The Church in the Gauntlet Series is pretty much a cobbled-together mess with a loose basis in Christianity with several references lifted directly from the pages of their most popular book. Brydon worships Adona, a direct variant of Adonai, and there are frequent mentions of Shaitan and Sheol. There is a strong patriarchal element to the primary religion, as evidenced by only a single Order that allows female participants. I created the religious background for Brydon’s world with the intention of making him a paladin-like figure, not quite realizing how important the different elements of the Church would become. The religious heirarchy is divided into four main branches:
The Order of Might – Warriors, soldiers, and the organized armed militia. They may or may not work directly for the ruling party, depending on the region. In Falara, the Church is autonomous; in Ven-Kerrick they work for the Overking. There are five branches of the Order of Might – Brotherhoods of the Lance, the Shield, the Ring, the Sword, and the Gauntlet.
The Order of Knowledge – There are three branches of this order, each with a different specialty. The Brotherhood of the Book is responsible for research and the maintenance of tradition, as well as the establishment and upkeep of all of the Temples. They are the church bookkeepers. The Order of the Pen are scribes and messengers, dealing with all things written, while the Brotherhood of the Path are traveling scholars, taking knowledge of the church far and wide, and performing rituals and ceremonies in far villages. Some settle long enough to teach the willing how to read and write.
The Order of Healing – The healers are the least diverse of all the religious orders, mingling freely in each city and temple without much rivalry or division. The Order of the Rose is the only branch of the church that allows women to “take the robe” although there is a large movement in Kaneelis demanding their acceptance into the other three. All healers wear yellow robes, with only the sash colors differentiating them between the orders of the Rose (red), the Leaf (green), and the Chalice (white).
The Bardic Order is the final branch of the Church and they far less defined than the others. They possess no temples of their own and instead have a scattering of schools wherein they learn a variety of musical instruction. From there, each bard takes up a robe and sash (or sometimes merely a badge) and heads out into the world to provide entertainment to the masses. There are five aspirations in the Bardic Order and only a handful of men have attained all five in their lifetimes. With talent and a lot of hard work, one may become a Minister of Song, Harp, Lyre, Pipes, or the Lute. With at least one Ministry Badge pinned to robe or vest, the new bard may go out into the world and provide the gift of music to the culture-starved masses. In return, bards tend to look for new material, seeking out interesting songs, instruments, and stories handed down from village to village and family to family.
Anyway, it’s possible I may have a few too many notes regarding the social, political, and religious history of the world in which my novel is set. Oh wait, it’s not possible to have TOO MANY NOTES. (It’s finding them later that’s the trick.)