MITHRIHIM, the WARRIOR PRIESTS
The Warrior Priests of Mithriel, or the Mithrihim, serve as chaplains, commanders, soldiers and judges in the faith. They serve alongside military commanders and advise them on military strategy, but also act as conscience and overseer to ensure that the war underway is no more destructive than it needs to be, and that the commander upholds the codes of war. Warrior Priests minister to both soldiers and prisoners of war alike, ensuring that the spiritual mission of Mankind is maintained, even in the tragic time of war when brother slays brother on the fields of battle. In the armies of Lethia, Warrior Priests serve as commanders themselves.
Within towns and cities, Warrior Priests often specialize in the lives of veterans, ensuring those war-haunted souls can manage their return to normal life – and indeed, that they remember to see it as normal life, and not normalize the life of a soldier instead. In times of civic crisis, whether it’s an attack on a civilian town, a fire or flood, or some other calamity, Warrior Priests can be found taking command of the people and inspiring order with effectiveness earned on the battlefield.
Warrior Priests are also called upon during ecclesiastical trial, or even to consult for other Priests for the most difficult cases of sin. More than any other Covenant, the Mithrihim know that the world is not yet perfect enough to allow mankind the foresight to prevent all sin. Sin will happen, and there are even some exceptions to events normally considered sinful. Warrior Priests are trusted with considering these events and making the difficult call to act as judge, as Dumal himself did.
THE BOOK OF DUMAL, THE WARRIOR SAINT
Dumal was Benalus’ most loyal and dedicated general. The book of Dumal was penned by the scribe, Innotus, on Dumal’s death bed. It speaks of how to live with the burdens of war upon you and how, even in times of strife, one cannot compromise his faith. It touches on peace by any means, using war as a necessity only when all else has been lost; for there is no greater tragedy than mankind’s own pride and greed subverting the will of God.
Covenant of Mercy
A member of the Mithrihim must always grant protection to those that surrender to her and ensure that no harm comes to them as long as they continue to yield, no matter who they are.
Warrior Priests may earn a Mithrihim Achievement whenever they negotiate a peace between two factions that have used violence upon one another. Mithrihim Achievements may be spent as Priest Achievements, or to learn the Sacred Rites of Mithriel.
Divine information about an upcoming battle
There is no greater uncertainty than one’s fate in battle. The Archangels give us some comfort in their divine insight.
Ritual: While the Priest is contemplating an upcoming battle, they should Pray for wisdom. While Praying, the Priest should take consecrated bone dice called Astragali and roll them in a wooden bowl. The alignment of the dice will provide the Priest with insight into the coming battle.
Props: Dice, wooden bowl
Effect: The Priest must expend their Prayer bonus to gain insight into a coming fight that they are aware of, that must be within the current Event. The Storyteller will then tell them the earliest time that fight will happen, what kind of enemy shall be faced, and the minimum number of enemies. If the forces are not other humans, the ritual may also reveal how to identify the one who leads the forces of evil, called the Adversary.
The priest oversees a binding duel between willing participants who cannot come to an accord.
Ritual: The priest must consult with the participants and attempt to resolve their dispute nonviolently. Should no compromise be accepted, both sides must agree to terms for the duel. The priest may then pray to Mithriel to oversee this duel and to favor the side that is righteous. The duelist must lay their hands on the priest’s leonem and swear that they will abide by all agreed terms. The duelist must then communicate the terms to all those that follow them, binding them to the results of the duel as well.
Effect: Anyone who violates the terms of the duel or the agreed upon result suffers from Spiritual Despair.
The priest must end one life to keep others safe.
Death is a certainty in the world’s many conflicts. When death calls, few can refuse, but a man can choose how he dies – else hope someone chooses well for him. A warrior priest must decide the deaths of those men.
Ritual: The priest may be forced into a situation where they have no other option but to put a dangerous person to death. The prisoner must be proven guilty of a Deadly Sin. The Priest must strongly believe that if allowed to live the prisoner will continue to cause harm to others, and that they have no better options, such as imprisonment. If all of that is true, the Priest may proceed.
The Priest must offer Atonement and Last Rites before the execution. Once those rites are completed or refused, the condemned should be set to kneel and a sword driven through the base of the skull at the neck with one clean strike. The corpse should be set face up and its eyes and jaws shut to be prepared for burial.
Effect: This act does not yield any Wrath. This rite can be performed for surrendered opponents without breaking the Covenant of Mercy.
Rite of Conflict
The priest determines whether the battle is worthy of blessing or condemnation
Know that God does not take sides in the petty affairs of men, concerned with a far greater worldly plan. Though he could never turn a blind eye on his children, His plan is not for one little lord or the next, but the greater good of all men. As such, know that he cannot abide the killing of our brothers, but knows it is sometimes all too necessary for the wheels to move forward.
Ritual: In a battle between those who retain their humanity, the priest bears the responsibility of determining which side is more worthy, and for attempting to resolve the conflict non-violently. The priest must attempt to negotiate a reasonable nonviolent resolution to the conflict. If the priest is representing one side, then they must attempt to provide reasonable terms and negotiate counter offers.. This may include resolving it by a Sacred Duel.
Should no compromise be found acceptable to both parties, the priest may then bless the side they find to be more righteous, or else condemn the battle entirely.
When choosing to bless the conflict, the priest must address those present in a speech. She reminds everyone that no matter who dies today, it is a great tragedy that man should shed the blood of man and that a moment of silence be spared for those about to die. This should take at least a few minutes.
If the priest instead decides to condemn the battle, all of the priest’s previous blessings for the battle are revoked. If the battle continues in spite of the priest’s will, those who participate in the conflict take Spiritual Despair, and a Rumor may get out about the battle being condemned by God.
Effect: For a blessed conflict, the righteous side is consecrated and gains no Wrath from killing in the battle to come. For a condemned conflict, all those who participate gain Spiritual Despair.
Construct a banner that will rally allies.
All men are of God. The holiest of which shall bear his name and marker. And those who glimpse the memory of God shall know a dignified heart that fears nothing and bears the trials of his works silently.
Ritual: The priest must construct a banner. This requires a haft made from ash with the seals of the seven archangels carved into it – Mithriel’s seal being highest and largest. The banner itself is at least a yard long and bears the Leonem placed above any other heraldry, separated by three crowns. The field has words from this gospel copied onto it. Finally, metal end caps that are in the shape of Leonem and have been quenched in holy water are placed on each end.
Props: Decorated Banner.
Effect: The banner has the following components – Haft, Iron Leonem, Banner, 5 Liturgy Effort. Once the banner is assembled and blessed, the Warrior Priest wielding the banner becomes Inspired at the beginning of each battle and may Exert to call “Spiritual Remove Fear” on all allies.
Fear of the Lord
The priest uses their banner to inspire dread in their enemies
And so it came to pass that upon hearing of the coming of the Prophet, the tribes broke and fled, securing victory with only a single drop of blood needing to be spilled
Ritual: The War Priest must take their Chaplain Bannerette and stain its bottom ends with their own blood. When faced with an enemy the Priest may raise up their banner and call out to Mithriel for their destruction, and so they shall know it will come to pass.
Props: Banner, ash or other temporary fabric marker
Effect: The Priest must take an Injury to get enough blood to stain the bannerette. The stained banner gains one use of the following ability which lasts until used and does not expire until used. The Priest may call Sacred Fear on all enemies.
Prayer of Protection
The priest calls on God to bless holy warriors with the power to resist evil.
Ritual: The priest prays to God that they might be protected against the forces of darkness in an upcoming conflict. If leading others in this prayer the priest should give a brief sermon on why evil must be fought against, and why mankind must never falter before it. Those who are to be blessed must be anointed with Holy Water and have the Seal of Mithriel placed someplace visible on their body.
Props: Ash or makeup to mark the Seal.
Effect: During the Scene where they spend this Prayer bonus, they also gain a number of uses of Sacred Discipline or Sacred Toughness against any call with the Hideous quality equal to their Faith.
This may be used alongside Lead In Prayer. If it is, bonus Faith from that ritual counts for this Ritual’s Effect.
The priest calls out to an opponent and draws that opponent’s ire onto themselves in lieu of others.
Sanctus Dominus Mithriel, Benedictus qui venit in Signum Leonem,
Ritual: The Priest inscribes their armor with holy reminders of their duty to always stand against evil. Thereafter they may call those who have tainted themselves with dark powers to face them. The priest challenges their opponent’s false god and declares that the True God of Mankind will not allow the priest to be defeated by the evil ones.
Props: Armor marked with prayers
Effect: If an enemy has made any call with the Hideous Quality during the battle, the Priest may demand that they fight them above all others. The priest may call Sacred Obey: “Fight Me!” on that opponent at will.
Create Purity Seals to act as symbols of Mithriel’s blessing
Ritual: The Priest writes the words of scripture, the blessings of Mithriel, and the deeds of heroes relating to the intended blessing into ribbons of parchment sealed with wax. These serve as blessings, medals of honor, and reminders of duty.
Props: Ribbons of paper, vellum, or cloth covered in writing with a wax seal at the top
Effect: During a Liturgy Crafting Action the Priest may make Purity Seals using a the following recipe
Recipe: Either having a Writing Kit available or else use up 1 Ink, 1 Sheaf of Paper, 1 Candle, and Liturgy Effort.
A number of Seals are made equal to the amount of Liturgy Effort spent.
Each Purity Seal should bear writing related to the intended blessing it was made to be used for, but this step may be done just before use in a ritual.
Redoubt of Faith
Grant protection in battle from enemy weapons.
Faith protects. More than any shield or breastplate, faith can carry you through the blows and strikes of a hundred foes. Through any trial or challenge, God protects.
Ritual: The priest prepares a Purity Seal with writing relevant to their intended use and tacks it onto a shield or chest armor with sealing wax or or ties a cloth prayer blessing around the brow or a helmet. Upon sealing it to the armor, the priest reads aloud the seal and beseeches Mithriel to grant this warrior divine favor in battle.
Props: Purity seals in wax, cloth strips of prayers around a helm or brow.
Effect: The blessed person is adorned with Purity Seals on their shield, on their armor, or around their helmet, each place providing a different benefit.
Armor: Provides a single Armor call against a blow to the torso, after which the Seal is torn and the blessing is expended.
Shield: Provides a single Toughness call against Sunder attempts against this Shield, after which the Seal is torn and the blessing is expended.
Headband: Provides a single Toughness call against Stunning Conditions per Rest. May also be used to call Armor against the Head quality, which tears the Seal, expending the blessing.
Rally the wounded to return to battle.
After a battle there are many wounded. Some may join the Lord before the night is over. A warrior priest can bring relief to the wounded by traversing the camp and bringing with him the presence of the Lord, as well as something to hide the smell of vomit, gore and corruption. These men’s strength may be needed again before the night is through.
Ritual: A censor burning with Incense is carried while prayers are recited from this gospel. The priest makes seven circuits around the wounded before ceasing their vigil.
Props: Censor with incense.
Effect: All wounded soldiers within the priest’s circuit temporarily recover enough to return to fighting condition. For one Scene all those blessed may use previously Injured Limbs and ignore the Battered Condition. Additional damage affects them normally.
Invoke an aspect of the legendary hammer of Mithriel.
It is written that the Archangel Mithriel forged His hammer, The Ramulthien, when the traitorous angels created a fortress that protected from every possible attack. Seven days it took Him. When it was complete, the fortress could not withstand even a single blow.
Ritual: Immediately before or during a battle, the priest raises their hammer bearing the Mark of Mithriel high above their head for one Beat, praying aloud to Mithriel that they might invoke the power of Ramulthien.
Props: The mark itself. A larp safe hammer weapon
Effect: Once the prayer is complete, the priest may add Power to any one melee Hit or melee delivered Condition they call during the battle, once. If the Priest wishes to use this again during the battle they must repeat the ritual.
The Ceremony of the Consecrated Battle
Prepare the body and soul for an ordained battle
“When the Prophet left me to meet His destiny, I took half of the Hosts of Free Mankind and continued the divine conquest to the West.”
After the Priest has performed the Astragali ritual they may choose to Consecrate the battle that they have foretold. No more than one Hour before the time of battle the Priest must gather those who are to take part, and prepare them all for conflict. Through divination, cleansing, and the contemplation of mortality, these soldiers are consecrated for what they must do.
All of the participants in this ritual must be clear headed and free from the effects of either Drugs or Magic. Any participant who is compromised may not take any of the Blessings, and will lose their Blessing if tainted by Drugs or Magic after the ceremony.
Firstly, the Priest should gather those who are going to battle and inspect their equipment, admonishing them to repair their armor and sharpen their blades. Discipline of spirit follows discipline of practice. Through careful use and inspection Service Items used on weapons or armor may be used once without expending one of its uses.
The Priest should take the soldier’s confessions, and offer Atonement before the coming battle. Death and War are bound tightly, and a soldier’s heart should be pure before they meet their end.
Those who are going into battle should be fortified against fear, and share a bond with those with whom they may soon die. The Priest may offer these soldiers the rite of Sanctified Wine to bolster their spirits, granting one Discipline vs Fear that lasts until it is used, even after Intoxication has ended.
The priest should then anoint each soldier with Holy Water and mark them with the Seal of Mithriel. Each soldier has a reason for being there, and the Priest may give them special blessings based on their ordained purpose in the battle. Each of these blessings requires that the Priest know a certain ritual.
The Defender, Prayer of Protection
Those who are stalwart and called to the defense of others may be given the mantle of the Defender. The Priest must bless their shield with a prayer of protection written on a Purity Seal, bearing the Seal of Mithriel and affixed with wax. The Priest should then extol them to protect their comrades. For so long as the Defender is Inspired they may use any of their own Armor calls to protect an ally within touching distance. Additionally their shield gains one Toughness vs Sunder each scene for the duration of the battle.
The Avenger, Invoke Remulthian
When violence is called for, it should be done swiftly and brutally, so that it may end all the sooner. The Priest must mark the Avenger’s weapon with the Seal of Mithriel, wrap the hilt or handle with a Purity Seal and beg Mithriel to imbue the terrible power of Remulthian into the weapon. The Avenger bears the responsibility to call for the surrender of their enemies, and should they refuse, the weight of smiting them. While the Avenger is Inspired they may spend a full Beat announcing the impending doom of their enemies loudly for all to hear. Their next Hit gains Power.
The Vindicator, Weighted with Authority
Striding mightily into battle, this soldier is a tower against the forces of evil. The Priest must bind a Testimonium blessed with a Purity Seal to the Vindicator’s armor with either red ribbon or chains. This serves as a powerful reminder to the Vindicator that it is the strength of their faith and not the strength of their arm that will grant them victory. While Inspired the Vindicator may call Slam on any Hit using a hammer or a two-handed sword.
The Vanguard, Redoubt of Faith
Battle sometimes has other dangers than simply the blades of the enemy. The Vanguard is blessed with a keen sense for such treachery as traps and stealthed opponents. The Priest must either attach a Purity Seal to the Vanguard’s helmet, or else it should be worn as a headband. While the Vanguard is Inspired they are Alert and may Exert to call an Alert Dodge on behalf of themselves or any ally within reach against any attack with the Stealth Quality.
The Castigator, Fear of the Lord
The greatest victory is the battle never fought. The Priest must speak of the fear that causes the weak to break and flee before the fight is even joined before cutting the hand of the Castigator and binding it tight with a Purity Seal. While Inspired and holding nothing but the Seal in their hand the Castigator may raise high the bloody Seal and call on the terror of Mithriel for one Beat in order to call Spiritual Fear against an enemy. The Castigator suffers Pain in that limb for 3 Beats afterwards.
The Standard Bearer, Chaplain Bannerette
This soldier is called upon to hold aloft the spirits of their comrades as they hold aloft the banner of their company. The Priest must lend the Standard Bearer their own Chaplain Bannerette and attach a Purity Seal to their chest, giving them the responsibility to hold up the spirits of the company. By carrying a Bannerette into the battle, the Bearer is a living symbol of what they are fighting for. Once per Scene, the Bearer may call Spiritual Inspired on all of their allies. However, should the banner ever fall, the Bearer and all of their allies will suffer immediate Spiritual Despair. When there is no threat or battle, the banner may be respectfully laid down, but the blessing may not be used until it is taken up again.
The Commander, Solidarity
Many are called on to fight, but few have the vision necessary to lead. The Priest must bless a book or journal with a Purity Seal, and have the Commander write down the names of all those that will be entrusted to their leadership, treating them as Followers as per the Morale skill. Once per Scene, the Commander may issue an battle objective for their Followers. Upon completion of the objective, the Commander may call Spiritual Restore for all of their Followers.
The Corpsman, Convalescentia
This soldier has demonstrated a true compassion for their fellows, and by this blessing they might ensure that those who have put their faith in them survive the battle. The Priest must affix a Purity Seal to the Corpsman’s shoulder or pauldron before circling them with Incense, entrusting the lives of their companions into their hands. While there are enemies and danger still present the Corpsman may Exert to call Spiritual Restore on an Exhausted ally. Should the battle turn and soldiers fall, the Corpsman may draw strength from their duty, and may carry a Downed ally, regardless of their Strength. Should the Corpsman already possess Brawn, they may instead carry two Downed allies at once.
The Innocent, Atonement
Words can be the mightiest of weapons, and to bring peace is the most sacred role a human can have. The priest may dress a person who is free from sin in all white robes. They may not be armed or armored, but may carry with them a white flag. The Innocent should try and resolve the battle peacefully, even if previous negotiations have failed. For so long as they are peaceful, the Innocent may Exert to call Spiritual Obey: Do not Harm Me or Spiritual Obey: Hear Me Out.
The Martyr, Divine Challenge
Those who have sinned greatly and see no way out may ask to be ordained as the Martyr. They take on the responsibility of calling down the attention of the mightiest enemies so that their comrades might be spared. The Martyr may challenge the Adversary revealed by the Astragali, calling Spiritual Obey: “Adversary fight only me.” If they use this ability, and no one renders them aid during the duel, then win or lose the Martyr loses one Depravity. Should they perish, they are atoned for any Wicked Depravity they may have.
The Soldier, Consecration of Battle
Not every battle is won by great heroes or acts of valor fit for a saga. The common heroism of soldiers answering the call to do what is right will carry the day one-hundredfold in face of the mighty few. The Priest lays their hands on the shoulders of the Soldier and blesses them with the strength to rise to the challenges that face them. If the Soldier becomes Battered, they may retain use of one more rank of their skills than normal. They may also walk, but not run, with two Injured legs.
After these blessings have been assigned, the ritual continues in one of two ways, depending on whether the foe is human or evil.
Should the enemy retain their humanity, the Priest must perform the Rite of Conflict with them to attempt a peaceful resolution. If the conflict is resolved without a battle, the priest gains a Mithrihim Achievement. If the priest fails to bring about peace, they may speak about the causes and how the conflict could have been prevented at a following Convocation to gain a Mithrihim Achievement. Only after blessing the conflict does the ceremony conclude. Should the priest condemn the conflict instead, all blessings given by the ceremony are revoked.
Should the enemy be monstrous instead, the priest should Lead in Prayer the soldiers in a Prayer of Protection. Should the Adversary be defeated in this battle, the Priest gains a Mithrihim Achievement.
After the conflict is resolved, the priest must lead those who remain in a prayer of thanks to Mithriel.
Props: Dice, water, makeup, wax seals and paper or cloth strips
Effect: The Priest may offer each blessing once per ceremony, but is not required to offer all of them. The exception is the Soldier, which can be given multiple times. These blessings may only be used for the duration of the foretold battle. Any component rituals that would normally require the Priest to expend their Prayer ability do not consume that ability. Instead the Priest is considered to have prayed for the success of the battle.
The priest acknowledges a hero from a Consecrated Battle
“When Benalus returned to the world, He was changed. The callow youth who entered the desert had been blasted away by the sand, and a man, powerful and present, emerged, wearing the skin of a powerful white desert lion. He was alone, and yet not alone, for in the desert, He had learned the truth of the world and returned bearing purpose and conviction.” Epicus
Ritual: After a Consecrated Battle in which the Adversary was defeated, the Priest may choose to acknowledge one of the soldiers who took part in the battle as the most crucial hero responsible for victory. This may be the one who slew the Adversary, or it may be one who helped in another crucial way.
During a Convocation after the battle, the Priest must declare to the gathered community the blessed role and great deeds of a single hero, and present to them a Purity Seal bearing the story of their accomplishments. It should be permanently affixed to their armor, weapon, or shield, in addition to any blessings or inscriptions the priest wishes to place, as is appropriate to the role they played in defeating the Adversary. From then on, the hero may be known by their blessed role, and carry it with them for so long as they act in accordance to it.
Props: Purity Seal bearing the written deed. For example, “Mathius the Avenger slew the Kuarlite commander at the battle of the Red Tower”
Effect: The honored hero may use the effects of the blessing whenever they meet the requirements of the role, even when they are not involved in a Consecrated Battle. For example, if they were recognized as the Avenger, then they may use all the effects of the Avenger blessing whenever they are wielding the weapon bearing their Purity Seal. It is possible to earn more than one Accolade from separate conflicts, gaining the power of each blessing earned.
Should the recipient of this blessing die while wearing their armor or holding their weapon, and it be formal inherited by another, it becomes a relic, conferring its blessing to the new owner.
Rally in the Face of Darkness
The priest inspires those around him to battle evil.
Salve Mithriel, Angelus Domini, Signum Leonem
Ritual: The War Priest must inscribe sacred prayers into their armor, begging Mithriel’s strength to hold fast against the powers of darkness. While wearing the marked armor, and immediately after resisting a power of wickedness while wearing their blessed armor, the Priest may call out to their allies to stand fast before evil.
Props: Inspirational Voice, Armor marked with prayers
Effect: Whenever the priest resists any call with the Hideous Quality, they may spend their Prayer ability to call Spiritual Inspire to all allies that saw them persevere. If the Priest is Devoted this power may be activated once without spending their Prayer.
Weighted with Authority
Make your gospel battle ready to handle the rigors of combat.
Again and again St. Baldre struck at Ransur the Untouchable. Shattering every bone, sundering limb and armor alike. When Ransur renewed himself with pleas to dark powers, Baldre returned his foe again to his knees until these heathen idols grew deaf and bored with their champion. When this Anathema finally lay defeated, the delivered folk found St. Baldre armed with only a book and nothing more.
Ritual: The Warrior Priest binds and weights her gospel in steel and chains it to her armor. A steel leonem is attached to the front cover that was quenched in holy water.
Props: Gospel, bound in protective foam to make it a boffer weapon.
Effect: While they are Fresh, the Priest may call Slam on any opponent or weapon they hit with the gospel. It is not itself a weapon.
Bind your closest allies to you, so that you may stand together stronger.
All men are connected by the Lord’s favor. Those who stand together fall together or not at all.
Ritual: The names of your closest, dearest allies are written on the inside cover of your Testimonium in the blood of each person. Each ally must share a Bond with the Priest and each other.
Effect: If any of those allies are Downed during battle, you and all those allies still standing near you become Devoted until the end of the scene. This functions even if the priest is incapacitated.
Gain sacred protection from harm.
With only one night before the eclipsed moon, we had lost fully half of our number to the Vecatran heretics and their black-hearted sorcery. Our brothers lay dead among the corpses of a hundred wolves, the remaining men exhausted and despairing. With but half of the force we needed to breach that black glade in time, the word on the wind was to flee. “No,” I called. “Let not their sacrifices be for naught! Let not these oak-hearted monsters use their blood upon their blighted altars!” I snatched up Brother Vaustus’ legionaire’s leonem from his throat and affixed it to my breast, and bid others do the same. “Pray tonight, for tomorrow our brothers’ spirits are within our keeping, and we shall not stain their souls to balk in the face of heresy!”
Ritual: A sacred leonem is fastened with a silver chain around the shoulders and chest, coming to rest over the heart against bare skin. The priest intones prayers while holding a vigil over the body of a close ally who was slain in battle of a common purpose. The priest must resolve themselves to live on as their fallen companion would wish to bless the leonem.
Props: Leonem and chain
Effect: The fallen ally’s death must have caused the Priest Despair. The priest must take a Belief relating or supporting the fallen’s Devotion. The first blow that would Down you while wearing the blessed leonem instead breaks the leonem and does no damage. The Priest must call Sacred Block and Restores a level of Stamina. The leonem is immediately shattered as a result.