Church of Light
The Church of Light is a charity organization most well known for some of its members being able to wield thaumaturgy in order to perform healings and occasionally combat evil nethrim. Serafina the Torchbearer is the Church's patron, though she is not worshipped. Some of the primary principles of the Church are compassion, charity, humility, and striving for self-sufficiency.
While anybody can join the Church, relatively few are able to wield thaumaturgy, and the majority of the Church's members are simple men and women who wish to help their fellow man in whatever way they can. Of those who are able to channel their Inner Light, the most well-known are the Monks of the Monastic Order and the Knights Templar. The Monks of the Monastic Order are tasked with taking care of the sick and the afflicted and performing various acts of charity and service, while the Knights Templar are tasked with protecting the people and are often sent to keep the ever-growing tides of evil nethrim at bay.
Though the Church wishes to be able to offer help wherever it is needed, it does not promote evangelism - that is, they do not have any efforts or programs aimed to "convert" others to their own beliefs or ideals.
Long ago, a farmer named Vito was the first man to tap into his Inner Light and became the first Thaumaturge, so compassionate and charitable was he. Upon discovering this power within himself, he was approached by Serafina the Torchbearer, who taught him further in the ways of channeling his Inner Light. Vito in turn attempted to teach his peers, though many of them were unable to tap into their own Inner Light, lacking the necessary humility or compassion.
Later, when Vito and his Thaumaturges were observed working miracles and performing acts of charity across the land, the people formed the Church as an organization to support the Thaumaturges and follow their example by rendering acts of kindness and support to all who needed it. Thus it was that the Church was formed by the people, and not by the Thaumaturges themselves.
Stance on Nether and Sorcery
The Church believes that nether is a substance, with no inherent evil about it. The Church's stance is that nothing is in and of itself "evil", just as nothing is in and of itself "good". Those terms are instead used to describe motives behind actions. There is also no church-wide ban on the wielding or acceptance of nether. They do, however, forbid members of certain positions and any officers to use it, such as Templar and Monks, as the nether will hinder or outright prevent their ability to effectively channel their inner light. Not only that, but it is the Church's observation that nether often inspires certain tendencies in people that use it, such as a drive to attain further knowledge or power without regards to the cost. The latter is the issue, not the former - attaining knowledge and power can be used for good means as well as evil. Doing so at the cost of others and one's own standards and morals is the issue.
Taking the above into account, it should be noted that while the Knights Templar are often sent to combat nethrim, the Church does not believe that all nethrim are evil by virtue of simply being nethrim. There have in fact been times when the Church has worked alongside nethrim, such as the revenant of Commander Harnlim of Thaelsh. However, the majority of nethrim in the Lost Lands appear to be mindlessly hostile, and these the Church sends its Templar to dispatch regularly.
- A HISTORY OF THE BEGINNING OF THE CHURCH OF LIGHT, a tome found in the Shadgard Church of Light Sanctuary.