Defenders, Deliverers or Deceivers
“Her light is on us when we walk into the sun light and the shadow of night. It guides our actions through the darkness towards hope, virtue, thought and reason. This gives us courage to do what is right because if we wait for someone else to do right then evil has already won.”- morning prayer.
Names: Saint Zahra, The Light Bringer, Guiding Light of Virtue, Curador, Luminary. Followers: Zahra is the Patron of the Avarians, also among her followers are Apothecaries, Healers, Shamans, Midwives, Druids, Rangers, members of the Order of Echor and anyone fighting against evil and the undead. Spheres of Influence: Community (Family and Home), Glory (Heroism), Good (Agathon), Healing (Restoration and Resurrection), Sun (Day and Light), Repose (Souls). Symbol: Zahra has two commonly used symbols; The first is a the shining torch of hope and the second is the Phoenix. On occasion the two are combined into one symbol. Alignment of Clergy: Neutral Good, Chaotic Good and Lawful Good. Favored Weapon: Flail (including Light or Heavy).
Zahra was a svelti woman from the ancient realm of Erum, born into poverty her parents gave her the Church so she could have a roof over her head and some food in her belly. Live of service to Salah was one Zahra was well suited for. A kind soul Zahra took her vows seriously and did all she could to help the poor, weak and sick. Zahra quickly rose through the ranks in the church and by the age of 24 she was Decon of the area around the small town of Styrwood. During her fifth year as Decon a fever struck the area. The dead were numerous and unresting. The town was quickly overrun by the walking dead that were so recently buried. Zahra and her fellow priests took arms against the vile creatures but they kept coming. During the most ferocious of all the battles Zahra noticed a man was on the outskirts of the battle. At first she was concerned for his safety but then to her horror she realized he watched the carnage with glee. The man was a necromancer. Zahra rushed him, fighting with all her might. The Necromancer kept raising the dead throwing massive numbers at Zahra to keep her at bay, even her own priests who had fallen were battling her. Zahra with righteous conviction waded through the hoard finally reaching the Necromancer and ending his life. Exhausted Zahra fell dead, the town was safe and her foes unmoving.
Priests and Clerics of Saint Zahra are the type that clothe, feed and shelter the poor without a second though and even if that means they will go without. They who heal the wounded during times of war no matter which side they are on. Their kindness, decency and generosity is unrivaled but it is not wise to mistake them as pacifist push overs. When confronted by wickedness and abominations of lifelessness the faithful of Zahra are quick to jump to action. With wisdom and precision Clerics of Zahra wage a war against evil, particularly against the undead obscenities of Aingeru.
The hierarchy of amongst Saint Zahra’s sect is structured but not ridged, Priests and Clerics are called Brother or Sister (depending on gender). The longest servicing Priest is known as the Holy Father or Holy Mother (again depending gender). Counsels are formed for dealing with issues and again is ordered by years of service. Churches dedicated to Saint Zahra typically have a wing dedicated to healing the sick and wounded. Priests and Clerics offer apothecary services without much charge to those who need it and magical healing if need be. These acts are done without hesitation morning, noon or night.
The faithful of Saint Zahra hold life in all forms in high regard; New life is highly celebrated, Spring time is filled with festivals in Zahra’s name and death is looked at as a time of mourning those who have departed yet paying reverence to the life they lead. A funeral ceremony for a faithful of Zahra is held at noon, the dead is placed on pyres and burned. This is often followed by celebration in the form of drinking and story telling of the fallen’s life.
The Ordained dedicated to Saomt Zahra are looked at as shepherds who guide the faithful on the good path of light. Clerics and Priests of Zahra often give counsel to the members of their church outside of the typical worship day. Priests and Clerics devoted to Saint Zahra often go into further training beyond seminary school in such professions as doctoring, midwifery or apothecary work to further serve the needs of the community. This training typically takes another 3 years on top of their years of seminary schooling. Other members specialize in combating the foes of Saint Zahra and take training in defeating evil, undead and the Immortal abominations of Aingeru. The training length varies by the speciality.
The Brother and Sisters of Saint Zahra are expected to live life with virtue and kindness. They are allowed (and typically encouraged) to marry and have children. They are allowed to own some property but often live in housing provided by the church. Poverty is not a vow they take but they do take the vow of Altruism and having an over abundance means you have not given to the well-being of others.
Hands of the Blessed: An order of extremely gifted healers both mundane and magical.
Torch Bearers: An order of Zahra dedicated to eradicating undead no matter where they hide.
Sions of Dawn: An order of Zahra dedicated to the struggle against evil.
Light Bringers: A secretive and ancient organization that serves as Zahra’s army against Aingeru’s abominations known as vampires.
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