Dry Season Retreat in the Temple Complexes Tradition / Ritual in Divine Tyranny | World Anvil

Dry Season Retreat in the Temple Complexes

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Unsurprisingly for a city located in a region that is surrounded on all side by the desert, the latest months of the dry season in the capital are entirely unbearable. Anyone with sense and the mean to do so will leave for the whole duration and only comes back at the start of the wet season.   Of course, we can escape the capital, but we cannot escape the gods and our duty to them. This means that this trip cannot lead to a reduction in our devotions—in fact, it better make use of the situation to increases them, as the gods are not inconvenienced by heat and would get annoyed at the necessity of travelling to keep up with their favourite toys otherwise.

Where to go

The best way to combine low heat, rest, and devotions is to travel to the temple complexes by the mountains where our rivers take their source. The climate is milder there, and the region has the additional advantage of being quite secure from external threats thanks to the impracticability of the mountains themselves. All major and most minor gods have their own temple complex their and an army of priests. While technically considered to be subordinate to those located in the capital, those complexes are truly the main place of worship to the gods, and their splendour reflects this.   The main branch of noble family will always visit the temple of their major patron god. While all temple complexes have hotels of different qualities to welcome worshippers, those families own an holiday villa nearby for maximum comfort. For the rest of us, we have more freedom to choose and can go to several without insulting any fragile divine ego. A popular choice is always where the king and the majority of the court is—because of the course no king would be keen of having to stay behind in the capital and endure what his nobles would not.   Joining the king's choice of resort allows us to benefit from the royal infrastructures. This includes daily messenger carriers from the whole country to keep up to date on the state of the harvesting we left behind, and regular delivery of ice from the mountain tops to create everyone favourite ice cream treats. The head of noble houses who do not join the king are still close enough to travel when required for court and noble assembly meetings.

Examples of holidays

In order to attract the most followers and so the most prayers and magic for their god, each temple complex has special attractions in link with the area of patronage of the god.   For example, the temple of our Lord the water god Lydien gods has a multitude of water pools whose mineral and magical content give them special healing properties. This is a very popular destination for anyone wishing to partake in a medical regimen or to play water games, especially with the heat.   Followers of the sun god Q go to the other extreme and enjoy a lot of sun bathing—though not without using copious amount of magical and chemical protection from their lord the sun.   Other choose to go on "active holidays". Devotees of the architecture god or one of the art gods go on creative retreat and attempt to find inspiration and be as productive as possible, either in art exercises or in making a master piece. Similarly, worshippers of the forging god spend a lot of their holidays crafting small artefacts, usually with a technique that is not part of their day job, and not always one linked to actual forging. Activities such as basket weaving, sewing stuff toys, or making dolls are very popular with children.   Those following the war god go on martial art camp. Followers of the trade god play a lot of card and board games, most with very high stakes.   Another very popular choice is to worship one of the food gods. The holidays then involve a lot of cooking and tasting to enhance your skills. Before or after the proper holidays, some of those people also sneakily travel to other region of the country to try out some of the "inferior" local specialities from those poor people not lucky enough to follow their own particular food god.   Of course, since one of the main goal of the holidays is to worship the gods, a lot more time than usual is spent in prayers. Still, in order to further increase the yield of magic sent to the gods, the same potions as during festivals are taken. Just like during festivals, they sent a constant stream of magic to the gods while they are in our body while leaving us in a secondary drugged-out state that severely hampered our ability to enjoy the holidays. Thankfully, the toxicity of the potion prevent us from spending too many days under it, but this still represent far too much time— up to once every three day for the most ambitious, and every two day for the most suicidal.

Opinion from the archives

Spending days on end under the influence of those potions is a strange experience, but unfortunately not something that can be avoided without standing out from the crowd and catching the gods' attention. Which is Not A Good Idea. Every year we have some fools who tries on the pretext of productivity and being far too important to lose so much time, and unsurprisingly this never ends well for them. Even if they are discreet about it and get away with it for a while, sooner or later a priest will notice something and alert a god.   The only good side of those potions is that after millennia of usage, they have been perfected to affect our brains in the best way to improve creativity, self-reflection, and relaxation. At least afterwards once we've had the chance to recover. Never attempt to make any decision while under the influence of a potion. Even though the king and all lords and ladies don't take the potion the day before and on the day of court and assembly meetings, there is a good reason why important decision are never taken during our holidays.   Of course, this is why many will attempt to trap you into doing just that. As the saying goes, there is no more honest man than one who has just drunk divine potions.

Cover image: Pool of healing water at the temple complex of our Lord the water god Lydien by kavramm on DepositPhotos


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