Church of t
The Church of t is the physical presence of the belief in t as a semi-organized religion. t is the oldest continuously practiced religion in the Civ servers and is most popular amongst oldfriends. The practice and belief in t is primarily found in the lands of the Prussians but has briefly spread to other groups such as Grundeswald and Gensokyo as part of the culture of the Holy Krautchan Empire in Civcraft 2.0.
It is difficult to pinpoint the exact date in which t became a recognized belief system. Rather, the religion grew organically in the early/middle of Civcraft 1.0. The practice of proclaiming t began sometime in the Summer 2012 with the arrival of the Prussians from the Krautchan imageboard. Civcraft 1.0 included a chat function when a message was broadcast which returned the phrase "No one hears you" if no other player was in a 1000 block radius. Prussians would log in or enter a new area and would type a "t" into chat to notify others of their presence and receive a "t" back from anyone who heard them. It functioned as a ping, but quickly grew into a cult icon as whole chatlogs began to fill with nothing but t's. The reasoning behind why the character "t" was chosen is obscure but there are multiple theories for its specific use including:
- t is the default Minecraft keybind for opening chat and was thus the most convenient letter to use as a chat ping.
- t is an abbreviation of the German word "tag" (an informal greeting equivalent to "hello"). German being the native language of many of the Prussians.
- t is an abbreviation of the Finnish word terveisin ("regards") and was/is popularly used on imageboards such as Krautchan to 'sign' a post as t. Signature. It is often used parody groups of people implying that the text of the post was approved or stated by the undersigned.
The first t based construction was a t statue consisting of nine gold blocks located in the garden just north of the cathedral in the Prussian 1.0 capital of Danzig. The monument bears the inscription:
"And Prussian said, let there bet t: and there was t. And Prussian saw the t, and it was good"
It is unknown who constructed the statue or when it was made. A replica of the t exists in the Breslau museum.
Especially in Civcraft 2.0 and beyond, constructing churches and other holy buildings was/is a key part of the Prussian aesthetic as they sought to imitate a vague 1800s central European construction theme. The character t happens to resemble a Christian cross and was thus adopted in its place, being adorned above the altar and in other places along with other Prussian paraphernalia.
Multiple t shrines/statues have been found in various locations throughout CivMC. These were constructed in the initial days/weeks of the server's launch by faithful followers. Players are encouraged to leave messages at these shrines and to preserve them. Doing so is believed to bring good fortune to the individual and those around them. However, desecrating or destroying these shrines will certainly invoke karmic/spiritual retribution.
Beliefs and Doctrine
As the Church of t emerged organically from amongst the distinct meme-culture of Prussia as well as the Civcraft game mechanics, the belief system and teachings of t have no real-world equivalent and exist uniquely within the Civcraft universe. Due to its prolonged and vague evolution over a decade of Civ servers, there currently exists no definite written doctrine or law. There is no singular player or entity from which the religion is derived and, while t is most associated with Prussia, the practices of t have been used by other Civcraft nations therefore implying that t is not limited to a particular population and instead has pluripotent potential. In fact, any person who proclaims "t" or joins in a t chain may be said to be a believer in t. On some level, any person who uses the letter t in text/speech is witness to the necessity of t in our daily lives. Anyone who lives in excommunication with t will, without fail, be condemned to eternal misunderstanding from inability to communicate effectively.
Shortly before the end of Civcraft 2.0, the Prussians began discussion on codifying a more coherent belief system in accordance with the Prussian virtue of Ordnung (order) and the anticipation of the completion of the Holy Krautchan Empire cathedral to be used for elaborate coronation ceremonies of the HKE's Emperor. These discussions would fail to result in action as the end of 2.0 was announced in Winter 2016 and the Prussians unanimously decided to take a more casual approach to the Civ genre.
Discussions regarding a more concrete doctrine and resurgence of the Church of t resumed in Winter 2022 when the Council of the Civclassics-CivMC Interregnum was convoked. Oldfriends from some historic Civ nations (especially former allies of Prussia and those focused on architectural prowess) were invited to share important memories from the Civ genre as well as hopes/plans for the CivMC server. Invitees included members of: Carson, Gabbon, Gensokyo, Gondolin and Yoahtl, among others. The resulting discussions of various Civcraft memories is being used to write a more formal history and belief system.
- Churches, monuments, shrines and other holy places are found in many places throughout the Civ servers. Players are encouraged to leave a sign with a personal message or a simple "t" at these locations whenever they come across them.
The ritualistic practice of the Church of t is best exemplified during the coronation ceremonies of the kings of Prussia and Emperors of the HKE. A prayer uttered by the officiant of t during the coronation of the Emperor of the HKE is as follows:
“O Lord t, King of Symbols and Lord of Letters, hear now the supplication of us though unworthy and look forth from Thy holy dwelling place and anoint with gladness Thy faithful servant whom Thou hast been pleased to establish as Emperor over Thy holy people.”
Upon being adorned with the crown of the HKE, the Emperor would rise and proclaim his first "t" as leader, to which all present at the coronation would respond with a "t" of their own.
Other rituals are obscure and may involve the imbibing of "p" (abbreviation of poison) which is a classic Prussian cultural practice which has evolved parallel to worship of t since early Civcraft 1.0.
- The password/token used to enter the Prussian mumble channel known as the "Cultural Enrichment Public Zone" was originally "t". However, when this token became too widely distributed, it was changed to "tokenist" which remained for the duration of Civcraft 2.0.