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.
Rites of Mercy
Execute your foes with dignity.
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, who finds a battle closed with captives, must decide the deaths of those men.
Ritual: After Last Rites are administered, the condemned should be set to knee 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. Rites of Mercy can be performed for surrendered opponents without breaking the Covenant of Mercy.
Bury and honor the dead after a conflict.
War is a time of cold comforts when half-measures are sometimes all one can hope for. Still, men are men and deserve the dignity and comfort of a grave, even if cold comfort is all one can afford. Great conflicts and terrible outbreaks find these long trenches outside city walls or in the killing fields.
Ritual: The Priest spends their Downtime action traveling to a Charnel Field – the site of a recent battle, within two Chapters of the battle, and spends their Downtime burying the dead along with their own equipment, praying for and burying the dead, and administering rites of peace and passing.
Effect: The Charnel Field is removed, and the Commander of the slain forces is forgiven for their act of Vanity in allowing their forces to die. If the battlefield has already been looted, this Rite is Vulgar.
Rite of Conflict
Pray for your foes to consecrate a battle.
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: The priest addresses those present in a speech She reminds everyone that no matter who dies today, it is great tragedy that man should shed the blood of man and that a moment of silence be spared for those about to die. This takes at least a few minutes.
Effect: The next battle, as described in the prayer, is consecrated and no Wrath is gained from killing for those who listened to the speech.
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 – Spear: Long, Cumbersome, Arming Weapon (Haft, Shortblade), Iron Leonem (Hard Iron, Holy Water), Banner(Linen, Dye). Once the banner is assembled and blessed by the Priest, they may ignore the Cumbersome flaw on it. Once per Rest, the Warrior Priest wielding the banner may call “Remove Fear”
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 sheet from the Book of Dumal and tacks it onto a shield or chest armor with white sealing wax. Upon sealing it to the armor, the priest reads aloud the sheet and beseeches The Lord to grant this warrior divine favor in battle. The Priest may also tear strips from the Book of Dumal pages and seal them with wax onto other pieces of armor, such as arm and leg armor, or tie a cloth prayer blessing around the brow of a helmet.
Props: Page of scriptures sealed in place, torn from the Book of Dumal, purity seals in wax, affixing strips of prayers, or cloth prayer around a helm or brow.
Components – Pages torn from the Book of Dumal or Testimonium
The blessed person is adorned with pages of the Book of Dumal or the Testimonium 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 page is torn and the blessing is expended.
Shield: Provides a single Toughness call against Sunder attempts against this Shield, after which the page is torn and the blessing is expended.
Headband: Provides a single Toughness call against Stunning Conditions per Rest.
Bring respite to the wounded after a 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 lavender and dragon’s blood incense is carried through the camp while prayers are recited from this gospel. The priest makes seven circuits around the wounded before ceasing his patrol.
Props: Censor with lavender and dragon’s blood 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 and counts toward Maiming.
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 kneels and places his bowed head to the Mark of Mithriel on his weapon for one Beat, praying aloud to Mithriel that he might invoke the power of Ramulthien.
Props: The mark itself.
Effect: Once the prayer is complete, the priest may spend Hope to 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.
Learn inklings of the future.
God is the master of all time and fate, the mighty architect that lays the foundings of all events fore and gone. How can any army stand before one whose patron is the Master of Earth and Sky? How can the army of the Lord Himself be stopped? We are His soldiers, His holy knights and generals, and He will show us when and where to strike the blows of His mighty sword.
Ritual: The priest enters a sealed chamber with a question in mind, and petitions the divine for advice. Setting up a chain thurible of incense, the priest breathes in the smoke while focusing on a silver leonem. The priest holds the leonem over either a font of holy water or a large, horizontal silver surface and continues to focus on the question at hand.
Props: Censor and incense, leonem, mirror or water.
Effect: The priest may spend their Prayer to ask one question, with the possible responses being “Weal,” or “Woe.” Misuse of this power for questions not concerning the greater good or matters of war may go unanswered or risk misinterpretation.
Weighted with Authority
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: The priest may spend Hope to call Slam on any opponent 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 Gospel in the blood of each person.
Effect: If any of those allies are rendered incapacitated during battle, you and all those allies still standing near you become Devoted and gain Hope until the end of the scene. This Hope is cumulative with each other and any other Hope. Thus four fallen allies elicits four Hope to each ally still standing until the end of the scene. This functions even if the priest is incapacitated.
SWORDS TO PLOWSHARES
Swear your enemies to peace and set them free.
After the battle he looked around and saw the innumerable dead, the scores and multitudes of God’s people laying face down in filth and gore, his eyes came to rest upon his prisoners, he felt the great weight of sin pressing upon his shoulders and brow. He could bear it no longer, and rather than execute the treasonous ilk of Moraband and his spearmen, he forgave and set them free. Years later, Sir Moraband the Redeemed died saving his lord from ambush.
Ritual: The priest has the captured foes before him with their hands bound in front. Enemies who swear to never raise arms against you or your allies again are set free and cared for.
Props: Rope or other binding for hands.
Effect: Those who violate this promise to you and God are damned to the end of their line. God casts a terrible pox on the lineage. All such characters should take 15 points of the Cursed Flaw, chosen by Staff.
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 silver chain around the shoulders and chest, coming to rest over the heart against bare skin. The priest intones prayers while holding a full day and night’s vigil over an ally who was slain in battle of a common purpose to the priest to bless the leonem.
Props: Leonem and chain
Effect: The first blow that would Down you while wearing the blessed leonem instead does breaks the leonem and does no damage. Call Block and refresh the Defense Ability. The leonem is immediately shattered as a result.
Mithriel bestows a great and mighty weapon to you for a single day.
But for the grace of God, we all knew it: there was no way to victory. No path but through Him. The forces of Hell and Earth were arrayed against us, the Red Titan Himself present in the gutteral roars and pounding drums as they beat out their advance under a sky of crimson terror. God help us, the steel at our hips was useless to even draw, and we bent our knee before their blasphemous march. Bent knee, and prayed. After what seemed an age, I looked up, into the sky, the color of blood. There I saw our sign, a flaming comet that cut through the plumes of fire and soot that stamped out the sun. I dug my steel fist into the dust and rose, bid the men to follow, and there, in the clearing, searing and smoldering with all the fury and anger of Heaven itself, it lay.
Ritual: Without any interruption, the priest kneels and prays for Mithriel to deliver his just cause to victory over and over again for an entire Period. Only the most dire needs may be answered, as the weight of this invocation is nothing short of beseeching Mithriel for a miracle of the greatest magnitude. At the end of the prayer, if even answered at all, the priest will receive a vision of a great weapon from Mithriel’s personal armory that He has placed upon the world for you to find and use. The weapon will be in such a place that it can be recovered before the battle, but not necessarily with ease.
Prop: Awesome weapon
Mechanic: The weapon discovered has a number of Sacred powers assigned by the Staff in a way that suits your character and situation. The weapon has no flaws and is of a weapon type that is favorable to your character. This can be a shield that orbits around the character deflecting blows, a sword that is so Mighty it can cut through anything, or any other conceivable armament.
If the weapon is lost or stolen, it loses all of its perks and gains Cumbersome and Unbalanced instead as it resists new masters. At the end of the battle it must be buried with the dead who have been slain by it. If this final act is not completed, natural disasters, great plagues and horrible catastrophe shall befall all of the surrounding land until it is done.