Church of the Night's Beauty
Worship: Moonknights prefer to worship in areas open to the sky near a pool of water. In inclement weather, services begin outdoors with a prayer, then move inside to more comfortable accommodations. Services take place at or near nightfall, when the moon rises.
Holy Symbol: A full moon breaking through clouds.
Holy Days: Night of a full moon with clear skies. The night when the moon Diadolai becomes full is of particular importance. Clerics also sacrifice a collection of beautiful items at the Ceremony of the Three Moons, which takes place every 280 years when all three moons appear in a vertical line in the sky. At this time, all worshippers converge for a grand ceremony, sing songs and sacrifice three magical charms.
Holy Colors: Silver.
Holy Animal: The nocturnal owl is the holy animal of the Moonknights.
Raiment: Since clerics of the Church of Night’s Beauty are not required to wear any specific color or type of synodal vestment, each wears clothing as he desires, though the main part of the clothing must be silver-colored. Most Moonknights prefer robes or tunics.
|7||Disciple of Diadolai|
|8||Patriarch of Pelselond|
|9||Var of Veshemo|
Some Churches of the Night’s Beauty contend that the Shimmering One and the Coddler are married and that together they rule the night and the day. This teaching is not generally well received within the Church of the Silver Mist and insistence on this point by Moonknights has more than occasionally led to violent confrontations between the two churches. The High Var and the highest-ranking Dreamweaver would like to resolve this, but as it is a matter of contradictory doctrines, a mutually agreeable solution has yet to be found.
Advancement: Advancement is by acquisition of beautiful items for the church.
A Full Moon’s stipend increases to 200 gp/month.
An Aligned One treats any melee weapon she wields as being silver for purposes of overcoming damage reduction.
A Disciple of Diadolai’s stipend increases to 350 gp/month.
A Patriarch of Pelselond’s second follower is a ranger.
A Var of Veshemo must have slain one of each of three types of evil lycanthropes. Potential Vars of this rank usually seek out specific lycanthropes. Werewolves are a perennial favorite.
Sacrifices: Moonknights must sacrifice silver or beautiful objects on holy days.
In keeping with the desire for beauty, temples of the Church of the Night’s Beauty prefer fantastic views. The temple usually features a second and third story, each with a veranda offering worshippers an elevated view of the countryside. Seats and tables allow for comfort while relaxing. Temples tend to face south or north so that the sunlight may enter the windows high on the walls and spotlight the most prominent works of art.
The temple’s shape usually follows a capital D, with the entrance being the flat side. The exterior features wide, low steps leading to a columned entrance and stairs to the upper levels. The artistic pieces on exhibit stand on display to the left and right as worshippers enter. The worship area inside faces the curved wall holding the altar. To maintain beauty, all functional rooms, such as the rectory, are in separate buildings.
Cathedrals are larger in all dimensions except vertical—they never have more than three stories. The entrance hallway might feature interior walls on which more pieces of art rest on display. Freestanding easels or stands feature more works of art.
The seat currently lies in Bynarr, which has held that position since the last alignment of the Three Moons. After each such ceremony, the faith chooses a new location for its holy seat. This time, however, a scandal among the senior clerics forced a delay in the relocation. The High Var had promised to address the issue when the House of Knives infiltrated her temple and killed her. The temple’s vast halls and stands are devoid of the art the faith has been collecting. In the wake of the assassination, the temple is considered not safe enough, and they are scattered throughout the faith’s cathedrals.
Udula, a Matriarch of Pelselond, is the highest ranking cleric in the faith. Her priority is to help the faith select a new High Var. She currently holds the reins of power because she was the Matriarch on duty at the seat, although she is the least experienced of her peers. She hopes that she can leverage this experience into gaining the position herself in 15 or 20 years.
|Friends and Allies:|
|The Theater of the Arts: “They understand beauty – how to make it, how to enjoy it… They produce the vast majority of all good art in the world today.”|
|The Parish of Love: “The Children of Love understand that beauty can tie lovers together… A very beautiful ceremony, indeed.”|
|The Temple of the Stars: “The stars form their map through the world, and they appreciate not only the utility of the night sky, but its beauty.”|
|The Church of the Life’s Fire: “The Friends of the Field understand beauty, at least in growth and development… If only they would accept the beauty of manmade objects, too.”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The Church of Endless Night: “The Knights of the Black Pit disrespect the beauty of the night. They abuse it, taking it for granted, and perverting it for their own ends.”|
|The Conventicle of Affliction: “Disease destroys the beauty of the body, even as it takes away its ability to enjoy the beauty around it.”|
|The Temple of Armed Conflict: “Such focus on fighting and death leaves so little room for the appreciation of the finer things in life.”|
|The Order of Agony: “Pain is not beautiful!”|