College of Nineteen
The College of Nineteen is a body of Cedrist priests who collectively oversee the state cult at Shirekeep, including the performance of ritual sacrifice, maintenance of sacred sites and temples, supervision of the calendar and the cycle of offerings, providing spiritual advice to the Imperial Government, and regulating all other religious activities (including those liberties granted to non-Cedrist practices and clerics) within the jurisdiction of the Imperial Capital. The center of the state cult is the Temple of Life and Death, located in Raynor's Keep east of the Inner Keep.
The ruling Kaiser is the high priest of the state cult, and is expected to conduct annual rituals on the first day of the civil calendar, but is not numbered among the College of Nineteen. The College of Nineteen selects a First Among Equals to lead the college in its performance of cultic duties for the remaining duration of the year, with the other eighteen rotating leadership of the daily cult.
Vacancies in the College are nominally filled by the remaining members of the College, but it has never been uncommon for the selection of new members to be influenced by the kaiser or other potentates.
Priests of the College of Nineteen are held to a high standard of ritual purity; willful impropriety is punished by being stripped of membership and a prompt execution, accidental impropriety demands an extensive and strict period of atonement before the gods. A member of the College may appeal to the Kaiser for permission to be dismissed from duty. Membership in the College of Nineteen is otherwise a lifelong appointment.