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Tales of Symphonia
The goddess Martel is the chief deity in the religion, worshiped by the inhabitants of the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla. Below her are the angels of Cruxis, who spread the word of Martel to their mortal followers. The Church of Martel is nearly identical in both the worlds, save for the hierarchical system present in Tethe'alla, which has a Pope as its spiritual leader. According to the legends the Church of Martel introduces, it is widely believed that the goddess Martel is in a state of deep sleep within the seed of the ancient Giant Kharlan Tree after Mithos the Hero sacrificed himself to save the giant tree of mana, and that the process of World Regeneration is intended to awaken her and revitalize the world from its declining state.
The Church of Martel was established by Mithos Yggdrasill, later revealed to be the same hero Mithos in the scriptures. The organization unknowingly supports him in establishing the balance of the mana links between the twin worlds, by creating the rituals of World Regeneration in order to manage the small amount of mana that was being produced after the destruction caused by the Kharlan War. Mithos, now being referred to by his surname, Yggdrasill, later uses the Journey of World Regeneration to establish a Chosen in both worlds, breeding them to create the perfect host for his late sister, who the Church is named after. He hopes to create a vessel for his sister's consciousness to inhabit, believing that this will bring his sister back to life. Yggdrasill knew that the only way to create the perfect vessel is to find a person with an identical mana signature to that of Martel. To this end, he began controlling the marriages of the citizens of both worlds through the Church of Martel in an attempt to create the signature that most resembled hers, eventually leading to the birth of Colette Brunel.
Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
The Church of Martel changed significantly after the reunification of the two worlds and the destruction of the Cruxis organization. The Tethe'alla branch of the Church, with its superior technology, is the dominant part of the religion, and thus Sylvarant's branch does almost everything they say. The Church is fighting in armed opposition to the Vanguard, which was created to help the people the Church refused to care for, particularly the population of Sylvarant. Because of the now violent religion, more and more people have gone against them and no longer believe in Martel.
- One of the most widely known verses of the scriptures of Martel includes a calling to travel because life is a journey, and the followers of Martel must therefore journey as well. These journeys are known as pilgrimages, and they must be made at least once in one's lifetime. There is no set pilgrimage site, but locations of seals such as the Thoda Geyser and previously the Tower of Mana are popular tourist sites.
- Relics of Spiritua, the last successful and most famous Chosen in Sylvarant, are held in great esteem, and statues of her are displayed in many churches and Houses of Salvation in Sylvarant.
- Mentions of local deities in the town of Mizuho are made, so in retaining their cultural traditions, the people of Mizuho mostly reject the outside influence of the Church of Martel.