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For other meanings of the term, see Cathedral of Light (disambiguation).

The Cathedral of Light (a.k.a. the Holy Cathedral)[3] is a religious movement that has been twice led by Inarius. Once formed just prior to the Sin War, it now exists in new form in the Reign of Enmity.

Lore[]

Organization[]

In both incarnations, the Cathedral of Light's symbol is the Cathedral Cross.[4][5]

First Incarnation[]

Cathedral Cross-BoL

The Cathedral Cross during the Sin War

During the Sin War, the Cathedral operated on the following lines:

  • The Veiled Prophet - Patriarch and founder of the Cathedral of Light and its undisputed ruler
  • Senior Priests - Inarius had two senior priests as his right hands[2]
  • Procurator General - a high-placed authority, possibly a minister of law or administrator, based in Kehjan
  • Master Inquisitor - high rank within the order, tasks include investigating Cathedral related incidents
  • Inquisitor - armed guards, serve as bodyguards for high-ranked officials and basic infantry
  • Acolyte - employed as missionaries. Traveled alone in order to spread the faith[6]

All men who served the Cathedral were obliged to be clean shaven (in order to emulate the Prophet).[6] Its priesthood wore white robes.[2]

The Cathedral maintained its own choir of 200 singers.[2]

Second Incarnation[]

"The Cathedral loves to go on about him. His imprisonment in Hell. His valiant escape. His glorious return here--the world he created. But they never mention how being tortured in Hell for a few millennia turns you into an arse."

- Lorath Nahr on the Cathedral's worship of Inarius(src)

Inarius-lithograph

Inarius and the forces of the reformed church

During the Great Enmity, the Cathedral of Light was a militant order. While Inarius was the supreme leader of the church, Prava handled the day-to-day operations, and acted as a bridge between Inarius and the rest of his followers.[1]

While Inarius was the focus of the Church's worship, its members still gave praise to the Light. Devotees would make pilgrimages to the monastery in Kyovashad.[7]

The Cathedral has control over the Fractured Peaks. Many towns provide the Church with tithes,[8][9] and members of the Knights Penitent were also expected/obliged to tithe to the Cathedral.[10]

Remorseful devotees of the Cathedral must undertake a grueling pilgrimage, journeying across the frigid glacier known as the Serac Rapture. Only then may their gravest sins be forgiven.[11] The pilgrimage requires the penitent to carry the Idol of the Faithful along their back; the idol is cursed, sapping the strength and dulling the senses of whoever wears it (supposedly, this is the manifestation of the bearer's sins). The penitent must travel to a series of shrines to remove the curse, before finally making it to the Shrine of the Penitent. This process was also required for any who wished to see Inarius. Many died while undertaking the pilgrimage, even Knights Penitent.[12]

The Cathedral entombed its honored dead in the Hallowed Ossuary (at least prior to its corruption)[13] while dead Knights Penitent are cremated.[14]

The Cathedral has no tolerance for apostasy. If one strays from the flock, they can be expected to be hunted down by the Tongue Rippers.[15] Many members of the Cathedral impose their beliefs through brutal means.[16]

While few in number, a number of Barbarians serve the Cathedral as powerful Warriors. They have little fear of death, pain, or evil, believing their fate written by Inarius himself.[17]

Gospels[]

"Let the Light of Inarius burn away wickedness. Let not temptation lead you from his holy radiance. Let righteousness sear away corruption and sin. Cast out thy Darkness, for only Light must remain!"
First Incarnation

During the Sin War, the Cathedral preached a gospel based on the tenets of tolerance, cooperation, and unity.[18] It was stated that the souls of the faithful would be gathered at the Prophet's side after death.[6] It accepted members regardless of caste or race.[2]

Second Incarnation

In its second incarnation, the Cathedral stated that Inarius was the creator of Sanctuary[19] and humanity. In the Heavens' eyes, creating humanity was a sin, and they cast him down[20] (it should be noted that the above claims had elements of truth, but were twisted well beyond what happened before and during the Sin War.

A prophecy made by Rathma was incorporated into the Cathedral's gospel, but presented to make it seem that Inarius was a hero destined to save humanity.[19] The gospel also stated Lilith would one day return to Sanctuary, and it would be the sin of mankind that would bring her into the mortal world.[8] However, in this chain of events, Inarius would slay Lilith, and be able to ascend into Heaven. The line from the prophecy referring to "a spear of light, piercing Hatred's heart" was presented as proof that this was pre-ordained.[21] It was claimed that by this act, Inarius would be given the means to ascend to Heaven, and bring the faithful with him.[22][20]

The Cathedral considered some, if not all other faiths to be heretical.[23]

The idea of "sin" applied to humanity as a whole in the Cathedral's creed. It was stated that all of mankind was "born in sin," and that the Light of Inarius could be found through penitence and faith.[24] The Cathedral stressed its followers to resist sin; beyond petty crimes, such "sins" included drinking and gambling.[8]

The Cathedral's holy tome (or one of them) was Holy Words of the Father,[25]

Even after Inarius's death, Lorath Nahr speculated that the Cathedral would continue to venerate the angel.[23]

History[]

Sin War[]

The Cathedral of Light was founded by Inarius in -1820.[26] After the Purge, he had wandered Sanctuary in grief for ages, but when he learnt of the existence of the Triune, he immediately recognized it for what it was—a front for the Prime Evils to corrupt humanity. Afraid for both himself and humanity, Inarius founded the Cathedral of Light to counter their influence. Taking on the mantle of the Prophet, Inarius disseminated his doctrine from the Cathedral, gaining fame for his youthful physical perfection, and spread the church's influence through angelic powers of pursuasion. Soon, between them, the Triune and Cathedral held sway over much of Estuar,[18] and while other faiths had existed before them, the pair had become the two dominant ones.[6]

The competition between the Triune and Cathedral marked the beginning of the Sin War. The status quo between the two bodies was maintained, as agents of both religions carried their messages to the people, building bases of power, constructing monuments, and winning the absolute loyalty of faithful supplicants.[18] While the Triune had been formed decades before the Cathedral, the Cathedral reached parity in terms of influence at an incredible speed. Furthermore, that the Mage Clans were on the verge of war themselves, many in Kehjan flocked to one of the two faiths.[6] The Cathedral established its primary structure north of Kehjan, but established various smaller cathedrals throughout the land. The Cathedral gathered a large flocked, the faithful mixing regardless of race or caste.[2]

The Cathedral signed an agreement with Kehjan that gave them authority over certain matters. This included the ability to supersede the authority of town guards.[6]

In the last year of the Sin War, the Edyrem emerged, under the leadership of Uldyssian ul-Diomed. They moved against the Triune, but while the Edyrem intended to move against the Cathedral next, Inarius initially stayed his hand.[2]

Interlude[]

The Breath of Gamuel, a small sect of the Cathedral, survived the body's end, and continued to venerate Gamuel.[27]

The Great Enmity[]

Inarius-steelbook

Inarius and the faithful

After returning to Sanctuary, Inarius reformed the Cathedral of Light, intent on using it as a tool to help him return to Heaven.[28] The clergy studied the undead, even having bodysnatchers deliver corpses to them, on the basis that studying one's enemy was the first step to defeating them.[29] Based on paintings found in Light's Watch, it appears that the Cathedral waged war against the Zakarum, emerging triumphant.[30]

The Cathedral established its base of power in Kyovashad in the Fractured Peaks, and imposed its authority on the region's culture through ceremonies and rituals. In turn, it incorporated elements of Peaks culture into its own structure. Ancient sites across the Fractured Peaks were torn down, and had their stone repurposed to build new structures devoted to the Cathedral. This was done deliberately, to erase and replace the vestiges of what the Cathedral considered to be superstitious and heretical practices. The Altars of Illumination were one such example of what the Cathedral erected in the old ruins' stead. Shrines to Inarius were also erected all over the Peaks.[23]

The Priests of Rathma infiltrated the Cathedral, disguising themselves as Cathedral priests.[3]

By 1336, this incarnation of the Cathedral had apparently been operating for quite some time,[31][32] and had done as much harm to Sanctuary as it had good.[1]

New Leadership[]
"The Horadrim have used their dark magics to bear a great evil into the world. Commit their wicked souls to the father and retrieve the Soulstone."

- Prava's decree(src)

After the death of Inarius and the Cathedral's failed assault on Hell, leadership of the Cathedral fell to Prava. She issued a decree in which she blamed the Horadrim for Lilith's existence, and declared that they were to be eradicated. Lorath Nahr was not overly concerned—the Horadrim did not exist in any substantive way, nor did the Cathedral possess the power to actually erradicate them, not to mention that the Horadrim still had many friends in Sanctuary. However, he noted that the Cathedral had been wounded, and like any wounded animal in Sanctuary, their chastening could make them more dangerous than before.[23]

The Cathedral gained new recruits during this period,[33] even as a corruptive force began to grow within the church.[34] Around the same time, a vampire plague was sweeping through the Fractured Peaks. Despite the growing fear and corpses, the Cathedral ignored the issue.[35] Even as the Blood Harvest grew in intensity, the Cathedral refused to engage the vampires in combat, and kept their doors shut to the people of Kyovashad.[36]

In the deep winter months of the year, the people of Kyovashad revived the Midwinter Blight festival. While the Cathedral was not pleased, having previously suppressed the practice, the people wanted a return to their roots.[37]

Known Members[]

Sin War[]

Reign of Enmity[]

Cathedral of Light Priests

Members of the Cathedral of Light

  • Inarius, the Father (former head of the church, deceased)
  • Reverend Mother Prava (Inarius's right hand, current head)

Knights[]

Priesthood[]

Light's Watch-prayer

Cathedral of Light priests

Other[]

Trivia[]

WikiLogoSmall
This section contains facts and trivia relevant to this article.
Cathedral Cross

The Cathedral Cross

  • Cathedral of Light reliquaries can be found in the overworld of Diablo IV, dispensing loot when interacted with.
  • The Cathedral Cross is possibly a reference to the real-world Christian cross.
    • In-universe, the Christian cross appeared in Diablo I and II to represent Zakarum, though the iconography has differed between installments.
  • It is indicated in the side quest "Better Days," the Cathedral has a draconian policy towards art, though this might be specific to Margrave.
  • In the context of Diablo IV, it is up to the player as to how they feel about the Cathedral.[1]

References[]

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