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  и  .  .  и  и  . |          Help on:  Ceris          | .  и  и  .  .  и
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Ceris is the goddess of healing, agriculture, fertility, and life, and to a
lesser extent, also of nature and natural things. Once very powerful
amongst the deities of Derlith, she is now in a lesser role, overshadowed
by constant bickering and strife between Enoch and Aramon. Both of those
gods' ambitions forced her down from her  former position of power in the
heavens through outright persecution and purging of many of her worshippers
in the world. Needless to say, she despises both of them. She waits
patiently, however, slowly gaining in power as worship  of her in Derlith
is growing again, although not hastily.  It is her goal to stop all the war
and killing in Derlith by any means possible, short of adding more death
and killing into the mix.

Worship of Ceris

Worship of Ceris tends to be rather loose, as she is not much for strict
ceremony or order. Peasants often will make love in fields as a fertility
right and offering to her. At each equinox, this is a very common thing,
and at the churches and temples to Ceris on those days and nights, one
would be hard pressed to tell them apart from the local brothels in town.
The ceremonies of Tera Auta (in autumn) and Tera Bela (in Spring) are the
two most important religious holidays for worship of Ceris. Each takes
place on the autumnal and spring equinoxes respectively. Regular feasts
are prepared during these times, and frolicking and carousing throughout
the night, with pleasures of the flesh high in priority, are not uncommon.
Love and caring for one's fellow man is the pinnacle of the worship of
Ceris. Peace is important above all, as everyone should love one another,
and forgive. Violence should never be used unless it is as a last resort,
and then  only in the defense of ones own life. Many priests and
priestesses of Ceris have been known to die before they will shed
another's blood. This does not apply to all that is unnatural, such as
evil magical creatures or the undead. These are seen as a blight to
nature, and abhorrent blasphemous  abominations which should be destroyed
at all costs. Many rangers worship Ceris.

History

Worship of Ceris was once prevalent throughout the world of Derlith. With
the rise of the Cult of Aramon in the north and the Order of Enoch to the
south, however, her worship was utterly crippled. In the north lands, the
Empire of Caladonia arose under the evils of the Cult of Aramon.
Worshippers of Ceris were killed for sport outright. Entire generations
ceased to exist. In the south, where belief in Ceris was strongest, the
Inquisitors Order, with the lesser help of the Order of Crusaders, routed
out and imprisoned many worshippers of Ceris for heresy against the Church
of Enoch. In many cases, Inquisitors razed entire villages and crops,
running Ceris worshippers off, and putting others to the question, often
torturing and killing them in the process. Entire families were split up.
Before long, every ancient church of Ceris in Sendral had nothing
remaining of it but smoking ash. Worship of Ceris was forced into the
underground, where it remains today. The Inquisitors' Order, ever
vigilant, still hunts worshippers of Ceris all over Sendral, and has set
up an elaborate network of informants - men and women who are "one with
the truth of Enoch". Recent news that a Church of Ceris is being built in
Highport, after so many years, has brought Sigil and Highport almost to the
brink of war, as Sigil has threatened to do something about it if Highport
ever allows services to start there. They have claimed that they will
declare the entire free city and everyone in it heretics should this
happen. That would place anyone who is a Highport citizen eligible to be
put to the question by the Inquistors. Highport has largely ignored the
threats, taking them as so much sabre-rattling and fanatic blither.
Highport is a FREE city, and it doesn't mean to take crap from anybody.

The Priesthood

The majority of the clergy of Ceris are women. Men are not as common, but
they are still present. There is no structured hierarchy, per say, but
seniority is what is used for rank. Whomever the elder priest or priestess
is in a given location, they have the final say in everything. Primary
emphasis is placed highly on healing in the priesthood. This includes
treatment of wounds and disease by normal means as well as by magic
granted by Ceris. Clergy of Ceris rival even some druids when it comes to
knowing things about herbs and ointments. Secondary emphasis is on the
family and agriculture. Priests and priestesses will often act as
matchmakers for potential bondings among their perishoners, or anybody for
that matter. Dress for the clergy is not ever ornate, and depending on the
season, it can sometimes be seen as outright scandalous in some circles.
As little clothing as is allowed will be what is worn by any priest of
priestess of Ceris. It is said that the seductive powers of a priestess
of Ceris are a gift from Ceris herself. The women will often wear
see-through thin white robes, with plenty of bosom showing, and on
festival days, they wear no tops at all, and cover none of their leg! Ceris
priestesses, therefore, tend to be somewhat persuasive.

There is no specific book of Ceris worshippings and teachings. Each
separate church maintains its own collection of writings and prophecies
given in visions from the goddess, as well as original works of its priests
and priestesses, from the beginning of the time the church was founded. All
are available for perishoners to view at any time, and at festival times,
or during general discussions which are held at the temples on a regular
basis, they usually are brought out and perused through and talked about.
Among all of the worshippers of deities in Derlith, those of Ceris have
the highest rate of general literacy.

Roleplaying Notes

Players playing a cleric of Ceris should always be ready to help others at
any time with healing. Clerics of Ceris cannot stand the sight of injury in
front of them, and they will always try to do something about it. Pacifism
is their way. They do not believe in random killing, or revenge, although
undead must be searched out and destroyed, with the help of others with
more warlike tendencies whenever possible. In general, with a spin of
paganism, clerics of Ceris are a lot like Christians when it comes to
dealing with other people. They turn the other cheek, they believe in
treating those as they wish to be treated, and they always tell people
Ceris will forgive them for their sins, and she loves them.

Toward other religions who hate or outright want to destroy them, or
disagree with them, clerics of Ceris will only show pity. They will always
try to convince them of their errors, but they will not feel obligated to
force their opinions. In their way of thinking, everyone meets Ceris in the
afterlife, and she will be the one who decides if you get a rich fertile
field to cultivate, along with many lovers and children to love, or a
briar-ridden patch of worthless dirt, living forever all alone for
eternity.

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