Thursday, 13 February 2014

Houses of Waste and Plenty

An example temple and festival for each of the major Hungry Gods that plague the Edge Lands.

Portly, God of Feast and Famine

1: A squat golden dome located in the centre of a meat packing district. Starving pilgrims from across the Edge Lands bring offerings of raw meat, which are thrown onto a barbecue kept burning by well fed priests. The dome has no windows, only a handful of small entrances and a single inefficient chimney. Smoke fills the room, along with the mouth watering smell of cooked meat. Hungry visitors tempted to steal food sometimes end up on the coals themselves.

2: This month long festival takes place in a remote monastery. Devotees and priests of Portly are locked away in cells and starved for 6 days. Then on the 7th day they feast, throwing themselves into an orgy of food and wine and sex and drugs. The next day the cycle begins again. Many die from starvation or over consumption, lose their minds to drug abuse and isolation, or commit suicide or murder.

Rasping, God of Greed and Gold

1: The Counting House, great temple of Rasping, is located on Crestbourne's western tip. It is where all of Crestbourne's gold goes before it is consigned to the abyss. Priests of Rasping toil night and day, ritually counting and recounting the gold whilst preparing ornately illuminated lists of purchases that the wealth could be spent on. Then they burn the lists and pile the hoards onto the sacrificial boats, destined for the Edge and oblivion.

Unhappy priests of Rasping, hard at work counting gold and illuminating redundant shopping lists.

2: My Desires Eve is Crestbourne's anarchic festival of theft. Law is suspended from nightfall until morning, during which time devotees of Rasping are expected to take to the streets to pillage and loot from their neighbours. There is no legal recourse to recover any property, virtue or honour stolen during My Desires Eve, and not taking the annual opportunity to seek possession of the things you lust after is considered both sacrilegious and rather rude.

Tumble Down, God of Fate and Gambling

1: The Wheel is a great golden spire connected by eight spokes to a massive hollow wheel which contains the most dangerous casino temple on the Edge. Priests of Tumble Down collect wagers and determine the odds on games of chance that range from the mundane to the deadly. The Wheel is a sacred ground, and admission is open to all. Riminal children are warned early about the dangers of the Wheel, as there are well documented cases of reckless youths losing their liberty, their lives or their souls during a childish game of knuckle-bones or conkers.

Cheating is a risky business in the casino-temples, but losing is even more so.

2: Dice Day is a festival of luck. The festivities begin in the early morning, with wild games organised in the streets, dancing and feasting. Devotees of Tumble Down are required to attend temples where they roll dice under the watchful eye of the priesthood. The results might be good or bad - lucky winners could be handed gold coins and sent back to the party or given free reign of a pleasure barge, whilst unlucky losers may be publicly flogged or press-ganged into serfdom for the day.

Easel, God of Artists and Corruption

1: The opulent former residence of a Lip Bound nobleman, converted into a vast studio. Artists from the Edge Lands are 'invited' by Easel to attend the studio, where they are tasked with producing works that please the God. Their canvases are the living flesh of priests that have displeased Easel.

Penitent priests of Easel

2: The Illume is an annual competition of artworks devoted to Easel. Priests and devotees are expected to pick entrants and scheme towards helping them achieve victory by any means necessary. The competition gets incredibly vicious, as judges are bribed, works are destroyed, artists are assassinated and backs are stabbed. And woe be to Riminal if the winner of the Illume is not to Easel's taste.

Horn, God of Lust and War

1: This amphitheatre is the stage for elaborate competitions and displays of prowess. Horn demands exhibitions both erotic and violent, but has been known to change his mind about which he wishes for midway through a performance. One may witness stunning sexual athletes thrown weapons mid-coitus and tasked with fighting to the finish, whilst lethal gladiators toss aside their weapons, drop their armour and fuck furiously, all for the fickle favours of the God of sex and death.

2: Healing is free at the temples of Horn during the Feast of Fist and Bottle, with only one caveat – if you take to the streets, then you have to fight. Children fight children, men fight men, women fight women, and grandparents fight grandparents. If an Unfallen is in the streets and they come across a peer, they must fight with their fists or be shamed in front of the community. The drinking holes and restaurants fill up with fighters taking a rest, as the open public spaces of Unfall become one huge, rollicking, alcohol fuelled melee. The harassed clerics of Horn move amongst the wreckage, dispensing healing spells and (in rare cases) resurrections.

The Feast of Fist and Bottle

Lisp, God of Lies and Public Speaking

1: The Pandetorium was once a public forum where the citizenry gathered to discuss politics and elect officials. It is now a sort of speakers corner, except that many of the speakers are priests of Lisp who lace their rhetoric with just enough truth to suck the listener into the web of falsity. Whole doctrines have sprung up around the most charismatic and subtle of these orators, and passionate citizens crowd the Pandetorium daily, arguing furiously over the finer details of philosophies bred from falsehood.

False wisdom and subtle half truths hold sway in the Pandetorium

2: Chaos reigns at the Great Masquerade, during which no Unfallen may be in public without wearing a mask, and no enquiries may be made as to a persons true identity. The Masquerade is held on the hottest day of the year, when tempers and passions are at boiling point, and inevitably the feasting and merrymaking of the day gives way to anarchy come nightfall. This is the day when young Unfallen traditionally lose their virginities, and it is notorious for leaving a tidal wave of cuckolded husbands and scorned wives in it's wake. The truth is considered gauche at this festival, and a state of high alertness is required if you wish to keep an eye on a wayward spouse or disobedient offspring.

Stutter Eye, God of Voyeurs and the Deranged

1: A prison laid out like an ants nest, full of two way glass, open topped areas with viewing platforms, and arcane methods of scrying upon the inmates. The lives of the prisoners are studied and documented religiously, and whenever there is a lull in activity the priests will instigate drama, stoking the fires of conflict and changing the rules at random. Devotees sometimes volunteer for imprisonment, tasked with keeping the human show interesting for the Peeping God.

2: Devotees of Stutter Eye are notorious for carrying out pop-up theatre shows in temples to the God and other public spaces. Attendees are often drugged with mind altering hallucinogens,  before being exposed to bizarre and horrific avant-garde dramas. These shows are incredibly popular amongst Overpeakers, and young dramatists will scheme viciously to secure a casting audition.

Theatre in Overpeak is hallucinatory, intense, and reliant on audience participation.

Shut Lung, God of Drowning and Visions

1: These public baths have been converted into a series of drowning rooms. Devotees of Shut Lung come here to be ritually drowned and (hopefully) resuscitated by the priesthood. The lucky survivors report fascinating visions of their pasts and futures, insightful messages and signs from the God. The less fortunate do not.

Fingers crossed for a vision, eh?

2: The Feast of Descension is a grand festival, when the citizens of Overpeak take to the waves in their thousands. Galleys and gondolas, warships and pleasure barges, all are packed with revellers and socialites, devotees and priests, the brave and the curious. The boats set out at first light and approach the Edge, vying amongst themselves to show their bravery and recklessness as the wine begins to flow and the captains sail nearer and nearer the squalls that could drag them over the side of the world. There is feasting and entertainment and speeches from the great and the good. At sunset lots are drawn and unlucky souls from the grand boats are thrown overboard, destined to drown if they are lucky or to be sucked over the Edge still alive if they are not.

How Peakers let you know that the party has finished.

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