Temple of a Thousand Faces

The Spiritual Home of Tolara

Saleh'Alire » Religious Temples Tolara Gwyn Tira'Kie Saethar'Kori

A person without a temple is clearly without spiritual home... And where there is no temple, no homes can be created; as we break ground it is my hope that, when this marvelous Temple is complete, it will help us to build those homes that we both desperately crave, and so dearly need in this new world.
Deamod e'Lufaren, High Priest of Farenthal and founder of the Temple of a Thousand Faces; Tolara, 9 Jenia 5749
The collaborative work of founders Deamod e'Lufaren and Aaina Viswan, it was the dream of the pair that the Temple of a Thousand Faces would stand as a beacon of hope for the continent of Tolara- and provide a much needed spiritual and social refuge for the new world's inhabitants. And during the 24 years Aaina Viswan served as High Priestess- and the 80 years which Deamod e'Lufaren served as High Priest- it blossomed into exactly what they'd envisioned... Unfortunately neither of them would get to see the fruit of their efforts until many years after the project began.

Construction & Legacy

  Breaking ground in the year 5730, the Temple of a Thousand Faces was constructed using a number of old building techniques. The majority were techniques Archivists had derived from the remains of the Ancient Races whose ruins could be found across Olienn, Castrillis, and Martova- primarily the The Nom'Yth and Phet.   Using these methods, large stones of white and gold Marble were quarried from the nearby mountains in Gwyn Tira'Kie and brought to the construction site through a variety of means. They were then raised into position and secured using notches cut into the stone- as well as the stone's own weight- to hold them in place. Once secure, they were ornately carved by local craftsmen who were paid daily wages for their work (a new practice in Temple construction that differed from standard practices still upheld in the old world).   Sadly disaster occurred in 5736, just six years into its construction; a hurricane ravaged the isle and destroyed much of the original construction... They wouldn't know how bad the damage was, however, until efforts were under way to clear the site. When they did, architects found that very little of the building survived in the aftermath of the storm.   Some of the original architecture still remained, however, and what portions were salvageable were re-purposed into columns, pillars, and other decorative elements for the new building. In an effort to complete it, though, further construction was much more simplistic in design- leading to a strange mishmash of differing architectural styles.   After clearing the site and salvaging what they could the Temple wouldn't be completed until 5749, nearly 20 years later. When it opened, the early Priesthood took Imalda e'Yisonn's personal convictions and actions to heart; the tenets of charity and grace, and an unwavering dedication to community became the foundational principles on which the Temple operated. As a result, the Temple of a Thousand Faces played an instrumental role in establishing the early Tolaran colony's safety, security, and health.
Cathedral / Great temple   Function
Religious Temple / Worship   Location
Gwyn Tira'Kie, Tolara   Alternative Names
Grand Temple of Tolara
Current Owners
Priest's Guild   Founders   Construction Beginning
30 Fenet 5730   Construction End
1 Jania 5749   Christening / Opening
9 Jania 5749
Over time, it would go on to become not only the first Tolaran wonder- earning it a spot among the architectural marvels of the known world, but the most visited Temple in all of Tolara. And after the Ferenian Migration and the events that spawned it, it would eventually become the primary headquarters for Tolara's Priest's Guild as well- making it the absolute centerpoint of faith on the continent.  

Floor Plan & Facilities

Temple of a Thousand Faces
The Temple of a Thousand Faces maintains several facilities both on the interior of the building, and around its exterior. The majority of these are open to the public for visitation everyday between the hours of First Breath and Last Light- after which point the Temple closes to the public... Some areas of the Temple, however, are reserved strictly for staff use (such as in the case of the administrative rooms)- while others such as the Clinic are used by both private staff, as well as the general public during designated times.  
The Temple's entrance is situated within a small alcove to the right of the center front of the building, facing out into the Obsidian District of Saethar'Kori. Entering the two incredibly large and ornately carved double doors, one finds a spacious and well lit Antechamber complete with sitting benches to the left. On the right, a water pond in tile mosaic which bears the statues of Yeathan, Osprem, and Dagon.
Hall of Faces
Directly to the left as you enter the Antechamber, an ornate arch and column divider leads visitors into the Temple proper. Passing through the arches, the Chapel sits through another arch and column divider on the left. But to the right, a large room known as The Hall of Faces (where the Temple gets its name) serves as the undeniable heart of the complex.   Sitting on a pedestal on the other side of the viewing Garden wall, sits the statues of Anheara and her spouses Corellon and Enoreth- considered to be the parents of all Elves. Other statues around the chamber, however, are not so specific; here one may also find statues of Tamara, Garl, Onatar, Torm, Pelor, Talona, Yondalla, Farenthal, Chauntea, Kelemvor, Kord, Ayailla, and Mouqol... Among dozens of others.
Interior viewing Garden
It contains a small indoor viewing Garden at its back, as well as rows upon rows of statues depicting some of the most worshipped gods in Tolara.
Chapel & Chapel High
To the left of the walkway entering into the Hall of Faces is the Chapel area. This area serves as the Temple's main place of daily worship with general services twice daily- once at half between First Breath and Last Dew, and the second at half between Late Blaze and Last Light. It also serves as the primary area in which non-worship ceremonies such as Marriages and Funerals are held during the time available between the two services. For that reason it is a long, spacious room with a stage at one end, containing another three statues: Hlala, Damh, and Cyrrollalee.   Above it sits a walkway around the edge of the upper half of the room. Known as the High Chapel, this space is accessible via a staircase in the Antechamber and acts as an overflow location to view the Chapel proceedings if the Chapel Low is too full for spectators.
Staff Resources
Various staff resources exist on the second floor- including open layout Sleeping Quarters for permanent staff and any transient members of the Priesthood; a Clinic where Priests and commoners alike may seektreatment- magical or otherwise; a Mess Hall in which to eat the thrice daily meals provided for the Temple's staff, and a Kitchen for the cooking; plus a general dry goods Store Room. A large Administration Office is also located on the second floor, out of which both the Priest's Guild and the permanent Temple Staff operate.

Public Services

The Spirits are the Teachers in the Temple, each imparting their lessons of eternal significance... The Priests are only their messengers. The Clerics, only their agents. Paladins, only their protectors; the blessings of the priesthood are available to every person, whether man or woman, neither, or both- and to each is due, not scorn and blame, but reverence and praise, because it is not the Priesthood who bestows such things.... But the Spirits themselves.
Aaina Viswan, High Priestess of Tamara and co-founder of the Temple of a Thousand Faces; Tolara, 9 Jenia 5749
High Priest
Berend Teunissen   Second Priest
Runinni   Security Master
Persea Strora   Security Steward
Rolf Sandor
Ceremony Master
Lian Seo-Yun   Ceremony Steward
Vaku Sireka   Healing Master
Muirin Chrysies   Alms Master
Tyras Fer'endrel
  Additional Staff
03 Senior Priests
62 Lesser Priests
30 Paladins
05 Clerics
04 Administrators
01 Representative
08 Assistants
02 Stewards
02 Directors
02 Head Cooks
06 Scullery Aids
04 Clinic Aids
05 Groundskeepers
05 Custodians
In keeping with the spirit and intent of the Temple's founders, the Temple of a Thousand Faces provides a number of services to the public, regardless of whether they're residents of Saethar'Kori or not. These services are provided free of cost- thought the Temple does ask for donations to maintain the facility and continue their work.  
As Master of Healing, Cleric Muirin Chrysies is on call most hours to oversea the healing of commoners and Priesthood members alike in the Clinic on site. Usually, however, she only sees those whose ailments have not responded to non-magical means and must be seen to through the use of her Divine gifts. Four additional Clinic Aids are employed as well to provide Herbal Remedies and other non-magical healing methods to patients whenever needed.
As the Master of Alms, Cleric Tyras Fer'endrel oversees the handing out of Temple donations to the city poor on every 5th day of the month. Usually his route takes him around the Granite District of Saethar'Kori, but he's also been known to visit establishments such as The Cup and Bowl and Salty Bottom. Additionally, the Temple accepts beggars from Alms during the times between their twice daily ceremonies.
Those seeking spiritual council are welcome in the temple at any time and may seek out any one of 62 Lesser Priests employed by the Temple for these services; they provide life counseling, mental counseling, and spiritual counseling, facilitate and mediate minor religious disputes between individuals, and hear confessions of wrongdoing- among a number of other things. However, because of the nature of the Priest's Guild, they are not obligated to report any information of wrongdoing to the authorities.
Ceremonies are held twice daily for those who wish to attend a General service- once at half between First Breath and again half between Last Dew, and the second at half between Late Blaze and Last Light. In addition to these twice daily services, the Temple also performs Coming of Age, Marriage, and Funeral rites- as well as Atonement ceremonies and Dedications, among others.


Author's Notes

▼ Please Read Before You Comment ▼
I absolutely love getting feedback on my setting and its worldbuilding. I love it even more when people poke and prod at it, and ask questions about the things I've built within it. I want both. I actively encourage both. And it makes me incredibly giddy whenever I get either. However, there's a time and a place for critique in particular- mostly when I've actually asked for it (which usually happens in World Anvil's discord server). And when I do ask for critique, there are two major things I politely request that you do not include in your commentary:   ➤ The first is any sort of critique on the way I've chosen to organize or format something; Saleh'Alire is not a narrative world written for reader enjoyment... It's is a living campaign setting for Dungeons and Dragons. To that end, it's written and organized for my players and I, specifically for ease of use during gameplay- and our organization needs are sometimes very different than others'. They are especially diferent, often-times, from how things "should be organized" for reader enjoyment.   ➤ Secondly, is any critique about sentence phrasing and structure, word choice, and so on; unless you've specifically found a typo, or you know for a provable fact I've blatantly misued a word, or something is legitimately unclear explicitly because I've worded it too strangely? Then respectfully: Don't comment on it; as a native English speaker of the SAE dialect, language critique in particular will almost always be unwelcome unless it's absolutely necessary. This is especially true if English is not you first language to begin with. My native dialect is criticized enough as it is for being "wrong", even by fellow native English speakers ... I really don't want to deal with the additional linguistic elitism of "formal english" from Second-Language speakers (no offense intended).   That being said: If you want to ask questions, speculate, or just ramble? Go for it! I love talking about my setting and I'm always happy to answer any questions you have, or entertain any thoughts about it. Praise, of course, is always welcome too (even if it's just a casual "this is great", it still means a lot to authors)- and if you love it, please don't forget to actually show that love by liking it and sharing it around. Because I genuinely do enjoy watching people explore and interact with my setting, and ask questions about it, and I'd definitely love to hear from you... Just be respectful about it, yeah?

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Nov 29, 2020 21:53

Wow. This is amazing.

Nov 30, 2020 03:03 by Anna Katherina

Thank you <3

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Jun 3, 2021 16:03 by John Johnson

Great article, and very detailed too. No wonder it's used for a d&d campaign.

Jun 12, 2021 01:26 by Anna Katherina

Less that it's used FOR a DnD campaign and more I made it explicitly FOR my dnd campaign and modeled the post in a way that makes it easy for me to function as a DM lol. Thank you for the compliment!

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