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The Halls of Transcendence

"And as the Hero ascended to Divinity, they took to their eternal place of rest and watch. In marbled stone they sculpted an entrance to the afterlife that would greet the good and bad alike; a place that would guide the mortal souls to their own eternal homes - and keep those of eternity locked out all the same." - The Book of Ascension, The Gospel of Aelfred, 21:5
  The Halls of Transcendence are the rumored planar home of the deceased that die on Elendor. It was created following The Great Summit to control the flow of souls to to their various after-lives as well as stop extra planar beings from breaching the world of Elendor by force. It often acts as a Limbo with many souls wandering its hallowed galleries for longer than their lives on Elendor and is sometimes referred to as "The House of the Dead".    

Travel To, From and Between the Planes

Of course, Mortals and Eternals alike have been able and are able to travel planarly despite the locks on the Gates of Ascension through magical means - however no one living has made it to the Halls. Likewise, magic has been resurrect people from the afterlife to live once more in Elendor. It is theorized theologically that either the magic involved is ratified by the King-That-Never-Was or is too inconsequential for them to notice. Therefore, the gates themselves do not stop the passage of the planes but in fact control the ebb and flow of power between them, which is why smaller interplanar transactions - such as travel, resurrections or summoning's can take place. There is no known magic that can transport someone or something to The Halls of Transcendence. For more info about the Cosmology and Planar travel to and from Elendor See The Cosmology of Elendor.

Purpose / Function

The Halls of Transcendence were formed following the The Great Summit to control the flow and distribution of souls into the various afterlives (And thereby control the power Deities have over and on the plane of Elendor). It is also the divine home of the King-That-Never-Was and his followers who reside in the Gardens of Halcyon at the Apse of the Cathedral.

Architecture

The Halls of Transcendence are described to be structured like a cathedral in a majority of the Holy Texts surrounding Heroism. According to the Book of Ascension it is a multiroomed structure as well as its own plane of existence.

The Narthex

  "The Narthex" or entrance to the The Halls of Transcendence is unknown. It is rumored that there is an entrance to the halls somewhere on the Plane of Elendor but no one has been able to work out where. Theologians and scholars have differing opinions of where it may lie - some saying it stands at the place the Hero became divine, others saying at the site of the Great Summit, others at the place of the Hero's birth. It is said to be protected by one of the Hero's most dedicated followers, A Knight who fought along side them in the War's for the Heaven and vowed to take up a life of undeath in order protect the entrance of the halls. (See The Eternal Knight )

The Nave

The Nave of the halls only exist as a corporeal building so that mortal souls can comprehend it. For whatever reason, it is without exception always a building which you can never see outside of. It's style varies depending on features from the life of the soul gazing upon it as it wanders the endless structure. To most, it presents itself to be a great temple of brilliant white stone, gilded statues and stained glass. To others it might appear as a great longhouse with roaring fires and abundant feasting tables, others still; their childhood home. When the time comes for the soul to be assigned its eternity the structure of the Halls become more defined and a doorway appears before them.     

The Transept

The Transept (Or the crossing) connects the soul from its limbo in the Nave to its Judgement in the Sanctuary. The Soul is met by an entity known as The Layman who leads them down a straight corridor towards the doors to the Sanctuary. The walls are adorned with pictures so lifelike one could step inside them and live again. Each picture depicts a pivotal moment in the Souls life, regaining these memories that may have once been lost as they pass and behold them. As they progress the corridor fades behind them, never letting them move backwards, only forward.  

The Sanctuary

Finally Soul is met with yet another doorway which upon passage they enter a Great Sanctuary - the existence of which is why many liken the Halls to a cathedral. It is described in The Book of Ascension as being a circular chamber with steps leading to a central altar surrounded by nine pillars; one for each of the Nine Lights (See Pantheon of Albae ) On the central altar sits a set of gilded gates known to many as the Gates of Ascension - locked with the seals of Elendor. The Sanctum is surrounded by seats with representatives of the various Divine there to bare witness to the Judging. The ceiling of the structure is imperceptible as it is shrouded by divine light long before you see the top. In the Sanctuary the souls is judged by The Divines in a court presided over by Kelemvor. Once a soul has been judged, the King-That-Never-Was unlocks the seal that allows the soul passage to its final rest or its eternal torment.   

The Apse

At the Apse of this planar cathedral sits the eternal episcopal palace of the King-That-Never-Was. It is often described as a paradise garden known as "Halcyon"  filled with flora and fauna from across Elendor that the Hero saw on their travels before their Ascension. Very few souls inhabit the garden, Only the most dedicated followers and warriors of the faith make it to the garden. They dedicate themselves to the Hero and his army that guards the planar crossing; to serve as a force that would fight for mortality once more should the seals of Elendor be broken. In the heart of the garden is a location not even the souls of the worthy visit - a great house known as "The Acropolis" in which the Hero resides. It is whispered, but not formally recognized by Theologians that before their Ascension the Hero sired a family, who now live with them in the Acropolis as well as any of those descended of them. This idea however is seen as heretical by the The Church of Albae and not widely believed.  

Facade

The Facade (or the outside) is the supposed section of the Halls which is passed through by those undertaking planar travel. There is no real description of the Facade other than a correlation of lights and sound that pass in a fraction of a blink of an eye as you are routed to your destination.
Alternative Names
The Halls of Ascension, The Gates, The Gates of Ascension, The House of the Dead, The Dead Palace,
Type
Cathedral / Great temple

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