The Ruins of Myvolia
The Church of Saint Lucius
Headquarters: The Helion Palace, Arncourt, Vintara
Major Holy Sites: The Sanctuary of the Sun, Ran Adin; The Cathedral of Saint Lucius, Vintara
Leaders: The Patrician of Vintara
Prominent Members: Cardinal Guy de Valin, Bishop Tarduk of Namaran
Structure: Centrally organized
Scope: Centred on the island of Vintara, with great influence throughout the Northern Kingdoms and Cyonia
Hear my words and bade me well, for by the will of our blessed Saint Lucius, I am as your father; Shepherd of your souls.
from a speech by Saint Dalmatius, the First Patriarch, Year 8 LE_
The Church of Saint Lucius, also known as the Lucidian Church, is a highly organized, monolithic religious body centred on the island theocracy of Vintara. The church emerged in the wake of the collapsing Myvolin Empire as a successor to the Peloric religion that had been the official practice of that body.
The church is led by the Patrician who is both head of the ecclesiastical Helion Council that sets religious canon, and ruler of the nation of Vintara. The Patriarchy was established by Saint Dalmatius, a follower and contemporary of Saint Lucius, and has ruled the church for over four centuries. Upon the death or demission of one Patriarch, a new leader will be elected by the members of the Helion Council. It is customary for the new Patriarch to relinquish personal attributes, including their name, as a symbol of the eternal continuity of the position.
The church has many organs including the main body of ordained priests and several religious orders, especially those dedicated to particular patron saints. While the clergy are responsible for the administration of religious ceremonies and the transmission of doctrine, the various monastic, missionary, militant and charitable organizations play a more specialized role. Some, like the Lantern Knights, operate as an armed wing of the church. Others, like the Sisters of Saint Margo, maintain hospitals and offer their talents as healers. Each of these organizations have their own independent hierarchy and established rules, but all must accept the Patriarch of Vintara as their ultimate authority.
While Lucidian priests are generally educated in religious doctrine and common law they are rarely instructed in the proper methods of prayer and ritual necessary to cast divine spells. Rather, access to divine magic is the province of the various monastic orders. For example, the monks of the Order of the Lucidian Brothers practice divine magic as a method of aiding them in their explorations, ministrations and studies. The gentle nuns of the Sisters of Saint Margo devote themselves to healing magics to better ease the sufferings of their wards.
Church canon is typically set by the Patriarch and the Helion Council. The Council itself is composed of Cardinals, select Bishops and the heads of the major religious orders. The Council meets in the Helion Palace, in the city of Arncourt, Vintara. From there they oversee the religious well-being of a growing flock of the faithful.
Though the church was originally established on Vintara as a means of insulating it from the chaos and conflict of the wider world in the aftermath of the calamitous collapse of the Empire, the Lucidian faith has now spread widely throughout the lands of men. Early missionaries carried the word of Lucius throughout the Northern Kingdoms, drawing many to the bosom of the church. As the faith spread, so the influence and power of the Patriarch and the Council grew. In time the church found itself inextricably woven into the political web of the Northern Kingdoms, arbitrating conflicts, legitimizing successions and even fighting in wars.
In the year 375 of the Lucidian Era a call by the Patriarch to retake the ancient homeland and holy sites of the Ancient South drew together a massive Crusader army from the many Northern Kingdoms. That army was able to establish the Crusader Kingdom of Cyonia, a Lucidian nation in the very heart of Myvar territory.
This success has led the church into other forays, notably in Centaria, where agents of the Patriarch even now fight to keep more human lands from slipping under the control of the dwarven Sundarian Empire.
For good or ill the complex and bureaucratic Lucidian Church has forged itself into a major force in both the theological and secular worlds of man. By their own reckoning this age belongs to the Lucidians and they mean to make the most of it.