The Worship of Pathkeepers of the Eternal Pattern
From the earliest days, the Wise Ones were always interpreting the great forces. Wise ones became the advisors and personal guides to the rulers. One Ricardous began a process of organizing the Wise Ones in his King’s (Sheledar IV) territories. Upons whos wishes is up to some debate. The wise ones were ordered in much the same way as the local lords. Colleges were chartered to teach wisdom for new wise ones and bring them into the new ordered structure. This organizational effort expanded beyond the Kingdom, linking all those in nearby states. From this organizational effort has become The Common Church.
The structure of the Common Church mimics the structure of the political world. (In this case - a feudal area). The Holy Caller AKA The Holy Map, the leader of the religion, is supported by Clerics AKA High Guides(Dukes), supported by Guides AKA Priests (Nobles), supported by Waystones AKA Acolytes (Peasants) with Protectors (Knights) and Walkers/ Dancers (who don’t have a good analog).
Guides watch over a given Temple or Sept and the people that attends it. The Temple is “run” by Waystones or Acolytes, who do most of the lay duties and have minor ceremonial duties. These are either Guides in training or glorified servants. Several temples in a geographic area are directed and supported by a Cleric.
Protectors and Walkers/ Dancers are out of this normal hierarchy
Protectors are clergy who have martial training. They have all the training of a guide and that of a man at arms. Instead of guiding a flock, they protect it from harm. Their stated duty is to protect the faith and the faithful. Their main job is to protect temples and clergy. They help root out heresies and those that would worship other spirits that are not part of the dance. They protect pilgrims travelling to holy sites.
Protectors have a small subsect of Battle Dancer. The Battle Dancers combine magic of the dance with the power of the fist and weapon.
The Protectors run their division much like an Army. Each region has its own Protector General who is the main leader for the Protectors in its region.
Walkers or Dancers are holy ones, some where between priests and acolytes. These people live in communities devoted to the study and veneration of the great pattern. These people can belong to sects which emphasize which aspect is primary.
There are no specialist priests. Each cleric of the church supports all Pathkeepers/ God’s evenly.
Work with the group and the world so each can achieve their role in the pattern.
The Common Church emphasizes “Good”, but only penalizes “Evil actions” that disrupt the pattern or balance of things. So generally Killing is seen as “bad”, except when killing restores balance to the world (thus self defense or war is okay).
Rhythm to the cycle of the pattern brings happiness. It is only in rebellion that you create problems for yourself.
Wisdom is gained by watching the world, then participating. Wisdom can also be gained by watching yourself, then participating in life. It is only through wisdom that you can achieve understanding of the rhythm.
Those other ChurchesPathkeeper Guides
There are still those who cling to the old ways of the Wise Ones. The wandering from place to place, occasionally settling down, and passing on wisdom with a one to one apprentice master relationship are seen as primitive and archaic by “modern” Guides. Yet there are still a couple of “Wild Guides” still following the old ways in the Lands of the Common Church
This is an organization that follows the same basic beliefs and wisdoms as The Common Church. However, it received its charter from the Kellerian Crown. So it acts like the Common Church in the Kellerian Sphere of Influence. The two organizations has a friendly rivalry going between the two of them. They both realize that the other is “on their side”, yet they both wish to be the guiding body of all of Civilization.Pecarian Pantheon
The Pecarian worship their own Pantheons of Gods/ Higher spirits. The Pathkeepers are seen as “impersonal cosmic powers” keeping things running in the background while the Deities of the Pantheons actually run things.