The Shadow of Dragons
The Holy Church of Pelor
The Holy Church of Pelor is very hierarchical. It is ruled by one man, Auberon Lycus, High Clerist and “First of the Church.” Patyr, the church’s nominal founder, was the initial First, and named his twelve advisors his “Seconds.” Even today, hundreds of years later, there are never more than twelve Seconds. The ranks continue to the powerful “Thirds” and “Fours”, who exercise both spiritual and temporal power. Thirds and Fours hold land in the name of the King and may raise armies to deal with threats to the Church or nation. They are oftentimes more powerful than nobles in their region and, by Church law, are part of any synod called by the First.
“Fives” and “Sixths” typically preside over their own churches in the many towns of Turrion.These priests are the backbone of the clergy serving in every aspect of the Church from personal secretary to the First to the kindly priest who maintains a church on the very outskirts of the nation.
“Sevens”, or acolytes, are the lowest order of the priesthood, but not the lowest rank in the Church. Every village in the nation has at least a Seven to preside at weddings, perform clan divinations, and minister funerals.
“Eights” are not priests, but laymen in the active service or employment of the Church. For instance, Church soldiers who hold a Writ of Enjoinment from the Church would be considered Eights. Church soldiers and the units which they compromise are often simply known as “Eights”.
Finally, the lowest rank of the Church are the “Nines.” Nines are all women and, unlike the Eights, all take holy orders. It is exceedingly rare for a woman in Turrion to rise to a higher rank, no matter how long their service.
The Radiant Servants are not necessarily priests, though even those who are not can perform certain religious rites. The Servants are considered a holy order of Pelor, and have many of the same rights and duties as the priesthood. The Servants, however, are at once both of the Church and outside of it; a Servant may be subject to either Church or national law, depending on the situation and a complex set of laws and traditions.
A Servant who is not a priest may hold rank as high as a Four, but no further. Paladins are an exception to this rule, but even they may rise no higher than Second without taking the holy orders.
The Holy Church of Pelor is the official state religion of the royalty of the nation, and holds much authority the length and breadth of Turrion and beyond. In many respects, the Church is a law unto itself and does not answer to civil law, save the King, and even then only under specific circumstances set out by law and tradition.
The goals and aims of the Holy Church of Pelor are the protection and defense of the people of Everin. They are devoted to the King and the house of Exridge, and are sworn to defeat the forces of evil, chaos, and darkness.