St. Irenaeus's Church (Raines Hills)
|St. Irenaeus's Church|
|St Irenaeus's Church
Raines Hills [60,13], [61,13]
St Irenaeus's Church
A wide expanse of gilded beams stretch from the warmly glowing altar up to the ceiling, where they meet the shimmering stars of the heavens. Diligent clergy with pockets full of itching fingertips climb among the rafters polishing and resetting recovered gems. The congregation mill about below, laughing jauntily and ceaselessly sipping out of goblets filled from the cellar stores, stopping occasionally to dance along to the tunes blaring through the organ pipes.
Once an imposing conglomerate of religious strife, raining intolerance even outside its own reach, this church and those bordering stood on the same grounds, as one. Trouble first sparked between two factions identifying themselves as the Idolators and the Minimalists. The Minimalists insisted that any material other than parchment, masonry and timber was offensive and must be removed from the church. Furious arguments, stoked by the Bishop Irenaeus Goldfreid, failed to reach agreement and one night while the clergy slept, a band of soft-soled radical minimalists tore everything they saw as frivolous from the East wing. The Idolators awoke to find their counterparts dressed as monks and welcome piles of luxuries cluttering up their pews. They tried at first to live side by side, but when all hope of the opposition relenting had drained away, the West walled itself off from the East.
Peace between East and West was won for a time, with each side respectfully ignoring the other. Until, from beneath the simple, solitudinous skirts of the Radical Minimalists would come a monkling by the name of Don Juan. So spoke the friar, who had recently procured an infant from the doorstep -- who most likely originated from Bastard Street -- baptized him Juan Donius and forged a note in his handwriting to placate the nay sayers. There was much quiet, reverent bickering in the cloisters, until it was agreed that Juan must be raised in isolation to preserve their way of life from his eventual unspeakable horrors. And so it came to pass that the East-East wing -- which came to be known as St. Juan's Church -- was requisitioned by a handful of boring scholars and their charge.
Irenaeus' Idolators meanwhile had problems of their own. New radicals, under the command of Athanasius Maradictus, sifted themselves out of a mix the others weren't even aware existed. The undersigned were no longer content with inhabiting a wing in opposition to the monks and demanded that they occupy the North wing. From there, they reasoned, it would not insult their sensibilities to direct unfortunate subordinates to remember their plight for them. Of course, over time, the West wing tired of dealing with their snooty neighbours -- who by now referred to both the East and the West as the South -- and put several layers of brick, mortar and tapestry between them.
This Northern building came to be known as St. Athanasius's Church. Soon, with Athanasius' poor understanding of mathematics and its intrinsic concept of diagonals they forgot their plight with the monks and pretended they had nothing to do with Irenaeus at all. Similarly, the East-East wing worked themselves up into an intellectual frenzy and mounted angry leafleting campaigns, hoping to win more of a footing. One night after many months of accumulated religious cabin fervour, the Eastern Radical Minimalists burned all of the Idolators' possessions, tore down the adjoining wall and forced them into a radically minimalist lifestyle. Irenaeus fled, taking shelter in a nearby Scandinavian settlement -- a block that now houses Dungey Alley Police Department. Over time he convinced them that they shared a need to pillage and that they must launch a joint raid against their enemies, the monks, who were conspiring against the looters by establishing communist enclaves. The church gave little defense and was soon back under Irenaeus' control, with the understanding that occasionally the Scandinavian raiders could stumble around the church, knocking things over and taking the odd trinket home.
With the passing of time, ill deeds were scored and burned from the books. The names of Irenaeus, Athanasius and Juan were ratified by the revived religious conglomerate and heralded as Saints. --Father Bigley 18:42, 9 October 2007 (BST)
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