In this time of great need, this title is being granted unto you so that you may serve Ildyr and those that lie under his protection selflessly and faithfully. It shall bestow upon you great bravery and strength in the face of this hardship. Go now, and serve those you are sworn to protect.
- An excerpt from a Prince Bishop gifting the title of Exarch to a faithful knight
Appointment and Powers The rank of Exarch is a rare occurrence, it is only granted to those who are devout followers and champions of the Aldelgian Illdyr Diocese in times of extreme need. This rank can only be granted by a Prince Bishop of the church, or the Arch Bishop themself. The two highest-ranked positions in the diocese. This rank grants a member of the church the same powers as a Prince Bishop and allows them to make decisions on the behalf of the church without having to await approval from those of a higher rank. This would include the ability to command those of lower rank, make decisions that could have long term effects on the church and the nations devout, and decision making abilities when facing situations of dire consequence. The rank has historically only be granted temporarily, being stripped away once the emergency has passed. It is a rare rank, one that is not lightly granted as those who wield it irresponsibly can cause irreparable harm to the church and nation in general.
Significance There have only been a small handful of Exarchs in the long history of the Aldelgian Ildyr Diocese, as typically a Prince Bishop or Arch Bishop can fulfill any of these responsibilities themselves. However, when this rank is bestowed it is considered one of the highest honours within the church. As the honour shows that the individual granted the title is of the most loyal of Ildyr's ilk and can be trusted to deal out his justice when required. This title has never in its long history been granted to an individual permanently. That is, until recently, when Ser Knight Rath Gerwolf. A Vicar Militia and captain in the Aldelgian Military was granted the title permanently as a gift for being a key figure in saving The Crown City of Elric from destruction.
In recent times, Ser Knight Rath Gerwolf was granted this position when the Crown City of Elric was under attack by Grigory Alstaf and his cult of heretic followers. Alstaf, a former Arch Bishop of the Ildyr Diocese had fallen away from his faith and turned to the side of the demon lord Ig'darmus the Throneseeker, Deceiver of the Infernal. Alstaf under the sway of the Throneseeker had garnered a large following across Aldelgis and planned to summon the demon Ig'darmus in order to cleanse the nation of its sin and start fresh under his new and holy rule. After Gerwolf and his companions thwarted Alstaf, he was granted the Grand Exarch rank permanently as a sign of appreciation and honour from the church. Though Gerwolf's position shares the same name, it's title grants him slightly different powers. He has been granted similar powers in times of great need but does not need to be bestowed the rank a second time. Additionally, he is one of the only members of the church who does not have a territory assigned to them. For example, newly appointed Prince Bishop Torben Behr has been granted the responsibility of overseeing the health and strength of the diocese in the capital of Elric. Grand Exarch Gerwolf has been granted the same responsibilities but is allowed to travel across all of Aldelgis and even beyond its borders when necessary, in order to ensure the health and strength of the Aldelgian Ildyr Diocese in its totality. This includes any issues related to their deity Ildyr in general, regardless of the situation's association with the diocese. Any potential harm to Ildyr or his ilk is considered a matter of importance to the church regardless of location.