The Everine are a sect of galdori priests who are tasked with maintaining spiritual order in the Kingdom of Anaxas, communing with the gods, and preserving the balance and flow of time. Their permanent residence is within the walls of Brunnhold, in the Church of the Moon. Currently, there are 55 members, and someone chosen to the Everine is a member for life.
The Everine, though technically an autonomous unit, are led in ceremony by a man known as the Noumenon. This priest is said to have a direct line to the gods and is chosen from among the members after the last Noumenon dies.
History of the Everine
The Everine first came together around the year 200 BT to study time. At the time, time itself was a theory, one that was not readily accepted by most. It was difficult for the Everine to convince the mainstream galdori population that there was an invisible force shaping the world. To most, the changes in the world were taken for granted.
Before the invention of the clock, the Everine used quantitative magic to measure time. The clock was invented to aid in the recording of time, but became a symbol for the Everine's work. The first clock, named simply The Chronometer, began the recording of proper time, and a new era was born. This clock is still functioning above the outer gate of Brunnhold.
The Everine as a Religious Sect
After a time, the Everine began to take on status as religious visionaries and holy men. At this point, they changed their focus from official Timekeepers to a religious sect, claiming to have the ability to speak directly to the gods. Around 100 AT, they built the great Church of the Moon in Brunnhold, which still serves as their residence today.
The Everine are a secretive sect, instructing each member to take on a new name to commemorate their "ascent from the darkness" of secular life. Members are typically for life; in the distant past, those who have tried to leave the ranks of the Everine have been killed for their blasphemy.
However, within the ranks, the Everine are supportive and protective of their members. Most members (when allowed to speak to the outside world) report feeling secure and spiritually alive after joining up to do the work of the gods.
From time to time, the Everine meet with political leaders to council them on matters of morality. This gives them a unique political power, as no leader wants to be perceived as nonreligious. If the Everine suggests something, it usually happens.
Life in the Everine
The decision to join the Everine is not made lightly, as in most cases it is a life-long commitment. The Everine accept new members after they have completed spiritual training offered at the temple, and only if they can pass a secret trial administered by the Noumenon. Each member is given a new name and the title of Everus (such as Everus Corda, or Everus Dex).
The life of a member of the Everine is simple and cloistered. They reside in the Church at all times, sleeping in a smaller abbey within the walls. Though celibacy is required, the men are not kept separate from the woman, as it is believed that the holiness of their position will keep the Everine from engaging in any illicit activities. For the most part, this is correct. The Everine take their positions very seriously.
Becoming a member can be painful, because the Everine are forbidden from engaging in any non-church-related activities. They must cease contact with their families and friends and assume total anonymity, even wearing a featureless veil over their faces at all time. However, life inside the church is not unpleasant, as the Everine enjoy beautiful facilities while paying no taxes.
The daily life of a member of the Everine is an intense ritual of prayer, fasting and contemplative meditation, culminating in a nightly ritual known as the Moonsong, where they gather in the church and sing a series of haunting melodies, acapella. This song, for those who attend it, is said to have spiritual properties similar to a spell.
The Everine is without gender prejudice; men and women are treated equally.
Accusations of Corruption
Some of the more liberal voices in galdori society have spoken out against alleged corruption in the ranks of the Everine. Specifically, the questionable use of funds collected for the sect by the University has raised eyebrows; some say that the Everine are squandering the money on luxuries. Certain religious citizens are also concerned about recent claims by the Everine that they have experienced premonitions of the future. (Because of the linear nature of time, seeing the future is thought to be impossible.)