Reverent greetings, courtier. Would you care to join us?
Login or Register
it is currently season 1, the year 1449 NE. The continent of Tnarem balances on a precarious edge between survival and destruction. Wars rage between nations, fractures open in the Mete. The world as the Tnaremi people know it is dying and they are left with a choice: act or perish with it.
All of the information you need to become better acquainted with the world of Sergonia and its inhabitants can be found here. Anyone wishing to join the Ericourt will be able to find the essentials here.
A marriage of two religions, Templarism is comprised of elements of both The Temple of the Four and Creatorianism. Widespread throughout Ostia, Dubhion, and Mercia, Templarism is the most commonly practiced religion in Tnarem. Though there are regional differences, key tenants of the religion remain the same across the provinces. There is a strong emphasis on the family being a part of how The Four are worshipped, both in structure of the family and in practice of prayer. This worship involves roles that the family members are expected to adhere to in order to show respect to their Gods.
Altare (all-TAR-ay) - An altar in the home
Primus (PRE-moos) - The religious leader of the Temple
Sacerdos (sah-CHER-dose) - A priest(ess)
Sacerdotem Primum (sah-CHER-doh-tem PRE-moom) - A head priest(ess)
Conosensium (ko-no-SENS-ee-um) - A center for spiritual learning; where clergy are trained
Maliritus/Maliritii (mal-ee-REE-toos/ti) - Evil spirit(s)
Boniritus/Boniritii (bon-ee-REE-toos/ti) - Friendly spirit(s)
“We are instruments of the Four. We are the embodiment of Their will in Tnarem. To be otherwise is to be without purpose."
- Messenger Aston
The Importance of Family
In order for a family to be happy and successful, they must embody the tenets of their Gods. Chief among these is unity. The family is expected to behave as a unit, with the father guiding the rest of the family in all ways. It is the father who leads worship, and it is the father who the family turns to in trying times. He is the head, and his wife is the neck; her role in the family is one of unwavering support. She is essential, aiding the father in all the ways she is able to. She is his driftwood in a tumultuous sea and his stand-in when he is away from the home.
It is important that children are loyal and dutiful to their family, to their name, and to their gods. It is also important that they are obedient, as their parents are obedient to their faith. It is the Templar belief that children will be loyal and obedient to parents who have set proper examples in these ways by also being such toward the Four.
An ideal family unit would be a copy of The Four gods; a father, a mother, a son, and a daughter. To be able to achieve this demonstrates favor and many believe it shows the father has more Caelis as his seed is able to plant fruit in the likeness of the gods. To only have sons or daughters, a family may be rumored to have fallen into ill-favor with The Four. Thus, many send a second or third child of the same gender to join the clergy, in hopes that it will cultivate favor and bring good fortune unto their household.
Caeli & Salis
The Temple holds a belief in a duality of the soul. The Caeli is the part of the soul that holds a human's highest potential and their most divine qualities. It is the part that a Templar would wish to grow and expand through steadfast faith and unwavering worship so that they might rejoin the gods in the afterlife. The Salis is the baser part of a being, the part prone to missteps and human error. A Templar would strive to shrink this part of their being in order to create space for Caeli’s growth. When one experiences an act that they might attribute to the god’s favor, they can also take it to mean that they have made growth in their Caeli and are being justly rewarded. The same can be said for unfavorable circumstances which might be punishment from the gods for having too strong of a Salis.
It is important to note that there are cultural differences in determining what helps to nurture the respective parts of the soul. For example, in Mercia, it is common for a show of physical strength or acts of lust to be considered in line with expanding Caeli as they are powerful and god-like, natural parts of the larger world around them. By contrast, Ostia and Dubhion would consider acts of lust as a baser part of the soul and thus considered to grow Salis.
Views on Magic
There is also built into the religion teachings on magic being a perversion of nature and thus dishonorable to The Four. Magic enables humans to pretend to be a god with their ability to shape the environment in ways that they wish. This is seen as inherently blasphemous to the Templars, a direct departure from their views on how roles should work and how power should be distributed among family members. The Divine Temple preaches that those who are capable of magic are that way because of an imbalance in their soul caused either by their own doing or by the sins of their ancestors. In order to strengthen the divine part of themselves, they must willingly submit to the Augury and work diligently to stay within the role ascribed to them by the example set by The Four.
There are two possible outcomes after a Templar’s life on Sergonia comes to an end. A believer whose essence is primarily Caeli can find a place in the Eternal Spring with the Four. This is a land of light and boon, where there is neither pain nor longing. There are many myths about what the Eternal Spring is like, many picturing a land of lush growth and resources. Often images of ripe fruit on the vine is used to symbolize this paradise just within reach of the faithful’s grasp.
One who has spent their existence indulging the growth of Salis will only gain entry to Ifran, the underworld of total darkness. It is said that no light ever shines in this land of despair, and souls wander for eternity in search of an elusive laugh; a promise of company. Yet, that happiness is forever out of reach, and the soul is tortured to hope and continuously be abandoned.
Templar mythology is ripe with iconic figures both benevolent and malevolent. Some have had a great impact on how worshipers view the world and those in it. Below are some prominent figures of Templarism.
Font of Salis
The Lord of Imbalance
The Father of Chaos
The universe is older than Haras, though it was through Haras' will that order was bestowed upon it. Before he did so, however, chaos ruled, and without him, and the Four, it would still. It is Typhos, one of the eldest of all maliritus, who acts as Haras' antithesis. He, and those who serve him, is named as the chief reason one might turn from Haras, allowing the Salis in their soul to grow. Like Haras, Typhos is not thought to have created the universe, nor the first Maliritus. Nor is he considered the first, however, he is widely accepted as the most powerful and most prominently featured in Templarism.
He created magic by showing first Cer, and then humans, how to allow the Salis to overcome the Caeli, resulting in the imbalance that Templars view as magical abilities. The sin of doing so is so heinous that it affects generations of offspring, a permanent mark on the unforgivable act against Haras. The ability to shape the world--to act as its god--is Haras' alone, and any of his children who try to do as he does act against him and the order and life he has given to them.
The Mother of Ends
the Mother of Maliriti
Cer, as was her given name, was created by Haras before Minea. Now, she is his most reviled enemy. Created from the earth, like Haras himself was, she harbored the same drive to rule. She loathed the role of mother, supporter, and wife. She believed herself Haras' better in all ways save one: she lacked his power to influence the world as he could. Wanting what he had, she decided to steal Haras' power from him.
Legend tells of a deal she made with an ancient maliritus, Typhos. In return for her love, it would grant her the power to defeat Haras. Cer agreed, and with Typhos bore a son: the first of monsters. Typhos took the son as payment and in return granted magic to Cer, turning her skin pallor and cold to the touch. She used her new power to wage war against Haras and the new mother, Minea. Thrice she nearly bested Haras, and thrice she was ultimately defeated. After her final defeat, she fled his lands, heading into the night with her children on her heels. No sign of her would be found for centuries until one by one her spawn emerged: witches. Those of Haras' children who had allowed themselves to be corrupted by Cer in order to gain the same power she had been given by Typhos.
These mortal beings are lauded now by the faithful for their extraordinary acts to further Templarism despite adversity. Many believers see the blessings heaped upon the Messengers by The Four and attempt to emulate them in life. The Messengers are also believed to have achieved perfected Caelis and thus are closer to The Four in the Eternal Spring. Templars will pray to them for intercession on their behalf, but it is forbidden for any offerings to be made directly to a Messenger as they then show disrespect to the gods.
A Sacerdotem Primum in Ostia, Aston was known for the beautiful (and lengthy) orations he would give as a sermon at Matins. A talented orator, many people crowded in to be able to listen to his philosophies on appropriate worship of The Four. His words and style were reminiscent of the old Creatorian preachers and those in attendance found it a purifying experience to make it through the Matins without fainting due to hunger.This combination made Aston very popular within The Marks. Some Templars will practice fasting even to this day if seeking additional spiritual clarity and peace.
A trader from Ostia, Cathal was well known for how wide and far his route carried him. Knowledgeable of various cultures and religious traditions, Cathal was a staunch believer in the teachings of the Divine Temple. He collected tales of his travels and the experiences in which he witnessed the beauty of The Four. When he ceased his travels and his sons took over his work, Cathal focused on writing down his adventures. After his death, his sons found his writings, and they were published and disseminated.
Kenelm was a Creatorian who regularly cared for the mass grave sites where plague victims were buried. After Mercian influence swept through the North, Kenelm was taken with the Four and readily accepted the ideas that our earthly families could mimic The Four. He's credited with influencing the burial and funeral rites of Templarism based upon the experience watching families struggle to not have an individual resting place for their loved one. Though not a clergy member, he spent much of his time speaking to fellow Creatorians about his belief, and helped to convert many as he practiced the new Sacra Vale.
Long before the Solar, traveling troupes performed in Ostia. When Harlan, a writer who traveled with a troupe, came across the stories of The Four, he was taken with the family dynamics and how it could be a marvelous opportunity for a performance. His plays of Haras, Minea, Vulcas, and Phile helped spread their likenesses across Ostia and allowed Creatorians to become more familiar with The Four. He converted to worship of the Four himself, and committed his time as a playwright to further glorifying the Gods. As the religion of Mercia blended with that of the North, many symbols used in Harlan's plays were incorporated into the Divine Temple's depictions of The Four.
A Mercian arbiter, Atticus was a man known for his strong commitment to The Four. As Creatorianism and worship of The Four became merged, he became an early adopter of the new practices. His reputation for being a person of high dignitas helped further others' decisions to move on to the newer practices. Maybe believed that if a man that appeared so logical and fair in judgment while also being could follow the new customs, they must be worthy of The Four.
Known as a scholar and man of sound intellect, Remus was a man interested in learning for learning's sake and increasing his own education. He also strongly believed that clergy were of no use to The Four to the Divine Temple if they were not thoroughly educated upon their faith. As a merchant, he made many financial contributions to the conoscensiums so that they could flourish in their training of the servants of The Four. He's credited with making it a common practice for those of wealth to make contributions to either the conoscensiums and/or the upkeep of the temples.
In Ostia, Sloane was recognized as man of impeccable taste who would spare no expense on pleasing the guests of his parties. This personal practice spilled over into his worship, and he is credited with formalizing some of the practices associated with The Four's days of worship. In The Marks, there are regularly lavish feasts with elaborately constructed altares in the home where offerings can be made to the celebrated God by those in attendance.
After the fall of the formal Creatorian Church and the establishment of Templarism throughout the North, there was understandably much division between the disparate cultures. Claudia, a Mercian, was a noble well educated on the culture of the north and had a basic understanding of Creatorianism. She is credited with helping other Mercians learn more of the Creatorian ways so that they were more easily accepted and integrated into what is modern Templarism. She was known to especially appreciate the rituals built into the Creatorian’s public worship, and help integrate the practice into Templarism, making public worship more easily understood and accepted by the Mercians who were used to altares and family worship only.
Known for being one of the first women of Dubhion to enter the Conoscensium. At the early age of 11, having heard the preachings of Sacerdos who came over with Mercian traders, she converted from Creatorianism and returned to Mercia in the care of clergy so that she might go through proper training. After her Magnum Votum, she returned to her home to aid in establishing appropriate training for other Sisters of the Four one of the first Northern conoscensiums.
A woman of a wealthy merchant family who was regarded as beautiful and destined for a good marriage, Rowena convinced her father to only marry her to a man devout in The Temple. Other merchants looking to marry for her familial tie and dowry, once getting over their shock at how yielding her father was being, began contributing money to local Temples and building beautiful altares that began to come into fashion for Northerners. Temples or altares in Ostia that are extremely ornate are still said to bear Rowena’s influence. Many have used her in teaching as an example of Phile’s demanding, yet well-intentioned ways.
Practices & Rituals
Just as each family unit requires constant nurturing and care, so The Four require worship. It is impossible to separate out the aspects of the day in which one is not mindful of the presence of the gods, and a faithful worshipper always carries gratitude in his heart for all that has been granted to him. The initial greeting given between Templars is “Diebus Quattuor” meaning “Always with The Four.” This serves as a recognition of shared faith, and also as a reminder to one another that whatever proceeds should be done with the gods in mind.
Followers of The Divine Temple are called to worship both publically and privately. Matins are held daily in public temples and it is expected that all followers begin their day here, before the gods, even before they break their fast. In the afternoon, each Templar bows his or her head in individual prayer and reflection. This period of meditation is frequently over their current stage of life and how they might more consistently embody the corresponding god or goddess. This is called Oratio Centrum and can be performed either in a public temple or an altare within the home. The end of the day finds the family gathered together after the final meal. The father leads the family in a prayer ceremony called Prope Liberi.
The ushering in of a new life is a time of great celebration for Templars, though the rituals vary by family role. For the mother, this is a time of gentle reflection and gratitude, especially if she is a first-time mother. The week before a child’s expected birth, the mother takes to confinement, accompanied only by women who have already given birth. For noblewomen, the confinement typically also functions as a social event and other choice noblewomen are invited to attend. The women who sit with the soon to be mother are there to welcome her into the full realization of her role as Minea of her family.
After the child is born, women who have not yet given birth are invited to visit the new mother, leaving gifts of wine, brewed tea, or other liquids to symbolize Phile’s tears over the loss of one of her sisters. The new mother remains in confinement another week after the birth of her child in order to learn from the mothers and priestesses how to best emulate Minea in her new role.
For the father, there is typically a feast the day after the child’s birth to celebrate his realization of the role of Haras in his family. At dawn, a sporting event such as a hunt or some physical activity (hunt for Ostia or Dubhion and brawl or tournament for Mercia) begins in which the father demonstrates his strength and might, symbolizing his ability to care for his family. Following the physical entertainment, there is a feast which lasts until the Nameday.
The anniversary of a child’s Nameday ceremony is celebrated each year rather than the day of their physical birth. It is considered in the Temple that the nameday is when the child is finally acknowledged by the Four, thus this ritual is typically performed the day or so after the birth so that the young soul is more quickly brought into the Sight. The mother of the child is often unable to attend this ceremony, given she has not yet completed her confinement. At this ceremony, a child is given a secondary name after one of the Great Messengers to serve as a spiritual reference point for the child as they grow within their faith.
In order to offer the child the best chance at guidance in his or her life, a spiritual guardian is named. The title of Nes is given to a male guardian and Nessa for female. A Nes would be named for a son and a Nessa for a daughter. Nes and Nessa are typically chosen from close family and friends as a person to help the child anticipate spiritual struggles in his or her life. There is also the belief that a Nes or Nessa gone into the afterlife before the child can help to speak to their worthiness of the Eternal Spring. The Nes or Nessa must be Templar and able to stand as witness to this child’s entrance into the Sight.
Marriage as a ceremony within The Divine Temple is a solemn affair, viewed as a commitment between two individuals to strive to their fullest to create in their household the likeness of the Gods. While the ceremony has a strict structure and tradition to adhere to, cultural differences influence the way the union is celebrated outside of the Temple and at the feast.
Father. Mother. Son. Daughter. We are gathered here today as family in the Sight of The Four to witness the joining of two souls. In this blessed union, the bride (bride's name) will realize her true purpose and calling as wife to (groom’s name), future mother to his children. We look toward Haras and Minea in awe, aspiring to be close to their greatness.
In our time of affliction and grief, we cried out to the Mother for comfort. At times of war or conflict, we called out to the Father for his protection. In Their mercy, we were consoled and nurtured, able to fight gloriously to protect our family and glorify The Four.
Patrem, Matrona, Scion and Amora. So you are harmonious, so shall we strive to be. Allow us to step into your Sight so that we might be judged worthy. Should any Templar hold hesitations of this couple’s ability to bring glory to The Four, lighten your Salis now and speak truth before those gathered.
(If there is no interruption, the ceremony continues.)
(Turning to the bride)
Do you, (bride's name) of (family if nobility, province if gentry), daughter of (father’s name) vow to devote your mortal life to (groom’s name) so that he may free his soul from the burdens of Salis through your nurturing and exemplify The Father in all his ways? Bride answers “I stand before you as Philia and vow to achieve Minea’s likeness through the husband gifted to me by The Four.”
Repeat after me: I, (name), take this man as my better, to obey and respect him in all ways, to honor him with my body and mind, and to remain faithful ever more, as Minea so loves Haras.
(Turning to the groom)
Do you, (groom's name) of (family if nobility, province if gentry), son of (father’s name) vow to devote your mortal life to (bride’s name) so that she may free her soul from the burdens of Salis through your protection and exemplify The Mother in all her ways? Groom answers “I stand before you as Vulcas and vow to achieve Haras’ likeness through the wife gifted to me by The Four.”
Repeat after me: I, (name), take this woman as my wife, to lead and to teach in all ways, to honor her body and mind, and to remain faithful evermore.
Patrem, Matrona, Scion and Amora. Look down upon these your servants, who come before The Four to pledge to uphold the institutions of marriage and family established by the Gods for the continuation of our people. May it be that those who have been united by your authority remain faithful to The Four. Through the Messengers, we plead.
(The couple then stands with hands beside one another’s, palms up and forming a cup. They are filled with a piece of bloodwood bark, a twig of an olive branch, a two-headed coin, and a sprig of fresh flowers. A wide piece of ribbon, cloth, or rope depending on the class of the family is used to bind the wrists together loosely.)
The Gods have judged you and found you worthy. Go now into the world as husband and wife. Diebus Quattuor.
“Let us not spend our days in sorrow,
for that detracts from The Four and our remaining family.
We mourn, we pray, we continue on with our focus on joining our loved ones in the Eternal Spring.”
- Messenger Cathal
Sacra Vale, the funeral rite, is not a complex or lengthy ceremony. More focus is given to those gathered and their fate after death rather than the recently deceased. Death is celebrated much the same way as marriage, in that it is a formal ceremony in Temple, but the reception held after varies by the cultural norms of the province. In Mercia, the death of a loved one results in an entire day of revelry, sending the traveling soul on to the afterlife in spectacular fashion. The Northern provinces are more likely to have a small gathering of immediate family where the father or head of the family leads them all in memorializing the deceased.
“Father. Mother. Son. Daughter. Look upon this dying servant with mercy, and see within him his truth. Should his Caeli be strong and worthy of a place among The Four, let his soul be embraced into the warmth of the Eternal Spring and feast at your table. If Salis weighs heavy upon him, and it is destined for the longest winter, let it be dragged down into Ifron, where no peace is found. Hear his family’s prayers and take their offerings as a boon for Caeli so that he might find himself lifted up to the Gods.
Patrem, Matrona, Scion, and Amora. Only in your image is there peace. Only in fulfilling our roles in life can we find joy in death. Let those here be reminded of the glory of The Four and leave this final farewell to increase their Caeli to honor The Family.”
Those gathered then leave the Temple, offerings for each of The Four brought to rest atop the funeral pyre for the deceased. “Diebus Quattuor” is said by each person as they set their offering atop the pyre. The eldest son (or nephew if no sons are living) of the deceased then lights the pyre. Once the body is completely consumed in flame, the ceremony is ended and the customary feast or gathering begins.
The Divine Temple has an elaborate order of men and women upholding the sacred practices and beliefs of Templarism. At the very top is the Primus, the leader and Ultimate Father to the entire church. His burden is to see that the Divine Temple is respected and Templarism's presence remains strong across the three provinces in which it is practiced. The Ultimate Father makes his home in Raevenna at the Sancro Terra, a grand temple constructed to worship The Four and house the authorities of the church. Below the Primus is a Sacerdotem Primum, who are designated to be responsible for a swath of temples in an area, also known as a parish. The Sarcerdos of a particular temple defers to the Sacerdotem Primum's authority, and he to the Primus. Sacerdotem Primums converge as a group named The Mantle in order to report to the current Primus as well as elect the next one. They are able to vote on any pressing issues that face the church, but ultimately are sworn to obey the Primus' ruling.
To serve the church in this manner is to forgo marriage and heirs. A clergy member’s vow is to serve The Four not by recreating their own family in Their image, but rather to guide all other followers in their quest to do so. Many families will send the third or fourth child if they already have another of that same gender. This works both as a show of the family’s devotion, but also as a practical way for the lower classes to ensure their children are properly fed and cared for if they cannot afford it.
Any clergy member’s training begins at the time that they begin puberty. They are sent to a conosensium leaving behind any claims to land or titles that were previously held. Separated out by gender so that the distractions of the flesh are removed, the children are then taught the philosophies of Templarism and trained in order to perform a various function necessary of the Divine Temple. These positions or paths, and thus the amount of education surrounding them, are almost always dictated by the child’s family’s position within society. Children of common birth frequently rise no higher than a Sacerdos in ranking and frequently are taught and trained in only what is necessary in order to competently fulfill their position.Those of noble heritage can rise as high as the Primus, and are often taught much more in-depth philosophies and intricacies of the religion and of how the Temple functions. Depending on the mentor, a clergy member of noble birth may also learn the ways of politics during his or her time in the conosensium. This would only be through observance or through subtle teaching methods as all formal lessons must be about the Divine Temple.
All clergy members are subject first to the rules dictated by the Divine Temple, second to their liege lord, and third the social norms and mores of their culture. Therefore, what is considered typical behavior for a clergy member in The Imperium will vary greatly from the behavior expected in Dubhion or The Marks.
Meaning “Seeker,” this position is the one held by those newly sent into the conosensium. Typically lasting four years, this stage of learning is focused on acquisition of knowledge regarding the beliefs, myths, and messengers.
Following the completion of the Quaesitor stage, vows are taken in which the ways of The Four are accepted, the calling to have their own progeny denounced, and an oath of blood made in which one fully submits his or her life to the furthering of The Temple. It is possible for a Quaesitor to refuse taking vows, but it would result in the immediate expulsion from the conosensium and is considered of the highest shame. Many families turn their backs on those who would willingly desert the Temple of The Four, and these individuals are left to wander and often descend into poverty.
This stage lasts for two years, and the Votary is expected to be a constant shadow of a member of the clergy who is already fulfilling the role he or she is destined to fulfill. This learning takes place away from the conosensium and typically in the community of the Votary’s birth. Should a Votary be discovered to have gone against any of their vows during their time away from the conosensium (such as marrying, spreading heresy, or producing a child) they are subject to immediate detainment and will be brought before a council of peers so that his or her punishment may be decided. The servants of The Four take their blood oath seriously, and it is not unheard for a wayward votary or even fully realized clergy member to be subject to Sentence to Ifran (the church’s death penalty).
This is the final ceremony to mark the completion of a clergy member’s training. Final vows are taken and the clergy member then enters the role of Sacardos. They are then dispersed to different areas of their home provinces, many nobles getting the ability to return back to serve their houses as spiritual advisors.
The public worship ceremonies of The Divine Templar are filled with beautiful prayers, hymns, and carefully synchronized gestures. All Sacerdos are trained in how to officiate the various rituals and ceremonies, but the Primum Sacardos is charged with overseeing the going-on of his temple and holds the ultimate responsibility for the Sacerdos of the temple as well as the spiritual well-being of those who worship there.
Considered the template for the perfect family, The Four are individuals who function as a cohesive whole. They represent the various challenges and delights of life, and yet complement and support one another. They are reflected on separately by Templars who are exploring their own personification of a deity, but never to the point of excluding the others completely. At the end of each day, The Four are a family and thus are celebrated as a whole.
June 21st, the summer solstice
the moon, olive branch, rolled scroll
The patriarch, the patrem, the sire, the father; Haras' titles are many, and they all elicit the same idea: he is a guide, a protector, a ruler. The head of the Four and the epitome of what every patriarch in the Marks, the Kingdom, or the Imperium should strive to be, Haras is seen as an even-tempered and idealistic leader. He is stern in his discipline, forgiving when appropriate, and wise to the ways of the world and how best to navigate his divine family through it. Past the ways of an impulsive nature, Haras always has the well-being of his family held first, his own honor stemming from his ability to provide and protect.
Haras is often depicted as a stocky, muscled man wearing a stern expression and carrying a dulled and muddied sword in his right hand. His hair is cropped short and he sports a thick but cleanly cropped beard that is common among men who have grown out of their prime. When he is not represented as a human, his avatar is only his sword, the handle worn from use, and the blade always pointed downward as to symbolize that it is not meant to attack, but rather to protect.
Just as one would not enter a home without greeting the head of house, there is no worship without Haras. Even Oratio Centrum upon begins with a word of thanks to the Patrem for his protection, as without it, no self-reflection would be possible. While the young and foolish might believe Vulcas is to appease before any potential battle, those who lead know that Haras is the wisest among the Gods and should be prayed to before any difficult endeavor. If a Templar is struggling with a decision, they seek guidance from The Father.
December 21st, the winter solstice
steel, bloodwood bark
wolf, stallion, the sun, a downward turned sword
The matron, Minea, is all that women should strive to be. She is what becomes of a woman if she is able to overcome her nature as seen in Phila's seemingly unending fight. Minea is patient, calm, nurturing, and wise, made so by her years beside her husband and patriarch, Haras. She has endured his mistakes, supported him when he needed her most, and stood proud beside him in his victories, always the crutch and always the partner in all things. She is the mother, the ever-placid patrician, and the voice of reason in tumultuous times.
Minea is meant to be a model for all of Four-worshiping women to strive for. She is the culture's perfect wife and ideal mother. Her stories beside Haras mirror issues that would arise for a woman in her marriage and in her life as a mother, and Minea's reactions in mythology act as a guide for women who find themselves in similar situations. More often than not, she is forgiving, and her decisions are never made from emotion, but from a point of calm logic.
A woman of considerable age, Minea's hair is often shown to be graying, though not entirely so. She is robed in loose and extravagant dress with her head held high and her fierce and knowing eyes gleaming. Her hair is piled atop her head, secured with thongs threaded with gold. She carries an olive branch in her left hand and holds firm to a scroll in the right. When not depicted as a human, Minea is represented by only her rolled scroll.
Minea is to thank for the birth of children, leading to families offering her burning olive or bloodwood leaves throughout labor and after the successful birth of a child. She is also the reason women undergo menopause; the process is seen as a woman having beaten her nature and reached a state of enlightenment that brings her closer to Minea. It is for this reason that the onset of menopause is celebrated, and women ascend to a new social status upon reaching it.
September 22nd, the autumn equinox
an upward turned sword, a two-sided coin
Vulcus is proud, arrogant, strong of will and of body, and the epitome of what it means to be young and virile. Quick of wit and prone to pranks, dalliances, and swift judgement, the Scion is a man before he has learned temperance. He is representative of every boy's journey to adulthood and the adventures they will have along the way. For this impulsiveness, Vulcus is both rewarded and chastised, depending on the outcome of his decision.
All young men are naturally Vulcus, and it is believed that through their own learning by way of trial and error and with appropriate guidance from their father, they will learn to lead as Haras once did. Vulcus is perpetually learning, various faltering and successes befalling him along his path.
Always nude, Vulcus is sturdily built, heavily muscled, and cleanly shaven. Like his father, he carries a sword in his right hand, though his points toward the sky rather than the ground, a sign of his willingness to attack that which he deems a foe. In his left hand, he displays a golden coin. When not represented as a human, Vulcus is represented only by his golden coin.
Vulcus is appealed to when luck is needed rather than protection or wise-counsel. A favorite at tournaments and before duels, many men ask for agile feet and accurate swings of the blade. He is also prayed to if a young man’s family is seeking a wife for him for help with virility and in finding a favorable match. Many young men invoke his name before a feast, stating “By Scion, let us find our cups never empty, our plates never empty, and our blood never cooled.”
March 21st, the spring equinox, the last day of each month
blood, flowers, bone meal
thurible, two crossed bones, flowers, ripe fruit
Phile occupies a strange and enigmatic role within the Four, and thus the daughters of the Temple inhabit the same mystifying role. This goddess is both devout to her family and subservient to them, as well as steadfast in her own desires and expectant of them to be fulfilled. She is fickle in all of the ways it is expected of young maidens to be, and while she is often punished for being so, consistently throughout mythology she is depicted as being vindictive. While it is not something that is particularly scrutinized by those who worship the Four, Phile often represents what the Templars expect young women to be and the struggle they endure with their very nature to become the grown and proper woman they should strive to be.
When represented in human form, Phile is done so as a faceless and nude female figure wearing a crown of blooms and sporting long, dark hair. She carries in her right hand a thurible and leaves the left perpetually open with her palm toward the sky. Phile is not always represented as a human, however. When she is not, she is only represented by the thurible.
Phile not only has a yearly holiday, but the last day of each month is dedicated to her. Phile's Day, as it is called, is a day on which worshipers of the Four are expected to hunt for a worthy sacrifice to the perpetually hard to please goddess. On this day, like all holidays belonging to Phile, the altare in temples and homes hold vials of blood, typically gathered from an animal slaughtered that day to be served that evening. The daughter(s) of the household are expected to consume a broth made from the beast’s bones, abstaining from the meat so that they might best serve their family.
Prayers to Phile are usually pleas for mercy or for success, and are expected to be accompanied by a sacrifice of some kind. Prayers to Phile that do not involve some sort of sacrifice or gift are taken as a show of poor faith. Acts against her include overindulging in one's desires and wants and prideful behavior.
Women who are of child bearing age are not expected to worship aside from Oratio Centrum unless they are with child. Their menses is assumed to be a forced sacrifice to Phile; it is a constant reminder that they, like she, must battle their nature to remain dutiful to their family and their lieges.