Their belief is rather simple, at least for the lay person. Goodliness is equal to heat and light. Naturally, with it being the hottest and brightest thing around, the sun is extremely Good, fire is cleansing and pure, fireflys are messengers of the sun, fevers are numinous events. Heat + light = good. Peasants only need to start a fire and take a moment to think about the goodness they are inviting to get the benefits of this faith, in stark contrast to the elaborate sun temples that dominate the Empires, demanding service and taxes.
Their founder, Pyre-Papa Maeonius I, said, "We are the kindling", and it still echoes on down the line, fresh from the mouth of every postulant at every burning or sweat lodge. It has been interpreted as a statement of humility, of oneness, but what most don't realise is that Maeonius was speaking utterly literally. They believe that through the spreading of heat and light they can ignite a new sun (the New Sun) and bring about a state of Utter Goodness. This state, though for the most part vaguely defined, includes a universal saturation of light, the end of rational thought and the ignition of all matter.
This is all just an end goal though.
They do not believe in the existence of evil. They believe that evil is merely the lack of good, much as dark is a lack of light, or sadness a lack of joy. They bring light wherever they go (again, very literally), and they go far, travelling all over to spread their sweet heat. They are adamant that nothing is evil. Maeonius I had much to say on the matter, declaring an end to evil: "To man the serpent is evil, to the serpent the hawk is evil, to me none are evil. Thus evil was consumed". Nothing is evil, nothing is unnatural, everyone is just waiting to be enlightened (literal!).
They're not delusional though. They recognise that their beliefs are hard to swallow, and somewhat painful at times. But they sincerely believe that if appropriate heat and light (=goodness) is applied, they will finally achieve a saturation of goodness which will spontaneously ignite the New Sun and bathe the world in its Good Rays, ushering in a time of perfect peace and burning tranquillity. Most would struggle with their earnest hope that the world is consumed in flames, but otherwise they are pretty decent people.
Postulants wander quite a bit. They maintain regular routes and perform services for the faithful, but hold no real authority over anything. Anyone can declare themselves a postulant and take up the torch (always literally, they are very literal people) without ever having met the current Pyre-Papa at his temple. If you are a good worshipper your strong morals and terrible burns should be evidence enough of your piety.
The Favoured Priesthood:
Chance to gain favour every time one takes damage from heat or flames (=dmg%) with the knowledge that is is Goodliness that fills them and not pain (remembering to ask for this roll is proof of that). Also, significant acts of mass burnings or illuminations may result in reward.
If a result is rolled twice, you may pick one instead.
- You can ignite combustible material at a touch. This takes a few seconds of intense effort and concentration. Not useful in the midst of battle.
- You are filled with Goodness. As a result your blood runs hot and heavy, any wounds done to you have a decent chance of showering your aggressor with high-pressured super-heated blood (save vs. breath or take d4 damage)
- Postulants with enough goodliness to gain favour often attract followers, sometimes to the point of acquiring trains of disciples following them from town to town. D3 dedicated but generally ineffective (but free) people choose to follow you and learn your teachings. Their numbers eventually get replenished if reduced. Each further favour earned gains D3 more followers.
- The Pyre-Papa senses your climbing thermogenesis and assigns a Columbariun Guard to see to your care. He will ensure your remains are secured and added to the Great Flame. Will be replaced after a time if killed.
- You're very hard to dislike. Re-roll people's attitudes when appropriate and pick the better result.
- Fire still causes injury, but no longer hurts the postulant. Those possessing this gift often demonstrate it to eager crowds.
|Columbariun guard and his charge|