The mysterious and aloof goddess of magic, Abaris is revered and sometimes feared throughout the three continents. Worship of Abaris is strongest in the Magocracy of Lun Dorak, where the Grand Mysteriorum of the Seventh Carnation lies as the central temple of worship and library of Abaris. Unlike most churches, priests of Abaris are not divided by major schisms or different views of orthodoxy. That said, the church hierarchy is also substantially less controlling than most ordered deities, existing more as a means for exchange of mystical information than a means for controlling its priesthood or laypeople.
|Goddess of Magic|
|Avatar: Dorais the Steelcaster|
|Allies: Cebren the Piper; Faunaros the Mongrel; Luna, Goddess of the Moon; Melpomene, Goddess of Clouds; Mormo, God of Deception; Mulciber, God of the Forge; Paelemona, Goddess of Fate; Pavor, God of Travel; Sarpedon, God of Guardians; Selene, Goddess of Beauty; Terpsichore, Goddess of Language (mother); Tethys, Goddess of Undeath; Thea, Goddess of Art; and Vitulus, God of Cities (half brother).|
|Foes: Cthos, God of the Dead (half brother); Mania, Goddess of Madness; Stheno, God of Decay; Themis, God of Deception; and Thryope, God of Age.|
|Major Influence: Wizardry|
|Minor Influence(s): Research, learning, protection versus insects; as Dorais, magic-item creation.|
|Domains: Artifice, Memory*, Magic or Arcane* or Divine*, Protection|
|Favorite Weapon: Quarterstaff|
Abaris is depicted as an olive skinned, black-eyed woman with short cropped white hair. She wears midnight blue and black robes, and is never without her Zshadusceus. Often, she is depicted in art as standing in a garden of carnations, one of her most important flowers, and it is said carnations grow wild along any path she has tread. She also has a crown of holly, which is another plant sacred to her for its protective magical properties.
In the form of Dorais, she is a large bodied, burly man, with curly black hair and a thick beard covering most of the face. His eyes are said to glisten like shined steel, and he wears a suit of glistening, thick plate mail armor. Upon his shield is a stylized caraway bloom, the flower sacred to him. It is said his weapons are carved from hematite, and draw magical power through bloodstones encrusted in them. Artificers who pray to the Dorais aspect of Abaris almost unerringly use bloodstones in the creation of their magical items.
Relics and Weapons
Abaris carries her Zshadusceus, a staff topped with a winged serpent holding a crystal ball. Abaris is never depicted wearing any form of armor other than a steel skullcap. As Dorais, she is depicted as wearing a glistening steel suit of plate mail armor.
Religious ceremonies dedicated to Abaris are rare, and public ceremonies wholly dedicated to Abaris are almost non-existent. Private prayer is expected at noon during summer solstice and spring equinox, and at midnight during winter solstice and the autumnal equinox. It is customary for all wizards of the Order to wear a carnation, or to include one as a part of their blazon. Priests must utilize a whole carnation as a divine focus in their spellcasting, and it is consumed in the casting only for fifth level spells and higher . If the carnation is dried, it is consumed in casting regardless of the spell’s level. Five holly leaves may be substituted, but the caster receives a –1 level penalty for the effects and saving throw of the spell . The usage of any other form of magic other than Hermetic, Divine and Songweaving is forbidden. The church often sponsors hunts for witches and sorcerors who have pacted themselves to dark forces. The order is known for brewing a weak wine, which is flavored with carnations. It is a flavorful wine, but it does not easily cause drunkenness.
Followers of Abaris promote clarity of thinking and logic above all other things, and excessive emotional behavior is frowned upon. This follows the tenants of one of the early church fathers, St. Michaelanus, who wrote about and expanded upon the stoic way of philosophy.
The Monacchus of the Order of Saint Libriacus must send their diaries, or copies thereof, to the order at least once per year, and must personally visit a chapterhouse at least once a decade to report any findings and serve as part of the administration for one year. These duties can be postponed in advance by an Episcopus or Legatus, and transgression can be forgiven only in the case of extreme circumstance (temporary death, imprisonment, etc.) only by an Episcopus, with the permission of the Potens Maximus.
Each year, the most important or insightful reports by Investigatos, Monacchus or other Custos are published in the Codex Annuus Abaris, which is copied and sent to each Mysteriorum (church) and Quarterhouses of St. Libriacus.
The church uses a dating system within that is based on the founding of the order itself by Saint Alabariachus the Elven. The current Abarisian year is 8348.
It is against the tenants of the order to associate in any way, form, or manner with followers of Thryope and Mormo. The usage of mandrake in spellcasting is strictly forbidden as well, as are spells which require the usage of insects (not as materia, but those which end result involves insects, such as those which summon or create insects). Disobeying the command of a superior is considered sacrilege, and the offender must either appeal to a higher authority or publicly apologize for the offense. Failure to do so results in excommunication, which usually results in the loss of spellcasting capacity in some way. Drunkenness is usually frowned upon as well, as is any practice which clouds the mind, though some leeway is given to traveling members of the Order of Saint Libriacus, as drinking anything but alcohol can make one extremely ill in unsanitary conditions.
The number five is sacred to the Order, and depictions of plants and animals usually are shown in groups of five. The most powerful symbol of the Order is the carnation (red being the most often depicted), especially when surrounded by a pentacle, circle and square. The holly tree is also favored by the order, usually in the form of a crown (usually depicted in art as having five visible leaves and five visible berries). The symbol of the Order of St. Libriacus is a crossed sword and quill.
Garnheggan, the Brightening, is observed by worshipers of Abaris on Betasha 20th, the summer solstice. Observers are expected to attempt to reach the nearest Mysteriorum for noontime prayer, followed by the Garnheggan Symposium, where lectures are given on new theories in magic and prominent magi are expected to share their discoveries with their fellows. Wearing a red carnation is customary on Garnheggan and those unable to attend Mysteriorum are at least expected to pause at noon to give thanks to Abaris for the Gift of Knowing. It is also the deadline for delivery of research papers for inclusion in the previous years' Codex Annuus Abaris.
Ralishar, the Coloring, is observed by worshipers of Abaris on the autumnal equinox. Typically, a service is held at the Mysteriorum at dusk where Apprentices who are deemed ready are formally recognized as Masters in their respective Orders. If a worshiper can't attend the Ralishar Convocation, they are expected to at least observe a moment of prayer to Abaris at dusk. Most observers will wear a holly leaf or spring of holly on Ralishar.
Noxheggan, the Darkening, is observed by the worshipers of Abaris on the winter solstice. Observant worshipers are expected to attend service at the nearest Mysteriorum at midnight followed by the Noxheggan Symposium, where the mages who have passed in the last year are recognized for their accomplishments. Even if a worshiper is unable to attend the Symposium, they are expected to give thanks to Abaris silently at midnight for those mages that have come before them, noting particularly any deceased Masters or mages who influenced their work. The flower of the Black Hellebore is commonly worn by worshipers of Abaris on Noxheggan.
The spring equinox is referred to by worshipers of Abaris as the Marageddon, the Healing, and is observed with a service at the Mysteriorum at dawn, followed by a day of contests of magical aptitude and scholarly intellect. During the Marageddon Symposium, potential Apprentices are tested and selected by their Masters. Those who cannot attend service are expected to pray to Abaris at dawn in thanks for their knowledge and for the strength to continue to expand their knowledge. Adherents typically wear a Hyacinth cluster on this day.
Requirements for Priesthood
A potential acolyte to the Order of Our Lady of Mystery must first undergo rigorous testing to determine if he is capable of casting both Hermetic and Divine spells; those unable are refused. An acolyte must spend no less than five years in study under the order, regardless of previous education, at least ten if no previous education was given. Training is harsh, and extremely difficult. A full 70% of potential acolytes do not complete the course, and 5% of those who do fail do so because of accidental death or suicide.
Once an acolyte has finished his course of study, he may apply to become a Legens or he may choose to leave the order to enter society with the best magical education available. The Legens are given the responsibility of recopying, by hand, the thousands of books that the Order keeps. The constant magical infusion that the books undergo while at the Order generally causes those not protected to deteriorate at a faster rate, and magically written or copied books tend to deteriorate even faster.
A priest who has spent at least five years as a Legens may then apply to become either a Custos or join the Order of St. Libriacus. Those who become a Custos can expect a life filled with petty religious politics and paper-pushing. They are the officers of the church, who see to the church's interests and its proper administration. The lowest level of Custos are the Agrestis, who do little more than fill out forms and prepare documents for the order. The next level is composed of the Investigatos, who perform research in one of the many laboratories of the Mysteriorum. This is usually the highest level that most priests can attain. The third tier of political power within the church is that of Legatus. It is their responsibility to represent the interests of the Order to other institutions, whether as ambassadors to other churches, or as advisors to powerful nobles (these individuals are usually referred to as the Auctor Legatus) . The fourth and final tier of political power is that of Episcopus . The Episcopai is composed of fifteen Decurios and the Potens Maximus , who is the high priest of the religion.
Those priests who enter the Order of St. Libriacus follow the edicts and writings of a wizard who died some three centuries ago. He was disappointed in the religion's tendency to research in laboratories and at desks, and promoted the investigation of more practical uses of magick. He also promoted actually going out into the world and interacting with it, researching life by experiencing it and those who lived in it. He also wrote on the dangers of relying on rumor and myth when investigating animal life or other societies, and instead suggested that some priests should actually go forth and investigate these things themselves. A small group of young priests crowded around his banner, and a small schism was formed briefly in the church, as the Potens Maximus of the time, known as Maladucious III "The Aged" attempted to support the status quo. Upon the death of Maladucious III, the new Potens Maximus, Ygrassi I "The Pagus", reversed his predecessor's position and welcomed the followers of Libriacus back into the fold. The action came too late for Libriacus himself, however, as he died, still an excommunicant, six days before Ygrassi I announced the new bull. A century later, however, when one of the members of the Order of Libriacus, who took the name Ygrassi III upon ascension, was awarded the position of Potens Maximus, he reinstated Libriacus to the religion officially and sainted him. He stands as one of only six men sainted by the followers of Abaris.
The members of the Order, who call themselves the Monacchus, are the field research arm of the religion. They closely associate themselves with adventurers, and are the only branch of the religion permitted to wear armor in peacetime. They are known to be highly inquisitive individuals, who obsessively commit to journal every detail of their lives.
An acolyte is required to wear only a medium brown linen garment, which is extremely uncomfortable next to the skin. The garment is hooded, and the hood must cover the head at all times, so as to obscure the face. Hands must be kept within the large sleeves of the garment whenever they are not in use. The garments are made in one size only, and those individuals too large to fit into the garments are given a dangerously restrictive girdle and forced to fast until they have lost enough weight to fit into the robe.
The Legens typically wear a gray robe similar to that of the acolytes, but made of a finer grade of flax. The robe usually is held in place by a rope belt, as the acolyte's robe is, but it also has rope suspenders, meant to keep the belt, which is usually heavily weighted with a couple of books and the Legens' writing tablet, in place. The Legens usually wear thin leather gloves, which are always stained with the colors of their work.
Custos wear a combination of black and midnight blue robes, the choice of design is usually up to the wearer. The Investigatos are known for wearing armless robes, held tightly in place by a thick leather apron even when not in the laboratory. Episcopai have the right to wear steel skullcaps, though iron and other metal skullcaps are permitted to the members of the Legatus. The Potens Maximus typically wears a steel skullcap, a black cape with a red lining and extremely high collar, and a midnight blue robe. He carries with him a golden Zshadusceus, the crystal ball upon which has strong divinatory powers, and a six-inch sphere of pure bloodstone, which is apotropaic in nature.
Members of the Order of St. Libriacus do not have any regularized code of dress, though they do usually carry on any shield or emblem the carnation and pentacle symbol of Abaris and the crossed sword and quill symbol of St. Libriacus. Quartermasters and Field Commanders of the Order are usually awarded a gold lined midnight blue cape and bronze skullcap with the symbol of St. Libriacus etched into it.
|This article is part of the Feyworld Sourcebook|
|Religion in Feyworld|
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