Goddamn this is good. I did not read the early drafts, but the one I read today (10/23/10) is exactly what I think a mock religion should be. Gamers often forget that most religions served a function in society. People worshipped gods for a reason that effected their day to day life. This god (gods-and religion) does more than provide a supernatural support to the good people, but it also supports marriage and I assume by extension there are mid-wife types and others running around.
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Seriously great write up, I can't say enough good things about it.
I really like the way you wrote this, with the back and forth between the scene and the description.
A suggestion: in the ancient world sexual imagery was not consider as taboo and tasteless as it is now. Romans consdiered the phallus to be a good luck charm, half of the cave paintings are off sexual scenes. Their are unavoidabe sexual over tones to this work. I am being serious, the God of Light is in many ways to defined by his sexuality. He is male and the counter part to the silver queen. A chaste sexuality, is an important part of the Gods' ethos. It will be hard to present and empowering staff which is both attractive and plants in those near it a desire to hold, with drawing some into making freudian connections. Again I am not saying that was your intent, but the theme is there. I am just saying in future works you may want to try and own the imagery of a powerful but restrained male sexuality.
"For an item to reveal truths, but have it's own truth unobservable through it's own use, is the stuff of thinker's late nights spent restlessly thinking. "
That is damn good line.
I good see these item falling to players hands for the period of an adventure or something, you send the players through a series of events and locations once, then you have them revisit the components of these events and the locations with the glasses. These could certainly be a quest item, or item loaned to the PCs.
An item that bends light for the light quest...nice
I found this to be a great post, I really like when supernatural items have almost mundane or utilitarian slant. Very every uber-item, when should have five or six of these easy to use magic items that serve the mechanics of magic first and foremost.
What bumps this up to a sweet post for me is the culturally and historical suggestive style of writing. With this one piece of materiall culture you describe a much larger world. Well done.
Boomsauce :"Few doorways are opened to the spirit world and most like to keep it that way. When someone dies it is so brief and so quick, the opening of a gateway between both worlds, it seldom allows anything to sneak through. However, when someone is brought back from the dead, that doorway is open much longer and that extra time is all that is needed for something to find that opening and sneak back."
You had me right there, not a novel concept but as Pieh said "solid and detailed". In fact I just echo Pieh's sentiments.