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    The Church of the Everlasting Light
    Posted on Sat, November 17, 2001 by Toran
    Taras writes "The rivalry between the priesthoods of Pholtus and St. Cuthbert is legendary, and at times borders on open warfare. And, yet, in the heartlands of the Kingdom of Nyrond can be found a sect which venerates both of the rival gods while fending off the advances of the orthodox Pholtus worshippers from the nearby Theocracy of the Pale.

    Author: Taras Guarhoth




    The Church of the Everlasting Light

    by Taras Guarhoth (montand@canonfire.com)
    Used With Permission. Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.

    Location: Hendren Halgood, Nyrond
    High Priest: Pontiff Giscar d'Estain XI
    Holy Book: The Wisdom of Pholtus Revealed to the Holy Prophet
    Symbol: A bright white circle (the sun) with two pale blue crescent (the moons) inside it.

    The Church of the Everlasting Light is a splinter Church of Pholtus. The Theocrat in Wintershiven has declared the Everlasting Light to be a heretical sect (which led the Everlasting Light to declare that the Theocrat was a heretic), and to be destroyed on sight. The Valorous League of Blindness would happily carry this directive out, but Duke Orberend (a paladin of the Order of Ste. Pelor) has stated, in no uncertain terms, that he would personally run the League out of town if they tried. So far, the League has not attempted to put the Duke to the test, leaving the Everlasting Light with a refuge in Hendren Halgood (where it continues to gain converts, much to the chagrin of the League).

    History: The Church of the Everlasting Light was founded in 356 CY, when the Kingdom of Nyrond broke away from Aerdy. A priest of Pholtus, Giscar d'Estain, fled the Aerdy fief of Almor to escape persecution by the Church there. The Nyrondese Church (who were busy bickering with the Churches in the Pale and Aerdy) practically ignored him. Giscar made his way to the city of Hendren Halgood, where the Church did not have a strong grip. Here, he settled down, and was able to escape further notice from the Church in Nyrond for a time. Once the Nyrondese Church did notice, it was too late for them to do anything, as the Everlasting Light had managed to gain a significant number of converts in the city. Giscar d'Estain died in 379 CY, and was buried underneath the Altar of the Holy Bastion of the Everlasting Light. Through the years, the Everlasting Light has managed to become the most important religion within the city, and is slowly beginning to expand it's influence to neighboring communities.

    The Church of the Everlasting Light

    Clergy: Specialty Priests, Monks, or Holy Warriors (Crusaders)
    Clergy's Align: LG, LN

    The clergy of the Church of the Everlasting Light are allowed to be Specialty Priests (of Pholtus, the Order of Ste. Pelor, or the Order of Ste. Cuthbert), Monks (of Pholtus, the Pious Brothers of Pholtus or the Order of Ste. Pelor), or Holy Warriors (of the Order of Ste. Pelor or the Order of Ste. Cuthbert). Pholtus refers to the main body of the Church (ie: not devoted to a particular Order). Note that being devoted to a particular Saint (Ste. Pelor or Ste. Cuthbert) in the church does not result in different abilities. All clergy use the specialty priest, monk, or holy warrior details given below.

    All members of the clergy receive Religion (Oeridian) and Languages, Modern (Aerdi) as bonus proficiencies. Clergy who do not belong to one of the three Orders of the Church gain Etiquette as a bonus proficiency. Clergy of the Order of Ste. Pelor are required to take either Healing or Herbalism, but at a cost of only one slot. Clergy of the Order of Ste. Cuthbert receive Heraldry as a bonus proficiency. Clergy of the Pious Brothers of Pholtus receive History (Nyrond and The Everlasting Light) [treat as Ancient History] as a bonus proficiency.

    Dogma: Pholtus is the one True God. All others are imitators or servants of his. Chief among his servants are Ste. Pelor and Ste. Cuthbert. It is they who help and protect the Faithful while Pholtus leads them towards the eternal bliss of the Everlasting Light. It is only through the ways of the Holy Prophet Giscar d'Estain that we are able to receive the blessings of Pholtus. All other religions are false or corrupt, supported by Fiends in an attempt to weaken the Good and the Just. It is the responsibility of the Faithful to show the Unguided the error of their ways, and bring them into the loving fold of Pholtus.

    Day-to-Day Activities: The clergy of the Church of the Everlasting Light run several missions in and around the city of Hendren Halgood. These missions are responsible for the care of the destitute and refugees from other lands (of course, they do quite a bit of preaching to those they care for). The Church also runs two orphanages in the city. There are several monasteries devoted to the Everlasting Light around the city. The largest of these, located just outside the city (The Sanctuary of Giscar) also functions as a hospital. The other monasteries serve as places of retreat for the clergy, and the monks spend their days copying important manuscripts and making wine (which is quite popular among the faithful of the church).

    Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: Every Godsday, the faithful gather in the cathedrals of the Everlasting light to worship at noon. The following special days are observed by the Church:

    The Day of Remembrance (Readying 1) - observed in remembrance of those who have fallen in the service of the Church. Typically, solemn ceremonies are held in cemeteries, often involving sorrowful hymns.

    The Day of Flight (Coldeven 25) - this day is celebrated in remembrance of the flight of Giscar d'Estain from Almor, with an evening worship service. Afterwards, the clergy will lead the faithful around the city, chasing the clergy and faithful of the other churches devoted to the Everlasting Light.

    The Day of Cleansing (Flocktime 15) - on this day, the faithful of the Church are expected to repent of their sins.

    The Night of Gathering (Flocktime 18) - on this night, the faithful and clergy gather in each other's homes to spend the night in prayer, song, and feast. Few sleep on this night (traditionally a night when the foes of the Church are active). The following day is not spent in the usual worship services, but instead in sleep.

    The Festival of the Blinding Light (Wealsun 1-4) - a time of revelry and feasting. Worship services are conducted each day at noon, followed by a large feast. This festival has been known to drain the Church's coffers in lean years.

    Midsummer's Day (Richfest 4) - after worship services at noon, the rest of this day is typically spent relaxing with family and friends. The vineyards of the monasteries are open to the faithful on this day, and many of them spend some time wandering through them.

    The Day of Refuge (Harvester 20) - this day is celebrated in remembrance of the founding of the Church. No worship services are held, but the faithful and clergy take to the streets in an attempt to convert their neighbors. Afterwards, the newly converted, as well as the faithful and clergy, enjoy large feasts (which generally last well into the night).

    Festival of Hope (Ready'Reat 7) - this is a traditional day of atonement for all the petty sins committed in the previous year by the clergy. This is usually accomplished through extra vigilance in the care of the destitute and refugees.

    Major Temple: The main temple of the Church of the Everlasting Light is the Holy Bastion of the Everlasting Light, located in Hendren Halgood. Underneath the main Altar of the Holy Bastion, lies the remains of Giscar d'Estain. If one looks closely at the symbols of the Everlasting Light found on the outside of the cathedral, it can be seen that these were not the original symbols upon the cathedral. In fact, the it was originally built by the Nyrondese Church, and later taken over by the Everlasting Light.

    The Holy Bastion is a large cathedral, built of white marble. Large stained glass windows adorn its walls, which depict the flight of Giscar d'Estain and his founding of the Everlasting Light. Large amounts of silver and crystal were used to decorate the interior of the cathedral, all of which is kept highly polished. The Altar is topped with a flame, which is kept burning continually by the clergy. The light of this flame reflects off the silver and crystal, making the interior of the cathedral glitter. The faithful of the Church will often light candles from this flame, done in remembrance of lost loved ones. These candles are left at the base of the Altar. On most days, there are over 100 of these candles burning. Each morning, the candles and their spilt wax are carefully removed by the priests.

    Priestly Vestments: The clergy of the Everlasting Light dress in white robes when conducting worship services. At other times, the clergy will wear the vestments of their particular order. Those not belonging to one of the orders will wear the white robes at other times as well.

    Hierarchy: The head of the Church of the Everlasting Light is the Pontiff. Below the Pontiff are 4 Bishops--one for each of the Orders and one for the city of Hendren Halgood. If the church manages to expand it's influence, the Pontiff will appoint more Bishops to oversee the new regions. Each temple, mission, and monastery of the Church is headed by an Abbot, with the exception of the Holy Bastion, which is headed directly by the Pontiff (and does not fall under the authority of the Bishop of Hendren Halgood). The Abbots are responsible to the various Bishops, depending upon who founded the particular temple, mission, or monastery (ie: the Sanctuary of Giscar was founded by the Order of Ste. Pelor, so the Abbot of that monastery is responsible to the Bishop of the Order of Ste. Pelor).

    The Orders of the Church: The Church of the Everlasting Light has three Orders within the main Church. These are: the Order of Ste. Pelor, the Order of Ste. Cuthbert, and the Pious Brothers of Pholtus. The Order of Ste. Cuthbert is the militant arm of the Everlasting Light. Within it's ranks are most of the holy warriors of the sect. The Order of Ste. Pelor is primarily dedicated to helping the poor and the sick, although there are a few holy warriors among its ranks (such as the Duke of Hendren Halgood). The Pious Brothers of Pholtus are a purely monastic order. They exist to train the priests, monks, and holy warriors of the Everlasting Light, and to preserve it's history and holy relics.

    Order of Ste. Pelor

    The Order of Ste. Pelor was founded in 415 CY by Pierre Chevalier. It was founded to help protected the faithful of the Church of the Everlasting Light from attacks by unbelievers and bandits. The Order slowly began to change its focus over the years to helping the poor to survive, which it continues to do to this day. The current Bishop of the Order of Ste. Pelor is Duke Orberend of Hendren Halgood.

    Day to Day Activities: The Order of Ste. Pelor runs a number of orphanages, hospitals, and shelters throughout the Duchy of Hendren Halgood. In addition, the Order contributes 10 holy warriors to the bodyguard of the Duke of Hendren Halgood, and another 10 to the bodyguard of the Pontiff of the Everlasting Light. It is considered a great honor to be chosen to protect the Duke or the Pontiff.

    Order of Ste. Cuthbert

    The Order of Ste. Cuthbert was founded in 446 CY in response to the sacking of the city of Trigol by the Bandit Kings (which happened when several priests of the Everlasting Light were in the city, and all but one were killed). The sole survivor (Giscar Melluore) founded the Order of Ste. Cuthbert to provide a permanent defense for the clergy, holdings, and faithful of the Everlasting Light. At first, there was a bitter rivalry between the Order of Ste. Pelor and the Order of Ste. Cuthbert, but after mediation by Pontiff Giscar d'Estain VIII in 498 CY (due to the mysterious death of his predecessor, Pontiff Louis Andran IV earlier that year), the hostility began to subside, and was slowly replaced by an almost-friendly rivalry, which endures to this day. The current Bishop of the Order of Ste. Cuthbert is Domar Cranden.

    Day to Day Activities: The Order of Ste Cuthbert maintains the guards on all churches, cathedrals, and monasteries of the Church of the Everlasting Light (except those of the Order of Ste. Pelor, which are guarded by their own holy warriors). In addition, the Order contributes 10 holy warriors to guard the Pontiff. The Order also is responsible for training, equipping, and leading the forces of the temple in times of war (mainly militias and levies, but also some mercenaries).

    Pious Brother of Pholtus

    The Pious Brothers of Pholtus were founded in 385 CY, when Pontiff Giscar d'Estain II abdicated, and retired to found a monastery (the Holy Refuge of the Pious Brothers of Pholtus, which now lies just within the city walls, and functions as a school for the training of the clergy of the Everlasting Light, as well as the nobility of the city) on the outskirts of Hendren Halgood. The current Bishop of the Pious Brothers is Jarrus d'Alnais.

    Day to Day Activities: The Pious Brothers of Pholtus are the scholars of the Church of the Everlasting Light. They train the clergy of the Church, as well as assisting the Orders of Ste. Pelor and Ste. Cuthbert in training their members. The Pious Brothers also teach the nobility and wealthy of the city. In addition, the Pious Brothers are responsible for keeping the records of the Church, as well as safeguarding the original copy of The Wisdom of Pholtus Revealed to the Holy Prophet, which was written by Giscar d'Estain in 352 CY. It is currently kept locked away below the Holy Refuge of the Pious Brothers of Pholtus.


    Specialty Priest

    Requirements: Wis 13
    Prime Requisite: Wis
    Alignment: LG/LN
    Weapons: Club, Flail, Mace, Morning star, Staff, War hammer
    Armor: Any

    Major Spheres: All, Combat, Divination, Guardian, Healing, Law, Necromantic, Protection, Sun
    Minor Spheres: Charm, Summoning, War, Wards
    Magical Items: as Cleric
    Required Proficiencies: Read/Write (Aerdi)
    Bonus Proficiencies: Religion (Oeridian), Modern Language (Aerdi)
    Special Abilities:
    • 1) +1 to all saves vs. enchantment/charm and fear spells and effects.
    • 2) Dispel Darkness 1/day.
    • 5) Glow 1/day.
    • 9) Reflect 1/day.
    • 11) Holy Word 1/day.
    • Undead: Turn


    Holy Warrior

    Use Crusader from Faiths and Avatars, but without the Charisma requirement. Changes to the Special Abilities are as follows:
    Spell Use: Use Specialty Priest spheres instead of the normal Crusader spheres.
    Lighten Load: Replace with Turn Undead at 2 levels lower than a priest (gained at 3d level).
    Weapon Usage: Required to take proficiency in at least one weapon used by the specialty priests before any others.

    Monk


    Use Monk from Faiths and Avatars, but is limited to weapons available to the specialty priests.


    A Chronology of the Pontiffs of the Church of the Everlasting Light
    (all dates in CY)

    Name of Pontiff Dates of Rule End of Rule
    Giscar d'Estain I 356-379 died
    Giscar d'Estain II 379-385 abdicated
    Giscar d'Estain III 385-406 died
    Louis Andran I 406-431 died
    Giscar d'Estain IV 431-434 died
    Louis Andran II 434-445 died
    Louis Andran III 445-446 assassinated
    Arran Moulenne I 446-462 died
    Giscar d'Estain V 462-470 died
    Giscar d'Estain VI 470-482 died
    Giscar d'Estain VII 482-498 died
    Louis Andran IV 498 assassinated
    Giscar d'Estain VIII 498-514 died
    Giscar d'Estain IX 514-522 died
    Giscar d'Estain X 522-537 died
    Arran Moulenne II 537-543 died
    Louis Andran V 543-556 died
    Noel Vargoulle I 556-559 died
    Noel Vargoulle II 559-569 died
    Giscar d'Estain XI 569-present still the reigning Pontiff



    Note: Nyrond, Pelor, Pholtus, St. Cuthbert, Second Edition"
     
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    Re: The Church of the Everlasting Light (Score: 1)
    by Scottenkainen on Thu, November 29, 2001
    (User Info | Send a Message)
    Out of idle curiousity...in what countries is saint abbreviated as ste.?




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