Wednesday, May 12, 2010
The Cult of Nergal
As your boat docks at the holy island, you begin the steep ascent up the mountain sacred to the god Nergal. You begin your prayers as you climb. Washing your face, hands and feet at the temple entrance you, step into the outer court. Offering your sacrifice upon the altar, you hear the chants coming from within the monastery temple. You have waited for this day...the day of your initiation into the mysteries of this island. Its monks and priests are here for all devotees. Myep! Welcome to the Temple of Nergal!
--Who is Nergal--
All of the dwellers of the land of Taure Emata honor an aspect or face of Nergel. Nergal is the deity who presides over the netherworld, and who stands at the head of the special pantheon assigned to the government of the dead (supposed to be gathered in a large subterranean cave known as Aralu or Irkalla). Nergal's fiery aspect appears in names or epithets such as Tiamat, Lilith, and the pure aspect of Nergal. Nergalites are worshippers of the afterlife...seeking not a life in a heaven but a life of the resurected dead. While they welcome visitors with joy and compassion, they do pray for regular sacrifices upon their altar.
Nergal is the god of the sands and death. His priests serve as oracles and visionaries of the god who imbibe the sacred nectar of the dead, enabling their spirits to cross to his realm and back. Because of this, the devotees to the heirophant serve the undead and the living dead with compassion, knowing that this gift comes only from Nergal. We are a people of order and a people of the book. Any who disobey in the temple will suffer the price for their disruption of the order.
--Levels of Membership in the Temple--
Anyone from any faction is welcome to be a member of the temple. The only role exclusive to Taure Emata is that of Chief Cleric. If you are a member of another faction, wear a covering while out in the open in Taure Emata.
The devotee is anyone who may from time to time visit the temple to pray. Anyone from any faction may come to the outer court to pray, though they must be fully covered to hide their identiy if they are not residents of Taure Emata. The devotee is not a class but is simply anyone who worships Nergel, no matter how sporatically.
The devotee who decides to take the next step and enter into the mysteries of this faith must first undergo initiation. The Initiate is taught the mysteries of the temple and guided through the holy ordeals to achieve full initiation into his ways. The Initiate trains with the Temple High Priest, and must survive and solve the ordeals to be considered an initiate. They will have access to the initiates inner court, where coverings are not needed.
Monks and Hymnists
Some folks feel the calling to consecrate their lives to Nergal in a special way, albeit not necessarily as a priest. These people are the monks. The monks stay on the holy island until they are requested by a dweller community to bring the truth of the life even in death to a community. They leave the isle only with the blessing of the community. Monks have completed the initiation into the mysteries of Nergal. They take vows and wear the robes sacred to Nergal. They are trained in the lore, the mysteries, and the ways of defense. Some monks specialize in sacred songs. (Bards)
The priest/ess has completed training as a cleric (in the cleric guild) and serves the temple and as a spokesperson for the deity. They are free to come and go from the holy isle as they please. The priest may serve as an oracle of Nergal. They serve as a conduit for Nergals healing. They may only be a priest of Nergal if they are an active member of a faction. They must have recommendation from their faction/subfaction.
The Chief Priest serves the djinn, serving as a local high priest for the faction, as well as healer, advisor, and teacher of initates. He or she may resurrect (when not in intersim battles) as the power of Nergel rests upon the high chief priest. The maintains the order of the temple and rules with an iron rod. There is only one Chief Priest
These acts in a special role for the temple. They act as a shaman, oracle and prophet for Nergal. They often border on the insane and imbibe some of the sacred drink to produce visions. They are considered a type of monk but wanders outside of the structure and rules of the temple. T
Necromancers and Shadow Knights
There are Necromancers and Shadow Knights who are initiates and practices their arts within the temple, due to their close relationship with the dead. This is welcomed by the priests due to their frequent offering of delicious bloody sacrifices.