Forsilvra :: Winds of Change
Old 05-24-2013, 03:04 PM
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Kiera
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Default [01.2] Quintism: Temples

Belleile Royal Temple

The main floor of the Belleile Royal Temple has a broad pentagonal floor made of tiles of polished pink granite. The front door of the temple is on the bottom side of the pentagon, and in the center of the room are assembled chairs and cushions that typically point to a different corner every day. This is because each of the five corners holds a deeply recessed alcove with an altar to each of the Five. Next to each alcove stands a white marble image of the god to which it's dedicated. The gods are in high relief, to the point that some elements are fully detached from the wall behind.

The gods stand between their altar and a door. That door leads behind the alcove to a private chapel dedicated to the deity in question.

Mihra's altar is lit with oil lamps that reflect off of gold leaf inside the altar. Next to her alcove is a marble relief of a curvy woman with long, loose waving hair. She extends an arm to touch the edge of her alcove, but her gaze is directed upward toward the sky. The chapel behind her is painted to resemble the vivid brightness of unrelieved desert from horizon to horizon, with a gilt sunrise on the east wall.

Enkil's altar is covered in fist-sized brightly colored lacquered fish, but the centerpiece of the altar is a silver-edged cup made from a large nautilus shell. Its inner lining is also silver, and its deep bowl is full of tiny seashells. The alcove itself is painted in swirls of silver and expensive ultramarine, made from Ahesteri ground lapis. The tall god himself stands with his side to the room, facing his alcove and giving it his full attention. The door beside him leads to a chapel frescoed in a pattern of swirled blue, green, and black tiles, taking petitioners to the bottom of the ocean to commune with him. The cycles of the moon are painted on the ceiling.

Veles has an altar covered in wooden animals and plants carved so delicately and intricately that they look like they could have been made from thin wooden plant roots that happened to grow in the shape of a bull or a tree. There is a relief of climbing vines around his alcove, and he stands with his feet firmly planted, twining his fingers in it and watching his altar with an expression of mild interest.

Fujin's altar is covered with pieces from the other gods' altars. Each of the Five (and many of their children) have a diptych on their altar that every now and again is moved to Fujin's. Typically every week Fujin "borrows" an icon from a different deity. Some weeks he will take a folded ivory commemoration of the plague from Amelie, and some weeks he will have a diptych of Veles building mountains and carving rivers. Fujin himself leans his back against the edge of the alcove with his arms crossed, looking ahead into the main chapel with an expression like he is trying not to laugh and just on the verge of failing.

Amelie's altar is covered with feathers and animal skulls, with one (donated) human skull to remind petitioners that like birds and cats and snakes, they too will die. Crows perch all over the top of her alcove and the icon of Amelie is reaching over to pet her birds, paying no obvious attention to her petitioners. The chapel behind her has frescoed walls depicting Keepers and Handmaidens who have left this world. The ceiling of her chapel has a black reflective ceiling so that people below can look at their reflections as though gazing down upon themselves swimming in darkness.

The domed ceiling of the main chapel is painted with tree branches as they would appear against the sky in each of the four seasons. On the walls that form the sides of the pentagonal main room are altars to the sons and daughters of the Five. For the most part the priests and priestesses try to seat the Five's children next to members of the Five that they think they'll get along with, which means--for example--that Amelie is expected to put up with Sokar, Stealer of the Lost. and Tabai has to put up with Fujin.

The offices of the temple and its library are below the main level of the temple, and lay practitioners are typically not allowed down there at all. In summer those rooms stay fairly cool, and in winter the heat from fireplaces down there help to keep the main floor comfortable. Around the temple, accessible through a back door in each chapel, is the menagerie holding the animals sacred to the Five. Amelie's birds and Fujin's snakes make the most work for Initiates, but Enkil's fish can also be fairly labor intensive. The bull sacred to Veles doesn't need as much obsessive attention, and Mihra's cats roam freely to keep the temple free of vermin. The wellbeing of these animals is extremely important, and many believe that there is a relationship between the approval of the Five and the health of their sacred beasts.

Priestesses and priests live in an adjoining building, separating their mundane lives from their sacred duties. The kitchens, dormitories, and privies are therefore not actually inside the temple, but rather next door.

Written by Cobalt

Last edited by Jenn; 09-13-2013 at 10:16 AM.
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