The candidates – Tallis Steelyard

There are some interesting posts in Port Naain that would suit the right applicant. One of these is the role of Priest of the Temple of Aea in her Aspect as the Healer. Because the Temple is the personal property of the priest, the appointment is never made, and for the last three centuries a vicar has been appointed to stand in for the Priest. The Vicar is paid a generous salary and has the use of a rather grand set of apartments which lie at the front of the Temple. Indeed the Vicar’s private front door is somewhat grander than the front entrance of the temple.

The duties of the Vicar are precisely laid out. They must preach one sermon per month, (a duty which has been farmed out to visiting preachers for the last century or more,) and out of their salary they must pay for an apothecary to assist in the treatment of any poor folk who come to the temple seeking medical attention.

As you can see, the post is sought-after. Even allowing for expenses the salary is such as to fan the flames of cupidity in the bosom of even the most self effacing citizen. Also the apartments are indeed grand and very tastefully furnished.

Where I enter the tale is through an accident of history. The Priest, or Vicar, is chosen by a committee of the patrons of the temple. The patrons include the Temple of Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Chastity, the Guild of Minor Poets, the Guild of Apothecaries, and ‘the wisest and most humble philosopher currently dwelling within the bounds of the city.’

The committee was easily convened. Darnyl Cheal was picked as the philosopher. Basically the Temple asked for the best philosopher to submit an application and then picked the only philosopher they’d heard of who didn’t apply. I was currently acting Convenor of the Guild of Minor Poets, and Twassle Harn was Gallipot in chief of the apothecaries. The Temple of Aea in her Aspect as the Personification of Chastity traditionally does not send anybody to sit on the committee, feeling that this would produce an even number which would cause problems if the matter were ever put to a vote. But as always they sent a clerk to make a record of our deliberations.

Continue reading: The candidates – Tallis Steelyard

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email:
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