Temple of Erathis
The Temple endorses a largely humanistic and Utilitarian morality, emphasising the ethical primacy of the needs of the many over those of the individual (like any ideal, the actual interpretation of this core value is subject to the whim of politics).
Physically, the Temple of Erathis is a sprawling compound that occupies an entire district of the capital of Akrea, with relicquaries, scriptoriums, refectories, libraries and colleges of philosophy all radiating out from the great circular shrine, in which the Kings of Akrea are crowned.
As a political body, the Temple is generally a quiet achiever, content to advise the powerful and guide from behind, though there are some notable exceptions – firebrands and fanatics who periodically raise a rumpus over inequities within the kingdom, both real and imagined, or who advocate for change to the laws of the nation. Generally these kinds are considered embarrassments by the Temple at large.Though operating within a fairly rigid hierarchy, the priests of the Temple have quite a lot of leeway in choosing the way they serve Erathis, and there are many roles they take on within Akrea:
- Many priests seek to aid the civilisation of the world by enlightening the people, acting as teachers and counsellors both. Some operate as private tutors to the priveliged, seeking to influence the minds of the power brokers of the future; others work in charitable schools for the poor, that act as halfway houses for homeless children as well, like as not.
- There is a tradition of fierce philosophical debate within the Temple, covering everything from ethics to natural philosophies, and most priests of Erathis are expected to take a place amongst the ranks of the Temple’s academics at some stage. Experimentation with the arts of alchemy and engineering is still a somewhat radical departure from the norm, but there are those who champion the work in these merely physical fields as being more useful to the Temple’s long term goals.
- Embedded, as it is, within the legal structure of the Kingdom of Akrea, the Temple has special dispensation to oversee the law of the realm, acting as advocates within the courts, arguing cases before the King’s Jury, the panel of royally appointed judges. The Red Chapel is a special arm of the Temple that oversees the watch and constabularies of the realm, and priests may act as special investigators on civil matters (though the King’s secret police, the masked ‘Tower Guard’, will take precedence in matters of state).
- In the absense of any real health care system, district chapels will often act as de facto hospitals, and priests will sometimes work as healers and physicians, though this is a hard and thankless task in the poor districts – and one that earns little recognition within the politics of the Temple.