High Vessel of the Gods
In the Elven city of Ama Nalore, there is a temple to the Elven deities, who also share Ocith with our Human ones. Unlike the Xedean Pantheon, however, the Elven gods have no rankings among them, no major or minor gods, and no leader. In fact, the Arolaen Pantheon (so named for the counterpart of Xedes, Arolas) is similar in form to the Elves' own form of government, their Council of Elders. Even the First Elder is just a spokesperson and moderator, they are considered co-equal with the rest of the council. There is, however, one seat on the Council that one cannot be elected to. Nor will rising through the ranks of the priesthood guarantee it. This person is the High Vessel of the Gods, chosen by the deities themselves in an unmistakable fashion, and may be the only member of the Council of Elders who is not, themselves, chronologically qualified for the job. How a High Vessel is chosen is something of a mystery. No Vessel has yet revealed if the gods have disclosed such a secret to them. But the manifestation of the choice is undeniable. The chosen vessel is struck by a beam of light that could not have come from Arolan (our Xeitho). Then a second light joins it, and a third, until there are 12 light beams of various colors wreathing their chosen candidate. These beams will follow him or her around until they are installed into the role of High Vessel, making it clear to all who witness it that this is the gods' will and their choice. The ceremony is fairly simply. The Chosen has already been blessed by the gods, there is little to do except dress them in the special robes of the High Vessel, place the diadem that is part of the Vessel's formal regalia on their head, and bless them with holy water, as a sign that the people accept the will of the gods. The High Vessel does not eclipse the standing hierarchy of the temple, but rather, works with them and often acts as their liaison to the Council. But the Vessel's job is to interpret the wants of the gods, whether through prophecy and foretelling, or simply gut instinct and inspired choice. On rare occasions, the gods speak directly to their Vessel, laying out what should be done.