NPS 97

When the most holy Prophet Travancus died, he had appointed with the consent of his council the most holy Claretta as his successor; thus she succeeded him as Prophet. But certain persons would not receive her; they said, We cannot obey a woman, for do so would insult our dignity as men. Their leader was Strumerus, and he denied that the Prophet had appointed Claretta as his successor, but claimed that she had conspired with the council to falsely claim appointment; he even claimed that Travancus had appointed him as his successor. Thus the Strumerans divided from the Maratreans, for the Strumerans denied that a woman could be Prophet, whereas the Maratreans followed Claretta as their Prophet. And the Strumerans believed themselves the true Maratreans, and the true Maratreans they called in their error Clarettans, by which they meant all the true Maratreans who followed Claretta as  their Prophet, not merely the Great Order which she founded, which is that to which the term Clarettans correctly refers.

Now upon the death of Strumerus, his followers in turn divided, for he had appointed as his successor his deputy Puberus. But his eldest son Neruvozus rejected the succession of Puberus, saying, The eldest son of the Prophet must succeed as Prophet, for without doubt it is the law in every land that the eldest son succeeds his father in his father’s office. The Puberians objected, Strumerus was not the son of Travancus! But the Neruvozians replied, Travancus had not any son, therefore he could choose another; but Puberus has not any son, therefore he may not choose another. Therefore the Strumerans divided into the Puberians and the Neruvozians.

Now Travancus had appointed Claretta as High Priestess, and he had not any High Priest. But he appointed Frumerus as Chief Priest. Thus it came to be observed, that the High Priestess would always be from the Clarettans, and the Chief Priest from the Frumerans.

Now Strumerus appointed his wife Razusa as his High Priestess; but when Razusa perished, he was distraught, and appointed not any other to succeed her as High Priestess. But he appointed Puberus as Chief Priest. And when Puberus became Prophet, he appointed Parotus as his Chief Priest; and in turn, when Puberus died, he was succeeded by Parotus as Prophet, who in turn appointed Cerapolus as Chief Priest, who in turn became Prophet. Thus it came to be among the Puberians that the Chief Priest would succeed as Prophet, and the office of High Priestess fell into disuse. And in the days of Cerapolus being Chief Priest of the Puberians, he came to call himself High Priest, and Parotus accepted this. Thus the Puberians came to have a High Priest, even though the true Maratreans have never known this office; and they came not to have a High Priestess, even though it is an office which the true Maratreans maintained.

But Neruvozius appointed his wife Tapnipa as High Priestess as his father had appointed his wife also. But he declared himself to be High Priest as well Prophet, and the office of Chief Priest he left unfilled. And his successors maintained the same, that every Prophet would be High Priest and his wife High Priestess.

Now both the true Maratreans admit women and men to their holy Council; but the false Strumerians, the Puberians and Neruvozians, they refused women admission to their holy Council. And even though the Neruvozians had a High Priestess, the wife of their Prophet, they did not admit their High Priestess to their Council, even as the true Maratreans admitted their High Priestess to their Council always; for Strumerus had said of Razusa: she need not be heard, for I am heard; and whoever hears me, hears her, for her word is not other than my own.

Now the Neruvozians believed that the office of Prophet must remain with the male descendants of Strumerus, from eldest son to eldest son. Now the eldest son of Neruvozius was Derachetus, but he rejected the teachings of his father, and followed the way of true Maratreanism, and he joined himself to the Frumerans. Therefore Neruvozius appointed his second eldest son Seputrus as his successor. And Neruvozius said: The eldest son must succeed, if he be living and faithful; but if he be unfaithtful, then he shall succeed not. The eldest of the sons who is living and faithful shall succeed. Now Seputrus had two sons, Maloterus and Ralenorus. And Maloterus was the elder and Ralenorus the younger, but Seputrus favoured the younger son. Therefore Seputrus made it known he wished Ralenorus to be his successor; but this Maloterus would not accept. Then, when Seputrus died, Ralenorus assumed his father’s offices. And Maloterus fled, and declared himself the true Prophet of the Neruvozians; and he gathered up several of the great men of the Neruvozians, who supported his cause, for they disliked Ralenorus. Now Maloretus said, As the holy Travancus and Strumerus and Neruvozius taught, the eldest son who is living and faithful must succeed, save there be none, then may the Council make its choice. But I am the eldest son, and I am living, and I am faithful to the teaching of  the holy Prophets, Travancus and Strumerus and Neruvozius; you have usurped my rightful place. But Ralenorus replied, you are unfaithful, for my place is the will of our father, the true Prophet; if you deny his words, you are unfaithful to him, and cannot succeed him. But Maloretus did not accept that such were the words of his father. And he came unto the place of Ralenorus, seeking to remove him by force; but he was slain. Then Ralenorus said unto the party of Maloretus, Now by your own words you must accept me, for I am the eldest who is living and faithful. But they replied, We will never accept you, for although you are the eldest living, you are unfaithful, for you opposed the true Prophet Maloretus, and your men have slain him. Now there was none among the family of Maloretus to succeed him, for his relatives supported Ralenorus. And the great men who had supported the cause of Maloretus, each wished to be Prophet, but none of them would accept one of the others. Therefore they agreed among themselves, that none would succeed Maloretus, but that Maloretus was the final Prophet. But the great men formed the Council of the Maloretians; therefore, among the Maloretians, the Council has taken the place of the Prophet. And Telaza the wife of Maloretus was their High Priestess; but when she died, they appointed not another in her place. Therefore among the Maloretians, the offices of Prophet and High Priestess and Chief Priest had all become vacant, and only the Council remained; but they believed that at the end of days their Prophet Maloretus would rise from the dead, to usher in the final end of all things. And the Council belonged to the heads of the chief families. Thus divided the Neruvozians into Maloretians and Ralenorians.

Now Ralenorius was succeeded by his eldest son Sacadusus. But Sacadusus had not any sons. Now some said he should be succeeded by his uncle Clanucinus; but Garontus who was of his Council desired Prophethood for himself, and convinced many of his council to support him. Thus the Ralenorians divided again, into the Clanucinians and the Garontians: for the Clanucinians taught that if a Prophet died without sons, the office must pass to the nearest male relative; but the Garontians taught that if direct succession from Strumerus was broken, then another may succeed, as Strumerus succeeded Travancus.

Thus split from the true Maratrean faith many forms of error: the Puberians, the Maloretians, the Clanucinians and the Garontians. But those who followed Claretta and her most holy successors have kept to the truth, and avoided the error which befell these. For behold, truth is one, but error is many, as the true Maratreans are one, but the error of Strumerus has become manifold.

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