[EU][RP] Kataphyge Cenobium


Deep within the rolling hills of the heartland of the Duchy of Lyon, a small walled enclave rests. Here, among the fields and foothills a small group of menn and womenn from every tribe and tongue work together in a simple life of farming, brewing, bookkeeping and striving after Virtue - in all its forms. The best way to seek virtue, they thought, was to shield themselves off from vice. Submitting themselves to the rule of an abbess with a holy rule, they ordered their lives towards prayer and work. Using the fruit of the land, the monks to this day continue to create beer, mead, wine, and bread to sustain themselves, and to chant prayers seven times a day to each of the seven Holy Virtues. In addition to this, they run a small but privileged orphanage, and are equally happy to take in the orphan as well as heirs presumptive and give both a respectable upbringing rooted in the value of hard work, inner growth towards virtue, and seeing all those around you as equals under the Rule.

The Rule

The Rule of Nurzia, whose origins can be traced back across the annals of time, to a group of the Neran who found themselves in the desert, but instead of suffering under the harsh rule of the desert and its Waerd protectors, managed to scrape out a small solitary lifestyle. It wasn’t until 607 that the venerable Cólastika, herself half-Waerd half-Neran, assembled the Rule of Nurzia as an intermediate road between the complete depersonalization of the Waerd, and the intense self-pride and personal heroism of the Neran. Between these extremes, she reckoned, is found the narrow and steep path to Virtue.

The Rule of Nurzia (or just the Rule) named for the first cenobium, is a rule for simplicity in achieving growth in Virtue. Those monks who pledged themselves to this Rule vowed three things, summed up neatly in the motto: “From sacrifice, labour, and silence, comes virtue.”

Sacrifice is self-evident in the way of life of the monks: upon taking their final vows, they give up the right to leave the cenobium, as well as the right to flattering attire, rich foods, and other luxuries, in exchange for the inexhaustible wellspring of Virtue. They are expected and required to live simply and in humble obedience to the abbess, who is herself bound by the Rule as well. The monks must not take undue interest in worldly affairs, preferring to stay behind their walls unless strictly necessary.

Labour is also self-evident. The monks sow the seed, till the land, harvest the crops, tend the bees, bake the bread, brew the drinks, and ship them all with the work of their own hands. It is a lesson against the idleness of sloth and vanity, and honours Asidurryn and Paycen in equal measure. But labour does not only mean physical labour - although sometimes that is the most visible. At seven times throughout the day, the monks also gather in the cenobium chapel to pray a short prayer - in this way their day is kept rhythmic and steady, with the work of the body, the mind, and the soul all kept in harmony in their due time. One would even say balance if one wanted to honour the Waerd origins of the Rule.

Silence is the least visible of the three, for the monks are not bound to strict silence - but rather they are encouraged to speak only virtuous words and to cultivate a deep inner silence of the heart that is sometimes called the Walled Garden of Virtue (which of course, the cenobium itself seeks to emulate). Speaking is not only necessarily to complete tasks, but also helpful for the spirit, as two monks may exchange companionship and knowledge, even that which is not strictly necessary. But with silence also comes a love of reading, and indeed many of the monks have been skilled bookkeepers, scribes, and bards. Music also, must have some portions of silence in order to be beautiful, and music and chant play an important role in the lives of the Nurzian monks.

Life in the Monastery

The day to day life of the monks varies: those who enter the monastery as novices are required to do most of the manual labour for a full three years. This involves tending to the fields, caring for the beehives, and other simple work. This is to cultivate a deep sense of humility and a knowledge of the land. At any time during this stage, novices may choose to leave the monastery without any penalty, and indeed with a parting gift to thank them for their service towards Virtue.

However, if the novice chooses to stay, they bind themselves to the monastic community, becoming a fully avowed monk, and are henceforth no longer permitted to leave the monastery without permission from the abbot or abbess. Monks are in charge of tending to the brewing of the mead, cider, beer, and wine for which the monastery is known. They also are expert bakers, using the honey from the bees to create delicious and hearty cakes and breads.

These are sold to taverns and nobility alike around the duchy and further abroad to being in the money that allows the monks to live. Monks who excel in Virtue may become priors, allowing them to manage the monks below them as well as pursue the bardic arts in lieu of manual labour, if they so choose. However many, including the abbess herself, can be seen working the fields with the newest of novices.

Out of Character

Out of character, I intend for the Cenobium to be a place of refuge for those Christians who want a small, tight-knit community. Of course we cannot control who comes to our doors as guest or orphan, but it is my hope that the Cenobium will focus on heavy RP, and act as a beacon both in and out of character for Christians. Of course, this is not a requirement, and anyone may join in game (with the Virtori faith), but the out of game community will be centered around the Christian faith.


Thanks for reading! If you want to find out more and discuss how your character might fit within the Cenobium (even as an orphan or a guest), join the Discord server by clicking here! Feel free to ask any questions below.

3/28/2018 12:44:42 PM #1

Awesome work there sariaru, I can't wait to visit and give presents to the orphans and to your monastery :)

4/2/2018 12:19:59 AM #2

I can't wait to visit this special place in Elyria! Great job sariaru!

4/2/2018 6:04:46 PM #3

Very nice idea, indeed. Looking forward to visiting you, as a fellow devout believer. Getting some vibes of the Sasau Monastery in Kingdom Come: Deliverance :)

4/3/2018 11:52:25 PM #4

I really like the sentiment to create a place for Christian gamers, being one myself IRL. I wish you the best of luck with your settlement. :)

3/14/2019 5:18:19 PM #5

Great work! "Kataphyge" and "Cenobium" from the Greek Orthodox and Latin meanings "Safe Haven" and "communal."

And the Latin motto "Out of Sacrifice, Work, Silence--Virtue"

One of the best RP concepts so far that incorporates the world cultures and religions--the Virtori and Waerd. Fascinating. Those two seem more opposites.

Without ingame languages yet, I'm not going to fuss about the RL languages. We're using English for the most part, after all.

I tried to translate the Latin words over the crest but only found "Magiftri" in the "Institutionum iuris naturalis et ecclesiastici publici liber V" 1784 by Jakob Anton von Zallinger zum Thurm.

I'd like to know more about your inspiration and design process. It's very good and might help others form RP concepts.

The Discord link is not working. But I'll send you my questions by mail. :)

Map H --because one word "Nessie." Do you want an inland sea? Well, do ya?

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