The Light

The Light
Eternal Candle; First Thought; Glory; Lifegiver; Shining in Darkness

Symbol: A perfect golden sphere
Home Plane: Above Mount Celestia
Alignment: Lawful Good
Cleric Alignments: Lawful Good, Neutral Good
Portfolio: Creation, light, good, positive energy
Worshipers: Those of Good and Neutral alignments
Domains: Preservation, Glory, Good, Healing (Restoration, Resurrection), Sun (Light, Day), Void (Stars)
Favored Weapon: Heavy Mace

Physical Description:
According to all who have seen the Light, the Light takes the form of a great and endless sphere of perfect, energizing light that pours out onto all of creation. There are glimpses of Something in the center of this endless sphere of light, but what it is has never been seen.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
The Light is the ultimate expression of the glory and happiness to which all creatures might ascend, if only they can find the way. Gentle and caring and ever-mindful of the endless creations that rely on the Light's positive energy for their continued existence, the Light is endlessly generous with that light that gives motive force to all that lives. Followers of the Light are expected to behave in similar fashion, doing their best to give to and help others, making the world around them a better place, each in their own small ways.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
While the Light is seldom heard from, clerics of the Light are some of the more common clerics on Therafim. This is because it is relatively easy to become one of the Light's clerics, as far as good-aligned deities go. To qualify, one must be committed to doing good and resisting evil, whatever the consequences. This leads a great many young, idealistic people to join the clergy of the church of the Light, which has a very clear organization and hierarchy. Within this hierarchy are seven ranks, starting with acolytes, who have no clerical powers but fill many common and essential functions in the church and in their communities. To rise to the next level, that of cleric, one must receive a brief vision of the Light's ultimate glory, a vision that leaves those who see it with an inner certainty and conviction that cannot be faked, as well as the ability to use divine magic. Most of the clergy of the Light remain clerics, who are able to fill many functions, and have no set place within the overall church hierarchy, allowing them the flexibility needed to accomplish a wide variety of purposes in improving the world around them (including adventuring) without having to worry so much about the demands of individual communities. Priests, the next step up in the Light's church hierarchy, are clerics who have an established community to whom they minister. Elders oversee priests, Confessors oversee Elders, bishops oversee Confessors, and the Brightness oversees the entire church. There is only one Brightness at a time, commonly addressed as His or Her Brightness (depending on sex), and each descending layer of the hierarchy has more members than the one above it, to better oversee the needs of those levels beneath, and the normal followers of the Light, and of communities in general in the quest to do good. The Light may withdraw power from the Brightness should this leader of the Light's church ever fall into corruption, and this immediately becomes apparent to everyone who sees the Brightness, making it impossible for the highest leadership of the church to become corrupted, especially since such a withdrawal of power often results in the death of the fallen Brightness.

Organized worship of the Light takes place in simple, practical, but well-made chapels, constructed with an interest in allowing as much natural light in as possible, a state that often requires the walls to be buttressed in the larger buildings, so as to allow for especially large windows, many of them of beautiful stained glass. This stained glass is usually the most valuable item of decoration in these chapels, which are otherwise quite plain in appearance, though usually constructed with excellent acoustics so that speakers and performers of sacred music can be heard easily. These chapels (the larger ones being called cathedrals) usually tend to have upward-pointing architecture, directing the attention of those who look on them towards the heavens.

Every seven days, congregations of the Light meet for a day of rest, social communion, and spiritual learning. On this day, the Light's worshipers are expected to avoid unnecessary work (farmers needing to perform essential chores, doctors and others tending to the sick, and those who respond to emergencies being the usual exceptions) and to focus their minds on things of another world.

Lantern Archons are the Light's most common servitors, and regularly appear in chapels and cathedrals to provide additional light and occasional commentary on what is being taught. The Light is also served by the most ancient and powerful of angels which have begun to comprehend the Light's true glory, and a great many saints.

History and Relations:
The Light was the very first thinking creature, who arose with power from the endless undulations of the Nothing that was Chaos, looked around, and reached out to fashion reality itself from the unshaped mass of Chaos' being. This act awakened Chaos, the second thinking creature, which flailed about in desperation as its perfect Oblivion was disturbed, causing a massive burst of energy that split the two apart, placing them on opposite ends of reality itself, and creating the Morrigan, Bahamut, and Tiamat in the process, besides releasing the initial motive spark of independence that allows all thinking creatures to act of their own free will. The Light eventually came to rest at a point slightly above the highest peak of Mount Celestia, above the highest vaults of Heaven, and from this point has been observing and overseeing all of creation, doing its best not to interfere with the fumblings of the creatures that live in reality to try and find their own paths towards enlightenment and true happiness, giving them chances to learn and grow without coercion.

In the place where the Light and Chaos first clashed, the Light created a place outside of time itself, a place known as Paradise. This place is thought to still be there, though its existence has never been confirmed, since anyone who has gone in search of the place, and might have succeeded, has never come back. In this first place, the essence of the gods themselves, and of all creatures that would find place in reality, were given their first birth, from nonbeing into being, from a disorganized state into organization. In Paradise, all creatures that were, are, and will be, from the greatest gods to the lowliest microbe, interacted and gradually sorted out their places in the grand scheme of reality based on their ultimate potential. Since this place was outside of time, it was infinite and eternal, and because of this, all of the creatures that came from it can also be said to have an infinite and eternal nature, though some are greater than others. It is from Paradise that all creatures came, come, and are still coming, in infinite variety and abundance. Only Chaos has never been in Paradise, and constantly seeks to destroy it. The Morrigan has only been in Paradise once, and quietly but constantly seeks a way to return, though this is impossible so long as her nature remains as it is.

How long all of reality was encapsulated in Paradise, no one knows. But the peace of paradise was finally broken by the clash of Bahamut and Tiamat, each with a philosophy that was so different and so powerful that they could no longer dwell in the same place without conflict, which allowed the Morrigan to enter Paradise. Soon many conflicts broke out between these original creatures, sides being drawn around the limitless differences of opinion and belief and viewpoint that arose, including many who chose to follow Chaos, resulting in the Fallen Ones and many other abominations. The conflicts of these first creatures cracked the limitless shell of Paradise, opening it up, allowing all the creatures within to begin pouring out into the whole of reality, populating it and allowing those who had not accepted Chaos to create more of their kind, while those who had accepted Chaos' temptations towards Oblivion poured out first, as they were at the seat of the conflicts that finally tore Paradise open, and were flung far from Paradise, never to return. The world of Therafim was formed by the Light, acting through the Morrigan, as a place for Bahamut and Tiamat to land, ending their fall from Paradise, and giving them a realm in which they could attempt to find enlightenment, whatever that might be, and eventually find true happiness, which is the ultimate reason for all of creation.

The Light is generally aloof from the other gods, any more than the Light speaks to mortals. This is not to say that the Light does not communicate, however, simply that these communications tend to be subtle and require great time, patience, and effort first to feel in the first place, and then to interpret correctly. All good-aligned gods ultimately gain their power from the Light, and at least a portion of the powers of the rest of the gods are also derived from the Light's emanations throughout all of reality. The only deity for whom this cannot be said is Chaos, though Chaos owes its sentience to the Light, something for which it feels only hatred.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
The worshipers of the Light offer sources of light as offerings. Most prized are magical light sources, especially those that can shine for an indefinite period. These are all offered to his temples and shrines, where they are kept in plain view, sharing their light with everyone around them. Creating beautiful and functional things are also holy acts for the Light, as are the simple things that bring comfort and security in a world filled with conflict. Followers of the Light are expected to donate one percent of their increase to the Light's church, thus allowing it to function without trouble and spread its aid to everyone who needs it. Those who do this tend to receive sufficient aid from divine sources so that they do not miss the offering, including help from the church itself should this be necessary.

The Light is simply too far removed from mortal affairs to be able to perform direct interventions under almost all circumstances. Exceptions would include threats that might utterly annihilate the world of Therafim, or other parts of the Prime Material Plane, and which none of the other gods can face. The powers of paladins all derive from the Light's direct power channeled through the paladin, regardless of any paladin's religious affiliation, and this source of direct power from the Light cannot be faked in any way. His worshipers will often feel gentle, pleasantly warm-feeling nudges at their hearts to guide them in righteousness and away from evil, enough that they can know with certainty what is good and what is evil in their personal conduct, but this is the extent of the Light's usual direct interference in mortal affairs. His powers are frequently channeled through other good-aligned deities, and their efforts to influence the Prime Material Plane directly are as close as the Light usually gets to such activities.