The Mhirrian Faith

An Iron Grip

The Provinces of Mhirriah are most known for its theocracy. The religion of all Mhirrians centers around Mhirriah, The Warrior Empress, a woman who became a goddess upon reaching the provinces. The Journal of Mhirriah, which details the mass exodus of the people of Ozlith is considered a holy text of this faith. Despite imperfections and damage to the journal the church has used it to fashion a very potent myth which grants their goddess great power.    



An Uncertain Future

All is not well in the province's despite the church's iron grip. In recent years since the departure of Expedition Demeter a series of events began to unfold causing distrust in the faith and the church that enforces it. Lines are being drawn between those that are loyal and those who suspect they don't have the full story or that much of the stories, as well as the tenets of the faith are false.

Chosen

This divide is only made worse when compounded with the recent emergence of a young woman referring to herself as Mhirrah, Chosen of Mhirriah a figure in the religion that is seen as a messiah that will liberate her people and bring them back to their homeland. She arrived on the fields of battle Dazed and Confused holding the Spear of Mhirriah itself. It is unclear what will happen due to these events

Major Tenants

Over the years the faith has implemented many tenants and precepts. These have given them great power over how the provinces are ran. The church is matriarchal , agitation that stemmed from the empire. Mhirriah herself was more progressive and gender spheres are less strict in the nation that bears her name. However even Mhirriah was prone to Superstition and her church fully enforces laws against any kind of Arcane usage involving fire. Arcana Ignis is punished by death in the provinces.   The church also has an obsession over the various Ozolithian Markers that exist in its borders. Each of these monoliths are considered holy and few are allowed to even get near them if they are not associated with the church. The most famous of these markers is The Ice Spire and is said to hold the body and spear of Mhirriah herself. Each province has their own ways of worship which is carefully overseen by Druids of The Mhirrian Circles, which are extensions of the church.  

Nature's Bounty

Another major tenant of the faith is the usage of The Druidic Arts as opposed to other methods of Arcane use. These Arts are focused on utilizing only the Arcane Energy that is found in one's immediate environment as opposed to pulling it from The Metaphysical Reality or Bardic Lore. While Arcanists and bards both exist in the nation they are very rare when compared to druids.
 

Speak No Evil

One of the more negative tenants associated with the faith is there tenancy to be unreasonable when it comes to the downfalls and mistakes of their goddess. A work of The Ivyhollow Legacy depicted Mhirriah in less than favorable light. The text is a completely different version of the journals that the faith holds so dear. Angels of the fair have routinely been caught attempting to either steal it or destroy it. Due to this The Bardic University of Estoya has gone to great lengths to protect it. It is unknown why they are so adamant.    
 

Church Structure

  The hierarchy of the Mhirrian Faith is matriarchal at its core. While there are some powerful positions that can and are held by men, the vast majority of all positions are held by women. Seeing as how the entire religion is based on the monotheistic worship of a single goddess, women have always dominated most positions of power. Despite this, men are often the majority among Druids, and even Shamans. These minor positions may not seem like much, but being a druid or Shaman is not a bad position to be in. Both Druids and shamans have enormous influence over the local settlements of wherever it is they reside. They also have unique gifts bestowed upon them by the church that nor the position has such as various Arcane abilities and access to places forbidden two standard adherents of the faith.    

The High Matriarch

The high matriarch runs and governs the entire organization, often seen as the one who speaks for the silent goddess. She has complete and total control over any region the religion is dominant in. To the adherents of the faith, her word is Law and to go against it is considered a grave offense.   Even though she is at the highest position of the religion, in reality our position is more of a formality or substitute for the single individual who has a right to be in this position. The religion places enormous significance on a messiah that will lead the people back to their homeland. This figure, whether they be man or woman, is the chosen scion of Mhirriah, who is to take control of the faith upon their arrival.    

The Matrionnas

The Matrionnas, or lesser matriarchs, are an elite order of women who act in the high matriarch's stead in local areas throughout the provinces. The order, along with the high matriarch, go to great lengths to maintain the balance between various cultures that exist in the nation. Every province has its own culture and some even have several cultures that exist within them. This stems from Ozlith and it's famous art of social engineering. The Empire assimilated many cultures and did so with relative ease and continue to maintain peace and prosperity until its fall. These methods of social engineering are likely how it was able to do so, and it would seem that these practices traveled with the people during their exodus.   The order will never send a member to an area they are not familiar with and won't allow a matrionna to shepherd a group they are not a part of. As such there are only twelve official members of the order and each has several lesser members that travel with them making their jobs easier.

The Shieldmaidens

  The shieldmaidens are some of the most valuable Warriors found in the provinces. They are known for being immovable objects on the battlefield and are capable of pushing back almost any foe they meet. Those who are members of this organization enjoy many privileges. First and foremost being a member means you are gifted with fighting techniques used by The Matriarchs Legion, which is an honor in and of itself. On top of this, most are more than generous to the shieldmaidens, offering food and shelter just to have them around should a problem arise. In the provinces they operate much like a mercenary group except they never seem to want to be paid.   They repel attacks from any who dare encroach upon what they refer to as their ground to defend. There's no quicker way to lower the crime rate of an area than by introducing a shieldmaiden to the equation.


Cover image: by John Anthony Di Giovanni

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