The divines are known as the spiritual class, in touch with the souls of their ancestors with the powers to surpass the lines of reality. This assumption, while accurate in some respects, doesn’t truly reflect the entirety of the class. Their specialties, while often include spirit summoning, may also go between magical defense, mythology, and artistic skills among other things. There are still ties to the religious aspects of the Church, but the class has expanded since its founding. Now, divines have a wide range of possibilities to explore as long as they are focused and dedicated to their goal.
Originally, the divines were a strictly religious class, founded by the Church of Alluum in the early 2000s. As the popularity of the new religion was still exponentially increasing, it became of interest to institutionalize the practices, and so the pope at the time put in some words with the influential Evercrest Academy and made it so knowing how to interact with the spirits was a practice that was protected and revered. These early divines at the academy were all members of the church and held in high esteem. Their training prepared them to be the priests and priestesses that would connect people with their ancestors in order to get guidance, last messages, anything of that sort. This system has continued, and makes up a major part of what the divine class continues to do.
However, this practice was somewhat perverted during the war. Necromancers, with their innate ability to speak to the dead, were manipulating spirits left and right, leaving the spirit realm in chaos. With so much at stake, the divines’ powers were used to convene with spirits in order to get intel and form strategies in the war. To combat the necromancer’s magic that involved convening and disrupting spirits, the defense mage sector was created in order to develop proper barrier magic to avoid possession, hexes, and inter-dimensional spells that could cause illusions. The majority of Evercrest’s divines that were a part of this process were impacted in some way from the intense exposure to the spirit world; a notable amount were no longer able to perform their duties afterward due to the damage inflicted on their conscience. Even so, their services to the war effort ended up drastically improving the overall opinion of the class, and even those not a part of the church came to accept their skills as more than fanatical heresy.
The divine class most recently changed heads right after the war, when the previous head was deemed incapable of leading any longer due to heavy psychological trauma inflicted by the intensity of spirit combat. Since the war, there has been heavy emphasis on monitoring knowledge regarding the spirit world, as well as keeping up appearances of the Church. In terms of the class itself, more people have been allowed in to expand their archeological force and defense magics development.
The categories in the divine class are not mutually exclusive. The skills involved with being any of the following professions can typically be applied to many of them. In the end, one profession or the other will typically appeal the most and a divine student will then choose to pursue that after graduation, although in times of crisis they may be called in to perform any of the duties of a divine.
The priests are the traditional role of the divine. This was the group that originally made use of the skills of spirit summoning in an organized fashion, calling forth the souls of ancestors in order to assist those around the country. They follow the teachings of the [holy book here] and the interpretations supported by the Church. On Spirit Day and Evercrest’s Ancestral Day, they must be present to help families convene with their loved ones as well as send offerings and peace. While their major skill is strong spirit summoning, they also need to develop people skills to some extent in order to effectively communicate with people. Occasionally priests will work in pairs in the case that there is a strong spirit summoner who doesn’t deal with people particularly well, or the both of them sync well enough to be even stronger when combining their efforts. These members are expected to be pure of heart with intense focus and self-restraint, all virtues by way of the Church and helpful in successfully contacting spirits. Realistically, being an effective mage that can handle spirits is all that is necessary, but typically character comes into play if the priests are going to be sent as missionaries or if they are required on missions. Their skills are invaluable, and some would say they turned the tide of the recent rebellion. While there are people that would call their work there questionable, they utilize skills that few others can master to their level.
The archaeologists are an interesting and more contemporary section of the divines. They were instituted in the late 3000s, and held very different interests from the other half of the class. Their goal is to go find cultural relics throughout the world and bring them back for preservation. The interest stems from protecting all the cultures of Alkheist, expanding the interests of the divines past those of just the Church. They are usually versed in mythology, sociology and anthropology and do significant amounts of research. Awareness of cultural proceedings of regions around the globe are crucial to their work. After sufficient information gathering which often includes the vanguards or alchemists, the archaeologists typically go on missions with a very diverse team which can include crusaders, sorcerers, or erasers for protection, and usually couriers to handle diplomacy for terms of ownership of items that they discover. They still need to know how to sense spirits and have an awareness of spiritual energy in order to validate claims and confirm the legitimacy of items. Artistic skills are also highly valued in case restoration is required, for it takes a very careful hand to preserve history.
High defense mages
This group is the most recent addition to the divine class, holding its roots in the Necromancer Rebellion. The primary purpose is to develop and perfect complex defense magic that was not previously available through the support mages in the sorcerer class or the milder protection charms used for summoning. Their focuses are to protect against mind control hexes and possession as well as spirit attacks. In usually involves creating strong barriers and immense focus. It’s not so much healing as being a type of environmental strategist, sensing spirits and reading what sorts of defense would cover the most vulnerabilities during any course of action. While the majority of their action is on campus developing the technology for charms and new spells, one will almost always be sent with any mission group tending to a questionable or high-risk objective.
In recent years, there is an occasional rumor about more happening in the divine class than what meets the eye. If one were to display extreme skill and diligence, there is apparently a small group, handpicked by the class head to be involved with in depth research of the spirit world. This group is extremely quiet about their activities, and is closely monitored by the head. The current head started the group on his own accord in order to learn about the world of their ancestors and attempt to understand it better, apparently in hopes of preventing another crisis. These research topics include a huge range from old or dead languages to the nature of interdimensional magic and even the physical depths of the spirits and their cities. However, by the guidelines of the Church, their activities would be considered blasphemy and if word got out, the lot of them would all be exiled or worse. This section of the divines is highly trusted by the head and is extremely difficult to get information on.
spirit summoning - The divines are an enigmatic group, their methods unknown to outsiders. To yield the best results for calling forth a spirit, one should fast a day beforehand. Extensive knowledge of the spirit in question is important but not required. A physical link such as a piece of jewelry or battle-worn weapon is imperative. Since many are buried with their prized possessions, a divine may have better luck with someone who was very close to the individual before they passed. A reflective surface is also needed, to anchor the spirit. A mirror is best, but water will serve this condition as well.
To call the spirit from it's realm, a divine must have a clear head. No attachment to the matter at hand or the spirit in question is essential. Protection charms and spells must be spoken before attempting to convene. The divine will focus on the spirit, holding the physical link. The spirit will appear in the mirror and the session can begin. After the dismissal, both dragon and rider must meditate to cleanse their own spirits.
When spirits are called, it is not uncommon for them to be disoriented. Some are so disturbed to the point of being unable to communicate, thus ending the session. Those who have been dead longer are easier to interact with, but all spirits cannot retain information after their dismissal. When calling a spirit for the second time, they will not remember the previous session. The longer a spirit is kept in the mortal realm, the more energy is required from the divine. Their dragon will help, but it is taxing nonetheless. Convening with more than one spirit at once is extremely difficult, and beginners will be unable to achieve this. With practice and regular meditation, one will increase the amount of time they can last as well as the number of spirits that can be simultaneously called. There have been accounts of divines having the power of premonitions- being able to predict when someone is going to die. This is a gift that is difficult to control, and will often appear randomly. Experienced divines who have had consultations with the same spirit multiple times may start to retain some of the spirit's memories. In extreme cases, the mortal powers of the spirit may be absorbed. This happens only by accident and is forbidden to be taught/studied.
historical knowledge - In the late 3000s, the divine class expanded its boundaries past just the Church of Alluum. This was in an attempt to add to the cultural diversity of Evercrest, and include people who are well versed in religions regarding the multiple gods and goddesses celebrated in Alluum, whether or not they subscribe to the beliefs of the Church. Now it has become a general requirement for all divines to have a detailed understanding of the religious development of at least Alluum, while the archaeologists tend to spread across Alkheist. Knowledge of racial tensions and the evolution of magic is important, as well as the ways that conflict has formed spirituality, throughout the Dragon Era mainly.
barrier magics - These are necessarily for the majority of divines. Of the professions, archaeologists typically need the most rudimentary level, just for avoiding any sort of mind influencing magic any other beings, for example, sirens, may have. It usually entails working on mental defense, akin but not identical to support mages. In the middle area would be the protection magic involved with spirit summoning. In order to avoid possessions as well as restraining unsettled spirits, learning charms and protection spells are crucial to performing the ritual. This is also the main focus of the high defense magic development. However, with the introduction of significantly stronger, more dangerous spirits under the influence of the necromancers, these mages focus on stronger defense magic. They usually train rigorously to expand their magical capabilities until it is possible to protect a whole team, which is incredibly taxing for a mage at their natural level of skill. Also, significant amounts of time are put into researching old spells, tactics, and rituals in order to see if any ancient forms of effective protection were lost. The developments have been monumental, creating spells that could reveal spirit attacks to some extent, with even stronger mages blocking inter dimensional assaults at some points in the war. Despite the current lack of conflict, this section of the class continues to improve on the magical technology for the prevention of another uprising with the scale of devastation that the Necromancer Rebellion had on the spirits and the divines that attempted to tame them.
energy awareness - This is a skill that involves a lot of mental focus. With a lot of mental control, usually acquired through regular meditation and mental exercise, energy awareness becomes possible. It is basically sensing the magic streams in the surrounding world, something more frequently tapped into via runic magic, which is why even non-magic creatures can use it. This basic awareness of the world is crucial in sensing spirits as well as the environmental disturbances that high defense mages are required to notice. Spoken magic spells can enhance this ability to some extent, but it usually taxes other senses which is why developing it through rigid routines is the most effective method for using it stably.
In it’s most basic state, energy awareness is just an inkling in someone’s mind, a feeling of something being around them. That is as far as the standard divine typically gets. However, for those training in the high defense magics, it needs to be worked on significantly more to get a good enough grasp of the environment to choose the proper preventative magic. It’s been said that the strongest, purest divines can see the energy almost like streams around them, but there is no definite expression of this ability. At the necessary level for effective barriers, the energy at least feels like waves coming from one direction or the other or for some people it expresses itself as something akin to a spiritual heat signature left behind when a spirit pressed against the worlds’ boundaries. If an archeologist manages to get to that level, they tend to be extremely valuable for dating and validating artifacts. However, this skill very often takes years to develop, and is one of the last things divines achieve in their training.
Much like other classes at Evercrest, students are taught by mentors and the class head. Each mentor typically has no more than two students in order to provide the intense training usually required to be successful in their practices. The scramble for mentors that some classes face is rare mainly because the divine class is one of the smallest on campus.
The first three years are spent learning basic aspects of all of the skills, while being informed of the applications for future professions. Typically interest and aptitude make the final decision on which profession to pursue during the fourth year of study. While this decision is not permanent, making up for lost time by switching professions is usually extremely difficult. All divines will learn how to summon spirits while monitored by the class head for initial sessions.
While species such as demons and necromancers are predisposed to the spirit related functions of the divine class, any magic creature can be taught. It involves rigorous mental work, which frequently aids in the usage of magic over time. Spoken magic is the next most valuable, as it can bring about spells that emulate the narrowing of the barrier between worlds. With the assistance of dragons and materials, summoning is typically achievable for most mages who are willing to work. However if it is extremely hard and taxing, they may never be able to hold spirits for long enough to be a successful priest.
Aside from priests, the other two sections of the divines are extremely involved with the other classes on campus. Their class head is usually a high member of the Church as well. The divines are occasionally treated strangely depending on what opinions the others take to heart. Many consider them eerie, while others who disregard the religious aspect may view them as just confused due to a perceived disconnect between available areas of study within the class. Nonetheless, there is prestige in the class, as they hold some of the world’s most powerful secrets in their walls. Each member of the divine class marks themselves by wearing a plain golden bracelet, with a personal vow engraved in an archaic language. Very few actually know what language it is, so it's more for symbolism's sake. As they go through the years they can change their vows and add additional bangles with different stones if they so desire. The class colors are light blue, silver and white, with gold accents on everything.