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pombe

Kaliphlin at Work - Day 11: Priestess

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

CHAPTER 0: Heading Home

CHAPTER 1: Priestess of the Oasis

CHAPTER 2

Memories Past

 

The Maebad Alqamar, or the Temple of the Moon, was the largest building in Wahat Alqamar.  It's great golden dome marked the center of the village and many came from far away to seek healing from the priestesses who worshipped here.

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The gift was found only here, in this remote part of the Siccus Badlands, and only among the girls.  No boys were ever chosen, and of the girls no pattern was ever discerned as to who would receive it.  Once a local girl experienced her first blood cycle, she was brought to the temple where a kahinat waha would oversee her care during the ritual.  Once she was bathed and the rites were performed, the girl would be denied water for two days.  Then, once her thirst had set in, the kahinat waha would place 20 closed vessels around the girl and she would have to choose the one which contained water.  If she failed to sense water and chose an empty vessel, she would be allowed to drink and then she would be sent home, knowing that she was not chosen for the gift.  If she correctly chose the vessel containing water, she would be allowed to drink, and the ritual would repeat.  If the girl correctly chose the vessel containing water three times, she would be acknowledged as having the gift and become an initiate priestess.

Nolana smiled as she remembered when she became an initiate under Ferenice.  These were happy memories.  She helped maintain the temple and assisted Ferenice in her healing duties.  The power to heal flowed through water and each kahinat waha was capable of light healing through simply touching the injured or diseased person, as the body is made up of mostly water.  For more serious injuries or illnesses, however, the person seeking healing would be immersed in the temple bath, to amplify the power of the gift.

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When not in use by the priestesses, the bath was available for the public to use to maintain cleanliness in the village, though many locals would bathe in it due to superstitious beliefs that somehow the temple bath was special and would help heal minor aches and pains.

Shortly after Nolana became an acolyte, Ferenice's brother, Daegal, transferred back from the capital city of Petraea to serve as faris almaebad, or temple knight, under the venerable Captain Horace, in order to be close to his sister.  The services of the kahinat waha of Wahat Alqamar were highly sought after by those in power in Petraea with priestesses having left the village to serve in the capital, and Petraea made sure to protect the source of the gift with the elite faris almaebad.

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Nolana smiled again.  She and Daegal had immediately taken a liking to each other.  There were no rules against the kahinat waha from having relationships, since the gift was never known to have faded from any priestess, even from those who married and had children.  In fact, local customs particularly celebrated the descendants of priestesses who themselves became priestesses, believing these girls to be particularly blessed with gift.  Even so, the village was a conservative place, and Nolana and Daegal had moved their budding romance slowly, much to Ferenice's impatience.  During that time, Nolana was truly happy, serving under Ferenice as an acolyte priestess and being with Daegal every day.

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In the meantime, Nolana's younger sister, Soniya, the second of the three sisters, had failed to receive the gift.  Soon after, however, Esther, the youngest sister received the gift and became an initiate priestess.  Unfortunately for Nolana, it was right at that time when her happy life was torn apart.

Raiders from Nocturnus had come into Kaliphlin looking for targets of opportunity and had found Wahat Alqamar.  Though they were no match for the faris almaebad, Daegal was mortally wounded by a lucky strike.  Ferenice and Nolana had tried desperately to save his life.  Ferenice's screams, "Hold him still!  Hold him still!" still haunted Nolana's nightmares.

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It was out of shear desperation that Ferenice, right then, did the unthinkable and used a rite she had learned from the Kitab Mamnue.  The Forbidden Book.  After the rite was complete, there was a pause, and Ferenice uttered the words that Nolana would never forget: "Something's not right."  Fear became panic as they realized what was happening.  Daegal was becoming...undead.

Necromancy was the art of raising the dead as soulless abominations, golems of flesh and bone created to serve their masters every whim.  What Ferenice and Nolana did was far worse.  They had turned Daegal into an undead without first killing him.  They had trapped his soul in an undying soulless body, a prisoner of his own flesh forever.  Their panic was now full blown, and all Nolana could do was to help Ferenice carry her brother's body out of the temple.  And they had been on the run and hiding ever since.

It was night by the time Nolana and Korbin had made their way to the village.  Nolana couldn't help but be drawn to the Maebad Alqamar.  Captain Horace spotted her and immediately readied his scimitar.

"You have a lot of nerve coming back here, heretic!" He shouted, preparing to strike her down.

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Nolana searched for words, any words, but could only stammer, "I...I...I...."

"Stand down, Captain!" came from a voice inside the temple.

It was Esther.  Nolana felt her heart jump at the sight of her sister.

"How dare you raise your scimitar at a kahinat waha!" Esther continued.

Horace was silent.

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"Nolana," Esther said as she turned to her sister.  "I need your help."
 

The temple was a tricky MOC, since it was designed to come apart to help with the photography of the interior.  Unfortunately, that left some unsightly gaps due to the fact that while the bricks would line up perfectly in LDD, in real life, without the usual overlapping support of the bricks, gaps in the wall and roof where they come apart are obvious.

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Edited by pombe
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Wow! Stunning temple!

So many great parts usages, from the roller blades, to the swords as candle holders, to the Ninjago spinners, everything adds so much to this MOC.

The story was fantastic too, really "believable" (for want of a better word in a fantasy creation) characters, you certainly made them come alive.

And I totally love those temple guards, the dark blue Gondor torso with the eagle headdress is a great combo :wub:

Also the mosaic on the floor is brilliant, all in all a masterpiece of a MOC!

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That's so awesome, I really love the interior, and of course the round tower too!  Great floor on the inside, and cool guards! 

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The dome is brilliant, the mosaic floor the tilting the bath the torches the walls, the figs the story all come together as a beautiful and opulent temple.

and then the icing on the cake, it’s modular for easy access and play!

Seriously good stuff!

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This is a pretty amazing MOC, the dome is a real eye catcher and so is the mosaic in the interior!  Great job making it modular, and neat use of some unique gold pieces like those Chima swords.  I also really like the pillars and arches!

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So much gold! The temple must be rich to have so much golden ornamentation. I love the way it all comes apart for ease of photography, even if it decreased the ease of building it; sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the camera, since it is the primary way we share our creations - if it doesn't look good in a camera, it doesn't look good! This does look good, though. I love the story aspect of it, too. Just the other day I was wondering what had happened to you, and then, boom, this build appears like magic! The only thing I don't really like is the way that you have figs posed off of the build; I would rather see the build extend out a bit further for some people to stand in front of the temple, rather than standing on the backdrop. From a practical standpoint I also wonder how that giant gold dome and stone structure is supported on those itty-bitty golden columns, but visually it does not bother me. This looks great, and I look forward to seeing more builds and especially reading more stories from you!

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Awesome temple Pombe, especially the dome which is stunning! The interior shots are great and I especially like the mosaic with the olive green and black cheese slopes. Great job!

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Thanks, everyone for the kind words.  I forgot to include it in the original post, but I'm always looking for honest feedback and ways to improve.  If there are things that you would do differently, please chime in.

If I were to critique my own MOC, I'd say the thing that disappoints me the most are:

1) It's a mish-mash of architectural styles that I'm not sure I combined successfully.  The dome and the stained glass windows combined with a fairly terrible roof design was a result of not really having a vision for pulling these things together when I started.

2) The photos don't make sense lighting-wise, especially when you consider that the temple is lit by torches.  The interior is too dark in some of the photos, and I'm not sure how to make it look lit by the torches.

9 hours ago, Henjin_Quilones said:

So much gold! The temple must be rich to have so much golden ornamentation. I love the way it all comes apart for ease of photography, even if it decreased the ease of building it; sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the camera, since it is the primary way we share our creations - if it doesn't look good in a camera, it doesn't look good! This does look good, though. I love the story aspect of it, too. Just the other day I was wondering what had happened to you, and then, boom, this build appears like magic! The only thing I don't really like is the way that you have figs posed off of the build; I would rather see the build extend out a bit further for some people to stand in front of the temple, rather than standing on the backdrop. From a practical standpoint I also wonder how that giant gold dome and stone structure is supported on those itty-bitty golden columns, but visually it does not bother me. This looks great, and I look forward to seeing more builds and especially reading more stories from you!

Thanks for the feedback!

I agree with having the figures posed off the build.  Unfortunately, I didn't plan that far ahead, and by the time I was taking the photos, I didn't have access to my bricks.  If I had placed them on the steps, It would have looked crowded and awkward.  This is something I need to keep in mind for future.

As for the weight of the dome being supported by the columns, I thought of that, too.  That is why I had the internal columns buttressed by the outer walls, but I suppose I didn't do a good job photographing that to make it obvious.  However, given the size of the dome, maybe even the buttressing wouldn't be enough to support it.  I originally planned on including a blurb in the story about how advanced Kaliphlin architects and engineers are and include a bit about using buttresses to support the dome, but I forgot.  But instead of adding it, I think it would slow the story down, so I'm going to leave it out.

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Very nice work man, really liking that dome. And the mosaic on the floor is amazing. Great job! 

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Lovely build Pombe, that dome really is something to behold, and the interior is great too - the mosaic is a highlight! The story is fantastic as well and i'm already invested in the next part of Nolana's story. :classic: 

The main issues i have with the structure is that the outside of the temple doesn't seem to match the inside somehow. The inside has all these slight steps and sweet alcoves and columns and ornamentation etc, and outside looks a little like a shoebox? It isn't helped either by the way you have the entrance side completely open - which i understand from a photographic point of view, but entrances often have a narrower vestibule etc that might have broken up the boxy feel of the building. Also, i would love to see this building on an irregular base, to show a little of the landscape around it. Trees, passing carts, stalls etc. might have helped to soften the lines of your building a bit.

The dome is really sweet, but i'm guessing that it doesn't cover a hole in the roof, but rather just sits on it? Light coming in from the gaps in the dome might have spotlighted the pool at the back and made for some interesting shots. 

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Well hello, I believe I've never commented on a build of yours as I was in a kind of.. ahem.. break when you arrived from AG ^^ So... well.. I just love it :grin_wub: that dome is beautiful indeed and I particularly like the opening in it. I enjoy how neat the whole build is, while releasing a true Kaliphinian feel. Maybe a little more texture or some sort of structure/architectural detail on the outside wall would be nice, as well as a bit of terrain all around it. You also have some sweet combos for the figs, particularly the guards. Finally, I've read back to the 2 previous episodes and got really involved into the story, which I find intriguing and well written --> I want more, keep this up! :thumbup:

Edited by en_zoo

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Absolutely outstanding!  I love the build, and especially the story.  The story is very compelling, and I'm excited to read the story as it unfolds.  As for the build, the colors, especially the use of the gold, is excellent, and the round dome up top is awesome.  I think most amazing to me is that it comes apart!  I didn't notice any light leaks, either.  Great job!

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I’m glad that people are enjoying the story.

@Gabe @en_zoo Thanks for the criticism!  I agree that the outside doesn’t match the interior.  This was due to my lack of vision.  I built the interior and dome first without knowing what the final building would look like or how I would connect them.  Also I will focus on terrain for future MOCs.  I’m only now understanding how the terrain gives a building some context.

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Lovely golden dome :wub: And even better is the floor mosaic inside! Plenty of interesting decorations and areas inside, and I think your removable sections for interior photography access worked out well :classic:

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Pombe! I missed this when you originally posted it but it rules. What a great build. I love what you did with the columns and your presentation is, as always, top notch. The story is one of the best I've read on GoH. So glad you've brought your talents to this RBG.

Edited by mccoyed

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Great story and very suitable lore! I love how we are exploring the religious aspects of Kaliphlin much more so far in this book, I hope we can keep that up :thumbup:
There must surely be a lot more to flesh out when it comes to the gift as well as water magic and superstition in Kaliphlin in general.
Can there also be these kind of priestesses active in other parts of Kaliphlin?

When it comes to the build I really like the overall shape of the dome, good choice to use those blades to create a good curve. Nice use overall of the golden ornaments :classic:
I agree however that the shape and detailing of the exterior
is not really matching the details of the interior, just some more "wear" like mixing in some log bricks or masonry bricks had come a long way to make it look like an older building.

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Great work @pombe, you've packed this build with plenty of great ideas! My favorite bits are probably the mosaic floor, and the cheese sloped roof! As what to improve, I think that the whole build lacks a bit of an integrity, I think my recommendation would be to look at more MOCs and real buildings... Nevertheless, the build includes some great techniques and ideas so you're in the right direction! Keep it up! :classic:

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