Solo Reasons Why

Sezkero teaches a newcomer about rituals at Makutsi's Tower

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Reasons Why

Postby Sezkero on May 3rd, 2015, 1:45 pm

21st of Spring, 515AV
4th Bell, Evening
Makutsi's Tower

It was mid-afternoon by the time Sezkero reached the temple. She didn't live at Makutsi's Tower, as the Acolytes did. She wasn't marked enough to be able to do so, but as a blessed member of the cult, she still held important jobs, one of which was preparing the shrine for afternoon prayers.

"Hello Kal." She waved to the Priest, who was showing a Konti around the main hall, pointing to her favorite tapestry of Makutsi dancing with the Myrians. He nodded to her and the blue eyes sea-woman smiled in her direction before the two returned to their commentary on the Tapestry. Shuffling out of her boots and hanging her headscarf on the coat rack, Sezkero grinned at the thought of today's preperation. After the last season's ... lapse in faith, the Tower had to restock quite a bit of its's most commonly used supplies. Incense, being one of them.

Barely allowing her feet to touch the stairs, the snake flew up the stairs, reaching the second level. This level was just under the acolyte's quarter's, and was split into two rooms by a fusama, depicting a rain storm over a small oasis in the desert. Sliding the screen door so that she could enter the shrine, Sezkero took a breathe to calm herself. There was something peaceful about entering the shrine. With the sculpture of the Akalak interpretation of the Goddess, water spewing from her fingers, it was the only sound in the room. The shades were mostly drawn, keeping it cool and peaceful. The shrine was so calming, it took the small woman a moment to notice that she was not alone.

Just in front of the shrine, curled over his knees in the dark, was an Akalak. He was not an Acolyte, she knew that much, so he must be a visitor. Giving the worshiper his peace, the snake glided over to the back of the room, where there was a large hutch with the ritual supplies. Makutsi's followers were simple people. And while they mostly worshiped spontaneously, as with the nature of the rain, they also must worship ritually, as with the nature of the rivers.
Last edited by Sezkero on July 26th, 2015, 10:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Reasons Why

Postby Sezkero on July 26th, 2015, 10:17 pm

Rain does not fall on one roof alone. She remembered her mother's words to her, when the young Iyvess was first learning of faith in Makutsi. This simple proverb, helped her understand that while she, and any other followers of Makutsi, may think they are unique in their worship, they must remember they are all together as well. And so she had almost not thought of the preparation of the required ritual.

Ontop of the hutch, there was a simple pot, ringed with riverstones that held a large green fern. Sezkero was almost positive that the fern should be having more light, since it was a plant. But when she had tried to put it by the window last summer, an Acolyte had pointed out that the plant thrived in the dark and got all its sunlight during prayer hours, which is why it was put in that room. Knowing nothing about plants, Sezkero didn't question it. But what the snake did know is that the fern needed plenty of water. So the Snake moved the fern to the end of the hutch so she could lay out her supplies on it.

"Hello." The snake turned to look at the speaker. It was a young Akalak, likely only a boy by their standards, and hers too. Age was one thing the snake understood very well about the long-living race. To any other, the boy could be considered a man, likely nearing thirty. She smiled at the dark purple child as he stood, walking over to her.

"Hello, I'm Sezkero." She held out her hand for him. The Akalak took it, giving a firm shake before moving aside to allow the snake to turn back to what she was doing. Opening the left side of the hutch, she removed a reed basket containing cleaning supplies. Simply some diluted vinegar, and dusting rags.

"I'm Isyl. Are you the maid?" He asked, looking at her supplies. Sezkero turned to the Akalak suddenly, giving him a curious glance. She looked at the boy's innocent face for a tick before realizing why he would think that.

"Oh, no. I am the alter girl. We will be having a ceremony in a bell, so I am preparing the shrine."

"Am I not allowed to be in here?" He asked, and the snake detected a hint of worry on the teen's face. He crossed his arms behind his back, as if worrying to touch anything.

"Of course. We are an open temple, visitors can come and go as they please. The shrine is open to individual prayer." She informed him, trying to give the Akalak a reassured smile. The rigid boy echoed the reputation of his race, by keeping his face mostly controlled, but she watched his arms drop in relaxation. She grinned at him, grabbing the bottle of cleaning vinegar and a rag.
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Reasons Why

Postby Sezkero on July 26th, 2015, 10:18 pm

Striding back towards the front of the shrine, she stopped at the fount, filled with the sacred water. Around the rim of the fount, a silver metal was weaved together to create a decorative rim. Wetting a rag, she ran it across the rim, removing any dust that may have settled. She followed it with the dry part of the clothe, ensuring it was clean. She inched around the edge of the fount, cleaning it to the best of her ability. Ceremonies in the spring and summer were more common than in the fall or winter, so no real dust settled on the edge of the fount, but Sezkero kept the tradition anyway. She hadn't gotten the chance to experience the real use of the dusting during the previous fall and winter.

Once the fount was dusted, Sezkero moved to the sides of the room, wetting her rag once more and cleaning out the candle holders that lined the sides of the room. It was a few chimes of dusting before Sezkero realized that Isyl hadn't left. He had simply stood in the back of the shrine, watching with serene golden eyes.

"Would you like to help me prepare for the evening ceremony?" She offered as she finished the last candle holder. This earned her a grin from the boy, who nodded his head. The snake had not come across many that were not already inducted in Makutsi's faith that were so excited to participate. She could sense no mark on the boy, as she could her fellow raindancers, so it was a little surprising to find him so eager to help, even if his Akalak pride kept him from asking.

"What can I do?" He asked, appearing at her side. She eyes his height, which even though he was less than a third of her age, was at least a foot and a half taller than her.

"If you can open the shutters for me, we can let some light in." She moved to the nearest window, pointing to the shutter roller that she couldn't reach. The Akalak merely had to lift an arm up to twist the roller so that the shutters began to pull open, revealing the afternoon sky. They were facing east, so there would be no sun to interrupt the ceremony, but the open window still let in plenty of light. As the Akalak opened the other three windows in the half-octogonal room, Sezkero placed her dusting materials back in their basket, sliding them into the hutch. Opening the right side now, the snake pulled out a finely crafted wooden box.

"What's that?" Isyl appeared behind her, and the snake unlatched the medium-sized box to open it. Inside the blue velvet, was a few bundles of incense and decorated candles, as well as flint and steel. Removing a very bland lighting candle, she set it on the hutch beside the box.

"Incense and candles. We use the incense top purify the room, and then the candles keep the outside influences at bay during the ceremony." She explained, as it was explained to her when she first was hired. She hit the flint and steel a few times, before a spark caught on the wick of the lighting candle. Replacing the flint and steel, she chose six decorative candles. "Take a look." She handed one of the specially made candles to the Akalak. Each set of set of six were mostly identical, but no set depicted the same image. The candles were a continuous donation by the local candle shop, run by the Chaktawe wife of an Akalak. If the temple had to buy the candles, they would be very expensive indeed, but they were donations. And they were likely made so exquisitely because the candle maker visited=d the tower often and while she was not a marked follower, she was a diligent worshiper of the rain Goddess.
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Reasons Why

Postby Sezkero on July 26th, 2015, 10:19 pm

"Whoa." She heard the Akalak breathe out as he took in the carvings on the sides of the blue candles. They were made of a silvery white wax on the inside and then dipped in a dark blue to give the outer layer a different color. Then, the candlemaker carved intricate patterns that up close looked like nothing in particular, but in the flickering candlelight resembled rain falling, or a river running. The woman was an artist. "But how do they 'keep the outside influences' at bay?" The Akalak questioned.

Sezkero smiled to the boy, as he set the candle back down by its set. She took a bundle of incense, and untied the twine holding them together.

"You must remember, most of the preparation for this ceremony is spiritual. A task given to newer members of the tower, like me, so that we connect with Makutsi more." She explained, remembering what Kal had said when he tasked her with it. Each person in the tower had many important spiritual tasks. "So I can't be sure if I am the most certain on all the answers. I am still learning." She explained, counting out twelve of the twigs and retying the bundle of incense. She handled the twelve incense to Isyl and picked up the lighting candle herself.

She motiong for the boy to follow her around the shrine. When she reached the first candle holder, she turned back to the Akalak. "You are aware that Makutsi is not the only deity. There are many Gods and Goddess' in the Ukalakas, of which she is merely one. I'm not sure about the Akalak, but in this temple we allow the worship of many many Gods. Of course we look down on those who disrupt Makutsi's realm." Sezkero stopped herself from speaking the names. It would be no good to denounce Gods in front of a boy who she did not know anything about. She motioned for him to pull and incense from his grasp instead, lighting it with the candle as he held it out. Immediately the strong smokey smell fillled their nostrils and Sezkero reached up to place it in its beg on the candle-holder before continuing.

"So, the purpose of the incense is to help clear the minds of the worshipers of the other Gods. Not to forget or ignore them, but to simply make this time for Makutsi. Reserve a space in your mind for her and only her. It helps with meditating." She spoke, lighting another incense and placing it in the same peg as the first. She was standing on her tip-toes to complete the task, and Isyle easily reach up to re-position the second stick into it's own peg. Sezkero gave a breathy laugh to cover her embarrassment. "How about I hold them and you put them up?" She suggested, and Isyl nodded, seemingly deep in thought.

"And the candles?" He asked, which made Sezkero shrugged.

"They aren't so assaulting to your senses as the incense. We will put the incense out just before the ceremony and light the candles." She explained, holding out an incense for Isyl to light. The boy grinned at her, noticing the not-so-spectacular explanation. "I'm still learning." She jokingly tried to defend herself, holding out the second incense for him to light.

"But why do you have to learn? Once I learned of Wysar, my father never taught me how to worship him, he only taught me how to fight." Isyl tried to relate it to himself. Sezkero furrowed her brows for a moment, trying to understand what the Akalak had heard. "Is there a wrong way to worship Makutsi?" The boy re-clarified as the walked to the third candle-holder on the wall.
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Reasons Why

Postby Sezkero on July 26th, 2015, 10:19 pm

"No... not at all." Sezkero's words were slow as she desperately tried to grasp a way to explain it to the boy. Rain does not fall on one roof alone. Her thoughts reminded her of the proverb. "Rain does not fall on one roof alone." She repeated it out loud, which placed a questioning look on the boy's face.

"What?"

"It's a good proverb."

"No it's not." He countered.

"What do you mean it's not? It explains that each may find themselves special for Makutsi, but we are all together with worship."

"Excuse me, but," The boy seemed to remember his manners, but Sezkero hadn't noticed them leave. "When I learned tha proverb, it meant that each individual is not the only one with problems. It is meant to explain that self-pity is unecessary."

Sezkero furrowed her eyebrows at the boy a minute before throwing her head back and laughing at the boy. "I forget," She spoke between her chuckles. "Most people think rain is bad." Sezkero gripped the remaining incense as her shoulder's shook uncontrollably. It was almost comical to think that the community that followed Makutsi interpreted age-old proverbs differently. "You're right. I just forget." She smiled at the boy, moving to the last candle-holder and holding out the remaining incense sticks for him to light and place.

"Well. Most people who follow Makutsi, do so on their own. Temples like this one are rare and far between, I've traveled enough to know." She found it suddenly easier to explain what she meant. "For example, before I came in, you were praying by yourself." She looked up at the last incense being placed, and noticed the sudden flash of sheepishness that swept the boy's face, but she ignored it for the second.

"I worship Makutsi through dance, as do most here. I know other's who choose to meditate and others who will only pray by a river. It is each individual's preference on how to worship her, since her followers are so scattered through Mizahar. When the temple holds ritual ceremony, it brings us together. It reminds us that it takes a million droplets to be considered rain, and it reminds us to keep the community together." She spoke, placing the elaborately decorated box back into the hutch, leaving out the candles. She then moved to the center of the room, nudging the sitting cushions on the floor back into neat and organized rows. It took Isyl a few ticks to join her in her effort. "We don't need to teach each other how to worship, we just need to remind each other that we must stick together."
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Reasons Why

Postby Sezkero on July 26th, 2015, 10:20 pm

"Yes, and the ritual ceremonies are the path for newcomers to learn of Makutsi. You are welcome to join us, if you'd like." The voice of Kal spoke, and she turned to see her Priest entering the room, moving to the hutch in the back. She watched him remove the elaborate offering bowl from the hutch.

"Is it already time?"

"Yes." Kal nodded towards Shi'ra who stepped into the room. The elegant Konti took the room in for a moment, before walking back to the hutch to grab the candles to begin placing them. Kal strode to the front of the room, where he kneeled in front of the sacred water.

"Isyl, this is Kal, our high Priest. And Shi'ra, one of the Acolytes that resides at the tower. Guys, this is Isyl." Sezkero introduced the boy, cleaning up the last of her preparations. The young Akalak waved and smiled before shuffling closer to the snake to whisper in her ear.

"But I don't know what to do."

"Listen, pray, if you wish, and enjoy. We sing, we dance, and we meditate together. You don't have to participate, you are welcome to watch." She tried to ccomfort the teenager, gliding back towards the front of the shrine to stand behind the small line forming behind Kal. The Priest stood from kneeling in front of the fount to stand aside so that the next Acolyte could dip their hands in the holy water. When it was Sezkero's turn, she kneeled for the ritual immerision as well, before moving aside. Isyl stood behind her, looking nervous.

"We start by dipping out hands in the holy water. If it were raining, we would hold them in the air for purification, or dip in a river. But since we are worshiping in the temple, this is holy water collected and purified for this reason. You don't have to clean if you don't wish to participate." She murmured the explanation, before turning to take her sear among the other worshipers on the cushions. She watched as Isyl dipped his hands, moving them about as if he was washing them, before turning to find her. The Akalak boy sat next to the woman, who smiled at him reassuringly. Once all the worshipers had cleansed, Kal stood in front of the fount once more.

"Welcome back, sisters and brothers." The smiling priest leaned down so that he was sitting among the worshipers, instead of standing above them.
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Reasons Why

Postby Kiva on February 2nd, 2016, 12:04 am

Image

Such a Beautiful Thread . . .

Another straight forward job thread that ended sweetly. I would have liked to see the ritual, but hearing about Sezkero's faith added to her character in my opinion. I thought this was a pleasant read. :) If you unsatisfied with your grade, let me know what the issue is in a PM, and I can give it another look. Last but not least, please remember to edit your grade request in Riverfall.

 
Sezkero
XP
  • Teaching | 5
  • Observation | 4
  • Socialization | 2
  • Intelligence | 1
  • Mathematics | 1
  • Cleaning | 1
Lores
  • Sharing Your Faith
  • Preparing A Temple For Worship
  • Makutsi's Tower: Rituals and Ceremonies
Miscellaneous
  • N/A

    P.s: I may have missed understood your ledger, but your Spring 515 living expenses seem missing, or hard to understand? It may require updating. You have everything else updated so perhaps I misunderstood. If so, disregard this. :P


. . . I brought it a Treat.
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