Thursday, April 18, 2013

P is for Places of Gathering, Punishing, and Burning



In Virtoaan-Imperik culture, each community is supposed to have three "pillars:" a Gathering Place, a Punishing Place, and a Burning Place. Each represents the trinity of integrity that ensures both the spiritual and physical well-being of the community's citizens.

The Gathering Place is a place of worship and can function as a community center. Gathering Places are considered holy, but to claim that Virtoaa's spirit dwells within would be borderline heresy. Only in the Temple of Virtoaa in Del Reloes does Virtoaa's incorporeal form reside, along with the original Obelisk of Laws brought down from Mount Orakel. Rather, the priests of the community channel Virtoaa's power so that the Gathering Place maybe blessed.

Gathering Places come in many different shapes and sizes. Some are as large and ornate as our own real world cathedrals, mosques, and synagogues. A Gathering Place is maintained by the priesthood--even if one only priest is present.

Many Gathering Places face East toward the rising sun, others face toward the Temple of Virtoaa in Del Reloes, depending on interpretation of scripture. This has caused much controversy and is something that the Church of Virtoaa has never quite resolved. Even building perfectly round Gathering Places with multiple entrances, thus having no "front, is still offensive to some.

The priest is often seen as the center of a community, rivaling even the power of local nobility, because he (and to a lesser extent "she") often has the most interaction with the locals.

The Punishing Place is just that, a place to judge and punish criminals. Laws are very much "eye for and eye, tooth for a tooth." Punishments often include public whipping and beatings, but are swift. Thieves get a hand chopped off for each offense. Again, the priesthood is often involved, with nobles lending their weight if they must. Yet even nobles must follow Mohrdeic Law (the law written down by Mohrdeo while on Mount Orakel).

For the most heinous crimes those deemed guilty are often beaten in the Punishing Place and killed. Rapists for example, in accordance to Mordeic Law, have their eyes gouged out because they can't appreciate the beauty of a woman. They are left to wander the community for three days, begging. If they haven't left by that time, then they are taken to...

The Burning Place. This is a garbage dump located on the fringes of the town (outside the walls if possible), where garbage and the worst criminals are burned. Traitors, witches, some heretics, and rapists are sent there to be burned alive as the final punishment.

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