The Shield of Julianos

Author: Father Haderus Donton
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A Homily by Father Haderus Donton

Towering over the surrounding buildings in Skingrad is its Great Chapel, dedicated to Juilianos, divine of wisdom and logic. Yet Skingrad is known for its wine, abundance, and celebrations. How is it that a god of logic and reason, dour and cerebral pursuits, finds its greatest expression here?

Well, Julianos is also known as a god of contradictions. But that is only part of the explanations.

The site of the Great Chapel was originally venerated ground, most likely dedicated to some Daedric Prince. Exactly which Daedric Prince is unknown, as none of the surviving iconography seems to match any of the Princes. Yet with the banishment of the Ayleids and their Daedric-worshiping allies from these lands, the worship of Julianos took hold here. As Skingrad grew, its Grand Chapel and its school has brought all manner of scholars, pedants, and philosophers from across Tamriel, both seeking the truth and contributing their own truths to it.

The Great Chapel became a site of discussion, debate, and philosophical clashes among worshipers of the Divines as well as apostates. The faith of Julianos has welcomed a variety of viewpoints, even those that conflicted with their established dogma. In The Ten Commands of the Nine Divines, Julianos says “Know the Truth. Observe the law. When in doubt, seek wisdom from the wise.”

And wisdom its visitors seek, delving into questions great and small. What existed before creation? How did the world truly come to be? Is free will possible with all-seeing divines? Are the Daedric Princes truly free if they are bound to their inherent natures? Debaters gather from far afield to consider these arguments on the chapel grounds and in surrounding taverns.

The chapel welcomes all such discussions, as long as they are civil. As a result, such sparring is more often done over a glass a wine as opposed to in battle. Crossing words as opposed to crossing swords. Often philosophers sponsor celebrations and feasts to help convince others of the validity and popularity of their points. As a result, Skingrad is a city of festivals, and at its center lies the Divine of Truth. It seems contrarian, but then, Julianos is said to be a god of contradictions, and can absorb many truths in the pursuit of the greatest truth.

For here is the heard of the matter: Truth must always be confronted. Must always be challenged. It must always be tested. If apparent contradictions invalidate the truth, then it cannot be entire truth. If logic is the Shield of Julianos, then contrariness is its sword. A wall that is not pushed against serves no real purpose. Virtue that is not tempted has no weight. An idea that is unchallenged is mere dogma, and not beneficial to its priest or its believers. That ultimate truth lays at the center of Julianos’s faith.

Such it has been, such it ever shall be.

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