Different members of a cult worship in different ways and levels of intensity. The benefits of cult memebership increase with your level of involvment, but so do the responsibilities, and restrictions.
Cult membership consists of the following levels:
- A believer is someone who professes and belief in a diety, but actually has no formal ties to the cult. This person may be a farmer who believes in Ernalda. He invokes her name when planting his crops. And, he probably curses her if his crops fail. he believes she exists, but doesn't take part in any of the formal activities of the cult. Believers do not learn divine magic and seldom attempt to learn spirit magic. If they show up at a temple requesting aid, they are usually treated as any other non-cult member. And dealt with according to the attitudes of that particular temple. (Usually ranges between helpful and somewhat hostile).
- Lay member
- A lay member declares allegiance to a cult and follows it's directives (usually). He may attend regular services or only show up on high holy days. One continuous year without attendance in a service involving the sacrifice of manna to the god will result in membership being discontinued. Lay members may not learn divine magic, but they may petition for, pay for, and if granted, learn spirit magic. A lay member is usually know to the local priests and will receive help if they ask for it. They may also expect the priest to call upon them for service if the cult needs them.
- An Initiate dedicates themselves to the cult by sacrificing a point of power. Initiates must worship during the seasonal holy days at a consecrated temple (attendance of a priest is not required). Attendance at the high holy day worship, presided over by a priest, is also mandatory. Missing a holy day ceremony will result in immediate suspension of cult privileges, but not membership. Missing two consecutive holy days results in immediate excommunication. Readdmittance requires a new power sacrifice, if they will take you.
Initiates may learn divine magic by sacrificing the appropriate power for it. No limit on the number of divine spells they may learn.
For initiates all Divine spells are one use. Gaining divine spells requires you to perform a ceremony at a temple in the attendance of a priest who knows the spell (and of course pay the required fee, and sacrifice the required PWR).
- Runelords or Priests
- Runelords and Priests are the same thing. Except that a runelord is usually not attached to any one temple. While a priest has a specific assignment. Priests are the rulers of the cult.
A priest must honor all seasonal and high holy days. They must also preside over at least one worship ceremony per season. Missing a holy day, immediately reduces a priest to Initiate status. They can regain priestly status by proper atonement, and worship presided over by a another priest.
Runelords are usually the warriors of the cult. But non-combative cults can also have Runelords in their ranks. A Runelord is a full priest, but they are not attached to a single temple. Instead they travel about doing the cults business, as needed. It is generally understood that Runelords have little say in how a cult, or temple, operates. But in most cases, their opinions are highly regarded and if present, they are often asked to sit in council when the priest of a temple meet.
It is up to the individual cult, or high priest whether or not to allow a Runelord who is temporarily sitting in priest's council to have a vote. (Example: Lorinda, the Humakt, High Preistess, always invites all Swords currently in the temple to sit at the Swords Council. There they function as full members of the council, with full votes)
All non-one use Divine spells are renewable. Renewing a Divine spell requires a priest to worship in a sancitified temple and sacrifice the amount of manna equal to the cost to cast value of the spell. Additional power sacrifice is only needed for one use spells.
- High Priests
- The priests of a cult usually elect from among themselves a high priest. This position carried no additional power except that given to the high priest by the other priests. The position is purely administrative and honorable.
All rights and restrictions for Priests and Runelords apply to High Priests.