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    Church of the Burning Sky

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    Church of the Burning Sky

    Post by ScreamPaste on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:32 pm



    Last edited by ScreamPaste on Sat Oct 08, 2016 4:16 pm; edited 7 times in total
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    Re: Church of the Burning Sky

    Post by ScreamPaste on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:32 pm

    Helia, Goddess of the Sun and Sky



    Helia. The Goddess. Her Grace. Mother to the World. They say there are a hundred names and titles for this one entity, and in a world where her gaze is eternal and unending, it's not surprising that so much is based around her, despite most knowing relatively little about her.

    Even the church has only a few texts that reference Helia's nature in any definitive way. Much of what is said about Helia is divined from the nature and behaviour of the sun and the world, Helia's works. Some comes from ancient scraps of texts old enough to fall apart if touched, which have been copied over and over by the studious monks of the church, these scrolls and manuscripts can now be found in almost any temple, but they are sparing in what they can tell.

    A third source of knowledge are the scarce few people through out the world who claim to have heard her voice. Usually in a time of great need. Almost all of them joined the church following their experience, others took up causes in the world, or left their homes to explore it. All of them had their lives changed.

    Many, varying things have been said about her. While the details are murky, what is known of Helia is that she is patient, and wise. Wise enough to know that the lessons learned through hardship have much greater benefit in the long run to those who learn them. So while she is benevolent, her mercy comes in measured doses meant to fill the needs of her people, rather than their wants.

    She does not condone acts done out of malice or hatred, and while she dislikes violence, she accepts that it is sometimes necessary. When moved to anger, her wrath comes in the form of fire. When moved to sorrow, she leaves only ice in her absence.

    She is Lawful Good, Her domains are:
    Air, Animal, Community, Destruction, Fire, Glory, Good, Healing, Knowledge, Law, Magic, Protection, Strength, Sun, Travel, and Weather.

    Her favoured weapon is the lance or cavalry spear.


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    Re: Church of the Burning Sky

    Post by ScreamPaste on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:32 pm

    The Church of the Burning Sky

    The organization around the worship of Helia, they rule the land and make the laws. They, despite this, do not own most of the land, and their laws are sparing. Don't steal, don't maim, don't kill. While this may seem lenient, breaking any of these laws is punishable by death. The church is divided into three parts, the clergy, the church militant, and the council.

    The Clergy

    The clergy are the monks and priests who maintain the roofless chapels and temples where Helia's word is shared, oaths are taken, people marry, trials are carried out, and executions as well. Attached to each of these roofless buildings is a sheltered set of quarters for the clergy to live, and where holy objects and texts are kept.

    Most of these monks and priests are not required to take any vows other than to uphold Helia's tenets. Each temple has one High Priest or Priestess who is bound to that place for life, however, who takes vows similar to those of the Knights Sol. Most members of the Council are made up of these extremely dedicated individuals. They may never leave their home for more than fourty cycles of a water clock, on pain of death. The sole exception is if they are chosen to rule in the Sun's Pike.

    Helia's monks are known to travel, and to be rugged and hardy people who love the bright, beautiful world Helia has created. Training both their minds and bodies, they can sometimes make their way into the church militant, but usually serve as scholars, missionaries, and stewards. As Helia forbids maiming and killing, her monks are extremely prodigious at unarmed combat.

    The Church Militant

    The church militant, known as the Knights Sol, are a small and elite group. Only a handful of these men can be found in most settlements, with the exception of Arcanum, where they man the walls and patrol the streets. Their headquarters is inside the enormous citadel at the city's center, known as the Sun's Pike. The center tower is over a kilometer tall. The slack is taken up by sergeants, aspiring knights who have yet to take their vows, most of whom will never be permitted to do so.

    They're an ascetic order, as well as highly exclusive. Only the most focused men are allowed to take the oaths that dedicate their lives to the order. In total they number only a thousand men. They forsake all wealth, carnality, and luxury, refusing to sleep in roofed homes or shelters. They believe Helia provides all the shade from her gaze necessary for them to live, and will sleep under trees or in the shadow of the city walls. They wear white tabards, emblazoned with the insignia of Helia across the chest, making them very easily recognized. Despite their tendency to sleep in vulnerable areas, almost no one would dare cross one of these men and women.

    The Council of Six

    The council contains the most dedicated, knowledgable, and powerful members of the church. Each of them rules over a city that is built around a temple to the Goddess, of which there are six. The council also elects one of their number, considered their brightest, to lead. This leader moves into the citadel in the center of Arcanum, the largest such city, and resides there until their death. They have sole authority over the Knights Sol, and are the ultimate ajudicator of legal issues and national conduct. They serve as a mixture of figure head, supreme court, monarch, and spiritual leader.


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    Re: Church of the Burning Sky

    Post by ScreamPaste on Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:32 pm

    Doctrine

    The doctrine of the church reflects the world that inspired it. Survival is held above all, life is sacred, and without the light there can be no life.

    Thus, the church forbids killing that does not preserve life, or aid survival, is considered the gravest of all sins. Given this, it might seem strange that the death sentence is used for all crimes, but it actually ties back into the theme of life being sacred. There is nothing more meaningful in the eyes of the church to take from someone than their life, nothing with worth in comparison.

    To this end, to spare life, they have only sparing laws.

    Do not murder or maim.
    Do not steal tools, food, or water.
    Brandishing weapons escalates violence and thus it is only permitted to draw a weapon when it's use is already necessary without question.
    No one is buried, as this traps the soul away from Helia's warmth. Instead bodies are put on tall wooden towers outside of settlements where animals pick away the meat, and the bones are either crushed into powder and spread over the earth, or kept with the family.

    All criminals are entitled to trial by their peers before punishment.
    Guilt is determined, not solely by whether the act was committed, but also by circumstance and necessity of the one who committed the crime.

    Other than these laws are 'rules' which are not enforced by anything more than social shunning, harsh words, and the occasional bout of fisticuffs.

    Masks and hoods hide your face from Helia's gaze, and are considered sinful.
    Leaving anything to rot is considered sinful also, as it is wasteful.
    Lying is considered an admission of guilt, and it is expected you behave in a way that does not require you to deceive. It is also considered weak to speak untruths; if you cannot cope with the world as it is, you may not be fit to survive in it, after all.


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    Re: Church of the Burning Sky

    Post by ScreamPaste on Mon Jul 21, 2014 2:22 pm

    Persons of Import


    Kara, Hieraphain

    There are many well known names within the clergy. The most prominent of those is of course, Kara, Hieraphain of the Church of the Burning Sky, appointed of the council and perhaps the brightest wielder of magic the world has ever seen.



    Her face beams on one side of every coin that has been minted in Accord for the last decade, and she is generally thought of well by the people. Her decrees are always fair, and she lives on a Low Time schedule to better serve the masses.

    Despite her good reputation, there are many people who are curious about her, or downright suspicious. She is rarely seen in Arcanum, and some fear that she has too much power and may become detached. Notably, she is disliked by many powerful noble houses for refusing to meet with or hear them during High Time, and for her apathy toward matters of finance.

    Council

    While Kara is the most recognizable, she is not the only well known name within the church. There are many who approach her own notoriety in their home cities, even if they lack her reach or gravitas.

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    Re: Church of the Burning Sky

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