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As a result of recent events, the council has be renewed as follows:
A young, strong, pious woman, and a tremendous pride to the family. Her parents are renowned traders in grain, and it was thought she'd continue the family business once they retired. However, in her early twenties, after learning the competitive and mercenary practices of a good trader, she found the peaceful, studious life of a priestess much more suited to her temperment and mindset. She left the grain trade and began her journey to Shaliq, becoming renowned for her quiet, shy temperment, and her fair attitude to all people in all situations.
A fiesty woman in her youth, Tysera thought that the best way to reach people was either through their souls, or through a sword. Having excelled in combative studies in her educational years, she sought mastery of the spiritual which she believed would complete her life. The result was quite an arrogant, but highly competent priestess, who never accepts anything less than perfection in all that she is involved in. Some find her attitude a little abrasive, not that that concerns her.
Like all good Yildun children, this young girl was fascinated by the Theopneustic Tomes in her early childhood, and spent many hours alone in her room reading them rather than playing outside with her classmates. Consequently, few priestesses have as good a grasp on the minutiae of the Tomes as Retra, who can quote virtually any verse of any book at any time, if the mood takes her.
Mihya was something of a wayward child. She was by all accounts, rude, and disobedient, to her elders and betters. She wanted to grow up to become an artist, but her parents sent her off to a particular Yildun temple school in the far off city of Asalah in the foothills of the eastern mountains. The temple was famed for its harsh approach to wayward children, and a few years later, Mihya returned a changed person. She was quiet, shy, and above all intensely polite. Her character has not changed to this day, and her approachable nature make her the confidante of many troubled priestesses.
A joking, sprightly woman of only 43, Litala's never short of an amusing tale from the Tomes, and has written many famed papers on humourous Tome references and historical points. She is generally a happy, cheery lady, however, whe it comes down to her profession and legal matters she knows when to be serious. The change in her attitude that occurs when she steps into the court takes many people aback, but she is the idol of many younger priestesses.
The only member of the new counsel not a member of a great family, Gheda is an assertive, yet polite and highly pious woman. She is renowned for her stubborness, and will argue any point she believes in till she's blue in the face. However, she is not so stubborn as to refuse to hear argument, and has often amused the young ranks of priestesses with her tenacity in debate meetings, sometimes forcing her opponent to argue for over twenty continuous hours.
At the top of the religious hierarchy, just beneath the Calipha herself, sits the Council of Elders. Candidates for members are chosen from the ranks of only the wisest and most devout and prestigious priestesses, and are elected by the ranks of priestesses beneath them. The Elders have final say on all matters concerning religious interpretation, and inclusion of commentary within the Tomes. Their word is final, and none may contradict it; however, they have been known to change their minds on rare occasions.
In recent years, the Council has been judged to have become somewhat more orthodox in its views after the appointment of Elder Fasira, with which the Yildun finally achieved a council majority. Consequently, the Yildun have strengthened their grip on all matters and institutions religious, their priestesses rising through the ranks of temples all over the Caliphate. Given the election process of the choosing Council members, and since, once instated, an Elder serves for the rest of her life and neither retirement nor dismissal is possible, few see the current state of affairs in the temples as likely to change any time soon.
Many have welcomed the more hard-line approach that the Council seem to be choosing to promote, believing that an increasingly pious life for all the citizenry can only strengthen the bond between the world and its creator, Shaliq. Some, however, have fallen foul of the Council's increasingly strict judgements, and some feel that maybe what has been gained in piety has been lost in mercy.
The youngest, and most recently elected member of the Council has risen up through the ranks of the temple as a master of ceremonies and interpreter of the Theopneustic Tomes. Her strict fundamentalist approach has been hailed as a leading light to the younger ranks of the priestesses, and one that they are told they should seek to emulate.
Her pride in her family and their heritage are well known, mainly for her enjoyment of referring to great Yildun women of the past in her public statements and explanations of her verdicts, and she spends much of her free time absorbed in study of family history. Her judgements are known to be strict and kept firmly to the guidance, the Yildun's interpretation of such at least, of the Theopneustic Tomes.
Known as 'the blade' for her sharp mind and even sharper tongue, Elder Shala has no patience for those who she deems to be wasting her time, or the time of the temple. Indeed, those that have fallen foul of her have soon found their case to be seen in a significantly worse light, and their punishment to become harsh, even by the Yildun's standards.
Elder Shala likes to consider herself an expert in family disputes, though her harsh attitudes leave some unsure whether this is her true milieu. For instance, in once day she once judged that eleven infants, each in separate cases, should be taken to be raised by the order of Khal'Nayak, their mothers should all join the priesthood, and that the fathers of each of them should be castrated (consequently few people risk taking a case of lineage to Elder Shala).
Elder Namiha has made it her life's work to specialise in all matters concerning the judgements of those seeking forbidden lores, and those practising demonology and consorting with demons. She has handled many cases of demonic worship and possession, and is known for showing little to no mercy to anyone proved to have been even tenuously connected to any demonic worshipper, never mind demonic entity. Several families, men, children, pets, slaves and all were burnt at the hands of Namiha in the first few years alone of her tenure.
She was only narrowly elected onto the Council ahead of her rival candidate and many believe it was her devotion and iron determination that pulled her ahead of the competition. This determination has remained with her throughout her tenure and have led to a great level of respect for her amongst the priesthood, and indeed in the Court. She was known to be the personal spiritual advisor to Waleed al Din and has maintained ties to the court after her passing.
Wronged women owe much to Elder Rebekah for the favourable justice they receive from her. A small, now quite wizened woman, and the eldest of the elders, once judged and had executed her own straying husband and her own sister, the woman he decided to have an affair with.
Elder Rebekah never waivers from her convictions. She has a reputation for sticking to her opinions, even in the face of opposition from the other members of the Council. Once she managed to argue the entire Council around to her point of view, on a matter of interpretation of infidelity of women in the Theopneustic Tomes, and this has earned her well-deserved fame and admiration as an astute debater.
By all accounts, Elder Kali is by far the most moderate of the priestesses. A kindly woman, she is never without a smile, or a cheery quote from the Theopneustuc Tomes to brighten someone's mood. She dislikes confrontation and may sometimes vote with the more extreme members of the Council more out of convenience than conviction.
She enjoys the set practices of ceremony and knows all the rites, actions, and words of each ceremonial practice in the Shaliquar faith forwards and backwards, page-by-page. Her judgements have always been considered fair, though some in the temple hierarchy feel maybe she should consider toughening up her attitude a little. These complaints have never troubled her, however, and she is content to perform her Elder duties as she sees fit. Although recently, signs her advancing age have begun to become more noticable, and some feel her remaining time on the Council maybe short.
Elder Lakala is a woman with an acute sense of where the wind is blowing. From within the council, she has been able tell what the position of the priesthood will be early enough to warn her house and ensure that they are ready to comply. While some were suspicious of the number of Jerezad funded churches built just prior to her election, she is now accepted by the Yildun, and even respected for her ability to convince the wavering of the benefits of compliance.
By all accounts a rather dull woman, she spends her time in quiet study of the Theopneustic Tomes and rarely ventures outside of the Temple or her private quarters.
The strongest moderate voice on the Council, Elder Berah was only elected, some speculate, when her rival for the place made a rather daring public address calling for tremendously strict practices in the Temple and for the general populace. The priestesses found her approach a little too radical, and favoured her rival for her traditional values and more tempered approach.
Quiet, but once of tremendous beauty, she is the master of all legal matters in the Council. Her judgements have always been known to be straight done the middle, in some cases literally (her most famous judgement being the case of two noblewomen disputing the ownership of a herd of cattle; each was found to have a reasonable claim to the animals, so each was sawn in two and the halves presented to the women propped up with sticks in the field they were found in).