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Author Topic: The Twin Temples of Nature  (Read 1423 times)

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Offline manfred

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The Twin Temples of Nature
« on: April 21, 2004, 02:40:04 AM »
History:
 The location was once visited by an avatar of Nature itself, so it is a strange place by all accounts. Everything looks so... so much more intense, more living than most forests. Countless life forms from tiniest insects to the biggest beasts known and unknown crawl everywhere. The locations random and often unpredictable magics can make living here too dangerous. The resident Elves used their little spells to dampen at least some effects over the centuries, but two locations ended up as extremes, and stayed so. Whether it was a subconscious result of their work, or it really represents the Nature, is not sure. But over time, these two places have attracted fitting individuums, and so the temples were built...


"Temple of Peace"
 ...is the embodiment of the peaceful, healing, and understanding side of Nature. Animals freely walk here, and seem to be not afraid of us humanoids, nor are they hostile. It is ideal to heal and rest, and enjoy the quiet sides of Life. The head priestess is wise in the arts of healing, and many other things.

"Temple of Survival"
...stands for the "cruel", uncompromising side of Nature. It is not really "Kill or be killed", more "Fight is Survival" philosophy. If you do not fight, you will soon die. If you fight, you die anyway, for if Nature gives life, it also takes it away. Many wild animals roam the place, and one can expect several attacks before finding shelter. Luckily, most of them only strike, wound and withdraw, and do not seek prey (most of the time). Killing seems to be not the point here, it is just to see who is better.


Combat
Initially, I tried to create a combat-oriented plot, get from those places something hidden, likely two parts of something split to combine. But these could also be places of great wisdom, depending for what you ask, knowledge of exotic creatures, strange natural phenomena, and so on...

But attacking either temple is dangerous. The "peaceful" paradoxically even more. Imagine the little leaves, that seem to touch the wounded, to downright lick the blood. While locals employ only non-lethal tactics, killing may turn the earth itself into a thirsty sand-like substance, roots draw the hapless individual in, and there he stays, underground, for long enough to rot and feed other life instead of the one he has taken. Renewal is yet another theme of that temple.

Inhabitants of the "aggresive" temple but can be defeated in a fair fight, and the desired dingus may be given to a worthy warrior. Just expect no safety on the way back, for so is the life. Nothing is certain.

---

Well, it feels to me incomplete, and might even deserve better names. What do you think about it?
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Offline MoonHunter

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The Twin Temples of Nature
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2004, 03:41:05 AM »
Perhaps the name of the Diety or Pair of Dieties or Aspects of the same diety might add some versimilitude.

In addition, what the temples actually look like... or how they are created by nature.  So the gentle twisting of trees together to create a basketweeve of a wall, the stones thrusted between the trees,  the elements of natures tasked to create something artificial.  

Aside: Who worships here? It is everyone or is this just an Elventi diety?

I would think the temples, should be One Massive Temple, on the terminus of the two areas.  It would have two grand entrances, one from each side.

In the center, with a skylight which always seems to focus light in just the right spot (day/ night/ seasons), is a silver rose. Shows where the diety touched the Land.  The Rose should have Nasty Thorns that cut and mutilate any stupid enough to touch it.
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Offline Iain

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The Twin Temples of Nature
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2004, 12:47:27 PM »
Maybe the temples affect humans (and elves, etc.) who go there as well as the animals. A group fo people might go to the Temple of Peace to loot it, but when they get there they find they have no wish to and are very peaceful. Similarly, a party in the Temple of Survival might find themselves unnaturally aggressive, starting with words and then maybe turning to fight and attack their companions (like the animals, perhaps not to kill but maybe just to wound and retreat). Only the strong willed could resist either effect.

Further to the idea we talked about in the chatroom about animals being drawn to Survival temple when young to fight and survive, and then to Peace temple when old and crippled, maybe people do this to. I could imagine it being a sign of bravery amongst young warriors to spend a week (or a day) at the temple of Survival: either as a formal rite of passage or something to do on a dare. On the other hand, maybe old warriors might welcome the calm of the Temple of Peace. You might find all sorts of people there.

The nature of the temples might alter with the seasons (randomish idea).

How far apart (roughly) are the two temples? I've been assuming something like a day or two of travel.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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The Twin Temples of Nature
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2004, 01:48:23 PM »
Two sides of nature?
Somewhat reminds me of Junea and Ophreal from Shadow's Mojena setting.
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Offline manfred

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The Twin Temples of Nature
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2004, 06:48:52 AM »
As for the worshipping, you know the answer: anyone can join. It depends on the game world, if the deity of Nature is 'Elven-only', or is not bound to any race. Naturally, Elves started it all, and feel as a kind of 'sponsors' of the place. One has to ask himself, if they stay that friendly if this place becomes popular, and lots of old people stream here in to die in peace...

I don't quite see the place as one Temple (though some locals may call it so). This forested area is also not "closed" in any way, though "gates" of sorts might be built.

---

I have started to think more about the actual history of the place. The reason of the gods visit (or the true reason of this phenomena - it sounds like the best explanation to the locals...) escapes me still, but might be adapted to world history, or an appropriate legend might be created.

An interesting option might a wild-magic area of sorts, influencing natural life mostly. The Elves thought this a holy place, and tried to dampen the wildest effects to a part, to be able to survive and worship here. And it was something in their magic, or more in their psyche, the way how they see Nature, that created the duality of this place!

---
Back to the history of both temples:

The Temple of Peace was from the beginning liked for its athmosphere. The peaceful animals, and the beauty calming your soul, no wonder a Temple was built here, or partially grown.

Leaves and stones, flowers and trees, somehow it manages to look different and beautiful from every angle. Every day changes something, be it the little flowers, or another tune of the birds, or the sky giving everything a different hue.

---

The Temple of Survival ended up to be the rougher side of it all. Wild, gnarled trees grow menacingly around, and seem to prepare for an attack on anyone. Dangerous creatures, predators of all kind seem to like this place and do roam about. Initially, the place was shunned, though it became a test of bravery for some foolish youths. Then came Naiser.

Naiser was a mercenery of some kind, getting older and too weary of all the useless conflicts he had been in. Hearing rumours about a wonderful place to find peace, he found, for a moment. But not even the almost-eternal spring did not have the effect he wished for. Despairing, he chose the other location, the one less talked about, to find death and a last challenge to fight. A cruel place it was, but the skilled warrior survived for some time, and found his will to life returning. With much labour he built a home, and over time many came to be tested, some surviving, some not. And a few stayed, and built other parts of what is now known as the Temple.

As for the looks, it is more a rough fort than a shrine, with massive stone walls and strong doors, but surprisingly open to Nature otherwise. Naiser is long gone, dieing in fight as he wished for. Others have walked since in his footsteps, and the Temple is known to hardened warriors as a good training place.

---

So both Temples are artificial creations, though they fit into the respective themes (much better than I could describe), either because of their creators striving, or from the background influence.
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Offline manfred

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The Twin Temples of Nature
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2004, 08:41:32 AM »
Quote from: "MoonHunter"
In the center, with a skylight which always seems to focus light in just the right spot (day/ night/ seasons), is a silver rose. Shows where the diety touched the Land.  The Rose should have Nasty Thorns that cut and mutilate any stupid enough to touch it.


 ...interesting. Maybe, it could heal some deformities in turn? None caused by the Rose itself, of course? But that sounds too nice for me. The Rose could also need a nice legend. A god visiting mortals is likely only in times of great troubles, so there is the immediate connection to some mighty hero, supported by the gods, that did so-and-so to save the world. The Rose might have stayed behind as a kind of memory, and possibly awaits another hero. Instant campaign. ;)

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Quote from: "Iain"
How far apart (roughly) are the two temples? I've been assuming something like a day or two of travel.


However it suits your needs. The one is in a calm forested area, the other requires a bit of wild hills, with bare rock everywhere.

If it shall be a little place lost somewhere in the woods, a curiosity to be visited or not, it can easily be within a few miles.

Shall an adventure (or even a campaign) be based on it, with numerous encounters with strange creatures and NPCs living here, then it might well have the size to spend several days crossing it.

---

Quote from: "CaptainPenguin"
Two sides of nature?
Somewhat reminds me of Junea and Ophreal from Shadow's Mojena setting.


It is certainly not a new idea. I would have posted it weeks ago, but I still lacked something... and luckily now have gained new insights on the matter. Nice thanks to all that helped me!
Do not correct me, I know I am wrong.