Istivin : City of Shadows.
Pelor is the god of the Sun, Light, Strength, and Healing. He is known as the Shining One, and the Sun Father. He is known as the creator of much that is good. His holy symbol is a face in a sun. He rides a mighty ki-rin (an aerial creatures that dwell amongst the clouds, of the highest intelligence and completely lawful and good) named Star Thought, summoning eagles and destroying evil with bolts of light. He is depicted as an older man with wild golden hair and beard, dressed in robes of shining white.
Pelor opposes all evil deities and his followers avoid neutral deities with teachings counter to Pelor’s. Pelor particularly loathes Tharizdun, having played a role in the Dark God’s imprisonment.
Pelorians believe that the life-giving sun is the best cure for all of Oerth’s ills. Justice and freedom are brought about through charity, modesty, perseverance, and self-sacrifice. Pelor’s priests teach that the truly strong don’t need to prove their power. Pelorians strive to perform so many good acts that evil has no room in which to exist, though they will fight if necessary. Pelor is wrathful against the forces of evil, and is especially opposed to the undead. However, Pelor urges his followers to remember that excessive attention to things of evil can blind one to the truly important things: compassion and goodness. These are what must be emphasized above all.
Pelor is a popular deity, much-beloved by the commonfolk.
Pelor’s clergy heal the sick, bless crops, help the needy, and destroy evil and the undead. They are caring and nurturing, with backbones of steel. The Pelorian priesthood attracts many naive youths to his service, but training is rigorous enough to send many of them back to their farms. Pelor’s elite priests are called Radiant Servants. Pelor’s favored weapon is the mace (heavy or light). Vestments are typically yellow or gold. The church of Pelor has a very exact listing of rank and title for thouse who belong to the church: Acolyte, Priest, Deacons, Vicar, Bishop, Archbishop, Primate, Cardinal, Patriarch and High Sun Keeper.
A new initiate into the church, one who has declared their intention to become a priest of Pelor. Until one is fourteen they cannont become an acolyte or enter any formal priestly training; once they start down the path it will take them a minimum of six years and in many cases eight to ten years, to complete their training.
After one is finished with their training as an Acolyte they become a Priest; while not all priests are clerics, all clerics are priests. Priests fill a multitude of rolls: they may serve in a church under a Deacon or Bishop, they might be assigned to monastic orders do to special skills, or they may be given permission to become a wandering shepherd walking the plain guided by Pelor’s will. Whatever a Priest does in servos to the Shinning One they are the most commonly interacted with member of the church.
A Deacon is a priest that has been granted a diocese, perish, church, or a grove that is his to tend and maintain. He reports directly to his Bishop and is responsible for the spiritual health and to a certain extent the physical health as well, of those who are in his charge. One cannot become a Deacon until the age of twenty-six; special dispensation can be made by the Bishop of up to one year but no more. Any further exception of this time constraint must come directly from the High Sun-Keeper.
Vicar is a priest or deacon who has been selected be become the personal aid of a Bishop, Archbishop, or Cardinal. This position tends to be a stepping stool to higher positions in the church. A Vicar is given access to greater church information and resources and considered to be the mouth peace of the ecclesiarch that they represent. In the earliest days of the church vicars would serve as messengers from one part of the resistance to the other, and would be the only people aware of where any two parts of the resistance where at one time. This tradition of the highest confidences being placed on them lives true to this day, while they are no longer used for espionage it is a still a position of great honor to be the moth for their superior.
A Bishop might be considered equivalent of a feudal lord or major in an army, the deacons and priest in their area report to them and must abide by their ruling. They are responsible for teaching the faith and ruling the church. The Bishop or Eparch of any see is the center of unity for his diocese or eparchy, and, as a member of the College of Bishops, shares in responsibility for governance of the whole Church. They report to the Cardinal who appointed them, however Bishops serve more as deputies to the Cardinal rather then a direct subordinate.
The title of archbishop is held not only by bishops who head metropolitan sees, but also by those who head archdioceses that are not metropolitan sees, those of deep spritual signifanace to the church. In addition, it is held by certain other bishops, referred to as “Titular Archbishops” who have been given no longer extant archdioceses as their titular sees – many of these serve in administrative or diplomatic posts, for instance as Sol Solis Costidos Nuncios, who serve as diplomats for the church, or secretaries of Curial Congregations, who seves as assistants to Cardnals. The bishop of a non-archiepiscopal see may be given the personal title of archbishop without also elevating his see (such a bishop is known as an archbishop ad personam).
The title of Primate has in some countries been granted to the bishop of a particular (usually metropolitan) see. It might involve authority over all the other sees in the country or region, or simply involve no more than a “prerogative of honor”. Primates are usually designated to an archbishop or bishop who serves with the first diocese created within the country, or an archbishop/bishop who serves with the oldest diocese within the country. Primates who serve in hostile countries such as the Empire of Iuz, or the Shield Lands still hold authority over all other sees in those countries as there will be no Cardinal assigned to those lands.
A cardinal is a senior ecclesiastical official of the Church of Pelor. They are collectively known as the College of Cardinals, which as a body elects a new High Sunkeeper. The duties of the cardinals include attending the meetings of the College and making themselves available individually or collectively to the High Sunkeeper if they request their counsel. Most cardinals have additional duties, such as leading a diocese or archdiocese or running a department of the Curia of Pale. A cardinal’s other main function is electing the High Sunkeeper whenever, by death or resignation, the seat becomes vacant.
The right of electing the High Sunkeeper is reserved to the principal clergy of Pale and the bishops of the nine suburbicarian sees, the nine sees inside the country of Pale. During the sede vacante, the period between a High Sunkeeper’s death and the election of their successor, the day-to-day governance of the Church as whole enters a vaccume period as the College is only empowered to elect the High Sunkeeper during this time. The right to enter the conclave of cardinals who elect the High Sunkeeper is now limited to those cardinals who are part of the college and those Patriarchs of other faiths. On exceedingly rare cases a guest of a Patriarch may be granted the right to enter but only under a unanimous vote. The election of a High Sunkeeper has never taken longer then the two days allotted before the Light of Pelor would become extinguished. The exact proceedings of the College are a closely guarded secrete of the church but it is known that the election of a High Sunkeeper must be unanimous.
This title exists to grant recognition of the heads of other faiths, and grant them standing inside the Church of Pelor. While they cannot not give orders to priests of Pelor, and so too do not follow the orders of the High Sunkeeper, the church created the title as a symbol of respect to the heads of the other gods of Pantheon. It was felt by the church that, as Pelor is the head of the Pantheon, those who head the faiths of the other gods must be shown their proper respect by the clergy of the Sun Lord. This also serves to clear up any confusion as to the proper display of etiquette when a Cardinal meets with a head of faith to another god.
High Sun Keeper
The High Sun Keeper of Pelor is referred to as the Vicar of Pelor and the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church of the Sun Lord. The honorary title prefixed to the Sun-Keeper’s name is “(His or Her) Holiness”. They may sometimes also use the less formal title of “Servant of the Servants of the Lord of the Sun”. The High Sun-keeper is the only Cleric in the Flanaess that can cast commune and receive direct commands from Pelor himself. Thus the church has organized itself in a manner that gives that individual the most influence. The charge forces on them an awareness that they, even more than other bishops, are “tied”, bound, by an obligation of strictest fidelity to the teaching transmitted down the centuries in increasingly developed form within the Church.
Pelor is served by a small number of druids, who behave in ways similar to his clerics, but with a greater emphasis on the care of plants and animals. They usually associate themselves with settlements rather than living as hermits, aiding the community with their hands, spells, and animal companions wherever they can. They are considered to have priest status within the Pelorian church, though they have a separate hierarchy. Pelor is also worshipped in the Old Faith, where he is considered the god of summer.
Pelorian paladins, known as Crusaders, are rare, having appeared in large numbers only since the Greyhawk Wars.
When not in formal dress, Crusaders favor light-colored tunics, particularly sky blues, pale greens, or grays. Some dress in commoner’s clothing, especially when serving as community healers or in disguise. On formal occasions, they wear a black cloak emblazoned with the symbol of the sun. They blend into the darkness, only the shining symbols visible to their foes.
Pelor’s services involve communal prayer, the singing of hymns, and the distribution of alms. Prayers to Pelor are often affirmations in the first person, for example, “I am merciful, just as the Sun of Mercy shines on me.” Weddings and rites of passage often take place at the beginning of a new season. Farmers often request a ritual known as the Blessing of the Sun-Kissed Field.
Pelor’s temples are tall, with large windows; many are stained-glass cathedrals. They are arranged so that the sun shines into most of the rooms during the day, and many feature large courtyards. They tend to be airy and blindingly white. Temple trappings are typically yellow or gold. They are always kept clean. Many Pelorian temples have hospital wings.