Church of the Life's Fire
Worship: Worship occurs mostly in simple temples, in agriculturally dominated territories. When farmers bring their surplus to market, they often stop to pay tribute to the Raiser. Regular services are short rituals called Generations that involves verses recited in turn by the cleric and the worshippers. It culminates with a sprinkling motion that mimics the spreading of seeds. The “sermons“ consist of discussions about the weather, land use and other agricultural pursuits.
Interestingly, over the last two years, a growing number of the priests of the Friends of the Fields have begun to preach of visions and dreams from the Raiser warning of a terrible upcoming famine. In these dreams, the priest in commanded to set aside as much food as possible for the upcoming disaster. In those areas where the priesthood is responsible for much of the bounty and productivity of the crops, this is causing a noticeable strain on the local economies, and a corresponding reduction in the popularity and influence of the church. The High Field Master has yet to comment publicly on the phenomenon.
Holy Symbol: The holy symbol of the Raiser is a blazing hearth.
Holy Days: The first day of spring is an important celebration expressing hope for the new season. This event is called “The Raiser’s Tribute” and takes place at dawn. However, the celebration of “The Raiser’s Gift,” on the first day of the harvest, is the most important day of the faith. It celebrates a successful season and events are two-fold. First is a communal celebration where all people enjoy the fruits of the season‘s labors in a grand feast. The second part is a private meal that families take together, giving thanks to the Raiser for her bounty and making offerings of meat, fruit and bread.
The birthdays of famous saints are also celebrated throughout the year. These dates and events vary locally, but any given temple celebrates at least one or two such occasions. These holy days are a day of no work, and it seems that these saints were all born in the summer or the winter.
Holy Colors: Brown and green.
Raiment: Friends of the Fields tend to be simple, hardworking folk as befits their patron deity. Their vestments are earthy colors, selected in accordance with their rank in the church. For formal ceremonies, they wear simple linen robes of the same colors. Otherwise, they tend to favor tunics, along with their deity’s holy symbol – a blazing hearth.
|6||Field Master||golden brown|
|7||Field Master||golden brown|
|8||Field Master||golden brown|
|9||Field Master||golden brown|
|10||High Field Master||leafy green|
Advancement: Friends of the Fields do not need great glory in defeating enemies, proud trophies of accomplishments, or the support of powerful nobles to advance in rank. Instead, prestige within the faith comes from support by the congregation. How well known a cleric is among the followers, how much dedication he shows working within the community, and how much of his sweat waters the fields, are the coins that buy rank in this faith.
Crops tended by a Fielder with 4 or more ranks in Profession (farmer) yield an additional 10%, up to a maximum of 500 gp worth of foodstuffs per harvest.
The crops overseen by a Field Leader with 8 or more ranks in Profession (farmer) produce an additional 25%, up to a maximum of 1,000 gp worth of foodstuffs per harvest.
A Field Master with 12 or more ranks in Profession (farmer) causes the crops he tends to produce an additional 40%, up to a maximum of an additional 1,500 gp worth of food. The Field Master’s stipend increases to 200 gold pieces worth of food and livestock each month.
A High Field Master with 16 or more ranks in Profession (farmer) doubles production in a region, allowing him to produce up to an additional 2,500 gp worth of food.
Sacrifices: Bushels of milled grain, which are then distributed to the needy. Clerics must sacrifice their time in the fall to help local farmers with the harvest.
Major Temples: Important centers of worship for the Friends of the Fields exist in Crandolen, Inolen, Unvolen, Mendarn, Dayolen, Bet Kalamar, Sobeteta, Bet Urala, Bet Bireli, Balelido, Kabakosikido, and Gaketa.
The temples tend to be small but numerous. They have a homey, rural feel regardless of their location. In especially poor areas, they might have dirt floors and shutterless windows. In shape, they tend to be rectangular and much longer than wide. This shape mimics a plot of farmland.
The temples must have a garden on temple grounds. These gardens grow fruits and vegetables that provide food for the poor. Flowering plants that don’t provide sustenance are not encouraged, but some clerics add them for decoration.
Cathedrals tend to have triangular roofs over an open-walled space. Double (or triple) rows of columns support the roof, and the floor usually consists of loosely-placed but regular flagstones designed to allow any rain that gets inside to flow out. These open cathedrals tend to have braziers between the columns for providing warmth in cold weather.
Gaketa’s garden is on its roof due to a lack of space within the city. It still has a false triangular front above one entrance, partially out of tradition and partially to identify a “front” to the cathedral. A long, wide ramp on either side of the temple allows access to the roof.
The seat in Anowhizh follows the standard cathedral tradition. Its garden occupies almost eight acres in rectangular plots surrounding the temple itself. The faith’s dedicated followers work the grounds six days per week, sometimes taking breaks in the temple’s shade.
Hochul Emfid is the current High Field Master, overseeing the faith’s progress from his holy seat in Anowhizh. Emfid is a master diplomat, and few are able to resist his entreaties. Emfid has gained a large number of noble followers, a spectacular feat for this faith normally associated with peasants and slaves.
|Friends and Allies:|
|The House of Solace: “They wish to nurture the intelligent life, to bring it to full fruition. A lofty goal indeed.”|
|The Face of the Free: “To bring freedom to the enslaved is a grand goal.”|
|The Assembly of the Four Corners: “The raw energies they wield are the food and formula for strong, healthy lives.”|
|The Home Foundation: “The use of husbandry to improve and nurture life is a grand achievement…”|
|The Founder’s Creation: “The Builders of Law provide our community with laws – a fine method of keeping the peace."|
|The Temple of the Three Strengths: “To hone the abilities of the person is a fine goal. To do so at the expense of experience, however, is to take it too far…”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The Temple of Strife: “To damage the life or livelihood of another is wrong, and harmful to all.”|
|The House of Knives: “To kill for the sheer joy of it? How can anyone be so depraved?”|
|The House of Vice: “They are sick and foolish, see no harm in overindulgence, and willing to hurt and kill for pleasure.”|
|The Congregation of the Dead: “They worship everything that is against life. They are the epitome of evil.”|
|The Church of Endless Night: “To never see the light of day is to wither and die… We try to let growth happen, even in the darkest corners.”|
|The House of Hunger: “It is hard to focus on peace when your belly rumbles for food. The Gaunt know, and care not."|
|The Conventicle of Affliction: “How can we keep our people healthy when the Pestilent Ones spread disease throughout the land? They must be stopped!"|
|The Order of Agony: “Causing pain and suffering is more than wrong, it is impossible to understand.”|