Grand Temple of Hissh
Set on a peninsula that juts out into the waters of the Icefang Ocean, the Grand Temple of Hissh looms over the surrounding landscape, and casts a long shadow over the crimson waters of Blood Bay beneath it to the south west. The temple stands as a monument to the Divine associated with murder, Hissh and it is regarded as being one of the most sacred places of the Vampires of Ymeris.
Purpose / Function
As its name suggests, the Grand Temple of Hissh acts as a place of pilgrimage and worship for those dedicated to the god of murder Hissh. Hissh’s unsavoury nature means that all of the sacred spaces dedicated to him are hidden, to stop them from being attacked or shut down, all except the Grand Temple of Hissh, which alone stands as an overt sign that Hissh has many followers on the Material Plane. Whilst many of those who travel there to pay homage are Vampires from Ymeris and from further afield, come to pay respect to their patron deity, others travel from across Kelbonnar’s Material Plane to make offerings at the temple and petition its vile patron deity for aid and assistance. In addition, another aspect of the temple that attracts visitors is the fact that it is the only widely known place where members of the Acolytes of Hissh can be found. The Acolytes of Hissh run the temple as any other clerics would, but there are many amongst their number who are available for hire, to those that are able to make worthy offerings at Hissh’s temple, to act as assassins both in the Material Plane and far beyond.
The main structure of the Grand Temple is a grand gothic space with large crimson coloured stain glassed windows, flying buttresses and jagged spires reaching up to the heavens. The interior of this main space is decorated with multitudes of black marble columns and rose gold statues depicting Hissh and the many tales of bloodshed linked to him, all bathed in a permanent blood stained light, coloured by the windows in the day and by arcane lights at night. At the back of this space is a large blood stained altar on which sacrifices are still regularly made to Hissh. Beneath the temple’s main structure, cut out of the rock of the peninsula on which it stands are many subterranean chambers and halls, many of which serve as the living quarters and training spaces of the Acolytes of Hissh who look after and work from the temple. There is also said to be an extensive library within the complex, which is rumoured to have the largest collection of books on poisons and methods of dealing death in the entirety of Kelbonnar. At the very bottom of the complex is a space known as the Crimson Grotto, a cave system pockmarked with pools that are filled with blood, which is channelled via a painstakingly crafted network of pipes from the main alter in the main building above. These pools have been enchanted to stop the blood from drying or evaporating and it is said that alongside the blood of every individual who was sacrificed on the alter in the temple, blood belonging to every one of those killed by Hissh’s hand or in his name can be found here. It is blood from these pools that has seeped through into the waters of the Icefang Ocean and which has stained Blood Bay its characteristic crimson colour.
Whilst there are no obviously visible defences, if it were ever to be attacked, the Grand Temple of Hissh would be fiercely defended by the Acolytes of Hissh who take care of it. As they are all highly trained killers, assaulting the temple would be a grave mistake, even for the bravest and most skilled of warriors.