Mila Arak was the founder of Arakism, and is still revered as the primary holy figure of the religion's history, short of the Goddess. She is also notable for being one of the primary figures of the revolution that led to the formation of the Izeran Empire, and is therefore also considered integral to the state's creation. Over her life, Mila gained a reputation as a prolific writer, turning out several thick texts and treatises on a wide variety of subjects in a relatively short period of time, all while managing her proverbial flock. She is especially well-loved by historians and archaeologists, as she kept meticulous records of both her daily life and thoughts, as well as significant events related to the revolution, the Autocracy and the establishment of her religion.
Despite Mila's many detailed records and books, there are still gaps in what is known and what can be verified. Mila rarely wrote about herself, and so most of the information gathered about her comes from her personal recollections or from later depictions of her in various religious texts, many of which are heavily embellished.
Mila grew up on a farm in a rural part of Akanda not far from what would eventually become known as Szera City. She was the eldest of three siblings, with two younger brothers, and took responsibility for the family's well-being after her parents both succumbed to disease. Their farm was small and under-equipped, and as a result they were unable to rotate the crops effectively. Eventually, they were unable to pay their expenses and had to sell the land and move to the city. Once in the city, they quickly found themselves homeless and without any money, but found refuge with a community of fellow homeless people, who took them in and helped them as best they could.
Cultist & RevolutionaryEdit
Little is known of or said about the fates of Mila's siblings or how exactly she began Arakism. What information exists suggests that she eventually parted ways with her younger brothers on poor terms, and that she first began preaching the Word of Therra after a vaguely defined "spiritual experience" involving a "cohesive series" of "intense dreams." Regardless, it is known that, by the time she reached adulthood, Mila was a charismatic social reformer, considered a radical by the government as she preached a message that resonated strongly with the impoverished, the disenfranchised and the exploited. The word Arakism only came into use a few years before the revolution, as her religion became especially popular among the working poor. It was at this time that she first met Nijar Szera, and although she described him in her journal as a "hard-headed fool," she soon came to respect him and gladly worked with him towards their common goal of overthrowing the Republic.
As the name "Mila Arak" became associated with the revolution, Arakism exploded in popularity, especially as revolutionaries seized radio and television stations, allowing her to regularly preach to the entire planet. A few days after the Akandan Republic had finally been disposed of, Mila held an enormous prayer meeting in the capital building. By then, nearly ever person on Akanda had converted, and as Nijar began reorganizing the state, Mila set about organizing her newly-christened state religion. Her first holy text, The Dictates of Therra, was finished, printed and massively distributed throughout Akanda - and even to the colonies - within the first year of the Autocracy. Several other, shorter texts followed not long after, and Mila even wrote several political essays endorsing the new government. As the organization of ecclesia and state proceeded, Mila saw the need for religious unity under the Autocracy, and conferred with Nijar before releasing the first of five volumes entitled Truth and Destiny, which aimed to unify both Arakism and the various peoples of the Autocracy.
Later Years & LegacyEdit
As the proverbial dust cleared and the state stabilized, Mila worked tirelessly to enhance and preserve Arakism, publishing several more texts and overseeing the construction of Ecclesia buildings throughout Akanda, and even on the other worlds. The Prophetess named Nijar Szera and several others as her closest friends, and even reconnected with her estranged brothers, but never married, had no children and left no record of any lovers. Even so, she is known to have been very close to several young people whom she regarded as her adopted children, and she chose her successor from among them. Mila later presided over Nijar's funeral, blessed his successor and lived to see the Szera Autocracy form into the Izeran Empire. She died in 3165, having spent her last years still fighting for religious unity.