Priesthood Life & Magic in the Temples


Magic is fueled by crystals found in caverns that lace their way across the land. The crystals required for magic are rare as they need to be flawless without alteration.

Upon entering service, a priest is matched to a crystal in an elaborate ceremony. This crystal is then mounted into a staff or a piece of jewelry — such as a ring or talisman — and serves as his her focus. Whatever the color of the crystal, the clarity is susceptible to change. Darker and unbalanced spell-crafting will darken or cloud a focusing crystal, while positive and balanced spellcrafting will allow it to remain light and clear.

High priests and priestesses are able to tell a great deal about their colleagues' work based upon the clarity of their crystals. The crystal is therefore considered to be the mark of a priest or priestess's honor, and losing or destroying it is a black mark against a practitioner's name. For this reason, when a priest or priestess dies or withdraws from their god's service, they relinquish their focusing crystal to the Eidai.

Rites, Spells, & Prayers

Casting magic is a slow, pain-staking process that requires preparation and patience. It needs ritual: spoken incantations and drawn symbols that seek to balance divine energy and tether it by calling upon one or more of the Compass Towers.

Although spell-casting affects the world, priests seek to minimize imbalances and therein lies the craft of the art. Wildly unbalanced energies give birth to the evil spirits that plague humanity. Most invocations are simply elaborate prayers to deities for miracles: the bringing of rain, healthy births, the blessing of medicine used to treat disease, wards to keep the eidola out of inhabited areas, etc.

The priesthoods of the six temples are capable of performing more extensive rituals, and their magic is largely specialized to the deity they serve, such as the healing magic practiced by those dedicated to Vivia or the strengthening rituals performed by the Temple of War. For temple-specific magic, please see the appropriate temple's faction page.

Dueling and other sorts of "fast" magic do not exist, although stories suggest this was possible in ancient Calliden when the gods still roamed the world.

High priests are expert practitioners and only they have the authority to accept initiates into the fold for training. They keep the eidola away from settlements, offer their intimate knowledge and highly attuned perception of crystals to properly harvest them, craft potions and elixirs, and — in the case of the Eidai — enchant objects.

Temple Education

Those entering service are educated in small, hidden training temples near the Compass Towers. Initiates are typically accepted around the age of 12 or 13, but some enter as late as 14. In those temples, initiates are sequestered and kept under the watchful eyes of the high priests there while they are indoctrinated into the priesthood and taught spell-crafting. After approximately ten years of training, young acolytes undergo a series of examinations to demonstrate literacy, a solid understanding of their temple's teachings, thorough knowledge of all commonly required ceremonies and rituals, and proficiency in the temple's magics. Due to this seclusion, outsiders almost never encounter a priest practicing magic under the age of 25.

Family & Inheritance

When acolytes successfully complete their examinations and ceremonies, the last formal legality is to renounce their family name, giving up earthly ties to take up their life of service to the gods. There is also a very important legal ramification: priests and priestesses cannot inherit.

For this reason, it's highly unlikely that any Great House would willingly give up their firstborn heir to a life of service. Priests can, with dispensation from the Eidai of their temple and contractual amendments from the Celestial Temple's priests, become guardians of wealth for underage relations — such as siblings or cousins — or for relations who have no heir apparent until an appropriate heir can be found. Any priest's wealth left behind upon his death is left to his temple.

If there is no other inheritor for a family's wealth save a priest who has forsaken his family ties, half of the wealth is taken directly into temple coffers and half of it is spent in service to the poor.

Marriage & Procreation

Those serving the gods are sworn to not marry so they are never tempted by another soul-oath. Celibacy, however, is not required… so long as the relationship doesn't compromise the priest or priestess's fidelity to their temple. In the priesthoods of Amora and Vivia, there are days where carnal relations are even encouraged for ceremonial purposes.

When conception occurs, children are not permitted to reside with their priest or priestess parents, but the other parent may opt to raise the child if not a priest. The only exception is Vivia's priesthood, which allows children to remain with their mothers until they are weaned or they reach eight seasons of age—whichever comes first.

If suitable arrangements are not made for a baby by birth, the temple is responsible for placing the child in an appropriate adoptive home, barren couples among the Great Houses being the most common choice.

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