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Mitraen Church

The Church:

  Religion is very important to the Velitar. The two principal faiths worshipped in the valley are Mitra and Druidism.

Mitra:
The worship of Mitra is a very, very old religion. At one time Mitra had another name, which is known only to the Senior Priests and is a key element of the Holy Word spells.
  Mitra is identified with Light, Truth, Justice and the Slaying of Demons and the destruction of the Undead. There are many common and secret symbols of Mitra, the best known, and most widely recognized by the faithful are as follows:

  The White Bull: Symbolizing the strength of Justice
  The White Eagle: Symbolizing the strength of Truth
  The White Horse: Also symbolizing the power of Justice. It
    is the ancient symbol of the Knights of the Velitar.

  The Sword and The Flame: Symbolizes the power over the
    Darkness and Demons.

Mitran Holy Days:

March 5, 6 and 7
These are some of the highest holy days in the faith. It is believed that during these three days Mitra created man and shaped the world into what it is today.

June 6
On this day it is believed that Mitra saved the Ancients from the destruction of Paradise.

August 1
Probably the most important holy day. It was on this day that Mitra defeated the Greatest Demon.

December 5
On this day Mitra made man self aware and gave him free will.


   Mitran clerics believe that the power to cast spells comes from one of two sources, Mitra or the Evil One. (It is believed by most religious authorities that `Clerical' spells do not employ Mana like Wizard's spells do. This is debated by some experts.) True Clerics, as opposed to Fallen Clerics gain the power from Mitra. Fallen Clerics, Pagan Clerics and Scarlet Cult priests all serve the Evil One, knowingly, as in the case of Cult Priests and Fallen Clerics, or through ignorance, as with Pagan Clerics.
  Druidism is officially tolerated by the church but there are many in the church who regard it with suspicion. The official line is that the power behind Druidism is, like Mana, a naturally occurring emanation generated by the life that Mitra created. This power is neither good or evil, like Mana, and therefore using it is not an act of good or evil except in the intent behind it. There are those in the church who feel that Druidism goes too far as a religion and challenges the position of Mitra as a supreme deity. They point to the close similarities between Druidism and the Pagan faiths of the Jhensari. They feel that the church has caved in and accepted Druidism merely as away of avoiding further dissension amongst the Velitar and to stay on good terms with the Elves.
  In addition to tending to the spiritual needs of the Faithful the clerics of Mitra are sometimes required to employ their Power of Judgment over the Faithful. To this end there are heavy vows of honesty and truthfulness on the Priests, as well as a variety of optional vows.
  Priests of Mitra are frequently called upon to serve as Judges in civil disputes and minor criminal disputes amongst the Faithful. Generally it is best to consult with the secular authorities or the senior church official in the area before doing too much of this.
  There are four Cathedrals to Mitra in the valley. The High Cathedral is in the city of Velitrium. It is the seat of the Arch Bishop and head of the church. The oldest Cathedral is in Drunmore and it is a very important shrine to the Faith. The remaining Cathedrals are in Glenluce and Rannoch.
  Every town has a temple of some size and all the villages have chapels and the roads, towns and countryside are dotted with shrines.
  Shrines are found along roadsides, in village squares and sometimes off the beaten path. The care and upkeep of the shrines are the responsibility of the local Priest or Friar, and ultimately the Monastery or Abbey that oversees the whole area.
  Shrines remember Saints, Holy Men and Women, Champions of the Faith, Miracles, great victories over Evil, Visions and sometimes famous, wealthy or great people who paid via a behest to have a shrine built to honor Mitra and preserve the individuals memory.
  For example it is customary for a shrine to be raised in each Duchy for the last King, plus one in his home town or village.

  Priests of Mitra by definition have spell casting ability. But not all members of the church's hierarchy can cast spells.
  A Friar or Reverend Sister is not a full Priest of Mitra and lack the magical powers bestowed upon the Priest and Priestess. They are found tending small chapels and shrines in villages whose population is too small to warrant a Temple and Priest. They have most of the ceremonial, non miraculous powers of a Priest but lack the Power of Judgment and all spell casting ability.
  A Friar lives in or near the Chapel or Shrine. He must raise his own food, though the monastery or Temple of the area will supply some food or money to supplement this. The Friar is encouraged to be a part of daily life and they are permitted to marry. This is a lifetime position, though the assigned post may change. If a Friar gets too old to carry out his duties, another assistant may be assigned to aid him or her, or the friar may enter a monastery to live out his remaining years at rest.
  Some Friars serve as aids and staff in the larger temples. Filling roles that would be a waste for a more valuable Priest. For some, Friar hood is merely a step on the way to becoming a Priest, but most priests do not become Friars as part of their normal career paths.  
  Monks are not full Priests of Mitra either. They have dedicated themselves to Mitra but either have not completed the training for Investiture, were incapable of qualifying, or unwilling to attempt it. They have some of the ceremonial non magical powers of a Priest, less than even a Friar, but no spell casting ability.
  Monk hood is not binding for life. A monk may work to elevate him or her self to the status of a Friar, something accomplished easily, or to a priest, which is much more difficult, or they may return to the Laity and resume normal lives. Every year a monk must renew his or her vows to a Priest or Friar, or else return to the Laity.
  Monks live in Monasteries (if male) and Priories, or Abbeys, (if female). They spend their time in prayer and work. One task of the monk is farming the land attached to the monastery. This supports the monastery as well as providing food for the poor. Further, the monasteries serve as little factories for the church. Each one has a specialty item or two that it produces for the church's use. Incense, vestments, alter pieces, wood working, sculpture, icons, tapestries, are all produced, as well as more mundane goods for day to day use like paper, ink, robes and clothing, leather work, even armor and some weapons for the Sacarium Guards. In addition to these tasks all monasteries and abbeys are responsible for copying and reproducing Scripture, Missals, and sacred writings.
  Abbots and Abbesses who run these centers for the Church are extremely important. They can hold the key to the local economy as well as being virtual feudal rulers. They generally oversee the affairs of all the lessor temples, chapels and shrines in their area. (Unless they are near a Cathedral). They must be skilled Administrators as well as being Senior Priests. A percentage of the monasteries production of secular goods may be marketed and the Abbot has much discretion in how the profits are used.

The Sacarium Guards
  These are the guards and warriors of the Church of Mitra. They serve as Temple Guards, and guards of Monasteries and Abbeys. They can be male or female and they are obligated to certain vows and duties. Some of their vows are akin to those of a monk but their obligations are very different.
  In addition to guard duties the Sacarium Guards also act as escorts for high ranking church officials and for moving relics and tithes etc. They will also be used on those occasions when the Church sends forces against known strongholds of Evil.

Knight of Mitra
  These men and women are very, very special to the Church. There are only four Knights of Mitra at any one time. Presently there is only one vacancy available. The role is as much a calling as it is a profession. Like a Priest the Knight must dedicate his or her life to Mitra, unlike a Priest the Knight must expect to die fulfilling Mitra's will.
  Knights are anointed by a Bishop after years of studying testing and grooming. Mandatory skills include theology, law, tactics, strategy, diplomacy, 3 weapon skills, savoire faire, heraldry, first aid, and occultism.
  Once a Knight is anointed he or she is ultimately answerable only to the Bishops of Mitra. He exists outside the normal hierarchy of the church. Though expected to honor and respect the Priests, and in general to obey them in most matters, one of the principal jobs of the Knight is to police the ranks of the church. He or she seeks out corruption and evil in the temple and sees it brought to justice. To this end the Knight has many powers, abilities and advantages. The Knight also has many restrictions, vows  and limitations.


Religious Centers of Mitra in Velitrium:

Cathedrals = 4
Abbeys = 13
Monasteries = 15
Temples = in every town = 20
Chapels = in every village = 25+
Shrines = all over the place


  Shrines are found along roadsides, in village squares and sometimes off the beaten path. The care and upkeep of the shrines are the responsibility of the local Priest or Deacon, and ultimately the Monastery or Abbey that oversees the whole area.
  Shrines remember Saints, Holy Men and Women, Champions of the Faith, Miracles, great victories over Evil, Visions and sometimes famous, wealthy or great people who paid via a behest to have a shrine built to honor Mitra and preserve the individuals memory.
  For example it is customary for a shrine to be raised in each Duchy for the last King, plus one in his home town or village.





Character Information

Clerics of Mitra

Knights of Mitra

Sacarium Guard