Grand Pyre of the Phoenix
Existing at once in the mortal plane and upon the plane of Fire, the Grand Pyre of the Phoenix is the ultimate testament to the power of the Lord Zevarith.
In the mortal plane, the Grand Pyre of the Phoenix appears as a great flame upon the top of a rugged, rocky mountain, beyond which stretches the Desert of Divine Despair. Nearly a mile in diameter, the great fire, violet in its smokeless flame, defies the human mind with its scale and sheer heat, while the prominances and flares that rise from its core in great arcs and whorls sear the eye with their rainbow brilliance. Within the writhing petals of the flame dance the half-seen figures of another plane, cavorting in exstatic worship of their mighty Lord, the Master of Fire and Flame. Yet, for all their power and brilliance, these pale beyond the daily display of dawn, when the figure of a vast bird, made all of fire, bursts upwards from the volcanic cauldron of the pyre, unfolding mighty wings of golden heat, a full league in length, as it rises into the sky and fades into the distance of the Plane of Fire.
Set in a ring around the Grand Pyre in a ring is the largest temple to the Flame Lord, consisting of little more than pillars of obsidian, molded into daggers that rise and waver like flames. Among those pillars are the altars of the Flame Lord Zevarith, and it is here that the priests of the Flame God sing their eerie songs of fire, of chaos, and of change, while tending the tiny flames of their alters. Surrounding this ring of pillars is the primary defense of the temple, a moat sanctified to be ever-full of blazing lava, crossed by a small handful of black steel drawbridges.
Here, the mortal plane is linked to the metaphysical, to the caldron where the Great Phoenix is reborn daily, for it was here that Zevarith descended to the mortal plane, to assist his wounded sister in returning to her realm after her fight with the Mad One. As gods of Chaos, they could lend a certain amount of power to each other, and thus it was that she was able to return to the Realm of Air, and begin to recover. It is here that the court of Zevarith gathers, to await his command, and they dance in the fire, their figures barely visible through the flame from the other world. Through the cauldron of the Phoenix's Nest, the mortal plane can be seen through a haze of heat,
So associated with the Divine, with destruction and return, the Grand Pyre of the Phoenix is healing and rebirth, made incarnate upon this plane. Should the dead and dying be brought to the pyre, and cast into the flame, before the Lady of Shadow claims their souls, then they may be reborn, usually crawling from the flame as child versions of themselves. The pain of rebirth is great, and not all of the life before is remembered, though large portions may or may not be recalled, as the mind is stimulated. Lesser fragments of the eternal fire, carried on torches or lanterns, may be used in purifying ceremonies that burn away disease and poison from the body, bringing the cleansing flame, provided the cured can survive the burning.
Considered holy beyond belief, those few mortals with the requisite courage and madness to worship the Lord of Flame will defend the pyre to the death, and even beyond, rising in whisps of flame and rage to do their duty. Still, no mere water or weather may extinguish the grand pyre - It will take divine power, and power of the highest order at that. Even the smallest of brands lit directly from the pyre is nearly impossible to extinguish, burning with a strangely tenacious heat, though this is not carried forth to flame lit by the brands.
Summer may be winding down (in most places), but the fires of imagination still burn bright.
Thousands upon thousands of years ago, role-playing was invented by our ancestors. Long before the first wheel rolled down a hill, and long before the first loaf of bread was sliced, early humans sat around their caves regaling each other with tales of gods, creatures, heroes and villains, and entertaining themselves with impersonations, play-acting, and role-reversals. All this was made possible by the roaring FIRES inside their caves, which warmed their bodies, roasted their meats, and shone light on their faces.
This month we celebrate FIRE and Role-Playing!
'The Quest revolves around the element of FIRE. Water, Air, and Earth need not apply.
Items, Locations, NPCs, or Plots. All are welcome as long as FIRE is involved! Don your asbestos suits and enter with us, into the all-consuming inferno that is this month's Quest!'
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? Responses (11)
Very good and original. Have members of other religions ever attacked the pyre?
It is with great respect for the authors other submissions that I say this could use some work. I think I get the concept of temple and its various supernatural aspect just fine, but the submission lacks detail in both its descriptions and its narrative and the sentence structures leave something to be desired.
'In the mortal plane, the Grand Pyre of the Phoenix appears as a great flame upon the top of a rugged, jungle mountain, its vast purple flame laughing and leaping in place towards the sky from the ground, its great heat unapproachable, despite the lack of smoke.' This sentence for example contains a lot of interesting information but it is jumbled together lacks a sense of perspective. How large is the flame? It isn't steady, it flickers waviers, leaps and laughs, so it is it like a series of little explosions? It would be nice if we got a sense of what it was like to look at the flame from various positions, you employ hyperpole and anthropormophic descriptions but they lack points of reference. There are other points as wells but in general I think the sentence are trying to convey to much at once and are so uneven in their treatment of the topics as to leave us with an incomplete description.
I like the idea of the flame and the temple, and as concept it works well, but because you mix a lot of specific detail in with the descriptions I believe you were shooting for something more than just a concept. I would suggest rewriting the piece either as a concept piece (a 'how to build you own Grand Pyre' piece) or rewrite it as a description of a specific temple which you have in mind.
No vote yet.
Fair enough. Tried to address these points, at least in part. I think it was too jumbled in my mind to work it all the way out when I originally wrote it.
Wow. The first two paragraphs are fantastic RPG chrome and the plot devices which come later are both accessible and useful: a person reborn with no or little knowledge of their past life, thats a classic.
Solid imagery! You could blame some of the confusion on its chaotic nature, in that it appears different from various angles, not quite a place of this world after all.
(Seeing the healing of the Queen of Storms, I'm slowly wondering, what happened of the other god - would he also recover and come back one day? Sounds like a good base for a pantheon.)
In the original game, the wounded Mad God was ensnared, destroyed, and reborn. Functionally, he was biding his time, and throwing monsters at the new order of things until he could finally triumph.
Faith on this world would so basic as to be hard for us to comprehend. To see something so obviously divine - even from miles away - would render atheists to nothing more then a lunatic fringe.
Of course, few would make the pilgrimage, but still...
The Six are not the sort of gods that demand faith and worship. They ARE. They are the basis of the world. They will exist with or without you. So, in that way you're safe. Safety from those crazy enough to worship them, as opposed to the more comprehensible mortal gods is something else.
The imagery is indeed magnificent as mentioned. Raw and visceral, burning divinity!
(val, love your comment)
Thought I voted on this one. Lots of flaming fun in this one. Certainly worthy of being a Quest finalist.
I don't think it's Golden though.
A nice write up for this. I do wish for more details on what the whole place works like, but I understand that you can't really fit that in what with the whole tone of the piece.