We must start with the fact that there are extant powerful beings who enable the casting of a kind of magic that is separate from that which the arcane schools wrench from the fabric of the universe. This is not a difficult point to render believable. The Roman Catholic church has a traditionally held belief that each person is watched over by a guardian angel. I utilize this precedent, and declare that each cleric has a particularly powerful “guardian angel” who has in itself the power to manifest the power required to energize the spells of the clerics.
My world exists because it is created. There is one ultimate source of power in the universe, the God of gods, the Penultimate Creator. From this being comes all power, energy, light, reason, and order. To lesser “spiritual entities” he assigns greater or lesser amounts of power and in some cases agendas. Below those middle managers are other less authoritative spirit beings that humans have recognized in various forms, some humans call them spirits, some call them angels, some call them oni. These spirits then, being recognized, are the “face” of the Penultimate Creator. The middle managers might be interpreted as various lesser gods, while the Penultimate Creator is greater in authority even than these. This being because he created all of them, and allows them power according to his own agenda.
Thus, the power which clerics wield is the power of the Penultimate Creator, filtered through several intermediaries into a standard form that is recognized as the cleric’s spell list. Humans, of course, can only be allowed to wield so much power at once, and as they prove themselves worthy of that power, their allotment is increased at the rate which is most beneficial to the development of the individual’s responsibility and morality at the discretion of the guardian angel and the overseeing spirit.
Each religion is a reflection of the fact that the Penultimate Creator crafted mankind to know and worship the divine. To what extent any particular religion is more or less accurate is left for the clerics to fight over. It is sufficient for me to say that where a religion is less accurate, there are supernatural beings ready to step in and provide power to clerics for their own agendas which align with the aims of that less accurate religion. This meta-religion is not known to most humans, although the angelic beings recognize it quite easily. They decline to explain it to humanity for reasons unknown. There is one religion that is more accurate by far than any of the others, and a careful study will reveal the unique tenants of that faith which set it apart from any of the others.
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