Abridged History of the 10th Age
The Hierian Temple
|Deity: Haeron||Alignment: LN|
In depth Analysis: The Hierian Temple
The temple of Haeron has a strong central administration which ripples outwards throughout a system of regional overseers. As is proper, the Hierian temple finds its strength in the region of Thyrnesse, even having its primary temple there. Orders and letters are carried across the whole of the North by Vaelen runners who are mostly not to be trifled with on pain of death. This allows the Hierien temple to keep in constant communication and to pass down canon law and temple appointments or judgments.
Hieriean temples are frequently made of stone in the monumental style and painted in Haeron’s colors. Unlike the elves or the dwarves men do not adorn their chief temples of Haeron with gemstones or precious metals, relying on paint and iconography. Most Hieriean temples have a round central dome with sub-chapels radiating outward. Haeron’s main worship area usually faces north in a scheme such as this.
In some kingdoms (Thyrnesse, Golnia, others), only Hierien clerics can adjudicate a law-court under the supervision of a noble. The Temple strives to keep the laws between these kingdoms similar but generally swears to uphold the laws of whatever kingdom they operate in.
The Temple has a rigid hierarchical structure, relying on local clerics to do it’s work pastorally, but assigning a Metropolitan to each major city and a Hierophant to each large district. These are overseen by Divines and the temple itself is led by the Lawkeeper and Hierophant, who’s vast central Temple complex is located in Miles.
The current Lawkeeper of the Temple of Haeron is Elarent Pellan.
The Temple of Wars
|Deity: Tallial||Alignment: CE|
Tallial’s temple is quite small compared to the other major temples of the North. There are few people who worship that grim god, and those who do usually do so in order to AVERT the dangers of his attention rather than draw them. The Temple of Wars has no strict hierarchy or law and each establishment is free to do as it wishes. His temples flourish in places of near-constant warfare, such as Essad or the Free Cities.
All of Tallial’s temples bear a few architectural themes in common. When Tallial is not given a side-chapel within a Hierean temple, his edifices are usually constructed of black iron with as many braziers and torches as room and money will allow.
Tallian clerics are a mysterious lot, usually keeping their faces shielded with great helms in imitation of their god. Their devotions are meant to guarantee success in war or trouble brought down on one’s enemies. They are frequented by the slave-kings of Essad and the generals of the Free Cities more often than in any other lands.
The largest and grandest of all Tallian temples can be found in Essad.
Temple of the Pilgrim
|Deity: Vaela||Alignment: LG|
The servants of Vaela the Roadwarden come in many different disguises as her realm is quite broad. There are the Knights Mendicant, who wander the roads as pilgrims keeping them clear and free of banditry and other troubles. There are also the Sacred Heralds, who bear messages throughout the North. These organizations are beneath the larger aegis of the Temple of the Pilgrim.
The Temple of the Pilgrim uses, as its central location, the Roadwatcher Temple in Miles, which is connected to the vast grounds of the Lawkeeper’s complex there.
Temple of the Ashen Rod
|Deity: Eleia||Alignment: CG|
Eleia’s temple has long been associated with the nature-spirits known as Dryads and the World-Tree Asca-Irminsul. Her temple is pastoral, tending to the spiritual wellbeing of the countryside as well as the nobility. In almost every kingdom of the North, marriage is a ceremony reserved for Eleia’s clerics (though in Meirenia, clerics of Raya may also perform the marriage bond). Her temple is loosely organized around the Altar of Grain in Stonemark where the High Priestess and Oracle sits in thought.
Rare is the time when the Temple of the Ashen Rod actually utilizes its hierarchy, and rigid structures of command do not truly exist within it. However, it is true that the Temple of the Ashen Rod DOES share a single unified belief system as passed on through the Eleian holy manual, the Book of Leaves, which is often written upon dried and treated linden, ash, birch, or oak leaf.
Temple of the Unconquered Sun
|Deity: Avauna||Alignment: NG|
The temple of the Unconquered Sun has dimmed in glory since its oldest days. It is related to the elvish temple of Noronë the Daystar and they are often joined in efforts to determine elements of sacred history and law. As befits a clergy intimately tied with the elvish high-temple, the Unconquered sun is most powerful near Tailimisä.
The Abode of the Daystar, the central temple of Avauna, is located in Haldera. From there the chief priestess of Avauna, known as the Sun-maiden, rules her temple and communicates with Kelaatulë Elimä the Hierophant of Noronë in Tailimisä.
Many Avaunian temples have been abandoned in the eastern portions of the North due to a fall in importance and worship of their goddess. Either way, Avaunian temples are in plated in hammered gold to reflect the glories of the sun.
Avauna’s clerics try to bring hope, light, and comfort to those under their care. They focus on healing and can be found in both poor city slums and as leeches to the wealthy noble alike. They despise undead in all their forms (rivaling Akem in their hatred) and will sacrifice their lives to seek out and destroy powerful undead with Avauna’s cleansing light.
The Emerald Temple
|Deity: Galos/Lumiä||Alignment: TN|
This is the temple of Galos, which has a loose organization threaded throughout the North. Emerald Temples operate semi-independently unless the three most important temples in the North call upon the resources of the general Temple populace. In order of prestige: the first of these three temples is located in Dorlan, the second is in the Free City of Maidoen, and the third is located in a lonely place along the Sturmsea coast. When these three temples agree upon a course of action, they have the power to make it into canon law.
Otherwise, each temple makes its own decisions and operates in its own way. Many have small supplies of texts dealing with magical research; larger temples have libraries of the stuff. It is not unusual for Galien priests to become adventurers, as they have a need to explore the uttermost limits of magical knowledge.
Role of an Emerald Seer: Emerald seers do not minister to a population like many of the more pastoral clerics. Instead, their penitents are in fact wizards and other scholars. Since these are not an extremely common group, Emerald seers spend very little time guiding them and much more time exploring magic and seeking out fragments of Starstone to devote to their god. Indeed, Emerald seers are as obsessed with ancient texts and the creation of magic devices as any wizard.
Temple of the Rose
|Deity: Raya||Alignment: CG|
Temple of the Mine
|Deity: Eiri Earthfather||Alignment: TN|
The Temple of the Winds
|Deity: Aros||Alignment: LG|
The Rite of Endings
|Deity: Akem||Alignment: LN|
The Temple of the Book
|Deity: Quill (Quilian Knowais)||Alignment: LG|
This temple, devoted to Quill, is one of the more hierarchically structured temples in the North. With its primary temple located in Meirenia, all satellite temples are ranked in importance. The Prime temple is known as the Hall of Knoweldge. Temples of lesser importance are known as Abodes of Wisdom and important clerics are stationed there. The third rank of temples are known as Houses of Learning and are attended by minor priests of the order.
Role of a Lorekeeper: Lorekeepers and Librarians dwell within the sanctified walls of Quill’s temples; however, they have been known to leave them or to offer monetary rewards in order to recover lost lore. Wandering Lorekeepers are rare and are most often members of an adventuring party.
The Poison-Tongue Cult
|Deity: Tharos||Alignment: NE|
Secretive, dark, and mysterious, the Poison-Tongue cult has affected the North since the Fifth Age. At first, the Poison-Tongues were simple followers of Tharos’ army-train. His councilors, trusted wizards, and advisers made up the Poison-Tongue retinue. However, when he entered his first Necromantic Sleep after the defeat of the Seven his followers became something more. From his tomb, he called his old followers to him and they began the true Poison-Tongue cult, revering Tharos as a god. During the War of Necromancy, he used these cultists to their full extent and finally achieved full Godhood by making use of the Pillar at Miles.
These days, the Cult operates out of the secret Temple of Black Knowledge and functions in a cell organization where few members know one another. Unlike the other clergy of the evil gods, the Poison-Tongues are killed on sight by most nations.
Role of a Poison-Tongue Cleric: The Poison-Tongues seek out converts to Tharos’ cult, promising them rewards, sowing fears, and generally exploiting whatever openings are possible. The Poison-Tongue then encourages those secretive converts to spread and convert others. In this way, entire regions have been undermined by Tharos’ cult, though it usually comes into contact with at least some underworld elements by the time it begins to grow.
The Winter Temple
|Diety: Dinismayl||Alignment: NE|
The Temple of Suffering
|Deity: Hasht||Alignment: CE|
The temple of Suffering has few major loci, though several of these are located in Essad. His clerics are without exception insane to varying degrees. They are bound by their faith to refuse healing in any form, and as such even simple wounds or cuts can fester for years. However, Hasht grants them the blessing of immunity to all diseases — that is, his clergy cannot DIE from illness, but still feel its hideous effects. This causes many of these madmen and women to constantly be in a delirious state of extreme pain.
The Hashtian temple is organized directly by the god, who inspires his clergy in dreams and visions, guiding their actions on Arune without any need for distant temples to communicate via mundane means. Fire and basalt are common themes in the physical structures dedicated to Hasht.
The House of Waves
|Deity: Vodei||Alignment: CN|