|The Communion of Gurhal is the solar-system's official religion. They believe in Photons, and have built a whole religion out of worshipping them. Photons can also be used in daily life, and studied by science, so the religion is also scientifically linked. Newman are the main followers of the religion, with most of the major temples being on Neudaiz. The main temple, in Ohtoku City is The Pavillion of Air. This is the residence of Light Master (or Photon Master) Rutsu, Mirei Mikuna- The Divine Maiden and her father Doghi Mikuna, leader of the Church.
This religion does not believe in strong punishment for misdeeds. They do not seem to persecute or try to convert non-believers. There does not seem to be any competing religion, and COG does not seem to have a diety, rather they just follow a philosophy and celebrate holidays and traditions/observances. They are funded by official donations, and no one is allowed to solicit donations.
The Divine Maiden is a figure-head for the church. She conducts ceremonies, and makes public appearances to raise people's spirits. She is always a spiritually gifted person, capeable of magical feats such as healing without the use of wands/weapons, and divination. There is a fan club for the Divine Maiden, as she is also like a celebrity.
Name: Mirei Mikuna
Since Karen and Mirei are twins, she must be 17 as well. Mirei Mikuna was raised to be gentle, graceful and good. She is the symbol of the Church of Gurhal. (COG), and the Divine Maiden. As the Maiden, she serves as an inspiration for the population of worshippers, helps conduct ceremonies, and preforms Divinations. Mirei is a nice and caring girl, who does not hesitate to help strangers or do good deeds whenever she can.
Mirei was not an entirely healthy twin. She has a photon seal on her hand, and has been secretly recieving power from Karen since they were separated. Both twins are too young to remember eachother. When Mirei meets Karen for the first time, their powers cause a flashback, which begins to expose the fact that they are long-lost twins.
When Doghi kidnaps Karen to sacrifice her, Mirei disguises herself as Karen and goes with the Guardians to rescue her sister. She knows that by this point she does not have long to live. It is not revealed what is causing her short lifespan, as she is not ill or damaged. When the team interrupts Doghi's sacrificial ceremony, he attacks the Guardians. Mirei blocks the attack, and Doghi changes his focus to her. His attack pushes Mirei over the edge and she begins to die.
Since the ritual was interrupted, Karen suffers no ill effects. Izuma Rutsu attempts to heal the maiden with his Light Master powers, but she dies anyway, after explaining that she and Karen will always share their special spiritual bond.
Name: Doghi Mikuna
Doghi Mikuna harbors a secret and evil ambition, despite his position at the head of the Church of Gurhal. When his wife gave birth to twins, one was very spiritual but not very healthy (Mirei) and the other was not quite as spiritual, but rather healthy (Karen). The family line has always produced very spiritual women in the past. Doghi's ambition is for his daughter Mirei, to be the best Divine Maiden there ever was. And he's prepared to do anything to make that happen.
Name: Izuma Rutsu
Rutsu started out as the "Light Master" of the church. He is a special individual with extra healing powers. He can also cast technics without using any tools such as rods or wands, something which is rare. He is a calm individual, who is supposedly easy to talk to. However, he comes across as closed or "chilly" most of the time. After the arrest of Doghi, he becomes the new head of COG.
Rutsu does not always use logic to base his decisions. He would rather sacrifice whole planets, and even the entire Gurhal System before letting the Divine Maiden POSSIBLY come to any harm. (despite the fact that she would die along with everyone else through inaction) He also would not lend technology to save valuable scientists, even though no one was ever going to put it to any use.
Name: Galmo Vaeg
Galmo is a CAST you meet in Ohtoku City. He is a councillor in the Communion of Gurhal. He explains how the Communion doesn't solicit donations, and some of it's minor workings, such as how the Maiden raises peoples' morale through parades. If you follow through with him, he will go back and forth over the COG imposter human woman. She is impersonating a newman, attempting to get people to "Donate" to the church, only to steal their donations all for herself. She is presumably scolded or brought in at the end through Galmo's actions, although she's not really punished. The COG does not believe in harsh punishments.