Remains of the Fey
Divine magic is ostensibly from the divine, but, as many philosophers of religion have pointed out, doesn’t seem to flow directly from any particular god, seeing as similar forms of divine magic are practiced by individuals of opposing faith. The ritual inclusion of an outsider into the priesthood grants divine power, making it a thing passed on and contained only within specific religious orders. There are four main orders in the Church of Mithras, but other faiths have their own distinct traditions.
Centuries ago the Inquisition was used as a weapon against those labeled heretical and dangerous to the Church, but since that madness ended, the Order of Inquisitors has played a very different role, one more in keeping with the growth of the Church of Mithras as one political power among many. Today the order polices the priesthood and serves as the church’s sword-arm in frontier communities, often acting as judge in certain matters of law (as they are licensed to) and, in particularly bad situations, reprising their role as cleansers of heresy when non-civilized races threaten the lives and souls of church members.
Priests form the largest of the orders. For every church there is a priest, who takes the lead in social rituals, weekly services, and conducting such day-to-day affairs. Higher-ranked priests such as bishops and cardinals serve organizational, bureaucratic roles in the church, directing matters of large policy and interpretation. Alongside doctors, the most accomplished clerics play a significant role in treating disease, though even country priests might have a bit of talent in clearing up smaller cases of illness. Priests are one of two orders that is sworn to celibacy, and only men can be priests.
Vicars operate as symbolically-weighted stand-ins for Mithras and his saints in ritual and action. Their public lives are devoted to portrayal of Mithras and Mithras’ servants, and they conduct pilgrimages throughout the eastern continent and the United Kingdoms, conducting wondrous acts to display the glory of Mithras and reenact the myths and history of the church, that the faithful may be bolstered in their faith and remain righteous. Only one vicar in each country portrays Mithras at any one time; it is an incredible honor reserved for a vicar that has many years of dedicated service behind her. Vicars are less concerned with rules and dogma than with the living experience of Mithras, and as such represent the mystical arm of the church. The most powerful vicar is she who serves as Valiope’s Mithras, and her voice carries the weight of years of pilgrimage, learning, and pragmatic service; her role is to temper and advise His Holiness, and in any dire matters they must reach consensus before the church may take action. Only women can be vicars.
The Order of the Temple evolved out of an old knighthood that emerged centuries ago on the eastern continent. As their forebears, the Templars run the economic infrastructure of the church and defend its interests and holy lands. The Templar is the closest thing to a knight-errant in the modern day, and as such they are a little out of place; the world has moved beyond men with such strict codes. Though the restrictions placed on members of the order have lessened somewhat, vows of chastity and piety are still expected and enforced. Templar often work alongside the local constabularies, offering divine assistance and a unique skill-set to the forces of law and order, and serve as a useful bastion against potential small-scale invasions into the lands of the righteous.
The Banites have less distinctions between those who serve; those who fight and struggle for the Banite cause are known as Muhajideen, and include those whose roles closely mirror those of the Inquisitor, the Templar and the Priest. They have no analogue to the Vicar, and indeed that tradition of power seems lost to the faith.
Though Banites lack a Vicar tradition, they have their own mystic expression in the Dervish. The Dervish are part of a unique, esoteric order that relies on the evocation of symbolism and abstract imagery (which they claim is part of the base units that Mithras used to create the world). It is both an inward and outward expression of faith, and their practice generates a form of divine magic that the Church of Mithras lacks.