A congregation can represent almost any structure or location where people could receive spiritual instruction, such as a monastery, a church, a sacred grove, a burial site, or similar structure. It provides the owner with liao and votes to use in the Imperial Synod
A congregation entitles the owner to ten votes in the Imperial Synod. In addition the Imperial civil service will provide the owner with five doses of liao.
The owner can use their votes on each judgement in every assembly they are a member of. By default every congregation owner is a member of the General Assembly as well as the national assembly for their nation.
Only two nations - the Empire and the Sumaah Republic - produce liao in any great quantity, and the Sumaah are loathe to allow too much of it to fall into the hands of heathens and heretics. There is a significant demand for the spiritual substance in a number of places, however. The temple of the Seven Virtues in Nemoria means that the novelty-seeking Asaveans are even more interested in acquiring the drug than usual. Several nations make use of the liao in their own spiritual rites - the Faraden and the Axou in particular. Others look to exploit the mild narcotic properties of liao, or to trade on its exotic reputation - merchants from the Sarcophan Delves in particular are keen to buy crates of the purple substance to sell to select markets abroad.Yet the Empire's stock of liao is carefully regulated, distributed to congregations based on their size. With a few exceptions, the liao that is so much in demand must be purchased directly from Imperial priests. At the moment, any Imperial citizen who leads a congregation can sell their liao for a crown each dose, either to entrepreneurial Imperial traders or directly to foreign merchants. This opportunity, however, remains dependent on the shifting relationships between the Empire and foreign nations.
It is possible to sell the liao produced by a congregation. You receive 18 rings for each dose of liao that you sell in this way.
A congregation can be upgraded using white granite obtained from the Bourse. Each time a congregation is upgraded, the owner receives two additional votes in the Synod and one additional dose of liao from then on.
To upgrade a congregation requires Imperial Wains of white granite equal to the level the congregation is being upgraded to. So the first upgrade of a starting level 1 congregation costs 2 Imperial Wains of white granite, from 2 to 3 costs 3 Imperial Wains, etc.
A congregation cannot be diversified.
Senators in Highguard are chosen by the Highborn National Assembly on the basis of who gets the least votes against them. This vote is a normal Synod vote - but only Highborn characters with a congregation personal resource can vote.