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Author Topic: Religion in Santharia Discussion  (Read 4191 times)
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Valan Nonesuch
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« Reply #15 on: 22 December 2011, 04:53:56 »

Depending on how dark things are allowed to get, a few suggestions.

  • Heresy requires the temple be destroyed and never used again
  • Rioting leads to the death of all the clergy members and the destruction of the temple after they fail to resolve a problem
  • Destroyed in the Dragonstorm or pilliaged during one of the Sarvonian Wars (contents obviously returned to a "proper" temple on the relevant side of the border) or  contents burned for warmth during the Year of Darkness,
  • Temple sealed after one event or another (outbreak of some hideous plague, etc)
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #16 on: 24 December 2011, 08:55:24 »

Oi, there's a lot of discussions going on. With topics like this, I think it's extremely easy to lose focus and get lost in all the digressions. If it's all right with everyone, I would like to get your opinions and ideas on a one key question first: What is the organizational structure of Institutionalized Aviarian Religion?

I would love it if we could put together a 'organizational chart' of the titles and heirarchy of IAR. It would be nice, too, if we could outline how a person comes to gain a certain title or position. With this in mind, maybe we can seek to find an answer to some sub-questions:

1. We know the speaker is at the top; how is this person chosen? What is the extent of this person's power?

2. What is a methar? Is the head of each god/goddess's worship is a methar? Or is a methar a term used for the person in charge of the worship of an 'elemental group' of gods/goddesses (e.g. the Fire Methar is in charge of worship over Armeros, Foiros, and Etherus)? Or is a methar the one in charge of the worship of a god/goddess in a certain region. In short, what should the priority be between these categories: Gods/Goddesses, Elements, Regions.

3. What are the sub-groups below methar, all the way down to neophytes of the faith?
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #17 on: 28 December 2011, 04:06:29 »

Quote
1. We know the speaker is at the top; how is this person chosen? What is the extent of this person's power?
I'm not sure that the Sorain is at the top of the clergy.  This seems to be the information we currently have regarding the position:

Voice to the King (1662). Priestess Shiana was elected Sorain ("Voice to the Santhran") of the Metharín, the high elemental clerics, in the Kingdom of Santharia. Now she was officially what she already had been during the king's reign: advisor in clerical matters to her brother, the Santhran.

It seems more like an intermediary between the clergy and the Santhran than the head of the clergy.  Apparently it's an elected position of some sort; I'm guessing that the Metharin are the electors, since they are the ones being represented by the Sorain.  As for their powers, I'm guessing it's not that great, but maybe they have a seat on the Council of Linked Hands? 

Quote
2. What is a methar?
From the quoted passage, it would seem that they are the heads of the elemental groups.  At the moment though, it doesn't feel so natural to me to group the gods according to elements.  Perhaps they should be tweaked a little.  Anyway, I would guess that the Metharin are also, collectively, the leaders of the religion. 

As for elemental regions, I would prefer not to have them at all.  That would avoid the problem of having the head temple of a god be within the region assigned to another element.  "Elemental capitals" should be alright though. 

Quote
3. What are the sub-groups below methar, all the way down to neophytes of the faith?
Since a Methar is probably the head cleric of an elemental group, I guess the next step down would be the head cleric of a specific god.  Below that, I'm not so sure.  Perhaps a couple of levels of regional leaders for each god, and then the leaders of individual temples? 
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Rayne (Alýr)
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« Reply #18 on: 30 December 2011, 00:32:54 »

All right. Cogitating on this, I suggest the following breakdown:


The Voice: The representative of the king who attends meetings of the High Council of the Gods, and serves as religious advisor to the king. Their power and influence within the religious hierarchy is primarily de facto and frequently changes depending on the temperament of the individual. (I'm not sure about this being an elected position--because of the highly political nature, it may make more sense to make this an assigned position, one determine by the king or his advisors; whoever this person is, s/he is basically the eyes and ears of the king in council meetings, and his 'voice' in determining religious affairs. The position is very much a two-way street in this regard!)

High Council of the Gods: The collection of all 12 methars, each representing one of the Twelvern.

Methar: The representative for each god or goddess; the position is elected from the council of each God/Goddess by the members of the council for that God/Goddess (i.e. the Seyella Methar is determined by those members of the Council of Seyella).

Council of [God]: The councils from which the methar of each god/goddess is chosen, as well as serving to determine how a specific god/goddess should be worshiped and where new temples should be built.

High Priests/Priestesses: Members of the Council of a chosen god/goddess. High priests and priestesses generally have a great deal of influence in the kingdom and are head of a large temple to their specific God/Goddess.

Priest/Priestesses: Generally lead worship of a God/Goddess under the High Priest of a large temple or else as head of a smaller temple.


I also like your suggestion, Mina, of basically not trying to fit round pegs into square holes. I think the religious 'regions' created to the clerical age can be more based around where the primarily (elemental) religious temple was/is located, rather than trying to build all our Fire God temples within a rather small region.
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"There is much misjudgment in the world. Now, I knew you for a unicorn when I first saw you, and I know that I am your friend. Yet you take me for a clown, or a clod, or a betrayer, and so I must be if you see me so. The magic on you is only magic and will vanish as soon as you are free, but the enchantment of error that you put on me I must wear forever in your eyes. We are not always what we seem..." -Schmendrick the Magician, The Last Unicorn
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« Reply #19 on: 30 December 2011, 14:53:45 »

The Voice: Hmm, you seem to think of the Voice as the Santhran's representative in the clergy, whereas I thought that they were the clergy's representative in the Santhran's court.  Well, Princess Shiana does seem to be a bit of both.  As for how they are chosen, I imagine that the clergy will want some say in it too.  How about if the High Council of the Gods chooses the Voice, but the Santhran and/or Council of Linked Hands has the power to veto it and force them to choose again? 

If I understand you correctly, right now the hierarchy looks something like this:

High Council of the Gods, made up of the 12 Metharin
12 Councils of [god], one for each major god, made up of High Priests
Individual temples, headed by High Priests with other Priests serving under them

It looks like there's no longer anything like the Elemental Councils suggested earlier.  I'm alright with that, but I assume that they still did exist during the Clerical Age, and is probably something that will eventually need to be explained? 

Could we have a few more levels between the temples and the councils of each god?  I'm thinking something like Christianity's ecclesiastical provinces and dioceses, but under different names, of course.  They could be the clerical equivalents of provinces and duchies, except perhaps reflecting older political boundaries instead of current ones? 

Also, how would temples to more than one god be classified?  If I'm not mistaken, that's what Sanctuaries of the Twelve are. 
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