Molok the Deceiver
Molok the Deceiver is a semi-mythological figure in the Amarr Scriptures who attempted to usurp the throne of Emperor Amash-Akura around 16600 AD. He led a massive rebellion and, at one point, controlled half the territory of the Empire. He was eventually captured at the Battle of Edras and sacrificed on the altar of God. After his death, he was transformed into a sort of religious adversary in the Amarr mythology, coming to represent sin and disbelief.
Very little historical evidence for Molok's actual reality exists. The majority of documentation comes directly from the Scriptures or later commentaries, leading many scholars to debate if he was real or a creation of the church.
Molok is first mentioned in the Scriptures as a member of the Council of Apostles who had grown jealous of the blessings given to Emperor Amash-Akura by the sefrim. Molok believed that he deserved the eternal youth of the Ametat and the great wisdom of the Avetat. Because of his jealousy, he turned to forbidden arts and rituals, and gained great powers.
Using his powers, he conjured floods and plagues, causing great distress to the people. He used his great charisma to gather a following of Holders and told the people that the angelic sefrim were responsible for allowing the disasters to happen. He claimed the sefrim could have given eternal life to anyone, and spare them from all suffering, but they jealously withheld from who they considered lesser beings.
Eventually, Molok conquered half of Amarr Island, throwing the Empire in chaos. Emperor Amash-Akura asked the sefrim to aid him and, when they refused, he banished them from his city, causing the sefrim to return to heaven. That night, Amash-Akura was visited by God, who informed him of his folly and bade him reclaim his people. Though Amash-Akura lost the blessings of the Ametat and Avetat, he began to lead his armies directly against Molok.
The war lasted five years and ended with Molok being captured at the Battle of Edras. Molok was brought in chains before the emperor, then sacrificed on the altar of God.
Despite his defeat and death, Molok's legacy endured in the Scriptures. Amash-Akura died the day after Molok was executed, bringing an end to the Empire's first emperor. His rebellion also spelled the end of the Empire's first golden age, as the population was decimated and infrastructure was left in ruins.
After his death, Molok became something of a vengeful spirit in Amarr lore. He continually crops up in the Scriptures, attempting to deceive the righteous and cast them into sin and heresy. In most instances, he is not described as an actual presence, but rather a metaphorical representation of temptation. Some theologians contend that the references are not intended to be read as the actual manifestation of Molok's soul, but rather being a simple metaphor for the process of self-doubt that strikes many of the faithful.
While the Amarr church contends that Molok's existence and actions as recorded in the Scriptures are historical fact, many foreign scholars believe that the events are embellished at best or outright fabricated at worst. Most sources of information regarding him come from the Scriptures or later authors, leading some to doubt his existence entirely. Of course, the Scriptures are replete with verifiable historically accurate documents, making objections to them as a source of information contentious.
The most common alternate theories concern Molok's existence and motivations.
Force of Nature
According to this theory, a number of somewhat related natural disasters struck the Empire after many years of harmony. A massive flood destroyed croplands, resulting in widespread famine and death, which then led to the spread of a plague. The lack of a proper response from the church and Amarr leadership caused high unrest, eventually resulting in several riots. These riots were violently put down, causing further unrest in turn, which subsequently led to a large-scale rebellion.
Once the rebellion was successfully put down, the church created the figure of Molok to act as a scapegoat, blaming the disasters and trouble on him. As the disasters ceased, they contended that Molok had been defeated and peace would return to the Empire.
This theory puts forth the contention that Molok actually existed, but was actually a religious reformer. He was responsible for exposing corruption and abuses within the Holder class and the church, perpetrated against the peasantry. His crusade was opposed by the Council of Apostles and he was branded a heretic, causing him to lead a popular rebellion. As he gained followers and influence, the church attempted to vilify him by blaming a series of natural disasters on him. After he was captured, he was executed and further castigated in an attempt to prevent his elation as a martyr.
In this final theory, Molok was simply an usurper who wished to claim the Imperial throne for himself. This Molok venerated the same Scriptures as the rest of the populace, but craved power. When a series of natural disasters struck the Empire and caused popular unrest, Molok utilized the opportunity to foment rebellion. In defeating his rebellion, the emperor and Council of Apostles committed several cruelties. Afterward, he was vilified in an effort to deflect blame and justify the actions of the Amarr leaders.