Letters on the Founding of the Ecclesiarchy – by Katya Rastilov, High Priestess of Ursandova

The Formation of the Ecclesiarchial Council

In founding of a new nation state, nothing can be so important as to establish the proper role for the Gods within the moral and legal structures that will define its operation. Disregard for the guiding influences provided by the divine would be the equivalent of building a house with no foundation or planting crops without first tilling the soil. As High Priestess, I have established an Ecclesiarchial council of eleven that will grant voices for the Gods such that our decisions may be enlightened by their grace. In these notes, I will attempt to explain why I have made the decisions I have, with the hope of educating those who will come to follow me.

In this first letter, I will speak first to the composition of the council. After much deliberation, I have decided that the needs of the people are best served by honoring a pantheon who represent the most influential and most represented of the Gods worshipped by our people. With each voice, I will try to explain how I know them and what I hope they will bring to the council.

  • AbadarThe Voice of Law – Ursandova has already been blessed to receive two clerics of Abadar; a strong, proud man named Jacek, and a beautiful elf named Severina. When I am with them, I am reminded why Abadar is so important among our Gods, in that he provides a righteous voice to speak to the ties between law, order, and prosperity.
  • DesnaThe Voice of Dreams – Desna has been generous to me of late—she has shown me nightly visions of our Kingdom growing and prospering as a place where people are free to find their own happiness. Desna is always ready to speak to us the importance of vision and hope, and will be their voice on my council.
  • ErastilThe Voice of Family – When I was a child, I thought my father could be Erastil, disguised with a human face. He spoke always of the importance of faith, camaraderie, and loyalty as the basis of all great works. My father is here with us now, and I couldn’t be happier. If all goes well, it may be his voice that speaks for Erastil on my council.
  • GozrehThe Voice of Nature – In a land as wild as this, Gozreh is never too far away. Into this land we have sown many new fields, in hopes that the bounty of new crops will carry our people through winters to come. If we are to be successful, we must listen to the voice of Gozreh on the wind, and acknowledge the shaping power of weather and storm.
  • IomedaeThe Voice of Honor – In our last battle at the Stag Lord’s fortress, my brother Sasha was separated from the rest of us. He fought by himself against three of the bandits and their most ferocious beast, never thinking of retreat or surrender. As Sasha has grown, he has become the very personification of Iomedae’s teachings, and has shown me again and again that fearless valor can overcome even the greatest adversaries. Iomedae’s voice is one I will need for sure at my side.
  • IroriThe Voice of Knowledge – I must admit, as a child I had little appreciation for school. It was boring, took too many hours, and wasted far too much of the day. Now, I find I wish I had more time to study. To prepare for my role as high priestess, I’ve poured through every tome I can find on religion and governance. I imagine that Irori’s voice will be especially important in my education to come.
  • NethysThe Voice of Magic – There is old magic saturating these lands, I can feel it sometimes tingling beneath me. Whether it is specters at the rivers or faeries of the deep woods, there are things that can’t be understood without a mind open to the mystical realm. Nethys’s voice on the council will surely guide me toward greater mysteries to unravel and greater wonders to behold.
  • PharasmaThe Voice of Fate – There have been tragedies since we have founded our new Kingdom that have cost lives and broken hearts. Just the other day, a worker fell from his work laying bricks on the chimney for the smith, and died of his wounds before anyone could help. It is Pharasma’s voice that keeps me from despair over such losses, for I know that she speaks for fate. I trust in her judgment to show me the things I can’t change.
  • SarenraeThe Voice of Redemption – In liberating the Staglord’s fort, I liberated another creature—a massive man named Auchs. Auchs is simple, he is slow, and I fear he has been twisted away from the light through a lifetime of mistreatment and torture. I trust in Saranrae’s teachings to tell me that there can be redemption even for one such as he. As the sun is reborn with every dawn, so may Saranrae’s voice show a path to redemption for the lost.
  • ShelynThe Voice of Beauty – I’m busy these days. My responsibilities occupy me from sun up to sun down, and often beyond. In these times of stress, it is Shelyn that draws our eye to the rose at the window or the birdsong in the air. Her voice tells us that there is beauty everywhere, and that through its appreciation we can find love, joy, and fulfillment.
  • ToragThe Voice of Creation – I think of the forge father every time I look to the castle’s rising battlements. Tuskendale’s castle is more than halfway complete now, and is already bigger and more impressive than I could have ever imagined. If we are to become a civilized nation, we will surely need Torag’s voice to guide the crafting of our tools and the cutting of our stone.

There are of course other divine influences that could have been included as a permanent seat on the council—lesser Gods and Goddesses that serve as patron deities of specific causes or ideas. I promise that these voices will be heard when they are required. But for now, I think that a council of eleven is sufficient to cover the breadth of knowledge I shall require without flooding the debate with disparate views. Should a High Priest to follow me decide that more or less council members are required, then it will be at their discretion to make a place for them at the table.

Let me close with a bit of wisdom passed down from my father. In founding this council, he reminded me that the most important trait of a leader is not his ability to speak, but his ability to listen. I have taken this to heart in the founding of this council. May the voices of the Gods grant me their wisdom, and through their wisdom, may we find success.


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