Temple of Mortair
"The greatest of all holy buildings and a testament to our resolve. The gods above will shine with jealousy out of our love for Sturn and his children. Look upon our works, ye faithful, and tremble." - Clenneth Menes, First High Priestess of BakisonThe Temple of Mortair is as old as Bakison itself and constructed around the very altar Mortair constructed to achieve her Ascension. The altar itself was a large structure, reaching fifty feet into the air in the image of a mass of serpents wrapped around an ever-burning brazier. This served as their inspiration for designing the temple, and the perfect foundation to begin it upon. After Sturmenoth Menes gave his life at the altar to create his namesake lake and bring life to the new capital, the faithful gathered from all corners of Nioyaathep to assist in its construction. Construction began with the foundation, a raised platform to both contain the altar and rooms beneath as well as provide a base to build the main temple atop it. The main temple is a pyramid built atop the raised base, with a colossal stone cobra crafted and coiling around it, mouth agape in the center as the primary entrance. This structure of the overall temple gives it the appearance of an enormous altar where the reverential can offer prayer and sacrifice to the stone serpent representing their gods. Murals of great detail were carved into the side all around the foundation, detailing Dahlen history from Sturn's birth to the construction of the temple and Bakison. Ultimately the base of the temple reached over 1000 feet long and nearly just as wide, with the top of the pyramid reaching just over 500 feet towards the heavens, making it the largest building in the known world. Many say that the Dahlen moved an entire mountain of sandstone in the many decades it took to complete. The pyramid itself is open to the Dahlen public, though it is heavily guarded and regulated by the High Priestess and her entourage of soldiers. Inside the entrance through the cobra's mouth, the main room is wide and open with a variety of altars, relics, artworks, and tapestries. The center holds a recreation of the Altar of Mortair. Despite the real one being concealed in the foundation below, the recreation is very accurate and serves the same purpose as a point of prayer for the faithful. There are a few rooms to the side that serve as meeting spaces for priests or other high-ranking officials as well as barracks for the guards stationed within the temple. The second floor serves as a hall for feasts and a gallery for more expensive displays. Above that lie a series of stairs and hallways that climb to the top of the pyramid, each one leading to a storage room or sleeping quarters as well as a small opening to the outside of the pyramid, allowing one to look out across the city and desert. The layout within the foundation is largely unknown, which many Dahlen consider an unfortunate necessity to protect the temple and the High Priestess within. What is confirmed, however, is the existence of the original Altar of Mortair and the Sarcophagus of Sturmenoth, as well as the living quarters of the High Priestess and her Eyes of Dahlia. Certain priests and officials can be granted an audience with the High Priestess and visitation with the altar and sarcophagus. This is a rare privilege and a protected one, as even those granted are said to be blindfolded and intoxicated on their journey beneath to prevent any outside knowledge of the contents below.
Current Established Residents High Priestess Dahmra Menes Daughters of the High Priestess, Gamila and Chione Menes Approx. 7 Eyes of Dahlia, unconfirmed 5 Attendants to the High Priestess 50 Standing Guards