Stewards Organization in Scarterra | World Anvil


Most of Korus priesthood and core followers identify with the Stewards of the Gift or the Stewards of the Dominion, so collectively Korus' followers are usually simply called "the Stewards"  

Factions, Schisms, and Heresies

  Korus’ Dominion is Nature. Korus’ Gift is agriculture. The vast majority of Korus’ followers identify themselves as Stewards of the Dominion or Stewards of the Gift. My world does not have character classes or rigid character alignments, but if it did, the leaders of the Stewards of the Dominion would be druids with a bias towards Chaotic alignments and the leaders of the Stewards of the Gift would be clerics with a bias towards Lawful alignments.   The Stewards of the Gift and the Stewards of the Dominion do not work together very often. When they meet, they usually rely on ritual and tradition to keep them civil, but interactions are very rigid. There are a lot of protocols that must be observed, so it’s hard for them to interact informally in a congenial manner.   There are hardliners on both sides (okay most of the hardliners are Stewards of the Dominion). When hardliners cross paths there is often bloodshed. When Stewards fight Stewards, this is considered a private matter. It is taboo to involve outsiders. Most other priesthoods have no idea how deeply divided the Stewards are. They would lose their status as trusted arbiters if this civil strife was widely known. To outsiders, there isn’t much difference between Stewards of the Gift and Stewards of the Dominion, they are simply “Stewards.”   The Stewards of the Dominion   The Stewards of the Dominion recruit most of their priests and priestesses as adolescents or young adults. They usually stick to a single mentor and learn on the job. These Stewards usually have very long apprenticeships compared to the other priesthoods. Even before making a mentorship official, a Steward will often shadow his would-be apprentice from afar for weeks or even years. They will often throw obstacles into their potential recruit’s path to see how she copes with challenges.   The Stewards of the Dominion do not have overwhelming numbers but they are individually potent. Very few Dominion Stewards are non-spell casters. The few non-spellcasters among them are all exceptionally skilled with a wide array of four dot and five dot skills. They rarely interact with Korus’ worshippers directly. They will either live in the wilderness full-time or they exist as hermits on the fringe of society. Defense of the wilderness is what the Stewards of the Dominion are all about.   The most hardline faction of these Stewards are the Talons of Korus. The Talons believe civilization has grown too large and needs to be pared back by any means necessary including blood. Most Talons focus heavily on learning Animal magic above all other forms of magic. Upon achieving mastery of Animal magic at five dots, the caster can become virtually any natural animal.   The most moderate faction of the Stewards of the Dominion are Tribal Stewards. Tribal Stewards are Korus priests and priestesses that advise nomadic barbarian people, both human and monstrous. The Tribal Stewards are rarely in charge, but they are always listened to. Technically Tribal Stewards are Stewards of the Dominion, but their day-to-day activities and relations with outsiders are very similar to the Stewards of the Gift.   The Stewards of the Gift   The Stewards of the Gift recruit most of their priests and priestesses as children and train them in classroom settings with a lot of practical field work. In their case, field work is usually literal. The Stewards of the Gift maintain a fairly high numbers, but even so, they have to turn away applicants. Peasant family’s love to have their children become Stewards. First off, it’s one fewer mouth to feed. Second off, since the Stewards don’t do the Jedi thing and make children sever ties with their family, when the Stewards come back fully trained they can apply their magical know-how and advanced plant lore to make their parents’ and siblings’ farms more prosperous. Every spring, would be applicants to the join the Stewards of the Gift make themselves known. The Stewards will subject the applicants to a variety of physical, mental, and spiritual tests for six months. Then in the fall, those who passed all their tests are recognized and formally inducted.   The Stewards of the Gift arguably favor quantity over quality. If a village doesn’t have a Steward living among them, there is probably a Steward in the next village that visits often. They can cover more ground that way. Officially, the Stewards of the Gift help promote sustainable agricultural practices, but they do a lot more to make them welcome nearly everywhere they go. These Stewards help provide good advice and mediate disputes. They have midwives and veterinarians to help facilitate healthy births for both people and livestock. Most Stewards have several dots of Hearth Wisdom and are like walking apothecaries, even if they don’t have actual healing magic.   The most hard line faction of the Stewards of the Gift are the Urban Stewards, a group that makes other Stewards of the Gift uneasy sometimes. The Urban Stewards believe that large cities have complex webs of relationships and life cycles as compelling as those in forests. Urban Stewards are usually very good at reading people and make great investigators. Urban Stewards get called in to mediate minor disputes between townsfolk all the time.   The most moderate faction of the Stewards of the Gift are the Wardens. The Wardens are usually fairly potent warriors who train as rangers. They view themselves as the thin line between the darkness of the forest and the peaceful villagers of their protectorates. They sometimes defend the forests from the depredations of Man.    

Korus and Geo-Politics

  Korus has a nuclear option. He doesn’t use it much but it hangs over the head of everyone. Korus could create a famine if he is pushed too far.   In civilized lands, princes avoid insulting the Korus, Korus’ Stewards, and Korusspirits because Korus could cause their crops to fail. In uncivilized lands, barbarian chieftains avoid insulting Korus, Korus’ Stewards, and Korusspirits because Korus could cause game and edible plants to become scarce.   Korus’ Stewards are welcome pretty much everywhere, but they are often taken for granted. Korus Stewards are usually apolitical, so Korus worship is usually far deeper and more visible among commoners than nobles, but even nobles will pay Korus his due respects at least on holidays (which usually correspond to planting and harvest time).   The most Korus friendly civilized nation on Korus is Codenya. The wood elves practice a mix of farming and nomadic hunting and gathering. In a sense, they are the one place where the divide between Stewards of the Gift and Stewards of the Dominion doesn’t really apply.   Korus worship is big in Kantoc. Hallisan may be the state patron, but Korus is what unites commoners and nobles here. All Kantocians love horses and Korus is the god of horses.   The least Korus friendly nations are Meckelorn and Stahlheim. Korus’ influence in Scarnoctis is limited and most dwarves don’t think twice about chopping down trees. That said they are aware that Korus will be angry if they push too far. These dwarves just push farther than most.   Among uncivilized people, Korus is especially popular among kobolds. They are usually better at living with the land rather than off the land compared to most monstrous humanoids. The orcs are probably the least Korus-friendly. Like the dwarves, they don’t think much about chopping down trees when it suits them. Barbarian nomads that rely on horsemanship tend to worship Korus a lot.    

The Clergy

  As mentioned above. The Stewards of the Dominion favor quality over quantity. They have a small cadre of very powerful priests and priestesses with a wide variety of skills. The Stewards of the Gift favor quantity over quality. They have a very large cadre of priests and priestesses, most of whom specialize in one or two fields of expertise which they pursue to perfection.   I already covered training and recruitment above, so I will skip to favored souls. Korus has a lot of favored souls. Korus has fewer favored souls than Maylar, but he has more favored souls than pretty much everyone else. Korusfavored souls are nicknamed Seedlings. Korus seeds his favored souls equally among civilized and uncivilized folk, among humans and monsters.   Some Seedlings join the Stewards of the Gift or the Stewards of the Dominion, but most do not bother seeking priestly trappings. They roam the world as free agents. Their goals, methods, and powers are too diverse to pigeonhole. They can be almost anywhere doing almost anywhere.    

Material Needs

  The Stewards of the Gift get a lot of donations. Everyone wants their crops to be healthy. They get a near constant stream of small donations from the peasantry and they get sporadic large donations from the upper crust of society. This is good, because the Stewards of the Gift maintain large staffs and have a lot of people to feed and clothe.   The Stewards of the Dominion occasionally get some monetary donations by people who want to buy them off and don’t know any better, but most Stewards of the Dominion are more than capable of living off the land indefinitely. If they really need filthy civilized coins, they can sell pelts, herbs, regents, or potions.   Sometimes princes and potentates give the Stewards land rather than gold and this suits the Stewards just fine. Korus probably has more bishoprics than any other deity on Scarterra. Bishoprics run by the Stewards of the Gift are usually extremely productive pieces of farmland where they train their new members in Plant magic and mundane herbalism while using the farming proceeds to provide food and money to all the myriad temples. Bishoprics run by the Stewards of the Dominion resemble modern nature preserves.    

Priestly Ranks

  Stewards of the Gift   Pastor: Full member of the Stewards of the Gift, informally they are called “gleaners”   Reverend: Full member who holds a command rank   Green: Honorary prefix for priest skilled in herbalism and Plant magic   Stewards of the Dominion   Druid: Full member of the Order.   Warden: Full member who holds a command rank   Talon: Alternative title for druids skilled in combat, frequently they are shapechangers   Both Factions   Initiate: Trainee member of Korus’ priesthood. Informally they are called “buds”   Steward: Full member of Korus’ priesthood.   Auspex: Honorary prefix for priest skilled in Divination   Seedling: Nickname for favored soul of Korus, especially if said favored soul is iterant and doesn’t claim a single territory as home.   Venerable: Honorary prefix for a priest or priestess with a long service record   In full formal settings, Brynn the highest ranking Steward in Fumaya might be called Venerable Green Reverend Stewardess Brynn. But Generally she is called Reverend Brynn.

Cover image: Crude draft of Stewards Icon by me


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