Parish of Love
Worship: Worship of the Pure One usually occurs in temples or flower gardens. Regular services feature a variety of brief songs, usually sung in celebration of a loved one or to the glory of the Pure One. A libation of wine precedes three sips by each worshipper while praying for love, passion and happiness. The main focus of the worship service is to encourage worshippers to meet each other. An equal focus is on helping couples work out their problems peacefully.
The church has a very open view of physical expressions of love. The Pure One is not bound by social structures, and her devotees similarly pay little heed to them as well, except on an individual basis. For example, the typical worshipper of the Pure One is not sinning if she courts multiple men at the same time, as long as she treats each fairly and with compassion. Alternatively, should she find true love and devote her love to only one man, that is also considered acceptable and appropriate.
Marriage is a worthy goal, but not necessarily a lifetime commitment. Members of the faith who marry sometimes approach the local Brotherhood of Industry to perform the service (or a second ceremony) because of the beauty and grandeur typical of such marriage ceremonies. Others are quite content with a simple, quiet service by the local ranking priest of the Children of Love, while still others simply acknowledge their marriage and give their vows to each other in private.
Holy Symbol: The holy symbol of the Children of Love is a dove over a white rose.
Holy Days: The spring equinox represents the perfect matching of day and night, an apt parallel for the search for love, which the faith describes as a perfect match of man and woman. This most holy event encourages couples to renew their devotion by spending time together. Single worshippers can search for their perfect match over the course of the following week-long celebration, when the clerics organize activities such as dances, plays and musical performances.
The winter equinox is another holiday, followed by three days of feasting and activities designed to encourage couples to meet. The feasts are short in order to encourage responsible rationing of winter food.
Holy Colors: Pastels, white and floral patterns.
Holy Animal: The holy animal of the Pure One is a dove.
Raiment: Children of Love tend to have their robes made from silk or satin, dyed according to individual rank. Traditionally, they wear a number of small silver roses on their left collar as an indicator of rank. However, there is a sect, particularly in some areas around Reanaaria Bay, who believes current teachings of purely selfless love are incorrect interpretations of canonical writings of their faith. Instead, they hold that their deity actually embodies gratifying love, particularly of a physical nature. They tend to wear their roses on the right collar instead of the left. The main ranks of the Parish of Love have denounced this small but growing sect as heretics.
|3||Servant of Harmony||green robe and 1 silver rose|
|4||Advocate of Harmony||yellow robe and 1 silver rose|
|5||Keeper of Harmony||yellow robe and 2 silver roses|
|6||Servant of Love||pink robe and 2 silver roses|
|7||Advocate of Love||pink robe and 3 silver roses|
|8||Guardian of the Heart||blue robe and 3 silver roses|
|9||Advocate of the Heart||blue robe and 4 silver roses|
|10||Grand Advocate of the Heart||pastel floral robe with white background and 5 silver roses|
Advancement: Advancement is based on experience, dedication and success in bringing love and harmony into the world. Children of Love who fail to match up lovers and promote successful marriages never achieve great rank. While marriages are a key element of this faith, not all the priesthood’s efforts involve marrying couples. Reuniting scattered family members, encouraging friends to stay in touch, and organizing activities for families to do together are all important duties.
In order to progress past the Initiate rank, a Child of Love must undertake a one-year mission in which he or she travels to foreign lands to promote harmony and understanding between different people. Important destinations for these pilgrimages include Dalen, Paru’Bor, and Rynoshok. The cleric then returns and shares his knowledge with the local community.
Before becoming a Servant of Harmony, a cleric must embark upon a one-year-long mission in which he or she travels to foreign, uncivilized lands to promote harmony and understanding between people. During this mission, the cleric learns about other cultures and how different peoples coexist. The Child of Love must share this knowledge with the Parish and the local community before advancement.
An Advocate of Harmony gains a +1 inherent bonus to her Charisma score reflecting the Advocate’s greater dedication to the love of all creatures.
A Servant of Love gains an additional +1 inherent bonus to her Charisma score.
An Advocate of Love’s stipend increases to 250 gp per month.
A Guardian of the Heart gains an additional +1 bonus to her Charisma score. A Guardian of the Heart’s second follower is a bard.
A Grand Advocate of the Heart gains an additional +1 bonus to her Charisma score.
Sacrifices: Selfless, good deeds as often as possible.
Temples of the Parish of Love have relatively small worship chambers. While they have one central chamber for speaking to an audience, the majority of the temple comprises small chambers with sofas for private worship. A couple or a family spends a service alone or in the company of a cleric of any rank. Temple design varies by region and usually looks like a very fine inn.
Cathedrals of the Parish of Love feature long wings and might include a decorative courtyard or atrium with high hedges providing privacy in an outdoor setting. Otherwise, they conform to the same design and principles as the faith’s lesser temples.
The faith’s seat stands near the center of Bet Kalamar. It features over 400 rooms and a worship hall large enough for 500 worshippers. The worship hall is brightly lit, with an all-white theme: white stone walls, white garments, white gold adornments, and white tile floor. The arched ceiling rises 65 feet above the worshippers, and hundreds of niches filled with alabaster statues adorn the walls to either side.
Jepati Ezamil, the current Grand Advocate of the Heart, has the crisp, precise speech of an aristocrat and a seductive charm. He has never married and would never want to marry. He has held the post for nine years, and the faith’s coffers have swollen immensely under his guidance. He is planning to lengthen the seat’s worship hall by another 60 feet with this treasury. This move disturbs the faiths’ Advocates of the Heart, who feel that in the current atmosphere in Bet Kalamar (and lack of growth among the number of worshippers in the city), such as move would be merely wasteful extravagance.
|Friends and Allies:|
|The Home Foundation: “They understand the importance of love in the community. They cherish and nurture it, and so they are always welcome.”|
|The House of Solace: “Peace and love go hand in hand.”|
|The Church of Everlasting Hope: “They have helped more than a few people realize their love. A lofty accomplishment indeed!”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The Temple of Armed Conflict: “They fight as part of their worship, but even when they are fighting, they are passionless and without mercy or care. However, they show dedication to their fellows, and that’s a start.”|
|The Temple of Strife: “They do not understand love at all. If they did, they would not cause so much conflict.”|
|The Way of the Berserk: “Where lust meets battle, that’s where they are found. Violence should never meet love, or even lust…”|
|The Congregation of the Dead: “They want death, where love and warmth cannot reach.”|
|The House of Shackles: “To imprison another is the greatest affront to the spirit of love.”|