just an ordinary Tapestry
To any normal person it looks just like a large rectangular tapestry attached to the wall.
The carpet-like cloth is made with many threads, in a plethora of colors, flowing lines and strange patterns. The patterns seem to change while you look at it. The longer you look the more change you will see. Some people are mesmerised and some are slowly driven mad. The feel a powerfull urge to look at it, but their brain is incapable of decoding the info, driving them mad.
Priests are the lucky ones that are capable to read the flows and patterns and can interprete the tapestry, written reports are studied by scholars to find hidden clues in the writing. Through time and interpretation from the writings the priests are aware that everyone sees something different. Priests can alter patterns during a Time Divination just by moving a hand over the cloth. There has been a lot of phylosophical discussion about this. Currently the concensus is that changing the tapestry will have effect but that the effect is part of the future. (no matter what we do, something would have happened.) The interpretation of the tapestry will still be accurate, but just different then before the change. The fact is that the changed pattern still is as ntended when you would have looked to a minute detail (where we change the tapestry by hand) part at another area of the tapestry..
Over a thousand years ago an unnamed Oracle made a pact with Xarnagush, God of Time. In a persuit of more knowledge the oracle did agree to a pact to become more powerfull in the art of reading the signs of the past, present and future.
Dealing with gods always comes at a price: In exchange for the sight the Oracle had to promise the deity a religion devoted to pray and gather devote followers for the God, as the god is an almost forgotten Deity. Not many followers believe in the concept of Time, they just accept it.
First full moon of the year
During the first day of the new moon, a small selected group of no more then twentyfive young priests, male and female, are lead into the small Temple of Xarnagush. Slowly, one by one they are lead to the entry and allowed to enter the temple. Inside they are moved to one large center room onto small piece of sheepskin.
Silently the youngsters follow up the orders that are silently given. They sit in rows of 5 in straight lines. Some nervous breathing can be heard, but no speaking.The young monks stay inside for the night, on their knees, face down, silently praying to the Deity. They are not allowed to peek or lift their blindfold. (when they do they will be very visible marked by the god and cast out by the Order.)
Second part - secret - during the last full moon of that same year
The monk (and in rare occasions two) gets an intricate collection of tattoos all over his body, called the Tapestry of Signs. They are revered as the most gifted by the gods, but there is a terrible price to pay. The head of the Order needs to preserve the tapestry and the best way to do so is by skinning them. The worst thing is that they need to be alive when they are skinned.
Components and tools
The Deity marks each and every one monk in the temple with an sign on the forehead, making him or her a priest of the religion. The mark shows that the priest has now powers to cultivate and unlock.
The head of the Order has some powersfull skills to fullfill a gruesome task.
The carrier of the tapestry of signs will enjoy a few months of life, and will not know that death on the last full moon is imminent:
Although the monk will be pampered and 'serviced' by a male or female of his (or her) choice, to enjoy the time until the last full moon. When the last full moon of the year is rising the head has to do his job and skin the tattoo off the victim.
The skinning has to be done with the Knife of Xarnagush. This ordinary knife is blunt when used for anything else then the skinning of the tapestry and cannot be sharpened. It aslo prevents the vicitim to feel any pain, it will skin the vicitim flawless.
The order has the best ways of sedation ever created by men. When the victim is skinned the knife will suck up the lifeforce and painless death will follow.
The young monks are send in by their elder patrons to get the sign.
When daybreak comes the one or two that are wearing the tapestry of signs are collected by the head of the temple and moved to a special part in the monestary where they are placed in separate rooms. In the room he or she will get the best food, finest wine and everything they want. They are however not allowed to leave the room.
The other young novices are gathered and, dressed in their new priest robes and congratulated with the mark.
the novice with a full body tattoo is moved silently away to a special room in the monestary.
The initial part of the ritual can be observed during the first full moon of the new year.
the second part is secret and only known by the Head of the Order and his apprentice. It can only be observed during the last full moon of the same year.
TODO:the article uses deity and god reread and rewrite.
add a image of the sjinning knife.
edit the article banner
add a few samples of tattoos and their meaning.
It didn't go as planned.