Temple hierarchy Edit
Note that the details of Temple hierarchy and business may vary from realm to realm and over time. Temple issues are worked out in regional councils and there is no overarching authority. The following descriptions are primarily of the time and places of The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls.
lay dedicat: A lay person who has pledged him/herself to a particular task on the behalf of a holy order, but has not entered in to the full disciplines and training of that order. Lay dedicats may serve in the military orders (Son's Order, Daughter's Order) as soldier-brothers, or may perform various non-military functions in the service of their god.
dedicat: The lowest or beginning level of members of a holy order, also used for those who have not taken their final vows. Dedicats have made a higher level of commitment than lay dedicats.
- dedicat-commander: A lay dedicat or dedicat serving as an officer in a military order.
- lord dedicat: A lord dedicat might be either a lay dedicat or fully in an order, but in any case has special administrative responsibilities for the task at hand. Lord dedicats are drawn from the nobility.
acolyte: An intermediate rank of members of a holy order, above a dedicat and below a divine. An acolyte is directly employed by and serves the temple, either in their current capacity, or on the way to being a divine. Examples are senior theology students, or persons of middle responsibilities who do not plan further training.
divine: The highest rank of members of a holy order; almost always entails advanced schooling. A divine is expected to be a preacher and a teacher, as well as assuming other tasks in holy service, most commonly of supervision of a temple on the local level. Smaller or more rural temples may have to make do with leaders of lesser training and rank. Divines are addressed with the title Learned. A divine who teaches other divines will be addressed as Most Learned.
archdivine: The person with highest and central administrative responsibility for a region of the Temple, including all the orders operating therein; in Chalion, there is one for each province, and their seat is normally in the provincial capital. Compare to divine.
Saints are outside of the temple hierarchy:
saint: In Quintarian and Quadrene theology, a saint is a living soul who gives the gift of their soul (the control thereof) to their god, thereby allowing the god to act in the world. Saints have a second sight that allows them to see a glow on other saints but not on themselves. The person ceases to be a saint when the god’s presence is withdrawn, and they cease to glow.
A petty saint is one whose ability to channel their god is very limited.
Behind the scenes Edit
The author took great care to make all of these roles gender-neutral.