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Priest

Priests of the Dark Religion

Priests are people presiding a cult or religious order. The most famous priestly figures in Middle-Earth (or Arda) were the King of Númenór, who acted as High-priest of Illuvatar at the númenórean sanctuary of Meneltarma and his successors, the Kings of Arnor and Gondor (with it´s sanctuary, the white Tree) and Sauron, the High-priest and self-proclaimed steward of Melkor.

There were also priests or similar classes among the Idol-worshiping peoples of the East and South and the Sauronites, the worshipers of Sauron, his Sorcerers. Also many Wise, Witches and Necromancers of the Wild Men certainly acted as priests among their tribes.

Additionally Orders and Guilds committed to the service and veneration of the Valar could be interpreted as priests, most prominent among these were the Artanor and Yavannildi. However formal religion was largely uncommon in the Westlands and even the members of quasi-religious fraternities saw themselves as secular orders rather than official clergy.

Priest-like figures of Renown

Notes

As an interesting fact Professor Tolkiens early Quenya Wordlists give us names for Professions such as monk (Q. "Anustar" or "Anuon",pl. monks Q. "I-air’ anūre" or Gol."Gomodron"), nun (Q."Qindelis" or "Quindestin" pl. Q."i·aira quinde" or "quinne"), monastery (Q."Anusta") convent (Q."Qindesta") and even Christian (!) missionary (Q."Evandl").However as this vocabulary was intended to come from a time in which the last fading Elves were contemporaries of the early christians (what would later become the sixth Age) and thus must not necessarily refer to terms from the Elves own culture, but may well refer to cultural practices among mortal men the Elves had witnessed and named in their own language.The same might be true for terms like temple (Q."Corda"), idol (Q."Cordon") and shrine (Q."Alkar(in)).

Roleplaying

The Priest is a playable profession in Rolemaster.The MERP profession Animist is also alternatively known as "Priest". Similar Professions in Rolemaster are: Animist, Cleric, Cultist, Dervish, Druid, Elemental Priest, Monk, Mysthic, Religious Dissident, Mythic, Shaman, Shaman Alchemist, Sohei, Taoist Monk, Templar, Theocratist, Warrior-Monk, Witch-Hunter, Yamabushi, Zen Monk. Additional priestal professions in MERP are: Monk and Warrior-Monk.

Examples