Friday Links for October 16, 2009
Hi all... Once again, the RPG community presents not only creative ideas, but thought-provoking material…
As the dominant feature in the city of Belos, the Grand Basilica rises majestically above all other construction. Only two of the castle’s highest towers reaches the 150 foot height of the Basilica’s golden dome. From dawn to dusk, the dome catches the rays of the sun, lighting a beacon for the Church faithful.
The dome itself serves as the main hall of the Basilica, hosting as many as 10,000 of the Mother’s flock beneath its roof. Surrounding the dome at the four corners of the supporting structure are four massive towers also topping out at 150 feet. The towers are home to many of the different priestly orders.
Located beneath the Basilica, the underchapel is rumored to be nearly as expansive as the above-ground portions of the Basilica, but is only for the use of certain key personnel. In recent years the militant Order of St. Greggor has been seen entering and leaving the underchapel regularly, but they are far from the only secretive order of the church.
Ringing the exterior of the Basilica is a series of statues of those known of what is the Second Tier of the Mother’s initial disciples. Each statue personifies one quality that the Mother embodied – such as compassion, kindness, and dedication. Each statue faces the center of the dome.
As you approach the huge double doors to the Basilica you quickly realize that it must take several priests a great deal of effort to move them. In the last 15 years they have never been closed and there are always priests on hand to help any who would choose to enter. Upon the doors themselves there are two gigantic loops that, when the doors are closed, form the infinity symbol (a figure eight laid on its side) which is part of the Church’s symbology.
Once inside the church, directly below the center of the dome, is what looks like an ornately carved birdbath. This is a collecting plate for the Mother’s Tears. Any who may enter is encouraged to use this water as they would wish. Since the building of the Basilica more than 1000 years ago, the bath has never been empty. It is believed that once the Mother’s portrait was painted ascending to take her place next to the Maker that actual tears formed and dripped soundlessly into the pool. Even in times of drought, the pool has never gone dry.
To the left and right of the main causeway to the altar lie one hundred rows of pews broken into sections that form a gentle curve to follow the outline of the dome. During the High Masses held once a month in the Basilica, the flock fills the pews and there is little room for those standing on the edges.
The altar itself is broken into three areas. On the left- and right-most sides facing the congregation is a lectern. In the center is a broad marble table of the same composition as the Mother’s Fold bridge just down the road from the Basilica across the river. Many of the faithful come to simply stare and meditate on the slowly changing and calming pattern within the stone. Here is where the Deacons and priests give the masses to the flock each sunrise and sunset.
In the four corners of the building supporting the dome are doors leading to the towers. Directly behind the altar, hidden behind a tapestry on the wall, is a door to the underchapel. In the last ten years, a guard from the Order of St. Greggor in full armor has stood watch at the door letting few beyond.