Ashes of War
Church of the Silver Flame
The Silver Flame
Unlike the Sovereign Host or the Dark Six, The Church of the Silver Flame worships a concrete entity that can be perceived as something more than an abstract. While others worshippers must rely on their faith as “proof” that their gods exist. The Purified – as the members of the Church of the Silver Flame call themselves – can quite literally say: “My God stands in Flamekeep.”
The Tenet of Purity: Burn the corruption and taint of evil from all Eberron. Other gods have begun the creation, but it is the Silver Flame, by searing wickedness and darkness fom their imperfect world, that must complete it.
Five Edicts of the Church
- 1) Trust in the Silver Flame. The Voice of the Silver Flame never lies. It will light your way to glory and salvation.
- 2) Heed the words of the Keeper. The Keeper of the Flame is your emissary. Through the Keeper, the Silver Flame speaks.
- 3) Fight evil in all its forms. Not everyone can have the strength or conviction of a paladin, but there are many ways to fight evil that don’t require one to draw a sword. We must remain vigilant, for the one thing evil does well is hide in plain sight.
- 4) Lead a noble life, and encourage others to do the same. Temptations abound, but the wisest of us can recognize and avoid them. If you die with a pure spirit, you will be forever bound to the Silver Flame.
- 5) Share the faith. The Silver Flame can purify the darkest spirit. Share the power of the Flame with those who have not yet embraced it.
As shown by the Tenet of Purity, the Purified readily acknowledge the existence of the other Gods. The Silver Flame has never claimed to have created the world, and all the worshipers know that the Flame itself is a result of the Demon/Dragon wars of the mythic past.
Still, while the Silver Flame was not the first God, the Purified believe it will be the last. It is the duty of the Silver Flame, and therefore the Purified, to see evil burned from Eberron. The Gods created the world, and the Flame shall see that creation cleansed, or perish in the attempt.
The Purified believe that the Silver Flame existed long before the paladin Tira Miron bonded herself to it in 299 YK. The Flame itself existed even before the Age of Demons. To the Purified, the sacrifice of the couatls at the end of the Age of Demons did not bind the demons, but instead opened a portal to the perfect realm where the Flame resided. Thus, the Flame is responsible for the end of the Age of Demons. It has remained in Eberron ever since, but was unable to communicate with impure mortals until the valiant Tira Miron bonded with the Flame in 299 YK.
Finally, the Purified believe that each soul is a divine spark that is created spontaneously by the world. Those who are faithful to the Flame bond with it after death, adding their tiny divinity to the infinite power of the Flame. Those that are not Purified before death, are condemned to the dismal eternity of Dolurrh.
While the Purified believe that the Silver Flame has existed since before the great Wyrms created the world, the Church itself is relatively new. The events that lead to the formation of the Church of the Silver Flame are clearly recorded in the annals of the Kingdom of Galifar, and the land of Thrane.
In 299 YK, the nation of Thrane was rocked by a powerful eruption. The ground split under the force of it, and a pillar of crimson fire burst from the crevice. No one then knew what this pillar of fire was, but any who approached could feel its radiant evil.
Tira Miron, a paladin of Dol Arrah received a vision of a great evil to the east riding up from the depths on a column of red fire. With her vision to guide her, Tira was able to rally the forces of Thrane and scatter the Khyber-spawn that had gathered around the red fire. Just as the paladin turned to confront the demon lord emerging from the pit of the crimson flame, a couatl streaked in from the heavens and engaged the monster in battle. It became clear, however, that the couatl was over matched. At the last, the couatl sent a mental plea to Tira, then stuck its last blow against the rakshasa rajah. Following the couatl’s instructions, Tira dove into the red flame, stabbing both the couatl and the rajah with her Khyber-capped greatsword Kloinjer.
A massive explosion rocked the countryside the instant the sword pierced the demon’s flesh. Those that survived the battle looked upon the couatl-demon struggle, and where there had been a pillar of malevolent red fire, there now stood a cool, silver flame with Tira Miron inside of it. Tira’s sacrifice bonded her forever to the Silver Flame, giving voice to its ultimate purification.
The Silver Flame itself – using Tira Miron as its voice – selects the Keeper of the Flame. In 993 YK the Silver Flame selected Jaela Daran, a 6 year old of Thrane, was chosen to succeed the previous Keeper. Jaela, now 11 has become a just and capable leader despite her age.
Becoming A Priest
To become a priest of the Church of the Silver Flame, a practitioner of the faith must serve under an established priest and learn the basics of the faith. This training may last for a few months, or for many years as the priest imparts his/her knowledge of the faith to the would be acolyte. Once the priest determines that the training is over, the acolyte petitions for admission into one of the Church’s many seminary schools.
As part of the petition, the would-be acolyte is subjected to a battery of tests. These tests are designed not to test the limits of the persons knowledge of church doctrine, but to test the strength of the person’s devotion to the Silver Flame. The parishoner must demonstrate acts of charity, faith and goodness, and must find an established priest to vouch for him/her.
If the person is admitted to the seminary, he/she becomes an acolyte of the Church. Seminary training lasts no less than four years, and during this time, the acolyte receives intense training on the doctrine, philosophy and dogma of the Church. There is no stigma if the person takes longer than 4 years to complete the training, but committing an evil act during the training can result in expulsion.
After seminary training is complete, the acolyte receives a recommendation from his instructors as to which Order he/she should join. This is only a recommendation, and the young priest is under no obligation to follow it.
Orders Within the Church
The Church of the Silver Flame is a highly organized and structured entity, broken into 4 orders:
- The Order of Ministers acts as the Clergy for the Church’s faithful. Most of the members of this order are experts, but a significant minority are adepts or clerics.
- The Order of Templars is the true military arm of the Church. The Order of Templars is made up primarily of warriors, with a substantial number of monks, and fighters. The majority of paladins of the Church of the Silver Flame serve in the Order of The Templars.
- The Order of Friars are responsible for bringing the Silver Flame to the non-believers. Most of these missionaries are experts who preach to those who seem receptive to word of the Silver Flame. A smaller number are pilgrims, who wander from place to place, acting as living examples of what the Church of the Silver Flame is like. Living pure lives of service, helping those that need help,
- Where the previous three orders are largely viewed as equals, The Council of Cardinals stands above them. The Council is made up primarily of senior members of the Order of Ministers, with a few members from the Order of Templars. Only rarely does the Council take members from the Order of Friars. Selected members of the Council of Cardinals form the Diet of Cardinals which is the governing body of the Church.
- The Voice of the Silver Flame – The immortal Tira Miron is the Voice of the Silver Flame.
- The Keeper of the Silver Flame – This person serves as an intermediary between the Diet of Cardinals and the Voice of the Silver Flame.
- Cardinal – a member of the Council of Cardinals. The Council selects from its own members the Diet of Cardinals.
- Archbishop – A priest who holds a position of authority over several bishops of major cities. Only members of the Order of Ministers hold this rank.
- Bishop – A Bishop holds authority over all priests within a city or large community. Generally, a Bishop is reserved for leaders of the Order of Ministers and Prefect is used for Templars. Friars who wish to become bishops must change orders
- Priest – Those among the Purified who have successfully joined the priesthood. Among the order of ministers, priests are called “father” or “mother.” Among the Templars, priests are called “sir” or “lady.” Among the Friars, priests are called “Brother” or “Sister.” The bulk of the Purified never achieve a higher rank than priest.
- Pilgrim – The lowest rank of the priesthood, pilgrims are beginning members of the order of friars. They are given a lower rank because they have fewer responsibilities, and those responsibilities are less defined than friars.
- Acolyte/Seminarian – Priests in training