Wiki Update: Church of the Ivory Throne
One of the other powerful political forces in Temir is the church of the Ivory Throne, which represents itself as the dominant dogma for the gods. Other cultures within the setting pray to the same gods, but the way they see those gods as related often differs a great deal. The elves for example, see it all as the interplay of Serik and Nurzhan, good and evil, with Law not really coming into play. I’ll put up some more about the faith next week though, for now, the structure of the region’s dominant church.
The temple of the Ivory Throne is the largest religion in Temir, the central dogma of Armanism around which the very calendar is based. Its exact origins are unknown, all records having been destroyed with the cathedral in Tachros, during the Sundering. The faithful migrated to Satu Mare, which has proved to be a very successful venture for both the church and the city. Since their settlement in Satu Mare, the church has built many public buildings, including the great coliseum on the edge of the city, the Celestial Basilica where the Saoshyar holds court, and many shrines around the city, slowly replacing the old shrines with icons of Arman.
The current Saoshyar is the human Atreus XII, who takes his name from the greatest of the sainted warriors. He sits at the right hand of the Ivory Throne, the greatest honour to which anyone can aspire, quite frankly. Still a young man, barely out of his forties, stories are told in whispers around the court about his wilder days as Primate of Malkara.
Ruslan Aubakirov is the new Primate of Nurota, a village of one of the 5 Lakes Tribes, the result of forty years of friendly trade and proselytizing. His predecessor died under somewhat mysterious circumstances, but Aubakirov was cleared of any suspicion by the Grey Guards themselves.
Tem’ril Hasan is a rising curate in Isard, thanks to her recent marriage to one of the city’s aldermen. Rumors say she might make Primate in two or three years.
The Celestial Basilica is the home of the Saoshyar and the court proper, its grounds stretching beyond the temple itself and over a few acres, with gardens, rectories, and libraries scattered throughout it. Once a simple temple not far from a coastal fortress, the town has grown up around it, embracing Armanism.
The Cathedral of the Seven Spires once stood in Tachros, its towers stretching high above the city. Vanishing into the earth during the Sundering, its beauty has become legendary, and it is the subject of much art and speculation by the faithful.
Hasek’s Gallery is where the Archcanons go to rest, the recordings of their personal hagiographers found there, the wisdom of their lives made available. All are welcome to sit beneath the statues and contemplate the truth of Arman.
Articles of Faith:
Arman is the law.
Arman is creator of all, the universe manifest in order and purity.
Nurzhan, Serik, and their brethren are the manifestations of mortal strife.
Good and evil cannot be without the law.
It is only through the law which we can prosper, and in enacting and obeying are we united with the will of Arman.
Arman, the Lord of Edicts and of the Ivory Throne, obviously sits at the top of the pantheon. Nurzhan and Serik are seen as by products, the inevitable result of mortal consciousness interacting with creation, gods given power through belief, rather than being fundamental. Both of them seek to challenge the supremacy of Arman, but fail, because neither good nor evil can exist without order. Their own offspring are even more derivative, their power limited, and their distance from the law even more apparent. Small shrines to the lesser gods do exist, for it is the law that gods be acknowledged as such, so long as one respects the primacy of Arman.
The church has a complex organization, the Saoshyar’s court full of ambition and scheming. The Saoshyar must be elected from among the Archcanons, and the position is usually for life, though Saoshyars who have remained away from Satu Mare for too long typically find themselves replaced. The Saoshyar is the true centre of the faith, not the temple. As well, there are different kinds of priests in Armanism. The ones given the highest accord are those who worship Arman alone, often sought after for judgments and higher positions. Worshippers of the pantheon as a whole are often referred to as hedge priests, one step above the laity, noncommittal fence-sitters who lack the strength to embrace the law, preferring to pass out blessings and perform administrative functions. There are different orders as well, such as the Grey Guard, a small number of priests who serve to investigate reported misconduct among the church.