Thuria and Beyond
Church of Mitra
Worship of the god Mitra is the dominant religious faith in the eight Thurian kingdoms, His worshippers are monolatristic, recognising the existence of other deities (most notably Set) but venerating Mitra alone.
Mitra is depicted as a “gentle” god and the Mitraic Church does not practise blood sacrifice of any sort. Aesthetic simplicity is at the core of the Mitraic faith so shrines are usually unadorned and feature little or no iconography except for the universal ankh symbol of the deity. Mitraic priests also dress very simply, with even the most senior clerics wearing undecorated robes. Similarly, prayer book and other holy texts are devoid of illustrations or adornment.
Many shrines, however, do include depictions of the religion’s foremost prophet, Epimetrius, usually represented as a wise, bearded man in simple robes.
This simple aesthetic is at its purest in Aquilonia and Nemedia. Elsewhere, the simplicity of design in temple architecture and in the dress of clerics has been somewhat affected by local tastes. This is one reason why the priestly class of Aquilonia and Nemedia have a tendency to look down on their brethren from kingdoms such as Zingara and Zamara.
At the head of the Church of Mitra sits the High Holy Father, who resides in a magnificent palace in the Nemedian city of Belverus. Supposedly, the honour of this position is bestowed upon the most learned and most devout senior cleric of the age. Most ordinary worshippers of Mitra believe that each High Holy Father is chosen directly by the deity himself. Over the centuries, however, the integrity of this high office has been thoroughly corrupted. One thousand years after Epimetrius was the first man to hold the title, the office of High Holy Father is now more akin to a political position won by means of exercising earthly power. In past centuries, it was not unknown for an incumbent High Holy Father to be assassinated by a pretender to his throne. For a period of around 200 years, moreover (between 450 and 672 YT), there continued a terrible struggle for power between competing factions, each of which elected its own High Holy Father. This schism was ended when supporters of the Numalian High Holy Father swept across the Thurian kingdoms butchering members of the breakaway factions head-quartered in Tarantia and Numalia. To this day, the Thurian lands are dotted with strongholds belonging to the greatly feared Knights of Epimetrius, a quasi-religious military order created by the Belverus High Holy Father to crush his opponents.