Cult of Gethsenes
Common depiction of Gethsenes
The Cult of Gethsenes was an cult and secret society that rose to power over the time of the Republic of Aerion. It was unique in that it managed to infiltrate the high society, and government of the Republic. Members of the Cult of Gethsenes even practiced human sacrifice, according to reports. Though it was later denied this when found out, saying only an extreme sect of the Cult practiced human sacrifice. It is known they worshipped an ancient Aerion demoness, Gethsenes.
It is a terrible mark in Aerion history, and is not mentioned in official history books or anywhere in the press. A few random publications will make passing mention of it, but it is generally taboo, and usually only a small number of people have really looked into it. Most know it only as a scandal that occured during the Aerion Republic, related to its fall, and the falling of the last semblance of any democracy in Aerion. There is no doubt the Cult supported the rise of Dictator, and self-proclaimed Prince Erne Morne that led to the fall of the Republic.
Little is known about the cult, though conspiracy theories abound today speculating if it is still in existence. There are rumored to be ruins of temples in various cities, though most of these were long ago built over or destroyed
A Scholar on the Cult
"In order to analyze the amazing ability of the Cult of Gethsenes to infiltrate almost the entire government, and high society of the Republic one must analyze first what draws people to a cult and a secret society, and then the conditions at the time. What draws a person to a cult? It may be the promise of hidden knowledge, a feeling of inadequacy, a wish to learn more about the world, and often the personalities in the cult. What draws a person to a secret society? Often some of the same. Promise of hidden knowledge, a feeling of inadequacy, wishing to belong to a group, but more than anything perhaps the promise of power. In this case a lot of influence, and power. What were the current conditions? The high society and government of Aerion were a small group, perhaps under 5000. Many were privileged descendents of tribal, and clan leaders with their families earning permanent spots on the Senate during the Council of Tribes era. Many of these people did care, but they feared for their own lives if they spoke out against the cult.
Slowly, with creeping tendrils, the Cult drew in the most powerful men in the nation. Then all the sycophants and officials followed that wished for the power, and influence. Then those who did not wish to be killed or their families harmed. The vows of secrecy, of its rituals, practices, and membership helped cohere the Cult together as one.
It has been alleged that the Cult committed human sacrifice, in my own research, perhaps disturbing to some, those who committed human sacrifice were part of the higher circle in the cult, and the inner circle rather than every temple of the Cult in every city.”
Professor Jevith Dawn
Before the outing of the Cult of Gethsenes, little is known of its history, other than that Gethsenes was an demoness in the ancient Aerion Old Aerion Tribal Religion that many outcast witch doctors called upon to do their evil charms. She has been called “The Demonic Queen” and “The Dark Witch Queen”.
Older simple tribal depictions depict her as a winged female figure with claws and fangs. Later depictions, possibly influenced by the late influx of Christian missions, depicted her as having curling horns and hooved feet like that of a goat, fangs, a long serpentine tongue, large sharp wings, and an forked tail.
There is some speculation if Gethsenes was a single demoness, or the name of a race of demons as there are varying stories about Gethsenes throughout Aerion. However, it is generally thought she was an single entity.
Ancient tribal depiction of Gethsenes
Historical Cover Up?
There are early evidence of ancient worship areas to her, though many archaeological records have mysteriously disappeared. These worship areas were said to be gigantic pits, where evidence of hundreds of bodies were found, as well as clay pots and statues in her early form. Today no such spots are publicly known, or open to the public, even to the present archeological community. It is considered a taboo in the archeological academic community to even look into it.
Even today, mega corporation dominated press and publishing companies will not publish books or reports related to it, and the Royal Government does not even acknowledge it.
In the final days of the old Aerion Republic, this scandal occurred.
From a News Article of the Time “It is discovered after the strange disappearance (kidnapping) of 10 senators that most of the Aerion Elite in government, academia, military, and religious positions as well as many businessmen are part of the Cult of Gethsenes, a large secret society/cult dedicated to the worship of an ancient Aerion Demoness. Members included 245 Senators (Of the 300 Senate), All Admirals, All Generals except 2, All Bishops of each province of the Aerion Christian Church, All Provincial Governors, All Presidents of Aerion's 12 different banks, 40% of all top level executives in Aerion corporations. 20% of Aerion's police force is in it as well, but is in it through a secret subordinate cult, a Police Fraternity, and do not know of the main one.”
A few temples are found with pits of bodies, and strange things. It is discovered the Cult killed the senators (among many other sacrificial victims).
- A new branch of the military, the Honor Guard (HG) is instituted, with special powers. They will be known by their black uniforms, and the patch on their arm bearing the HG Symbol, a Fortress with a mountain the background from which fire emerges. (Actually the secret headquarters of the Cult of Gethsenes)
The Dark Prince
Praetor Erne Morne (Basically Supreme Justice of Aerion), head of the High Court of Aerion, is the High Priest of the Cult of Gethsenes.
Praetor Erne Morne uses the Cult to seize power through the Senate by electing him Dictator (in the Roman sense of the word), to (officially) grant him "emergency powers"
Prince Erne Morn is coronated in a massive ceremony attended by several national delegates. The ceremony becomes an outrage when the Prince, as he is becoming coronated in a traditional ceremony by the Archbishop, takes the Archbishop and slits his throat before the entire government of Aerion, takes the cross, throws it on his body and spits on it. He then took the crown, and crowned himself. Oddly enough the crowd of mostly Aerion government officials breaks out into cheers, and amused smiles. (not so odd considering the now forgotten influence of the Cult of Gethsenes still on the government.
The Prince later suppresses any knowledge of the cult to the general public, despite the massive scandal that occurred surrounding It, and it is forbidden to discuss it.
Fall of the Cult
Following the Prince’s demise in a bomb of his Villa, the Prince’s Government falls apart. In its place, a new military dictatorship rises, and following this the cult seems to be lost from history as new perhaps even worse regimes take its place. It is noted that few if any records were found on the Cult, and its secret headquarters remained secret. It is assumed, as many government leaders and those previously in high society were killed by succeeding regimes, that the cult simply died out. However, it has been rumored that successive regimes investigated the cult, though totally different politically it is odd they have suppressed knowledge of the cult.
Today's Conspiracy Theories
It is alledged that the Cult still survives, but is only biding time until it will reveal itself again. These conspiracy theorists say though its' numbers are greatly diminished, the cult still has membership among some of today's elite in the Grand Kingdom.
Perhaps one of the most shocking claims is that Princess Ameria Wasterin is a member of the Cult, or perhaps even its' High Priestess of today!
A lesser known conspiracy theory, whispered in some educated circles that would surprise some, is that the Cult of Gethsenes was simply another arm of the Veiled Council of Thirteen that is rumored to still be in power today.