So wrote a short a short little write-up of the outlining the broad strokes of the history of church of the cleric. This is part of a larger document I've made available to my players describing the church. That document mostly includes reworked material I've previously posted here on the blog. This can all be found in the adventurer guild link on the right-hand sidebar(which I just updated). The history written here is from the Immortals view, ie. most common people of the church wouldn't know anything about the journeys of the prophet or the other remnants of his followers in davania or the arm of god.
Journeys of the Prophet (8th century BC):
The name of the Prophet is lost to the mists of time. The prophet was a simple trader from the Atruaghin Clans. During a routine trading voyage, his ship was caught up in a storm and shipwrecked off the western coast of the Arm of God. He and his manservant were the sole survivors of the shipwreck. They were cared for and adopted by the local tribespeople of the land. While living among this strange people, the Prophet received a series of visions from the creator. He shared these visions with the local tribespeople and a religious revolution was soon underway. Under a compulsion to share his message with all mankind, the prophet left the people of the Arm of God, and journeyed north overland and then west. None he encountered on his journeys were receptive to his message. Despairing of converting any people whom he had previously met, and hearing of a legendary land across the sea to the south, he chartered a boat from the serpent peninsula and with his loyal manservant arrived off the northern coast of Davania.
It was here that he met the Iasuli tribes who were ripe for his message. Over the years the majority of the Iasuli tribesmen converted to the faith, and the Prophet lived out the rest of his days in peace among friends. Towards the end of his life the Prophet had a longing to see his homeland one more time, so gathering a select cadre of disciples he set sail once again. After arriving in the homeland of the Atruaghin clans, the Prophet found that his brethren had turned to worshipping the Evil One, and he was beaten and cast out by crazed mobs. Forlorn and without friends he wandered aimlessly until he arrived in the city of Darokin and was ignominiously killed by a beggar in an unnamed alleyway.
The Secret Church (7th to 1st centuries BC):
After the death of the Prophet, the disciples who had followed him to Darokin began preaching his word and glorified his death, making him a martyr. Converts were few, but truly dedicated. The Pagan priests and emperors of Darokin did not look too kindly on this new upstart religion from a foreign land. This period was characterized by periods of harsh persecution organized by the empire against believers, and less harsh periods of general tolerance. Members had to meet in secret and used special signs and codes to keep their membership secret and safe. Despite the hardships the church continued to grow, gaining followers throughout the empire of Darokin.
The State Church (1st to 7th centuries AC):
The first Eastwind King of Darokin was a convert of the church and publicly supported it. Because of his reign the period of persecution was over, and the church grew in popularity; often the aristocracy would pander to church in the hopes of gaining more political power. However, it wasn’t just the great and mighty who flocked to the church, it was also the common people; the church provided a place of guidance and comfort to a people who had just been ruined and humiliated by foreign conquerors. The church gave the people a sense of unity in one faith. Over the centuries the local rulers occasionally clashed with the leaders of the church. As the kingdom of Darokin waned in power the church leaders took on more and more power until they were practically kings themselves in all but name.
The Rise of the Patriarchs (8th to 10th centuries AC):
Following the crumbling of Darokin dynasty of kings, the various city states of the streel plain went their separate ways, each being governed by the local patriarch. These patriarch acted as priest-kings, having sway over the religious aspect of their territory in addition to managing the affairs of state. In the 10th century the patriarch of Darokin, through conquest and political maneuvering, subjugated the patriarchs of Akorros, Corunglain, Athenos, Akesoli, and Selenica and was crowned the Most Holy Emperor. His successors followed through by waging a Holy War against the Empire of Thyatis. Through all the expansions of the Holy Empire, the church has become more militant and has forcefully converted local populaces. It is the aims of the church to bring the people of the world into the one true faith, by the force of arms(of the empire) if necessary.