The Church of Osiris operates the judicial system and penal system in Mulhorand. It operates the law courts and prisons, it administers to the code of law, it also sees to the register of deaths and the burial of the nobility of Mulhorand.
As the only institution in Mulhorand with the power and will (on occasion) to challenge the Church of Horus-Re and the excesses of the nobility, it is among the most popular and respected of organisations in Mulhorand.
The Church of Osiris was founded in the ancient history of Mulhorand to serve the Laran (godking) Osiris. Later, as the Laren became worshipped as gods, the churches became more formal and began to resemble the churches of modern day Mulhorand.
Following the end of the First Empire of Mulhorand, the churches were charged by Horus-Re to serve the state of the new empire. Osiris was respected by all as a champion of the law and the defender of its citizens from the entitlement of nobility, thus it was natural that the Church of Osiris would become responsible for the judicial and penal system of Mulhorand, and with Osiris’ recent and miraculous rise from the dead his church also became responsible for administering to the deceased.
Since that time the Church of Osiris has administered fairly to the laws of Mulhorand and the dead. It applies the law to all individuals, no matter their wealth or political power.
Headquarters: Mishtan, the Crypt of Shadows
Members: 7,000 priests
Leader: Olsiriheb Osriant (Good, Human – Mulan, Expert 9). Olsiriheb Osriant is the Divine Precept of Osiris and the true leader of the Church of Osiris
Symbol: The white crown of Muhorand, with a crook and flail crossed beneath it.
The Church of Osiris is strictly organized according to an ancient hierarchy laid out by Osiris millennia ago. The ranks, in descending order are; Deathlord, High Magistrate, High Harvester, High Watcher, High Seeker, Magistrate, Harvester, Guardian, Watcher, Seeker. Seekers deal with the admin work relating to trials and registrations of death, often dealing with the public in temples of Osiris (and Isis, the Church of Osiris and Isis cohabit in one another’s temples). Guardians and Harvesters deal with all activities relating to the deaths of individuals, recording them, processing them, ensuring the proper rites and rituals are obeyed. Magistrates and Watchers deal with judicial process, providing judgments and rulings on disputes, holding trials, and enforcing punishments. It is expected that all priests of Osiris serve in the various departments in turn (usually on a rotation basis every 3 years).
The Church of Osiris does not have temples present in every city or town, they cohabit with the Church of Isis, but that still leaves many settlements short of a temple that administers to the law and the dead. The Church of Horus-Re provides administration for applications to matters relating to law and the dead, these documents, licenses, and applications are then forwarded to the nearest temple of Osiris by great caravans every months that are known as “White Gold Caravans” for the bleached papyrus inside holds the key to the wealth of Mulhorand.
Dogma / Motivation / Goals
The Church of Osiris tasks its members with behaving with duty and honour at all times. The natural state of the universe is order, and for that order to survive and flourish, people must act with honour at all times. This means that priests of Osiris hold themselves to good conduct at all times, always being helpful and courteous, always obeying the law of the land, and more importantly helping others behave in a similar manner. In this way the people of Mulhorand are encouraged to obey the law and behave in a good manner towards one another.
The Church of Osiris handles all lawful disputes between citizens and organisations in Mulhorand. This most often requires the priests of Osiris to wander among the settlements and citizens of Mulhorand and mediate between the disagreements of the common folk. The judgments are fair and in accordance with the law. For those requiring a more official judgment involving the most learned priest of Osiris, then a tribunal can be requested (although the cost is prohibitive), this involves senior priests from the local temple hearing all the evidence (the gathering of which can be long and involved depending upon the nature of the crime/dispute) before deliberating their judgment. In Mulhorand, the law presumes guilt and requires the accused to prove their innocence.
The Church of Osiris also deals with the registration of all deaths in Mulhorand (from nobility to slaves). It is a crime not to register the death of an individual (and often if a murder has occurred, the accused will be punished for not registering the death if he cannot be punished for the murder). The death rites for all nobility (and for all those non-noble individuals able to afford the extensive fees required for a proper burial), this includes mummification, a sarcophagus, the proper prayers and unguents, and finally interment in a familial pyramid. Such matters always happen at Mishtan, and the priests of Osiris keep a watchful eye over the Land of the Dead to ensure the buried are not disturbed.
Lastly, in a joint effort with the priests of Isis, the priest of Osiris that wander the settlements of Mulhorand providing judgment on matters of law also aid in the harvest during that time.
Membership / Recruiting
Anyone is able to join the Church of Osiris. Applicants are approved based upon merit, which includes and exam to determine an individual’s ability to read and write, and an understanding of the laws of Mulhorand. The Church of Osiris is renowned for its impartiality against applicants and it has more priests of common birth (and without noble kin or patrons) than any other church in Mulhorand.
All applicants must attend the Gateway to the Afterworld in Mishtan to take the exam, those that achieve the highest score out of that group of applicants (depending upon the number of new priests needed to replace existing losses) are inducted into the priesthood immediately.
There is no preference within the church based upon birthright. Those of common descent are just as able to advance within its ranks as those of noble descent. However, the nobility often have a better education and thus a better understanding of the law (although the entrance exam is worded so that little knowledge of the law is required, it measures one’s sense of justice and fairness), and so are more likely to gain entrance to the church and advance within its ranks.
This class neutrality is one of the reasons why the Church of Osiris has at times challenged the excesses of the nobility of Mulhorand, by punishing the rich who flount the law (including even a Divine Precept of Nephthys who was guilty of thievery).
The Church of Osiris is allied with all other churches in Mulhorand.
It is closely allied to the Churches of Isis and Nephthys, sharing the duties of that church and in the case of the Church of Isis it also shares the same temples in some settlements.
The Church of Osiris supports the Church of Horus-Re in almost all decisions, but it has been known to challenge some of the more unjust policies of past Viziers. Currently the Church of Osiris is unwilling to challenge the Vizier Rezim as policies have resulted in Horus-Re owning much of the land used by the Church of Osiris for its slave farms, the Church of Osiris rents this land and it’s farms from the Church of Horus-Re. If the Church of Osiris were to act against the Church of Horus-Re, then it is possible that ownership of these farms would revoked and the rights return to the Church of Horus-Re.
The Church of Osiris has declared the Cult of the Smiling Death and the Cult of Set to be its sworn enemies, as their evil and deceptions threaten the natural order of the universe and Mulhorand itself. The Church of Osiris has long had a military order; the Order of the Risen Sceptre, that is specifically dedicated to hunting down the worshippers of Set (and Sebek).
Olsiriheb Osriant (Good, Human – Mulan, Expert 9): Olsiriheb is the Oblaran (incarnation) of Osiris and thus the Divine Precept of Osiris. He is the current Deathlord of the Church of Osiris and its leader.
Sphere of Influence
Mulhorand: As one of the major religions in Mulhorand, the Church of Osiris’ primary sphere of influence is it’s home nation.
Mishtan: The Gateway to the Land of the Dead is a settlement given over entirely to the churches of Mulhorand so that they may administer to their dead buried in the Land of the Dead. The Church of Osiris is strongest among these churches because it has overall responsibility for administering to the dead.
The Crypt of Shadows: The Crypt of Shadows is the high temple of Osiris. It is a series of tall towers arranged in two concentric rings (8 towers per ring), with each tower connected to other towers in a ring via a series of arches that act as walkways. The towers link around the outside of a ring via archways, and each tower has an arch leading into the centre of the ring where they all join together. The largest tower that joins both circles together is where the Deathlord (and Divine Precept) dwells along with the High Magistrates whenever they are on site.
It is rumoured that there are extensive catacombs beneath the Crypt of Shadows, the deepest of which predate even the Mulhorandi and are filled with a strange architecture that suggests the walls and ceilings were active surfaces. It is here that the priests of Osiris are said to manufacture their tomb guardians from the donated bodies of willing subjects (which become flesh and bone golems).
Order of the Risen Sceptre: Known informally as “Those Who Smile in the Face of Death” or even more informally, “The Deathgrins”, this military order draws the most capable and most fanatical warriors from the Church of Osiris into its ranks. It is the most prestigious military order in Mulhorand to date and is charged with seeking out and combatting the followers of Set and Sebek within Mulhorand.
The order comprises a stable roster of 77 warriors who are rigorously trained in both the martial and magical arts, and equipped with the finest armaments available to the Church of Osiris (with a focus on defence, but including an array of weapons made from a variety of different metals).
The Order of the Risen Sceptre is often present at the headquarters of the Church of Osiris, unless deployed by the Divine Incarnation of Osiris to some part of Mulhorand. When on active deployment, the order members will leave no stone unturned, empowered to search residences, interrogate suspects, and deliver swift judgement (death) upon the worshippers of Set and Sebek.
Those members of the Order who are not on active duty form part of the Guardians of Skuld, where they guard the City of the Gods, and more specifically the Solarium and the Pharaoh from danger.
The Chariot of Osiris: This horseless, floating chariot, is one of three that belonged to the gods Ra, Osiris, and Horus. Mythology claims that Ptah crafted three and gifted them to Ra who in turn gifted two to Osiris, and Osiris granted one to his son (other tales say that Ra foresaw he would one day fuse with Horus and so granted it to Horus in preparation).
The Chariot of Osiris was lost during the civil war of Mulhorand, it simply vanished from outside the Solarium during the chaos surrounding Osiris’ unexpected death as he was crowned Pharaoh (he rode on the chariot to the Solarium). Rumours regularly abound of the magic chariots being seen in various nations around Mulhorand, the latest rumoured location is in a dragon’s cave in one of the mountain ranges in Chessenta or the Vilhon Reach.
The Shrouds of Osiris: Since Osiris’ rise from death following the Orcgate Wars, he was ever depicted as wearing bandages etched with arcane writings (these bandages turned green over time and resulted in some later depictions of the godking as a normal human but with skin tinged green.
Osiris, like all the Laren of Mulhorand, eventually retreated from public life to his tower in Skuld in the City of the Gods. Eventually, visitors seeking his guidance found his tower empty with the exception of a few of his personal effects, including the Shrouds of Osiris.
These shrouds have a curious ability such that anything wrapped inside them is completely disintegrated when the command word is spoken by someone in contact with the shrouds. The outer surface of the shrouds are inscribed with magical runes (to help distinguish which side should be wrapped around the thing or item to be disintegrated). The command word is unknown to Mulhorandi language today, it has its origins (like the inscriptions on the shrouds themselves) in Imaskari, and is believed to come from the precursor language of the Raurin empire.
It is unknown how the shrouds came to be enchanted with the power to disintegrate, it is unlikely that Isis and Nephthys (who are rumoured to have created the shrouds in their attempt to restore Osiris to life) would have enspelled it with such a function. Osiris himself never spoke of the bandages, and their function was discovered purely by accident (costing a High Watcher his left hand in the process of discovery). One sage (who mysteriously disappeared shortly after publishing his theory) speculated that the shroud’s enchanted is a byproduct of its exposure to the magical energies of the Sun Throne, which are rumoured to drain the life energies from anyone that touches it.