Xeen: Hierarchy

From The World of Layonara
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In the beginning of the life of a cleric of Xeen, initiates are expected to complete the rites of calling as quickly as possible once deciding to pledge their lives to the Mistress of Pleasure and Pain. The results of the calling dictate which path the new subjugate will follow in her devotions. The path of the Vine is that of the senses, be it the pleasures of the flesh in the sensuality of the beast or the intoxication of mind with the fruits of the grape and the leaf. Those that walk the way of the Whip revel in the pain that ultimately brings pleasure. Dedication to its art and the exacting finesse of use marks the responsibilities of the ones chosen. They too are privy to some of the secrets of the vine; the ones perhaps considered less pleasurable, but for some of the Whip, balance must be maintained. Those called to the Veil do so in conjunction with either the Vine or the Whip because the Veil is only an outlet for these pleasures; the Veils are the performers of Xeen. They exalt her gifts in song and sensuous dance.


A subjugate of Xeen has not yet earned the rights of her divine gifts. Subjugates must walk their chosen path in the shadow of another, learning all they can at the whim of their master or mistress. Their main path was presented to them in the calling, but all must learn the basics of Xeen's gifts.


At the discretion of their master or mistress, subjugates are presented to the temple for testing. This ritual, the one of passage, marks the new clerics of Xeen worthy of her divine gifts. They are expected to demonstrate the ability to share Xeen's gifts in both giving and receiving. Special attention is paid to the called path as they must demonstrate above average skills in this area to be considered worthy. Many a selfish mentor has hindered their subjugates' called skills to keep them under their yoke longer. This practice, while not openly encouraged within the temple, is neither frowned upon either as it seems to be a common method of controlling the advancement of those who seek to gain prominence within Xeen's ranks. Should their rite of passage be successful, the new clerics of Xeen are allowed to shirk their white shift and collar of the subjugate and walk among the acolytes.


Acolytes spread the gifts of Xeen to the masses. They may do this as junior positions within temples or as wandering priests and priestesses. In smaller centers, a shrine to Xeen may only have a single acolyte to minister to her followers and oversee the interests of the temple, while more populated areas, or areas with more worshipers, might have several acolytes under the eye of devotees and chamber masters/mistresses. Acolytes may choose to split their time within the temple and travel, but all are expected to perform to the expectation of their superiors when the time comes to choose to move in the ranks of the temple. It is during this time too that most acolytes discover the inner workings of the temple as the more mystic rites and sensitive knowledge are kept for those showing a higher devotion to the Mistress. Trials for passage to the Lower Chambers are designed and carried out by Ones in the Sky and usually occur in conjunction with a Night of Flesh and Magic. Trials passed, the acolyte continues as a Devotee in their path.

Chamber Masters/Mistress: Upper and Inner

The distinction between these two is in the perfection of their arts. In their devotion, Xeen's clerics learn how to manipulate Xeen's gifts of pleasure and pain to bend the will of even the most righteous in cause if it serves their whim or that of their Mistress. The distinction in Chambers is bound in the secrets they keep. Knowledge of ritual and lore that enchant and ensnare as well the most secret methods of pain and pleasure are so exquisite that they are kept for only those most trained or those with the coin to ensure entry in the company of one of the Chamber masters/mistresses.

Ones in the Sky

Xeen's whims are directed to the Ones in the Sky. Xeen is the only true Mistress and she delights in the chaos that is generally rampant in her council. Fifteen seats for fifteen stars in the sky. These positions in the council are tenuous ones. Members are chosen from the ranks of the Inner Chamber with a new council being convened every fifteen years or on the passing of a council member either to death or voluntary withdrawal. A master/mistress may serve on successive councils and all in the Inner Chamber have a say on who steps into the role. The Ones in the Sky have a say over both religious and secular matters dealing with the temple. They promote the leaders of various organizations that procure temple supplies, oversee leaf production and distribution, and set the various requirements for donations for Xeen's pleasures in the various temples and shrines throughout the realm. As such, there is much in the way of political power as divine in these places, and they are highly coveted with bribes and favors for votes sometimes starting a year or more before the new council is called. Mysterious deaths during some of Xeen's more intense rituals are not unheard of either, though rare in occurrence.