Clerics are those men and women who come to an understanding with the Divine through the power of focused study and devotion. By fixating on a particular deity or a cosmic principle such as Justice or Greed, they become vessels for the power of otherplanar energies and become capable of channeling this force into magical spells and divine blessings. While this sort of devotion does not leave them time to perfect the finer points of martial prowess, adventuring clerics still have enough time to learn the proper ways to wear heavy armor and wield simple, practical weaponry. Fine swordplay is rare among them, but any adventuring priest knows how to swing a hammer or shoot a crossbow. They and their divinely-blessed colleagues are much desired in any adventuring troupe, as their sacred energies are well-suited to healing wounds.

Clerics are not so common in Xian as in some other places. Piety suffered greatly during the Red Tide, when the gods seemed to do so little for their followers. Now many gods are entirely forgotten, and those that live on do so in tiny bands of refugee descendants who still remember them. The priests of Xian are few and not very powerful. Some do exist, however, and ritual study and worship of the Nine Immortals is officially blessed by the city. There are almost as many priests of other gods in the city, however, and a fair number who serve no particular god at all, but instead gain their power from their devotion to a significant ideal.

Aside from the priests of the humans, dwarves also produce a few clerical specialists, those who prefer more venerable and obscure traditions over the innate communion with the Ancestors felt by favored spirits of the clan. Clerical training is not at all uncommon among the elves, who follow their Creeds with the sort of devotion and discipline that is ripe for granting divine power. There are relatively few clerics among the other sentient races in the Isles, however, as gnomes and halflings tend to find solace in different spiritual disciplines and the savage goblinoids see no virtue in such dry study compared to the living heat of their blood worship.

Example Flavors:

Priest of Shinrai
The priest of Shinrai is a worshipper of the Immortal charged with the principle of ending and negation. A lean and ascetic figure in his jingling armor, he is uncommonly blessed with an ability to stop those things displeasing to the Nine Immortals. When he recites the holy sutras of rebuke, the fibers and sinews of the victim tear themselves asunder in shame and dismay, and an ally of the priest is granted leave to end its suffering. (Lance of Faith at-will). Some unworthy beings dare approach him with insolent intent. Even an open-handed slap is sufficient to brand this miscreant as worthy of finishing at the hands of an ally of the priest. (Righteous Brand at-will). Yet even these tools are sometimes insufficient to stem the wicked, and they dare crowd around in multitudes. In such circumstances, the priest's voice rises in booming indignation, and the word of Shinrai is spoken that shrivels the soul and extinguishes all blasphemous life within five paces. If any still stand after such a rebuke, its weakend form is easily crushed under the weapons of the priest's allies. (Divine Glow encounter power). Should the priest be truly challenged by an enemy of great power, he can invoke the might of the Immortals to ban the creature from striking out at Shinrai's servants. To defy the priest by continuing the attack is to be seared to ashes by Shinrai's sacred white flame. (Avenging Flame daily power)

The wild shamans of the goblinoid tribes or half-civilized hillfolk scorn the more civilized trappings of their city brethren. They draw their power from the spirits of storm and stone, the torrential rains of the wet season and the searing heat of the dry months. Wild beasts are their willing servants- or worthy foes. Indeed, when threatened by a foe, the druid can summon ghostly spirit animals to tear the flesh of their foes and bolster the bloodthirst of their tribesmates. (Sacred Flame at-will). If pressed by enemies, the druid summons up the spirits of totemic beasts to toughen the shaman's hide and bat away enemy spears- if the druid can give them the blood of an enemy in sacrifice. (Priest's Shield at-will). It is not only the spirits of beasts that serve the druid, however, but also the winds of the autumn storm. With a shout to catch the sky-spirits' attention, the shaman's spear strikes with a thunderclap that blasts the sense from the unlucky victim. (Wrathful Thunder encounter power) When the shaman is sorely pressed by his enemies and his tribesmates seem in danger of falling, he can call upon his pacts with the living earth. The ground erupts with dark creepers and lavish bracken, and while the growth does not hinder the movement of enemies, it sucks the life force from them and gifts it on the allies of the druid. (Beacon of Hope daily power).

Ancestor Cultist
Whether a Kueh miko or a dwarven spirit-talker, the ancestor cultist is devoted to the memory and service of the dead gone before them. Some question how much of their powers come from the true intercession of the ancestors and how much from the ghostly shades of other restless dead, but none question their ability. With a swift prayer to the ancestors, they can summon a ghostly blade to cut deep into a foe- and to guide the hands of an ally from beyond the grave. (Lance of faith at-will). The same unquiet dead will bolster their servant's allies and scourge their enemies with spectral claws if the cultist can invoke them correctly. (Sacred Flame at-will). Servant of the dead that an ancestor cultist is, they are intimate with the terrors that haunt the living and the unquiet dead. A whispered secret of the dead can drive a victim into wild, panicked flight for a time. (Cause Fear per-encounter power). In moments of great duress, the cultist can call up a shade of one of his or her fallen ancestors to protect them from assailants, a shining figure that moves as they direct to retaliate against enemies and ward off foes. (Guardian of Faith daily power.)

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