Baraeon Ca'duz: Hierarchy
The faith of Baraeon Ca'duz, the Web, is ruled by the Spider Council. A spider's body consists of the head and the abdomen and has four pairs of legs. The Web is thereby led by ten members: the Fang and the Spinner, who represent the head and abdomen of a spider, and eight members who are called the Legs. Unlike the organization of Vierdri'ira's church, the Web is centrally governed.
The Spinner is responsible for the overall plotting, scheming, and planning of the Web of Baraeon Ca'duz. He provides the big picture; his words form the missives that direct and misdirect both the faithful and their victims. All information ultimately is directed to him.
The Fang is responsible for implementation, either by using direct force or by covert means. He heads the security forces for the Spinner as well, making an uneasy truce between them.
Information from all over the world reaches the Spider Council through the Legs. Because the world is divided into eight parts, each Leg is responsible for one of the eight locales. The Legs are therefore the contact points within the Web for information created by the sanctuaries. Legs can be either appointed by the Spinner or requested to the position by a prominent head of a dark elf household. In the case of the office desired not being vacant, assassination is not uncommon for making it so.
The Spider Council meets every eight months, but that does not mean there is no contact between meetings. The Legs are expected to feed the Fang and the Spinner updates on any relevant information they receive from their assigned part of the world. Of course, as the Leg will determine the relevance before sharing the information, some information may arrive just too late or censored, depending on the schemes of the Leg in question. Legs are also the overseers of sanctuaries located in the largest dark elf cities. Because there are more than eight cities, there are additional sanctuary heads who do not sit on the Spider Council. A sanctuary leader that is not a Leg reports to one directly.
Local sanctuaries are led by the most powerful cleric in the city housing the sanctuary. This head cleric is called Venom. This position is obtained through plotting and scheming. Thus, being Venom is a precarious office; a high tolerance to poison is recommended. Reporting to each Venom is a council of eight, appointed by him, known as the Eight Eyes. Regular clergy have no special name, but those who have served in a sanctuary less than a year are called Instar and are responsible for the least appreciated tasks.
Elections and Organization
The position of Fang and Spinner is, in good Web tradition, always taken from the previous occupant by plotting, thereby proving that one is better than their predecessor. Most often it is the plotting of two or three of the Legs to move one of their own into the position desired in exchange for future favors. A Spinner or Fang gaining the position in such a manner would do well to honor his side of the bargain'lest his reign be short. The Fang and Spinner can, in a joint decision, remove a Leg from his position and replace him with a new one. This is called severing and is as bloody and as painful as the term implies. At the local sanctuary level, it is usually one of the Eight Eyes that challenges or plots against a Venom to take over the position. Usually, coups like this are supported by external forces, such as the archmage or first patriarch of a city, who would, of course, deny any involvement.
Spinner Ilelilmesta eo anira Ireylaa eo Tyilillaelvgo is an older, savvy dark elf with a list of grudges longer than his silvery white hair. It is said (behind his back) that he would have to become a lich to be able to see the painful death of every person he's felt slighted by. He is a remarkably intelligent man who is perfectly suited for the position'having spent three centuries doing information gathering and interpretation for one of the most powerful dark elf 's personal military. He has been Spinner for nearing 70 years, a remarkably long time, and he has become known to a few people in the above-ground world. However, the life expectancy of one of his Legs has never topped 5 years.
Fang Oailcanire'me eo Ireylaa Laecgolaanela stepped over the bleeding body of his predecessor just 1 month after the pact with Milara was signed by the heroes of the world. He was the Leg of Dregar and has been rumored to be in contact with Lord Rael on more than one occasion. Rumor has it he was spotted in Prantz when the temple of Toran was destroyed. He is young, impulsive, full of fire, handsome, and very charismatic. He does not get along with the Spinner.
The Legs are, by their nature, secretive and may only be known to a handful of people. Certainly, there is no information on who fills the posts right now. The known Leg offices are:
- Leg of Dregar
- Leg of Mistone and the Forsaken Isles
- Leg of Belinara Leg of Vanavar, and the Molten Isles
- Leg of Voltrex Leg of Krashin, Bastil, and the North Islands
- Leg of Alindor Leg of Tilmar, Alibor, Corsain, and the Serpent and Dragon Isles
Joining the Clergy
At the age of 100, all dark elves need to prove their loyalty to their people and their deities by undergoing the Test. To fail the Test is to die a slow and painful death or be transformed by powerful magic into a form more suitable to the deities' needs. Those who pass may have been changed by the ordeal, and one cannot join the priesthood unless one has been tested and proven himself loyal to the Prince of Hate. Surviving the Test however, is considered one of the most important events of a dark elf 's life and one of the most sacred.
Little is known or disclosed about the Test until the time of taking it comes upon the individual dark elf. It is suspected that those so tested are examined directly by one of the deities in order to ensure there's no possibility of betrayal. One dark elf who did take the Test was later forced to become a surface dweller and has spoken little of his ordeal. If his words are any indication, the Test delves into the deepest fears and the most closely held secrets of the individual. That which most affects the psyche of any given dark elf belongs to Baraeon to use as he wishes.