Stylite of Walvary Peak
The Stylite of Walvary Peak is a prominent religious figure within the Eyes of the Void, an ascetic living saint who resides atop the tallest spire at the center of the Walvary Peak necropolis complex.
An Eye of the Void who wishes to become the next Stylite of Walvary Peak must be a very dedicated Stargazer who is willingly become an anchorite atop one of the pillars which dot the Walvary Peak necropolis complex, never leaving his chosen tower until such time as the next highest pillar resident dies. Upon the death of the next highest lesser stylite, the anchorites all move to the next highest tower in the procession. In a very real sense, therefore, ascension through the ranks of the stylites at the necropolis means literally ascending in altitude. During their stay, each Stargazer ascetic will engage in shared observation, instruction, and philosophical debate with those on adjacent towers, as many are within shouting distance of one another. Similarly, when so anchored, each lesser stylite must minister to pilgrims who come to the peak, offering advice, proselytization, blessings, and instruction in astronomical, meterological, and religious matters to all comers who wish to hear. These requirements are in addition to the already established commandments of the Stargazer faith, meaning that these lesser stylites are mostly nocturnal beings with a profound understanding of the night sky and an incredible ability to endure the elements.
The Stylite of Walvary Peak, as the longest-standing of all stylites atop the eponymous peak, maintains all previous duties. He is also no longer allowed to leave his tower at all, as he is now atop the one at the highest altitude. The Stylite of Walvary peak is to embody the ultimate extent of human endurance with regards to the mountain elements, observing the night sky even in punishing cold weather, blazing summer heat, or any amount of precipitation, though the structure of the Stylite's tower does offer some limited protections. Furthermore, as the oldest and most experienced of the stylites found at Walvary Peak, the Stylite is expected to help resolve rhetorical disputes among his peers and to provide any instruction which he finds lacking among the lesser stylites. Finally, the Stylite and the nearest eight lesser stylites, as those nearest the center of the necropolis, are expected to perform nightly intercessions on the behalf of any spirits still trapped in the bones interred there, helping these souls rise to their final resting places among the Stellar Spirits.
Each tower is equipped with a small cell beneath the crenulated rooftop where lesser stylites spend most of their time, and the Stylite of Walvary Peak's own tower is no exception. The Stylite enjoys a slightly more spacious and more elderly-accessible cell, though no such cells are luxurious by any sense of the word. The real benefit of becoming the Stylite of Walvary Peak is the great respect paid one by the faithful - even among those Elovisians of differing faiths who make use of the necropolis. The Stylite is notable in that, due to his strong connection to the mysteries of the sky, he is accorded special protections by the cult of Cosmeon, Goddess of Cosmic Irony, who shares a similar connection. This means that, among other things, no faithful member of the Church of the Unexpected will ever allow the Stylite to come to harm - in other words, even the Grand Army of Voxelia, enemies of the local Coalition states in the War of Reunification, will not knowingly harm this person in their conduct of the war. This, in turn, means that Walvary Peak would be a safe place in the event of a Voxelian bombardment over and above it's easily-defensible heights and large amounts of natural cover.
Grounds for Removal/Dismissal
A Stylite of Walvary peak is only released from his duty upon his death or upon his abandonment of the tower for any reason. Hypothetically, a Stylite who significantly breaks with Eyes of the Void tradition would also no longer qualify for the position, though this has never happened in the whole history of the position. When a lesser stylite or the Stylite himself die, their body is cast into the hollows of the towers on which they stood and (if necessary) the tower's height is increased slightly to accomodate the remains entombed within. The trapdoor seal over this internal hollow is then restored to prevent the uncontrolled venting of unhealthy miasmas.
Among the small and shrinking population of Stargazers in the Manifold Sky, the Stylite of Walvary Peak holds a position analagous (though not exactly the same) to a High Hierophant of Rostran Esotericism or a high-ranking regional Servant of Ironies in the Church of the Unexpected. Unlike these last professions, however, the Stylite's ministry is limited to those willing to scale Walvary Peak to seek his advice; he is less involved with the administration of the religion than he is in intimate intercessions between pilgrims at his tower and the long-hidden Stellar Spirits.
Length of Term