The Non-Affiliated Clergy
Though the Society is by far the most dominant religious denomination of Korvaio worship, it is not the only one. A loose collection of what is termed “Non-Affiliated Clergy” exists, and though they do not have a formal hierarchy like the Society does, they share similar views on the divine and the ways of worship.
Most still wear the Cravat and Pin showing their role as a priest, but they tend to wear more sombre and practical clothes, and indeed the ones who make up the vast majority of the Priesthood in Schwereinn are often hard to distinguish from soldiers and warriors, clad as they are in uniforms, armour and bearing an assortment of weaponry.
Non-Affiliated Clergy observe what the Archimander in Tonnalta says, and pay attention to what the Society is doing, but they make their own way and make their own path largely independent of the Society. They steer clear of the 3 Heresies (at least publicly), and so long as they do not challenge the Society in an overly confrontational way they can preach to their flocks and carry on as they see fit (something of a grey area much dependent on the latitude and goodwill granted by the local Society Cardinal or Bishops See).
There are 5 main Divinity Colleges where Non-Affiliated clergy gain instruction, with the most notable ones being the Castle of Staalweig in Schwereinn and the Holy School of Korvaio Exalted in the small city of Moetkeer in Heidelgard. The others are in the Heel of Accitaine, the Confederation of Free Towns and lastly the Free Midland Duchies.
The Castle of Staalweig is a formidable and dour affair located in the north and central forested areas of Schwereinn, and it produces both Clerics and Paladins of noted piety yet also of noted grimness. Very militarised, even its students play an active military role in the never-ending struggle with the wild northern lands and the Amarkachan threat. Not all who enter as students survive their instruction due to this crucible of education, though the ones who do are formidable and also quite hardened.
The Holy School of Korvaio Exalted in Heidelgard is a different affair, with almost all of its dedicants being in study for Priesthood, though a rare few gain instruction in the ways of Paladins or Monks. The Clergy here gain useful weapons training, the better to protect their flock and to do good as they travel, though much of what they learn is divinity and also how best to spread their own word of the God and to avoid looking like bumpkins or deranged mischief makers in the eyes of the Society.
Non-Affiliated Clergy term themselves Reverends as both male and female, losing the gender distinction of Reverend Sister or Reverend Brother that the Society follows; the Non Affiliated do not have Bishops or Cardinals by choice, seeing all who serve the god as being equal in the Gods eyes.
It is a hard life to be one of the Non-Affiliated, but this means it also tends to draw those whose interest in the clergy is actually for the right reasons. The Non Afiliated are strongest in the westerly lands, with the last 30 or 40 years showing a marked rise in followers in Heidelgard especially.