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Also: Faithful of Al-Bahuin. Mahzani just means 'the singers' in Classical Standard Dimarqi, but it's less of a mouthful than their other epithets.
Mahzan is a widespread and popular religion throughout the region, due in part to the ease at which it coexists with other faiths and the few restrictions it imposes on the average follower. Many of its core tenets are part of Dimarqi culture, and the culture part of its core tenets, to the point at which its impossible to separate the two. ( See: adahml and harzaad. )
The priests of Al-Bahuin maintain multi-faith temples in many of the larger cities across Dimarq, welcoming worshipers of all creeds into their halls. They often care for the infirm, the crippled, the orphaned, the poor. Charity is paramount.
Each temple has at least one priest called a sheyfer, who gives up their voice via magical ritual to become the vessel through which the prayers and words of humanity are amplified and lifted to the ears of god. Each sheyfer is traditionally paired with someone called an alet - the sword of the faith. Alets are more ceremonial now but once protected this most important member of the church in times of unrest. A temple without its sheyfer is silenced and deaf to the voice of god.
In some regions, the sheyfer loses more than their voice. They are restricted to temple grounds, their contact with others is limited, they are meant to be vessel foremost, a servant of faith without distraction, and person last. Their alet speaks for them on all matters, handles their affairs, never leaves their side, and is meant to look after them.
More on the silencing ritual: Various temples have various methods of achieving the same end. Some tattoo the holy symbol over the mouth of the prospective sheyfer. Some paint it on daily with long-lasting pigments and carry supplementary charms - often a necklace worn around the throat or a runestone placed on the tongue. Some cut the mark into the lips of the priest, which must be repeated until the gylph scars clearly and the spell becomes permanent.
An example of a scarred glyph. The symbol is often the same, though all three lines may be drawn at different lengths. The most common variant has all lines extending downward to the edge of the chin and jaw.
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