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“The greatest monsters in the universe are not those who commit evil for the sake of evil, nor those who are driven by selfishness and greed. They are not those whose sin is obvious and pure in its turpitude. They do not take form of demons, or of black-robed madmen, or even of corrupt robber barons. Virtue is strongest when it is pure and unadulterated, but vice - vice is strongest when defiled and corrupted. And what can defile a vice? Why, virtue. This was the worst, most despicable sort of sinners that Jaharan belonged to - the pious ones. A sinner without virtues may at times be sated, placated, or even be reasoned with, for everything he does is for his own benefit. But a virtuous sinner cannot be swayed from his path. Atop his unassailable fortress of morality, he thinks himself a paragon, an exemplar, greater than any mortal - deaf and blind to reason. The desperate calls of his conscience he will simply disregard as dangerous temptations. Driven by virtues, the moral sinner will spiral further down the road of evil than any other man - bravery, piety and determination giving him strength to persevere where lesser wrongdoers would have stopped - and bring about atrocities astronomical in scope.”
- - Iovera IX, On Virtue and Sin
Before the apocalyptic events of the War of Ages, few names inspired as much hatred, fear, and pain all over the Gigaquadrant - from Earth to Cyrannus - as the name of Jaharan ae-Zamarros, the Blood Clericarch of the Church of Spode. A conqueror and slaughterer of intergalactic proportions, Jaharan singlehandedly masterminded one of the largest intergalactic wars in modern Gigaquadrantic history before the coming of the Xhodocto - the so-called Illustrious Struggle towards Grand Reclamation, or simply the Jaharani Crusade - for over 50 years from 2388 to 2465, all for the sake of restoring the Church to its former glory. Unyielding in his convictions and having zero regard for the life of a single individual, Jaharan is said to be responsible for the deaths of no less than fifty billion sentients, both unbelievers and Masaari. The atrocities commited by Jaharan have irrevocably altered the Radeon identity, as well as their image in Gigaquadrantic society, so much that the shadow of his bloody conquests continues to haunt the Divinarium even today.
Prince of Vendespode Edit
“The name of my family has been covered in so much grime that it would have taken generations of piety and virtue to make it pure again. Fortunately, for us it took one. Myself. Never again shall the noble House of Zamarros be associated with sin.”
- - Jaharan
Though de jure a society where blood relationships were disregarded and positions in society were given only through talent rather than family connections, de facto, there were many times in Radeon and Church history that the institutions that were meant to assign the young to their appropriate positions, such as the Divaricator Caste, became so corrupt that certain families stayed on top for generations. One of these families was the House of Zamarros, whose name is inseparable from the Church of Spode in the first half of the third human millenium. One of the richest and most affluent clans in Radeon history, who gained their wealth through intergalactic trade, silver tongues, and the occasional poisoning, they occupied the very top of the Church's hierarchy for several centuries, both in the military, the civil administration and the clergy; the patriarchs of the family were frequently elected Clericarch, and in the cases when they were not, they still essentially controlled the Conclave with their bribes and connections.
However, the great wealth of the Zamarros family was not the thing they were famed for. The House marked their name in Radeon history with their great scandals, licentiousness, and immorality. From High Quaestor Lithai ae-Zamarros, a bastard born out of an illicit affair of a Zamarros Exarch with a prostitute who famously squandered all of the Church's money on provocative dresses, to War Predictor Thesael ae-Zamarros who enjoyed hunting primitive sentient beings for pastime (humans claim that 21st century Earth was his favourite battleground) and bringing them to Vendespode as pets, to Lady Clericarch Hajaran ae-Zamarros who replaced the water in sacred fonts in Enara City with Draconis wine and allegedly executed her husband for inability to service her, replacing him with an entire harem of young boys, most of the members of the house were decadent to the point of insanity (even though accounts of their decandence were likely exaggerated). The father of Jaharan, Clericarch Quaendir ae-Zamarros, was no different, and famously celebrated the anniversary of his ascension to the throne by hosting an orgy in the Ecclesiastical Palace together with his wife. It is said that it was during this orgy that Jaharan was conceived.
At first, it seemed that Jaharan would not be any different from the rest of his house; as a young boy, he showed the typical Zamarros interest in high cuisine, expensive clothing, mind-altering drugs, and instruments of murder. However, as the kid began his education, the older members of the Zamarros clan began to notice his profound interest in history and theology. Though that in itself was nothing serious (after all, some knowledge of Masaari law was needed to excuse one's depravities), the keen interest Jaharan showed towards the early history of the Radeons and the Church, especially the dismantling of the corrupt Enarans by Seranai, unnerved Quaendir, who came to see his son as a threat to their family's traditions. However, the father still loved his child dearly, and would rather see him turned to the "light". Thus, the Clericarch began to subtly influence his son, exposing him to the usual depravities of house Zamarros. But Jaharan did not submit. The decadence of his kin only drove him further away from the rest of the family as he grew into a man. This finally culminated in what Quaendir considered to be the "final test" for his young son; he locked him away for a night (actually a period of daytime; being nocturnal, Radeons sleep and do other usual nightly activities during the day) together with the most beautiful young nun from the Convent of Seranai, Metochia Nauvi, fully expecting him to violate her or at least sleep with her voluntarily.
Nothing of the sort happened, naturally. Instead, Jaharan and Metochia spent the entire day talking of theological matters, of Spode and of the universe, and of how the Church and the Path of Masaari could be saved from complete degeneration. Though an educated man, Jaharan was still miles away from the common subject of the Church, and did not understand their plight the way they did. Metochia opened his eyes by showing him the faith of the common people - what he came to consider the true faith - and the suffering they endured under the depraved and corrupt elites. The unformed dissatisfaction with his House took shape of burning hatred now, and when dusk fell and his father returned, Jaharan stood up against him with a fiery monologue on how society needs to be reformed and sin cleansed from the Church.
Quaendir would have none of that. In his rage, he attacked the young nun, mutilating her body in ways that Jaharan did not think possible. Metochia screamed as the Clericarch smashed her head with his scepter several times before setting her on fire with it, separated her arm from her body, crushed her legs under his boots until they remained a mess of blood and viscera and finally violated her burned body using her own dismembered arm. Only Quaendir's fatherly love saved the soon-to-be Clericarch that fateful day from the same fate, as the Zamarros patriarch was still not depraved enough to turn on his own flesh and blood. Understanding that he was no longer welcome on Vendespode, Jaharan escaped to outer galaxies, well outside the Church's vastly dimished sphere of influence, together with the slowly dying Metochia.
“Spode exists around us as much as it exists in us. It is our faith and our devotion. As long as our faith and devotion are true, then is our god also true, and if we waver or commit hypocrisy, then there is no Spode in our worlds - and forsaken by its glory, we wither and die.”
- - Jaharan, On Faith
The following century and a half was spent by Jaharan in exile. Having disguised himself as a travelling monk, he traveled from star to star and planet to planet, meeting local religious communities while looking for a way to save his beloved Metochia from death. It is said that the mysterious stranger was seen serving the Sisters of Alkhuse in the Andromeda Galaxy, praying in the temples of the Corgel, and studying the relics of the Ernai Empire on Spinker worlds disguised as a traveler. The wide variety of sects revering Spode, both Radeon and foreign, startled Jaharan, who came to wonder if all ways to worship Spode were equally true or if there was some original Masaari religion that was the only true path to salvation. The many cults he came across during his journeys couldn't possibly all be false, and yet the disgusting acts of depravity he saw on Vendespode were still vivid in his mind, and he could not fathom that Spode could allow his true believers to fall so low. Surely, the clerics of Vendespode must have warped the holy doctrine somehow. Eventually, he came to believe that though there were many paths to Spode, all of them had to uphold several important principles of faith:
- Self-sacrifice, rejection of personal interests and pleasures in favour of a greater cause.
- Tenacity, which for Jaharan meant the willingness to protect one's faith and people, by violence if necessary.
- Justice, or lack of tolerance towards immorality and injustice.
- Communality, construction of the greater Masaari community united in brotherhood.
Meanwhile, despite her protector having used all medical technologies he encountered in his journeys to prolong her life, Metochia passed away, pleading her lover not to become a monster as she died. This drove Jaharan further down the path of desperation, to the point that he attempted to rescue her from death by reconstructing her body cybernetically and creating an artifical intelligence replica of her personality using forbidden Delpha Coalition technology. Nevertheless, he did not stop travelling, and eventually stumbled in his searches on a particularly strange planet, which he believed could be the only place in the Gigaquadrant where original Masaari was preserved best: Waset, an isolated planet in the Girdo Galaxy inhabited by the Saqqarit, a nation of Radeon colonists who renounced the greater interstellar society millenia ago.
Having once again concealed his appearance, Jaharan had joined the community of the Saqqarit and lived among them for years. The ways of the primitive Radeons seemed to prove his beliefs to him: they were pure, shunned immorality and selfishness, and lived as a single family. Yet, one thing continued to puzzle the Radeon traveler - the Saqqarit's hatred of violence. Though they seemed somewhat aware of the world beyond the stars, they did not want to change it, to make it better. One day, when Jaharan studied together with other monks on Waset, and was about to receive guruship, he approached their teacher and asked her why her people refused to help the Gigaquadrant and change it for good as a whole if they knew the universe around them was dark and full of evil. The rest of the students were startled by the boldness of the newcomer. But the teacher did not answer, but rather asked Jaharan a question of his own: what was good? Could she distinguish with absolute certainty between deeds that were good for the entirety of the universe and those that ultimately harmed it? Jaharan answered immediately. The universe was Spode, Spode was Masaari: thus, what was good for the Church was good for the universe itself, and he knew for certain what was good for the Church - a moral, just and strong ruler.
Having at last discerned the wanderer's true intentions, the teacher banished the guru-to-be from Waset. But little could change Jaharan now: his path had already been set, and his destiny was about to be realised.
“Today before us stands what was once the citadel of faith and purity, but is now a pestulent, worm-ridden carcass of its former glory. Today, we excommunite the decadent clergy of the False Church and ordain the new priests of Spode - you, my Ferric warriors! Those who die to reclaim Spode's radiance! Those who know its laws and what it takes to fulfill them! There are some who would call us the New Church. A dangerous falsehood! We are the old Church, the Church of al'Khear and Seranai, the Church Militant! And today, we rise to claim what is rightfully ours!”
- - Jaharan before the Battle for Vendespode
Meanwhile, as Jaharan traversed the universe, the stagnancy and decadence of the Church were slowly reaching their apogee. Newer powers appeared in the maturing Gigaquadrant, from the militant Delpha Coalition of Planets to the Capricorn Sector Alliance and the fledgeling humanity, and the old Radeon empire found it harder and harder to compete with these younger races. With its wealth drained by the excesses of its clergy, its cultural and scientific development stifled by superstition, and its military power undermined by rebellious governors and crony generals, the Church was now a mere shadow of its former self - but that obviously would not stop the Ecclesial Court from indulging in their decadence. Thus, as the desires of the elites grew and the coiffers of the Church diminished, the common people of the Church became more and more impoverished - creating an atmosphere of unrest and anger directed at the authorities. A great fire that would later engulf the entirety of the Church began to stir. When the Clericarch, faced with foreign expansion, issued the Bull of Golden Liberties - creating over 90 alien-owned concession sectors within the Church's territories, thus essentially selling its worlds to unbelievers - that fire became a conflagration.
It was then when the figure of the mysterious Argent Priest surfaced in the Church. Supposedly a common man who rose from simple beginnings, his family killed by corrupt Dei'Ar warriors, the Argent Priest became a folk hero of some sort, appearing on countless worlds of the Church and, with his speeches, stirring the masses to stand up against oppression. At first nothing but a legend spoken only in whisper, over the years of constant protests, rebellions and revolts the bearded Radeon clad in grey robes became a symbol of hope for the protesters, and finally during the Great Revolution of Thaiphis, revealed himself in the flesh amongst its workers. The exasperated masses were quick to bow to their saviour and pledged allegiance to the visionary priest's army; to mark their loyalty, the metalworkers of Thaiphis crafted iron badges crudely shaped in form of the Eye of Spode, and it was after these iron badges that Jaharan's soldiers received their name: the Ferrics. With the loyalty of billions as well as multiple important industrial complices such as Argeseph, Jaharan stood poised to invade Vendespode.
Clericarch Quaendir ae-Zamarros hardly understood the events that transpired around him, too preoccupied with feasts, orgies and hunts to take care of the matters of the state. Rebellions were answered with police and military crackdowns, which in themselves caused bigger rebellions, necessating larger crackdowns - giving Jaharan more and more supporters. Meanwhile, more and more of the Dei'Ar became disillusioned with their previous loyalties and defected to the Ferrics, giving it experienced commanders and military-grade starships. The Conclave called upon the intergalactic community for aid, but this ultimately did little to slow down the House of Zamarros's fall, as the Ferrics were quick to decry the Clericarch siding with unbelievers as yet another blasphemy to Spode, and foreign militaries mostly kept to their own concession sectors and were hardly interested in fighting the revolutionaries moving into Deus Rift.
When Quaendir's favourite son Phaendir, War Predictor of the Dei'Ar Order, opened the defenses of Vendespode to the Ferrics, the fate of the Church was finally sealed. The revolutionaries claimed the planet with little resistance, as the rioting citizenry was quick to denounce their decadent monarch, and Jaharan with the mechanised Metochia entered his father's palace unopposed. It was only then that, seeing the grey-robed monster of a Radeon enter his royal chambers and glaring at him with a gaze full of unabashed hatred, the Clericarch at least realised who was leading the revolution all this time. Quaendir could barely gasp as his son grabbed his old father by his robe and threw him from the Divine Throne on the palace's silver floor, taking it for himself. Phaendir soon came to the palace himself and offered a hand of friendship to his younger brother, expecting a reward for his defection. Jaharan immediately gutted him with a single strike of the Scepter of Twilight to the stomach, leaving his bleeding body to lie on the floor as he gasped dying, pleading Spode for mercy. The last thing he heard before finally departing from this world was Jaharan telling him that his swift death was already a mercy he did not deserve.
Lord of the ChurchEdit
“We are the Church of Spode. The state that is built for one thing: to glorify Spode and to bring about its message of truth and unity. For that purpose, our illustrious Theosophians instate the Eternal Law, with the agreement of Spode's Canonic Sutras and Recited Testaments. Why, I ask you, must we accept the alien infidels trying to get their mortal laws all over our Church? It is happening everywhere. As I speak, the unbelievers of Mirenton are putting down their law in the Corgel Kingdom, and the Terran rape gangs are rampaging on the streets of Sanctuarium. We cannot stand for that!”
- - Clericarch Jaharan on the treatment of Masaari natives in concession sectors.
Phaendir was merely the first to die. The seed of corruption had infected the Church deeply, requiring thorough purification. Bonfires burned all night in Enara City as those clerics who were deemed unclean screamed and howled, their life preserved for hours with Church medicine that they once used to vainly protect their youth, as fire slowly but steadily devoured their flesh - all to the singing of children who stared at the horrible spectacle and chanted the verses from the Sacrosanct Recited Testament decrying their sins. When dawn rose, those Dei'Ar who participated in the attacks on civilians were hanged, emasculated (or infibulated), and then quartered - but their life again preserved - their tongues cut and eyes gouged so they could do nothing but writhe in pain in cages. The Radeons ululated and sang as their tormentors were finally put to death, before going to sleep during daytime - save for the most devoted, who stayed during the day to see foreign collaborators put into glass iron maidens and raised into the sky so that the desert sun would finish their demise - their screams muffled by the coffins as their flesh burned away and their own bodies turned into roasted meat. Then, as twilight fell, the people of the Church awakened to stone their corrupt government officials before going off to their jobs.
But above all others, Jaharan wished to punish those who were at the heart of this corruption, who were born of it and who magnified it tenfold - the blood of Jaharan himself. Members of house Zamarros were executed day and night. Two times a day, Jaharan would bring one relative of his from the catacombs to the Divinity Plaza, put him at public display, and then, to the cheering of the crowds, behead him or her personally, broadcasting the bloody execution all over the Church. The remains of the body would then be thrown back to the catacombs and offered as food to the remaining relatives of his. It took a year to finally get rid of all members of his house; by the time his father was chosen, the plaza had already become glistening from all the blood spilled. As his head fell on the ground, fireworks blew, and victorious fanfares celebrated the end of sin all over the Church.
At first, the new Ferric government of the Church (sometimes referred to as the Iron Conclave) was tolerated, or at least wilfully ignored, by the Gigaquadrantic community, who welcomed an end to the instability and irredentism caused by the previous Clericarchs. Despite fears that the fierce revolutionary would isolate his country and stop foreign trade altogether, Jaharan did nothing of the sort. The concession sectors that his father had ceded to foreign nations remained in place although the Conclave demanded from alien governments that they protect the Masaari religion in their territories. Few agreed with these terms, and colonisation in the concession sectors continued as the native Radeon populations were steadily displaced - thus slowly turning the hatred of Radeons from their own former rulers to unbeliever oppressors. Those territories that the Church did not officially cede were, however, slowly brought back under Vendespode's rule, especially those in Endless Space; those local rulers who resisted reunification were quickly silenced and suppressed. Though some foreign politicians denounced Jaharan's ruthlessness, many of them praised him for his efforts at strengthening the Church.
One way or another, the new Clericarch did not care. His grand vision did not have unbelievers in it. They could bicker and indulge in their greed as much as they wanted - all they did was give him time to prepare. Jarahan appointed one of his youngest but brightest Ferric followers, Laurinn Ma'fest, as Judicator Supreme, his right hand and mouthpiece - churning out propaganda and broadcasting hateful speech after hateful speech to ready the masses for the coming war. He also made one of the few old clerics of the Church whom he deemed worthy of life - Telfar au-Jahali - into his personal advisor, making him Lord Exarch and overseer of the Church's more distant colonies. He was given the task of organising the Church's armies, and was to act as a leash on the Dei'Ar so as to make them controllable. With the hatred of his people for unbelievers growing as their families in concession sectors were separated and forced to flee their homes, the great crusade to purify the Gigaquadrant was only a matter of time.
“For decades you, the upstart apes who call themselves homo sapiens, have been occupying the worlds of our brothers in faith, the Nebi-Mu, plundering their riches, humiliating their people, terrorizing their neighbors, and turning their bases into a spearhead through which to fight our faith. We want to restore freedom to our nation, just as you lay waste to our worlds. So shall we lay waste to yours. Gaze now! Gaze as your false idols crumble and die under our holy fire! Once you drove our people out of our temples in your arrogance, but did you really think that you, a disunited species without a single ruler, could challenge ancients like us? Arrogance beyond redemption. Now, let your temples burn.”
- - Jaharan's message to the inhabitants of Earth before the Fourfold Invasion of Lazio, the Levant, Hijaz and Nepal
It began without a warning. Though most politicans believed that conflict between the Church and the younger great powers of the galaxy was imminent, few expected that it would become so bloody, so great in scope, and so sudden. Some claimed that Jaharan had other reasons to start his crusade other than to sate his own ego and to avenge his people, or that he had supernatural allies. It did not occur without warning, of course - Jaharan was a man of his word, for to break oaths would be a grave sin unto Spode. One hour before the attacks, he broadcasted his declaration of war all over the Gigaquadrant, denouncing the unbelievers and announcing that foreign presence was no longer tolerated in the Church.
Then, the fleets reconstructed Ecclesial Navy departed Vendespode and began their intergalactic invasions, reclaiming the worlds they once ruled - and more. In the Cyrannus Galaxy, an armada of Cardinal-class destroyers entered the Mission Worlds, pacifying and reabsorbing the Qiran Primacy. The Delpha Sector shuddered as golden ships entered the Corgel Kingdom; dirigibles inscribed with holy symbols descended upon Hmrandor as Ferric propagandists announced the Corgel's independence from the unbeliever Coalition and its return in the Church. In the Norma-Outer Arm, a single Caliph-class dreadnought wrought havoc among the Spinker, with the intention of reclaiming the worlds of the Ernai. The concession sectors given to the Draconid Imperium in Andromeda were occupied in mere days as the Segmentum Draco Federal Union joined Jaharan, promised Alcanti in return for aiding the Radeons. And, the last to be invaded, the Orion Spur burned as the Ecclesial Navy attacked the nascent Humanity, taking the ceded Nebi-Mu worlds - and moving closer and closer to Earth.
At first, Jaharan's war was a stunning success. Having known full well the mentality of governments and how they could be provoked into crimes of their own from the Church civil war, he used the Masaari races in the concession sectors as leverages in the war, organising partisan groups out of locals loyal to him and then using them as fodder in the conflict. The resulting acts of terror stirred hatred in alien societies and provoked their governments to crack down on all Masaari in their territories regardless of their loyalties - thus gaining even more support from them as the minorities flocked to the Ferrics for protection. The Holocaust of Kara-Nuvara, where a population of an entire world worshipping foreign gods was slaughtered, the Glassing of Maekor in the Girdo Galaxy, part of the infamous War of Spodification (also known as the Reclamation of the Zuckhs), and of course the legendary Fourfold Invasion of the Earth were all testament to the power of the resurgent Church's war machine, its brutality and its maker's sheer insanity. However, as the zeal of the conquests died out after a decade or so of neverending warfare and wealth of the Church waned once again, the crusades stalled. Jaharan lost more and more of his mind to the bloody war, now concerned more with building monumental cathedrals and executing heretics en masse on the worlds he conquered rather than actually winning. It was then when the first calls for peace appeared, but they were quickly silenced by Ma'fest's agents. The bonfires where once corrupt priests burned were lit once again on Vendespode - except now it was the common folk who were burning, those who dared to stand against Jaharan and his vision of unending conquest.
Lord Exarch Telfar, who now began to realise just how monstrous his master truly was, pleaded the Clericarch to stop, but understood that he had to keep silent lest he suffered the same grisly fate as everyone else who opposed Jaharan. Instead, he began to secretly provide intelligence and data to foreign intelligences, misleading the Clericarch and sabotaging the Church's war machine. However, Ma'fest eventually discovered his friend's treachery and reported it to Jaharan. Telfar was forced to flee.
Meanwhile, the Church's enemies began to fight back.The invasion of humanity that was planned to be swift and easy turned into a bloody war of attrition that the Radeons, lacking a home field advantage, were steadily losing, and half of forces invading Earth mysteriously vanished. The destruction of the dreadnaught by the combined forces of the Spinkers ended the Norma-Outer Front in a similar fashion. The other fronts fared even worse, especially in the Delpha Sector where the superior organisation of the DCP eventually drove the Ecclesial Fleet out of their space altogether. Naturally, this did not help Jaharan's condition. Driven to the point of insanity, he turned more and more into a paranoid madman as the march of the crusaders became a painful struggle for survival, drowning his own homeland in blood as he threw men, women and children alike at the invading enemy. Surely, if his crusade had failed, then Spode had looked down on him and his people. The entire Church had sinned and needed to atone for their sins by death in battle.
“You could live. You could repent. Spode is a forgiving god.
If I lived, would that be life? Am I alive right now? No. Better to truly die standing and pure rather than to live a half-life. You will never get me! Never!”
- - Telfar and Jaharan's last conversation
Fortunately, as foreign armies joined together and launched a collective offensive into the Church's territory, there appeared a voice of reason who saved the Radeon people from annihilation - Telfar, who had been secretly forming a resistance against the tyrant Clericarch all this time. Over the years as the war raged, by following in Jaharan's own steps as revolutionary, Telfar, known as the Golden Priest, gathered more and more support from the Church's people with the foreign nations' silent agreement. However, instead of fighting with weapons like his predecessor, the revolutionaries of Telfar fought with nonviolence, taking inspiration from those verses of their sacred books that advocated peace and harmony. Protesters formed walls of people preventing soldiers from marching, went on hunger strikes, stopped working in factories - effectively destroying the Clericarch's army from the inside. When the armies of the combined allied coalition besieged Vendespode, Telfar entered the Enaran Palace and seized power without any shots fired: Jaharan by that time was nothing more but a rambling, maddened wreck, whispering barely coherent words as he lounged on his throne.
Seeing the Lord Exarch returning, Jaharan screamed, believing him to be the ghost of his own father, and asked for a quick death so that he could face just punishment in the afterlife. However, Telfar lowered his weapon, saying that noone was beyond redemption, and said that he could live. The Clericarch did not believe him. With a mad scream, Jaharan ran away from Telfar and jumped through the window of the palace, his body impaled on its great spires.
“May Almighty Spode
Grant us providence
So our decent kin
Could know peace
May we flourish then
As do other lands
Never to forget
- - The Church's national anthem, Hymn of Repentance, used until its dissolution. (The Divinarium substituted a more uplifting song, the March of the Hopeful)
The shadow that the Blood Clericarch has cast upon the entire Radeon species and their faith lingered for centuries and remains even now. The entire reign of Telfar au-Jahali, which replaced Jaharan as Clericarch until his death during the War of Ages, was marked by an atmosphere of morbid repentance and a nation-wide guilt syndrome. The Dei'Ar Order was essentially disbanded, most territories outside of Endless Space given away as de facto independent dioceses, and the whole Church was essentially reformed into a non-governmental organisation, with the Clericarch only retaining control over the Rifts and a few colonies in other galaxies such as Sanctuarium. The reparations to the victims of the war were continued to be paid up until the Congregation's attack. The national guilt proved later to be quite problematic when during the War of Ages the Church had to remilitarise; the decision to take up arms took years and by the time the Dei'Ar were brought back to full strength, it was already too late to offer proper resistance to the Congregation. Only centuries later did the Dei'Ar Theocracy and the Divinarium manage to reignite the Radeon national pride.
Outside the Church itself, Jaharan's crusades resulted in an increased prejudice against Radeons and Masaari followers as a whole all over the Gigaquadrant. The notion that the Church as an institution and Masaari as a faith were inherently flawed and could not exist in the modern Gigaquadrant continued to ring in the political circles of the known universe for generations, the memory of the bloody crusades of the mad Clericarch still fresh in the minds of many. However, the level of prejudice against Radeons depended largely on the region of the Gigaquadrant and the particular species in question. For example, the Draconis, who largely fought spacebound fleets under the loose guidance of Telfar - who naturally limited atrocities in his army - merely held Radeons in a mild contempt (until the Andromeda War, that is), while the Spinker, with their long lifespans, continue to remember the terror of Jaharan's armada even now and loathe Radeons with a passion. For many (like the people of the Delpha Coalition of Planets, for example), the turning point in their treatment of Radeons was their actions during the War of Ages, when the Church offered humanitarian aid to the billions of refugees fleeing from the war and the Dei'Ar marched bravely against the armies of Hell. The fact that trillions of Radeons died during the war contributed as well: the stigma of perpetrators of genocide, it seems, would only be cleansed when they suffered from genocide themselves.
As a member of House Zamarros, Jaharan retained the elegant, fine, aristocratic features of his family - something which he had loathed his entire life. The fact that he was almost a spitting image of his own father, whom he hated above all others, only made things worse for him. Thus, upon becoming the Argent Priest, Jaharan attempted to hide away all traits of his noble heritage, going so much as to dye his entire body from bright gold (characteristic of his family) to brown. This also served as a way to conceal his identity from both his family and his Ferric supporters for the time being. His most characteristic trait was, of course, his giant beard, which he grew as a pilgrim and which he was somewhat proud of. He continued to wear it as a Clericarch in order to always remember his lowly beginnings, as well as out of his belief (influenced by the monks of Waset) that tampering with one's hair was to step into Spode's domain. Thus, though he would constantly groom it, he would never cut it. Among the less pleasant remnants of Zamarros genetics is his leg problem; he had to use a crutch for most of his life.
Jaharan generally wore plain clothing as a pilgrim and as the Argent Priest, his grey coat becoming somewhat of a symbol among Radeons - showing opposition towards the decadent elite. He would continue this practice as Clericarch, abandoning the more flamboyant clothing of his predecessors in favour of a simple white robe and the Diadem of Twilight. However, it was by no means humble, as he understood the need to intimidate his foes and inspire his followers, and thus accentuated his robe with impressive shoulderpads, his gouged eye with a mechanical implant and his diadem with horns (famously, Iovera never removed the horns despite wearing the diadem on a daily basis, unlike Telfar, causing some controversy).
Without doubt, Jaharan was perhaps the most cruel, heartless and brutal Radeon ruler who has ever lived - merciless, fanatical, and with a messianic complex that surpassed even the most insane of Earth's dictators. Driven by a never-ending need to destroy all impurity in the world, he was unnerring in his beliefs, dedicated thoroughly to his cause and caring little about the lives of others - all the worst traits of the Radeon kind magnified thousandfold. Perhaps the main thing that drove others to Jaharan was his lack of doubts; he always knew what must be done and how to do it, and proceeded accordingly without a trace of error, misgiving, or remorse. This self-assurance was born out of a fervent belief in his own infallibility more than anything. Above all things, Jaharan was obssessed with purity - in all senses of this word. He had a pathological fear and hatred of everything he considered unclean - from sexuality to wealth and actual grime - and was known to pray (and bathe) incessantly every day to clean himself - and others - from it. He had a particular phobia of everything unclean that reminded him of his family, especially any deviant sexuality, draxite, and foreign alcohols. Telfar once claimed that a mere sight of Draconis wine in his palace caused Jaharan to faint and, upon awakening, ordering his troops to burn down the room that housed the wine and then have a chorus pray there for a week.
Despite this, however, Jaharan was not without virtues. He was a particularily fastidious and curious man, especially in his youth, had a great thirst for knowledge, especially that which pertained to religion, was surprisingly moral in his daily life and, of course, felt strong love towards the nun that first enlightened him, Metochia Nauvi. He was also a quite honest man, and despite having hidden his identity for years, would never lie unless absolutely necessary. His emotions during his fiery speeches were completely honest. However, as many later Radeon scholars have noticed, instead of making his figure more noble, it ultimately only made him worse as his good qualities only served to further his manias, as exemplified in him transforming his former love into a cyborg soldier, not to mention further validating his belief in his infallibility.
- Metochia Nauvi - My iron bride is always by my side.
- Quaendir ae-Zamarros - You should not have fucked every whore you saw walking on the streets. Perhaps then I would not have been born.
- Phaendir ae-Zamarros - I am sorry, but like all others, you had to die.
- Madaira ae-Zamarros - Mother? Why did you touch me when I was a kid? Perhaps it was because you were never sure who my father was? Rest assured. The filth which I bear only Zamarros can have.
- Sinair ae-Zamarros - Uncle? You seemed somewhat hesitant when I fed you your daughter's flesh. Why would that be? You were perfectly content to feast on the poor, so why not taste something sweeter and more noble?
- Jahricari ae-Zamarros - I loved you, cousin. I always have. BUT ONLY IN A PLATONIC SENSE! THAT IS WHAT YOU GET FOR TRYING TO RAPE ME WHEN I WAS TWELVE!
- Simarris ae-Zamarros - I'd have tortured you like the others, but you would have enjoyed it, brother. That's why I removed all of your nerve endings. Enjoy your sensory deprivation.
- Laurinn Ma'fest - We shall tear down their idols and raise the banner of Masaari in our people's hearts.
- War Predictor Esevara Naoi - The hymn of the faithful is the clashing of their swords.
- None - Jaharan was too zealous to treat any nation, or any person, indifferently. Everyone was either a potential enemy or a servant.
- Telfar - You are not as brave as you think you are, unbeliever.
- Human governments - We shall reclaim all of our worlds, and only the most foolish and the most blind will wilfully ignore our march. Earth will shudder and humanity rot as we engulf you with a wave of destruction!
- Emperor Wormulus II - We have come to you with slaughter and challenge death itself. Bring all the forces you can muster - we see only heaven in the fires of your cannons!
- Uriel Ultanos XV - All of your riches will not save your kind from the brave sons of the Church. We shall corner you in your own manors. You will never leave to bring forth your decadence, forever living in disgrace - the endless cycle awaiting you in the afterlife.
- Windey Spinkarius - Naldos shall return, and the unbelievers shall quake as we set our holy laws in your land. Those who value their life will pay in money or in blood - this is the price of unbelief.
“My greatest sin, which I have never repented for. Following this madman. The things I have done, the things I have helped do - for this there is no redemption.”
- - Clericarch Telfar
“The greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 24th century.”
“Jaharan did nothing wrong.”
“People give me weird looks on the streets to this day because of this git. He made Spode a thing to be feared rather than revered.”
“And nothing of value was lost!”
- - Koluap
“We had always believed that the monsters who glassed our monasteries in the name of their false god had been a minor aberration, a rogue colony of one of our local species who had found the scriptures of our corrupt ancestors and followed them blindly onto the path of atrocity. The day I learned the full extent to which ruin had been wrought by some extragalactic ecclesiocrat... I am still speechless.”
- - Atirieil
“Jaharan. Even a century after his passing from the universe his name still chills the blood. A nightmare made manifest, an example that the Radeon were not a species to be mocked or ignored. For while they may seem frail, perhaps unable to commit war. Their mental ferocity, and their mastery over the minds of others, is something to dread if the creature in question is in a foul mood. The universe learned through him that physical frailty can bear no relevance when paired with an indomitable determination.”
“You must ask yourself one thing; is it the god that is evil, or the mortals that follow it? To the outside eye, ae-Zamarros was of a brutality that made The Congregation regard the Church of Spode's actions as extreme. Sheep are not willingly lead into slaughter by their shepherds.”
“You know, if I didn't loathe religious fundamentalists, I'd probably want to befriend this guy, as bad as it sounds. No, really, he had some good ideas.”
“I KNO NUFFIN BOUT DIS GEEZA CEPT HE HAD TINY HANDS. WE GOTTA BUILD A WALL AN MAKE DA HERETIK RATZ PAY FER IT!!!!”
“Damn madman. Spode is something to bring harmony, not death. If I had ever met him personally, I'd have shot him for heresy most foul. No man should kill the faithless, but bring them into the Light. This one, however, I'd make an exception for, this one would doom us all.”
- - Kavaat
“Such a shame he lived in the wrong time and followed the wrong lord, I could just imagine what fun I could have with the legendary Blood Clericarch among my devoted...”
- Jaharan's favourite food was bean curd.
- Jaharan had a pathological fear of the naked body, especially female, and famously threatened to destroy an entire humanoid species because they were nudist.
- Jaharan is a source of interest and research in the contemporary Artharon society, who frequently use his behaviour as an example of inherent Radeon cruelty.
- Jaharan held a particular hatred of the Draconis, whose aristocratic ways reminded him of his own family. Fortunately for them, as it was Telfar who organised the Andromedan Campaign, no massacres occured in Draconid territory during the Jaharani Crusades.
Out of universeEdit
- Jaharan was originally mentioned in 2011, in the (now outdated) Radeon history, where he was described as a corrupt military dictator who turned the Church of Spode into a totalitarian state and was eventually ousted by Telfar. His new personality was created with his page in 2016, staying mostly true to his original interpretation, but remaking him into a more religious character.
- Jaharan's initial source of inspiration was Goge Vandire. Though he retains many similarities with him even today, his modern character was inspired more by a plethora of populist politicians, both historical and contemporary.
- Many of his quotes were based on real life sayings of these populists, frequently those of polar opposite alignments. The latter fact is meant to show theImperios's belief that all populist authoritarian movements are inherently very similar.
- Jaharan serves to explain the stigma against the worshippers of Spode in the modern Gigaquadrant, especially in historical fiction. As during the fiction universe's inception the hatred of Zealots did not require explaining (as it was based on out of universe hatred of them due to their behaviour in Spore), most users considered it a given and never bothered to elaborate on it. Jaharan's atrocities help alleviate that.
- Jaharan's theme is Crusaders in Pskov.