"Praise be to Yevon!"
- --A popular prayer in the Yevonite faith
The Church of Yevon is the spiritual power that dominates the continent of Spira on Lunar. The Yevonite faith developed in response to the appearance of Sin, a massive city-destroying monster, a thousand years ago. The Church's dominion over temporal affairs is more limited, as both factions within the church and Spira's independent towns eke out what control they can between the terrifying rampages of Sin.
One thousand years ago, a great war erupted during a night when the greatest moon in the sky over Spira -- Gaia, named after an ancient word for "blue" -- turned red. The machines used in this war were considered sinful, and punished by the rise of a great monster known as Sin. Sin came into the world to punish humans, time and time again, for using machina and indulging in hubris.
The Yevonite faith grew in response. It is oriented around two practices. The first is, through its Temples and teachings, to use dogma and hierarchy to lead the people to abandon machina and atone for their crimes. The second is to support the Summoners, who venture forth to the Fayth found in each Temple, and continue their pilgrimage until they can defeat Sin for a time... and purchase, at the price of their lives, the period known as a Calm: when Sin does not rampage. Sin, inevitably, returns.
The Church of Yevon, led by four Maesters, has grown to be the dominant power on Spira in the last thousand years. However, it has clashed with others in the past: the outsider Al Bhed, who occupy the desert islands west of Spira's mainland; the Guado, and their city-state of Guadosalam; and, finally, the Ronso tribes of Mount Gagazet. However, in the last Calm -- created by Lord Braska -- the Guado were converted and brought into the Yevonite faith.
Society and Culture
Yevonite culture is, largely though not completely, Spiran culture. The Yevonite faith emphasizes obedience, humility, and reflection. It casts strong aspersions on the use of Machina -- ARMs, as those from Filgaia would call them -- and views their use as hubris at best and disaster at worst. People are to lead simple lives, full of reflection, and to make atonements for the many sins of their ancestors.
The Church of Yevon itself is a dogmatic, hierarchical organization. The four Maesters, led by Grand Maester Yo Mika, are the temporal and spiritual leaders of Yevon. Many of the individuals in the Church are bureaucrats, clerks, and other hard working folk who do not consider the danger posed by foreign incursions and Sin in their day-to-day lives.
There are three arms of Yevon that are most likely to come into conflict with Drifters, the arrival of Althena's Crusade, and Sin. The first and most famous are Summoners and their Guardians. While Summoners are sworn to undertake a pilgrimage to defeat Sin, it is well-known that few Summoners ever manage to achieve the Final Summoning. Many die, but others cease their pilgrimage (allegedly only for a time) to have leadership roles in Yevon. Their Guardians are drawn from all walks of life, and make for some of Yevon's most elite combatants.
The Warrior Monks are the armed forces of Yevon. The Warrior Monks are skilled fighters who wield the only Machina (rifles, flamethrowers, and other ARMs) approved by Yevon for military use. Additionally, Warrior Monks are often well-trained in the use of martial techniques, White Mage, and more rarely, Black Magic.
Finally, the Crusaders are a group of volunteer fighters, with often questionable training and worse equipment, who were founded by Lord Mi'ihen. On a day-to-day basis, they protect the Highroads of Spira from Fiends, but they aspire to one day defeat Sin, ideally once and for all. While their relationship with Yevon is fraught and controversial, they are still considered part of Yevon. While less well-equipped than the Warrior Monks, Crusaders are afforded more freedom and often are out in the world more.
Notes for OCs
- OC Summoners must be trained by Yevon. There are no Summoners who learned to do this alone.
- Most Yevonite combatants do not use ARMs and prefer White Magic to Black Magic. The Warrior Monks are exceptions, but characters who use Technique and Sorcery are more common. Yevon is suspicious, but not forbidding, of Black Magic.
- Crusader characters begin in Yevon. The events of Operation Mi'ihen may change this. This is a change from the game, but we feel having the excommunication happen on screen could be a powerful moment in an RP environment.
- Yevonite faithful do not place special importance on Filgaia, nor believe they came from there. Yevonite characters think Filgaia is "Gaia," merely the largest of the two moons, and have not retained a myth that they came from there.