The members of the Diamond Heart consider themselves caretakers of the general populace of Venza, providing comfort and advice where other, more traditional sources might be cost or distance prohibitive. Not merely within a temple, but on the streets and in the shops of the city. There are actually a number of “Temples” within Venza which are manned by the Monks of the Order, providing a close by resource if their services are needed or wanted. The Diamond Heart serves a variety of functions, some more common than others in different areas of the city. They serve as trusted advisers to various families and merchants. They server in a self assumed capacity as sort of a civilian watch. Rarely will one of the Diamond Heart take steps on their own when confronted with a situation, preferring to instead make sure word reaches the established City Guard, or other appropriate entity, unless the situation is dire. They also serve a religious function for those who might be too ill or incapable of attending a proper service. To support this, the Diamond Heart accepts followers of any God recognized within the City of Venza, regardless of racial or philosophical focus.
The Main Temple for the Diamond Heart is located in Incudine. It is not an elaborate structure, especially when compared to the glass spectacle that overlooks Incudine. The building houses the Council of the Heart, made up of one member who has dedicate their service to a certain area of the city. While most members of the Diamond Heart move about freely, assisting where they are needed, these individuals, referred to as Councilors, dedicate themselves to looking into the larger, more far reaching issues of their chosen area of the city. By tradition, the Councilor should be born in the area he or she chooses to dedicate their service to, but it is not a requirement. It is, however, the way things currently stand within the Diamond Heart. A fifth member of the Diamond Heart, normally having served as one of the Councilors previously, serves as the head of the Council, known as the High Master, with his or her concern being the collation of the information and needs of all of the districts of Venza for an overall view of things. The High Master also serves as a tie breaker for voting concerning Diamond Heart affairs.
Each of the Councilors spend a majority of their time within the Temple of their chosen home district, Temples of which they also hold the title of Master. The Masters have “Selects” that function as sort of a “first officer”, in that they assume authority over the Temple and its operations in the absence of the Master. Beneath them come the “Trusted”, those who have completed training within the Temple, or in their own home Temple, who are usually the ones moving about in public and carrying out the day to day affairs of the Diamond Heart. This is the largest group within the order. Then there are the Initiates, those who have yet to fully complete their training under their Master. These individuals get the menial tasks and sometimes are sent on a journey to discover the life within themselves. Lastly are the Students, those who have just entered the Temple and have yet to complete the rights necessary to become an Initiate. These rarely leave the Temple and usually are charged with the day to day upkeep of the Temple and any of its assets nearby. Many become some of the most trusted stable hands in the city.
The Temples of the Diamond Heart
Ranocchio, Temple of Argento the Fisher
Within Ranocchio, there is a grouping of huts, hovels and lean-tos that collectively form the Temple of Argento the Fisher. Considering the general poverty in the area, this Temple, more so than the others, is a bastion of religious and racial diversity. This Temple deals with issues and concerns that may arise among the "lower working class" citizens of Venza, including many of the fishermen. Rumor is that the first Monk from this area to serve in the Council was, himself, once a fisherman. The current Councilor of Argento the Fisher is Hallaran the Hearer, an old and wise Halfling male. Of the four Councilors, Hallaran has served the longest, having once respectfully declined an Offer of Ascension which would have made him High Master.
The Two Roses, The Temple of Thorns
Within the Two Roses, the Temple is split, each a similarly designed small building facing the River that divides the area. Both buildings together make up the Temple of the Thorns. The more diplomatically inclined members of the Diamond Heart find themselves right at home here, where they are often called as intermediaries to settle small disputes between persons from either side of the Roses. Sometimes, if one has earned the trust of a house on one side or the other, that Monk will be consulted for internal matters of the house as well. Along with their diplomatic prowess, there are those within the Temple who are versed in Venzan law and provide such advice to the houses. For these services, the houses make donations to the Temple of the Thorns, which keeps a percentage for their own upkeep and operations. The remainder is forwarded to the Main Temple. The current Councilor of the Temple of the Thorns is Chrisban Elderflus, a Human male, who is the most recently named Councilor. He isn't too old as Humans go, with a bald head with a crest of white hair, despte his age being just under fifty.
Bayanbalit, The Temple of the Mad Tinker
Among the myriad buildings of Bayanmalit, a structure shaped like a gear on its side is the home of the Temple of the Mad Tinker. Those who are more of a mechanical mind, or a more analytical focus, tend to find themselves at home here. A majority of the members here are followers of the Halfling or Gnome deities, though a few of other races are represented. Fewer come from outside to this Temple than depart this Temple for the other Temples. The largest by membership aside from the Main Temple, the Temple of the Mad Tinker provides services that those of a Gnomish mindset might need, including meditation techniques to overcome creative block and other servies which those from outside the Temple might find a bit confusing or unorthodox. The current Councilor of the Temple of the Mad Tinker is Grisette Klaingenhamir, a well respected Gnome female.
The Incudine, The Diamond Temple
The Incudine is home to the Main Temple, officially named The Diamond Temple. Those in this location provide a sort of civilian watch for not only the historical items within The Incudine, but for the merchants and their customers. While they do not directly interfere with activity unless the situation is dire, such as recently helping get innocents to safety during a bizarre primate rampage, they do maintain contact with the City Watch, informing them of any activities of which they should be appraise which they likely would not have encountered otherwise. Those who serve at this Temple are trusted implicitly to use their common and good sense and discretion for the betterment of the Incudine and its merchant operations. The Main Temple also takes care of procuring goods needed by the other Temples, such as clothing, materials or farm goods that might be either for the use of the Temple or to be distributed to those whom they assist. The Main Temple is also the home to the Council of the Order and its membership. There are small offices for the other three Councilors here which are on the second floor of the building, along with the High Master's chambers and a larger office for the Councilor of the Main Temple. The current Councilor of The Diamond Temple is the Dwar, Handside Mountainbreak. The current High Master, who also resides here, is Laurena Brighteyes, a Half Elf of blond hair and bright blue eyes.
Monks of the Diamond Heart dress in normally loose fitting clothes, though it depends on personal preference. some prefer patns and tunic or shirt, while others prefer to wear a robe. Others were a more traditional Gui. The make-up of these outfits depends on personal taste for the most part, though nothing too garish or outlandish is permitted by unspoken rule. Each of the members of the Diamond Heart wear a wrist band of white, with the crest of their section of Venza on it. The Countilor's wrist band is gold in color with the symbol on it. The High Master's wrist band is half white, half gold and features the Symbol of the City of Venza.
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