Celesthem Temple Building / Landmark in Istralar | World Anvil

Celesthem Temple

Allow yourself the time to relax in the halls of the gods, weary traveller.
— greeter of Celesthem
  Celesthem Temple is the Aletheian Empire's largest assortment of religious texts, artefacts and scholars, and functions as a centre of faith and worship, educational facility in both medicinal matters and divine magic, and a general-purpose hospital.   A large variety of religions hold mass within the temple's halls, though for obvious reasons, darker faiths are rarely allowed within to prevent the temple's knowledge and artefacts from falling into less-than-scrupulous hands.  
Celesthem Courtyard by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
The temple boasts five enormous libraries (Laws, Records, Health, Religion and Magic) and a deep vault of artefacts and scrolls that extends beneath Lake Kelestra - the latter of which is largely under lock and key, and rarely entered even by temple officials with the right to do so.   Arcane magic is forbidden in corridors and public areas (libraries excluded) due to the well-known animosity between arcane and divine casters, and open displays of divine magic are similarly discouraged. Weapons are requested to be kept sheathed or placed in rooms, and open areas are watched over by guards at all times.   Inciting violence or continuing it past necessary self-defence is grounds for punishment by either the aggrieved religious order, the aggressor's own, or the Temple's guards - as adjudicated by the High Priestess or her subordinates. Legal intervention may be requested from the Empire if needed.

Visiting Celesthem Temple

I stared upon the gates of gold, and felt an odd calm pass over me...
  Visitors to the Temple must undergo an entrance examination to ascertain their purpose and medical status before being allowed inside, to ensure that none with truly vile motivations gain access to the Temple's information and maintain the safety of worshippers. They must also adhere to a strict schedule, as written above - though alterations to the schedule are often made on an individual basis to ensure that no one area becomes overcome by visitors.   Room and board at the Temple are free, but any food or drink outside of the set mealtimes must be purchased unless one is a resident of the Hospital. Those visiting the Hospital are subject to a different schedule, but must still adhere to it lest their visiting privileges be revoked.  
The entrance examination is simple, and visitors are made aware that all information provided will be recorded and kept confidential, and will be destroyed after six years if their files are not accessed in that period.   This information may be accessed only in cases of security after a judge has requested access and the High Priestess or similar authority has approved.   Any lies on official documentation are instantly detectable by use of truth-seeking spells, and carry a prison sentence of 3 months to 10 years depending on severity as determined by the Divine Courts of Celesthem.   Usually, this simple questioning consists of seven basic questions, asked in a private, sound-insulated, lead-lined booth.

Entry Questions

  • What is your full name? Has this ever changed from your birth name?
  • How old are you?
  • What is your home city? Has this changed in the past 7 years?
  • Do you worship a god? If so, who?
  • What is your purpose at the Temple? Are there any individuals you wish to speak to in particular?
  • Do you carry any weaponry or magical items? Please list what, if any.
  • Do you possess magical powers of your own? Arcane or divine?
  If the examiner feels that more questions are needed, these will be asked and recorded. After this, the visitor will be requested to strip completely nude and press a small button on the wall to indicate that they are ready for a magimedical scan. The scan looks for any physical, magical or mental impurities (such as PTSD, scarring from old wounds, or traces of demonic possession), and repairs basic wounds, writing its findings to a report that is processed as the visitors wait in a fairly standard waiting room.   Unless significant problems, such as current demon worship or possession, are found, visitors will be handed their diagnosis and offered the chance to make appointments with the hospital (if applicable), as well as having rooms assigned to them. They are not expected to follow the set schedule until their second day there, due to varied times in processing.  


The Temple's management is mostly handled by its High Priest or Priestess, currently High Priestess Aetha Tinuval, and generally involves overseeing the temple's defences, managing research and assisting with higher levels of magic, such as the use of powerful artefacts or invocation of ancient rituals. The High Priestess is also expected to maintain the wards around Tenaerul, and carries out the Sealing Ritual each year on the 7th of Sarenith. To assist with these duties, she maintains a small group of similarly powerful Servitors who swear allegiance to the Temple.   The High Priestess also oversees the Hospital's management and ensures that standards of quality are kept. This communication with Hospital staff allows collaboration if necessary, such as in the event of dangerous curses that require stronger casters to dispel. In current times of war, Celesthem remains an important evacuation route and place of healing for injured soldiers, and keeps strong links to the Suspended Breath.


Solid stone with gold leaf - a mixture of traditional Aletheian architecture and elements of typical religious structure.
Celesthem Gates by Hanhula (via Midjourney)
Founding Date
circa 4908
Temple / Religious complex
Parent Location
Ruling/Owning Rank
Owning Organization

Daily Schedule

  7AM – 9AM: Breakfast
9AM – 10AM: Morning prayers and services
10AM – 12PM: Free time
12PM – 1PM: Luncheon
1PM – 3PM: Free time
3PM – 5PM: Relaxation, meditation & clubs
5PM – 7PM: Dinner
7PM – 9PM: Library study
9PM – 10PM: Evening prayers and services
10PM – 12AM: Quiet time
1AM: Curfew, except for religious exemption.

Please note that failure to adhere to the timetable without good excuse may result in discipline from your Church, restrictions from certain facilities, up to expulsion from the Temple depending on severity of breach. Library study may be taken as free time if necessary. Note that all activity in public spaces is monitored.   If you are visiting in search of a faith, please spend the allotted religious time either sitting in on faiths you are curious of, or spending quiet time in the library.   Religious, research, illness and miscellaneous exemptions can be applied for from the Abadaran Administrative Office, located on Floor 2 of the Right Wing, room 17.
Halls of Celesthem by Hanhula (via Midjourney)


Ours has ever been a place of serenity and safety.
  The lands to the south of Lake Kelestra were marred in the events of the Worldrend with a dark infection that seemed to spread. When it was first noticed, the corruption was contained by the noble sacrifice of the champion Ypolita Ouranios, a warrior of Iomedae. Her soul's light was formed into a barrier that held back Tenaerul's negative energies from polluting the rest of the world, one that held for thousands of years... until the great betrayal of former knight Eskandar Nerezan caused the barrier to crack. Freed, the corruption began to spread, much to the worry of the Empire.  
A group of divine casters from various faiths met, assisted by the Empire's elite, and devised a way to permanently seal the corruption away: a ritual would be done underneath Lake Kelestra, using the lake's pure waters as a focus. The water would amplify the power used, giving it enough to function as an effective barrier, and the light energies would function as a 'patch' to the barrier - something for the holy blessing to latch onto and repair, rather than the open void that stood there.   Thankfully, the ritual worked, but it was apparent to the experienced casters that it would need to be repeated. A small observation post was set up on the lake's northern shores, with the intent that the group of scholars would travel to the lake's centre to ensure the barrier was maintained.   Due to the relative importance of these scholars, they brought their pupils along and needed accommodation, leading to impromptu classes and lectures... and the construction of a small temple to house both them and their practices of worship. Thus beginning Celesthem's construction, albeit humbly.

The Sealing Ritual

The ritual that maintains Tenaerul's barrier has been carried out every single year thus far, and has evolved to include aid from the royal family itself. Emperor Asterion would attend himself if possible, but often sent Andrala of Aletheia in his stead due to the Empire's needs often demanding his attentions elsewhere.   Emperor Aneirin 'Cyne' of Aletheia has thus far participated in every ritual since his ascension, beginning even prior to that in 5623. It is currently planned that a similar ritual be held in private from 5627, with amendments for the barrier's recent changes as of Ypolita's revival and Lady Alysia's sacrifice.
  As time passed and the yearly schedule for the ritual was established, the Temple grew larger. A group of architects presented designs for the fully-finished Temple of Celesthem to the then-Empress, who provided materials for its construction. The libraries were collated after its construction had been finished as a means for religious scholars to work in one central location, allowing visitors from afar to partake of the work Aletheia had done with ease. The current rendition of the temple has been much improved over the years, and remains a delightful place of respite and healing for those of any faith.

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Feb 14, 2024 13:26 by spleen

ooo i love the schedule and the entry questions. now i want to worldbuild schedules for things lol

Have a wonderful day!