Thursday, November 7, 2013

East Fenlock: Everyone knows

106. The Basilica of Palladian. The MacIntyre clan (and a few other prominent cavalier families) have contributed over the past fifty years to the creation of this incredible 150ft high marble temple, with high-peaked terracotta roof and with 30ft high caryatid columns around the entire edifice, which is planted with enormous oaks on three sides. The rear of the temple has a large sand ‘pit,’ where there are regularly warriors training (and showing off.) The temple itself contains three large areas, one with an enormous statue clad in semi-precious stones, one (in the rear) where rituals and high-level healing occurs and a third area, accessible by a partially hidden stairway in the rear area, which is divided into small rooms used by traveling clergy, as storage and ritual areas and as the offices and homes of several clerics of Palladian, including Mother Hope, a very old and very high level priestess who ‘runs’ the temple. (She is a distant relation of the thane’s as well.) The temple is rumored to also house an extensive catacomb which keeps many dangerous items (and perhaps creatures) in check. While the items is a possibility, the religion of Palladian (who is a goddess of justice and also of fire) is not shy of executing villains, especially demons and undead, although one of the teachings of her priesthood is that humans (and humanoids) can always be redeemed. The Basilica (and the 140ft statue of Palladian the Fire-Haired) is rapidly becoming a tourist attraction, and Mother Hope sells blessed holy symbols, which are used to fund the temple’s large orphanage.

107. The Temple of Ardentia. The official state religion of the country of Arden Vale is that of the demi-goddess Ardentia, who outside of Arden Vale is generally regarded as a variation on the goddess Palladian, and this temple, made from white marble with pale orange veins, is very much a reflection of the (much larger) Temple of Palladian that sits beside it, when viewed from outside. Ardentia is often portrayed as a ‘faceless’ deity, with her followers using iconography (usually of maple trees) that does not involve humanoid forms. (Old temples of Ardentia sometimes have a statue of a laughing maple nymph, a figure similar to a dryad but usually portrayed as younger and having flaming fall maple leaves for hair.) This temple (whose outside columns are covered in incredibly detailed bas-relief of maple leaves) is much different on the inside, appearing ‘empty,’ especially compared to the main room of the Temple of Palladian, (which is designed for observing the statue of Palladian), a cavernous inside space with five columns made of agate (and carved to resemble the trunks of trees) with the domed ceiling of the chamber (the center of which is glass) adorned with hundreds of shining copper leaves which move and tinkle as the air is stirred in the room. The living area of the five priests who are in residence (one is a low-level paladin) is above this common room, and the priests keep a sacred flame which lights the downstairs area. This light is green in the summer, orange in the fall and very pale and white in the winter, seeming to change the color of the leaves below. During weddings (even the devout members of other religions in the city tend to be married in ‘the maple temple’) the priests bring out many deeply carved maple pews, and one of the effects of the marriage ceremony when performed by these priests is that the leaves appear to fall, but vanish just before hitting the heads of the participants. (Depending on the time of year, this can be falling autumn leaves, green seed ‘helicopters,’ snow, rain and even gold dust.) Between the incredible special effects of the ceremonies (including the four ‘seasonal’ ceremonies), the temple’s free-flowing maple mead (made from honey and syrup from a top-secret grove nearby) and the tacit approval of the king for ceremonies (Ardentia is the civil religion of the country), the temple does very wel economically, despite having far less money or members than other faiths.

108. Temple of Ordith complex. This temple and bathhouse complex consists of two indoor bathing facilities (a, c) a large outdoor pool (d) at the foot of a spring-fed fan waterfall (it falls about 50 feet, into a steep valley that the bathhouses stick out into (streams pour over the ‘tops’ of the main, tepid pools of the bathhouses (each has a large tepid pool and a smaller hot room and cold room) into the pool as well, through a series of channels, resulting in a C-shaped fan waterfall that pours over rocks (the waterfall itself is similar in appearance to Tinago Falls in the Phillipines)), a temple structure made of huge blocks of limestone that hide the spring-fed source of the falls and is only allowed to be entered by the faithful (b), a very narrow white sand beach under a ‘shelf’ of rock with a stone stairway leading to the surface level (e) surrounded by oak trees (Swamp White Oaks) that nearly completely shield the plunge basin, leaning slightly inward and having branches that almost interlace. The plunge basin itself flows into a small system of caves, but this area (and indeed, the plunge basin itself) is only accessible to the faithful (or those being healed or cured by the faithful.) Persons attempting to climb the iron fence surrounding the complex without permission regularly end up entangled by the moss hanging from the tree, and people have seen dryads and nymphs in the area. Ordith’s clergy have an incredibly busy schedule of rites, ceremonies and sacred days, and clerics aligned with this complex spend (on average) a week per month engaged in religious observance. The bathhouses themselves are open to the public, and the city’s main social meeting place. The plunge basin can be viewed (barely) from windows in the bathouses. The Temple of Ordith here (at what is called ‘hidden falls’ is very, very old and is assumed to predate the city.

109. Anne Dubois, bookbinder. This lovely two-story wood house, painted in a bright green and covered in honeysuckle and ivy, is the home of the city’s premier bookbinder, whose work is primarily sold to the local temples. She specializes in the creation of very large custom works, and works with an illuminator and several scribes. Often her work is ‘booked’ months in advance, but she is available as a sage of written works to identify scrolls, books and the occasional rune. (Her abilities are limited to identifying low-level spells and books in Eastern, Western and Ancient Common, Modern Elven, Dwarven (including runes), Gnome, Kobold, Goblin, Angelic and several ciphers.

110. Enameller’s Shop. Pierre Legrange is one of the city’s finest enamellers, having done much of the work on the landmark statue of Palladian and preparing many of the more intricate holy symbols of Palladian sold there. He regularly will purchase agates and semi-precious stones at their book values, and is available for custom work. The bulk of his work is in traditional glass enamels, but he also manufactures pietra dura (multicolored stone inlay), hardstore carving and cameo work. His enamel portrait miniatures are particularly exceptional, and nearly photorealistic. He also works in oil and charcoal, but the durability of enamel in the humid region keeps him very busy. His 3 inch diameter portrait miniatures, usually set in gold, require a 3 hour sitting and another week to complete. He will also purchase inlaid and enameled works of art both to resell and to refine his techniques.

111. Mule Barn and Seller. Lamar Babineaux runs this large operation, which sells barge-mules, donkeys and draft horses.
112. Drydock. Fenlock turns a large trade in barge repair and barge building. This drydock is owned by Lamar Babineaux, who also owns a large mule operation.

113. Fenlock Orphanage Run by the temple of Palladian, this orphanage houses a couple of dozen kids orphaned by war and undead attacks in the area.

114. Paul Demonde’s House. This two story manor house and large landscaped land is occupied by the head of the Demon’s Dark Dozen, a mercenary guild that considers Fenlock its home.

115. The Demon’s Dark Dozen Guildhouse. The DDD are a local mercenary organization, primarily hired by caravans. Contrary to their name, there are actually hundreds in the organization, and this army-for-hire can practically name their price for their services. The DDD was last known to be helping the town of Green Vale put down a goblin invasion.

116-119. Modest Houses: These large wooden structures with thatched roofs are owned by the city’s middle class.

120. Temple of Yara. This log cabin, with a porch made of twisted willow and a mossy slate roof is one of the city’s less traveled temples, housing two permanent clerics who provide healing services (including free healing for those in desparate need

121. Fenlock Library This members-only library (50gp/year membership) is primarily a collection of books on languages, religion and local history.

122. Fortified Manor House. A large manor house, owned by a wealthy townsperson.

123. Ship captain’s barn/stable. This large barn and attached stable/carriage house is owned by the residents of building 124.

124.Ship captain’s house. A large manor house, owned by a local ship captain. The captain himself is rarely home.

125. Lamar Babineaux’s house: This slate-roofed 2-story house is constructed from deeply mortared natural limestone, with a white-painted large porch. An enormous planting of jasmine vine has swamped the side of the house, hanging over the porch and covering 2/3 of the building in green foliage and deeply scented white flowers.

126. Rest home. This large complex is maintained by the Temple of Palladian and is both a place for people to recover from injuries and a hospice.

127. South Lift Bridge. A drawbridge across the canal (see 89)

128. Fenlock Courthouse. Arden Vale law requires all cities that receive tax revenue from the government to have a Courthouse, a Public School and a Temple to Ardentia. The court house, while largely unused (The Thane is allowed to ‘be’ the law) is a work of art, with a large, green copper roof.

129. The Pixie Fountain. This small fountain is a source of civic water, and features a statue that is a steel trellis arch with 10 pixies hanging from it. The arch is planted thickly with moonflowers and dragonfruit, and the fountain itself has night-blooming water lilies in the top of its three tiers. Its fragrant night-blooming garden has earned it the name “the night fountain.” A faint continuous faerie fire makes the water of the fountain glow deep, pale purple at night.

130. Large house (Dubois Family estate) The Thane’s recently retired right hand man (Marcus Dubois) spent a great deal of his wages to make his gorgeous three-story brick building with a slate roof into a home for his 3rd level mage wife and his many children. He recently turned the attic from a storage area into a large peaked room that is a ‘lab’ entered into from a hallway with bookshelves (these hold Jeanne Delmar Dubois’ spellbooks, and a number of books on magic technique) that has doorways to large bedrooms with empty bookshelves and built-in desks and folding beds  These two bedrooms, the entrance area and the workshop take up the while top floor.

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