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Emperor Worship
Cult of Sigmar
Vital statistics
Title Worship of Sigmar the Man God
Founding Around 2200
Prophet Sigmar
Sphere of Control Much of northern Europe.
Holy Text Book of Sigmar

Emperor Worship or "The Cult of Sigmar" is the dominent religion of The Empire, and many nations of northern Europe and eastern Europe. Emperor Worship is founded around the belief in the Man God Sigmar, and its adherents believe him the son of God in much a similar way as Jesus is held in the view of Christians. Many faithful Sigmarites are deeply concerned with the role of the Sigmarite cult in politics. They feel that the political dimension of the Sigmar religion impairs their personal beliefs. Thus, they seek other ways to express their piety, abdicating personal goods and riches to live as eremites or beggar monks or sign up in the armies to spread their god's word. However, generals usually don't like to have religious zealots amongst their ranks, so these people often form their own war parties or even become Flagellants.

Emperor Worship is one of the more restrictive religions with people clearly understanding that once an area becomes home to the Cult of Sigmar they will battle endlessly against all those who do not believe in Sigmar. This has led to during the timeline of the story the open conflict between Dragonoph, and the Cult of Sigmar due to the fact that Dragonoph is expanding northward as the Kingdom of Lucerne expands as well, and this has led to the Cult of Sigmar and Dragonoph War.

There is some political conflict between the leaders of the cults of Sigmar and Ulric - the northern god of winter, wolves, and war - but within the armies of the Empire followers of both cults are often found fighting side by side. Temples of Sigmar can be found throughout the Empire, with the largest located in Altdorf: the Great Temple of Sigmar. Another temple of Sigmar is located in Black Fire Pass, on the site where Sigmar made his historic pact with the Dwarfs. The head of the Cult of Sigmar is the Grand Theogonist, who is assisted by two Arch Lectors of Sigmar, who act as the Grand Theogonist's surrogates, and each of these positions holds a vote in the Electoral Council to determine a new Emperor.

History

Early History

Organizations

Cult of Sigmar

Main Article : Cult of Sigmar

Important organizations within the church are Sigmar:

  • The Grand Theogonist of Sigmar, head of the Church.
  • The two Erzlektoren of Sigmar, his deputies and confessors of the Emperor.
  • Order of the hammer - the typical warrior priest, which are found on the battlefield. Even as war priest and Temple of Sigmar called.
  • Order of the Torch - Warrior Priest, the temples, chapels and shrines of the people of God to supply all over the empire, and perform religious ceremonies. Priest in the true sense.
  • Order of the Anvil - order of monks devoted to the performance and study of the words of Sigmar, and its monasteries Warrior Priest formed.
  • Sisters of Sigmar

Knights

Add to that the fighting, deeply religious military orders of the Templars of Sigmar , the main ones:

  • The Knights of Sigmar's Blood,
  • the Order of the Golden Lion,
  • the Order of the Sigmarite hammer,
  • the Knights of the branches drifted star and
  • the Templars of the Burning Heart, although still a number of other religious fanatic Sigmarite exists.

and the Order of the Templars of Sigmar, the dreaded Inquisition and witch hunters].

Beliefs

Like most people in the Empire, Sigmarites are insular, superstitious, and suspicious, but they view this as a sensible reaction to the corrupt world in which they live. Their self-appointed duty as guardians of the Empire and its people has brought them into contact with all manner of evil, which they have dutifully recorded in a sealed library found deep within the cult’s high temple. Thus, much like the Dwarves, a race they revere as Sigmar’s strongest allies, Sigmarites never forget, and fully trust none. This, they claim, is a paranoia not born of fear or ignorance, but of experience.

Mental fortitude and defensive tactics are of paramount importance to Sigmarites, who view all-out assault or loose thinking as open gates for corruption and heresy. However, nothing is more important than defending the Empire Sigmar created, and they are willing to go to almost any lengths to ensure this.

The cult also prizes strength and strong leadership, qualities they associate with Sigmar himself. They use these traits to promote the same strength amongst the folk of the Empire, and strike at the heart of heresy, the influence of the Dark Gods, wherever it may be.

Initiations

Although every temple has its own traditions for initiating new members into the cult, the general process varies little. First, the novitiates (the Sigmarite term for initiates) are accepted into the order by a priest, an event that is often marked with ritual shaving. Next, they are taught the ways of Sigmar. Finally, when the training is completed, the novitiate is tested by a ranking member of the cult.

Most temples only accept novitiates when young; but, theoretically, anyone called to Sigmar, regardless of age, can join the cult. Those temples that practice ritual shaving have many different traditions, but hammer or comet-shaped tonsures are common.

Novitiates rarely have any free time between the daily prayers and degrading chores they perform. What little they do have is often spent in contemplation of sacred texts. Many temples have a master of novitiates who leads weekly lessons in history, theology, literacy and Dwarf lore, but it is also common to attach novitiates to a priest who acts as their “Father” and teaches them what they need to know using whatever, often brutal, methods he prefers.

Eventually, when their superiors deem the time is right, novitiates are tested. Common tests include perfectly reciting the Twelve Prayers of Righteousness, or singing the Canticles of Sigmar without error, followed by intensive questioning by ranking members of the cult. However, there is no standard, and tests can take many forms. Some temples in Averland demand novitiates kill a Greenskin and carved the “Litany of Great Deeds” into its chest. One Stirlander flagellant order subjects all novitiates to the “Rite of the Three Brothers” after a three-day fast, which is considerably more painful than it sounds.

Iconography

  • Twin-tailed Comet - The sign that appeared in the heavens on the night of Sigmar's birth, it has become a universal symbol of his cult. The twin-tailed comet has appeared two other times in Imperial history, firstly over the capital of Ostermark, Mordheim, prior to its destruction when the comet crashed in the middle of the city, destroying most of the civic structures and killing a substantial portion of the population. That particular comet was given the name 'Sigmar's Hammer,' since it was looked on as a herald of Sigmar's will, and since it destroyed the city of Mordheim, considered the capital of sinners, gamblers, drinkers, whores, and criminals, the comet has also become an icon of imminent Sigmarite judgement. A twin-tailed comet also attended the appearance of Valten of Lachenbad, and he bore the image of the heavenly icon on his chest.
  • Ghal Maraz - Known as the 'skull-splitter', the legendary hammer of Sigmar, forged by the Dwarf Ancestors, is a symbol of Imperial unity, and the defence of humankind and the Empire. Along with the Twin-tailed Comet, it is the primary sign of Sigmar employed by the Church. In remembrance and honour of Ghal Maraz, the martial arm of the Sigmarite cult, the Order of the Silver Hammer, use warhammers in battle. It is a sign of particular balefulness to the Trollocs of the world, as the Trolloc races are believed to hold an ancestral memory of the danger and death that Ghal Maraz has meted out to their kind in the past.
  • Griffon - Popular following the reign of Emperor Magnus the Pious, this was his personal heraldry that has been adopted by the Emperors that have followed him (the so-named 'Griffon Emperors' of Reikland), the griffon has been adopted to some degree by the Sigmarite cult as well, particularly in the form of the Jade Griffon, a magical artefact worn by the Grand Theogonists to protect them in battle. The fact that such an important figure as the head of the Sigmarite church would wear Magnus' symbol so prominently also speaks favourably of the hero-Emperor's impending canonization. The Jade Griffon itself was recently destroyed during the death of former Grand Theogonist Volkmar von Hindenstern ('the Grim') in  Kislev at the hands of Archaon the Everchosen, Lord of the End Times. It is unknown whether or not the Church of Sigmar has recovered the Jade Griffon, although it is possible that it has been recovered due to Volkmar's escape at Middenheim and subsequent reinstatement as the Grand Theogonist.
  • Imperial Cross - A long-standing symbol of Imperial unity, the top three arms stand for the northern, western, and eastern tribes of the ancient Empire, and the bottom refers to the Dwarfs, the Empire's oldest and staunchest allies. It has connotations of unity and oaths fulfilled.

Noteable Members

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