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The Kitzh Cataclysm was a catastrophic event in the early history of organized Septifidelity when the Sacred City of Kitezh, the birthplace of the religion, was buried in an avalanche of ice, rock and snow.
Sixty-three years prior in Kitezh, the Council of Kitezh was convened by Saint Goran, the leading figure of the more prominent sects of early Septifidelity. Goran was later elected the first pope of the Septifidele (later Synkratic) Church.
On Coloday, Gopaco 10th, 267ACZ, in the middle of midday prayers, a large earthquake struck the region. The populace of Kitezh either sheltered in place or tried to evacuate the city. The quake ended after ten minutes, during which many structures within the city collapsed, but it was only a short reprieve. An hour after the quake ended, another struck as five volcanoes of the nearby mountain range erupted almost simultaneously, sending millions of tons of ash and rock into the air.
Over the following few days a large sum of the ash landed in Kitezh and partially buried the city. Meanwhile, lava flows poured directly into the valley, threatening to engulf the city; the only thing that stopped them was the nearby lake. On Gopaco 15th, the city's end came when a third quake struck, this time triggering a massive avalanche that buried Kitezh and any who remained in thousands of tons of ice, rock and snow. When the dust settled, the only visible signs of the once-great city were a couple of the city's tallest stone spires, which would be weathered down over time until they were lost too.
Pope Lev – the elected successor to Pope Goran – and much of the higher ranking clergy had been away from Kitezh at the time and were spared; thus the church would live on.
Only a handful of civilians and clergymen escaped from the valley and survived the ordeal, the most famous of which was a young man named Svetozar, whom would later be elected pope, taking the papal name Gojko I.
With Kitezh buried, not only did thousands of people perish but many important Septifidelic scriptures and artifacts were lost, forcing the church to go on without them. And without the majority of the founding scriptures to guide them, the church changed over time until it evolved into the rules and order organization that characterizes Synkratic Septifidelity to this day.
Kitezh would not be rediscovered until 1709PCZ, almost two thousand years after the disaster. The rediscovery, excavation and repopulation of the city, along with the recovery of long-lost scriptures and artifacts, began the chain of events that led to the Synkratic-Vozrod Schism.
Notes & Trivia
- The Kitezh Cataclysm was partially inspired by the destruction of Pompeii, an ancient Roman city that was buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.