The Priests of Luxor are at once the spiritual and temporal overlords of Arameia. Though their influence is strong in Arameia itself, the Priesthood has fairly little influence outside of Arameia, especially in the Duchy of Starkwater they hold little to no sway.
The church has a very simple top down structure, with the Prelate of Luxor as the head and de-facto leader of the Priesthood. Beneath the Prelate are a series of Bishops and Deacons who work as administrative entities with their own regions of Arameia, with Priests working at the lower level of management for Arameia. Any manner of administration within Arameia usually requires being part of the Priesthood. With the organization being dependent on faith rather than birth to define who has power it is something of an oddity in Adylheim. The Prelate maintains a small army known as the Paladins of Luxor, who answer only to him, apart from that leadership and the responsibility for raising armies is divided amongst the Bishops and Deacons.
While it is certainly possible to catch members of the Priesthood without them, the most usual vestments of the Priesthood are robes. Priests wear black or brown coarse robes, with the colour signifying how important the Priest’s work is. Brown robes are reserved for those working on a very local level, answering to Deacons, whereas black are reserved for those Priests working under Bishops of the Prelate himself. Deacons wear red robes. These are made of fine spun wool or linen, and are usually adorned with small coat of arms to show their specific allegiance and place of residence. Bishops wear purple robes, usually made from silk but often added to with fur and other things to give more warmth. They wear no coat of arms on their clothing but often have a signet ring with their personal seal and coat of arms on it. The Prelate wears white robes adorned with gold and his hands are often decked with gold rings and jewellery, at least some of which is supposed to hold potent spells of protection. The Paladins of Luxor are usually armoured, but wear a light blue cloth over their armour to signify their allegiance.
Within the Priesthood of Luxor there are several factions with competing ideologies. Many of these compete for power within Arameia. Although it should be noted that not all of the beliefs are mutually exclusive and some even become members of more than one faction or change their allegiance through their lives. ===The Orthodox=== The Orthodox are the most important and the largest faction within the Church of Luxor, they hold that the ultimate purpose of the Church is to create leaders and lead by example. They hold the vast majority of bishoprics in Arameia and most Prelates come from this faction. Their mantra for the most part deal with manipulating masses of people, inciting them in simple ways such as making them angry, motivated, content or other similar effects.
The Faithful are a faction not based on any particular belief and generally hold the same beliefs as the Orthodox, however they believe that the Golden Proclamation was an error on the part of the Church and that the power over Arameia should have remained in the hands of the Emperor. As such the Faithful are more of a political movement within the Church than a religious one. The Faithful come from many sects within the Church and remain one of the most potent adversaries for the Orthodox but it has never managed to outnumber the Orthodox. For the most part the Faithful have the same mantra as the Orthodox, but it may depend on which beliefs they hold.
The Shining LightEdit
The Shining Light are a relatively small faction, holding that the purpose of priests of Luxor is not be leaders, but to create leaders. Needless to say this statement of purpose tends to lead them away from the upper levels of the church of Luxor and no Shiner has ever been Prelate. Regardless of this, the Shiners often make excellent teachers and often teach such skills as oratory, strategy and etiquette. Their mantra mainly deals with empowering an individual, though generally in such a way as to benefit others around him rather than that specific individual.
The Spear of HeavenEdit
The Spears hold that the only way for a leader to truly distinguish himself is through combat, although the aim is to lead the combat, not necessarily to fight. A large part of the Spears are part of the more militaristic parts of the church, with many choosing to be stationed in the Arameian Highlands, others often become part of the Legion at Fort Resolve. While they do sometimes reach high stations, their dislike of administration and peacetime rarely lends itself to retirement. For this reason, those Spears who feel they've finished their duty as leaders of combat often find that Silent Ones make excellent companions to their rule. Their mantra is often related to battle, creating effects which mask the marching of forces, or the advance or otherwise aid strategy in battle.
The Silent OnesEdit
The Silent hold that the true path of Luxor is to serve great leaders and help them achieve their goals, so they spend their time watching and trying to find leaders to serve. They often end up as advisors to others within their own order and while they have little official pull within the Church, they often take positions as Deacons. There is a split inside the Silent Ones themselves with some holding that the greatest pleasure is to subjugate oneself for the leader and worshipping that person as an avatar of Luxor, whereas the other camp has a more detached view of the whole affair and are not afraid to manipulate the leader they follow for their own end. It is all but unheard of for one of the Silent Ones to take a position where they actively run things, so for them to become Bishops or Prelates have never happened. The mantra of the Silent Ones is generally tied into seeking wisdom for the priests, so they may better offer advice to their proteges.
The Sun's SonsEdit
The Sons primarily worship Luxor in his aspect as the sun giver and the sun as the all seeing eye. They rarely deal with his aspect of leadership and rarely strive to achieve greatness within the ranks of the Church. Even so many of them work for the Prelate as information gatherers and spies. Their primary purpose is to find information that others have tried to hide or obfuscate, to bring the things which rest in shadow into the light. They have little interest in hoarding knowledge, merely in ensuring that the truth of the matter is brought out. Their mantra deals with achieving enlightenment and allow them to move unseen as long as they're in sunlight.
The Light of PurityEdit
The Purifiers are a very small faction and hold that one can come closer to Luxor through the purifying rays of the sun. As such they often leave their members staked out in the sun for days till they achieve enlightenment, or die. Those few who live through the initial rituals often spend the remainder of their days as something akin to living saints. While they are revered by others within the Church, they're generally fairly critical of the lack of piety within the Church. This critique rarely hinders their state of near worship by members of their own or other factions. Their mantra is said to be especially powerful and allows them to summon forth the sun and bring forth enlightenment in others.
The Path hold that the only way to lead is through being entirely independent of others, as one needs to know oneself before being able to clearly see the direction he wishes to take. The Path strives to free itself from things that may influence their opinion one way or another. They often deliberately discard the learnings of their masters and leave their family and friends behind. While the Path does not often preach its message to others, they sometimes take offensive action against others, generally by burning books, schools and tools to free the minds of those who use these things from the conceptions built into them. As the followers of the Path follow a rather strict road their sect remains a relatively small one and it rarely has any large amount of impact on the Church in general. The Path rarely act as a group and while some of them have gone on to become great leaders in times of dire need, these are usually the exception and not the rule. When this does happen, their rabid abstinence from preconception often leads them to make mental leaps others would not expect and make them very unpredictable. The Path do not have any specific mantra as they believe that anything that is set in stone is ultimately a hindrance to their independence. They are, however, capable of communicating with Luxor and creating mantra within his sphere of influence that, while relatively weak, can produce pretty much whatever effect need at the time.
The Chained hold that the greatest virtue of Luxor and rulers is giving rules to be followed. Needless to say, a great deal of the Chained can be found among the Catella. The Chained preach strict adherence to the rules of society and laws in particular. They believe that even the greatest rulers must follow the rule of law as it is a handed down version of what Luxor has given them as natural law. They do not believe that the code of law should be changed in any way, shape or form and that adherence to law is a virtue no matter how strange the law might seem. With the labyrinthine nature of Arameian law, the contradictions found within can often spark long and heated debates among the Chained as to which laws are more valid, though due to their beliefs they are unwilling to alter the legal documents in any way. The Chained may occasionally use mantra to divine who has broken the law, though they generally prefer not to. Because of the self-contradictory nature of Arameian law and the constant pressure on their faith this creates, the Chained are rarely able to make use of powerful mantra.
The Unchained are a sect which split from the Chained several centuries back not, despite what the name might allude to, in direct opposition to the Chained. They do however hold that while adherence to the rules is important, a leader must be able to stand above the law and alter it as necessary. As such the Unchained support the creation of manmade law and the mutability of the law code. While the Unchained often gain followers from the Catellus and those who have lost faith with the Chained, they are equally powerless to have the law of Arameia changed and though they often call for reform they have yet to be heard. The Unchained can perform mantra which divine the motives behind actions and are more likely to defend someone in an Arameian court than one of the Chained.
The Burning BookEdit
The Burning Book is an offshoot of the Unchained and the Chained which holds that the Arameian legal code is tainted by the inclusion of Elronite priests in its creation and should be revised and turned back to what it was before the Elronites got their hands on it. The Burning Book hold to the concept of natural law and believe that the only true law comes from Luxor, but that the current Arameian legal system is not it. Despite their often burning fervour, the disciples of the Burning Book do not rise up and choose to pursue their dreams of a legal system based on Luxor's principles through the current legal system. A pursuit which is largely quixotic. Disciples of the Burning Book are more a political than a religious faction and while their methods are often extreme, they take their mantra from either the Chained or the Unchained.