“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: Zahra, The Light Bringer, Guiding Light of Virtue, Curador, Luminary. Followers: Zahra is the Patron Goddess of Avarians, many human cultures including in the Thakarians and of course her Light Bringers. 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. In the church of Salah Zahra is worshipped as Saint. Sphere of Influence: Community, Family, Glory, Good, Healing, Moon, Sun, Purification and Renewel. 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 at one time one of the most worshipped Gods in all of Nalmorah. The majority of human kingdoms held her among the most esteemed and many considered her the Patron Goddess of their lands. After the Last Great War Zahra was replaced by Salah almost completely on the largest continent: Lor’ Elvenor.

Zahra’s clergy, even when it is found worshiping her as saint in other religions, are the ones who heal the wounded during times of war no matter which side they are on. They are the Priests and Clerics that clothe, feed and shelter the poor without a second though and even if that means they will go without. 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, precision and without mercy Clerics of Zahra wage a war against evil, particularly against the undead obscenities of Aingeru.

A dedicated group of Zahra’s Clergy are the Light Bringers. They tirelessly hunt the minions of Aingeru, in particular Vampires. Light Bringers are trained quietly and discreetly by other Light Bringers after completing a task proving their worth. Many die in the attempt to prove themselves. Light Bringers are not well known outside of Zahra’s Ordained.

The hierarchy of Zahra’s church is structured but not ridged, Priests and Clerics are called Brother or Sister (depending on gender) and their rank is by years in service. 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. When it comes to helping the community in which Zahra’s churches are in that goes without saying. Churches of 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 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:

The majority of Zahra’s worshipers are lay members; as in they attend Church, speak the prayers but are not trained in practices, in depth lessons and prayers of Zahra. The Ordained of Zahra- Brother and Sisters- 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.

Training to become an Ordained member of Zahra’s church often starts at the age of 8 with general schooling. At the age of 14 the student then goes to seminary school for 4 years if they are to be a Priest of Priestess or 6 years if they are to be a Cleric. The additional two years of training is intense and teaches the Brother or Sister to be how to channel the power of Zahra. After that they graduate as full members of the church and are assigned to a local temple or church.

Some members of Zahra’s church go into further training in doctoring, midwifery or apothecary work to further serve the needs of the community. This training takes another 3 years on top of their 4 to 6 years of seminary schooling. Other members specialize in combating the foes of Zahra and all things living 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 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.

Holy Orders:

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‚Äôs army against Aingeru’s abominations known as vampires.

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Rise To Power (Nalmorah) JPoisson