by Max Barry

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by The Despotic Dictatorship of Despoticania. . 158 reads.

St. Marukh

St. Marukh (also known as the "Monkey-Prophet" and "Marukh the Monkey-Truth") was the legendary founder of the Church of Transcendental Hatred, the national religion of Despoticania. Not much is known about St. Marukh - not even his species: according to various legends, he was either a very large and hairy human, a human-parahuman hybrid or literally a talking monkey.

St. Marukh lived around 5000 BC in Starfall, on the northeast coast of Despoticania. He used to meditate naked in the freezing north wind and, according to one legend, ate only the mineral-rich ice from the bottom of the ancient impact crater. One day he claimed to have had a vision of gods who laughed at him and mocked his weakness and limitations, and the weakness and limitations of all mortals. Marukh then realized that gods were evil and hated their creation: mortals were nothing but playthings for them, fit only to be used, praised and punished as they saw fit. Angered by this revelation, Marukh gathered a small group of like-minded followers, who proceeded to burn the village's Hut of Worship and kill all the priests there. Painting themselves with the priests' blood and cutting profane symbols into their chests and forearms, Marukh and his disciples then formed the Church of Transcendental Hatred, which slowly spread all over Despoticania over the next few centuries.

Of Marukh's death it is said that one day he went to meditate in a nearby cave, which then collapsed on top of him. His followers assumed that this was the gods' punishment for Marukh, which drove them into a mindless, hateful frenzy, and they marched all the way to Old Thule to burn and tear down the temples there.