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Disciples

Discipleships have always been a source of tremendous strength for the Faith of the Pantheon, in so much that it allows the laity to become more devoted to the Church, fervent to the gods, and handle work beneath the godsworn. It has also been a source of consternation for the leadership of the Faith of the Pantheon in keeping the discipleships under control and limiting the degree of apostasy from rural faithful that preach derivations of Faithful teaching, create heresies, and need to be ushered back into the flock with polite language or thousand of templars as the situation might merit. In Arx itself, as the seat of the Faith, the amount of heresy has always been limited and the Dominus, his legates and his archlectors exert much more control over the disciples of the Faith, trying to make certain they present a unified front that it is then hoped follows suit throughout the distant reaches of the five kingdoms of Arvum to every gods forsaken parish in the backend of nowhere.

A disciple is one who wishes to venerate the gods of the Pantheon, and chooses to do so by praising a god or goddess in particular, and handling duties on behalf of that god for the faith. Disciples are often called the First Among the Faith's Children in recognition for their efforts, or the Devoted, devotees, or sometimes descriptions based upon their chosen discipleship (scholars, mercies, sentinels, mangatans, petrichorians, templars, etc). Recruitment to discipleships vary wildly based on the particular calling, while ones with an organized structure that are based in Arx (such as the Scholars of Vellichor, the Templars, Knights of Solace) are under the formal control of the Faith of the Pantheon, while officially all discipleships in distant parishes must seek the approval of the local Seraph that operates the parish. The Oathlands Orthodox tends to take the management of its discipleships extremely seriously, and there is relatively little dogmatic drift, with local seraphs often not being afraid to use their detachment of templars without even waiting for approval from the Archlectors, Legates or Dominus, but it rarely comes to that. Very few discipleships, if they are preaching contrary to the faith (say, by claiming the god they follow is the One True God, for example) persist through condemnation of the local faithful, but the occasional cult has been put down with bloodshed, and in a few cases has resulted in houses becoming Abandoned with the local lords embracing whatever apostasy was most fashionable at the time.

Generally one seeking to become a disciple does so with the approval of whoever is leading the local chapter of a discipleship, and in Arx, this is done with the explicit permission of a godsworn member of the Faith. In past times, this has also come with a ritualistic Questions of the Faith, where the asker asks ten questions about the different gods of the faith that are answered with ritualized prayers describing the gods, each with thirteen words, as an act of fidelity to the gods (and a basic knowledge test to ward off apostasy). With the re-discovery of the lost gods, it was likely there was once thirteen questions, but the prayer-answers that were once memorized for Skald, Death and Aion were lost with the passage of time.

For practical purposes, any lay member of the faith becoming a disciple is expected to have no obligations of fidelity that could prevent at least 10 hours of service per week to the faith, in service to that discipleship. At any time, either the discipleship or a senior member of the godsworn (such as an archlector or legate or any of their servants) can politely remove an individual from a discipleship, often quietly to avoid public humiliation. In practice, the more organized bodies of disciples (Mercies of Lagoma, Scholars of Vellichor, Templars and Knights of Solace) are run by their own leaders with the faith passing concerns or instructions to their own leadership, rather than taking a direct hand, though the Archlectors of those particular deities hold at least theoretical control over their respective discipleships, and would be free to declare any below them as heretical and effectively cast out the discipleship.

Duties of disciples in Arx vary heavily based on their calling, though each respective discipleship maintains the care for the grounds of the shrine of their deity in Arx.

Mangatans: Repair of aqueducts of the city, transportation of holy water, repair and upkeep of fonts.

Lagomans: Aside from the volunteerism as Mercies of Lagoma and healing of the sick, some lagomans act as the volunteer firefighters.

Petrichorians: Historically help combat poaching on crown lands, and particularly in the groves maintained by the Faith, assisting in investigations by the Inquisition. Also most often assist in food procurement and preparation for the godsworn.

Vellichorians: The Scholars of Vellichor, aside from their constant work in the Great Archive, are required to do teaching at the Vellichorian Academy. Most often this is teaching of other teachers to disseminate knowledge- the scholars are known to work hand in hand with the Whispers and other courtesans, in helping train the future tutors on wide subjects that Whispers will then personalize into personal sessions for clients.

Gloria's Devoted: The Templars act as guards at every consecrated location in the city, but most of the actual knights are godsworn. Disciples of Gloria that are not godsworn are permitted to call themselves Templars, and may even be knights, but the Godsworn knights are the ones that can reasonably expect to command. Commonborn disciples often are the ones stuck with more menial jobs, such as repairing arms and armor of the Faith militant, moving supplies, and so on, and the far more numerous spear carriers compared to the mounted godsworn knights.

Jayus: The crafters guild is considered by many to -be- the Discipleship of Jayus, and it is the one furthest control from the faith, but some seeking specifically to be a Disciple of Jayus will usually tithe all their profits directly to the Faith, and devote most of their craft to charity in his name. The Faith holds that no one can declare themselves a disciple of jayus unless they at least give the expected ten percent tithe on their work. Seers of Jayus are tolerated by the Faith more than encouraged, who generally feel that dream interpretation lends itself to charlatanism and exploiting the faithful.

Limerance and Sentinel: Surprisingly, the two are almost interchangeable for devotees, as the gods of fidelity and law have a huge following among the legal professions. A disciple of the Sentinel is always expected to be on hand in any legal court to take the Vow of Honest Testimony from whoever is speaking, if a godsworn priest cannot be, and they are a common sight in trivial proceedings of no interest to the Faith (or the crown for that matter). Similarly, disciples of Limerance the God of Fidelity tend to review any legal document, especially marriage documents or divorce requests to the faith. While godsworn priests decide all the significant matters, the incredibly tedious documentation is usually passed to disciples of Limerance, who usually act as secretaries to the godsworn priests in charge of viewing marriage requests.

Gild: Aside from the Knights of Solace, who have a similar arrangement as the templars, disciples of Gild act as the bookkeepers of the faith... and usually the tithe collectors, who carry the wealth donated to local seraphs in their parishes all the way up to Arx.

Mirrormasks: As the natural contrarians, they often act as lawyers as an example of someone willing to argue for a defendent even if they personally do not believe the accused is innocent, but still deserve a well argued defense in the interest of justice. The Oathlands Orthodox challenge this validity, stating that trial by combat is more appropriate to leave justice in the hands of the gods, if one cannot sincerely believe in the innocence of the accused.

The Archlectors who have final say on the discipleships, with one archlector overseeing the business for each deity, and reporting in turn to a legate. The archlectors are:
Mangata: Madeleine http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/9867/
Lagoma: Roran http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/9863/
Petrichor: Brigida http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/9563/
Vellichor: Bianca http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/8306/
Gloria: Cassandra http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/8662/
Jayus: Wylla http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/9890/
Limerance: Ilvin http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/9549/
The Sentinel: Avary http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/9197/
Gild: Caras http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/9549/
Skald: Aleksei http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/4189/
Death: Aureth http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/3782/
The Thirteenth: Vayne http://play.arxgame.org/character/sheet/15207/