|Group type:||Religious cult, local militia|
|Leader Title:||High Inquisitor|
|Motto:||Exurge Domine Et Judica Causam Tuam!|
|Location(s):||Las Cruces, New Mexico|
|Goals:||Elimination of outlaws, heathens and heretics|
|Enemies:||Caesar's Legion, raiders|
The Inquisition's roots lay in Chihuahua, Mexico in the decade leading up to the Great War. A young priest was assigned to the new Holy Mother church from a neighboring parish, due to short-handedness in 2074. This priest, Manuel Juarez, was a strict interpreter of the Bible and a firm believer in the Dogma and hierarchy of the church and would often denounce those who questioned them in fiery sermons to the parishioners of Ciudad Jiménez. Some of his more liberal colleagues raised objections to this "archaic" behavior however, and asked if he could tone it down a bit. Manuel was offended by this and said that they were "vile heretics" and that "good Catholics should raise up and retake the world!". By this point, the other priests were also offended and they requested that Juarez be censured.
This was complicated by politics; as American sanctions and intervention polarized the people and some of the more 'passionate' clergy. Anger continued to grow towards the "Heathens and Sodomites" as the economy continued its slow but noticeable decline, the bishop it worked its way up to tabled the issue until things calmed down. This would eventually erupt into a tragic encounter where a Baptist preacher and his family were passing through the town traveling to Belize on missionary work. After telling the previous friendly locals, however, they were dragged out of their car and killed for "being imperialistic and servants of the Devil."
When it was learned that father Juarez not only approved of this but applauded it and the participants, the church at large was furious and the bishop excommunicated him. Manuel was devastated by this perceived betrayal and locked himself away, fasting, praying for guidance and practicing self-flagellation for his trespasses.
Juarez locked himself away for three days; the second day was October 23, 2077. Even the atomic slaughter outside could not bring Manuel out of his intense meditation, indeed it furthered it. He received a vision; God told him of his great displeasure at mankind, and how he had smote down those sinners and Satanists that roamed the earth. How it was Manuel's destiny to reunite the remaining children of god and he would shepard them against the dangers of the fallen who had risen from hell and he would have to be harsh but his ultimate place in paradise at his right hand. He told him of what had displeased him and had Manuel take down the testaments as the Lord's will in this, the post-judgment period, and if he was satisfied then Jesus would return and begin his thousand-year reign.
On the end of the third day he exited and proceeded straight to the church carrying a stone tablet, unhallowed by the rioters and looters (although his ragged appearance and still open wounds might have something to do with it). He propped up the tablet and began preaching without rest for hours on end, the walls reverberating with his words. Word began to spread from those nearby the building about the "prophet" with bloody clothes and a stone tablet holding mass, and some came to investigate. Manuel told them that the Lord spoke to him and that he knew the Lord's will and that they were given a chance to atone for mankind's sins. He carried on in this fashion throughout the night and when he had finished the church was full of people, all of them full of righteous fury and zeal; the first order he said was to cleanse the unbelievers and heretics among them.
So they took up clubs and bats, bricks and Molotov and systematically eradicated those atheist and non-Catholics among the town. When they finished, they took to refashioning their town to serve as the headquarters of the faith, which took only a few months, as the town wasn't hit because of its lack of reasonable targets, and the only major damage was from the initial chaos and the few fire that got out of control because of the Molotov.
Manuel proceeded to lead the townsfolk in the fashion of the old popes, his word was considered divine mandate and to question his commands was heresy. a notable thing about this community is the acceptance of ghouls who Juarez believes punished themselves already and were forgiven by the lord. This continued well for a few years until Manuel claimed to start hearing the whispers of angels telling him the populace were sinning. Horrified he gathered his closets advisers, or as they were called, his cardinals. He related to them what he heard and they agreed that they must weed out such corruption, and took a page from history and formed a second Inquisition. The members were secretly recruited from the most faithful and were given symbols of office; supported by a papal bull declaring that any action they perform is approved by the lord.
The first action they undertook was gathering rumors and lies from the residents who accused their neighbors of witchcraft and heresy (all of which unfounded) and the next was to kill these blasphemers. The condemned were herded into the central square and their fate was declared: death by burning and an eternity in hell. Though many fought and cried for mercy they were burnt to a person. While this first act was praised by the locals, over the next months they slowly began to resent this group of "goose hunters" but continued to put up with the ever-escalating harassment and executions until 2100 when Manuel died in his sleep. The head inquisitor, an especially savage man called La Cuarta, made an off-hand comment about how Jaruez would have a hard time explaining himself at the gate.
This was the final straw to the embittered and grieving masses who still saw their former "pope" as their benevolent shepherd. Three days after he was entombed they took up arms and hunted down any inquisitor they could lay their hands on. The ones who survived the slaughter fled north, finally settling down in Las Cruces in 2123.
Only a handful survived the passage north, dwindled by attrition and attacks, and they chose to recreate what they left, a city upon the hill; a beacon in the darkness uncorrupted by man's base nature. They found the location in Las Cruces, the crosses. While earthquakes subsequently leveled most of the town, what remained of the Manso people had erected massive crosses after the chief had a dream where his god of the seasons said it represented cycles. Initially, the travelers were delighted at this turn of fortune as they thought they found a people from the golden age, but delight turned to horror as they witnessed pagan dancing idols around the crosses. Enraged they stormed towards the largest tent, where they (correctly) guessed the chief was. Though both parties knew Spanish they spoke different dialects and a peaceful resolution seemed less and less possible. Finally, the chief suggests a test of strength to see who's god was stronger. The tribe's champion strode forward war-club already in hand, standing at 6'10" he towered over the mal-nourished challengers, but one of them managed to grab a .32 pistol before being ran out all those years ago and shot the tribal three times. The entirety of the tribe bowed immediately after, having never seen a gun and mistaking it for the mexicans's god's wrath.
Over the next few years, the Inquisitors taught the tribe in the way of Christ and the Apostles, and slowly changed their ways into ones fitting "Christian virtues". When it appeared that they were true believers in the faith, they all went to the Rio Grande and were baptized. having learned from their first home, the inquisitors did not police the tribe, they only stepped in if a tribesman acted against their teachings or if there was a dispute to the breaking of canon law; where they would act as a panel of judges. all continued in this manner peacefully, with the aging Inquisitors choosing replacements among the locals, until the discovery of other settlements and nomadic bands in 2150. this filled the hearts of the Catholics with joy, as they could help save the souls of others and bring them to god's kingdom. They hastily organized a conversion party and sent them to the nearest settlement, a group of tin shanties about three days over the mesas. When they got there and distributed alms to those wasters, were thrilled to hear the word of god and headed back to Las Cruces with them. Their attempts to reach other groups fared markedly worse however and the next people they tried to save were a passing band of raiders, who after initially acting like they would convert fell upon the group and massacred them.
The Catholics did not take this well; in fact, they were worked into a frenzy and decided that if they would not accept the lord, then they must die. They organized a warrior band and sent them after the raiders. They found them after dark and silently crept into camp and killed them all, burning their bodies on a pyre. They continued in this fashion with all outsiders for a century. However, in that year, 2250 they suffered a particularly hard drought, and the early migration of game. Hunger and famine began to overtake them after their headstock was burned by a raiding party of bandits, who also slayed many of the warriors. With the sudden loss of man-power and strength many of those they terrorized came for vengeance and decimated the Catholics, who did manage to hold on to Las Cruces. Their lord sought to test them again, however, as in 2275 The Legion attacked them suddenly. The few who challenged them were cut down with ease and they tore through the camp, raping, pillaging, and enslaving. Only about 50 survived, most of them children and woman, and since then they have been locked in a bitter guerrilla with the invaders for their home.
Opinions and goals
They are hardline Catholics who also, (when the tribe was first converted) hold a great amount of sway amongst the locals. Currently, they believe harder than ever that the Lord will deliver them from Caesar and his Legion, whom they see as the Anti-Christ.