Priests of Tamaris
Who They WereUp until a few months ago, Kenna and Allus Sersmith were two ordinary humans in their late forties. Kenna worked in one of Ptolus’ hospitals, while Allus was a carpenter, usually taking on jobs down by the docks. Kenna and Allus were of lower-middle class, rich enough to be able to rent a decent house and afford the month’s groceries, but that was about where their affluence ended. Still, they had each other, and that was enough for them. Everyone who knew the Sersmiths agreed that they were one of the most loving couples in Ptolus, always there for each other.
And then, the avatar of a God appeared before them.
The man proclaimed himself as Tamaris, a long-forgotten deity of love, life and lust. Yet, as he said, he still had his followers, in other parts of the world. Now however, he wished to return to Ptolus, and had chosen Kenna and Allus to be his first priests, inspired by their love. Tamaris explained his divine portfolio and his tenets regarding love, life and lust. He charged the couple to create his first temple in the city, and to recover as much information about his religion as they could find. Then, he was gone, as fast as he’d appeared.
Recreating a ReligionThe next couple of months were a flurry of activity for the couple. Kenna and Allus visited every library and private collection they could find, hoping to get as much information as possible on Tamaris’ religion. Through persistence, research, and divine guidance they located the basic information, even though Tamaris hadn’t really been worshipped in Ptolus for generations upon generations. Tamaris pleased with their efforts filled in the gaps of missing knowledge educating and indoctrinating the couple personally.
The couple also sold their house and spent all of their savings in order to buy an inn in Midtown, which they converted into Ptolus’ first temple of Tamaris. From there, they began to spread the religion.
Kenna and Allus were no fools, of course. They knew that to simply go out into the streets and preach was no way to find new worshippers – instead, it was probably a good way to get the law involved. And so, the new temple was to act as a place of healing too. It would service everyone who walked through its doors, but especially poor travelers and, most of all, prostitutes who had been mistreated or had been infected with some kind of sexually transmitted disease. After all, Tamaris was the deity of love and lust, and so such people deserved his clergy’s full attention.
Tamaris appeared before the couple again during that time, entrusting them with divine magic, instructing them on how to heal diseases and wounds. This magic, combined with Kenna’s healing knowledge, proved more than enough to care for those who came to the temple.
Of course, there could be no temple and no deity without organized religion. When searching through the texts they’d found, Kenna and Allus found descriptions of many rituals, most of which emphasized communal love and other erotic practices.
To the couple, this was strange. “Modern” Ptolus wasn’t as regressive as it’d been centuries ago, but ideas like polyamory and semi-public lovemaking were still seen as strange. Still, Kenna and Allus had been visited by a deity, and they had been judged worthy. If this was what their deity demanded of them, then that was what they would do.
In fact, this reluctance actually helped the couple in the long run. Once they’d overcome it, they used this experience to convince others to also enjoy Tamaris’ worship.
The Priests TodayAfter a few months of operation, the temple of Tamaris has prospered. Most of the people who have converted to Tamaris’ religion are prostitutes who first came into the temple looking for healing. In turn, these prostitutes helped converted others, primarily their more devoted lovers.
There are other worshippers too. Poor travelers have left Ptolus for other lands to spread the deity’s word, while some upper-class nobles and merchants have come to the temple too. At first, they were far more interested in the religion’s sexual aspect, but Kenna and Allus’ words eventually made them more pious.
In general, even though the religion is still young, Kenna and Allus are seen as the spiritual mother and father respectively.
Kenna, thanks to her experiences working as a healer in a very busy hospital, takes care of all the diseases and wounds people have. Moreover, she is the one people come to when they need someone to talk to. Kenna always listens, and her advice is always good.
Allus, on the other hand, doesn’t usually talk as much. However, he’s the one who usually gives the sermons. In such cases, he shows his charismatic side, positively captivating those who listen to him. He is also the temple’s handyman, having renovated most of the inn himself. He has even gone so far as to help the faithful repair their own homes, free of charge.
Kenna and Allus have lately focused their efforts on recovering more of Tamaris’ rituals. Although the deity provided them with information and they found some basics themselves, some of the religion’s more esoteric information is still lost. With the temple now earning some money through donations, the couple has turned to adventurers and explorers to restore this knowledge.
Moreover, the couple is also expanding the priesthood. Already, they have their eyes set on a few of the temple’s most recurring worshippers, seeking to offer them the position of Envoy of Love in the near future.
Tenets of Love
Iconography & ThemeKenna and Allus each wear a gold pendent of a single rose with a ruby center on a gold chain. They have begun to hand out gold pendants without the ruby to the Envoys as symbols of their faith. The deliberately do not look to flaunt and flourish with gaudy symbols and garb, instead preferring to present themselves as part of the community and the commoners. They wear small splashes of red, white and gold as highlights of their faith.