Stewards of the Gift
The Stewards of the Gift serve the pro-civilization side of the god Korus. In this case, Korus' Gift was agriculture, so the Stewards of the Gift focus on helping farmers. Relatively few Stewards of the Gift are theurgists and only a tiny number are favored souls. Those Stewards of the Gift that do wield divine magic usually focus on Plant magic first and foremost. They often use their magic to help make their parishioners healthier and produce higher yields, but they do not often need to use magic to help farmers. The Stewards of the Gift spend their lives studying agriculture and they have both written and oral records of the wisdom of their forebears, so they can help farmers with their crops just by providing good advice. The Stewards of the Gift advise their parishioners when to let fields go to clover, when to plant, when to harvest, and what to plant. The Stewards of the Gift take a very long-term view of things and will never advise a farmer to take actions for short term gain if it will damage the soil in the future. The Stewards of the Gift preside over regular worship ceremonies where the people pray for good crops, often with bigger ceremonies in Korus' honor at planting and harvest time.
Most new recruits are oblated as children. The vast majority of their applicants are the children of low born farmers. Having a son or daughter join the Stewards of the Gift reflects well on the parents. On top of this, if the Stewards take in their son or daughter, the family has one less mouth to feed. The Stewards of the Gift do not require their priests to sever family ties, so many return as adults and this can be a boon to their family's crops. All together, this means that the Stewards of the Gift have lots and lots of children offered to their priesthood. Even with the large staffs most of their temples have, they nearly always have far more applicants than they require, allowing the Stewards of the Gift to be picky. Typically candidates are formerly accepted in the spring. During the spring, the families will put forth the children they want to join the Stewards. For the next six months, the Stewards will periodically test the applicants physical and mental fortitude, piety, cleverness, patience, and anything else they view as important. Some temples will eliminate unsuitable candidates throughout the year, whereas others keep quiet and only announce who made the cut and who didn't at the very end of the try outs in Autumn.
Political Influence & Intrigue
The Stewards of the Gift focus on helping promote good farming practices first and foremost but this is not the only thing they do. They frequently act as mediators. When there is a conflict between the Stewards of the Dominion and civilization, the Stewards of the Gift usually serve as mediators. The Stewards of the Gift are often called on as impartial mediators for disputes between the priesthoods of the rest of the Nine. Many Stewards of the Gift get such a reputation for being good mediators that they are frequently asked to mediate secular disputes, especially among low born though it is not unheard for for nobles to call upon Stewards as mediators. Korus is not normally known as a wrathful god, but he is the god that makes crops grow. Since the vast majority of nations in Scarterra are agrarian, this means that princes want to stay on Korus' good side. While Korus is sometimes viewed as a peasant deity, lords and ladies are apt to give the Stewards their due with donations of gold or land. The Stewards of the Gift control a disproportionately high share of bishoprics and monasteries as a result of this.
Religious, Organised Religion