The Curse of Innistrad
Hierarchy of the Church
Lunarch Mikaeus holds the position as leader of the church and presides over the most critical orders of the church and the direction of it’s leadership.
Bishops are the leaders of the spiritual and temporal affairs of the church. Each of the four provinces has a bishop, and a handful of other senior priests fill out the council of bishops.
Elders govern the parishes that make up each province, combining the administrative responsibilities of a mayor with the religious authority of a minor bishop. They do not perform the day-to-day sacramental duties of a priest, but ordain priests and preside at major celebrations. A parish is the equivalent to a county, encompassing several villages and often one larger town.
Priests attend to the needs of the people at parish churches, village chapels, and crossway altars. They often preside over village councils, and their voices carry authority because of their spiritual power. All priests have the ability to perform magic, though some are more powerful than others. Most of them focus on the protective blessings that make up the rituals of the church.
Monks are wandering priests, not connected to a specific location. Some feel called to minister to those isolated people living beyond the reach of a parish priest, but others take up the life of a monk because they disagree with their superiors in the hierarchy. Some are wild-eyed fanatics or heretical teachers, but many are quiet, peaceful souls with firm convictions that set them apart from the church. Some commit the heresy of burning the dead, which is thought to create angry, restless sprints; others pursue communion with the restless dead.
Cathars are the soldiers of the Avacynian church, but “soldiers” is a broad term that encompasses everything from crime-solving investigators to mounted paladins. Some cather orders are so independent as to be virtually separate sects of the church, while others are tightly knit to the cathedral hierarchy.
Gavony Riders are the elite cavalry of Innistrad, the Gavony Riders are extensively trained in mounted combat with swords and lances. They are stationed in Rider’s Lock, a walled compound in Gavony’s Moorlands, near the village of Estwald. They compound includes a large manor where Captain Einolf Brandt lives with his family. Brandt is a loyal, competent leader with a strong sense of responsibility to the villagers who live nearby.
Mausoleum Guards are not limited to protecting tombs and graves, though that important work is part of their mandate. They are the rank-and-file soldiers of the cathars, wielding little magic but making up for it in numbers. They guard walls and key locations in Thraben, such as the cathedral, courts, and trade houses.
Midnight Duelists are based in the port towns of Nephalia, the Midnight Duelists have only the most tenuous connection to the church hierarchy in Thraben. They patrol the streets, particularly at night, on the lookout for thieves, vampires, and corpse traders. They are experts in bladework, and when a vampire challenges a citizen to a duel under Nephalia’s formal dueling etiquette, a Midnight Duelist often steps in as a proxy for the challenged citizen.
Moor Chaplains are battlefield chaplains who wield magic and weapons with equal skill. Their magic focuses on healing and protection, so they don’t usually fight on the front lines. Their primary role is to heal the injured enough for them to continue the fight, and sometimes a group of chaplains will combine their efforts to cast large wards over an entire military unit or besieged village. The chaplains are headquartered in the outskirts of Thraben, under the command of Captain Nadila Maas. She facing much discontent among the ranks as the cathar’s power faltered since Avacyn’s disappearance.
Parish-Blades are cathars who serve as escorts along the crossways and protect the cathedral in Thraben. They are an elite military force that assembles at the bishops’ command. The Parish-Blades who patrol the passes and crossways of Stensia—particularyl Hofsaddel and the Kruin Pass—are casually called Roadwatchers.
Quiver of Kessig is a recent offshoot of the Parish-Blades, based in the Gastaf Grotto and almost entirely independent of the Thraben hierarchy. They specialize in archery and long-range defense, and they often guard town walls and church roofs against flying attackers, whether spirits, vampires, specters, or demons. They are closely allied with Sigarda and the Host Herons, and serve as scouts and rangers for the angels. Captain Raf Gyel is the founder and captain of the Quiver of Kessig.
Inquisitors are cathar detectives who investigate crimes both mundane and supernatural. They travel to remote parishes plagued by unexplained murders and uncovering werewolves attempting to live among normal humans.
Knight-Inquisitors of Saint Raban are specialized inquisitors who take their name from the legendary investigator and slayer of werewolves. They are detectives, investigators, and delvers into secrets best left unknown, even willing to buck up against the church when they discover wrong doing.
Avacynian Archmages are gifted wizards with the inborn ability to channel some of the divine power of the archangels. Each lineage of the archmages practices unique techniques passed down from master to student for generations, ultimately tracing back to the three archangels and Avacyn herself.
Spearsages, the Archmages of Goldnight are associated with the power of the sun, they use powerful and aggressive spells. They blast hordes of undead into ash with blinding rays of holy light and bolster their allies’ speed and courage with powerful prayers. They supplement their magical training with weapons practice, and often wear armor under their robes. Their symbol, emblazoned on their weapons and armor, is Avacyn’s twin-bladed spear superimposed on the fiery disk of the sun.
Moonsages, the Archmages of Alabasterare concerned with preserving the Blessed Rest, preventing humans from returning as zombies. They use preventative and warding spells, banishing the undead to the void and making sure graves remain sealed. Dipping into the realms of alchemy, the Moonsages study the works of notable skaberen and ghoulcallers to better understand the forces that can animate the dead. They also use alchemy to purify moonsilver wherever they can find it, creating amulets, wards, and weapons for the cathars and clergy. Their symbol is Avacyn’s collar rising above the moon.
Springsages, the Archmages of Herons use their magic to heal individual people, whole villages, and even the land. They act much like wandering priests or monks, traveling the remote reaches to minister to the people and heal the sick. They sometimes gather in secluded cloisters, tending their gardens and appreciating the beauty of nature. They typically wield wooden staffs and clubs and wear hardened leather, if they wear any armor at all. Their symbol is a heron within a circle, often tattooed on their skin.
Church Artisans are specialized orders of clerical artisans associated with the Avacynian church. They are similar to cathar orders and are sometimes lumped together with cathars, but they are more sedentary and less trained in martial practices. These orders include smiths who craft blessed weapons from silver and runechanters who inscribe protective wards onto physical objects.
Devisers are trained in architecture and engineering, specializing in protective magic that can be infused into walls, churches, and settlements. Some also design siege weapons and other magical artifacts.
Lunar Smiths forge blessed weapons for the church, reciting blessings over the weapon at various stages of the forging process. The process is painstaking but highly effective. The most renowned smiths work in silver, which is particularly effective against lycanthropes.
Runechanters are a specialized branch of the clergy that specializes in engraving blessing on material objects. Swords, axes, spears, and even children’s toys can be inscribed with blessings to protect the owner. The best Runechanters inscribe writing so small that hundreds of blessing can fit on even a small object.