by Max Barry

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Divine Providence (Eternal WIP)


OOC Disclaimer: An extension of Zitravgrad's canon. It is meant to be purely fictional and has nothing to do with the real-life Christian "Divine Providence". The nation itself is also considered rather meta -- with the main universe being almost free from supernaturals.



MESSAGE FROM THE PEOPLE'S COMMISSARIAT OF THE UNKNOWABLE OF ZITRAVGRAD (PCUZ): Comrades, we all do know that "our" Providence is strictly an unknowable entity, hence this information of his would be flawed at best – thanks to our attempt to humanize this being. We find all this writing almost useless when it comes to giving our readers an insight into what he is, but he is lenient enough to allow this information to exist. We should be grateful enough. May Providence of Zitravia Save You.

For the reference, PCUZ is a secret department of Zitravgradian Ministry of Science and Technology. Our operations have always been strictly secret and we only report to the highest office of the Kremlin itself. We concern ourselves with seeking the truth in the supernatural and the occult as well as questions unanswerable, such as the meaning of life, conspiracies, and theories of our existence. It is not all about magic, but close. We are not always hunting ghosts, either. Despite our relentless quests for these answers, we are no blind believer. Perhaps it is in the best interest for the department to have me write this report -- a propaganda beyond human comprehension.


Divine Providence
"The All-Seeing Eye", “The Flawed Creation”, “Father of Thoughts”
Codename: "Yeruslan Cherkosky", "Providence of Zitravia"



PCUZ: Please do note that it is nearly impossible to capture an image of him without his cloak. This is his most common depiction.



Christian Mythology

Canonization: 1098 CE
Patronage: Zitravia, academics, universities


Pagan Mythology

Culture: Eastern Slavic
Patronage: Wisdom, scribes, sages and surgeons (in medieval context)

"Worship me but open your eyes. Praise my name but open your ears. The truth of universe is apparent and other gods and saints seek to hide it from you. I promise no false security. Lament and suffer, for the more you know, the more painful you become." - Divine Providence

Yeruslan Cherkosky/Saint Yeruslan of Zitravia



PCUZ: I feel morally obliged to start this factbook with this entry first, even before other important information. It is likely that this entity has infiltrated into human society from time to time in history with the sheer purpose of influencing humanity. For a brief while in history of Zitravia, he had appeared as a figure of great knowledge, passing down several arts of trades to our ancestors.

God among Men, and Man among Gods. Yeruslan Cherkosky is the most commonly used form of Divine Providence, in which he can communicate with and infiltrate into human society with ease. Unlike the horrifying form and despicable temper of his truest form, Cherkosky presents himself as a soft, gentle and compassionate man, hiding his tendency to trick, test and manipulate human minds. Do not fall for this trap. So often, he walks among us in search of something. So often, innocent mortals cannot see through his disguise and choose to offend him.

Although this form is completely human, Cherkosky (if one may call hin that) is easily recognizable with his tall, pale figure, black hair, one yellow eye and one shut eye. His most accurate likeness is depicted in the St. Yeruslan Cathedral, in the basement below the Kremlin Walls.

Biography



PCUZ: Please note that it is impossible for us to see into the origin of this entity. DO keep in mind that we are telling you what we are capable of telling. This might be inaccurate, but how would you know if it is indeed inaccurate?

There are both pagan and Christian legends surrounding him, if we are not including modern political cult myths, albeit his Christian legends are brief and essentially a clean version of his pagan tales -- more or less involving his adventures to seek the forbidden knowledge on the black horse with a LinkGamayun named Levonovsk. However, the literature surrounding these tales vary. In his own words (note: how much do you trust him?), this being was created at around the same time to the Biblical figures of Adam and Eva, but happened to be a flawed creation due to the lack of an eye which we hereby assume that it is his right eye. Instead of being discarded, killed or obliterated, he was kept around and hidden, just to be cast aside into a dimension of his own – now simply referred to those who know it as “the Eternal Void”, after he had stolen the Forbidden Fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Over time, he became stronger and able to survive for many millenniums, if not millions of years. We never come to discover how – but we do know that he soon evolved into an entity that beings without sixth sense (i.e. mortals, us) cannot sense in any means. It is safe to say that he is now essentially composed of the same material that makes up the Eternal Void, which is an ink-black substance capable of shaping up into all forms and shapes. Please do not inquire any further. Half of this, for all we know, could be a myth written with great political or philosophical implications of being "rejected" yet "triumphant" against destiny.

He was never the hero of his own tales, but rather informer, witness and final antagonist one cannot defeat. The forbidden knowledge in his hand comes in several forms, from the sheer secrets that will shift the plots of those tales to some more abstract concepts like meaning of life itself. He never gives away his knowledge easily, or without consequences, but he also does not wager or make underhanded deals. Despite his cruelty, there seems to be a sense of honor, even if slightly.

Appearance



We are trying to tell how he exactly looks like – with surprising results! Divine Providence is capable of shape-shifting and has countless forms but we are talking about what we have witnessed so far. Most of the time, he appears as the borderless shadow that fills the room and seems to be a giant floating yellow eye. However, he possesses this human form, which he uses to communicate. Simply, he is a very tall Caucasian man with black hair, pale skin and yellow eye, and seems to be wearing an eyepatch and a suit for most of the time. That said, he can grow ink black tentacles and tendrils from his body at will – these Void tendrils could easily turn into weapons or armors. By all account, he is immortal but not 100% invulnerable in the face of equal beings. (Not that we have spotted an equal being, nor have we actually tried anything unintelligent.)

Ability



Simply an all-seeing eye, Divine Providence is capable of seeing into all events and places as in the present time. I don’t really know if he is watching me as I am typing this. But it is still rather obscure if he can read minds or not. Perhaps he can, since there is a rule in the Cultist's text: the mind is sacred, to penetrate without permission is an aggression. Moreover, his knowledge of both worldly and unworldly issues makes him a figure to be aware of. But as the universe keeps expanding, he will back down and observe the new information from time to time with the help of the Reformation (1960s) machinery used in the dimension.

(According to more literature.) From time to time, he grants immortality and his power at will. This immortality would be in term of not aging rather than becoming entirely invincible. Still, we have noted that the members of St. Yeruslan's Sect or Cult of Providence have fast regeneration and grow severed limbs in weeks. However, this shape-shifting ability only seems to be passed onto early followers only. Moreover, his tendrils seem to release chemicals which work akin to opium, which can help to numb the pain in case of injury.

Personality



I feel my back shivering typing this, but I shall continue for the sake of it. Maybe it is just what happens when you think of things that scare you, regardless of reality. As we expect from all mysterious ancient beings, he is rather cunning, condescending and cold. But of course, he has quite a temper. In one rather lengthy poem, he was depicted as a being that has lost his mind until Levonovsk came to his side. Forbidden knowledge has caught up with him – yet he keeps silent about it. He knows everything... and by everything it means precisely, clearly and accurately everything. This kind of power can't be benevolent... He is totalitarian in all ways imaginable. Oppressive, sadistic and yet merciful to those who deserve it.

Divine Providence has the credit of being a learned man. It might look like he does not care about anything, but that is because he already knows.

Religions of the Divine Providence



PCUZ: Again, we do not claim to know anything about this entity – our attempts to look into him is fragile at best.

It was not known where he had been and how he had survived several events depicted in holy texts like the Bible, Quran, etc. It must be noted that he is perfectly aware of those texts, those events and claims to also know several Biblical figures personally, stating that he has poor relations with most of them. (I know right... then again who wrote those?) But it was only when human civilizations started that his existence would be noticed. For the few who knew him at all, he was to them a god of knowledge greater than the petty, bookish gods and goddesses of scribes in other religions.

There have been many (but incredibly trivial) pieces of evidence which indicate that the Providence has been worshiped throughout history – albeit usually in secret. His followers were usually hidden from society or at least spent their lives relatively unrecorded. His shrines were hidden, his temples were underground and his name varied by regions and eras. But one thing remained the same, sacrifices of animals and texts took place and the symbol with one eye in a triangle was used. Today, it is usually understood to be the same symbol to Eye of Providence. Today, the followers of the Divine Providence are divided into two camps: Ordo Novam Aetatem (Order of the New Era) and Cultus ex Providentia (Cult of Providence) and the minor sect in Orthodox Christianity, St. Yeruslan's Sect (Секта Святого Иеруслана).

The two camps are divided completely (according to their members, that is). However, outsiders tend to confuse them together and blame them collectively for many conspiracy theories in Gaia. The Order is closer to the secret society every theorist blames for every little this and that wrong in the world. It is a society of a handful of the globalist elites fixated on bringing the New Era to the world. Some believe that the Order has its hands in many of the world's most powerful governments and largest corporations. I am sure that they do wish for this accusation to be true. Meanwhile, the Cult is in fact a fraternal society with over 12 million members worldwide who form a tightly-knitted community and share the arts and the sciences of their trade. However, their fate is intertwined and a member of one can always join the other since they share most of their principles and worship the same god. Once one enters the Temple of the Divine Providence, there is no other ideology, only the unity bound by the belief that this world is chaotic and deserves to be watched by better authority than the League of Nations. The members of the Temple will get rid just about anything and anyone who threatens them, but they are not blind charging. They are two conspiracy groups in the same team, so to speak. But finally, their one and only final goal is the search of meaning... of this broken yet vast universe.

But those are not our business -- Zitravia was where his myths originated and hence will be where his one true church is located. St. Yeruslan has long been a mythical national hero, a symbol of strength by knowledge. However, the cult surrounding him also breaks into two camps -- the Orthodox Church and the Slavic Paganism. The Orthodox Church prefers painting him as a ascetic and merciful saint, perhaps an image not too different from a humble schoolteacher. Meanwhile, the pagans celebrate his more gallant side as a figure with his own goal. But the most radical of all interpretations has always been Zitravian nationalist interpretation. As a "Providence" that watches over Zitravia, any progress and bloodshed done for the nation is also done in his honor.

Book of Infinite Pages



If you see any form of Providence holding a large, thick book, it is probably the one. It is not a holy text for the followers, because it is unfinishable and containing everything Providence himself knows. His depictions often include this book, and its size varies according to the size of his body in each depiction. If you see a statue of a man blind in one eye but holding a book, this might be him. His statues are usually not in open spaces due to the sheer oddity of the shape.

Levonovsk -- The Tsarina of Fate




Artistic Depiction of Levonovsk

Levonovsk is a Gamayun -- either one of them or a former queen among them, depending on the sources. Her exact relationship with Yeruslan also varies from one depiction to another -- from "wife" in pagan tales, to "pupil" in Orthodox version, to "co-conspirator” in other various depictions. But in operas, she is mostly considered his "bird". She is nearly always on his shoulders, watching the world and discussing philosophical thoughts with him.

While possessing a beautiful, heavenly voice, Levonovsk sings bad omens and ill twists of fate to heroes and other characters in the lores, usually with the expectation for them to either succumb to such fate or overcome it. With sorrow as her color, she often holds endless discussion with Yeruslan. She is rarely depicted flying and while exactly two operas have it that her wings were broken from being driven away from her flock, it is more likely that she just does not fly often. Lastly, the title "Tsarina of Fate" stemmed from the modern political cult than the pagan or Orthodox tales. In political interpretations, she represents how those with knowledge also control their own fate, hence Yeruslan who has infinite knowledge would literally have his fate whispered into his ears. She also stands for a loyal partner, but one with a rather symbiotic relationship than a master-and-servant one. Her depictions in classic literature usually have her not as eternally weeping kind of sorrowful, but merely stoically melancholy.



"It is only natural for time to fly and tide to flow. It is only normal for man to fall and fade away. But this rule needs not apply to the entity of infinite knowledge -- either universal or forbidden. He stands in the wind, unmoving. Bleed as you may, he shall only watch. Suffer as you will, he shall only listen. Once you prove yourself worthy, he shall give you his hand. Blood you lost, sanity you failed, none shall be wasted as you abandon mortality and eternal ignorance."

Signed,
Ivan Petrovich Doloyevsky – Chief Commissar of PCUZ


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