The Codex of Saintly Knowledge
The Guide to All Things Religious
by Angelique in Dark Ages
Welcome, Seeker, to the Codex of Saintly Knowledge. Herein, the mysteries of faith will be explained and expounded upon. Due to the diversity of Temuairin faith, I will endeavor to remain neutral in my opinions of each faith, and present an honest, straightforward look at each aspect of Religion
Gentle Reader, this is the Codex of Saintly Knowledge. The traditions passed down from generation to generation recount the functions of the servants of the Temuairin Gods. Be ye Gliocan or Gramailian, here lies a manuscript to consult in times of need. But, before any of this can be put to use, you must first join a fellowship!
Joining a fellowship is quite easy. In order to become a follower of a God, a young seeker must search for a priest (or a higher ranking official) of the God they wish to follow Upon finding a priest who is willing, a seeker must ask for admittance into the fellowship. The admittance to a fellowship is almost always coupled with a time of questioning, to determine if the Aisling truly desires to follow the God. Usually, a good working knowledge of the God's enemies and allies is helpful, as well as the basic tenets that the God stands for. In example, a seeker to the temple of Gramail should know that the enemies of Gramail are Sgrios and Glioca, his allies are Luathas and Fiosachd, and Gramail is the God of Order. It is also not uncommon for priests to test your knowledge of the inner workings of theology, such as why a God is an ally, while another is an enemy.
Once you have become a member of a fellowship, a bounty of wonders awaits you! However, one must always remember that proper behavior is expected, nay, required when inside the hallowed walls of the God's Shrine. Always remember to ask people for assistance in prayer. Never assume anyone is going to automatically assist you. It is within the power of every Aisling to curse you in the name of the God for bothering them with to many prayer requests ((Ard Cradh cast on you by temple attendant)). Be quiet during the sermon, and allow the words of wisdom to sink deep into your heart. Learning the rules of the temple can simplify your religious experience greatly! For example, in order to enter the temple of Cail, you must remove your shoes in reverence to the God of Nature. It is considered good ettiquette to keep your shoes in your hands or in your bag until you exit the temple.
Now that you have joined a fellowship, there are many services available to you. Each fellowship holds a Mass to their God every double-moon. Mass is the most holy occasion where the presiding Priest speaks a message of the God, and then calls the blessing of the God onto the Shrine. This holy presence is that of the God near your very heart, and is a wonderful experience ((Gain much faith, and up to 50,000 exp)). This time of fellowship usually happens on a recurring schedule, so be sure to check the Temple Board to see the dates for each Mass.
If that weren't enough, Priests also often reward faithful servants of the God with a Geas. A Geas is a holy quest that, upon completion, brings the touch of the God. Each quest is specific to the priest that issues it, and can earn lesser or greater favor from the God ((Lesser Geas - Some faith, and 10,000 exp. Greater Geas - Some Faith and 100,000 exp)). Also, belonging to a fellowship gives you access to a plethora of Aislings who hold similar views, and may be willing to aid you in times of trouble. The ability to call upon your deity for aid in times of need is very helpful as well.
Now that we've covered the basics, it's time to look in depth at the Sacred Rites of the Fellowship. Each Shrine has a Mundane Temple Attendant that aids all Aislings in their communion with God. This attendant holds the knowledge to the sacred rites of each fellowship, which demonstrate the true power of the God. Here now is a description of each function, and what it does.
Consecration is a holy rite, which bestows a God's blessing upon a suitable item. Earrings, Bracers, Greaves, Boots, Shields, Rings, and Gloves may all recieve the blessing of a God, unless they are already otherwise enchanted. For example, a Jade Ring may recieve the blessing of Glioca, but an Emerald ring may not, because of the powerful magics which were used to craft it. Here is a listing of each Deity, and the blessing they bestow upon an item:
Also, through the rite of Consecration, a priest, with the help of his deity, may fashion a prayer necklace from air around him (Please see Prayer for an explanation on prayer necklaces). Priests who have proven their faith in their God, and have ascended to the station of Cleric, may also consecrate very special items of their God. The Symbol of a God is very similar to a prayer necklace, with the exception that it also increases your magic ability((+50 to Mana)). The most holy item of any God is the sacred Staff, which come in both Magus and Holy varieties. These staves signify an individual with great piety to their God, and offer an increased ability to magical workings((+100 Mana, and -1 line from spell chants)).
Desecration is the act of sacrificing an item of an enemy God to gain faith. There are three kinds of Desecration available to priests: Lesser, Greater, and the desecration of prayer necklaces. The lesser Desecration is more comparable to cleansing the foul touch of an enemy God from the item, in exchange for favor from the God ((Faith increase)). The blessing is removed, but the item remains,usually for blessing to the God the priest serves. A greater desecration calls upon the fury of the God, and completely destroys the blasphemy that is set before the priest, in exchange for favor from the God. The desecration of a prayer necklace pleases each God the most, as the destruction of these holy items weakens the opposing deity.
The act of prayer is the most common and most important part of belonging to a religion. It is through this daily communion with Deity that we are inspired to become better creatures. Prayer can be done in solitude, or with the aid of another Aisling. When prayer is committed in groups, the increase of faith can be great((faith increase AND 500 to 25,000 experience)), and it is most recommended to have a partner when you are praying. Due to the great opposition in the heavens, only followers of the God you follow or a follower of one ofhis allies can assist you in prayer.
Every God can be asked the same basic pleas, but the miracles are unique to each God. Supplicating the Deity is a powerful plea for help. Due to the nature of the plea, only those who are pious will have thier supplications answered correctly. However, because of the closeness to divinity, the plea takes less faith than an Entreaty. Entreating the Deity is a plea for aid that can be made by even those of weak faith. However, due to the generalness of this call, more faith is required, and the results are not as strong. The nature of Deity itself is omniscience, you may Seek Guidance from your deity, which will come in the form of ancient wisdom which suddenly enters your mind. When praying to the Deity, it is also possible to tell the God of the good deeds of another follower by Praising Another((Gives the same increase to faith as Give Thanks, but to another Aisling of choice)). Also, remember to regularly Give Thanks for the things that the God has done for you daily. Gratitude towards the Deity is a sure way to walk closer to them. Prayer Necklaces are used to commune with a God when not inside a Temple. To use a Prayer Necklace, one must first begin chanting the prayer of the Deity. Upon completion of the prayer, one must drop their Prayer Necklace to the ground, and then pick it back up. Summoning creatures that are faithful to the God can also be accomplished in the same manner, except you must use the Summoning Chant. Here now is a chart which explains the miracles of each God:
For priests of the God, there is also another ritual that can be cast outside of the temple. The Mass can be held anywhere, so long as the priest knows of the secret to the spell of Mass ((click X Mass spell, where X is the name of the God served.)). In order to do so, the priest must first cast the Mass spell. Upon completion of the chant, the priest must spring forward ((move forward on step)) and then fall back into the original position of the casting. Once returned to the spot, the deity will appear before you and ask if you wish to begin the mass alone or with an assistant. An assistant is almost always desired. After the final prayer is finished, the Mass will be cast, and the dance of holy ecstasy can begin.
Now, as a worshipper, you may wish to do more to serve your God. The degree you possess within the church determines much of what you are able to do. Each degree allows the ability to do more things for your God, but be forewarned that an Aisling's degree is by no means a determination of their faith to their God. Listed below is a small explanation of each level of the hierarchy of the Church:
((This list has been circulating through Temuair for quite some time. I am unable to discover the identity of the originator, so I am not able to give proper thanks... Begin OOC))
|Initiate Up To||None||None||None||Acolyte||Priest||Cleric||Minister|
|Banish Up To||None||None||None||Acolyte||Priest||Cleric||Minister|
|Excommunicate Up To||None||None||None||Acolyte||Priest||Cleric||Minister|
|Geas Up To||None||None||None||Acolyte||Priest||Cleric||Minister|
As the keepers of the faith, the higher clergy (priest and above) are given tools with which to keep their temples running smoothly. It is through Order that Priests are allowed to Admit Guests to the Temple, and discipline unruly parishioners. By calling upon the power of the God, a Priest can Banish a truly unruly parishioner from the Shrine for 3 days! However, because Aislings can make errors, the Priest is also able to revoke this banishment. Also, any priest ranking higher in the hierarchy can remove this banishment as well. Sadly enough, some followers soon lose their way, and sink into evil. When all else is lost, a Priest has no choice but to excommunicate the parishioner, removing him from communion with the God.
If leaving the church is truly in your heart, there are other ways to leave other than the horror of excommunication. To be excommunicated is to be harshly cut off from the deity, and is not a pleasant experience. Other options are available to those who wish to leave. They are to either Forsake the God of your own will ((Found under the fellowship button)), Shift Faith to the fellowship of an allied God, the horrible branding of excommunication, or even worse, to be made a Heretic by your peers. A Heresy is a secret gathering of 12 Aislings who believe that an Acolyte or higher has been abusing the power of the God. These Aislings swear oaths to the temple attendant, and the said priest is branded forever a heretic. Some mend their ways after this shocking event, and are able to rejoin the church. However, the brand of a heretic, much like the brand of excommunication, is a permanent thing.
Gentle reader, I do hope this book is in some matter helpful to you. Indeed, this work took me many moons to finish, and I could not have done so without the aid of many of my fellow priests. I'd like to thank Morrigan, Jana, MorriganNyte, Acerbus, Feria and Moiraine for their extensive knowledge of their faiths. May Gramail guide you safely down your path, and may the spark of the Aisling flourish forever.