Priests and Temples
Priests act as servants--sometimes quite literally--for the individual Gods they choose to dedicate themselves to. Their daily
activities usually involve five prayers a day, morning and evening mass, the
cleaning and general upkeep of their temple, acting as prayer ministers and confessors to paritioners, making the
alotted daily sacrifices to their God or Gods, and generally whatever else they so choose to take part in. The strictness
of these activities, however, varies from God to God and from temple to temple.

For the most part, the life of a priest is somewhat enviable, especially if that life is lead within a city.
City temples are often extremely large and wealthy, making most of their money by branching off into areas not
traditionally associated with the priesthood. Many city temples play host to schools, radio stations, newspapers,
TV stations, advertising companies, wineries, etc. Due to the fact that priests are already paid by the temple in which
they work, positions in these businesses are offered only to them, allowing many to enjoy both the priesthood
and to pursue careers they would have otherwise chosen.

Life in smaller temples is somewhat different. Generally, there is only one temple to a town, thus the area is dedicated to
only one God, whereas cities are often dedicated to several. There are also less options in a small temple. In a relatively
well-off town, a temple may be able to explore a handful of different businesses, so to speak, in order to make money. Rural
areas, however, lack the resources and populace for such activity, so their temples rely on one pursuit and one alone. These pursuits
depend entirely on the surrounding area, just as the main export of the town does. A farming town will ultimately have a farming
temple, a town that specializes mainly in wine will have a winery temple, a dairy town a dairy temple, a pastry town a pastry temple,
and so on and so forth.

Some temples rely entirely on donations. In city state temples, or Vertex Temples, though, there is little actual donating involved.
Rather, the community is taxed, thus the wealth of the temple relies entirely on the wealth of the surrounding populace. In these cases,
it's not unheard of for priests to hire themselves out for other jobs in order to either add to the temple's coffers or to pay for their
own room and board, which is otherwise paid for by the temple itself.

Orphanage Temples
In Vicious' lands--as is the case in the territories of many other Gods--virtually all donation relient temples act as orphanages. In fact,
Vicious' policy is that orphanages are exclusive to temples. Other lands merely take care of the children and release them once they reach adulthood,
but in this case, they are raised specifically for the priesthood.

The children are assigned to an individual priest upon their arrival at the temple. This priest acts as their surrogate parent until adulthood,
allowing the children to recieve as much individual care and attention as possible. The caregiving priests may recieve up to five charges at a time
to live with them in small apartments within the temple set aside specifically for child-rearing. However, in particularly crowded temples with too many
children and not enough priests, the number of charges can rise dramatically. It is not unheard of for an overwhelmed priest to actually forget how old
his/her charges are, which results in quite a bit of head-scratching if the children's files are ever lost.

Some Gods, such as Vicious, have ordered that all orphans be raised into the priesthood. Unlike in a few other lands, though, Vicious' priestlings
are allowed to leave the priesthood after five years of service. This was a recent change that allowed the orphans to get a higher education for
whatever career they want to go into if they choose to leave after their service is complete. Due to the vast number of children orphaned by a
plague that swept through Vicious' lands years ago, this has vastly improved the outlook for the next generation.

Vertex Temples and City States
Vertex Temples reside solely in one of a God's city states. There are usually no other temples in the same city as a Vertex Temple
unless they are branches of the larger one. This is partly due to the fact that a city state belongs to one God and one alone. The temples
here are situated directly under the God's Vertex, or Earthly home, in that particular city, thus their name.

Each Vertex Temple has one leader, a head priest referred to as Father or Mother, who, much like in all other temples, takes care of all temple business. In
a Vertex Temple, however, this priest also presides over the entire city, essentially acting as ruler in the theocracy, though obviously their God is the true
ruler. These head priests also control and maintain all other temples in the city state's allotted territory. This territory almost always intersects and overlaps
with the territory of another God's city state, but the Vertex Temple only has jurisdiction over temples dedicated to the same God.

City states are the only true territory a God is granted, either by negotiation with another God or by the Universals, the rulers and parents of the Gods.
Though Gods have multiple cities like this and they are all under that particular God's rule, each one has it's own individual laws and customs, thus the reason
they are city states as opposed to simple cities. It is not entirely uncommon, in fact, for two city states under the same God to go to war. Most city states
happily cooperate with one another, though, and occasionally the Fathers and Mothers will all agree to hand over their authority to one of their own in a state
of crisis that involves all of their God's lands. Surprisingly, this power is often returned to the other head priests once the issue has been handled. Albeit, there
are rumors that the Gods have a great deal to do with this willingness. It's not uncommon, after all, for a deity to come face to face with one of his or her head priests.

Vertexes and Centennial Moves
Vertexes, as has already been stated, are the Earthly homes of the Gods. Even in cases where a God does not choose to reside on Earth at all, there is always one constructed
in each of that God's city states. Tradition dictates that they be built atop the highest point in the city, whether naturally occurring or man-made, and that, upon their completion,
no possible entrance for mortals is permitted. This, of course, has always been a mere legend. While no mortal is allowed to set foot in a Vertex without the God's express permission,
all Vertexes have at least one secret entrance located within the temple below to allow priests and enter and clean.

Most, if not all, Gods participate in the age-old tradition of the Centennial Move. In days of old, wars used to break out among mortals when it was clear that a God favored one
Vertex over another and so the Centennial Move was organized so that, every hundred years, the God would move on to a different Vertex. Although this means that some Vertexes remain unoccupied for several centuries, the temple priests clean the houses thoroughly once or twice a week. Just in case.

The Centennial Move itself is not that exciting. The nature of Gods allows them to move themselves and their belongings almost instantly, but the mortal celebrations take up the entire week
before the Move is scheduled to occur. These celebrations differ from city state to city state, but most involve expansive carnivals that completely shut down almost all of the major streets.
Celebrations extend throughout all of the God's lands, though most of those that take place outside of the city the God is either leaving or arriving in lasts for little more than a day.

Priest Ranks
Priests can be split up into three distinctive ranks: Mother/Father, Sister/Brother, and Daughter/Son. They can also be referred to as head priest, priest, and priestling.

The role of a head priest has already been explained to be the essential rulers of their temple. The term "ruler" is far more accurate in the case of a head priest in
a Vertex Temple since he/she actually DOES regulate their entire allotted region. Unlike rulers, however, the title of Mother or Father is not given to their heirs. Rather,
the current head priest must choose one of the ordinary ranking priests to train for a period of five to seven years before giving up their title to them. At this point, most
head priests will generally retire and move away from the temple.

The Sister/Brother title is given to ordinary priests who perform everyday tasks for the temple. Although their tasks may differ vastly, there is but one rank overall. Even
the priest or priestess who is lined up to inherit the title of Mother or Father is considered no more highly ranked than anyone else. Still, there is no getting rid of the
feeling of awe and admiration that other priests will place upon someone like this. Case in point, Adelaide and Farouk. Both are important, but technically do not have a
different rank. Even so, everyone knows who they are and the fact that, despite the ranking written in the books, they have more sway than any other priest in the temple.
Recently, however, it has become popular to refer to priests with important roles as "high priests" and, in some temples, they are given an item or symbol that sets them
apart from the rest. This practice has been met with much criticism, but if the head priest endorses it and, more importantly, if the God endorses it there's really not
much room for argument.

Priestlings are referred to as Sons and Daughters. They are priests-in-training who have yet to be sworn into the priesthood by their mentors. These children start their
training at 10 in basic school room format. When they are 15, they are granted a mentor who they will then follow and learn from until they are 18. Then this mentor
will go to the head priest and ask him or her to authorize them to swear their student into the priesthood. The basics of the priesthood are part of basic education.
As such, any 15-year-old who has attended any kind of school can go to the temple and ask to be mentored. The only requirement is that they pass an exam proving that
they have the basic knowledge for it. Priests that come into the priesthood through these means may leave whenever they like. It is only orphans who are required to
serve for the first five years. In this time, however, they may attend school to recieve higher education--and the cost is docked for priests as a sort of donation from
the school to the Gods--while serving, thus allowing them to pursue a wider array of career paths once they leave. This, much like the allowance for orphan priests to
leave after their five years are up, is a more recent development due to the affects of the plague on Vicious' lands.

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