Ilzarism was at one time a growing minority religion in NS. In fact, the former nations of Puritia, Demnia, and Psionea were all once bastions of the growing movement. However, with the Invasion of Demnia, and subsequent coups, the nation that once was the strongest Ilzarite power soon collapsed and eventually ceased to exist. Puritia died out soon after, and Psionea was next subject to a communist revolution, eventually following its former sister states and collapsing.
Little is known about the early history of Ilzarism. Modern historians today still debate as to its origins, especially as to the place of its development. The Scrolls of Ilzar state that the religion began in the former nation of Demnia. As Demnia's lands were annexed by Tharra, due to an earlier agreement between the two nations, this makes Tharra the official home of Ilzarism.
The faith started over a thousand years ago, when the famous Ilzarite prophet, Cyrus of Ynys, claimed to have been given a vision by the god Ilzar. Cyrus was said to have climbed to the top of Mt. Ulvar, in hopes of being granted wisdom. Instead, the divine Ilzar came to him during his meditations, giving him power and knowlege, in exchange for his service. Cyrus was said to have agreed, and he was then given the "Kiss of Ascension" (in which he was granted great power and knowlege, ascending to semi divine status), and the Scrolls of Ilzar were then bestowed upon him.
Whatever the truth, Cyrus began preaching around his home city of Ynys soon after. However, his views were rejected by the people of Ynyes. As a result, Cyrus was banished for his views within a year. Soon after, Ynys was destroyed by a horrible earthquake, its people and buildings swallowed up in white flame. According to the tenants of the Scrolls, this was but a divine judgement visited upon them by Ilzar himself.
Cyrus then began traveling around the land, and, with his reputation and wisdom, along with the fate of Ynys, the fledgling religion spread like wildfire. And, sixty years later, the ninety year old Cyrus was considered the Prophet and leader of the new faith, whose converts numbered around one million. It was then that Cyrus disapeared. The story went that, Ilzar, seeing his work done, sent his aeons down to the Prophet, and Cyrus ascended to the heavens.
Within twenty years, the teachings of Cyrus, backed by the fact that they had been surrounded with so many power events, were adopted by the government of Demnia. Ilzarism became the state religion soon after, with all other's outlawed. A theocracy was established, with the leading priest serving as "Pontifex Maximus of Ilzar" for life. The priests then proceeded to canonize over fifty of Ilzar's earliest followers, along with all those that had made great contributions to the movement, makeing them "Saints of the Faith".
Soon, thanks in part to the appointed missionaries of Ilzar, the religion had spread to the neighboring Puritia and Psionea. But the followers of Ilzar turned militant soon after, when the third Pontifex Maximus, seeing his faith stronger than ever, initiated the final words of the Scrolls, the War against all Heretics, ("Jyhad").
What followed was a massacre of all heretics, and the founding of the Ilzarite Inquesition. Millions perished because of it, and hundreds of revolts were to take place in neighboring realms. The rebels, militantly wanting to make their fate the "only religion" and backed by the other Ilzarite states.
The attention of the international community was soon focused on Demnia. Tensions began to mount of the next centuary, culminating the execution of a million heretics in a single day. What followed was war being declared on Demnia. The nation was able to fight off attacks, but another blow soon came.
Puritia collapsed due to an internal coup, and Ilzarism was outlawed. Demnia attempted to send troops and replace the government, but the already broken army was defeated yet again. Then, the day forever known as "The Sundering" came.
The ancient god of death, Nergal, appeared. He summoned Ilzar to battle, his voice echoing all over Demnia. Ilzar heeded the call, and the two fought. The people, stunned by the brilliant appearence of their god, watched in horror as Ilzar was defeated and sealed away in a sleep in the abyss. Ilzarism was over. Demnia's government was then overthrown in favor of an established monarchy, which soon collapsed along with the entire state. Psionea was likewise subject to a communist revolution.
Today, Ilzar still sleeps and his followers have since dwindled to almost none. Perhaps a few secret organizations still exist in the former lands of Puritia, but the Jihad in Tharra has permenantly extingueshed all hope of a revival there. The remaining followers, perhaps numbering a thousand at best, continue to wait for the day when their lord will be resurected again.