- "My vow of poverty has made me rich, my vow of obedience has made me a lord. My vow of chastity? Ah..."
- —Anonymous abbot
An abbot is a title given to the eldest and most wisest of monks within Imperial monasteries. Worshippers sometimes seek these abbots out to gain their advice on matters of faith or to gain greater understanding about the religious world, while priests and initiates answer to them in all things. Most abbots choose to remain secluded in their monasteries until death takes them, but some venture out into the wider world once again.[1a]
Few abbots deign to get involved in temple politics, preferring the solitude of their own world or their journeys to the machinations of their cult. For this reason, an abbot is rarely the head of a mendicant order, leaving the organisation and politicking to a High Priest.[1a]
Technically, abbots are legally answerable only to the head of their order, the head of their cult, and the Emperor himself. This legal privilege dates back centuries, and although most abbots know about it, very few take advantage of it on a day-to-day basis. Still, an abbot can legally tell an Elector Count to mind his own business, and one with the full backing of his cult might even get away with it.[1a]
There are two kinds of abbots: those promoted from within the abbey through a closely guarded internal process, and those appointed by high priests or prelates from the outside. Insiders are often more popular with the monks, but outsiders are normally more enthusiastic about reforms. Sometimes the monks are so split that an outsider is the only way to avoid the fragmentation of the abbey, and sometimes the abbey is so remote that only an insider would take the post.[1a]
A handful of remote fortresses in the Empire are garrisoned by orders of warrior priests or monks, most often Sigmarites. These fortresses come under frequent attack, and the abbots are often men with military experience. Since religious experience is also necessary, most of them are promoted internally. In recognition of their dual role, they are known formally as castellans.[1a]
- Steffron Kurdtz - Revered Father Steffron Kurdtz is the abbot of a Sigmarite monastery in the Imperial heartlands. He is respected and loved by the monks, and his reputation for wisdom has spread as far as Altdorf and Middenheim. He has been abbot for many years, but is still vigorous despite his age. He talks of retiring, but none of the monks will hear of it.[1a]