With the fall of the Valois monarchy, the privileged position of the Roman Church was, for the first time since the Wars of Religion, in peril. The Revolutionary Assembly attempted to provide an alternative for Valoise that would emphasize the new revolutionary virtues of reason, humanism, and empiricism.

However, there was a strong reaction from the more conservative members of the Assembly, who thought that there ought to be a reform of the Roman Church rather than its outright replacement. This debate occurred at a key point during the Constitutional Convention of the First Valoise Republic during which there was fierce debate on what, if any, mention of religion there would be in the constitution itself.

This resulted in the Cult of the Empty Throne, a compromise written into the First Valoise Constitution that, in the true tradition of all great compromises, pleased no one. The Cult encouraged the veneration of an ornate, unoccupied, throne, both as a symbol and an actual throne retrofitted into Roman churches. The churches themselves were declared to be Empty Throne Rooms.

Adherents were encouraged to “fill the throne” with whatever suited them–the traditional god of the Roman Church, a deistic being, the concept of reason, or quite literally nothing. By allowing worshippers to choose whatever was sat upon that throne it was hoped that both the proponents of a new ‘Religion of Reason’ and the old Roman Church would be able to coexist in the same space.

Instead, both extremes stayed away in droves. Despite lavish spending on Empty Throne processions and a three day Festival of the Throne in the capital, the converted churches were almost empty on the designated days. Worse, the idea quickly became a laughingstock among enemies of the new regime both domestic and foreign. The Czar of Poccnr famously declared that he was flattered by the Valoise Republic providing him with so many fine thrones for his victory tour.

The fall of the First Republic put an end to any official support for the Cult, and the ascension of the Emperor resulted in its total proscription. The few remaining priests and devout adherents were rounded up and imprisoned, with the Imperial Chancellor noting wryly that a year later there were only fifteen dedicated Thronists in Valoise prisons who had refused to recant. “Were I so inclined,” he said, “I could end the Throne in Valois with a single cannonade.”

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