Hallisan's core followers often call themselves the "Guardians of Valor" which is usually shortened to just "Guardians"
Hallisan and Geo-PoliticsHallisan’s priesthood is strong wherever feudalism is strong. Where there knights, samurai, or whatever dwarves call their knightly equivalent, there are Guardians. Phidas, Hallisan, and Khemra are usually fighting for the stop spot of most human nations. Hallisan is the official state patron of the knightly nation of Kantoc, the Samurai loving people of Azuma, and the Dwarf nations of Stahlheim and Meckelorn. Hallisan is the unofficial state patron of a great many nations. Hallisan’s Guardians have a respectable niche in most nations. They have the number two spot in Khemarok, Mondert, Nishi, and the Elven Empire. There are very few places where Hallisan’s followers are marginalized. Hallisan isn’t disrespected by most wood elves or Apseldian Half-elves but they don’t view Hallisan as being very important. Hallisan’s Guardians are a distant third for priestly influence in Uskala. The real place the Guardians are marginalized is Kahdisteria. The Guardians themselves are not sure if they should try to change Kahdisteria’s brutal policies from within the system or without.
The ClergyHallisan might have more priests, priestesses than any other deity in Scarterra. It’s a close race between Hallisan, Mera, and Korus. Hallisan certainly has the most holy warriors of any of the Nine. The Guardians actively recruit both adults and children. Most children inducted are the sons and daughters of nobility, or the sons and daughters of established Guardians. Most adults inducted into the Guardians are brought in for pure merit. Adult recruits are usually highly skilled in something. The Guardians will try to recruit whatever skill sets they don’t have. They have a bias towards recruiting war heroes and master craftsmen, but they also need clerks, scholars, herbalists and other utilitarian roles. Hallisan’s core followers call themselves Guardians of Valor because they view themselves as righteous warriors. At least half of the Guardians make their primary contribution in a non-martial capacity working as clerks, scholars, and blacksmiths among many other jobs. Even those who serve far from the front lines have some basic combat training. The Guardians love to share stories where their clerks and blacksmiths surprise enemies expecting them to be soft targets. Sometimes, the martial culture causes problems. Guardian culture rewards war heroes, so many Guardians take unnecessary risks or they seek military solutions when a diplomatic solution may be better. There are exceptions, but Guardians are usually pretty bad at handling cloak and dagger politics. Many Guardians will proudly say “this is the time for swords and lances, not cloaks and daggers). For Game of Thrones fans, the Guardians are a lot like House Stark. Hallisan has slightly more favored souls than Khemra but they are still pretty rare. Unlike Khemra’s favored souls, Hallisan’s favored souls are not treated like royalty. They get a weird mix of respect and distance. A great many of Hallisan’s favored souls have extremely awful childhoods and adolescences. Quite a few of them are the lone survivor from a village that was destroyed or they otherwise have to avenge the death of their mother, father, brother, sister, or romantic interest. This tends to motivate them to say “Never again!” and become tireless foes of evil. It is generally believed that Hallisan empowers favored souls to combat evils that need flexibility to be defeated. Most Guardians will provide Hallisan’s favored souls aid when they can, but they believe that it is Hallisan’s will that they mostly stay out of the favored souls’ way. Stereotypes exist for a reason and a majority of Hallisan’s few favored souls do have childhood trauma to avenge, but not all of them. One problem is that if the Guardians do encounter a favored soul of Hallisan that is not an embittered crusader they will still treat him or her like an embittered crusader. Most Guardians will try to outfit and train any favored soul they find as lone knight for justice whether or not that is what the favored soul wants.
Material NeedsPhidas may be the god of commerce and greed but Hallisan may have the priesthood with the most coins. Because of this relative abundance, Hallisan’s temples tend to be large and well-adorned boasting large supporting staffs. In most places, the Guardians have a good relationship with the local princes, so they can get a decent amount of large donations from the elites. Hallisan is fairly well-liked by most commoners (given that the Guardians defend them from monsters and whatnot), so the Guardians get a small but steady trickle of small donations. The Guardians theurgists have an aptitude for making magical items and the Guardians, both with magic and without, value good craftsmanship. Hallisan’s make decent money selling magical items to adventurers and nobles and selling finely crafted metalwork to all levels of society.
Priestly RanksMost other priesthood use the term “temple” to refer to any place of worship, but for the Guardians, there are chapels, temples and grand temples. Chapels are the basic places of worship. Each temple has jurisdiction over four to ten chapels. The Grand Temples hold jurisdiction over several temples. Originally the Grand Temple was supposed to direct policy for all Guardians but there are at least four temples auditioning to be the Grand Temple for the entire world. Harbinger: Refers to priests or priestesses whose primary temple is “the road,” charged with maintaining ties between distant temples and serving as they eyes, hands and mouth of the Elder. Scroll head: Derogatory term for priest or priestess that has no spellcasting ability or significant combat prowess. Technically scroll heads are equal to everyone else but very few of them are promoted and none have even been remotely close to being elected Elder. Given that they handle most day-to-day tasks, some Scroll Heads wield a lot of informal power. Master: Informal form of address for a priest or priestess who is very skilled in metalworking, capable of crafting permanent magical items. Captain: Head of the local marital forces. Replaces their normal title in nearly every situation besides formal council situations. It is common for Captains to also be the heads of chapels or temples. On paper, rank is based on seniority and merit. In practice, highborn Guardians are slightly more likely to be promoted than lowborn Guardians. theurgists are moderately more likely to be promoted than non-spell-casters. War heroes are far more likely to be promoted than non-combatants.
Factions, Schisms, and HeresiesI haven’t figured out any extreme groups on the outs with Hallisan. The biggest internal split is that there are several Grand Temples and there should in theory only be one. Kantac has what is probably the most legitimate Grand Temple holding true jurisdiction over all the human Hallisan worshipers in West Colassia. Their representatives are politely listened to in East Colassia, Penarchia, the Elven Empire, and the dwarven lands, but they have little real power in these distant lands. Umeran Guardians don’t even pretend to be polite. The Grand Temple of the Great Stone is the spiritual center for all the Hallisan worshipping dwarves of Stahlheim and Meckelorn alike. Once in a while, a few Monderian dwarves make a pilgrimage to the Great Stone. The Grand Temple in Lunatus is the spiritual center for all Guardians in the Elven Empire. They actually claim jurisdiction over all elven Hallisan worshipers, but the wood elves (whose Guardians do not follow the Chapel-Temple-Grand Temple model) view this as laughable. The Apseldian Half-elves do not recognize them either. Only the Guardians in Kahdisteria even bother pretending to listen to them. Of course the Grand Temple in Kantoc tries to claim authority over the Guardians in the Elven Empire and they aren't having it. Two temples in Umera and one temple in Penarchia are all auditioning for the part of being the Grand Temple of the southern continents, but as of yet, these temples have very little real political power and are paper tigers at best. There are Guardians who view the feuding over who answers to what Grand Temple to be a huge distraction. Some of them have gone so far as to swear off the hierarchy altogether. They have been nicknamed Errant Guardians though most Errant Guardians shun the name as they shun all titles. Adventurers to the core, Guardians Errant travel the world righting wrongs and helping people to the best of their ability and refuse to let ecclesiastical red tape in their way.
Related Ranks & Titles