Who becomes a anointed and who does not
"I never felt like I was missing out for not being a theurgist. I live a good life in service to Nami working at the hospital and vineyard. A priestess does not need magic powers to preside over a worship service, marriage, or funeral. Being an anointed does not mean someone is going to enjoy an easy or comfortable life. Theurgists have a tendency to die tragically young. And a few months ago, I got my first bit of theurgy. Fun times."
"Common wisdom states that to manifest theurgy, a man or woman needs to have a strong will and strongly focused piety, plus a third thing. Opinions differ on what the third thing is. It is true that every anointed is quite pious, at least initially. It is rare, but anointed who lost their faith and still keep their magic, at least partially. Generally speaking, once a theurgist errs so greatly that their divine patron limits their power, this will immediately spur the theurgist to seek redemption, but that's a topic for another day. What constitutes a 'strong will' is debatable but I've met a lot of theurgists, and I never met a cowardly or weak minded theurgist. So what is the third thing? Some say the third thing is humility. It is said that if a person wants theurgy too much, he or she will never get it. I'm not going to name names, but more than a few people join a priesthood, not out of piety or duty, but simply because they want theurgist powers (or their parents want them to have theurgist powers). These priests and priestesses rarely if every develop theurgy. Some priests and priestesses don't want theurgy or at least claim to not want it. I went through a brief phase in my youth day dreaming what I would do with theurgy in my youth, but I've spent most of my life not wanting theurgy and I never got it. Most, but not all, pious mortals who claim not to want theurgy don't become anointed. So some people say, 'Well, you can't want theurgy too much or too little.' That's silly. The development of theurgy or the lack thereof does not really matter on what the mortal wants, what matters is what the Nine want. If the Nine think a mortal would make a useful theurgist, there is little on the face of Scarterra that will prevent them from making someone into a theurgist. Maybe it is the case that mortals who really want theurgy badly or don't want theurgy are likely to misuse the powers they are given. Maybe that is just people trying to read the motives of the Nine, falsely. I do not know." -Reverend Hahn of the Fumayan Stewards
"It's not really important whether a would-be anointed is too humble or too power hungry. Anyone affiliated with a priesthood and not wielding theurgy is either lacking in strength or lacking in strength of piety. I do not believe any other character traits matter." -Ujarek of the Herders of MenMaylar tends to bestow theurgy on his faithful after they do something dangerous and impressive. Mera seems to like to bestow theurgy on the ultra humble who claim not to care if they have theurgy or not. Khemra fit this mold to a lesser extent as does Korus (at least among the Stewards of the Gift). I haven't met many Stewards of the Dominion being a city gnome. But of the few I met, all of them were theurgists. Nami, Hallisan, and Korus (at least among the Stewards of the Dominion seem to favor those who don't want theurgy too much or too little. Every priesthood tries to arrange things so that their priests and acolytes develop theurgy. It is considered general wisdom that that four out of five anointed were trained as priests, clergy, or holy warriors. It doesn't seem to make much difference if an acolyte is taught in a classroom environment with several other acolytes or if an acolyte is trained via a one-on-one apprenticeship in the field. Of course you are wondering about the other one out of five anointed right? The remaining anointed are pious lay people. Nicknamed 'self taught anointed'. While one out of five anointed being self taught is accurate on the whole, it does not tell the whole story. Self-taught theurgists are fairly rare among the faithful of Khemra, Hallisan, and Phidas. Self-taught anointed are fairly common among the faithful of Mera and Greymoria. Perhaps that is the only thing we Children have in common with the Tenders. It doesn't really matter if self-taught anointed are rare or common. Every priesthood will bend over backwards to absorb self-taught anointed into the ranks. After all, these men and women have their deity's stamp of approval, so you are not going to see them get turned away without a very compelling reason. Jealousy is an ugly and subtle monster. While self-taught anointed are publicly welcomed, it is often the case that the more orthodox priests and priestesses quietly resent these outsiders for 'cheating' their way in. Orthodox priests who are not theurgists are often especially resentful of self-taught anointed. There is also a bit of class issues. Some priesthoods in some places are associated with the upper classes, especially when the king or queen personally endorses one of the Nine as their spiritual patron. Almost all self-taught anointed are of humble birth which which sometimes breeds resentment from more 'respectable' priests and priestesses."Carcelli, Fumayan priestess of Greymoria"Hahn is a bit too political to call out any of the Nonagon and will only speak in polite generalities. It is clear that each of the Nine have their own ideas on what makes a good theurgist or not. If her anointed are any indication, Greymoria does not seem to mind if a person wants theurgy 'too much'. Phidas and Zarthus seem fairly similar.TypeMetaphysical, Divine
Cover image: Symbol of the Nine by Pendrake