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Author Topic: Temples of Grothar - Addition to main entry  (Read 13232 times)
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« on: 22 March 2010, 00:35:03 »

This is meant as an addition to the entry on Grothar, the God of Weather, and is intended to be a description of the basic format of his temples. Anyway, here is the link to the currently empty section of this God's entry, and here is my proposed change:

Edits on Talia's comments in this - I thought I should intergrate them while I had the time, even if this addition doesn't make it through for some time.
Edits based on Artimidor's comment in this green.
Blue for my recent edits, and sorry for the long absence. I have more time for Santh. during term than at the holidays!

Temple Design: Temples of Grothar usually have a fairly similar design, and although some may stray from this basic pattern depending on the wealth of the community and other factors, almost all of them - in human settlements at least - share at least some key details. Firstly and most importanty, all of the Weather God's temples are open to him and his weather, be it sun, storm or snow. Secondly, they are if at all possible white, and lastly they are all constructed around the number four, as a tribute to the four cardinal winds.

The usual layout of a temple of the Grey King is a ring of eight columns, three to four peds high, which form archways for the passage of Grothar's Auratic Winds. Supported on these columns is a ring, forming the effect of eight archways into an open circular area, in the centre of which grows a Grothar's Willow or equivilant supple and delicate tree depending on climate, from which hang all the prayer strips and offerings brought by the people in exchange for fair weather. Some temples also hang metal rods or subtly contrived whistles in such a way that when the wind blows, the tree seems to be playing an eerie melody, along with whatever decoration the worshippers bring, often strands of brightly-coloured cloth that flutter this way and that or even cleverly arranged gutters and waterwheels to collect rain. Small bells are not unusual, often hung from the arches. The sound is often used by priests as an aid to meditation, being referred to as the "Voice of Grothar" by some more mystical devotees of the Grey King. Many priests claim to be able to predict the weather using this method, but researchers have been unable to verify or disprove this claim, although scholars treat it with skepticsm. With this having been said, a researcher from the Ximaxian Wind Tower notes that whether a supernatural force is at work or not, Grotharian clerics are generally talented at predicting the weatherIn larger and fancier temples, instead of a ring, eight ornate semicircles are often used as the tops of the archways, and the columns can be very decorative.

Shrines to the Cloudmaster, common in poorer villages with fewer resources to spare, usually have only four columns and four arches, and are often made of whitewashed wood, of which the best is again willow or similar, but most temples are stone. Where temples are made of wood or stone that is not grey, white or silvery, they are usually whitewashed, sometimes rather clumsily. During the summer months, temples are adorned with wreaths, often woven around the pillars themselves. Priests of the King of the Skies tend to live in small houses near the temples. While these are not technically part of the temple itself, they are usually near enough that during the Stormwelcome ceremony, detailed below, they are used as a shelter for the old, sick or pregnant, or anyone else who could not participate. Other than this, they are very basic buildings, often more open to the elements than would be usual. The priest spends most of the day in the temple, helping people bring their pleas to the God, and only goes home to sleep.

Services dedicated to Grothar are irregular and fairly rare. The most common, or at least the most well-known, is the abovementioned Stormwelcome ceremony, most common in farming communities with a close tie to the Weathergod. When the priest predicts a storm, the entire community will gather in the temple and the God's moderation of the coming storm is invoked. On the approach of the storm, those who cannot or do not wish to participate return home while everyone else, led by the priest, remains in the open for the duration of the storm. Although participation is voluntary, the ceremony is believed to be made less effective if less people take part, so withdrawing without a legitimate reason - such as age or pregnancy - is frowned upon by most. This is supposed to protect buildings such as houses, as the people have symbolically "taken" the destructive force of the storm, and ensure that Grothar follows with good weather, as the people have shown that they are willing to bear his wrath as well as his blessing. After the storm has passed, those who did not take part return to the temple and wring the water from the robes of those who did, symbolically washing in the storm, as the participants did.

Well, there's my proposed addition to the entry. All comments most welcomed, including ones telling me I need to post it elsewhere or it's rubbish ;).
I've coloured the edits, and thanks for the comments!
« Last Edit: 26 April 2010, 02:33:36 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 22 March 2010, 08:02:54 »

This is a good proposal! Thanks for your interest. However, there are a few problems. Not with this entry, but with the development of the deity entries in particular.

The deity entries are in need of revision, but that project is on hold until some larger issues are discussed such as how elves and humans revere and worship each god. The mythology for each race is different and not everyone sees the deities the same way. For example, your proposal tells how a temple may look in a human city, but what about in an elven forest? How do the elves look upon Grothar? And how does each temple fit with each tribes' culture?

Such issues need agreed upon before the deity entries can be worked on in any way. If you wish, you are free to propose other cosmological and religious entries for some of the other races. The orcs, for example, need alot of work. Or maybe the Psyerpents, trolls, or Kanapans. In general, any development of the Twelve (Avarian) gods is on hold.
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« Reply #2 on: 22 March 2010, 16:40:00 »

Ok, I didn't realise that. I put in the title that this topic wasn't for commenting, as you can see, so that should hold it, although if you want me to delete it I'm more than happy to do so.

I probably should have found that out instead of just jumping straight in...*looks sheepish*...Thanks for telling me!

Hoping to do some good constructive stuff over on this side,

Athviaro
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« Reply #3 on: 22 March 2010, 20:59:43 »

*waves to Azira*

Without wanting to undermine your authority, let us do a compromise here, it would be a pity to send away an aspiring cosmology developer, or architect...

Athviaro, please ask Azhira for the permission to go with this and maybe contact Bard Judy as well, who has written the original entry.

@Azhira:
I doubt, that the revision of the deities will be so severe concerning the actual entries, it will be more a shift in how the deities are seen, which may be an additional paragraph, or the view of the elves changed slightly.  I dearly hope there will be no major rewrite necessary, that would be a waste of resources.

The elves worship mainly Avá only anyway, so it might come to that, that the existing entries will mostly cover the human way of looking at the deities.

*********

What you could do, Athviaro, is describing how places of worship look in human communities only. . And don't say, that all look like this, but say, 'many of them look like this', or 'it is common', for not in every place it is possible (I have other plans for it in Strata). There is this description already under temple location!



Let us look at your piece:


Quote
Temple Design: Temples of Grothar usually have a fairly similar design, and although some may stray from this basic pattern depending on the wealth of the community and other factors, they all share at least some key details. Firstly and most important, all of the Weather God's temples are open to him and his weather, be it sun, storm or snow. Secondly, they are if at all possible white, and lastly they are all constructed around the number four, as a tribute to the four cardinal winds.

Here we have already the problem of "all" . There may be temples which don't show that basic design (as I plan one to do for the inner city of Strat, where no temple follows the sheme many others have). as I said above, don't force that common design, Santharia is so long and has so many different cultures, they cannot be everywhere the same. "Most" and "many", even "nearly all" are fine, but "with a few exceptions" in it as well.

Quote
The usual layout of a temple of the Grey King is a ring of eight columns, three to four peds high, in the direction of the four main winds - north, east, south an west - and the four subordinate winds - north-east, north-west, south-east and south-west. The major columns, as they are known, are usually thicker than the minor columns by about a half, although the precise diameter depends on the scale of the particular temple. Supported on these columns is a ring, forming the effect of eight archways into an open circular area, in the centre of which grows a Grothar's Willow, from which hang all the prayer strips and offerings brought by the people in exchange for fair weather.

'Usually' is ok here, that allows e.g. the temple in Varcopas to be a bit higher......
I don't know, if your differently thick columns really work and if it makes sense, that the columns show in the direction of the incoming  winds. would it not be better to make an opening to welcome the winds instead of putting an obstacle in their way? You could make the arches over that opening more elaborate for the main wind directions if you like, though I'm asking myself, why the southwind should be more important that the wind coming from southwest. Especially if we have  a prominent southeast wind and not a southern wind (e.g.) ? Try to go away from earthen thinking!


Quote
Shrines to the Cloudmaster, common in poorer villages with fewer resources to spare, usually have only four columns and are often made of wood, of which the best is willow, but most temples are stone, and the largest white marble. During the summer months, temples are adorned with wreaths of willow, often woven around the pillars themselves. Priests of the King of the Skies tend to live in small houses near the temples, but these are little more than a room with a bed. The priest spends most of the day in the temple, bringing people's pleas to the God, and only goes home to sleep.

Is the wood painted or bleached? with bark or without? The use of marble may depend on it availability as well, in the south I could imagine brick columns with white painted plaster.

How do they look in hot areas, where a willow will not thrive?

What about the other colours Grothar has attributed?

Look through the major cities, if you find there something you need for your addition.

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« Reply #4 on: 22 March 2010, 22:09:22 »

Ok, I addressed the "all" issue and qualified it with reference to humans. I may add a section on how the elves view him, but my picture of the elves shows them as, as you say, closer to Ava, and so they would probably venerate Grothar in a much closer and natural way and probably not have any temples as such. They may venerate him from the tops of particularly tall trees - I'll read about the other Wind Gods a bit....Ok, I've read the entries and Nehtor has varying temples. The elves have planted a huge Tree Cathedral, so I'm thinking maybe just tall trees, perhaps encouraged by magic to grow tall, would be how elves would worship Grothar - keeping the key exposure to Him and His winds and weather, while adding the elven naturalistic take on it?

These are just the ramblings of an over full mind, and if you don't mind Azhira I would like to keep working on/researching this topic even if the event of integration is only a shade in the future and the Twelve aren't being actively developed at the moment. I won't be asking for comments, I'll just keep on working on it quietly, if that's OK.

Thanks

Athviaro
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« Reply #5 on: 22 March 2010, 22:25:52 »

You might consider the Maeverhim elves. They're especially keen on Grothar as I remember.
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« Reply #6 on: 23 March 2010, 00:08:26 »

My proposal was NOT to deal with the elves for now, but to write about human worship places only, as the elves are in this respect undeveloped or under construction. Azhira had a good reason to ask you to put that on hold. Btw, have you cleared that with her and Bard before continuing working on it, the time seems a bit short for it.

Did you check all major/minor places if they have something in it regarding your temples? Use the search function, you missed at least one I found quite easily! You should mention them all or take their design into consideration, maybe even as a proposal to change your design or ADD another. What is already on the site comes first!

And don't hurry! :)
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« Reply #7 on: 23 March 2010, 01:10:28 »

Talia makes an excellent point. I suppose it doesn't hurt to write up some development ideas concerning this temple. The gods overviews themselves still require some discussion and agreement, but I guess temples can be done for now. The last thing I want to do is discourage potential cosmo developers! We need more!  :D

Since your proposal concerns human Grothar temples, I would stick to that. We do not have a clear idea of elven outlook yet so try to sidestep that for now. Please carefully follow all of Talia's instructions/comments above! She sums it all up nicely.

 thumbup
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« Reply #8 on: 23 March 2010, 01:22:50 »

My proposal was NOT to deal with the elves for now, but to write about human worship places only, as the elves are in this respect undeveloped or under construction. Yep. Got that. I was just spewing oout ideas randomly in hope that something might have some merit in it. I'll gladly put that to one side until I have a clearer framework to work with for the elves.Azhira had a good reason to ask you to put that on hold. Btw, have you cleared that with her and Bard before continuing working on it, the time seems a bit short for it. Sorry about this, I though that integrating the comments you made wouldn't hurt at all, and I asked in my reply to that if I needed to get rid of this topic or if I could just quietly work at it and maybe bring it up when the Twelve are ripe for further development. If you think I need to, I'll gladly ask Bard Judith for permission, and I'll ask Azhira right now. Azhira, please may I continue at least working on this topic, even if the Twelvern are not being developed actively at the moment?

Did you check all major/minor places if they have something in it regarding your temples? Use the search function, you missed at least one I found quite easily! I've just done that and can't find anything. Do you mean on this forum, the top-right search panel? Also the entry has a section on individual temples already.You should mention them all or take their design into consideration, maybe even as a proposal to change your design or ADD another I read the original entry, which had a section on particular temples, and sort of scaled that down a bit to something you might find in a small town. The link is in my original post.. What is already on the site comes first!Of course it does...

And don't hurry! :)
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« Reply #9 on: 23 March 2010, 03:28:28 »

Would like to add my 2 sans here as well:

I guess with the changes Athviaro's (a distant relative of Altario? lol) proposal to fill this section in the Grothar entry is quite fine :) Especially as the Grothar entry lacks this section altogether, and if we focus on humans that's cool. And I think Judy wouldn't mind to see some fresh ideas complementing what she has written so far (I'll send her a PM). The "Gods stuff on hold" thingy mainly refers to the bigger picture where we have to finalize the differences between elven and human (and even the dwarven) religion in general, which also reflects in how worship takes place. So a complete revision of a God isn't ideal at the moment as we'd have to know first what's the elven take on it basically. But if a section is entirely missing and we're just filling in details for the human side that should actually help!  cool

Note on the suggested additions: I like that idea with the willow and the fact that the temple is open to the forces of the wind. That sounds pretty spectacular! thumbup Thinking about it - how about hanging not only prayer strips and offerings on it, but also stuff that can translate the wind movements into melodies? I don't know the proper name for these things, but I hope you know what I mean - when the wind touches them they hit each other, giving off sounds. While this wouldn't be the best idea at strong gales, I guess there could be rituals or something that such "wind instrument" are hung on the tree to serve for meditation and such if there's a light breeze on. - How about that?
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« Reply #10 on: 23 March 2010, 03:32:12 »

Quote
stuff that can translate the wind movements into melodies? I don't know the proper name for these things, but I hope you know what I mean


Wind chimes?
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« Reply #11 on: 23 March 2010, 03:40:44 »

Yep, exactly, thanks Alt! :D

I always have that image in my head of the blind girl from Shyamalan's "The Village" stumbling through the woods and there's a large tree with such wind chimes. And the girl is afraid that it's the monster as it produces eerie sounds, and while she doesn't see anything and there's no danger whatsoever, it takes her ages to continue that journey. That's a scene that was cut from the final movie if I remember correctly, and that's quite a shame - it is extremely powerful!

And when I think of similar powerful possibilities wind chimes might have for meditation (as a means to apprehend transcendency manifesting in an element), that could work pretty well methinks. Anyway, just an idea.
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« Reply #12 on: 23 March 2010, 07:06:03 »

Chimes, yes, they have to be there!


I meant the search function on the main site - I don't blame you, if you have not found it yet, I needed quite some time also ;)

It is that magnifying glass near the logo.
Here: http://www.santharia.com/startup_new/mainframe.htm
http://www.santharia.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi


And the town of which I was speaking is
Marduran
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« Reply #13 on: 23 March 2010, 07:26:28 »

Ok, thank you for that.

I think that these "exceptional" temples would come under the later heading of "Temple Locations" in the entry. I'm quite happy to do some sort of revision of this as well to add in Marduran, but I think that mentioning it in the general design section could simply be confusing - although, if you wish, I will willingly add a bit about how the "temples of Grothar Weathergod vary from place to place just as He does" to allow for these. I was trying to have a fairly simple basic design - although the "Windsong", creaed by whisltes/branches/chimes could be expanded upon? Maybe how Grothar communicates with his priests - there could be priests talented in interpreting the message of the Grey King? I think the No. 1 thing is the openness to the wind and weather, which is common to all the temples.

Let me know what you think.

Any maybe I should change the thread title - it doesn't seem to be too "on hold" at the moment! Thanks for all the comments, everyone!!

Here, have some bunnies: pet pet pet pet pet pet pet pet pet
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« Reply #14 on: 23 March 2010, 08:35:06 »

Hello, Ath!  Welcome to the wonderful world of Caelereth!

As far as your concept goes - restricted to the human designs - I'm all for it.  A number of the deity entries could use expansion, and I'm always in favour of adding more wonderful detail.   I like the ideas, and I love adding actual willows to the temples!

 In some places there aren't even buildings, merely 'Grothar Groves' which use lengths of fabrics strung between a circle of trees and a canopy of some water-repellent substance overhead, the whole thing open to the wind and weather but protecting the worshippers from the extremes of sun and rain.   And sound - music, chimes, trees and Windgrass cut so that the breezes play hollow organ and flute notes on them - very much a part of the experience.  Drip tubes.   Waterwheels set up under 'gutters' so that they turn as the collected rain washes through, like prayer wheels.   Pinwheels of white silk stretched over wire that spin in the lightest puff of air, and toccon banners embroidered silver on white...

Please feel free to add whichever of these ideas inspire you, and work with your own to make things of natural beauty for this god of weather.  I'm sure the entry will only benefit! 
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