Echoes of Heaven
Name: The Atavistic Church or the Druids or the Primitive Church (usually by detractors).
Leadership: Church leaders tend to be druids although rangers and oracles often take leadership roles. While Shaman’s tend to belong to pagan sects, they occasionally join the Atavistic Church instead. Members of the Atavistic Church are usually called Atavists. While all the Churches of the Savior view Atavists as heathens, they feel they are mostly harmless and simply mislead. None of the other churches view them as pagan or demonic and no one actively crusades against them.
Overview: The Atavistic Church is so-called because it claims to practice a form of religious atavism, a reinstatement of the church and religion as practiced in Heaven. While it’s said that Perion was an Atavist before his conversion, many scholars believe that the current Atavistic church doesn’t form a continuous line of teachings back to Heaven, that it was restored at least once and possibly multiple times. Atavistic scholars, of course, disagree.
The Atavistic Church practices a form of nature worship. They believe that the Five Prophets had nothing to do with the Sundering of Heaven, that if they were performing a ritual in the final moments of the war, it was unrelated at best. They believe that God created Heaven and caused the Sundering, and therefore all natural things in the Mortal Realm are Divine by nature. By studying nature and the Heavens, the Atavists believe that they can better understand God.
The Atavist leadership are druids, first and foremost. They perform a service every Earthday and on any special natural event, such as solstice and equinox or the release of a rarely vented geyser. Atavistic ceremonies are always conducted in the open, no matter what the weather. They are usually performed in stone circles, although many outside scholars believe that the Atavists did not originally build most of these circles.
The services usually involve ancient liturgies in the Divine Tongue and often ritual harvesting. Sometimes they perform minor sacrifices, though never people. There are no sermons during Atavistic services. They perform a sacrament of eating but it involves berries, not wafers.
The Atavistic Church teaches respect of life and honesty in all dealings. They have no taboos of chastity before marriage, although fidelity in marriage is required. They believe that any plant or animal must be granted respect and ceremony before it can be eaten, and their version of saying grace is something akin to last rights on the creatures they are eating.
There is as much corruption in the Atavistic Church as any other.