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As a people the Angharad worship a pantheon of nature oriented deities headed by Dana the Earth Goddess and Lugh the Sun God. The pantheons clerical and druidic priesthood is known as The Circle which is led by a Great Druid. All members of The Circle (including the Great Druid) may be either Clerical or Druidic in actual class.
Each of the deities in the pantheon have different aspects and clerics of these deities may be of any alignment. Clerics of certain alignments do tend toward certain deities, for example there are far more 'evil' clerics of Innana than of Luna, but each deity has its darker and lighter aspects.
The Circle - The priests of the Angharad Pantheon are organized in a traditional Druidic Hierarchy led by a Great Druid, who is served by three Arch-Druids, each who is then served by three High Druids (9 total High Druids), collectively known as The Circle. Each of the nine High Druids represent one of the dieties in the pantheon and are typically the leaders of their orders. The ninth High Druid is always a representative dedicated to the wider powers of nature and not a particular diety. The attitudes and policies of the Circle are greatly influenced by the philosophies of the dieties followed by the Great Druid and the Arch-Druids. The Circle is normally based at the head temple of the current Great Druid's diety. In attendance serving and advising the Great Druid at any given time are usually one or two Arch-Druids and three to five of the High Druids, as well as a host of lesser priests. The Circle can be found discussing policies, teaching, holding rites and trials of passage, speaking to envoys from other organizations (nobility, guilds, towns, realms), etc.
The Balance - The Circle maintains the Angharad people's balance with nature. Approval from a ranking priest of The Circle must be sought for any industry that potentially impacts the environment, such as clearing forest for new farm or pastureland, starting a mine, creating a dam or diverting a stream, etc. Although not immune to politics, priest of the Circle take these responsibilities very seriously as part of their holy duties. The ability to Commune with Nature is a requirement for members of the Circle with the authority to approve new land usage (Clerics and Druids generally of 9th level*). Failure to comply with these land use approval requirements can result in offenders going under a form of religious censure (similar to an "interdict"). More serious violations of the balance or non-compliance with the rules of The Circle can lead to a general call for the faithful Angharad Clans to intercede militarily to punish offenders.
The Law - The Circle maintains the common laws of the Angharad Clans. Many priests and bards are trained to the position of Brehon (law speakers and judges). While the Angharad nobility hold the right of high and low justice, they mainly do so in consultation with a Brehon. Many of the Angharad rely soley on the pronouncements of a Brehon in attendance to a dispute or question of law. Brehons bear staves with colored ribbons denoting their knowledge level and rank. Any Brehon that has been found to be deliberately mis-interpreting the laws is considered a traitor to the Angharad people.
Circle Hierarchy and Level Limitations - As outlined above, there is a limited number of ranking priests in The Circle. Upon attaining 11th Level (Initiate of the 9th Circle) a priest of the The Circle may not advance further unless there is an open spot among the ranks of the High Druids. If no opening is available, an Initiate of the 9th Circle may challenge one of the seated High Druids for their position. The nature of the challenge is chosen by High Druid being challenged and approved by the other High Druids in attendance (not less than 3). The challenge may be skill or deed or knowledge related, or it may be trial by combat (lethal or non-lethal). The same rules apply when a priest wishes to advance to the rank of Arch Druid or Great Druid, except that that any challenge for position of Great Druid must take place with the entire Circle in attendance. If a defeated Great Druid survives a challenge, he or she may step down to become an Arch Druid, or leave the circle. Great Druids who leave the circle may move on to explore a deeper connection with nature and become a Hierophant Druid. Druid and Clerical Priests of the Angharad Pantheon use the following level titles:
*In an E6 campaign druids or clerics of 4th level or higher with the Commune with Nature feat and ritual are required for approval of land usage as detailed under The Balance.
Religious Sacrifice - Noted under each of the deities of the pantheon is that deity's prefered type of sacrifice. In the case of objects, they may be burned or thrown into a sacred pool. For liquids, they may be splashed to the ground as a prayer is offered, etc. In most cases the item will be gone and no longer retrieveable. In the elder days of their religion the Angharad also practiced human sacrifice. This was usually the threefold death (hanging, drowning, wounding), or being encased in a wicker-man and burned alive. In current times, human sacrifices are reserved for the most wicked of criminals, generally traitors, and child killers.
Angharad Religion Philosophy
The Wheel - The common basis of the Angharad religion is one of rebirth and reincarnation. The progression of birth, life, decline and death, as experienced in human lives, is echoed in the progression of the seasons. This cycle is seen as an echo of life, death and rebirth of the sun god Lugh and the fertility of the earth goddess Dana. The Wheel of the Year is a division of holy days representing seasonal changes and the ebb and flow of life. The Wheel of the Year has eight spokes which connects it to the eight major divisions of the year. The longest and shortest days are the solstices, the days with equal amounts of night and day are the equinoxes, these are the four Albans. Between each of these are four other holy days known as the Fire Festivals. In order they are: Yule (Alban - winter solstice), Imbolc (Fire Festival - spring), Ostara (Alban - spring equinox), Beltane (Fire Festival - full flowering of spring), Litha (Alban - summer solstice), Lughnasadh (Fire Festival - the harvest), Mabon (Alban - autumn equinox) and Samhain (Fire Festival - end of harvest). The four Albans are generally celebrated by most humans throughout Eradain and are represented in the Eradain calendar by four special festival weeks, while the Angharad also celebrate holy days for the Fire Festivals. Fire Festivals are usually celebrated with bonfires and dancing. During holy days the Angharad usually declare a truce in any conflict.
Holy Trees and Stone Circles - Sacred to the Angharad are certain locations where are located special holy trees and sacred stone circles. This includes the Tree of Ross located at the Sanctuary of Arawn in the Arandil Forest. The Tree of (NAME) located at the Temple of Dana at the base of the the Dagalethe Mountains. (ADDITIONAL UPDATES REQUIRED)