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Belisarda is known as the Life Mother Last of the Elemental Lords of the elorii. Her children, the elorii, do not write the history of their people or their gods, instead they orally recount tales. In the most ancient of these, Telas, one of the most revered and elder elorii, recounts the tale of how each of the four Elemental Lords gave of their own essence to create four of the elorii bloodlines. It is Belisarda alone, however, who breathed life into all five. It is interesting to note that with the sole exception of Kassegore, the primordial Ssethregoran deity, only Belisarda is ever credited with creating life from nothing.

With the destruction of the other four Lords by the Pantheon of Man, only Belisarda remains to shepherd the elorii race, teaching it the difficult lessons of patience and forgiveness. Priests still maintain the sacred fires in the temples to Keleos, the cool pools of the temples to Beröe as well as the other two, but those gods remain silent and grant neither gift nor counsel.

It is Belisarda who allows these priests to channel divine power to power their rituals. Most of these priests have accepted that the four Lords are gone and instead turned their devotion solely to Belisarda. A few stubbornly refuse to accept that their Lords are gone and still cling to the belief that they will return once more.



Sphere of Influence

Elorii make up the overwhelming majority of those who are devoted to Belisarda, although in the First City are strange humans known as the Hunai that are said to worship Her as well. As such, active temples to Belisarda are found only in the elorii nations of Elonbé, Entaris and Malfia. Of course, given the vastness of the ancient eloran empire, hoary and ruined temples to all five of the elorii deities can be found strewn about the entire continent of Onara. It is rumored that one of the most ancient and sacred temples to Belisarda still stands in Forgotten Arkoshia in the forest known as the Golden Boughs of Saluwé.



Temple

Temples to Belisarda resemble monuments rather than the temples the humans build for their deities. As befits the Life Giver, each of the elements of life and nature are integral to Her places of worship. Living stone is shaped to create the spiraling columns that give the temple its unique form. A crystal-clear pool is placed before the altar and a large lit brazier stands upon a large pedestal behind the altar. Finally, a cool breeze is allowed to flow throughout the temple as it is more akin to an airy atrium than a walled temple. Finally, no seats or pews are offered for the comfort of the faithful. Instead, the grassy earth is sufficient for their needs.



Role of the Priest

The priesthood of the Life Mother is said to be the very voice of Belisarda Herself. It is through their actions, deeds and words that the will of their deity is known and enforced. Originally, only the Ardakene were able to assume this mantle, but with the subsequent destruction of the other four Elemental Lords, the clergy has allowed the induction of elorii from the other bloodlines. While the Ardakene strive to make the others feel welcome in their midst, some elorii feel as if they are given only limited knowledge as to the higher rituals and ceremonies to the Goddess. They point to the fact that all of the Life Wardens, the highest rank in the priesthood, are Ardakene.

The Life Wardens try and point out the illogic in this reasoning and point to others who have attained this lofty level and are not Ardakene.

Regardless of any internal strife within the priesthood, one thing they all agree upon is that their most sacred duty is the preservation of the elorii race. They strive for the day when the elorii nations can eventually reemerge from seclusion and take its place among the other races and nations of Arcanis. The clerics were instrumental in creating the Laerestri, elorii who travel beyond the borders and explore the human nations of the continent. Here these brave and adventurous souls, many of them members of the priesthood, learn the ways of humanity and weigh their threat as well as their worth to the elorii people.


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