Emerald Temple

The Emerald Library in Silano

Deity: Galos

The worship of Galos (or Lumiä, in elvish) is confined to a single cult in the Shield Age. While there were once several disparate cults at the close of the Ninth (Blood) Age, the collapse of many elvish societies and their withdrawal into themselves gave the cult time to coalesce, and the elvish kingdoms were quite hostile to the various Galian cults.

During this period of unification (several years during the Bleeding Plague until around X105) the various incarnations of the cult figured out new relationships between one another, ending in the creation of the Emerald Temple.

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Galos and Magic

The God of Magic has many legends attributed to him. One of the most important, however, deals with his presence in Arunë shortly after the World-tree Asca-Irminsul flowered to full leaf. While the other Aeliö were engaged in games and discussions amongst each other in the Upper World, Galos snuck down the tree into the Middle Kingdom.

This story concerns the origins of magic; Ancient scrolls kept by the Emerald Temple speak of many different variations on this story, but the thread remains the same. While in the Middle World Galos learned the speech of all peoples who walked upon it – the Trolls, the Wyrms, the Giants, and the Men. The Wyrms, it seems, already knew a substantial bit of magic; they had been practicing it since before the World-Tree bloomed. From the ancient tongues of these people, Galos grew to understand the Languages of Power.

Languages of Power

The Languages of Power, or Tongues of Power, are the four ancient linguistic traditions that can harness and channel magic. These are Great Wyrmish, High Gigantine, Night-speak, and High Maïdic. These languages are part of the very FABRIC of the world (as they were born from the uncreated races) and thus can control and command the essence of magic. Magic itself is said to be born from the breath – natural magic, from the breath of the world.

Galos codified these tongues in his head and learned to master the arts of magic. Before the break between Galos and the other Aeliö he taught them the language of magic in use by mortal men, namely High Maïdic.

The most important learning for Galos, however, was Great Wyrmish. It was more powerful than Maïdic and, with his godly knowledge, could be used to shape the flow of magic itself, the breath of the world. It is said that Galos lived amongst the Draconic Kingdoms for centuries, learning the nuances of that tongue and mastering their lost lores of magic – including the powerful gemstone magic that would later be responsible for his crafting of the Starstone.

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The Emerald Temple

Alignment: TN

The Emerald Temple is administered from three huge library-complexes scattered across the north. The largest and most prestigious is in the province of Silano in Dorlan, the second most important is located in the free city of Maidoen, and the third is in a lonely wilderness along the Sturmsea coast. They are, respectively, the Emerald Library, the Hall of Stars, and the Great Temple of Galos.

The practice of Galian worship is a complex one, and the codifications of its rituals are private and rarely shared with the uninitiated. Average folk are not prone to worshiping this strange and frankly disturbing God, and the clerics of Galos are unused to seeing any but fully fledged practitioners within their walls.

Of those who are part of the inner cult of Galos, the overwhelming majority are wizards. The rites of worship are mostly kept secret from the outer cultists and the layfolk, for they are considered highly charged with magical energy. Many of them focus around the veneration of knowledge, in particular magical knowledge. Wizards wrestling with complex magical formula often come to the temples of Galos to sequester themselves with their god and hope to achieve some manner of enlightenment.

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The Rites

The many Rites of the Emerald Temple are ranked in order of secrecy. The outermost rites (those which priests may perform in public places) are not secret at all, while the innermost rites (relating to divination and the nature of magic) are all but taboo.

The Rite of Meditation

Meditation on magic is the most common Rite of the Emerald Temple. These meditation actually allows the cleric to see the flow of magic (which, for a Galian, is the same as the flow of life) throughout Arunë. It pulses in slow time, lines of energy moving through earth, water, sky, and people. These latent magical lines are the tools of Galos, the strings by which he affects the world. Certain gemstones trap and concentrate these lines, which is why Galian priests (and wizards) try to get their hands on them.

In order to achieve this meditative state, the cleric must repeat ancient and secret mantras in the Wyrm-tongues and dead Giant-languages softly. This opens the cleric’s eyes to the ebb and flow of magic (and Time, since the Tapestry of Time and the Threads of Magic are inseparable).

The Rite of Cleansing

Areas that have been befouled by sorcery may need to be cleansed, as magic can linger and warp things long after it’s time. One of the primary efforts of Galian clerics is to unsnarl these tangled webs of magic. This is a major effort of the Temple – there is nothing quite so unpleasant to a Starseer as stumbling across a Dead Magic or Wild Magic region that has been contaminated by powerful magic-misuse.

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The Silver Elf Temples

Alignment: CG

There are four major branches of the silver-elf mystery cult and these belong to the four corresponding silver elvish lorehouses. They are the Jade, Emerald, Veridian, and Celadon cults. They each have a different set of mystery-rites but act as a single unified entity in situations of political import. Of course, disagreements between the cults are not uncommon, but they are never presented to outsiders. If anything the rites of the Silver Elvish lorehouses are even more occulted and obscure than those of the mainland temple.

There is a relationship between the lorehouse temples and the Emerald temple; unlike the Akemite rites, the Emerald Temple and the lorehouse-temples are friendly to one another and have a distant but conciliatory respect. Exchanges often occur between the lorehouse temples and the Emerald Temple.

The Jade Lorehouse

The Jade Cult focuses primarily on the sacred harmonies of magic. Rumors persist of hidden rites that center around the melodies that underpin even the mightiest of spells. For this reason, the Jade Lorehouse trains its clerics in music and in other secret arts; Meditation is said to be performed not in silence, but with secret melodies played on specially prepared pipes.

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Emerald Temple

Abridged History of the 10th Age Idabrius