Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We Can't Stop Here, This is Wasp Country

The Fasean Monks are a little-known and hated religious order, living a life of isolation and often open conflict with their neighbors less because of their desire to be left alone and more because everybody else wants nothing to do with them. Their monasteries resemble nothing so much as a huge stone colony of fistularis coral, with half-a-dozen giant horns/funnels, 20'-100' high, extending from the main building toward the sky. Strangely elongated and resonant moans and groans emanate from these great protrusions, carrying for miles around the monastery, although typically any settlement close enough to hear these sounds is deserted, for a variety of reasons.

Each of these horns is carefully shaped and carved so as to amplify and distort noise that travels through it. At the bottom of each is a small chamber, separated from the horn by a ceiling with a single small hole. In the chamber is a curious chair-like device, the most prominent feature of which is the strong bindings and manacles and has the secondary features of a number of needles, hammers and other odd instruments, as well as a crude pull-stop control panel. One of the levers on this control panel will raise the chair such that the seated will have their head pass through the hole above. The edges of the hole will show evidence of wet plaster, as if a seal had been created there. The other controls manipulate the various instruments so as to allow the controller to slowly build a crescendo of pain in whoever is unfortunate enough to be seated.

Although these horns will often lie silent, any Fasean ritual will require some Divine Song, for it is through the sound emitted by the supplicant that Fase (fah-shay) receives the prayers of his faithful (as well as cleansing the supplicant of his sins). The most important and august of these ceremonies will require all chambers to be in use and the Divine Songs carefully synchronized. Since these rituals are very important and fall on a semi-regular basis, most Fasean monasteries have a ready supply of supplicants on hand, usually kept in a small dungeon underneath the monastery.

Aside from the sounds generated by the temples themselves, the other major calling-card of Fasean monks is the presence of Giant Wasps. Although the wasps bred in this manner by the Faseans are mostly non-aggressive, they are very territorial in a short radius around their colony and their sting is strong enough to kill the infirm or small outright. These wasps, which are usually kept in a state of hibernation in caves dug underneath the monastery (yes, below the prisoners, who serve as a ready alarm system/food supply should something go wrong with the wasp colony), make their nests out of chewed stone and mud, which can be extruded and dried into shapes, shapes that can be of extensive size and complexity, especially when guided by a high-ranking monk, who it is said know the secrets of controlling the insects by thought alone.

1 comment:

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