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You Can't Kill the Messiah by RvBOMally You Can't Kill the Messiah by RvBOMally

!!! POTENTIAL FLAMEBAIT. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. !!!

A scenario where Gautama Buddha becomes the great king he was prophesized to be had he not encountered any suffering (ITTL, he learns of suffering through books beforehand and seeing it in practice doesn’t really faze him), and Jesus succumbs to Satan’s third temptation on the mountain.

DISCLAIMER: I understand that this scenario is impossible under the teachings of just about every religion or lack thereof. This isn’t meant to be a serious what-if involving accurate portrayals of religious figures. It’s a silly map. Please don't post comments about religion. If I see any of them, I will turn off commenting. 

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It is the year 1894 since the Birth of the God-Emperor of Rome. The Heaven War is nearly entering its two thousandth year. Neither the Imperium of Rome nor the domains of the Great Siddhartha seem exhausted enough to surrender to their enemy. Countless billions have perished in the eternal battlefields of Eurasia. To forsake these souls, to throw their sacrifice away, would be the greatest sacrilege. And both sides believe that final victory is not only possible, but inevitable. After all, do they not have God on their side? 

The Empire of Siddhartha is the older of the two, by about 500 years. Born into the Shakya clan, the great warrior-emperor Siddhartha united the territories around him and forged a powerful empire in northern India. While he was a strategic genius, Siddhartha was also aided by displays of supernatural power, such as driving horses and elephants of the opposing armies mad merely by staring at them, taking command of otherwise anarchic spirits and using them in his armies, and, in one infamous case, crushing an enemy king and his entire family beneath hundreds of pounds of flower petals. Siddhartha had an explanation for all of this: he was the ninth avatar of Vishnu. Any Hindu theologians and scholars who opposed the claim were either killed for their heresy by Siddhartha’s agents or spontaneously combusted while preaching to the masses. 

Any question of Siddhartha’s otherworldly abilities dissapated as his rule extended from decades to centuries. While he did age, the ravages of time did not affect the great warlord like it did his subjects. Siddhartha was still fit enough to challenge the armies of Alexander the Great on the field of battle and drive him back into Persia, even though the Greek warrior had supernatural assistance of his own. Two hundred years after his ascension, Siddhartha had united the entire Indian subcontinent, and many throughout the eastern world worshiped him as a god. 

While he was a warrior and an emperor, Siddhartha also fancied himself a philosopher of sorts. In his many years of rule, he had ample opportunity to think about the world. More pragmatically, Siddhartha saw the value in a unifying ideology, and realized that unless he was to take a more active hand in its development, the various religions arising around his persona could turn against him. To this end, he developed the Teachings of the Great Siddhartha, also known as Siddharthanism. Siddharthanism taught that, while the gods do exist, they are a force of nature like anything else, and can therefore be manipulated. Any man who reaches enlightenment becomes a master not only of the metaphysical, but also of the physical. Naturally, Siddhartha himself had reached ultimate enlightenment, giving him divine powers, and that he was the only individual who can reach ultimate enlightenment. Being the physical embodiment of [INSERT LOCAL POPULAR DEITY HERE] helps. However, the secrets of enlightenment were available to all who would devote themselves enough to self-sacrifice, meaning of course sacrifice to further Siddhartha and his empire. Those devoted enough to give their entire lives to the pursuit of enlightenment found themselves having some limited supernatural abilities, making them capable warriors and missionaries. The Siddharthans, naturally, have a holy mission to convert everyone on Earth to worshiping Siddhartha, so that all of mankind may be enlightened and reach a higher level of consicousness above the material. 

Four hundred years after ruling his empire directly, Siddhartha retreated to the Himalayas in a quest to understand not only this world, but “all the other worlds.” Telling his closest aides that his brief psychic excursion beyond the confines of this world gave him glimpses of “horror beyond horror,” Siddhartha devoted his personal efforts to ensuring that the world does not succumb to such horrifying malevolence. He left governance of his empire to his most trusted subordinates, and it is his subordinates that rule to this day. Throughout the centuries, the Siddharthan Empire expanded voraciously, creating legions of converts whereever they did not outright conquer. The Turkish steppe nomads and the Chimu of the Furthest East ethusiastically adopted Siddharthanism, although with their own local flavor (believing that Siddhartha is an avatar of Tengri/their past emperors, or the other way around). 

On the other side of the world, the Empire of Rome arose sometime after the collapse of Alexander’s empire. In their conquest of the Mediterranean, the Romans took control of Judea, the province where their eternal emperor would be born. As the son of a carpenter and an apocalyptic Jewish preacher, Jesus did not seem any more relevant than the multitude of other apocalyptic Jewish preachers. According to the Romans, what separated Jesus from the others is his divine origins and his decision to forge a deal with The Deceiver. The Deceiver promised Jesus all of the kingdoms of the world, if only he, the son of God, would bow. Jesus, knowing of his father’s plan to sacrifice him for the sake of the ungrateful humans, agreed, for the meanwhile. 

This agreement worked: when Jesus was crucified after the Romans arrested him for attempted insurrection, he rose from the dead to lead the rebellion anew. Try as they might, the Romans could not strike him down in battle, and many legions turned to worshiping him after defeat. Great displays of supernatural might, such as burning his enemies with sunlight as the symbol of his name blazed on its surface, helped change minds very quickly. With his growing army, Jesus marched on Rome and took the great city, proclaiming himself Emperor of Rome, Sol Invictus, Incarnation of Jupiter, Usurper of Yaweh, and other titles, adding more as his empire grew. 

Like his rival to the east, Jesus’ clear supernatural abilities won him many followers. Unlike Siddhartha, Jesus was far less tolerant of belief in other gods, and preferred instead to prove his divinity and power over “false gods” either through personal appearance or “miracles” that his missionaries could perform. On the other hand, Jesus encouraged the practice of “Romanizing” local beliefs, placing himself in place of traditional deities and assuming their identities. The Vesperian Despotate, originally a Norse colony, still worships Jesus as the Allfather, the most powerful member of their pantheon, and the Khwesao worship him as the Great Ancestor of Man, the one human from whom all other humans are descended. 

The Roman Imperium’s official religion venerates Jesus as the Son of Man, the liberator of humankind from Yaweh, the abusive creator god and Jesus’ father. Through a Faustian pact, Jesus broke mankind away from Yaweh’s influence and has taken his rightful place as ruler of all mankind. All humans have a duty to obey Jesus and expand his empire’s domains to cover the entire planet, so that humankind can enter an era of peace and progress. Peace, Jesus teaches, can only be reached through power. 

The Deceiver, or Satan, was originally venerated in Rome, but was later denounced by Jesus, who added “Conqueror of the Deceiver” to his list of titles. This had very negative consequences for Jesus: an avatar of the Deceiver appeared to take away his power, and while Jesus successfully defeated the Deceiver and took control of his forces in the material universe, Jesus was mortally wounded. In a state of near-death, Jesus was interred in a magically-infused sarcophagous to preserve him from death, allowing him to bind the Deceiver’s demons to Roman command. Jesus is still Emperor of Rome, but the day-to-day rule of the Roman Empire fell to the Senate. 

The Holy Roman Imperium and the Siddharthan Empire first clashed in Persia in the early 300s, when the Imperium tried to destroy the heretical Zoroastrians once and for all. The Heaven War, as it was called, continues well into the 19th century. While there have been significant lulls in the fighting, peace has never been officially declared. Technological innovations never gave one side such a great advantage that they could defeat the other, leading to a millennia-long stalemate in Central Asia and Persia. Elsewhere in the world, wherever the Roman and Siddharthan empires touch, an eternal battlefield arises. 

But there are countries outside the orbit of either theocracy. In the far east, the Chinese and Yamato have resisted all attempts by the Siddharthans to subjugate them. The Chinese have historically credited this to the power of their ancestors, although the current atheistic government attributes this to a more psychological “national spirit of autonomy and independence” and a greater population. The modern Chinese deny the existence of gods, believing the demons they face on the battlefield are merely extraterrestrial beings somehow under the employ of their enemies, and that the miracles of Siddhartha and Jesus are myths fabricated by both empires to better control their population. The Yamato, on the other hand, are very religious, and believe that the kami which protect their domains are responsible for their continued independence. On the other side of the world, the Mexica have successfully resisted repeated Roman attempts to subjugate them through the use of blood magic. Called Servants of the Deceiver by their Roman enemies, the Mexica do make heavy use of human sacrifice, and some of the creatures serving in their armies are even more alien than the demon legions of Rome. These neutral powers want little to do with the Heaven War, although as the two superpowers decay, the neutrals’ ambitions rise. The Heaven War may soon have a third, independent faction joining the fray.

Add a Comment:
 
:iconepileptictrees:
epileptictrees Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2014
The Third Faction is most likely the Aztecs with that powerful blood magic and perhaps Quetzalcoatl returning to rule as Emperor. Atheist China would be easily crushed in a world where gods exist (if they didn't become Buddhists like OTL) while the Yamato are hopelessly outnumbered. And with 3 superstates dominating the world in a perpetual war, let's say "The Holy Roman Imperium has always been at war with Buddhists/Aztecs and the Buddhists/Aztecs have always been our ally"
Reply
:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Sep 9, 2014
The Aztecs will likely be the third great power, yes. 
Reply
:iconepileptictrees:
epileptictrees Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
Were the Incas butterflied away and replaced by the non-solarian Chimu?
Reply
:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2014
Yes.
Reply
:icondarne93:
Darne93 Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014
Ha, it reminds me a world from one Polish book series. Unfortunately, I can't find anything in English about that...

esensja.stopklatka.pl/obrazki/…
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2014
That is one badass Jesus. 
Reply
:iconpaikal26626:
paikal26626 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014  Student Artist
I don't know you but..................more I read the text of this map and more I recall about the games of 40.000 Warhammer, I mean a God Emperor confine in his throne-sarcophagous, the evocation of "demons" on the battlefield, a never ending war, taking commands of the spirits. Doesn't ring a bell to you too? 
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2014
Oh, I consciously took influence from Warhammer 40K when writing this. It's one of my favorite settings of all time. :)
Reply
:iconbeastboss:
Beastboss Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
When I read this part of the bible I always wondered what it would be like if Jesus took up Satan's deal 
Glad he didn't though
Reply
:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014
Whether or not Jesus could make that choice is a matter of interesting theological debate....
Reply
:iconbeastboss:
Beastboss Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
It is also completely unknown of what a full contract between the devil and him would have ie if there was a limit to his rule, much of it makes for some thought provoking speculation
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:icongigoxxiii:
GigoXXIII Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow this is cool and dystopian, very original as well :). I love it although I would not wan't to live in it
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
I'll take that as a mission accomplished. ;)
Reply
:iconthasiloron:
Thasiloron Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't suppose Quetzalcoatl actually returned, did he...?
Reply
:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
TTL's Mexica are not OTL's, so Quetzalocatl himself hasn't returned. Now, a theopotent entity similar to but legally distinct from Quetzalocatl....
Reply
:iconmdc01957:
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
From the title, I half-expected Kane to show up. :XD:
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
He almost did. 
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:iconmdc01957:
mdc01957 Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013
Close enough. :XD:

Still, nice work as ever!
Reply
:iconmattystereo:
Mattystereo Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
I'm guessing that Yahweh is waiting for the abominations to cleanse that world so that he can pick up the pieces that this son helped smash the world into.
Reply
:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
Not exactly. He's too busy keeping them from eating the entire universe to fix things at the moment. 
Reply
:iconrajalyoko23:
Rajalyoko23 Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013  Student General Artist
I don't know what to say to this. 

Wouldn't Jesus be more "Tolerant" to other peoples since he teaches brotherly love or something? 
And also, KING BUDDHAAAA
Reply
:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2013
The teachings of these versions of Jesus and Buddha aren't those we are familiar with, and often are the exact opposite of what they actually taught. 
Reply
:iconfieldmarshalpatton:
FieldMarshalPatton Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
What's the tech level? 
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
The non-magical tech level is OTL interwar: Central Asia is a network of trenches, artillery batteries, machine gun nests and barbed wire, with the occasional armored offensive making things interesting. Some strangetech here and there: the Romans have artillery shells filled with demonic runes that cause quite a bit of trouble when they land in an enemy trench. 
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:icontombombardier:
TomBombardier Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
The Imperium capital is not in Jerusalem then?
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
No, because modern Roman theology considers it a city of Yaweh, the Abandoning Father. For more practical purposes, Jesus wanted to take control of the existing Roman system, and Romans being Romans would be less tolerant of being ruled from a foreign city, even if the ruler was definitively divine. 

For my purposes as the author, I didn't want the Imperial capital to be so close to the Persian frontier. 
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:icontombombardier:
TomBombardier Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
Apparently the Romans considered the Caanite, Phoenician, and Hebrew chief deities to be Cronus. Might be able to tie that in.
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013
Interesting! It also works perfectly: the mythology of Zeus overthrowing Cronus fits right into TTL's Christianity. 
Reply
:iconauwinhawk:
Auwinhawk Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
It a good map even with the religious stuff good job it made me think thank you for that :)
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Thanks. :)
Reply
:icontlhikan:
TLhikan Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
That is really messed up. 

But pretty entertaining :P
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Just like the rest of my work. Well, I can only hope about the latter bit. ;)
Reply
:icontlhikan:
TLhikan Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013
In your work, they tend to go hand in hand :D
Reply
:iconroyalpsycho:
RoyalPsycho Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
PEACE THROUGH POWER!

On another note this is delightful.

Jesus is the God Emperor of Mankind!

Just who are these malevolent outer beings that Siddhartha is so worried about?
Reply
:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
The Deceiver/Satan certainly isn't a nice or weak guy, but he's a lightweight compared to what Siddhartha saw out there. ;)

And the darkness he saw wasn't limited to eldritch abominations. There's also the fact that all of the alternate Earths he could see are dystopian. 
Reply
:iconroyalpsycho:
RoyalPsycho Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
So I take it what he just saw out there was the collective work of yourself, myself and Vongrief?
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:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Yep. The multiversal neighborhood he's in isn't very nice. 
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:iconroyalpsycho:
RoyalPsycho Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Let's just hope none of the Eldritch Abominations and multi-dimensional empires we three have created notice him and his little blue and green rock.

Some of them might decide to pay a visitDevilish .
Reply
:iconrvbomally:
RvBOMally Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Like 40K, the good thing about the multiverse is that the horrible world-ending things are getting in each other's way. ;)
Reply
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