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PostSubject: Church of Paladne   Tue May 29, 2012 2:33 pm

Church of Paladine

The much-celebrated and revered Holy Order of Paladine,
known across Krynn for its stellar examples of priesthood
and its bitter failures before the Cataclysm, is now a church
in memory only. The following entry will enable Dungeon
Masters and players in eras other than the Age of Mortals
to incorporate and understand the church more fully, but
it can also serve as a useful resource for mystics who have
decided to continue the traditions of Paladine’s priesthood
in a new age.

A History of the Church
Organized worship of Paladine began among the Silvanesti
elves, in their earliest days. The Children of E’li—his name
among that people—thrived and dominated much of
Silvanesti culture. The god’s first organized church among
humans was the Brotherhood of Draco Paladin, in Ergoth.
This church, led by the Grand Celebrant in Daltigoth,
remained a prominent force until the First Cataclysm.
When the Solamnic Knights rose to power, they founded
their own church, the Fellows of the Great Dragon. Their
veneration of Paladine only grew after the death of Huma.
It was the god, the Knights believed, who guided Huma in
defeating Takhisis.

Soon after, a schism occurred within the church. Some
believed Huma was merely a man, strengthened by faith;
others that he was chosen by Paladine to save the world.
The former sect won out and drove out those who believed
Huma was god-touched. These outcasts traveled east, to
Istar, and founded their own church, which became the
state religion. The church’s power steadily increased until
the head of the order ruled the empire as Kingpriest.
The Kingpriests reigned for three centuries, and
their church became Ansalon’s dominant religion. Both
Solamnia and Kharolis paid homage; only Ergoth retained
its own, ancient faith. Istar ruled the world in Paladine’s
name. Then came Beldinas, the Last Kingpriest. Blessed
with extraordinary powers, he claimed to be god-chosen,
like Huma. He abandoned the Balance, persecuting all he
saw as evil. In the end, he tried to crush darkness forever
by commanding Paladine himself. When he attempted this,
Paladine responded by destroying Istar with a burning
mountain that fell from the sky.

After the Cataclysm, worship of Paladine vanished.
Many believed he had abandoned Krynn, but in fact he
abided, waiting for mortals to find him again. They did so
during the War of the Lance, when Elistan of Haven read
the Disks of Mishakal and swore to follow the old gods. He
founded a new church, the Revered Children, and the god
returned to the world. The Children thrived under Elistan
and his successor, Lady Crysania. For thirty years the
church grew in strength. A new golden age dawned—and,
all too quickly, ended.

Places of Worship
Paladine had many of the finest temples in all of Krynn.
These were grand edifices of white stone—most commonly
marble—adorned with crystal domes, golden spires, and
lush gardens. The grandest of these was the Great Temple
of Istar. The size of a small town, the Great Temple was a
center of learning and culture. It was thought destroyed in
the Cataclysm, but in fact Takhisis stole it and twisted it to
her ends. It returned as her greatest church, in Neraka, and
was destroyed for good at the end of the War of the Lance.
During their time, the Revered Children also built grand
churches, most notably in Palanthas. This temple was
never completed, for the Chaos War and theft of the world
both happened before it was finished. Still, it was the finest
church in Ansalon since Istar’s fall.

Clerical Training
Priests of Paladine usually entered his service as children—
often they were younger sons of nobles or orphans
adopted into the church. They served as novices until their
sixteenth year, when the high priests administered a test
to assess their spirits. Those who failed stayed as servants,
toiling for god and church. Those who succeeded were
anointed as Revered Sons and Daughters.
Priests were expected to broaden their knowledge
through study and discussion, even into old age. With
few exceptions, only the wisest among them could rise to
prominence in the order.

Preferred Vestments
Paladine’s clerics wore robes of purest white and a silver or
platinum medallion of faith. These robes could vary in style
or cut, from simple tunics to ermine-trimmed gowns, but
they were always white.

Prayers and Rites
Clerics of Paladine performed many different rites. Every
day, they spoke the Udossi, Ofirno, and Opiso: prayers at
dawn, midday, and dusk. Other rituals included weddings
(Beffion), funerals (Liginon), leavetakings (Parlaido),
temple consecrations (Icolo), tests of faith (Apanfo), prayer
before and after battle (Asclebon and Ligibo), and three
levels of ecclesiastical censure—reprimand (Bournon),
reproach (Abidon), and condemnation (Foripon).
Rites involved the speaking of a liturgy in an
ecclesiastic tongue (Old Istaran, Solamnic, or Ergothic,
common languages in the Revered Children’s time).
Ceremonial raiments such as jeweled circlets, silver robes,
and stoles were worn, and incense and holy oils were
commonly employed. Prayers were conducted before a
triangular altar; elven clerics favored a specially blessed
pine tree, dwarves a silver anvil.

Holy Days
The holiest day in Istar’s church was the Bormofan,
Dragonbane, which commemorated Huma’s death and
victory over Takhisis. This took place on the first day of
summer. Other fests included Monos, the “remembering
day” to honor the dead (at the beginning of autumn);
Ucdon, on Spring Dawning, which celebrated the return of
life to the world, and Iulo, a day of brotherhood that came
to be known as Yule.
The Revered Children retained these days and added
the anniversary of the Cataclysm as a solemn observance.
On this day, old sins and grievances were forgiven, and the
priests went out among the poor, giving aid to whoever
needed it.

Quests and Tasks
Most quests undertaken by Paladine’s priests took one
of two forms: either searching for new holy ground on
which to build a church, or recovering ancient relics from
an ancient shrine. The god himself also often appeared to
the faithful—as an aged knight in Solamnia, a fat monk in
Istar, a white-robed elf in Silvanesti, or a befuddled wizard
among the kender—and bade them undertake journeys in
his name. The goal of these missions would not be revealed
at once, but would become apparent over time.
In the time of Istar’s height, the church often sent the
faithful to war in Paladine’s name. These crusades were
usually aimed at evil, though in the empire’s last days they
became more indiscriminate. Enemy dead were always
consecrated with holy oil, then burned. The Revered
Children abandoned this, believing in giving battle only
when there was no other recourse.

Allies
The church’s allies varied from sect to sect. For instance,
the White-robe Wizards of High Sorcery were friends to
the Ergothian church, but not the Solamnic or Istaran
orders. The Solamnic Knights were long protectors of the
Istaran hierarchs. In later days, the Order of the Divine
Hammer became the Kingpriest’s private army, answerable
to him and him alone.
Among other faiths, Paladine’s church had the strongest
ties to those of Mishakal and Kiri-Jolith, though all the
gods of good were friendly with it. Until Beldinas’s time,
many neutral faiths also allied with the church—most
notably Gilean and Shinare.
In their day, the Revered Children were friendly with
the Solamnics and all non-evil faiths. Solamnia and the
elves were particularly allied with Paladine, as were the
barbarians of Qué-shu.

Enemies
The church of Paladine reviled the followers of the Queen
of Darkness—both dragon and human—above all others.
Both the Dragon Highlords and the Knights of Takhisis
were blood enemies of Paladine, as were the Queen’s
armies in Huma’s time and earlier. Other evil gods’ faiths
fared little better.

All evil races were foes of Paladine, from ogres and
goblins to draconians. Particularly before the Cataclysm,
clerics of the god did not suffer such creatures to live.
Similarly, as a god of life and light, Paladine warred with
the undead, which his priests considered abominations.

Mysticism and Magic
The church of Paladine and the Orders of High Sorcery
have seen their share of tension. Until Beldinas’s war on
wizardry, the church allied with the White Robes, tolerated
the Red, and hunted the Black. They honored the alliance
between Huma and Magius, and understood wizard magic
also came from the gods. Under Beldinas, however, the
church turned against all mages and nearly eradicated the
Orders in the Lost Battles.

In the Revered Children’s time, Paladine’s priests
reforged their bond with the White Robes. Even the Black
Robes were left alone, in honor of the love Lady Crysania
once held for the archmage Raistlin Majere.
As the church no longer exists, there is no relationship
between it and the forces of mysticism. There are mystics,
raised in the Citadel of Light, who honor the traditions
of the Holy Order of Paladine, most notably those who
studied alongside Revered Daughter Crysania. These
so-called platinum mystics can often be found working
alongside other mystics and sorcerers, encouraging the
ongoing adherence to Paladine’s dogma and continuing the
work of the Holy Order in an unofficial capacity.
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