Theater of the Arts
Worship: Worship takes place in theaters or public forums. Services highlight the art of one or more of the young worshippers. Musical performances are the most popular and best-attended of these events, while other favorites include comedic skits, visual art galleries and poetry readings. A prayer is often said with the audience before or after a performance.
Holy Symbol: A theatrical mask or a jester hat.
Holy Days: In late spring, the clergy holds a festival celebrating the fine arts. This is known simply as “Festival.” The performances are a combination of masterful works by senior clerics and earnest (if mostly unskilled) attempts by the worshippers. The exact date varies locally, but it usually falls on the third or fourth week of Mustering and lasts for several days.
Holy Colors: Red and gold.
Holy Animal: With its decorative plumage and showman-like strut, the peacock seems to symbolize the essence of the Merry Muses.
Raiment: Unlike many other churches, the Theater of the Arts allows its clergy to select synodal vestments appropriate to the occupation of the rank to which they are aspiring. For example, an Orator working to achieve the rank of Jester might wear colorful, clownish garb. Each cleric, or Merry Muse, also wears a chain around their neck with each special charm issued upon advancement in rank.
|7||Prima Donna||Musical note|
Advancement: Advancement within the church is through demonstrated excellence in a particular art form. Once the cleric advances, he receives a small charm that signifies the mastered art form. The Merry Muse wears these charms on a necklace. The table shown above displays levels and associated charms. A Merry Muse may gain mastery of the arts in any order that she chooses. The rank title refers only to the church hierarchy, not the cleric’s preferred profession.
A Merry Muse reduces the cost to craft non-magical, non-alchemical items by 50%. This benefit applies to such costs as obtaining raw materials for a sculpture, fine inks and papers for writing, and making costumes and other clothing for performances.
A Maestro must have a masterwork musical instrument. A Maestro is awarded a golden baton; this masterwork item is worth 200 gp (although no Maestro would ever consider selling it) and is suitable for enchantment. In addition, the Merry Muse can use the baton to help direct and improve the performances of others. Within a radius of 30 feet, the Merry Muse can give all allies a +2 competence bonus to all Perform checks. In combat, this is a full round action that provokes an attack of opportunity.
A Dancer’s stipend increases to 250 gp per month.
A Composer’s second follower is always either a bard or a Basiran dancer.
Temples to the Theatre of the Arts contains large, acoustic chambers. Their construction is usually wood, even if it means importing the wood from long distances. Since their decoration is performed by worshippers and the faith discourages critical comment that might stifle a worshipper’s creativity, the quality of the sculpture, frescoes, and other design varies from temple to temple and even within a single temple. The temple is often in the form of a theater, with seats for the worshippers, and an elaborate stage with trapdoors, curtains, lights, and other trappings of an elaborate playhouse.
Cathedrals might not have larger buildings, but they often grow to cover many acres, with different buildings for different types of performance. The stage that excels at dramatic productions might not serve for musical performances, and the display of works of visual art certainly requires its own space. The grounds themselves often show great beauty, with gardens and fountains, and the entire complex separated from the ugliness around them with a fence, a hedge, or a low wall.
Some clerics consider the holy seat misplaced at Cosolen. They argue that something with a more human tone might be more appropriate. Considering that nearly half of the faith’s dedicated followers are elves, however, this argument might be misdirected. The seat’s complex in Cosolen takes up nearly 1/10th of the city’s grounds and is a cultural center for the capital of Cosdol. Both resident and traveling dramatic troupes perform there, and the entertainment draws visitors from as far away as Dalen. The main performing hall seats 1,300, and with the lesser halls, museums, and scriptoriums, over 6,000 visitors can attend some of the best artistic attractions in the world.
Artiste Danasan, who hails originally from Napalido, is a good choice for unifying the diverse elements of the faith. A half-elf with Kalamaran and Brandobian blood on his human mother’s side and both wood elven and high elven blood on his elven father’s side, Danasan is popular with a large number of the faith’s important clerics.
|Friends and Allies:|
|Church of the Night’s Beauty: “They understand the beauty of art and appreciate the works of the masters.”|
|The Order of the Passionate One: “They are emotional and usually quite friendly. They make the best audiences.”|
|The Face of the Free: “They understand why freedom of expression and movement is important.”|
|Foes and Enemies:|
|The House of Shackles: “They capture and destroy all that is beautiful.”|
|The Founder’s Creation: “They have no understanding of beauty, only stability.”|
|The Home Foundation: “Honest and hard working, but definitely dull. They see us as irresponsible, and cannot appreciate what we do."|