The patron god of Sanctum is the lord of justice and just war, Hieronus. Chief among its marble buildings is the Magisterium, a large complex where the Pontifex (high priest of Hieronus) resides. Under Imperial order—issued in 852 YE—the Magisterium also functions as a temple of all gods, with delegates from each priesthood. However, the priests of Hieronus are preeminent here, serving as “first among equals.”
While half of Hieronus’ priests perform clerical and theological work, half serve as warriors. Forbidden to shed blood, most of these warrior-priests wield maces. They are ranked from the first degree to the seventh degree; once reaching the seventh degree, they are given the title “paladin,” awarded a warhammer, and allowed free reign to travel the world, righting injustice without the express consent of the Pontifex.
The warrior-priests and paladins do not serve the Emperor; although they sometimes assist the Imperial army, they only go to war with the agreement of the Pontifex. However, they are forbidden to go to war against the Empire under any circumstances — an agreement made by both parties after the conquest.
Unlike most Imperial cities, prostitution and gambling are completely banned here. Sanctum is one of the safest places in the Empire, although some question if its frequent hangings and floggings make it any better than the outlying cities of vice. Wine and beer are allowed, but excessive drinking and “hooliganism” are punishable by flogging. Citizens of Sanctum that are exasperated by the moral legislation often retreat to the lawless town of Solace, just a day’s journey away, whose vice makes Imperial City look moral by comparison.
Sanctum (originally Sancton) was founded by Eloesian colonists from the city of Thénai in the 256 Y.B.E. It became known for its numerous temples and renowned for its piety. Eventually, the Magisterium was formed within its walls, at the beginning a coalition of priests, then a formal organization with reach throughout the world.