ARCEAN RANKING & NPCSThe Pope
Traditionally, the Church of Arceus has a single religious leader elected by the council of Cardinals. However, after the previous Pope disappeared fifteen years ago, the Council has been in a stalemate in its refusal to agree on any of its members to become the next Pope. As the office is currently vacant, all important decisions are made by the council directly, only requiring a simple majority to pass judgement.The Council of Cardinals
The Council of Cardinals includes representatives from six major cities across the Harper Region. A prerequisite of becoming a Cardinal is a demonstration of mastery in a particular craft or art, to demonstrate the person’s dedication to the act of Creation. In times past, every city in the Harper Region had a Cardinal to represent them, but the Church has lost power over the years.
The great architect. When the rich and noble seek to build their grand structures, Noah Bridger is often the one they look to. While deeply religious, Noah believes in the strength of having a powerful foundation on which to build, and nearly always demands a high fee for his work, out side of a few well-publicized acts of charity, usually the building of bridges across important crossings, and of course, new chapels. He represents the greatest push from within the council to expand the Church’s powers, not only in the Harper region, but in other, distant lands. For this reason, he also manages the missionary operations in other regions, most notably in Casilla, where the popularity of the religion is also quite strong.
Amongst the Council of Cardinals, Cardinal Bridger is recognized as the wisest and most powerful of them all, and yet, he has never shown any strong desire to take over as the new Pope. He often acts as a teacher, with many young disciples, not only in the art of architecture and the worship of Arceus, but in life as well. Many speculate that he feels he is simply too old, and would rather prepare the new generation than try to take any mantle for himself. He operates from the always impenetrable Istin City, home to the largest and grandest cathedral in the Harper region, designed, of course, by Noah Bridger himself.
Lv. 61Carmen Del Bosque
A celebrated musician and bard. Hailing from Dedrius, most of her songs celebrate the beauty of the natural world, Arceus’s creation. She's especially well-known for her half human, half Pokemon symphony, and composing contemporary music of the faith. Those who have met her speak most often, however, not of her musical genius, but her frenetic demeanor. One moment, she can be peerfectly calm and collected and serene, the next, she's screaming insults and waving her arms about wildly. She has a penchant for perfection and doesn't allow any detail, no matter how small, to go unaddressed.
As one of the most religiously devoted, almost fanatical Cardinals, her local following in Dedrius is similarly zealous. Some of the local bards are also her inquisitorial spies, though this is far from common knowledge. Her region is the most challenged by the events of the Schism thanks to the monsters creeping out of Edgewood.
Lv. 60Damian Lovecraft
The Cardinal with a mastery of the written word. He has written many historical and religious texts as well as works of fiction, penned from well known legends and local fables. He is also a keeper of the religious texts, determining what will and won't be in circulation in the coming year. In Harper's Pass, he has a better relationship with the government and nobility than other Cardinals, and is as often seen at sermons as at parties. There are a handful of of dissidents who claim that the Cardinal's claim to faith is a falsity, but those who suggest this quickly back down.
Representing Harper’s Pass, Damian is better versed in the art of politicking than the rest of the Council, and has been vying for the position of the next Pope for years. He is certainly the favorite of many outside interests, but he is not as well-loved by practitioners of the faith. Still, there is no denying the Cardinal's mastery of his craft, whatever shady allegations might be thrown about, and his knowledge of the written works of Arceus is second to almost none.
Lv. 68Gwyneth Hamill
A woman who lives for her art. Primarily a painter, Gwyneth used to be well known for her colorful, expressive work, but in recent years her subject matter seems to have taken a dark turn. Her early work is prized amongst art collectors, carrying a charm and buoyancy that made her paintings seem more alive than the real world. In the last two decades, her focus has shifted to stark, but realisitc landscapes, grim scenes of decay and harrowing visions of death. Cardinal Hamill believes that destruction is the only reason that life has any meaning to begin with, and though she has never encouraged it, she has developed a strange fascination with entropy that some find disturbing.Regardless, she is widely accepted as the best of the era.
Despite her eccentricities, her work is simply too powerful to be ignored, and though her following in Seaway City is relatively small, it is nothing at all to be trifled with.
Lv. 55Carol Pendragon
Master blacksmith of Fough Place. Despite her craftsmanship, she herself is a sickly woman ill-adapted to battle, which many believe she resents. She and her sister were both born into slavery, but eventually freed by the previous Cardinal of Fough Place, from whom she learned many of the trade secrets. A genius in her own right, Carol has learned techniques in smithing not only from the Harper region, from from many other regions across the world, and makes some of the finest weapons and armor for sale.
As the youngest of all the Cardinals on the council, there are many who doubt her, especially given her condition. But Cardinal pendragon has a strong faith, and has done her best to outfit the Church is these trying times with the best tools her and her apprentices can divine. She is known for the unusual habit of assigning scripture to every one of her personal works.
Lv. 62Thomas Laurent
A humble chef. He is perhaps more well known, however, for his work as a vintner, supplying many of the fine wines enjoyed by the nobles of the Harper Region. Laurent is a conservative who believes that the Church has been too meddlesome in public affairs, and is easily the most well-liked man of the faith. Like Cardinal Bridger, he was never too keen on the idea of becoming the next Pope, but in recent years has been butting heads with the likes of Del Bosque, Lovecraft, and Pendragon for the seat.
Laurent is known for being quite charitable, his church preparing food for the homeless and destitute of the Harper Region, freezing it, and sending it along to the other churches. His personal wealth is less than the other Cardinals, as the majority of what he makes is sunk straight back into the church. Despite his position, he has rarely acted as more than a man of modest means from a small town, and the church in Little Marchton is the smallest and poorest of them all, though it maintains a surprisingly strong following amongst the townsfolk.
The Cardinals are permitted to keep personal retainers who oversee their interests in the region. Some have many, where others may have none. Inquisitors are often used to allow the Church to act in interests outside of the law with plausible deniability. They are also in charge of maintaining the church's internal purity, rooting out heretics and delivering them to justice.Knights of the Wheel
Once a monastic order, the group became an order of knights as time progressed. The order has dwindled since the failures of the crusades, but those who are a part of this small military force wield no small power. Lesser members of the Knights help to guard the most important chapels in the region, while the Captain resides in Istin City, where the Church of Arceus is headquartered.
Knight-Captain Gabrielle PendragonArchbishops & Others
The Knight-Captain of the Wheel and the elder sister of Cardinal Carol Pendragon. Like her sister, she was a slave as a child. Unlike her sister, she never did learn how to control her temper. Her ferocity and rage on the battlefield are well-known, and her ‘take no prisoners’ reputation precedes her. She seems to have a hatred of magic that no one can quite place though there are whispers that her previous owner as a slave may have been a mage.
Generally, however, the Knight-Captain is good hearted, and believes in protecting not only those of faith but all good and innocent people, and following the letter of the law. Her morals are always compromised, however, by the involvement of mages. She is even known to refuse treatment by healers, and a variety of scars have taken up residence on her otherwise youthful face.
Local religious leaders who change frequently. They maintain the day-to-day operation of the local chapels, as the Cardinals are always busier with national affairs.
Bishops are priests recognized for their impressive craftsmanship or spirituality. However, the title does not hold much power. Often allowed to deliver sermons and assist in daily administration.
Deacons are the lowest ranking members of the official Church. They are what you might call an initiate, still in training and more suited to helping with menial tasks within the churches.