The Faith Keepers
The Faith Keepers; otherwise simply called the Holy Church, is quite possibly the most influential human organization found across the world. They're the primary organization dedicated to the worship of Aine. The Faith Keepers are often considered to be the most important part of humanity, for they have ties to just about every human kingdom across the world; with the only exception being Ignan
The Faith Keepers are organized into a variety of different roles, as follows:
Teutonic KnightsThe Teutonic Order is a sub order in on itself, but it is wholly dedicated to serving the interests of the Faith Keepers. Members of the Teutonic Knights are essentially given proper knighthood, anointed as generals or soldiers that are given the right to organize militia or raise a military when the Church is in need of defending its interest. Members of the Teutonic Knights are either Crusaders or Knights. Knights are treated as elite guards and soldiers, granted the finest training and equipment gold can offer, and are often sent to guard and protect people of interest to the Church. Crusaders on the other hand, are often reserved for wartime, but is also used as an honorary title to those that are considered higher rank than a simple Knight. Crusaders are the ones that control and command small battalions, with each crusader being allowed the command of up to a thousand soldiers. Teutonic Knights are considered equal to a Deacon.
PriesthoodPriests have a variety of different ranks; with Deacon being the primary rank granted to low ranking clergymen that are entrusted with tending to a flock. Above the Deacon are High Priests; who are given permissions to organize and manage special ceremonies or rituals. They're entrusted with tending a single Church, and lead organizations whenever a Cardinal isn't available. They are often called Brothers, among the clergy, much like Priests. They are handpicked by the Cardinals. Cardinals are specially appointed by the clergy itself. A Cardinal is a singular priest, entrusted with the ownership and maintenance of a single Church. Each Church has a single Cardinal, and they often use the title Father to represent their position. A Cardinal is handpicked from one of the high priests, granted their title by the Allfather. The Allfather is the appointed leader of the organization. The Allfather has supreme control of the Church and the Faith Keepers as a whole, with a term that serves until their life. The Allfather chooses from among his cardinals who shall become the next Allfather.
The general agenda of the Faith Keepers is fairly simple. Their interests exclusively involve anything that would protect, empower, or aid the church of Aine. Most of their interests have long since receded, especially after their defeat in the crusades. Now, most of the Faith Keepers remain only interested in preserving and protecting Llyne from outside influences; they're strictly against the idea of other faiths being founded within the isle of Llyne, though ever since the city , those interests have been exceedingly difficult to preserve. Currently, the Faith Keepers are tasked with beginning a new pilgrimage through the Pit of Llyne, with the intention of recovering any relics or magical artifacts that might serve within the Church's interests.
Magical Relics: Due to Llyne's capital city being centered around The Pit, magical devices are something that do not come in short supply to the Church. Gold: Carrying control over the most predominant religion for the human race naturally means that those tithes are left pooling into a massive treasury. Add in a market for magical relics, and this is why Llyne is often considered to be called the Golden City. Holy Tools: Holy Water, to be most noted, though Silver is also a very common metal that's both minted and used when hunting unholy beasts. Crusaders: Though the crusades themselves have long since ended, the Church still hasn't halted its practice of anointing knights into the Teutonic order.
The Faith Keepers originally began during the feudal era of humanity's inhabitance of Tregaron. They were originally solely known as knights and crusaders, serving as soldiers from all ranks recruited as voluntary mercenaries and sellswords dedicated to protecting the common man from the feudal states across Tregaron. These soldiers fought rarely for other nations outside of religious disputes, but in time, amassed power when they began staging a pilgrimage to Llyne. This pilgrimage lead to the knights finding a wild and untamed island to themselves. In time, they built the kingdom of Llyne, which prospered and flourished without any rivaling nations to compete for their resources.
Mythology & Lore
Aine is the ever-present creator deity of man, long since descended from his divine status to walk amongst humanity as a bringer of miracles. Though Aine has long since watched humanity since its very inception, he grew tired of the constant wars waged across the battlefields. The blood of his precious creations lay soaking the earth, with no sword to blame but the ones brought by beings of his own designs. Thus, he shed his godly coil and chose to walk among humanity disguised as an average man. He subtly guided mankind, bringing them together in hopes of uniting them under one banner that would inevitably lead to him reigning as the crowned God-king of mankind. The Faith Keepers were later created by an enigmatic man who -- to this very day, was believed to be Aine himself. Not many know who or what started the organization, but many know him as a masked horseman that promised safe haven to those that joined him. Yet, when he had amassed his army and lead his people to defend the assault on Hagensport, he was nowhere to be found. Not a single corpse, nor sign of his black mare was left upon the battlefield. Aine was that masked rider that guided mankind to the protection of their fellows, and in time, the Faith Keepers only expanded as faith in him grew. While the mysterious horseman was never to be seen again, Aine's faith still lead to the successful unification of mankind beneath three banners, rather than the many feudal states that once riddled the land once before -- and better yet, a pilgrimage that would lead an exodus into the safe haven of the Promised Land of Llyne. None know who that masked rider was, but Saint Svallin himself rode into battle with the man, which lead to him becoming the Allfather of the faith at the time.
The World works in strange and mysterious ways. A common phrase recited by Aine's followers; for even they do not truly know the nature of the world around them, but accept that their lord was either its sole creator, or the one that placed them upon it. In either circumstance, the world itself isn't greatly known to Aine's faith. What truly matters is that their belief in him allows them to feel his influence through his many miracles.
Keep the Faith. Prevent other idols from tainting the flock. Do not lead your flock astray.
Sanctuary. Ensure that every man, woman, or child is given sanctuary. Never turn away those in need, regardless of circumstance.
Spread the Word. Let all know that Aine grants those that believe in him his miracles.
Granted Divine Powers
MiraclesMiracles are often likened to a separate school of magic, but are channeled in a completely different way from your standard studies committed to by wizards. A Miracle is quite simply, the raw belief and faith of a man made manifest. Miracles can be used to bring others back from the brink through nothing but faith and prayer alone, or strike down those that would consider themselves an enemy to mankind; such is the case for those the church deems unholy, such as Demons or Lycanthropes. Common miracles also include... Healing: Bringing people form the brink of death, or mending wounds. Withstanding punishment: Outlasting monstrous strikes, or overwhelming odds; a cave in around a priest may end with countless rocks miraculously landing around them, with nary a single scratch left upon their body by the end of the collapse. Blessed Strikes: Such as with silver or Holy Water; the danger is in neither of these alone, but raw belief alone has lead to them functioning as lethal weapons to those deemed 'unholy' by the Church. Such miracles are only the tip of the iceberg; due to the nebulous nature of faith and belief, the amount of different miracles is innumerable.
Political Influence & Intrigue
Politics across all of Tregaron were widely shaped by the Faith Keepers' influence. Namely, the pilgrimage lead by Saint Svallin lead to an order of them being established within Hagensport, a massive city within Vilstrung that they watched over. In time, pilgrims from across the land flocked and fled to the port city to cross overseas to Llyne. While the feudal states had always been at war with each other, many of them had vowed safety to the pilgrims, while others saw them as nothing more than wayward sellswords that needed to be put down. This caused only more strife to fester within the country, before the feudal states united into three shortly after their mass exodus into the kingdom of Llyne. Nowadays, the Church's grasp is much less influential. Tregaron is now often left control to the Slayer's Guild rather than the Faith Keepers, and the Faith Keepers themselves are steadily left with waning control in Llyne as a massive influx of adventurers from around the world are left pouring into the capital city. Despite that, they still maintain the kingdom itself, and the Church's word is as every bit as important as the law itself.
Religious, Holy Order
Head of State
Related Ranks & Titles