[Church] A Stone Building, Bearing the Sign of the Emissary

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[Church] A Stone Building, Bearing the Sign of the Emissary

Post by Snowskeeper » Thu Nov 09, 2017 5:16 am

The Emissary's temples are never ostentatious. Most aren't even purpose-built. The Emissary's a traveler's god; a god for couriers and runners and diplomats; for people who spend a lot of time away from society, or from their own society. Its texts emphasize humility, in the same way the human body emphasizes breathing. The Emissary died--drowned--before it took on its domain. Its worshipers strive to emulate it.

Its temples are near entrances and exits, to squares and to cities and to districts; it's never quiet inside. There are always the sounds of people, moving around and talking and laughing. The message passes into the room, and it reverberates, before it dies. The windows are closed; in some places, they're sealed. You can't see out of the temple. You can only hear.

The Emissary's prayer isn't anything solid. It's not a chant or a whisper, or a litany. It's not even a solid feeling. You don't pray to the Emissary by dedicating yourself to it, or hoping for its protection, or even speaking directly to it. The Emissary never speaks back. It's not like that. When you pray to the Emissary, you close your eyes, and you open your mind, and you listen, and you let the flow of noise wash over you. You take in everything you hear, and you're a dispassionate observer; the world is a message, for you. That's the real temple. Your ears are your place of worship.

In Azuria, the central temple to the Emissary is a small building near one of the turn-ons to Market Square. It's not pretty. Squat and stone and scarred, and the only sign that anything holy's going on inside is the symbol (a rendition of the Emissary's eyeless mask, as always) hanging over the door, tavern-style. People go in and out, and most of the time, they're no different. Some of the people come out looking a little hollower--a little more ready to be filled with somebody else's mind. Their baptismal self-destruction is underway.

This temple has only two rooms. The first is bare; poorly-lit, too. The dark helps with the process. The cleric thinks that's a crutch, but he strives not to say so. He thinks to himself, "it isn't worthy to have opinions." Then he hates himself for thinking that. He is Emissary to the Emissary; conduit to the conduit. He sees little signs from his God in everything. His own room--the second--is bare, except for the cot, the little pantry, and the old stove that cooks his food and keeps him warm in winter, and a small tub he fills with well-water. He doesn't wash often; he conducts no sermons, no baptisms, but the worshipers always know where he is. They can smell him. The idea of him scares some of them, though they don't know why.

The building is holy, though. That’s not debatable, even for members of other faiths. There’s a certain aura in the air. Dust doesn’t gather on surfaces; it seems to vanish, as if by magic. Sound is accentuated. Speaking outside feels natural, pleasurable; speaking inside feels treacherous. The temple feels like the perfect place to prepare to convey somebody else’s will. As you would expect, for a faith centered around messages.

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