Knowledge about the Theocracy of the Pale

The Pale, properly known as the Theocracy of the Pale, is a political state situated in the Old Aerdy West region of the Flanaess, west of the Rakers.

The Pale is a theocracy - a nation governed by the church. The Pale is ruled by the Church of the One True Path, devoted to Pholtus. Pholtus has Lawful Neutral tendencies, and the Pale embraces this. The Pale is a very rigid nation, with a well-trained military and an orderly system of law. Civil liberties and religious freedom are seriously curtailed. All government offices are held by Pholtine clerics. Religious intolerance exists within the Pale, with all religions except Pholtus suppressed.

The faithful of the Pale believe that Pholtus is the one true god, despite the fact that there are many gods in the World of Greyhawk. While it's impossible to deny the divine abilities of clerics who worship other deities, the faithful dismiss them for various reasons. Some believe these pagans limit their spiritual growth by worshiping lesser gods that in some incomprehensible way play a part in Pholtus's grand plan. Some believe pagans have been duped and actually get their powers from nefarious sources. Others think that these pagans actually worship Pholtus, but in an image they've constructed that is impure and distorted.

Regardless of why the Pale believes Pholtus is the one true god, the fact remains that the only sanctioned worship is of Pholtus. Clerics may devote themselves to other gods, but they must not preach their beliefs or attempt to sway others to their faith. All clerics must show the utmost respect to Pholtus and the Church of the One True Path. The Church is very efficient at identifying, apprehending, judging, and sanctioning heretics.

Pagans who keep their beliefs to themselves and show respect to Pholtus will have no official actions taken against them. Nevertheless, in an unofficial capacity, private citizens treat pagans differently. Depending upon a Pholtan's personal beliefs, a pagan may be despised, feared, or pitied. Some may choose to treat pagans very coldly, while others may embrace the pagan and attempt to save the pagan's soul. But, a pagan who is respectful, discrete, and watches her tongue should not fear any physical harm from law-abiding citizens.

All arcane spellcasters are treated with suspicion in the Pale. It is commonly whispered that the wielders of these magics consort with demons and devils. To cast spells within the Pale, arcane spellcasters must be registered with the Theocracy. Registration takes no time and costs no money, but allows the Theocracy to track the actions of these people. All who cast arcane spells are assumed to be registered automatically. While registration is mandatory, membership in the Arcanist Guild is optional.

The Pale has a few cities, but it is very much a frontier land, protected by a well-run military. The weather is cold and during the summer crops are grown with difficulty. The denominations of currency are the Bright (pp), the Gold Glory (gp), the Silver Moon (sp), and the Basic (cp).

The Palish embrace community, loyalty, family, and dedication, while they eschew luxury, frivolity, and waste. They do not believe in moral relativity and ambiguity. Knowledge is both feared and respected. Those who study in order to serve Pholtus's glory are respected, while those who study with a purpose not rooted in faith are feared, for knowledge is a power that corrupts.

Some Palish still hold on to superstitions and pay respects to pagan gods. Such is generally done in secret, and predominantly by those of Flan blood who live in the farmlands.

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