The Paravist Church
The Church follows a sky god who manifests as a bird, “The Great Wing”. The followers are known simply as “The Flock”. Front-line priests, or “Skeiners”, lead the Flock and tend to the day to day needs of the people. They report to the bishops – known as “Raptors”.
The elders, Skeiners and Raptors alike, preach that their institution is the sole path to ascension. They represent the Great Wing’s will, and they are the living conduits to the sky. This is contrasted by Aveism (see below), which teaches that “All have the innate ability to fly.”
One Paravist saying is that “One cannot fly while laden with material goods.” – The Paravists interpret this as requiring a substantial tithe of the faithful to “lighten their load so that they may ascend”. However, in actual practice, this is a tax on the faithful to support the Church and fund missions to spread the word of the Great Wing here in the material world – known as “Spreading the Wing”.
The traditional view is a bird of prey that snatches up the sinful to drop them on the rocks or to be eternally disemboweled. Likewise, avian angels carry the worthy and the just to the Great Wings Sky Palace. The earthly manifestation of this utopia is located at the Aerie.
The Great Soaring Wing, or Great Wing for short, and its Flock.
Common benedictions include: “May his wings shelter you,” or “May his shadow scatter your enemies.” Curses include the light “Salt his feathers!” to the more aggressive “May his talons find/rip your heart/spine”
The Church requires that the devout work with birds in all manners of ways: from keeping chickens, to raising and training messenger pigeons. Many followers of The Great Wing are avidly practice falconry. Practiced often at the day’s first light, the falconry is a sublime combination of sport and religious communion.
The Aveist Heresy
Aveism is a recent movement to develop against the Church. It’s teachings are less dogmatic than that of Paravism, being more inclusive, accepting, and forgiving than traditional Paravism.