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    Canonfire :: View topic - College of Bishops (Veluna)
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    College of Bishops (Veluna)
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    GreySage

    Joined: Sep 09, 2009
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    Fri Nov 18, 2016 3:55 pm  
    College of Bishops (Veluna)

    According to the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer under Veluna (pages 128-130), there is a College of Bishops that helps to govern the Archclericy. I am under the impression this is not at all limited to the priesthood of Rao, but is rather a rather inclusive collection of ALL major priests represented in the nation, especially those of Rao, but also including St Cuthbert, Heironeous, and Zilchus, to name but a few.

    OK, here are the queries:

    1) Wondering how many bishops may be represented by each faith, and if the Raoans have greater influence/majority rule, or if it is one bishop per faith, etc. for the casting of votes or making policy.

    2) Provide a list of the faiths you think would be represented.

    3) How often do they meet (once per month seems logical, pun intended!)?

    4) How do these 'ruling' bishops and the 7 ruling Houses work together in order to govern, with the addition of the Archcleric?

    5) Anything else you wish to add.

    thanks,

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Nov 18, 2016 7:44 pm  

    I can tell you what the LG Veluna Triad did; take it for what it's worth. Veluna is divided into eight dioceses, each with a bishop of Rao. That's the College of Bishops.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:03 am  

    Lanthorn wrote:
    According to the Living Greyhawk Gazeteer under Veluna (pages 128-130), there is a College of Bishops that helps to govern the Archclericy. I am under the impression this is not at all limited to the priesthood of Rao...

    1) Wondering how many bishops may be represented by each faith, and if the Raoans have greater influence/majority rule, or if it is one bishop per faith, etc. for the casting of votes or making policy...


    DMPrata wrote:
    I can tell you what the LG Veluna Triad did; take it for what it's worth. Veluna is divided into eight dioceses, each with a bishop of Rao. That's the College of Bishops.


    -I'll have to get home to check (I couldn't find the LG website that I printed it from), but I think the Velunan legislature included the Raoan bishops from each diocese (which I thought was nine, although it might include the canon himself), five Cuthbertine reps, three Heroneian reps, a rep from Verbobonc, plus a few others. I should have an answer by TUE PM.

    EDIT: This was from the LG Veluna triad, IIRC. Again, I'll check.
    GreySage

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    Sat Nov 19, 2016 11:36 am  

    From what I glean in re-reading the text from LGG, it seems that DMPrata is correct in that there is a Raoan bishop representing each diocese. There are 7 that are mentioned, and I think Anna's maps have those demarcated. Veluna City, oddly enough in my mind, is considered the archdiocese, with a separate, and arch, bishop. There is no secular ruler, I take.

    Again, my questions still stand, except that it seems Number 1 is answered. It seems the faith of Rao pretty much has carte blanche' rule in Veluna, but I still think that other faiths would have a say, perhaps reporting and debating with their Raoan representatives (the bishops in the College), in order to get their own agendas heard and supported.

    -Lanthorn
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    Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:38 am  
    Re: College of Bishops (Veluna)

    Lanthorn wrote:

    3) How often do they meet (once per month seems logical, pun intended!)?



    Key question here is do they travel to Mitrik / Veluna City by magic or do they walk / ride. If the latter then once a month might actually mean a week (or more) of every month travelling to College meetings which is a lot of time away from the diocese.

    I'm not keen on the magical travel option so meetings maybe should be every three months and the Bishops use the travel time as something of a progress - tending to individual congregations (and maybe trying clerical court cases) in their diocese on the way to the College gathering.

    Just a couple of thoughts.
    GreySage

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    Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:36 pm  
    Re: College of Bishops (Veluna)

    Lanthorn wrote:
    1) Wondering how many bishops may be represented by each faith, and if the Raoans have greater influence/majority rule, or if it is one bishop per faith, etc. for the casting of votes or making policy.


    The College of Bishops (Veluna's religious congress) and the Celestial Order of the Moons (Veluna's secular congress) only have an advisory role per the LGG. If they vote on anything (aside from the election of a new canon), their votes aren't binding: final decisions belong to Hazen and Hazen alone.

    I imagine that the bishops have a role similar to that of district courts. They can make rulings regarding their local dioceses, but those rulings can be appealed to Hazen himself. If he agrees to hear the appeal, he can overrule any of the local bishops and nobles.

    Apart from that, I think their role is similar to that of the role of the cardinals in the Catholic Church. They elect a new canon upon the death of the previous one from among their number. They are individually given tasks delegated to them by Canon Hazen, serving as advisors, cabinet members, and functionaries (and this is true of the Order of the Moons as well).

    I don't think they necessarily have regular meetings. They meet upon the death of the canon to elect a new one, and they're summoned by the reigning canon as required for their individual duties. They can meet if they want, or if they're all required at once for some reason (as when they assembled to witness the Crook of Rao enact the Flight of Fiends), but for the most part they perform their individual duties and look after their dioceses. If Hazen wants their collective opinion on proposed legislature, he can ask them, but they aren't required for this. Hazen can simply draft a law via an encyclical.

    One thing of note is Verbobonc is represented in at least the Order of the Moons. It seems plausible that Bishop Haufren, a cleric of St. Cuthbert in charge of Verbobonc's religious affairs, has some sort of representation among Veluna's College of Bishops. He may not be a full member, but he's someone they listen to if he comes to them. He may theoretically be subordinate to Canon Hazen even if in practical terms he's independent and doesn't recognize appeals to Hazen's authority.

    Quote:
    2) Provide a list of the faiths you think would be represented.


    Per From the Ashes, Rao's priests are on good terms with Pelor and Zilchus. Dragon #358 states that Rao is St. Cuthbert's closest ally and might have orchestrated St. Cuthbert's arrival on Oerth. Bastion of Faith mentions "strong ties" between Heironeous and Rao. The Living Greyhawk Gazetteer states that Allitur is often considered to be Rao's younger brother and that Zodal is a servant power of Rao.

    Apart from St. Cuthbert, locally venerated saints might include St. Eleador the Survivor, as well as as the tome archons that rule the Seven Heavens. Tal Meta's take on the Flan pantheon gave the faith of Rao three complementary saints: St. Cuthbert, St. Carmichael, and St. Trowbane, each of which exemplified one of Rao's spheres of influence.

    Tal Meta wrote:
    Known as the Peacemaker, the Civilizer, and the Shepherd, Rao is the son of Beory and Pelor, and father to Lirr & Zodal. The Threefold Sainted Ones, Carmichael, Cuthbert, and Trowbane were mortal servants of his in the ancient past, who rose to serve their Lord as Aspects of his Presence


    St. Carmichael represents peace, St. Cuthbert reason, and St. Trowbane serenity.

    Alex Roberts created a pseudo-religious sect known as the Archonites dedicated to revering the archons of the Seven Heavens. They'd be appropriate for Veluna, I think.

    I don't think that every one of those faiths gets a bishop to represent them in Veluna's college (although as noted, Bishop Haufren of Verbobonc may have some say among that council). While Veluna surely has multiple faiths worshiped there—for example, the Old Faith among the peasantry, and the True Faith among merchants from Ket—I think the nation only has one official faith. This isn't the Faith of Rao per se, but it's a polytheistic religion grounded in the doctrines of Word of Incarum, which affirms Rao's preeminence among the gods, his creation of humanity and of the sun and moons, and his banishment of Tharizdun. Since the Word of Incarum was (apparently) literally written by a deva, it is probably written in the Celestial language (or the version of it comprehensible by mortals) and Celestial is the liturgical language of Veluna. Their rites and rituals are in Celestial, keeping their religion distinct from that of most of other faiths in the Flanaess (and from the faith of St. Cuthbert, which prefers the local vernacular tongue, even in Verbobonc).

    Alternately, the Word of Incarum might be written in Flan.

    Thus, the bishops (save Haufren) are clerics of Rao because they consider Rao to be preeminent among the gods, but they respect the existence of other deities and allow them to be worshiped. A priest of Rao in Dungeon #41 admonishes the PCs to "Renounce your false gods!" but I take that to mean renouncing other faiths that don't acknowledge the truth of the Word of Incarum, renouncing the idea that Rao isn't the greatest of the gods. I don't think most priests of Rao in Veluna literally believe that other gods are frauds or not divine: they're false only in the sense of being faithless if they don't acknowledge Rao's divine supremacy.

    So I think that within the concept of the doctrine of the Church of Veluna and its Word of Incarum, the veneration of allied deities like St. Cuthbert, Heironeous, Zilchus, Pelor, Zodal, and Allitur is perfectly acceptable, and you can be an orthodox state cleric of one of those deities in Veluna as long as you respect the local theology, perform rituals in Celestial (or Flan), and acknowledge the local bishop as your superior.
    GreySage

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    Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:43 pm  

    Rasgon, as always, I am impressed by your in-depth, thoughtful responses to any, and all, posts. Thank you for your addition to my thread. MUCH obliged!

    -Lanthorn
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:43 am  

    The link ( http://veluna.living-greyhawk.com/gov_org.html ) seems to be defunct, so you can't read it yourself, but I printed it off. Here's a summary, ca. Spring of 594 CY:

    Canon of Veluna: Head of College of Bishops, ruler of Veluna.

    College of Bishops: Council of 21, including the Raoan Bishop from each Diocese, the Raoan Archbishop of Veluna City, The 5 members of the ruling council of St. Cuthbert, the 3 members of the Triad of Heironeous, the High Priest of the Knights of Veluna, an Elvish representative, and 3 others appointed by the Canon.

    Celestial Order of the Moons: Two representatives of each of the 7 noble families, plus a non-voting representative from Verbobonc. The Archbishop of Veluna City presides over the Order, but does not vote.

    The noble houses rule in matters secular, the bishops in those sectarian.
    The College of Bishops and the Celestial Order of Moons act as advisors to the Canon. The College of Bishops nominates a new Canon when necessary, who must be approved by the Celestial Order. The College and the Order may also impeach a Canon, although this has never actually happened. The Canon, in turn, appoints the Bishops and Archbishop.

    How very Checks-and-Balancey. Montesquieu would be proud. Wink.
    GreySage

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    Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:15 am  

    Great information. Thank you, good sir! I appreciate it.

    -Lanthorn
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    Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:56 pm  

    jamesdglick wrote:
    The link ( http://veluna.living-greyhawk.com/gov_org.html ) seems to be defunct, so you can't read it yourself, but I printed it off. Here's a summary, ca. Spring of 594 CY:


    Ive a local copy of the site (taken 08-15-2009).

    From Organization of Government section:

    The Archclericy of Veluna is a Theocracy ruled by the Canon of Veluna. Before we go into more depth lets get the definition of "Theocracy" out in the open here.

    Theocracy: A government ruled by or subject to religious authority.

    That definition defines how Veluna society works. With the Church of Rao guiding the country from above it lets religion slips into almost all facets of life in Veluna. Each Diocese has a Bishop attached to the noble house. Every town has a church somewhere in it. Most merchant and businesses either employ a priest or pay tribute to a church in some way.

    Canon of Veluna: Head of College of Bishops. Ruler of the Country of Veluna. Roughly equivalent to a King with the College of Bishops and the Celestial Order of the Moons acting as his advisors. The Canon is selected by the College of Bishops and approved by the Celestial Order when the old Canon steps down or passes on. The College and Celestial Order may remove the Canon though this has never happened to date.

    College of Bishops: A 21 person council that advises the Canon and maintains various religious functions in Veluna. The College is made up of the following: the Bishop of Rao from each of the seven dioceses, the Archbishop of Veluna City, the ruling council of the Church of Saint Cuthbert (5 members), the Triad of Heironeous, the High Priest of the Knights of Veluna, a representative of the elvish contingent, with the remaining three members are appointed by the Canon. The Council currently has the following religious breakdown: 10 Raoans, 6 Cuthbertines, 3 Heironeans, and 2 others.

    Celestial Order of the Moons: This order consists of two representatives from each of the seven secular noble families, and a representative from the Viscounty of Verbobonc. Only the representatives from the seven noble house have any voting power; the representative from Verbobonc is merely there in an advisory capacity. The Celestial Order is presided over by the Archbishop of Veluna City though he serves no 'official' capacity on the order. Here are seven of the representatives, one of the two from each of the Noble Families.

    Whitehale - Rachael Landis
    Grayington - Matthew Sarneth
    Valkurl - Joshua Borrington
    Devarnish - Marcus Mori (Saint Cuthbert)
    Kempton - Peter Basalle
    Falsridge - Keri Grinish (Saint Cuthbert)
    Lorrish - Sharis Jamorrie

    Noble Houses: The head of each of the seven secular nobles houses form half of the governing body for each of the dioceses. The other half is the Bishop of Rao for that diocese. The eighth diocese is Veluna City which falls under the Canon's control (he appoints an archbishop to administer it.)

    In most dioceses, the noble houses run them pretty much as they see in matters of state and economies. The bishop does not get involved unless it's a matter of church or national importance, though in some regions, the bishops try to take more control or simply do not get along with the nobles whatsoever. Each of the noble houses appoints a pair of members to the Celestial Order of the Moon to represent them in governmental matters. This is often a close family member for loyalty reasons.

    Bishops of Rao: The Canon of Rao appoints a bishop to each of the Dioceses. He is the eyes and ears of the Council of Bishops and makes sure the Canon's will is carried out. This effectively pairs a high ranking officer of the state and the church in each diocese.

    Minor Houses: Many minor noble houses exist in each diocese. They vary in size from new Barons with a few hundred acres to Dukes with 100s of square miles. They report to the nobles of the diocese they are in.

    Sergio :-)
    GreySage

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    Sat Apr 08, 2017 3:58 pm  

    Rao is considered the son of Pelor and Beory and yet, is "preeminent" over them? Shocked

    Sorry, but I always find that sort of thing funny. Laughing

    Different authors? Confused
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    GreySage

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    Sun Apr 30, 2017 4:16 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Rao is considered the son of Pelor and Beory and yet, is "preeminent" over them? Shocked

    Sorry, but I always find that sort of thing funny. Laughing

    Different authors? Confused


    Yes, if it wasn't clear I was quoting an unofficial, noncanonical fan-created text (Tal Meta's Runequest adaptation) for Rao's genealogy, and Dungeon #41 for the monotheistic take on Rao. Although in Greek mythology, for example, Zeus is preeminent over his parents Rhea and Cronus, and their parents Gaea and Uranus. That's not to say that Rao deposed Pelor in the way that Zeus deposed Cronus, but... maybe he did depose him nonetheless. He likely found a way to do so peacefully, though, given his portfolio, using reason to persuade Pelor and the other gods of his right to rule over the cosmos.
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