The Church of Tal was a religion widely followed on Terisiare in the years following the Brothers' War. It was notorious for its intense fear and hatred of magic, artifice, and those who practiced either. Twin sunbursts are their symbol and "Suffer not a magician to live" was their credo.
Though mostly limited to Terisiare, the church may have made some inroads to The Domains as the Book of Tal mentions the Northern Paladins of Parma, and to Jamuraa since it mentions the Southern Paladins too.
According to a scholar of New Argive, the Church of Tal most likely started as a religion in Yotia before the Brothers' War, devoted to worshiping an ancient sun god. After the cataclysm that enveloped the world, people turned to religion to try and make sense of the destruction. By 430 AR, Tal had an iron grip on the city-states of the era.
Reasons for prejudice
The reasons for Tal's fear of magic and artifice are clear, besides a passage from the Book of Tal which states, "Suffer not a magician to live." The ancient cult Tal had grown from had witnessed the destruction and plunder of the land the Brothers' machines had wrought, and many a rumor placed responsibility for the destruction of Argoth at magic's heels. The first followers of Tal feared either craft growing strong enough to repeat the Brothers' War or its climax, and heavily persecuted practitioners of both. This eventually went from persecution to hunting down mages and artificers and executing them.
Height of power
The Church of Tal became popular throughout all of Terisiare, particularly in the East. Eventually, the Church served as the governing body of many cities during the Dark period, and it enforced law through areas of its influence. The laws of Tal were based primarily upon its religious doctrine, the Book of Tal, which encouraged strong fundamentalism in its adherents, such as a strict moral code and the eradication of all mages, artificers, or members of other faiths.
Hypocrisy and diminishing
Near the end of the period of the Dark, it was discovered that many of the liturgical prayers and recitations of the Church of Tal were actually White spells, and a greater tolerance of magic-users was fostered by this knowledge. Church leaders aided society in many ways before the Church began to disappear from the face of Terisiare's politics.
- Flavor text on Southern Paladin