Followers of Light
The religion of Light, despite its name, focuses on the worship of the third generation gods rather than Idraen, the God of Light and King of the Gods himself. Despite his position and his mother’s involvement with the creation of humanity (and any parallels to the Abrahamic God of our world), Idraen doesn’t concern himself much with the wants and needs of humanity. Instead, this duty falls his children, nieces, and nephews, the Third Generation Gods.
Not all of the Third Generation Gods have their own temples, but the more prolific, and eldest of them do. Other gods are lumped in, or only prayed to in private. Small shrines may be set up in communities or homes if a lesser known god greatly influences them. The gods that do have temples have ranks of clerics that follow their teachings and have a repertoire of spells available to them. Most gods of light teach within the seven virtues of Chastity, Temperance, Charity, Diligence, Patience, Kindness, and Humility, though their exact interpretations of these virtues may vary.
Worshipers frequent preferred temples as favor from the gods is needed. Some temples provide services to the community, for example, Priestesses of Erada often perform weddings and set up match-making, while Priests of Acoassa are charged with control of the nation’s courts, and Priests of Essan often tutor and teach the public. Each nation usually has temples to the major gods in their capitals, at the least, and most of these temples are connected in a network so that they are run in the same manner. Others (such as the Holy Court of Acoassa) are independent of each other, each one having their own interpretation of the god’s teachings as suiting for the culture.
Temple of the Seasons
Followers of the Seasonal Goddesses; Fria, Areria, Glaeria, and Oleiria. Draia also figures into worship at these temples. They have the largest followings, as the majority of most nations is agrarian. The seasonal goddesses are prayed to especially in planting and harvest seasons, but parishioners often come daily to give thanks for ideal weather and pray that it remains pleasant. Each season, the temple celebrates by arranging festivals, usually during prime harvest times.
The Temple of the Seasons takes both male and female clerics, but the priesthood is predominantly female. Most of their talent is focused on practical aspects of farming; learning which crops are best for the region, when to harvest them, the ideal weather that the crops thrive in, as well as techniques to gain the most out of the land without devastating it. The temple becomes a repository of knowledge as clerics both share it with the local farmers who seek their blessings, and learn special techniques from them as well. On the mystical side, they learn many chants and choruses to bless the land, call for ideal weather, and curry favor from the goddesses. However, they turn to their knowledge to help farmers before using magic.
Holy Court of Acoassa
Temples dedicated to the Goddess of Order, Acoassa, are most commonly used as courthouses in the large cities throughout Thiskel and Kalesten. Each temple is independent of other nations’ Acoassa temples, and works in unison with the nation’s government. Acoassan priests help the rulers of nations determine laws in accordance with the goddess’s wishes, and are responsible for judging disputes and the sentencing of criminals, while the nation’s military or constabulary handle enforcement of law. Due to the independence of the temples, interpretation of Acoassa’s will varies. While most nations’ Acoassa temples, at the core, have similar values there are some nations which take their interpretations to extremes which can lead to corruption and oppression.
Priests of Acoassa can be male or female, though the gender roles of the culture may have an impact on who is allowed to serve Acoassa as a cleric. Most of their duties pertain to in depth study of the laws of the nation, providing counsel and presiding over legal disputes, and advising rulers in the creation of laws. Magically, they have a few spells at their disposal that are predominantly warding, binding, and subjugation spells, typically used in dealing with unruly criminals.
Temple of Love
The temple dedicated to Erada, the Goddess of Love. Erada temples often provide romantic services such as officiating weddings and facilitating match-making. The Temple of Love has a network of temples throughout the nations of Kalesten, with the home temple situated in Lolal, Chawoven. Aside from supporting romantic endeavors, Erada also teaches that we should find love in all areas of life, to appreciate the companionship of people, whether that companionship is the relationship of loves, friends, family, or just the love for all of mankind. Erada also approves of homosexual and polygamous relationships, though the nations may not always agree.
The Temple of Love accepts only female priestesses, and are known to have some of the best healing spells. Rumors are abound that priestesses of Erada heal through sexual intercourse, but most of their healing is achieved through prayers and gentle touches. They do have more powerful and intimate healing rituals, but priestesses do not perform these rituals wantonly. Most priestesses will only preform these rituals for one whom they love. Most of their spells are for healing, but they also provide blessings for luck in romance and blessings of fertility. They do not have any spells to charm potential partners, finding the concept to be absolutely abhorrent.
Library of Essan
Temples dedicated to Essan and the Muses encourage the pursuit of knowledge and education. Their temple system is based in Rheneld, with strong followings in Emkal and Agenom, and moderate followings in other nations. Most major cities have temples to Essan which house vast libraries and museums, and provide classes and tutoring. Usually only the privileged seek the tutoring of Essan priests, but the clerics are often involved in any school systems for children set up by the nation. They petition national and city leaders to set up schools and donate whatever time and resources they have to enriching existing education systems.
The Library of Essan accepts priests of either gender. Accepted in the later teenage years, the young priests gain an expansive education (though they are ever learning) and are encouraged to pick up talents in art, literature, music, and other forms of expression. Magically, they have some minor healing and subjugation spells, but their focus remains on knowledge. Their most commonly sought spells are blessings and summonings for muses.
Temple of Serenity and Peacekeeper’s Synagogue
The followers of Saeven, the God of Peace, have two different sects and two different interpretations of their god’s will. While some believe that Saeven’s teachings are to be completely pacifistic, others believe that peace is something that must be defended, and even fought for. Thus, Saeven’s followers broke into two different temples.
The monks and nuns of the Temple of Serenity believe in total pacifism, even in the face of death. Aside from promoting pacifism, they also seek inner peace and spend their lives dedicated to spiritual evolution. They have some of the greatest spells for healing, but despite their pacifistic stance, they practice no subjugation spells, believing that those who seek conflict must find peace for themselves. They do, however, practice a form of martial arts that does no direct harm, but instead turns an attacker’s strength against them. It serves to protect the monks/nuns from harm in their travels, but they also practice it to hone the body and mind.
Temples of Serenity are independent of nations, but not of each other. Temples are often founded in secluded places, such as in the mountains and deep forests. Heads of each temple keep in contact with other temples through correspondence, and often trade wisdom to enrich the studies of each others’ temples.
Peacekeepers of the Synagogue realize that peace is often hard won, and sometimes, to achieve it, one must fight against oppression and tyranny. Their first directive is always diplomacy, but if that fails, then war may be a necessity on the road to peace. They have many holy spells for healing, and also are accomplished warriors. When battle is a necessity, they will go in with heavy plate and chain armor, wielding shields and maces. The Synagogue works alongside many nations, often advising rulers when they face war and facilitating diplomacy. When war does break out, if they agree with the stance of the local ruler, they will often be giving the rank of general on the battlefield and allowed to command the nation’s troops. However, if the Peacekeepers do not agree with the war or battle, they will refuse to serve. The Peacekeeper’s Synagogue is a network of temples with the main temple situated in Kales, Kalesten (formerly Chegar).
Temple of Fortunes
Dedicated to Casril, the God of Luck, Temples of Fortune are not exactly divinely ordained, but were formed by merchants in appreciation for a god that was formerly considered a “fringe” deity. Not every nation has a Temple, and they are mostly independent of each other, but Gites, Serdenaugh; Dashy and Coom, Agenom; and Shiz, Ertia are all homes to well-established temples to Casril, while other major cities are sprouting large shrines and may see greater temples in the future. Parishioners to Casril’s temples are often merchants, traders, and other businessmen who are seeking blessings. Gamblers and thieves also seek Casril’s favor, as he governs luck as well as monetary gain.
Clerics serving Casril can be either male or female, and they often live rather lavishly due to hearty donations to the temple that are quite substantial. They are, however, still studious and well-learned as one of their duties is to advise professionals in ways to maximize their profit. Magically, they offer many blessings of luck and fortune, and have some minor talents in other areas of clerical magic.
Temple of Fate
The Temple of Fate is not devoted to religious worship, but an establishment to allow Oracles to practice their natural ability and offer their wisdom to those who would seek it. Oracles are individuals with a unique ability to decipher the will of the Fates, allowing them to pass down prophecies. The oracular ability is strongest in women from their teenage years to early twenties. Males can have the ability, and some female oracles can maintain their ability much later into life, but this is rare and most oracles are young women. Elder oracles, those whose abilities have weakened or been lost to time, may serve the temple by seeking out new oracles throughout the continent to send to the home temple (Kalesten, northern Thiskel and Ertia all have a single temple each to serve the whole continent). Most people coming to the Temple of Fate are people of influence; rulers of nations, generals of armies, nobles, and others.