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Mup'äqi Šä

This is my entry for the Settlement of the Edge flash challenge   Mup’äqi Šä [mup'ɐʔi ʃɐ] is a remote Sayal settlement high in the Serme Mountains, consisting of a small village and a monastery . Ván of Sankai spend the winter 698 AH there.   The monastery is located high of the side of the mountain, in the borderlands of Aramacänten (Mountain kingdom), where the conflict between the Kingdom and the independent Sayal people has still not cooled off.

Village

A couple of families of farmers and herdsmen live in the village. They are mostly minding their own business, and don't care too much what's happening in the monastery. They are suspicious of strangers, and it seems they may have something to hide from the Kingdom)?

Monastery

The old monastery seems far too large for the few people living in it. Some parts of the building have crumbled, and been left unrepaired. During the summer months they get pilgrims from the countryside, but the winters they stay isolated, living a quiet life of work and prayer.

Demographics

Inhabitants of the village:
7 Children: 2 infant, 3 child, 2 adulescent
30 Adults: 10 young adult, 12 adult, 8 middle aged
5 Elderly: 1 early senior, 1 senior, 2 elder
  317 ducks, a herd of goats

History

It used to be a lively settlement build around the monastery, but it suffered greatly from the Black Years Plague in the late 620's, and the following war. Now only a couple of families remain living in the village, and the priesthood struggles producing food and materials for themselves.   The monastery is known to be old, but in the absense of any written records its true age is unknown. Ván of Sankai has proposed that this is the same monastery where Kauteirin the Fair was living in the first century BH (before the timekeeping).

Points of interest

Ancient Burial Grounds: 284 m west

An old cematery is located near the monastery on a hill. The locals have build small funerary towers as the houses for the dead. The bodies are buried above ground, and sometimes mummify in the cold air. The relatives would then visit the graves, and take care of their ancestors. Now most of the dead have no living relatives, and the graves lay forgotten.

Mist-Shrouded Thicket: 0.72 km east

Tourism

Áçäwals are often visited by pilgrims. This temple was isolated and outsiders were rarely seen there, but many became interested in it after reading of Ván of Sankai's account of her pilgrimage. However, the Aramacänten (Mountain kingdom) restricted the foreigners access to the region, and adviced them to rather visit the temples of the central kingdom.
Population
~50 in the monastery and 40 in the village
Location under
Owning Organization

Culture

Mup'äqi Šä is deep in the Sayal lands, where the customs of the Ara people have had little influence. People continue to live of the harsh land as they have always done.   However, they live under a constant fear that the tension between the Ara and Sayal might lead into another war. Ván of Sankai wrote that some had fled to the monastery to escape conscription, which reminded her of how the mythical Kauteirin the Fair fled to the highlands to avoid war.

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Cover image: by Paolo Costa Baldi

Comments

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26 Feb, 2022 13:37

A decayed and partially-abandoned monastery sounds like a perfect place to hide. o,o


Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young