Way of the Wicked
There is no greater god more worshiped in Talingarde than the divine Mitra. In fact, to someone born in Talingarde it might seem that there is only one god. Mitra’s worship is so dominant, so pervasive, that rivals are hardly noted.
Further, Mitra is not one deity. One of the central tenets of the Mitran faith is that while Mitra is one, he is also three. These three aspects have individual names and natures. They are Mitra the Shining Lord, Mitra the Beneficent Sun and Mitra the Fire Undying. Different priests and sects emphasize different facets of Mitra and thus it can seem they are worshiping very different gods.
Every priest of Mitra must choose which aspect he chooses to primarily follow.
Mitra the Shining Lord
Portfolios: the Sun, Justice, Honor, Charity, Valor
Domains: Glory, Good, Law, Sun, Nobility
Subdomains: Archon, Day, Heroism, Honor, Leadership, Light
Preferred Weapon: Longsword
Mitra the Beneficent Sun
Portfolios: the Sun, Healers, Mercy, Serenity
Domains: Community, Good, Healing, Protection, Sun
Subdomains: Day, Defense, Home, Light, Restoration, Ressurection,
Preferred Weapon: Quarterstaff
The Fire Undying
Portfolios: the Sun, judgment, fire, purification, the destruction of evil
Domains: Fire, Good, Strength, Sun, War
Subdomains: Archon, Day, Ferocity, Light, Resolve, Tactics
Preferred Weapon: Warhammer
The Shining Lord is a god of kings and conquerors. This is the god of righteous might and great civilizations. He is a patron of the strong and the lordly. The Shining Lords bids that those with power use it for the greater good. He is lord of paladins and heroes, true enough, but he is also the patron of scholars and sages.
He urges all to seek a greater purpose and to find within this world the truth. Together we can make a better world and if we will but keep the faith, then one day all will be light. When portrayed in stone the Shining Lord is often portrayed a great king wielding a sword, wearing a crown and resplendent in the finery of kings.
The Beneficent Sun is more passive. Yes, we should help those in need. But it is more important to be at peace and to find within ourselves the light. The sun shines on both the wicked and the worthy. Its blessings extend to all. This aspect is much less anthropomorphic. In fact, it would be easy to say that this aspect is not human at all.
Instead this is the aspect of peace, healing and abundance. Mitra made all life and with his warming light he sustains it. Everything that happen, weal or woe, is his will. Be at peace with this truth even in dark times. The Sun may set but it will rise again. When portrayed in stone, this is the god of healers often clad in a robe with arms outstretched.
The Fire Undying is not so patient as the gentle sun. This is the inquistor’s god – the god of the pyre and the witch hunter. The Fire Undying seeks out evil and burns it from this world. The Fire cares nothing for civilization or serenity unless they aid in this unyielding cause. The fire of war has been lit. It was not Mitra who started it. This war for the souls of all mortals was started in the pits of hell. But now the war cannot be ignored and it is a struggle that the Fire must win. When you extend mercy to evil, you are only allowing it fester. The Fire will burn the rot out and from the ashes, we will at last have peace.’’
The head of the church is the High Cardinal who has complete control of the Knights of the Alerion. The High Cardinal is second only to the King in power, and is served by seven Cardinals. Almost all of these ranking members of the church are of noble birth.
PRIESTS AND POLITICS:
The Church of Mitra touts itself as a non-political organization that does not care to meddle in matters of kings and countries. This is quite frankly a blatant lie. The Church o f Mitra is an immensely political organization deeply involved in the politics of its day. The Church of Mitra has three objectives which inevitably entangle in political matters:
1) Keep House Darius on the Throne of Talingarde
2) Keep Foreign Gods out of Talingarde
3) Limit the Influence of Scholars and Wizards
While the first goal is not controversial, the second and third goal is a cause of much tension. Many are vehemently against such ideals since keeping out foreign religions always means restrictive trade barriers and unfriendly policies on outside merchants.
The third goal is especially contentious. Any scholar who has even a rudimentary necromancy or too much knowledge of the lower planes could find themselves purged at the pyre. Mitran priests willfully spread distrust of arcane magic amongst the people. There are whole hosts of avenues of magical study that are forbidden to pursue under the edicts of the church. Though the church has the upper hand, they have marginalized a powerful group.