Temple of Mularos
Wonders of Elanthia Historical Discussions
"You are now in the Temple of the Lord of Sorrows, the Singer of Pain, He Whose Voice is a Cry. You are in the house of Mularos. I am Yamilet, and I will be your guide this evening. Before we begin, the brothers and sisters of the temple have asked me to clarify a few points of order. This is a holy place, and we are guests. Stay together please, and do try not to touch anything. There are holy relics scattered throughout the grounds -- many of these things are very old, and most are potentially painful for laymen and visitors. If, after the tour, you are interested in taking a more, personal, involvement in the activities of the temple, please see a Priest or Priestess. They will be happy to assist you."
"Stay together please, and do try not to touch anything. There are holy relics scattered throughout the grounds -- many of these things are very old, and most are potentially painful for laymen and visitors. If, after the tour, you are interested in taking a more, personal, involvement in the activities of the temple, please see a Priest or Priestess. They will be happy to assist you."
"Our tour begins here, in the portraiture gallery. Should you become unfortunately separated from the group, please attempt to make your way back to the paintings. Though images of the visage of Lord of Tears and Lashes himself are largely speculative, there is no lack of representations of those acts which are devoted to him. Herein are several paintings relating to Lord Mularos' sphere of influence."
"Note the first painting. This painting is of great antiquity, and is one of the earliest dated pieces of art present in the Temple. The subject, allegedly a member of a local family with branches still extant in Ta'Illistim, practices the art of self-mutilation. This is a particularly fine example. See how the artist has captured the juncture of blade and palm? A lesser artist would be content with a mere slash to show the entry wound. However, this painting far exceeds the norm, both in the realism of the sacrificial form and the treatment of the attendant blood. Empathic consultants have determined that actual sanguine material was utilized to provide the deep, red color you see. Whether it's the blood of the artist, or of the subject, we cannot say. Sadly, that information is not available to us."
Yamilet gestures again, indicating a gilt-framed portrait of an elf screaming upon a rack.
"Note as well the second painting. Say For a moment, consider this portrait, and hold that image in your head. We shall return to its importance later."
Yamilet takes a place next to a long tapestry.
"Form a semi-circle please, shortest in front, tallest in back. Here, beneath the black waters, the members of this temple gather to serve their Lord, and each other. Many of these rites are of the sort referred to commonly as "corporal mortification." These rites are believed to purify the flesh, through suffering removing external concerns and refocusing the practitioner on the essence of the divine. Most rites are non-fatal. This tapestry, however, shows the influence of the Breaker of Bodies and Spirits on the world outside the sanctified temple. Though this piece is stylized, the basics of a routine impalement are present."
Yamilet points to a detail on the tapestry.
"This individual is impaled through their side."
Yamilet points to another detail on the tapestry.
"Such exquisite detail. This individual is impaled in a less forgiving manner. The stake is clearly blunt, and is pushed up underneath the jaw. Such an impalement might inadvertently seal the wound, prolonging life. The organs would be displaced by the blunt stake, however, not pierced, so that extended life would be excruciatingly painful. The suffering would be unimaginable. Let us move further in. Be mindful, the hallway ahead narrows, and is dimly lit, so please take care not to trod on the person in front of you."
Yamilet gestures again at the coiled contents inside the case.
"This relic is a scourge. It passed to the care of the temple upon the death of its former owner, a closeted Mularosian of House Illistim. Many members of the faith practice their devotions privately, without daily involvement in public worship. This tends to be especially true of high ranking members of elven society, where self-flagellation is frowned upon. Some relics, such as this one, come to the temple because their owners make arrangements prior to passing through the Gate. We can only assume that many others are discarded and lost to historical preservation and analysis, the victims of families too ashamed to acknowledge the beliefs of their departed love ones."
"These are the transcribed words which accompanied this scourge:"
"In life, I suffered for my Lord both physically and mentally. My body bears the scars of my daily ministrations. My spirit bears those scars as well. The need to hide my devotion was a constant shame, and I suffered all of my days. Please accept this scourge, as I go to what end I deserve."
"Please, stay behind me. Up those stairs is the High Altar of the temple. The Priests and Priestesses have asked that we refrain from intruding on their inner sanctum, so if you would, please follow me."
"We are now in the shrine to Eryael Ladrinyth, the Pain Lord of Mularos. I will leave the telling of his story for others, and for another time, save to say that his veneration continues here. Let us have a moment of silent contemplation and reflection."
Yamilet works her way out of a high-waisted white silk underrobe affixed with tessellated patterns of ruby and obsidian tiles.
Yamilet stands without shame.
Yamilet steps up to one of the curved hooks and turns around, her back scraping against the gleaming, curved steel. Almost immediately, a pair of hooks tug upwards, sliding effortlessly through her flesh to suspend her painfully in the air.
Yamilet slowly reaches up and runs her hand along the strong cords supporting the hooks in her flesh, and after a moment they lower her to the ground, the hooks sliding smoothly out of her flesh at the same moment.
Yamilet works her way into a high-waisted white silk underrobe affixed with tessellated patterns of ruby and obsidian tiles.
"The tour continues back the way we came. Follow me, please. If you found your way up onto a hook, find your way down."
Yamilet positions herself to the left of a glass case, indicating the manacles within with a sweep of her hand.
"Much is made of how many of Mularos' servants are of their faith of their own volition, and how many serve unwillingly. Though it is true that slavish cults exist, that is not the focus of this particular temple. This set of manacles belonged to a Mularosian martyr, who sacrificed herself protesting the purity of her faith. Let me read to you, as you consider these relics."
"Give me the hook and the lash and the bruise
It's not easy to explain, still though
This is the life I choose"
"Bound into a life of servitude, there is no command I will refuse
So please, even if I scream, no matter how hard the wound or pain or blow
Give me the hook and the lash and the bruise"
"Hang me upside down, of the worst sins accuse
Me and beat me bloodily head to toe
This is the life I choose"
"I assure you, this is no ruse
This is no cry for help nor is it an attempt to gain my freedom, I surrendered long ago
Give me the hook and the lash and the bruise"
"Fettered here by silk, bound into remembrance, I bestow
Upon you this simple truth, I reject your life, the pretty world I refuse
This is the life I choose"
"How else will my devotion show
If I do not give my body as my dues
Give me the hook and the lash and the bruise
This is the life I choose"
"Mind the walls as we continue. This section is bedecked in thorns, and you might prick yourself if you're not careful. Our tour continues here, at the pit and rack. Your silence, please, for a little longer. When new initiates are brought into this particular temple's care, this room is central to their experience. The fire is kept constantly burning, and the irons kept constantly hot."
"I would like to share with you the recollections of one particular novice. A sestina, it captures her emotions during her first night in the temple, and her feelings on that night later, after many years of service."
"Gathered to what end, we knew not
We hid our doubts with clenched, clammy hands and with nervous, expectant silence
Each of us stripped of our name
Clad only in our fear
"Let them come," I thought, "Let it begin -- I fear no Priest"
Oh, the folly of youth, oh hindsight, how cruel"
"It wasn't for nothing that the cruel
Priesthood delayed us, they were more cunning than not
Every last Priest
Had in his own day made the stand of silence
Every last Priest had stood in the grip of our fear
Every one had waited out the night without a name"
"For my part, I had no great love for my name
The taunts of a childhood cruel
And merciless had long driven any fear
From me of being nameless or homeless, not
For cries had I taken on this task, but for silence
For silence, I would make a Priest"
"Left for a full night, most of our shuddering huddle never lived to see the Priest
Many fell without ever the name
Of our Lord escaping their lips in ecstasy, many cracked in the silence
And children though we were, we were cruel
And we did not cry, we did not
Break the sacred quiet to quell the weaklings' fear"
"When the light of dawn broke, our fear
Receded into the visage of the Priest
Striding in with his watchful brothers he did not
Tell us his name
But only lashed us, over and over with his cruel
Whip, each blow against us delivered in utter silence"
"Years later, those few of us remaining have never spoken of the silence
We've never spoken of the fear
That gripped us that long night, cruel
And inhumane as we are, many of us have gone on to be that Priest
Of the long night, to take the name
Mularosian and wrap it around us like a blanket of cutting barbs, painful, but not"
"Tonight I have broken the silence of the night I became a Priest
Fear nothing, for I serve in His name
Think me heartless, think me cruel, it bothers me not"
"I hope that this evening has been illuminating for you. I have enjoyed sharing this place with you, and on behalf of the temple attendants, thank you for coming, and thank you for your attention and respectful behavior. Should you need to leave us now, please make your way out the door and head down the hallway to return to the portal that admitted you. I believe that my Lord would enjoy the expressions of many tonight, but that is only my belief. If he does not...."
Speaking softly to Yamilet, Linthral asks, "Would it be correct to say that pressing such Mularosian beliefs on another, or even assisting them with their own suffering would be an act of assumption at best, and cruelty at worst?"
Speaking to Linthral, Yamilet says, "I would say that while our Lord enjoys masochism, he is not averse to sadism as well."
Speaking to Yamilet, Jolena asks, "During my studies, I have read that Mularos not only relishes the physical pain but also mental anguish, but I see nothing here in regards to that. Is this a part of his sect?"
Speaking to Jolena, Yamilet says, "Mental anguish is definitely a part of the faith. It, however, is hard to convey in imagery."
Speaking to Jolena, Yamilet says, "It could be argued that apart from the physical pain of initiation, our own ordeals were mental in nature as well."
Speaking to Yamilet, Jolena says, "Indeed. One might think that we all serve Mularos in some form then when we are in anguish for whatever reason."
Speaking to Jolena, Yamilet says, "Indeed. That is possible. Most other faiths don't like to hear how often they play into the Lord of Sorrow's hands, however."
Reallia sarcastically says, "Far be it for more to ask of an Arkati, but...what does Mularos gain from the destrcution of his disciples?"
Speaking to Reallia, Yamilet says, "It's not my place to say. He desires it of us, but I'm not so bold as to stand in his House and declare I know his mind."
Speaking to Yamilet, Anta asks, "Having gone through the physical and mental torment of the initations, how does it make you feel when you see others so quick to imitate your devotions seemingly without putting any thought into it?"
Speaking to Anta, Yamilet says, "The mere act of suspending oneself does not equate to our initiations."
Speaking to Anta, Yamilet says, "But I do appreciate the effort."