Arum is a god who teaches his followers to always uphold the highest ideals of honor and justice. To be constantly vigilant against evil and to oppose it from all fronts. To protect the weak, liberate the oppressed and defend just order. Followers of Arum are told that their honor is their life and even knowingly lying is a great evil in the eyes of the priesthood.
Arum is one of the "official" deities of Yarr and is the chief clergy within the kingdom. Temples to Arum are often grand stone structures boasting multiple floors and usually have a martial practice salle for the priests and visiting warriors.
History/Relationships: Arum is written of in the oldest existing chronicles within Traykon. His followers are those who believe in the absolutes of Honor and Nobility. Those who follow Arum live by a strict code of honor that drives them to seek justice and protect the weak. He is one of the favorites of Paladins and he teaches that Justice must be tempered with compassion. The weak and those subject to unjust rule often seek the aid of the priesthood.
Alamael, Barak, and Tyr are friendly deities who work to aid the priesthood whenever possible. The priesthood of Arum opposes all deities who promote cruelty or lies. Priests often find themselves in direct conflict with the followers of The Unnamed One.
Dogma: Arum teaches that all souls are part of the greater whole. The suffering of one righteous soul can cause damage to all living beings. Followers believe in the precepts of honor and nobility above all else. The priesthood has many holy martyrs who sacrificed themselves to redeem others or who were paragons of nobility and honor.
Avatar: Arum does not have the power to send his Avatar to Traykon. Instead, he sends one of the many martyrs in living form to the world to inspire the masses and right great wrongs.
The Church of Arum
In the capital city of Yarr, Aolorn, the great Alabaster Cathedral is the center of Traykon's worship of Arum. Lead by Lector Carsol Varinius, the church is a powerful force in the kingdom as well as around the world. The Lector is the voice of Arum in Traykon, acting as his mortal emissary. While the Lector is the head of the church as a whole, Grand Confessor Silia holds a prominent position as the second in command of the church and first general of its martial forces.
The following are the regular ranks of the priesthood listed from highest to lowest.
- Vicar General: Military rank given to both priests and paladins that has no power within temple walls but instead it relates to one's rank on the battlefield. Only five individuals may rise to this rank at any one time. They are replaced after death or retirement at the nomination of the Grand Confessor subject to approval by the Council of Lords. Vicar Generals can issue a holy writ that directs the priesthood to engage factions or entities with their military might. In rare occasions, these people can call up the martial forces from multiple kingdoms to act in their service.
- Cardinal: Seldom granted, this title is reserved for the highest ranks of the temple. The Council of Lords is made up of Cardinals who act as advisors for the Lector. In kingdoms where more than one Archbishop is required, a Cardinal will set up residence at one of the temples to oversee the activities of the Archbishop. These priests wield significant political power wherever they reside as even kings must be wary of angering the entire priesthood of Arum.
- Archbishop: Within a kingdom several temples must fall under the direction of one source. Seldom will the leadership within a kingdom look kindly upon the temples receiving direction from priests residing in an enemy or rival country. These priests are representatives to entire kingdoms for the temple. Normally an Archbishop will have no more than five large temples under their direction so in some kingdoms several Archbishops may be active.
- Vicar Captain: Military rank given to both priests and paladins that has no power within temple walls but instead it relates to one's rank on the battlefield. Individuals of this rank can call up the members of even the largest temples and direct them into battle or any other task Arum directs of them.
- Bishop: Once a temple gains a certain size, the Lector grants the presiding Deacon which grants him the right to attend meetings of the temple regarding discipline of members and direction of the church. Bishops are responsible for seeing to the spiritual needs of a whole community while teaching and directing the activities of all the priests within their church.
- Prelate: Operating a large temple is difficult under the best of circumstances. Prelates act as a council to aid temple leadership with administration issues.
- Deacon: Priests who earn the position of Deacon either take up a position aiding a large temple or found their own temple.
- Vicar Major: Military rank given to both priests and paladins that has no power within temple walls but instead it relates to one's rank on the battlefield. Often, Itinerants are given this distinction as they prove their martial worth. Priests of this rank are often assigned Acolytes for training.
- Acolyte: This lowly rank of priest is the most numerous and some would say the most secure. Acolytes handle the daily tasks of the church and work under the direction of other priests.
- Itinerant: This isn't a rank so much as a title given to any priest of Arum not attached to a particular temple. Itinerant priests travel constantly and seek to further Arum's goals where his temples have yet to form.
Priests generally progress through the ranks as they raise in level but once a priest becomes a Bishop their rise is entirely optional and based upon merrit. Normally those who show extraordinary martial ability are granted the title of Vicar Major at or around level 5. The temple promotes priests to Bishop sometime between level 8 and 10. Once promoted to Bishop, priests are expected to found their own temple. If a priest feels they are unable to found a temple, they may move into a large established temple or petition the Council or Lords to become a Vicar Captain which releases them from service to a single temple.
Schism Within The Church
In the year 516T, an upheaval was reaching it's peak within the church due to their acceptance Yarr's demands that they take a non-interference position with the T'loric priesthood. Lector Vinus was publicly opposed and condemned by Bishop Teolas Caladore, Bishop of the large temple at Orkas within Yarr, who claimed to represent a large sector of the church. The Bishop spoke of the purity of Arum's call and accused the leadership of Arum's Priesthood of playing political games for the souls of the devout.
Bishop Caladore was called to the Alabaster Temple in Aolorn to stand trail before the Councel of Lords chaired by the Grand Confessor for heresy. The reports of the trial are slightly varied but most accounts have the bishop's past playing a central role in the accusations against him. At the conclusion of his trial, Bishop Caladore demanded that Lector Vinus confront him directly under the divine eye of Arum. The Council reports that Arum's radiance surrounded the two and then empowered Lector Vinus, leaving Bishop Caladore with no defense for his actions. The Counsel condemned the Bishop to public execution the following day. That night however, followers of the Bishop broke into the stockades and spirited him out of the city.
The church of Arum suffered a major blow that night. A secret sect arose within the church known as the Order of the Temple, a purist sect devoted to rooting out evil wherever it is found. They brazenly oppose the Lector's decree of non-interference with the church of Tyr and T'lor. Although they seldom clash with the priesthood of Tyr, they have been known to make direct assaults against the temples of T'lor. Theolas Caladore has been elevated to the honorarium of Templar General, an ancient title last used thousands of years ago while the church was more militant and controled entire regions.
Despite enlisting the aid of the authorities of Yarr, the location of Templar General Caladore remains a secret. The Templars seek to return the church to the purity of vision that allowed it to confront and defeat evil whenever and wherever it is encountered. Other priesthoods have given aid and shelter to the Templars giving them further legitimacy amongst the faithful. The Lector and Cardinals remain staunch in their condemnation of the movement and seek to stamp it out to prevent the church from devolving into an internal war.
Arum himself seems little interested in the conflict, bestowing believers on both sides with spells and his blessings. Attempts to make direct contact with the deity and his agents about the issue have failed. Many scholors believe Arum may be testing his believers. Other suspect that something may have happened to the deity preventing him from taking action about the issue. Priests outside of Yarr are not directly involved in the conflict but appear to be unwilling to vocally support either side, instead attempting to ignore the schism where it doesn't affect their followers.