Nirothian Religion

The Nirothian church is named for the First ancestor of the elfin people, Niroth, among the First generation created by the Two.  Its body is governed by the eight High Priests and Priestesses, each representing one member of the Nirothian Pantheon. A royal child cannot be a High Priest, nor can an ordained priest be a monarch. There are several ranks of priesthood, which is open to either gender and does not exclude family life. Priests and their works are supported by altar offerings.

Churches have altars for all eight members of the pantheon, although they are usually staffed by only one or two priests. A priest is trained for as long as Seminary instructors feel necessary; this could take years or decades. Training in the early years largely focuses on meeting secular needs: taking care of oneself and others, cleaning, cooking, etc. Novices are responsible for much of the upkeep of the Seminary, but do begin their early training on scripture, history, politics, and divine magic. Once a novice is sworn into the priesthood, secular tasks are largely dropped and more complicated magic is delved into. Once a priest’s training is completed, he can stay and support the Seminary, or he can apply to an established church and begin ministry, which tends more toward serving (magical services or otherwise) than teaching. Many trained priests will also pursue cross training in medical arts and become prized healers.

Worship of all gods is not expected simultaneously, although most elves find opportunity to worship each throughout their lives. The birth of a child or a marriage demands offerings to Tarvia. Anob worship would be expecting following the death of a loved one. But most elves generally find one or two gods with whom they are most comfortable and focus their worship on them.

Religious beliefs are widely held and largely inflexible. The world and all things in it were created by the Two, benevolent Beings composed of pure magic. As held by the elves, all true religions were founded by the Two in order to bring about unity and love, but that the First people were not ready for that. These first teachings were initially rejected in what culminated in the First War. The lesser gods were put in their place to facilitate communication between the Two, endlessly grieved by Their children’s bickering, and mortals. Therefore, the heart of elfin religion, and all religions as originally established, is love: for the Two, for the self, and for all others.

All lessons taught by the church are intended to create, protect, and foster love (although it is generally accepted that these rules apply in a lesser degree to non-elves). Prohibitions against theft and murder are obvious among them. But there are moral codes as well intended to shelter pure love, such as strict social taboos on public affection or even private affection outside of family; in keeping with this, there are many loopholes for non-blooded ‘family’, such as nursemaids, but such kinship must be formally acknowledged to be considered proper. Lying is under similar prohibitions, with similar loopholes regarding strict truthfulness.

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