The City of Lives
Church of the Blinding Light
Two meanings: both the central temple worshiping the Light, and the religion following it. See the Light.
Priests may wield magic in the City – counseling parishioners with Soulsharing, for example – but it is not directly related to their faith. Magic is seen neither as related to their god nor opposed to it. That said, Lightshifting, due to its association with light, is seen by fervent believers as their deity’s power manifest – but their argument loses weight when one sees the massive numbers of Lightshapers who worship another god, or none at all.
- The Light is the dominant religion of the City, binding together some Bloodlines that otherwise have nothing in common.
- It is a rigid faith, inflexible in the interpretation of its principles. Compared to the wild complexity of the City, and even wilder areas beyond, the Light represents both reassuring stability and stifling orthodoxy.
- The Church provides an ethical framework for the City. While not everyone follows these ethics, they provide a foundation for their laws and societal constructs.
- The Light is an evangelical religion, dedicated to spreading the Light’s message.
- Priests are seen as intercessories between the Light and Man – you can’t be saved by praying on your own. Again, this is fundamentally Catholic.
- Non-violence is vitally important. No violence is tolerated by the Light, no matter who it’s against or why.
- The priests of the Light, known as Lightspeakers, are expected to take a spouse and continue the Light in a procreative fashion as well as proselytizing.
- Lightspeakers are born, not made — without special dispensation, any priest of the Light must be related to another.
- There is no single divine book, instead there are a number, with commentary from religious leaders.
- Death is a major taboo for the Light. There are no notions of afterlife rewards, only during-life rewards. The religion has no official stance on the afterlife, and death rites are considered unclean and not honoring the Light, so are passed on to secular funerary arrangers. One of the only mysteries left in the City, even with all their magic, is one of the fundamentals – nobody knows exactly what happens when you die. And the Light, choosing at this point not to be hypocritical, doesn’t try to.
- The Church of the Blinding Light’s symbol is the sun, which represents their covenant with the Light. Their goal is to gain spiritual and material fulfillment by supporting the Sons of Light and/or ruling the City well.
- Ambition is a virtue.
- There is no separation of church and state, but nor is worship of the Light mandatory. Church leaders are encouraged, even expected, to hold important secular positions.
- Asceticism is seen as a sin. It is denying the wonderful world that the Light has provided — but avarice is also punishable. The middle path, as in Buddhism, is encouraged.
- The supernatural is not seen to be related to religion in any way, either positively or negatively.
- Type: Monotheism
- Direction: outwards
- Focus: ending sin
- Ruling Deity: The Light — God/dess of Light, Life,
- Titles: The Giver of Plenty, The Lawmaker, The Glorious One
- Divine Interaction: only in certain situations (war, healing, etc)
- Involves: mortification of the flesh
- Afterlife: is never mentioned
- Supernatural: common-place, unrelated to religion
- Worship: joyous individual prayer, mostly on holidays
- Holidays: fairly often
- Holidays Celebrate: past miracles, prophets, the equinoxes, great rulers
- Major Holiday(s): are more prayer than celebration
- Clergy: both genders, primarily Leovites
- Function: spiritual advisors, leaders in ritual, judges, direct connection to divine
- Lifestyle: luxurious
- Family: large (children encouraged)
- Chosen: hereditary (somehow related to other clergy)
- Distinguished By: dyed/shaven hair
- Symbol: A lightning bolt and sun
- Holy Color: Gold
- Passed Down: via a few holy books with much commentary
- Creation Myth Type: order from void/chaos
- Mortals’ Origin: Light from mud
- Major Myth/Symbol(s): the covenant
- Deadly Sins: selfishness, avarice, thoughtlessness and faithlessness
- High Virtues: moderation and temperance
- Associated Artform: metalworking
- Coming of Age: 19 years old
- Coming of Age Rite: involves a separation from parents
- Marriage: is arranged by families
- Marriage Rites: include an exchange of symbolic jewelry
- Death Rites: are performed by the clergy
- Major Taboo: death
- Prevalence: believed by most
- Outsiders: are tolerated, barely