The Church sees Thedine as a sentient being with a stern, but even personality and a motivation in the best interest of all mankind. This is not to be confused with love or compassion, as Thedine has little patience for apathy or sloth. Followers speak of betraying the trust or duty of Thedine, but not of Thedine’s duty to them.
Thedine is iconified as a blank faced elderly man. His eyes are always prominent, but no other facial features are depicted. Thedine is said to dwell upon a subterranean throne, but all devotees see this as metaphorical, and understand his true presence to extra-dimensional.
Although the creation of the spirit Thedine in this sphere is well documented in Chlendi spiritualist lore, the High Argaevalignian Church of Thedine maintains that the world was created through the sweat and blood of Thedine the Eternal.
The Chlendi maintain that Thedine is but one of a thousand and one spirits, but rose to prominence through the devotion of a nation. The Church teaches that other deities and spirits are evil demons, which seek to lead mankind to sloth and deceit.
Although there are no records of appearances or concrete manifestations, followers see the hand of Thedine in subtle daily measures. His struggles against the demons of drought, cold, and storm preserve the land of the Maetah.
While it is clear that Thedine takes an interest in the actions of his minions, his true motivations are unclear.
The Society of the Black Earth is the primary institution of professional servants of Thedine. The ‘black earth’ comes from the Maetah term jhapitim, meaning fertile soil (as black soil). The Society is comprised of the priests, professional laypersons, and support staff of the High Argaevalignian Church of Thedine. It is an official body of the Church, and also a recognized office of the Argaevalignian government. Because of the state’s theocratic government, many bureaucrats and military personnel receive positions in the Society, but on a lesser level, it also includes that maintain staff at temples and shrines. The Society of the Black Earth is the descendent of a lineage of a Maetah lineage, qod-Jhapitim, which comprised the core of the Thedine priesthood among the early North Sea Coast villages.
As Chlendi forces moved into the region, their strategists focused on dominating the local populations, which would make excellent agricultural laborers. They felt that by controlling the primary religious leadership, the persons whom received the most respect, and thus had most influence, the populace could be thus controlled. This method would turn out to be most effective among the Maetah because of the primacy of the agricultural faith in the economy and livelihood of the culture. The Chlendi thus conspired with the clan, who by virtue of having the most power among the Maetah, also had the most to lose in the conquest. In exchange for the agricultural surplus and support of the social order, the qod-Jhapitim was allowed to stay in power as puppets of the Chlendi.