The Vorin priests are called ardents. The entirety of ardents is called the ardentia. Their duty is to watch lighteyes, so they will steer their subjects well, which is a duty outlined in the Covenants of Theocracy.
Regular ardents wear grey robes. Many ardents have shaved heads, and men often have long beards. Both male and female ardents are considered genderless from the social standpoint: women do not need to cover their safehand, while men are allowed to learn to read and write, and both can eat both sweet and spicy foods. This being said, while they are technically allowed to purse both masculine and feminine arts, they are often pushed to follow their gender.
Ardents are, technically, slaves to lighteyed nobles of Vorin countries, with some serving specific households while others are beholden to the national ruler. They can neither hold land nor own property--a safeguard to prevent a second Hierocracy. Though, like parshmen, they are not paid for their work, they are highly respected even by people above them in social hierarchy. It seems one cannot be forced to become an ardent; rather, people join willingly, and can also leave if they so choose. Ardents are forbidden from participating in politics or holding social offices. However, their word and opinions are still highly valued, and they hold authority in spiritual matters.
Ardents are responsible for the spiritual well-beings of their masters, and often tend to various rites and rituals in their stead, so as to allow the lighteyes to go on with their lives unburdened. For the darkeyes, ardents provide advice in pursuing their Calling, as well as education--the Right to Learn means that any person who asks for it must be taught by the ardents. For this reason, most major temples have ardents specializing in most common skills, from fighting to writing. This also means that they are allowed to wield Shardblades, as they must be capable of teaching Shardwielding.
Ardents are the only people allowed to speak Almighty's tenth name, Elithanathile, or He Who Transforms.
In Alethkar, ardents are the only people allowed to use Soulcasters. They surround the practice with mystery, carrying out Soulcasting at night and under heavy guard to prevent the general public from seeing. They are, however, not allowed to use Soulcasters on people. Those among the ardentia who use Soulcasters wear red robes, and are often worked until they die of savanthood as their bodies become more and more like the things they Soulcast.
Ardents are separated into Devotaries, sects devoted to different aspects of Vorinism. Devotaries come in different forms: some, like the Devotary of the Mind, are monastic, sequestered away from civilization to devote themselves, while others permit their members to remain in touch with the rest of the world. This being said, ardents are generally not allowed to marry outside of their orders, though at least some orders allow them to marry each other. Overall, their chief purpose is to aid in nurturing the believers' Callings. Known devotaries include:
- The Devotary of Purity is dedicated to wholesomeness and honesty. Members of this devotary are expected to keep their thoughts and actions 'pure'. A member's talents are expected to be dedicated to purity as well, such as an artist depicting only religious topics. Shallan Davar is a member of this devotary.
- The Devotary of Sincerity is dedicated to seeking truth in all things. Members believe that there is always something to learn, and everything is subject to scrutiny, even their own religion. No question is rebuked. It is the smallest devotary.
- The Devotary of Insight is not described. Many ardents from the Devotary of Insight are seen exchanging dulled lamps from the Palanaeum and putting infused ones in their place.
- The Devotary of Denial seems to emphasize the denial of desires to the point of asceticism.
- The Order of Talenelat is related to the Herald Taln and, likely, the attributes ascribed to him by Vorinism. Those dedicated to this particular devotary are said to have a dislike for theological debates. It is viewed by some as an order for lesser people. The Order of Talenelat maintains a presence in western Kholinar, adjacent to the temple of Talenelat. Dalinar Kholin was a follower of this devotary prior to his excommunication.
- The Devotary of the Mind is a monastic devotary with its home at the Jokasha Monastery on the western slopes of the Horneater Peaks. It is devoted to historical and linguistic study, with the focus on literature.
”Dalinar Kholin! The council of curates declares you a heretic. We cannot tolerate your insistence that the Almighty is not God. You are hereby proclaimed excommunicate and anathema.
Though technically, the heads of Vorinism are the leaders of Vorin nations, the council of curates were the church leaders in practice. They directly guided church doctrine. The curates are from the Holy Enclave in Valath, and can be distinguished by blue robes and ornate staves wound with gemstones. They have the power to excommunicate members from the Vorin church, even a leader of a Vorin nation. Generally, curates are older, with one in his early forties considered young for an ardentia leader.
- The Way of Kings chapter 7#
- Oathbringer chapter 100#
- The Way of Kings chapter 33#
- The Way of Kings chapter 59#
- Words of Radiance chapter 16#
- Words of Radiance chapter 26#
- The Way of Kings chapter 42#
- Words of Radiance interlude I-12#
- Words of Radiance chapter 64#
- Words of Radiance chapter 18#
- Words of Radiance chapter 35#
- Oathbringer interlude I-4#
- Oathbringer interlude I-2#
- The Way of Kings chapter 8#
- The Way of Kings chapter 48#
- The Way of Kings chapter 54#
- Map of Kholinar