(1311-04-04) Tour of the Temples
Summary: Marco shows Farah some of the temples, inspiring talk about certain customs and beliefs of d'Angeline religion.
RL Date: 04/04/2019
Related: None
farah marco 

Temple District — Marsilikos

Cobblestone paths amongst well-kept greenery lead from the square in the center to a number of Temples, each dedicated to one of the Companions. The Grand Temple of Eisheth is the most imposing building, as it is in fact the biggest Temple of that faith in all of Terre d'Ange. The Temple of Elua lies opposite, with Temples of Azza, Anael and Shemhazai to one side facing Temples of Camael, Kushiel and Naamah on the other. An air of holy contemplation can sometimes be felt, where a circle of benches in the center of the square take advantage of the shade offered by a number of apple and peach trees. It is here that priests and acolytes of the various faiths sometimes gather for theological conversation, or just to enjoy a moment of divine tranquility.

Something had changed. Marco and Farah had come to an arrangement, that they would go out more together, to be seen as the betrothed pair that they are. After all, it is expected of those engaged to marry, even if for political reasons. But then again — perhaps even more so because of that very fact. The weather is fine today, warm and drizzling, and so Farah has ventured out with Lord Marco, for a visit of the Temple District. Her d'Angeline maid trails after her, granting Farah and Marco the privacy of conversation, and there is of course the Akkadian guard that has a watchful eye on his charge. Farah seems to be more and more accepting of d'Angeline lifestyle, she is clad in a fine dress of light green of d'Angeline fashion. Her dark hair is done up, and a light cloak is fastened about her shoulders, providing protection from the light chill of the morning.

Marco unsurprisingly enjoys the time spent with her. Some time spent asking her about her upbringing and what she learned. More often simply enjoying the sight of her taking things in with her view and interest in all things. He seems to have grown used to the guard and he smiles studying her, "Which of the temples have you not seen yet?" He asks of her considering curiously. He's dressed in his own light gray and a cloak as he looks from one large building to the next.

Farah too seems to be well pleased with her company. Initially reserved towards him, the Akkadian lady had sort of loosened up a little in the course of the past weeks. Spending time together could cause this. It happens that her dark eyed gaze brushes Marco now and then with a look of admiration and perhaps also beginning fondness. But the most prominent expression is curiosity. Oh yes, she is curious, even if she may have asked less and more replied to his questions in their moments together. Right now, when Marco poses his question to her, she looks up and glances from one temple to the other. "I have… seen the Temple of Eisheth. But so far I liked it the best. Well. Apart from the Temple of Naamah, of course. I have only seen these two, Marco. Which others would you recommend me to see?"

Marco considers that for a moment, "Well do you know the strengths of each of the temples? I'm sure you would find Kushiel's fascinating." He teases glancing to the handmaid for a reaction before offering, "The Temple of Elua is one of the more somber places though I enjoy it Camael and Shemhazai are more… focused on their areas."

"Why would I find Kushiel's Temple fascinating?", Farah asks. "What makes you say that? I have yet to learn so much. Now, let me think. Kushiel is the companion of punishment. But who would visit a temple to get punished, I wonder?" She looks over to the building, that looks so sober and plain. Apart from the bas relief at the front, depictions of a tall figure wearing a winged bronze mask. The handmaid blushes a little, she did overhear obviously. "Oh no, my lady, you would find it… disturbing. You wouldn't wish to see it.", she is quick to assure Farah.

Marco smiles, "Let us go see it. It's not so terrible a place but some people find relief in the administration of penitence. In some cases we require such things to make up for our actions or deeds. It's just another way for people to show their faith." He says quietly as they move towards it drawing her as he smiles, "But one should see all parts of our society I'm sure." He says to the two, trying to hide his mischief.

"Well then I believe we shall visit the temple of Kushiel," Farah remarks towards Marco. "No one is to say that I was too timid to visit that place." It may be indeed one of the many keys to her personality. A certain brave quality, a stubbornness there. A confidence she had developed when she was raised in the seraglio, as daughter to a prince. A certain sort of pride. "I have nothing to ask penitence for. So I trust they will accept me visiting nonetheless…" Perhaps the thought of doing something real bad to deserve such punishment causes a brief flicker in her gaze as she steps through the heavy bronze doors, signalling her Akkadian guard to stand back and remain outside. "There is nothing to fear in these temples," she murmurs, lowering instantly her voice as she feels the comparative chill within the thick walls of the temple. The darkness there, despite the sunny weather outside, merely lit by a few tall candelabra. It takes her eyes a moment to adjust.

Temple of Kushiel — Marsilikos

Built of stone, the facade clad in travertine marble of muted honey-colored hue, the Temple of Kushiel stands apart from the others. Heavy double doors coated with bronze, reliefs and ornaments worked into the metal showing depictions of the Companion of Punishment, open into an antechamber. Thick are the walls, and darkness is only slightly alleviated by tall candelabra filled with burning white candles marking the corners of the room. Dark curtains can be drawn in several alcoves to the side, where visitors can withdraw to speak of their guilt with one of the bronze-masked priests and priestesses. There is a definite chill that seems to decrease slightly, when stepping through the next pair of heavy bronze doors into the main room of the temple.

The Inner Sanctum is a hall of high ceiling, just high enough for the tall effigy of Kushiel in its center. A winged bronze mask covers his face and gives him an unrelenting air. With his two arms crossed before him, he holds a rod in one hand and a flail in the other. Close to the pedestal there stand two braziers where incense is burned, to open the mind and soul to Kushiel's unrelenting stare. It almost seems as if he were looking down to the whipping post before the pedestal, with the bowl of saltwater beside, to be applied after the flogging.

A bronze door to the side leads to a hallway with rooms, one of them holding the bath of purification, a pool there filled with steaming hot water emanating the faint scent of sulfur where penitents go to prepare before they will do penance inside of the inner sanctum. The hallway connects to the antechamber through a black curtain that can be pulled aside, hiding the passage at other times.

Marco smiles at Farah's decision, eyes twinkling as they enter the long open area with those very many discrete alcoves. He smiles as he searches the quiet and somber interior for those distinct masked priests. "It's one of the more interesting things, the priests because they administer… punishment are always masked in the service of their god. To try and avoid recriminations I suppose and also to indicate it is not for themselves that they do it."

A few of those masked priests are around, some of them in conversation with people, just in the moment before they withdraw to the alcoves. Farah looks towards them with wide eyes. "They look… umm… terrifying.", she searches for the right words, failing to put in a way she thinks adequate. "Their robes are black and they wear these bronze masks? What would they do to someone coming to them, if that someone would ask for punishment?", Farah whispers, keeping close to Marco. "Have you ever…" Her words trail off as she looks towards him. "Have you ever..? But perhaps… it is not my place to ask. It would be a matter between you and Kushiel, no?"

Marco smiles, "They do look terrifying that is part of their aspect." He admits as he watches her reactions and he smiles, "I suppose it depends on how they approach. They would not appreciate it if they thought it for purposes of gratification. But if it was penance. They would well they have a way." He shrugs, "At time if I feel the guilt weighing heavily upon me enough. But rarely."

Farah looks further towards the center of the large chamber, where the effigy of Kushiel stands, his arms crossed before him, one hand holding a flail and the other a rod, she cannot help but stare, while still unable to move from Marco's side. "Gratification is not a word that comes to mind," she murmurs. "Penance. Yes. I can sense penance here…" Standing beside him, her hand touches against his, fingers twining as if she were seeking reassurance. "I've… felt guilty myself at times. But these were… merely phases. Where I believed things others would tell about me." It is a whispered confession. Before she looks to Marco again. "I can see there are other doors. As if there are more areas here." The double doors connecting the front part of the temple to the center, the inner sanctum are now being closed, hiding that huge statue from view. "Why are they doing this? Is there penance occurring? Right now?", Farah asks, pressing closer to his side. "Let us leave. I believe I have seen enough…"

Marco squeezes her hand and watches her reactions with rapt fascination and excitement. As always he seems to savor her reaction to seeing these things firsthand. "There is penance for some…" He admits and he nods squeezing her hand, "To the next temple then." He says drawing her in and he admits, "Sadly one cannot watch, simply experience here. But another time." He offers gently and he draws her back out into the open area and o the next temple. That of Elua.

There is something morbidly fascinating about the Tempel of Kushiel, but for those that do not come for penance, they will soon feel like intruders here. The squeeze to her hand is appreciated, and Farah follows Marco out, exhaling with relief as they once again stand outside in the warm light of the sun, as if they had stepped out of a nightmare. Her hand lets go of his, instantly. After all, there is the Akkadian guard, a tall muscular man who gives Farah a sharp look. "The next temple?", she echoes towards Marco, relieved that he is already heading towards the next, and she trails after him.

Temple of Elua — Marsilikos

Stepping through an arched doorway, they arrive in a sort of courtyard. Air and light are predominant here, even as they step into the temple through a door. Much light falls into the temple proper through windows, some of glass, and others of stained glass, bathing the shrine of Elua in an almost supernatural light of colors. "Elua…", Farah breathes, her eyes gleaming as she admires the simplicity and yet the beauty of the place. "The Companions loved Him. And it was Him, that Naamah sought to save, is it not so?" She has had some lessons in the religion of Terre d'Ange, but it takes time for her to learn knowledge each child here grows up with.

Marco draws her along and smiling, "This temple is very different." He says softly and he nods, "Elua… is beloved. Yes he was something the world has never seen again. Someone pure. And he taught us much. This is as much in honor of what he taught us as it is of him." He admits as he watches her take in the brightly lit place with the dazzling arrays of colors.

"It is His Precept that tells you… us to love as we will.", Farah repeats what she has been told. "He encourages to love. Even outside of marriage. Whereas… the pleasures of the flesh… This would be Naamah's area. Yes?" She doesn't mind lingering here in these halls. The light and the overall pleasant mood of the temple bring a smile to her lips. "Will this be, were the ceremony will be held? Or… will it happen at Naamah's Temple?"

Marco inclines his head and he smiles "He does." He offers quietly, "It's not so much that he encourages people to love outside of marriage. But he encourages people to happiness to love. To be free with their love and pursue their happiness. It is not meant to upset people but to free each other." He smiles, "It depends on what we wish but I would… expect here. It's a more formal setting."

"Love will be a high goal," Farah muses. "And happiness. As this marriage is a boon between your family and mine… I believe the ceremony will take place here." She looks from the shrine towards Marco. "Formal, but fitting. That doesn't mean though, that we shan't reward each other with a visit to Naamah's Temple now and then…?" There is a pause. "The baths.", she adds, her eyes twinkling. A brief wicked lapse in her usually so composed and proud facade.

Marco smiles, "Well it will be… a large extravaganza I suppose but if you find there is a temple you prefer or are more comfortable in. I'm sure we could prevail upon the Duchess." He pauses that and he smiles, "Oh we can… reward each other as often as you wish if you enjoyed that. I'm glad you enjoyed the refreshing nature of the baths then."

"I enjoyed the baths," Farah admits, with a faint rosiness creeping up her cheeks. "They were… thought provoking, and I take it that it must be Naamah's spirit that can confuse the mind and tempt it to follow the urges of the body." There is a moment where she breaks eye contact, a bit thoughtful perhaps. "Let us… go to the Temple of Eisheth. I have visited there once, but then, in the crucial moment, lacked the courage to speak with a priest."

Marco smiles at that raising redness." He smiles, "To Eisheth's house it is." He grins, "I enjoyed the baths as well you were… quite…" He trails off eyes twinkling as he watches her, "We could always end our walk with a soak in the baths." He offers tugging her once again.

Temple of Eisheth — Marsilikos

Architecture so very reminiscent of Hellene style is apparent in the tall columns of milky white marble rising all the way to the high ceiling that has been painted with floral patterns of finest artistry, giving the hallways surrounding the atrium-like space in its center an airy feel. More frescos cover the stone walls, some depicting Eisheth healing the sick and the wounded, others showing scenarios of lighter atmosphere with Her as the patron of arts, playing a lap harp, singing and telling tales.

There is a path if one follows the pattern on the floor inlaid with mosaic stones of various green shades, a path that leads from the impressive double doors in a winding circle deeper into the center, an inner square with no roof where the sacred pool is located. Moss covers the rocks surrounding it, and they must be climbed if one wishes to anoint themselves in the holy waters of the pool. Fire and candles of beeswax can be found in a cabinet in one of the hallways. And there is hardly a day, when the effigy of Eisheth on the larger rock in the center of the pool has not one or two freshly lit candles at its feet.

Priests and acolytes attired in the sea-blue robes of Eisheth clergy roam the temple, ready to offer counsel, arrange for healing services in the nearby infirmary or perform rituals to worship the patron Companion of Eisande. Light filters in through circular windows of stained glass, painting the interior occasionally in shades of blue, turquoise and green, especially on sunny days.

Farah seems a bit flustered at the memory of Naamah's Baths. At least she does not persist on the subject and half follows, half leads as they make their way from Elua's Temple to that of Eisheth at the opposite side of the square. Only in the Eisandine capital would one encounter a temple of Eisheth much grander than that of Elua. And Eisheth's is a Great Temple, filled with the spirit that many find so inspiring. Staying close to Marco, Farah ventures deeper into the great hall, glancing curiously towards the pool further back. "It is here that they say I must go for the ceremony… But I have been a bit unsure… I mean… it is just a ceremony, is it not? The Lighting of a Candle?" She looks towards Marco, seeking his gaze, even as she blushes. "It is a ceremony about the marriage being blessed with fertility, so I have been told."

Marco smiles as he watches her cheeks heat and he smiles, "Such a delightful view in the baths.." He then grins, "Oh? Do you dare risk such rituals before hand? The ritual for lighting one's candle is to allow….for the next seed that is driven deep inside of you to impregnate you." He says breathing a little, "It's an…act of well succumbing usually done after one is wedded."

"I am not sure…" Farah looks a bit confused. "I have heard about this ritual, and I thought it would have to be gone through right after the wedding? But then again… I have foreign blood. What if I don't even have to go through it to get with child?" She comes to stand right before Marco, lifting her gaze, looking to his face. "Or perhaps… I am mistaken… Perhaps we can wait for that ritual till after a few months?" She speaks out loud thoughts as they come to her mind. She blinks and then she chuckles, lowering her gaze. "Forgive me… I am babbling. I am merely trying to comprehend…"

Marco smiles teasingly and leans in his breath warm on her earlobe, murmuring something to her, still holding her hand. He chuckles, "But… you should speak to the priestesses they may have some way of telling… I don't mind if we wait on that ritual for a time. Particularly… if I must share you."

"Share me?" Farah pulls away, her dark eyes wide with surprise at his remark, before the expression shifts into a vague glitter in her gaze — or was it the play of the light in her eyes?

Their conversation seems to be interrupted however, or put on pause, when a priest of Eisheth clad in the blue robes of the temple approaches them. "How can I help you, my children?", the man asks. He is a man in his fifties, d'Angeline of course, and he gives them both a warm smile of greeting. "I am Brother Arnaud, priest of this temple."

Marco turns at the voice shifting. His eyes twinkling as he looks to Farah. He moves around behind her and murmurs something into her ear before looking to the priest, "Brother Arnaud. It's a pleasure to meet you. I was simply showing Lady Farah here different temples. She is recently arrived from overseas and is not familiar with the different clergy and their domains." He smiles, "Perhaps you would show us more of what you do here or help her understand the warmth of Eisheth's hall?" His eyes lingering on the older man with no small mischief in his eyes.

<FS3> Farah rolls Composure: Good Success. (8 7 5 2 1 2 3)

Farah's eyes widen, while she looks towards Brother Arnaud with a smile, only an almost imperceptible roll of her gaze as she glances towards Marco behind her. "My lord!", her faint protest as if her intended had made a cute sort of jest. "Brother Arnaud," this she says towards the clergyman, all composed politeness. "I am to wed this man in a few months. So I should better get acquainted with the beliefs and traditions of this country. I was curious… about this ritual of lighting the candle. Can you tell me what it means…?"

Whether Brother Arnaud had overheard anything of Marco's cheeky remarks remains to be seen. Probably he didn't, as he regards the pair of them with a kind smile. "You shall be matched in matrimony? How wonderful," he tells them and in leaning forward, takes Farah by the hand to pull her forth towards the pool at the back, winking to Marco as to signal him to follow along. "You see… D'Angeline women are both blessed and protected by Eisheth's hand. It is Eisheth that keeps the gates to the womb closed, to prevent conception. Until the right time is there. And that is when a d'Angeline woman would come here and go through the ritual. After the ritual… she will be able to conceive. Usually. That is if there are no other circumstances preventing her to get with child."

Marco smiles at the roll of her eyes and he kisses her shoulder fondly. He seems disappointed but not upset at her reaction though his eyes lingering on the two thoughtfully. It's clear he's imagining things. He asks of Arnaud, "Are you able to tell if she requires such? She is… half d'Angeline. And entirely beautiful." He says as he watches the older man take his intended by the hand. He purses his lips and follows the two. He admits, "Is it strange that discussions of fertility are…. exhilarating?" He asks in rueful amusement and observation of himself.

<FS3> Farah rolls Composure: Success. (6 1 2 3 1 7 3)

"Oh." Brother Arnaud pauses and looks from Marco to Farah. Studying the latter for a brief moment, he adds then. "Of course. How could I miss it. It is obvious, the d'Angeline blood flowing through her veins." His lips purse and he considers Farah before he steps closer without as much as a warning. His hand he places on her belly, fingers resting there lightly on the fabric of her dress. "Our blood is strong," he tells her in a matter-of-factly tone. "If not watered down too much… Oh… yes." He grins. "I can sense it. Eisheth protects the gate to your womb as well, my lady. You will definitely need the ritual to bear this charming young man here any heirs. Blessed be Eisheth. How can it be you are so ignorant of our ways, my lady? You need to study a lot more." Said with that friendly tone of rebuke an old lady would adopt towards a cheeky cat in her lap.

Farah smiles and gives Marco a glance as he pays her that compliment, even if his next remark has her brows wrinkle a bit in surprise. But there she is distracted already, when the priest dares to touch her lower abdomen, and Farah cannot help but flinch a little, not used to anyone touching her — not even through clothes. Her brows lift. Some of the things the priest says to her could be found offensive by some. The information he gives them has her irritation fade however, even if the expression in her eyes is that of uncertainty, when they find the gaze of Marco. "I am… learning, I assure you, Brother Arnaud," she tells the priest. "I have been raised in Khebbel-im-Akkad, and I had no one there who could teach me… these things." She exhales with relief in the moment the priest pulls his hand away from her frame and edges closer to Marco. "I believe we are thrilled with the news. Of my d'Angeline blood ensuring a certain… attention from the Companions."

Marco steps up against Farah and wraps his arms half against her. He supports her and he presses his lips to the back of her ear soothingly, "I'm here my dear." He murmurs gently caressing her side and he murmurs, "I am thrilled by you either way my dear. But I'm glad to know it. Perhaps you could help offer her more knowledge she might need Brother Arnaud or another priest of the order?" He asks as he tries to soothe his intended. He inhales her scent though still enjoying the closeness despite her discomfort. "Is there something in particular you think her and I should study together? I would learn with her if I can."

<FS3> Farah rolls Composure-2: Success. (4 2 5 8 6)

"Visiting the temples and speaking with the priests is always a good thing," Brother Arnaud opines gently. "But if you ask me what you and her can study… then I would advise you to study Naamah, at the temple, and at the Night Court. If my lady feels comfortable with it, of course. There are books, of course. Books about Elua and his Companions. Other books they know more about at the Night Court, and in Naamah's Temple. These you could study, if you like." He folds his hands at the small of his back. "In time, with the day approaching. If it shall happen some days or weeks after the wedding… I can give you insight into the ritual of lighting the candle, my lady. But until then, you'll probably have other things on your mind."

Maybe it is Marco's proximity, his lips so close her ear, his breath felt as well as the hold his arms have on her. The way he stands there behind her, offering support and stability, makes Farah's eyelids move in a slow blink. And yet. With the advice, Brother Arnaud gives, Marco can literally feel her straighten. "The… Night Court…? And books… I see…" But her nostrils flare and her smile seems a bit forced. "Of course, Brother Arnaud. I thank you kindly for your advice."

Marco seems almost disappointed at the suggestion's simplicity. "We will have to do our best then." He admits and smiles, "Books of the companions I suppose, I should read them as well, I don't know them as well as perhaps I should." He admits, "I've always relied upon the guidance of the priesthood myself. We will certainly appreciate your insights when the time comes… And I do enjoy the night court, there are so… very many things to learn."

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