over dark rye, bacon, and coffee. She is a member of the Christian civil rights group Svabadiba, and she asked that her name not be disclosed for her own safety. A week ago, she took part in a march protesting the closure of a church in Akmenoste in response to alleged terrorist activity. The march was met by civil security forces in riot gear, and at least one activist was hospitalized with injuries.

"This is typical of the government in this country. They don't want to see their own hypocrisy." She stated. "This government wants to kill empathy, and it's afraid that the people are smarter than that. This country belongs to all of us -- Tengrist, Christian, Jew -- we are all Gotlanders, and we will fight for the respect we are owed."

Her message might not just be wishful thinking. Among the nation's Tengrist majority, opinions on recent events have hardly been consistent. On my second day, I met with Klais Silasaka, a gray-haired, devout Tengrist living on the outer edge of the capital, and the historical irony of Gotland's policies are certainly not lost on him.

"My family and I washed up on this island after the Civil War." He said. "For years, they've been saying on the telly how the Christians are a threat to national security. I even believed them. But then I saw what was going on with the Tengrists who stayed in Ventaland, and I saw the same thing: strongmen, feeding on hate." He coughed and readjusted in his seat. "These fools don't know their history. But I do. I've seen it. Division only makes us weaker."

A brief history of Tengrist Prussia

Following its independence, Prussia was well-poised to take advantage of trade in the Baltic Sea. By the 14th century, its port cities became important stops in a trade network that stretched from Finland and Novgorod to Holland and London. This was the start of the Prussian Golden Age, and the country's navy soon scaled to match its merchant fleet. Following a war with Sweden, Gotland became part of the Tengrist kingdom's domains in 1360.

In the 16th century, Prussia was eclipsed by its neighbors, but it found an ally in Fedorov Vladimir. Earlier, the Fedorov dynasty adopted Finnic Christianity, and after it conquered much of former Severia, Tengrism saw a sharp decline in those areas. Still, neither the Christian kingdoms of Europe nor the Muslim Cumans were very fond of either, with the Prussians being heathens and the Vladimirish being heretics. This enmity formed the foundation for a trusty alliance of convenience.

Prussia's luck went south two centuries later. As Vladimir's electoral monarchy got mired in gridlock and succession crises, it fell prey to the ascendant Kazakh Empire, and Prussia followed soon after. Under Muslim rule, the shamans were silenced and the practice of Tengrism was forbidden. For the first time, the Tengrist faith had no safe haven.

After the death of Aibek Khan, the Kazakhs found themselves overextended, and when that became apparent, rebellions broke out all over their frontier, Prussia included. These rebellions were quickly joined by invasions from neighboring countries, and after the Kazakhs were pushed out of Europe, the great powers came together to divide the spoils. Despite Prussia's contributions in the War of Coadunation and their ancient affiliation with the Severian people, their territory was divided between Sweden, the Severian Empire, and Poland-Hungary.

For the next century, they found themselves subject to scapegoating, settlement, Christianization, cultural torpor, and destructive territorial wars in which they gained nothing. A break came in 1905, when Prussia received its independence at the end of the Pragmatic War. Its new territory, ceded by Sweden and Severia, was much reduced, but it included Gotland, which would prove important.

Prussia's misfortune would peak with its abandonment in the Patriotic War, when the Empire of Ruthenia offered to protect it, only to use it as a distraction in the war so that it could focus on its strategic goals further south. Severia quickly occupied it, and its treatment of the Prussians has now been recognized as genocide. After the war, the nation was completely unstable, and the Prussian Civil War began in 1960. Estland emerged from its exclave along the Gulf of Finland, which had been heavily Christianized under Swedish rule. The radically secular Nacionalis Karis, wanting to preserve the Prussian nation over the Tengrist religion, took over the mainland, creating Ventaland. The Tengrists fled to Gotland, and the rest is history.

Since then, Gotland has fallen under the wing of Sweden, and living standards here have steadily improved. The Swedish navy makes avid use of Svetrosa's port, and they've been more than happy to share arms and military training, encouraging a defensive mindset in Gotland's political circles. However, historical trauma has played a major role in deciding the course of things, and tensions with the island's Christian population has been the logical outcome of Gotland's pride and paranoia.

Gotland's next general election is being held in 2008. Already, the stakes look high, with many growing tired of the status quo, and others seeing the end of the status quo as an existential threat. After having spent so much time reporting on the byzantine politics of Germany, I am still processing how I managed to overlook this country for so long. Now, you can be certain that, come the elections, I will be watching this country closely, pen in hand and fingers crossed.
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