The Light is a luminous, intelligent, non-sapient magical energy that has its origins in the sun system in the very center of the Universe, aptly called the Source of Light. While the Light is not individualized nor deistic, it does have driving impulses, desires, and motivations; these are primarily the promotion of ordered harmony among sentient beings and the total elimination of black magic and anything related to demons. The Light is typically white or golden when it manifests as visible magical energy; the eyes of people channeling the Light turn golden. Holy fire, which is the purifying/destructive aspect of the Light, is brilliant white, while healing Light and general Light-based auras are usually golden.
The Light can be used as a variety of beneficial magic, including relieving pain, healing wounds, curing poisons and diseases, blessing others, and protecting and shielding individuals. The Light can also be used to put the dead to rest, communicate with ancestors or local gods, and occasionally resurrect the dead (under very specific circumstances). Lastly, the Light can be used as holy fire to destroy and purify anything it touches.
Lightworkers are unified by a devotion to and use of the Light for the same general purposes, but they specialize. Nearly all luirkanni are priests, which form the core of the Lightworker population; priests are calm, self-controlled, gentle, soft-spoken, compassionate people whose primary duties are healing, blessing, and recruiting new Lightworkers. They are specifically non-violent and rarely use holy fire. Paladins are warrior-priests, combining the priestly devotion to the Light and helping others with the warrior's combat-oriented approach. While paladins can still heal and bless, their focus shifts towards more martial uses, including magical shielding; paladins also rely heavily on holy fire, along with their weapons skills, in combat. Roughly 80% of all Lightworkers are priests (45%) or paladins (35%).
The other 20% of Lightworkers are hybrids. 10% of the total Lightworkers are knights, which are priest-warriors with additional mage training. Knights have limited healing and blessing, limited magical shielding, some capacity with raw arcane magic, and limited holy fire; they can also perform arcane rituals, but they still rely on their physical prowess and weapons expertise in combat. Archmages (5%) are mage-priests, combining skill with arcane magic with use of the Light for blessing and protection, some healing, and occasionally purification via holy fire. Archmages are capable of sensing and manipulating the raw flows of magic in the world, performing arcane rituals, and occasionally using psychological magic. Bards and monks comprise the remaining 5% of the population; bards are druid-priests, while monks are warrior-bards (effectively, druid-priest-warriors). Bards specialize in communication - with elements of nature, with animals, with spirits, with ancestors, and with gods - often in the form of rhyming verse, chants, song, or instrumental music. Bards often have animal aspects (including heightened senses) and a notable green thumb, some healing abilities, blessings, and the ability to purify and cure poisons and diseases. Monks have limited communication abilities, usually only with nature and gods; they retain their heightened senses and animal aspects, as well as very limited healing and blessing abilities. Monks are heavily physically-oriented, relying on their physical prowess and positioning themselves as protectors of not only people but also the natural world; they may use weapons or they may rely on their animal aspects in combat.
As for particular races in service of the Light: The Light effectively controls the moral imperatives of the entire race of luirkanni, who are the only species native to the Source of Light and comprise 40% of the Lightworker population. Humans (50%) are the only other species who devotes a considerable portion of their overall population to the Light, though others may serve on more individual bases. Most commonly, rarra (4%) serve as archmages and knights; harinni (1%) serve as bards and monks; vurri (1%) serve as paladins, knights, and monks; ku Lo'hês serve as bards and monks; and aneans (3%) can serve in any Lightworker role. (Those species without noted percentages are part of the remaining 1% "other".) There is also great potential for namiccians as archmages, keusune tahori as bards/monks, sirians as archmages/knights, daereons as archmages/bards, gnits as archmages/bards, Ztar'ai as bards/monks, ksatsi as archmages/knights, qynes as bards/monks, tuaha as bards/monks, and k'anta as archmages/knights.
Note: While the Light and the term Lightworker are always capitalized, military titles are not capitalized unless used as a personal title. E.g., "an archmage exemplar" versus "Archmage Exemplar Drumne"; "a ship's captain" versus "Captain Keng".
95% of the Lightworker population falls into the following categories:
- recruit: a Lightworker prior to graduation from the basic two-year intensive training course (priest or paladin).
- specialist recruit: a Lightworker who has graduated the two-year program but has yet to complete the third year of training (archmage, knight, bard, or monk).
- Lightworker: an adult, fully trained servant of the Light; also called by their specialty (priest, paladin, archmage, knight, bard, or monk).
- Lightworker Exemplar: an elite of his/her chosen specialty, typically referred to as X Exemplar (e.g. Paladin Exemplar).
- Captain: a) a military leader with permanent command of up to 6 Lightworkers; can take command of more Lightworkers situationally. b) the non-combat leader of an intersun ship and its crew; typically only a transporter, rather than a military vessel. [Note: When a ship captain is transporting a military captain and his/her Lightworkers, the ship's captain has final say in all non-combat situations, but the military captain takes full command in combat situations while on the ship.]
- Professor: an accomplished Lightworker who trains recruits and specialist recruits in his/her specialty; technically of equal rank with captains, with the same requirements of excellency and experience.
- Captain Exemplar: an elite military leader with permanent command of up to 12 Lightworkers, often with some Lightworker Exemplars among them; they direct captains in combat situations if such is necessary.
The final 5% of Lightworkers are one of the following high ranks and are nearly always only luirkanni or human:
- Cardinal: applies only to priests.
- Warlord: applies only to paladins and knights.
- Ward: applies only to archmages, bards, and monks.
- Commodore: a warlord in command of a military intersun ship - a warship of the Light.
- Commodore Exemplar: a warlord in command of a fleet of warships; individual ships are usually commanded by captain exemplars or commodores who report to the commodore exemplar.
Forms of Address
- A Lightworker's title (e.g. Archmage Exemplar, Captain, etc) is appropriate for any person of any rank in any context. It can be followed by the Lightworker's name (e.g. Captain Exemplar Vicnar), typically using the last/family name if applicable, or the full name if preferable.
- A Lightworker's name (often last name only, if applicable) can be used in informal situations with peers of equal rank or those of lower rank.
- "Brother" or "Sister" can be used in any situation with peers of equal or lower rank. "Father" and "Mother" can also be used exclusively for priests. Adding a name (again, often last name only, if applicable) afterward (e.g. Sister Reenla) is optional.*
- "Milady" or "Milord" can be used in any situation with Lightworkers of equal or higher rank, though it's rarely used on anyone below captaincy. (I.e., a recruit typically won't call a paladin 'milord'. On the other hand, captains of equal rank will often use 'milady' and 'milord' to denote humble respect for each other.)*
- "Sir" or "ma'am" are occasionally used on Lightworkers of higher rank, but are rare compared to other forms of address.
*The terms brother, sister, father, mother, milady, and milord are all uncapitalized unless directly followed by the Lightworker's name. E.g., "good luck, my brother" or "thank you, father" versus "good luck, Brother Vessus" or "thank you, Father Krein". It's fairly rare to use a name after milord and milady, but it happens occasionally.