The Clerical Circle was the governing body of the civic religion of Ravens Bluff during the 14th century DR. It was comprised of one representative from each of the 10 churches that were officially sanctioned within the city who regularly met to ensure harmonious relations between their faiths, punish religious criminals and work together to improve their holy sites and the city overall. While they had a broad range of responsibilities and wielded great power, they maintained a very conservative outlook and were often seen as a complacent governing body.
They were led by the Chief Prelate, who was elected from among the circle members. The Chief Prelate led the circle's monthly meetings, appointed any committees and served as their representative on the Council of Lords.
The underlying responsibility of the Clerical Circle was to oversee their civic religion of Ravens Bluff, a collective of ten prominent faiths, including those of Chauntea, Gond, Helm, Lathander, Lliira (for a short time), Mystra, Selûne, Tempus, Tymora, Tyr and Waukeen. When the representatives of these faiths came together, they endeavored to support Ravenian craftspeople, merchants, farmers and civil servants. They made food, healing services and even education available to the Ravenian citizens. Whenever a religious threat faced the city, the Clerical Circle would come together unite the churches to defend Ravens Bluff.
The priests of the civic faiths were directed to advocate the worship of their deities, conduct weddings and funeral services, grant blessings to civic activities and projects, aid in the event of natural disasters, provide healing services for the officials of the city, members of the City Watch and the Knights of the Raven and protect Ravenian citizens from undead, extra-planar or otherworldly creatures and rogue spellcasters. If necessary, the Clerical Circle could reach out to the civic churches to conscript their priests for special operations.
The approval of the Clerical Circle, along with an accompanying charter, were required for any new temples that would be built in Ravens Bluff.
- Law & order
While the government of Ravens Bluff didn't interfere with it's citizens individual religious affairs, as was common in bustling trading centers, faith was considered a private and public affair throughout the city. Ravenians were expected to venerate the deities of the civic faith, in addition to their private worship.
The Clerical circle oversaw the collective civic religion, including the vast wealth that was brought in from the city temples. While each church was exempt from paying taxes to the city, they shared a 10% tithing from their congregations that contributed to the temples' shared status as one of the wealthiest and most powerful institutions in the city.
During the Time of Troubles, the disappearance of Waukeen and the absorption of her portfolio by Lliira caused a great disruption to the business of Ravens Bluff. After some time, the Clerical Circle intervened and granted the Waukeenar seat to the Ravenian church of Lliira. This arrangement continued for many years, until the Golden Lady returned on the 24th of Nightall, 1370 DR. The circle representative for Lliira, Ravelmistress Shanna Aslaros was greatly relieved to step down and Lady Lauren DeVillars resumed her seat on the governing body.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 26. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Ed Greenwood (November 1998). The City of Ravens Bluff. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 0-7869-1195-6.