Title Domain Honorific Form of Address
Deacon / lay brother / lay sister
Brother/Sister ___ Brother/Sister
Father/Mother ___ Father/Mother
Brother/Sister ___ Brother/Sister
the Very Reverend ___ Father Prior/Mother Prioress
Abbot/Abbess abbey the Right Reverend ___ Father Abbot/Mother Abbess
the Venerable ___ Archdeacon
Bishop diocese his/her Excellence, ___ Your Excellence
Archbishop archdiocese his/her Grace, ___ Your Grace
(whatever other title is held in addition to the Collegiate) (whatever other title is held in addition to the Collegiate)
Vicar vicary (whatever other title is held in addition to the Vicary) (whatever other title is held in addition to the Vicary)
his/her Most High Reverence, ___ Your Most High Reverence

Church Organization


In medieval times, the vast majority of the people -- about 90% -- were farmers. From this we can determine that Ubrialla, as goddess of agriculture, must be a popular goddess. By contrast, a god whose "portfolio" involves a smaller demographic has much smaller following, probably limited to the cities. Elune, as goddess of wisdom, has churches mostly in cities where there are enough scholars, clerks, and mages. While everyone might pray to Alia when courting someone, few would worship at her temples week in and week out, so she's not going to have a lot of churches, especially in the countryside. However, in a city, there will be enough worshipping romantics on a week-to-week basis to support an Alian church. Much the same goes for Dorial, since outside of feast-time, only hard-core revelers will pray at Dorialite churches devotedly. Kyta might have nothing but an occasional unmanned shrine in the countryside, but on the coasts, where many make their living from the sea, she is very popular.

Of course, the prominence of a church is not necessarily related to its popularity. Elune might be the goddess of the small literate class, but the literate tend to be rich. Thus Elunian churches are ornate, and their clergy powerful. (The Elunian church of Tamplonia, in fact, runs the country.) By contrast, Tiranon, god of the hunt, might only have simple-looking temples in groves throughout the forest. Nen is of particular note: as chief of the gods, only a foolish king or noble fails to make generous donations to Its church. Thus one inevitably finds a church of Nen in towns and cities.

Level of Organization

In general, urban "city" gods are more likely to have organized faiths than the the rural, earthy "chthonic" gods. The former are more likely patron deities for cities, with ornate temples and studious priesthoods. The latter are more often worshipped in a more loose fashion by the farmers, in agricultural cults.

So while Ubrialla might have many worshippers, her church varies in organization depending on the population density; larger towns and villages have an organized clergy, while in the sticks there might be little more than a shrine manned by a scruffy, semi-literate priest, serving a rural and illiterate congregation. Tiranon is venerated throughout the countryside, where people hunt, but one can easily surmise that a god of hunters would not have a very regimented clergy. But Nen would, and Furthane might.

For some gods, it's hard to say. Kahla-Ranians, as a persecuted minority (and rightfully so) might be well-organized in order to survive. More likely, each individual church or sect would be organized, but there would be only limited, careful contact from group to group.

The historical model

Some gods' churches have a structure much like the medieval European church. At the top of such as church is a governing body of some sorts, which sets overall policy. For example, in the Balthazarian church it is called the Cat's Curia, and its members are called High Toms or High Tabbies. Each member is usually a powerful figure elsewhere in the church, such as an archbishop, a bishop, or an abbot/abbess.

From there, each nation is divided into one or more dioceses or archdioceses, with a bishop or archbishop presiding over each. Each bishop or archbishop is often assisted by a second bishop or an archdeacon, who is a clergyman/woman. Average priests are in turn assisted by deacons, who are laymen/women.

For countries with more than one archdiocese, one of the archbishops may have precedence, and is called the primate ("PRY-matt", not "PRY-mate"). For instance, in the Elunian church, the primate is known as the Patriarch or Matriarch of that country (except in Tamplonia, where s/he is styled Archpatriarch or Archmatriarch).

In addition, the monasteries ("nunneries" if they are filled only with women; "nun" is the feminine form of "monk") stand outside and parallel to the bishop/archbishop structure. While dioceses and archdioceses form geographic areas, monastic orders have no set geographic structure. Each monastery is run by an abbot or abbess, each of whom bears allegiance to the head(s) of that monastic order. However, the local bishop often has influence (formal or informal) over that monastery, and may have a hand in the appointment of the abbot or abbess, for instance. The head(s) of the religious order, however, answer to the governing body itself. Note that friars and religious knights are members of "monastic" orders.

Positions in the historical model

Coadjutor/Suffragan Bishop:

Coadjutor or suffragan bishops are additional bishops consecrated as assistants to the diocesan bishop. As another bishop, the holder of this position always outranks all of the other assistants of the bishop.

The distinction between a coadjutor and a suffragan bishop is that a coadjutor ("coadjutrix" if female) is the anointed "heir" of the diocesan bishop, whereas a suffragan is merely an assistant (the word "suffragan" comes from the Latin for "to support"). Typically, young bishops will have a suffragan, whereas older bishops will generally consecrate a coadjutor.

The average diocese only has one bishop at a time. Small-to-medium dioceses would have a bishop and an archdeacon (see below), large-medium would have a bishop and a second bishop, and large dioceses would have all three. ("Size" here refers more to the size and development of the church staff than it does to the size of the diocese, either in terms of followers or area.)


The archdeacon is a priest who acts as personal assistant to the bishop, with responsibility over various secular duties. Although the archdeacon's formal authority is limited, the archdeacon often exercises informal oversight on behalf of the bishop.

The position of archdeacon may go vacant if there is a coadjutor or suffragan bishop and there is not much business to warrant the archdeacon position being filled. Smaller dioceses may not warrant an archdeacon at all.


The "chief of staff" of a bishop's office or household.

Dean of the Cathedral:

While the term "cathedral" usually implies a large church, it technically refers to any church that is a bishop or archbishop's residence. The Dean of a Cathedral is the head priest of that main church. In practice, this makes the dean the supervisor of all priests close to the town. Although the dean only has temporal authority over the cathedral proper, the dean is often quite influential, partially because the dean is generally a skilled orator.


An abbot/abbess is the leader of a monastery/nunnery, and is selected by the monks/nuns, often subject to approval by the local bishop.


The second-in-command of a monastery or nunnery.


Monasteries are centers of clergy who do not perform priestly service, but instead live their lives devoted entirely to the god/dess' beliefs, as defined by that monastic order's "rule" of living. Monasteries are often centers of learning, bookmaking and copying, winemaking, and brewing. Most monks and nuns are expected to spend most of their lives within the cloister walls, so monks tend to make lousy PCs. (Instead, it is the friars and friaresses who spend their lives in mendicant preaching.)


A person who takes monastic vows, but who does not live within a cloister. Friars instead are active in the world at large, usually wandering and preaching.

Church Knights:

The religious military orders from Europe's history (such as the Templars and Hospitallers) were, technically, monastic orders. Its members obviously did not live within a cloister or take vows of pacifism, but they did take the monastic vows of charity, poverty, and chastity.


A deacon is a layperson (not an official clergyperson) who assists the priests. They may have some religious duties and may be permitted to perform some ceremonies, but the important ceremonies (marriages, blessings, funerals, etc) are limited to actual priests.

Monasteries and Gender

Historically, monasteries were gender-segregated. In Hesket, though, this is not always true. Nennite monasteries are mixed gender out of respect for Nen, and Alia and Dorial probably have mixed monasteries for entirely different reasons (and their communities are not likely to be ascetic). Elunian monks are ascetics dedicated to knowledge, to the exclusion of personal pleasures, and consequently their monasteries are divided in half, with one side male and the other female. Note, though, that both halves are still members of the same order and many have communal meetings.


The planets:
Kintaka Mercury
Alia Venus
Rannash Mars
Nen Jupiter
Perinnia Saturn

Note also that when referred to astrologically, the Moon is called "Ubrialla" and the sun "Brinnig".

The Zodiac:
As none of the signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces) have any overt Greco-Roman religious connections (they're all mostly animals), these are exactly the same in Hesket.