The Crimson Empire had espoused no particular state religion at its outset, preferring a secular veneration of the Emperor as a unifying and civilizing force which drew various competing religious traditions under its protective wing; in this way it was unique among the ancient empires, which tended to make their emperors also the high priest of a state religion.

Around 1000 years after its foundation, the Crimson Empire began to move toward an official recognition of the Universal Sepulcher as a quasi-state religion, largely in belated recognition of its spread among the populace and the conversion of Emperors during the Anarchy Crisis. Over time, the Universal Sepulcher became the established religion of the empire and its godhead (whose holy name it was forbidden to speak) became paramount to the extent that other faiths were ruthlessly suppressed.

The New Order began as a small movement in the Imperial periphery, where a self-proclaimed prophet-warrior named Taayan began to preach that the godhead of the Universal Sepulcher was actually but one half of a dualistic cosmos, existing as a figure of universal and omnipotent good in opposition to an equal force of universal and omnipotent destruction. Only by venerating them both in equal measure, Taayan taught, could true enlightenment, salvation, and afterlife be attained. Furthermore, he broke the most solemn taboo of the Universal Sepulcher by naming the godhead as Argna the Protector. Set against Atneps the Destructor, the arrangement was known as the Duality and the movement that advanced it became known as the New Order, with Taayan as its Hierophant.

Arising in a time of crisis for the Crimson Empire and its other imperial foes, the New Order was able to carve out a vast empire in a shockingly short amount of time, and by the time of Taayan’s death (reportedly at the age of 101) the New Order rivaled the Crimson Empire in size. Only after a long period of consolidation and nearly constant warfare was the New Order able to defeat and subjugate the Empire, killing the last Emperor. Once it found itself in possession of virtually the entirety of the known world, worshippers of the Duality reorganized the lands into the Dominion of the New Order, adopting many of the institutions of the old Empire into a new, fiercely fundamentalist, and fiercely expansionist entity.

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