Mercy Of Lagoma
A commentary on Mercies of Lagoma, discipleships in general, the Gilded Blessing and the Sanctuary of Silver, by Scholar Tobias the Dubious.
Perhaps no discipleship is as numerous as the white robed devotees of Our Lady of Change, the Goddess Lagoma, goddess of fire, change and healing. Many assume that the Mercies of Lagoma, due to their numerous adherents that care for the sick and injured all throughout Compact, are thus centrally organized, but this is far from the case. While the Archlector of Lagoma does traditionally have a degree of sway over the Mercies, in truth relatively little is needed to form a chapter, as their help is always so direly needed. In rural areas, all that is required is for the seraph in charge of the local parish to grant recognition to the newest chapter wishing to form, and thus offer funds and support from the Faith of the Pantheon through their auspices, and such recognition is typically granted quite freely. This does, in turn, cause a great degree of regional drift in the Mercies to develop, as only the barest of oversight is offered to the white robed healers that travel throughout Arvum. There has been times when small, far flung chapters have turned heretical, ignored the admonishments of the local seraph, and were in turn disbursed by templars to put an end to blasphemous teachings (such as ritual sacrifices practiced by shavs in darker healing rites or a monotheistic interpretation of Lagoma that superceded the divinity of the Pantheon as a whole), but these local heresies are quite rare and all but unheard of in our age. In truth, the conflict that the Mercies of Lagoma run into have very little to do with any heretical teachings, and much to do with the Gilded Blessing and the Sanctuary of Silver.
Mercies of Lagoma, as the great healers of Arvum, are found in all places of healing. While not every healer is a Mercy of Lagoma by any means, it is said that every Mercy of Lagoma is a healer. This, in turn, finds the Mercies of Lagoma working hand-in-hand with the Silver Order of the Knights of Solace, the ancient militant disciples of Gild who guard our places of healing and succor. Most unlearned commoners would never expect that the Sanctuary of Silver would ever cause conflict, since how could such a noble ideal do so? It is the universally held belief that it is among the gravest offenses to the gods to shed blood in any place of healing or worship, which is an offense only comparable to breaking the sanctuary of guest right in a home once given, or shedding the blood of kin. But that unthinkable offense has been a constant problem to the Mercies of Lagoma for a simple reason- the frequency for which they grant it and expect it to be followed by warring parties in conflict.
Traditionally, the Sanctuary of Silver is only considered valid once a seraph or other representative of the Faith gives the Gilded Blessing to a place or worship or healing, a rite that marks it as sacred. Trouble has brewed once Mercies of Lagoma found that the places of healing alongside of battlefields, such as makeshift triage stations, were not clearly marked, and there would often be no priests anywhere close to the fighting to do the traditional Gilded Blessings and clearly mark the area as sanctuary. So a great number of Mercies of Lagoma have taken the liberty of doing so themselves, and declaring any place they operate as under the bounds of the Sanctuary of Silver. This, in turn, causes any breaking of the sanctuary as the gravest of offenses, and it should be noted that any Knight of Solace swears the Silver Oath, declaring that any who break the peace of sanctuary are enemies of the Faith and must be destroyed. It must be remembered that one of the key turning points of the Crownbreaker Wars was the actions of King Darius Thrax breaking sanctuary and cutting down enemies hiding in holy places, and thus in turn having tens of thousands of the Knights of Solace, Templars and their auxiliaries marching against Thraxian forces in Arx when they had previously stayed carefully neutral. The Faith, greatly concerned that its militant orders could be drawn into local conflicts due to any minor man-at-arms disbelieving a sanctuary claim by a rural Mercy, has attempted to reiterate that only a properly godsworn member of the Faith may grant the Gilded Blessing, but it persists to this day. Much of the brief conflicts between Knights of Solace and local lords has, in fact, been due to the breaking of the Sanctuary of Silver under precisely these circumstances.