Citizens, Priests, Pilgrims and Dedication

For the average citizen of the Empire, it is simply enough to know of the seven Virtues and how they apply to their lives. There is no requirement to honour one above another for all seven are part of the Way and will guide their spirit through the Labyrinth of Ages.

Priests of the Way have made greater study of the mysteries and doctrines of the faith. They provide guidance to citizens about how to live virtuously and have learned ceremonies that enrich the lives of virtuous citizens and enhance an individual’s understanding of the Virtues.

The liao ceremony of dedication allows a human to more sharply focus their spirit onto one particular Virtuous path. This focus enables a dedicated priest to perform other ceremonies that provide greater insight and illumination into the Virtue. Consequently, dedication is reasonably common amongst priests who wish to provide ministry and guidance relating to a specific Virtuous path, whilst other priests choose not to dedicate and so represent all seven Virtues equally.

Dedication is regarded as being of little benefit to the average citizen as it is not believed to aid reincarnation by itself. However, some layfolk do choose to become dedicated for their own reasons. Such individuals are called pilgrims and are said to walk in the path of the paragon. A few pilgrims even go on to be recognised by the Synod as exemplars of the Virtue, whose words and deeds are an inspiration to others.

Despite some claims to the contrary, the evidence is that whilst a pilgrim or dedicated priest may continue to respect all Virtues, a spirit can only be dedicated to one Virtue and attempts to dedicate to more than one results in a loss of focus and, consequently, dedication. The individual is then free to seek to dedicate themselves anew.

The Paths of Virtue

Imperial doctrine currently states that there are seven paths of Virtue that make up the Way. These are:

Further Reading