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Temple of Wraak

"The Wraakling are a secretive people, happy to declare their love for Wraak the Dread Father, but hesitant to bring anyone home to meet him. Therefore, if you find yourself wandering the Dread Wastes of the An'Vara, and stumble upon what looks to be a massive sinkhole, approach with caution. You have been lucky enough to find the Dread Father's temple, and his children may take offense to an unwelcome guest. If you are lucky enough to be invited, drink it in with every ounce you can. The sight is as rare as it it magnificent, and you'll likely never find yourself welcomed again."
  From A Discussion of Gods, by Aeon Arvellli, written 27:Silence.

Purpose / Function

Built by the early Brides of the Dread Father, the Temple of Wraak is where his children come to commune with their deity, and where hopeful Wraakling females come to present themselves as potential Brides. Wraaklings come here in pilgrimage frequently, but few other peoples are welcome to such a sacred site. Those outsides that do see it are typically seeking an alliance with the Wraakling people as a whole, and come here for Wraak to judge their worthiness. A leader must be very confident in their ability to impress the Wraakling's god, as more often than not, they must come alone, and a damnation from the Dread Father is likely to result in a death sentence, no matter the political implications.

Alterations

The Temple started as one room built at the access of a crystal cave. It was not a refined structure by any means, but as the followers of Wraak grew, so did the Temple. The entrance was made more grand, a wall of sand sunk deep in the dunes, enchanted somehow to recycle the sand is swallowed into the dunes around it. Stone steps down were build extending from the walls, and the main chamber was expanded, given refined floors and a proper alter.
  A large statue of the Dread Father was donated by a hopeful Wraakling artisan shortly after, in hopes she would become a bride as well. She was not selected, but the statue still stands. Rooms and wings were added as Wraaklings started staying at the temple full time, until the full web of the Temple of Wraak found today was lain out, built following fissures in the natural rock rather than constructed, its unusual floor map is noted, as well as its walls of glowing purple crystals, which serve as light.

Architecture

The make-up of the Temple of Wraak is built around a system of crystal caves, deep under the Dread Wastes. The floors, walls, and ceiling have been hollowed out by hand to make some semblance of a building. The whole building is lit via luminescent purple crystals that popular the caverns. Among other features, there is an cavern river and lake that supplies water for the Temple's populous.   Entrance
The entrance appears first as a sinkhole in the dunes, a deep, perfectly circular hole in the otherwise mountainous sand dunes. Coming to the edge would show a drop of a hundred feet to the ground, with sand falling as waterfalls the walls, pulled back into the ground and circulating back into the dunes without touching the sandstone and purple crystal tiles that make up the floor. Stark white stones stick out horizontally from the sand falls to provide steps down to the base of the entrance, merely slabs. There are no rails or protective barriers, though the slabs extend six feet out from the walls. At the bottom, the sandfalls part at one small entrance, no larger than a normal door, open to the elements and into darkness. This dim passage goes downward in an eerie purple light, steps and tiles carved and made in the natural rock to bring pilgrims downward and into the main chamber.   The Main Chamber
. This yawning cavern opens up from the single small passage entrance. Crystals the size of buildings stick haphazardly from the ceiling, provided dim purple light. This is augmented by broken crystals stuck in glass containers, attached to the walls, and the glow worms that inhabit the upper reaches The vast cavern is filled mostly by a massive bronze statue depicting the Dread Father, and his first Bride. The statue is build into a fissure in the main chamber which, at the bottom, is filled with water. In front of this massive statue is a long, white stone alter that spans the fissure, usually filled with offerings from Wraak's followers. Silks, foods, weapons, precious gems, and many other things are set upon the alter, and prayers offered at a collection of pillows set before the large pillar. Along the edges of the chamber, alcoves have been carved out to depict the various Brides of Wraak for separate worship, the statues made typically of stone and decorated with precious gems. On the far side of the statue are passages for the priests who maintain the temple, the audience chamber, the reliquary, and library of the temple. On the nearside of the statue are resting bunks for pilgrims, a common hall for meals, and a few rooms for preaching.
  The Audience Chamber
  Directly behind the depiction of Wraak and his first bride is a passage that leads to the audience chamber. This, like other chambers on the far side of the fissure, are flanked by guards at all times. The passage is long, and goes deep under the ground, passing over the river that serves the temple. At its end is a chamber similar to the main, the ceiling covered in glowing purple crystal and glow worms. The chamber, is set like a stage, with a sharp cut off at the end. Off the edge of the stage is a wide gallery of darkness. Supposedly this is where the Dread Father sits in judgement of his priests and potential brides. A totem statue sits in lieu of the actual gods, otherwise the chamber is empty. Only the natural crystals are allowed to light the chamber, and only one person is allowed to enter at a time.   The Reliquary
  The reliquary is one part artifact, and two parts treasure hoarde, holding every objected (that did not rot) offered in the name of Wraak. Silks, weapons, golds precious gems, arts, and a variety of other items sit, carefully cataloged by the priest, and occasionally given out to the priesthood to fund the creations of minor temples, or fund ventures Wraak and his priesthood deem worthy. Newly chosen brides are typically decorated in prizes from the Reliquary, and items owned, created, or offered by the Brides of the past are collected here as holy objects.   The Library
  The temple writing contains a variety of writings, from poetry of the Brides, to prayers, historical documents of the rise and fall of temples, brides, or battles, and historical documents of offerings, births, and deaths. Most notable in the library is the highly detailed and exact tracking of Bridal bloodlines.

History

The exact date of the temple's founding is unknown, though it is suspected to have been the site of one of the sky falls that marked the beginning of the Age of Awakening. It is also suspected to have originally been a simple cave. According to the children of Wraak, the temple was the sanctuary of the first bride, Yusa'ra, as she fled from the world of Un'Arthi, pregnant and afraid. In the midsts of a sandstorm, she took refuge in a cave of crystal, finding water to sustain her, and eating the glow worms for food. There she came about the fallen figure of the Father, his blood the source of the water she drank. She nursed him and in exchange, he protected her from those who came to pursuit her. An affection formed between them, and he blessed her child with a portion of his power.
  One strengthenen enough, Yusa'ra returned to her people, preaching a freedom for women oppressed by the Un'arthi customs, and presented herself and her son as examples of the blessings given to those whom Wraak took under his wing. So the faith formed, and the crystal cave where the pair dwelled turned temple.
  It was hundreds of years of the Wraakling faith and people spreading, returning to the cavern, that made it what it is today. I was a slow process to turn a simple cave into the place of worship it is today.
Type
Temple / Religious complex
Parent Location

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