Shrine Lords are so called because they are the representatives for each of the four elements of Air, Earth, Fire and Water. There are four of them, religious leaders who reside at the Temple of Farahij?, and they use their students as servants.

While the Nahani? aim for territorial conquest and individuals can laud their element over their rival's, the Shrine Lords are meant to be above such conflicts. Instead, their job is to keep balance and to ensure that their society - which relies heavily on elemental technologies - survives throughout the millennia by passing on their skills? to the younger generations.

Yet the Lords as individuals are petty and childish in ways their secular counterparts can't be, warring amongst themselves and sending their servants on silly errands to best each other. They are both below and above the Naharar? in station, manipulating people and politics to suit their own ends. They cling to the thrones they each stole1 from their predecessors, paranoid and wary of the same thing happening to them, yet they are treated almost like gods.

Very few Zanaryans ever get to serve the Shrine Lords directly, instead honouring them by apprenticing to a servant of a servant - and of a servant of a servant, in some cases - instead. It is a display of a mentor's power and respect that he has multiple lackeys of his own to whom he can delegate the tasks passed down to him through his superiors, but of course that also means that the reward for successfully completing such tasks also trickles down through the ranks, with each servant in the chain taking a little for themselves until there's almost nothing left for the Zanaryan who actually completes the task.

The Shrine Lords


  1. As with secular government, Zanaryans usually acquire titles and roles through political maneuvrings and conquest. The position of Shrine Lord is no different, but relies much more heavily on the ability to manipulate the elements - meaning that only master manipulators, who are stronger than their rivals, can usurp the shrines.