S is for Saint

SAINT: A religious figure venerated by Argosians, the equivalent of a well-known Focal or Grafter in Nur. Saints are not always recognised in their time. Though they are occasionally venerated like Saint Loa, they are more often ignored, rejected or even executed like Saint Usala. Some are only canonised centuries after they have lived, when the scandals and furors they provoked have died down. They are always said to have the Sight. Some celebrated Argosian saints are:

Saint Loa: referred to as the Father of Argos or the All-Father, Loa was a Nurian prophet who preached a renewal of doctrine and criticized the corrupt and decadent rulers of the Empire. When his movement was banned in Nur he crossed the Gap with his followers to establish a new ‘Kingdom of Light’ in the then-Western Canopy. He went on to found Argos city and the Priests’ College. All Argosians claim to be descended from one of Saint Loa’s twelve wives, but it is more likely that they are a mix of local tribespeople already in the region and Nurian settlers. Nothing is now known of the culture or language of the original inhabitants of the Western Canopy.

Saint Usala the Green: a prophetess living about five hundred years after Saint Loa. Saint Usala defied many of the conventions of Argosian society, not least the tradition that true Grafting had come to an end with the All-Father. She set up Focal groups and insisted on teaching young people her art. She was finally declared a heretic by the Council and put to death. About twenty years afterwards the priests were forced to retract their ruling when it was discovered that many of her predictions had come true. She is still however considered to be one of the last Grafters.

Saint Dorit (the Elder): Saint Dorit lived about a hundred years after the times of Saint Loa. He was primarily a poet and musician, known for his liturgies and choral arrangements. He is sometimes confused with his namesake, Dorit the Younger (the name Dorit is used by both men and women in Argos.)

Saint Dorit (the Younger): Separated in time from her namesake by more than two centuries, Saint Dorit the Younger was a nun living in the north fringes of the Central Canopy. She was a historian but is remembered for her famous challenge to the Priest’s Council to amend the legal status of women in Argos to ‘human’. Her challenge was overthrown on a technicality and women, slaves and foreigners remain in the same category as chattel in Argosian law to this day.

Saint Yan of the Wood: a contemporary of Saint Loa, chiefly remembered for his navigational skills and somewhat bizarre assertion that the Tree orbits the sun, rather than the other way around.


This entry was posted in Dictionary of the Tree. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to S is for Saint

  1. Bahiyyih says:

    How come the Younger Dorit was accredited sainthood in the Argosian pantheon if her challenge regarding the legal status of women was rejected by the priests?

    • MaryV says:

      Argosian Sainthoods are often awarded centuries after the fact, as a convenient way of brushing the person under the carpet. Basically the priests don’t listen to their saints, but canonise them later on in order to avoid any accusations of under-appreciation. Some historical doctoring, hagiography and collective amnesia later, a stroppy nun campaigning for equal rights under the law becomes a pious recluse offering mercy to her sinning sisters.

Comments are closed.