Knot of Thorns
The Shining Lord, The Beneficent Sun, The Fire Undying, and the Lord of the Shining Lands
Portfolios: The Sun, Judgement, Rulership, Knowledge, Healing, Honor, Valor, Fire
Domains: LIGHT, KNOWLEDGE, LIFE, NATURE, WAR
Preferred Weapon: Longsword, Quarterstaff, and Warhammer
There is no greater deity more worshiped in Talingarde than the divine Mitra. In fact, to someone born in Talingarde it might seem that there is only one god. Mitra’s worship is so dominant, so pervasive, that rivals are hardly noted.
No deity is more present in the lives of average Talireans and yet Mitra remains mysterious. His statues (and the deity is always described as a ‘he’) have no face. In his holy book “Mitra” is revealed to not be his true name. Mitra simply means “friend”. To know his true name is to be part of Mitra and no living mortal can accomplish this.
Further, Mitra is not one deity. One of the central tenets of the Mitran faith is that while Mitra is one, he is also three. These three aspects have individual names and natures. They are Mitra the Shining Lord, Mitra the Beneficent Sun and Mitra the Fire Undying. Different priests and sects emphasize different facets of Mitra and thus it can seem they are worshiping very different gods.
The Shining Lord (Typically Lawful Good) is a god of kings and conquerors. This is the god of righteous might and great civilizations. He is a patron of the strong and the lordly. The Shining Lords bids that those with power use it for the greater good. He is lord of paladins and heroes, true enough, but he is also the patron of scholars and sages.
He urges all to seek a greater purpose and to find within this world the truth. Together we can make a better world and if we will but keep the faith, then one day all will be light. When portrayed in stone the Shining Lord is often portrayed a great king wielding a sword, wearing a crown and resplendent in the finery of kings.
The Beneficent Sun (Typically Neutral Good) is more passive. Yes, we should help those in need. But it is more important to be at peace and to find within ourselves the light. The sun shines on both the wicked and the worthy. Its blessings extend to all. This aspect is much less anthropomorphic. In fact, it would be easy to say that this aspect is not human at all.
Instead this is the aspect of peace, healing and abundance. Mitra made all life and with his warming light he sustains it. Everything that happen, weal or woe, is his will. Be at peace with this truth even in dark times. The Sun may set but it will rise again. When portrayed in stone, this is the god of healers often clad in a robe with arms outstretched.
The Fire Undying (Typically Lawful Neutral) is not so patient as the gentle sun. This is the inquisitor’s god – the god of the pyre and the witch hunter. The Fire Undying seeks out evil and burns it from this world. The Fire cares nothing for civilization or serenity unless they aid in this unyielding cause. The fire of war has been lit. It was not Mitra who started it. This war for the souls of all mortals was started in the pits of hell. But now the war cannot be ignored and it is a struggle that the Fire must win. When you extend mercy to evil, you are only allowing it fester. The Fire will burn the rot out and from the ashes, we will at last have peace.
These three aspects may seem at odds with each other, but the true theologian of Mitra sees their hidden unity. Behind them all is a great benevolence and a will to see the mortal races improve and ennoble themselves. The three aspects have different methods – but they all have the same goal. They would see the free peoples of the world turn their backs on evil and embrace nobility and goodness. Behind all three here is the light of Mitra.
Mitra almost never makes himself known directly, nor does he interact with his followers directly. While he may remain silent, his angels have been known to answer the prayers of truely desperate and devout worshippers in their greatest time of need.
Mitran priests are unusual amongst the faiths, that they do not have a standard holy symbol. Some priests use graven wooden symbols, other use silver and still others have more expensive custom symbols adorned with sapphire. Those who wish to emphasize the fiery nature of the sun god often have golden holy symbols decorated with stylized images of flame.
Mitran lords, knights and warriors do not show their devotions only through holy symbols. They also use a wide variety of heraldry to show their piety for all to see. The most common heraldric iconography are all variations on the blue white Mitran sun-burst.