Chantry of the Gods
TheSix_transparent.png
CLERGY STATISTICS
Planet: Primus, the First World
Seat: Primus-Val
Motto: "They Guide Through Us"
Colors: White and Black
Liege: Sauveur
OTHER INFORMATION
Ruling Order: The Council of Elders, oligarchy
Military Emphasis: Planetary Defense

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There is only one religion that has managed to weather through the scientific and technological advances of the Haven System. Evolved from the various faiths of the original colonists, the Six pay homage to the base human archetypes: the young Maiden and Knight, the nurturing Mother and Father, and the ever wise Crone and Sage. As their heraldry symbolizes, all Six are intertwined and interconnected, and come together as a whole. Much of their ceremonies and traditions have strong ties with previously monotheistic faiths, though the Chantry survives the constant advancement of science and technology by pioneering their own interests in these subjects.

The Chantry is the church of the Six, and are the sole Paramount of Primus. They are rigidly organized and are dedicated to the spiritual health of Haven. The majority of the Chantry are Citizens that have pledged themselves to the Six, though there are rare cases of a Lord or Lady forsaking their title and birthright to dedicate themselves to a more divine path. Within the Chantry hierarchy, there are Elders, Priests, Novices, and the Chantry Guard. While there are some Priests who are completely dedicated to looking after the Gods' flock, there are others that focus on the advancement of knowledge, tending to the dead, or other pursuits.

Pantheon

While the Chantry refers to them as the Six, in reality there are seven figures within the faith's pantheon. The primary six represent equality, interconnectedness, and the changes that come with the passing of the seasons. While the gods are prayed to, their worshipers do not typically expect miracles, and understand that their prayers are so that they can draw upon the strengths of those deities in their own intercessions.

Maiden.jpg The Maiden

The Maiden — also known as the Maid or the Child — is the representation of youth and innocence. She is the companion of the Knight and is seen as a young child, a blossoming woman, and the waxing crescent of a moon. Her symbol is a vertical curve with its convex side facing the rising sun. During the Bonfire Festival, she is the young and courtly lover of the Knight. Common offerings left for the Maiden are fresh flowers and sprouted seeds. She is most often prayed to by young women, fathers of daughters, and young men searching for their true love.

Mother.jpg The Mother

The Mother is the representation of female fertility and coming of age. She is the companion of the Father and is seen as a pregnant woman, a loving caregiver, and the swollen orb of a full moon. Her symbol is a perfect circle. During the Spring Festival, she is prayed to for her blessing on the freshly sown fields. Common offerings left for the Mother are bird eggs and bowls of milk mixed with honey. She is most often prayed to by new families and mothers either carrying or seeking to carry a child.

Crone.jpg The Crone

The Crone is the representation of the change in life of the aging woman, the coming of great wisdom, and the guide to deceased souls. She is the companion of the Sage and is seen as the cloaked, old woman with the crooked shepherd's staff. Her symbol is a vertical curve with its convex side facing the setting sun — the opposite of the Maiden's sigil. Common offerings are cups of wine and miniature crooks. She is most often prayed to by those seeking wisdom and those nearing their death.

Knight.jpg The Knight

The Knight — also known as the Warrior and the Son — is the representative of courage and adventure. He is the companion of the Maiden and is seen as a young squire, the noble knight, and the skillful warrior. His symbol is a simple, vertical line. He is seen as the protector of the Maiden, and is featured during the Bonfire Festival. Common offerings left for the Knight include carved or toy knights and trophies of victories; during times of war, white candles are often left burning before his altar. He is most often prayed to by Knights, hopeful warriors, and the partners of soldiers during times of war.

Father.jpg The Father

The Father is the representation of justice and steadiness. He is the companion of the Mother and is seen as an older man in simple garb that is beloved despite his sternness. His symbol is the even-armed cross. Common offerings are polished stones and woven crowns of cloth or wire. He is honored during the Spring Festival where offerings are left to ask the Father to judge fairly throughout the next year. He is most often prayed to by those seeking justice and truth.

Sage.jpg The Sage

The Sage is the representation of scholarship and intellect. He is the companion of the Crone and is seen as an old, wizened man in robes. His symbol is a simple, horizontal line. He is seen as the attentive and intelligent, and the keeper of knowledge. Common offerings to the Sage are pieces of glass to represent spectacles and brandy. He is most often prayed to by those seeking to gain greater knowledge and those venturing into the unknown.

Devil.jpg The Devil

The seventh figure of the pantheon has no followers and is given no offerings. It transcends gender, being seen as a completely shrouded figure. It is seen as the embodiment of doubt, obsession, wrath, ignorance, materialism, and self-bondage. They claim that the Devil is on someone's shoulder when they are committing acts that prevent growth and health. The Devil reaps tainted souls, dragging them down into the Chasms of Hell.

Lesser Beings of the Divine

It is said that angels and demons transcend religion, that all religions have one form or another of lesser begins of the divine that are the messengers and aids of the Gods. The Six is no different.

Angels

These are seen as celestial beings that are said to intercede between the Six and humans. Many among the Chantry believe that it is the angelic messengers who are responsible for bringing dreams to the Awakened. They maintain their Old Earth forms as graceful and beautiful humanoids with wings — sometimes feathered as the literature suggests, but more often crafted of pure light.

Demons

Associated with the Devil, demons and imps are considered to be vile saboteurs that assist the Devil in his corruption of human souls. They are nameless, though their visages are known to take on faces of the dead of those who did not pass the judgement of the Father. Sometimes they are seen as twisted reflections of their angelic counterparts.

Ceremonies + Traditions

Birth

The birth of a child is honored by the Mother. Throughout the course of a pregnancy, it is expected that the soon-to-be mother will pray extensively to the Mother, leaving offerings to her with each passing month. A newborn child is either brought into a chantry or is visited by a priest, and the symbol of the Mother is daubed on their forehead in sacred oil. This is a first act of communion with the Gods, and it is said that the circle will protect the baby from illness or unexpected death — although medical science certainly helps. It is only once the symbol has been granted does the newborn child receive its name.

Marriage

All marriages must be performed by a priest of the Chantry in order to be ordained. Royal and Paramount marriages are all performed in the chantry of Primus-Val itself, though lesser vassals and citizen marriages are held through the local chantry Waygate. Marriages are formal occasions where the best attire is worn. Vows are shared between the bride and groom before the effigies of the Gods, and their foreheads are anointed with a sacred oil by the priest.

Death

Upon death, it is the responsibility of the Sage and Crone to guide souls to the afterlife. Should the Devil have not already marked an individual, it is said that the Crone will visit a dying man or woman, and loosen their souls from their bodies so that their spiritual selves do not experience the pain of their death. She uses crows and other carrion birds as her vessels during battles and other large tragedies. After the soul is loosened, it passes onto another plane that has never been defined by the Chantry's scriptures.

Some who have been marked by the Devil have the opportunity to be saved. Marked individuals are visited by the Sage, who chooses those who can be redeemed. Should the Sage decide that the soul can be saved, the Crone loosens that soul and guides it to the afterlife. Otherwise, they are fated to the Chasms under the Devil's watchful eye.

The burial ceremonies are quite simple. Embalming has been done away with, allowing bodies to naturally decompose. Sepulchers are kept in the towering necropolii out in the wastes of Primus. In order to be buried within a necropolis, the dead must have communed with the gods before death. Those who had not pledged themselves to the Six are sent to the Ring to be cremated and their ashes released into space.

The Knighting Ceremony

When someone is ready to be knighted, they spend the night in contemplation in a chantry on Primus. They then return through a Waygate to be knighted before family and friends. The knighting ceremony consists of the squire kneeling before his or her knight and the knight asking the following questions:

Will you be as brave as the Knight?
Will you be as true as the Maid?
Will you be as just as the Father?
Will you be as compassionate as the Mother?
Will you be as attentive as the Sage?
Will you be as wise as the Crone?

As the squire answers in the affirmative to each question, the knight taps them on the shoulder with the flat of a blade and states, "I charge you to be so." After all six charges have been laid upon the squire, they rise, and a chosen friend buckles spurs onto the new knight's heels and a sword-belt around his or her waist.

Days of Festival

March 1stSpring Festival — When Spring comes to Imperius, so does the wonderful Spring Festival. It is a grand affair of vibrant colors, fresh flowers, and a variety of games to welcome the changing of the seasons. The Mother and Father are honored, as the Mother blesses the fields for planting and offerings are given to the Father so that he may judge favorably for the coming year. The Festival beings at sunrise on the 1st of March and does not end until sundown.

June 30stMidsummer Feast — The bonfire celebrations of the Midsummer Feast glorify the young and passionate love between the Maiden and Knight. Fiery passion and the blossoming of youthful affections are just some of the signatures of this day. Across Haven, large tournaments are held during the day. At sundown, bonfires are lit and burn until the coming morning. Hearty foods are cooked over the open flames, honeyed bread is served, and there is plenty of wheat ale. Though many take this night as an opportunity for suggestive behavior, the Chantry warns that while fire is warm and exciting, it also burns.

Variations:

  • In The Spine, wooden domino masks carved with animal faces are popularly worn during the bonfire celebrations. Though they are not as elaborate or provide an actual anonymity, they do add a sense of celebration.

October 31stHallow's Eve — This night honors the Crone and the Sage, and those who have passed into the other world. Handwritten letters are burned in small censers so that they may be seen by dead loved ones, and other such deeds. Grand feasts and masquerades are prevalent throughout the System.

Perspectives + Variations

Sauveur The Royal House of Sauveur + Citizens of Landing : Nobles and Citizens who call Landing home follow the Chantry and the Gods with the same dedication they have to the Reversion. Though there are still varying degrees of adherence to the Gods, most are at minimum mild followers of the Chantry doctrine, attending festivals and occasionally attending sermons when their souls require the release.

The Grand Chantry of Primus-Val is connected to the city through the Statuary Forum, and is where all royal ceremonies are held. Knights sworn to the Sauveurs tend to their vigils in the Grand Chantry. It is easily the largest and busiest chantry on all of Primus and is the centerpiece of the capital city of Primus-Val.

The Clergy

Overview

Organization

The hierarchy within the Chantry is both simple and rigid. Priests honor and respect the various levels built within their sect, and there are some that are constantly striving to gain rank within the religious order.

The topmost level of the order is the Council of Elders. The first Elders were the original pilgrims who ventured to Primus, and there began to build the first of the many chantries that would populate Haven over the next generations. They work as an oligarchy, with none higher ranked than the other. There are twelve individuals that sit on the council, each with various strengths to balance out any weaknesses amongst them. One of them always sits on the Crown Council to act as the voice of the Chantry before the Regnant.

Directly beneath the Elders are the Archpriests. They look after individual flocks spread throughout the System from their chantries on Primus, and always report back to the Elders. They are required to provide support and guidance to the priests under their care. It takes a priest decades of dedication before they can be elevated to Archpriest.

Beneath the Archpriests are the rest of the priestly order. Priests are ordained after years of study and dedication as a Novice. The youngest known Priest is eighteen years of age, while the oldest can be well over a hundred.

Life as a Priest

For most members of the Chantry, life as a Priest begins at age eighteen with vows to the Gods and the granting of their new name. All Priests bear the surname Sextus — or of the Six. They spend their first years in the Chantry as a Novice before being elevated to priesthood. Once they are elevated, there are many pathways a Priest can take to serve the Chantry. Some select to support the flock of a particular area, associating themselves with a specific chantry. More often than not, the chantry they associate with directly correlates with where they come from (i.e. a Priest assigned to the Chantry of Volkan was probably a resident of Volkan at some point on their life). There are other options for Priests however beyond public service. Some elect to join the Chantry Guard and become a member of the Primus military, while others seek a scholarly life of research.

Those who become scholars are often looking to further understand humanity and its place in the universe. Some go into life sciences, others social sciences, while some become historians and philosophers. Ultimately, a scholarly Priest is always looking to answer the question What is Humanity?, and they do so through various lenses.

Priests remain unmarried throughout their life, dedicated to the Chantry and their role within it. While love and sex is not forbidden, Priests are never permitted to marry or maintain a family.

Chantry_Guard.jpg

Chantry Guard

Awakened

The Chantry views Awakened as they do any other member of Haven, judged on their merits and flaws. The Chantry itself accepts Awakened as priests without hesitation. Awakened priests are taught under none of the established Disciplines, instead simply taught the use of powers without trappings.

Political Relations

Though the Chantry is held apart from the rest of the Noble Houses of Haven, it still holds significant political clout within the society. One of their Elders is present on the Crown Council, and they are the guardians of the spiritual health of Haven. For the most part, the Queens and Kings of Haven have valued the voice of the Chantry, though there have been several examples of less-than-religious Regnants who have attempted to do away with the Chantry's position on both the Crown Council and in the politics of Haven, only to be foiled by the will of the Paramounts and the Senate.

Current Members

Jeremias Jeremias Sextus : Priest of the Chantry

Wanted Members

  • Priests of Haven — Archpriests require special application. Contact STAFF for more information. Elders cannot be created in Chargen.
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