2 Temple Of Gilidan

Surprisingly, Gilidan has many adherents in Freeport. Given the city’s place as a trade hub, it sees people from all over the world, offering these priests a golden opportunity to learn from the travelers and acquire fascinating documents and archeological artifacts they might have to offer. In fact, many of the priests spend their days on the wharves, watching for new and unusual arrivals to interview and question in the hopes of learning a new rumor or getting a new lead about one of the many subjects of interest to the temple.

The Temple of Gilidan has always had a presence in Freeport, but rarely did it have a congregation of any substance. Few Freeporters had much use for such heady pursuits as education. Instead, the temple survived by the treasures it recovered from its archeological expeditions, from endowments given by successful wizards and scholars, and from a constant source of funding from the mother temple in Sanction. If it hadn’t been for this external support, the priesthood might have been relegated to a minor cult, joining the rest of the lesser religions in the city.

However, the order—despite its meager turnout for holy days—remains one of the most prominent religions in Freeport. The Temple of Gilidan was suddenly thrust into the center stage during Milton Drac’s reign. When a young priest named Egil hired a team of local heroes to investigate the disappearance of a friend, he set in motion a series of events that gradually exposed the Brotherhood of the Yellow Sign and its plot to channel the energy of their terrible god, the Unspeakable One. Through their efforts, they managed to expose the Sea Lord’s corruption and his part in the plot, thwarting the evil schemes of the mad cult.

After the crisis, High Priest Thuron was found dead, having named Egil his heir. Egil’s ascension was not greeted with enthusiasm, for he was young and untested, and his promotion appeared to be an act of favoritism. Egil had long endured the criticism of his elders, suffering accusations of being Thuron’s pet (or even lover), but he accepted the new position and vowed to be a worthy successor. Within hours of gaining the title of high priest, his rivals and enemies took a third of the congregation and left the temple in protest. They would not return until Egil abdicated his position and gave the title to a more worthy candidate.

The Temple of Gilidan is massive, easily the largest in the Temple District. It is a large square building capped with a bronze dome rising some one hundred feet above the rest of the quarter. Smaller buildings and a grand walk surround it, while two square towers rise from the rear. The building’s exterior reflects the temple’s extreme wealth. Statues of robed men wearing pious expressions stand in alcoves, each representing one of the thirty-three scholars to whom Gilidan first revealed himself. Bronze plaques hold their names and list their great deeds. Demonic gargoyles with twisted, leering faces hide in shadowy corners, representing the perils of ignorance. The many pale columns that flank stained glass windows bear intricate inscriptions of holy text that circumscribe the supports from top to bottom. And here and there, scattered across the temple’s surface are symbols and friezes demonstrating enlightenment, the sciences, learning, and technology.

Of the three entrances, only the one facing north is unlocked day and night. This doorway opens onto a short hallway that ends at a reception desk where visitors can make appointments with the priests or gain access to the temple’s impressive library. The entrance’s walls feature brilliant murals celebrating the process of learning and the sacrifices made by martyrs on behalf of knowledge.

Beyond the entrance is the Great Atrium. Skylights set in the roof a hundred feet overhead light this enormous room. Archways pierce the east and west walls leading to living quarters, and staircases lead up to the repositories found on the second, third, fourth, and fifth floors. Against the far wall is the Radiant Arch from which shines a constant golden glow representing the light of knowledge. It is here where the priests make their daily absolutions and prayers to their deity. Two magnificent statues flank the arch. Standing thirty feet tall, they depict robed men with their faces uplifted and expressions filled with wonder. Their arms extend out to their sides, palms facing up. Even the floor is a breathtaking—a massive, tile mosaic that offers pathways to the great open book in the center.

The temple comfortably houses its acolytes, offering more than two dozen cells each equipped with a cot, lamp, and writing desk. Two larger cells hold ordained priests whose duty it is to oversee the daily functions of the temple. The high priest and his assistant have offices and living quarters in the towers. The high priest lives in the southeastern tower, while his assistant lives in the southwestern one. The upper levels hold the temple’s lore. Endless small rooms hold scrolls, tomes, and books, all carefully cataloged and arranged, using an organizational system passed down since the founding of the church in Freeport. Each room has a librarian, whose duty it is to ensure everything stays in order and to assist those in finding the information they seek. In addition, each floor holds a scriptorium filled with desks for the priests to copy manuscripts into illuminated volumes.

Prominent NPCs
Brother Egil: Egil’s climb to power in the Temple of Gilidan defied anyone’s expectations. He was always a mild priest, preferring to spend his time with his beloved books and scrolls. He never had a taste for temple politics, keeping to himself and his books. Fate had other plans for the young priest, thrusting him into the center of a vast conspiracy that would shake Freeport at its foundation.

Like many acolytes in the temple, Egil was an orphan. Plucked from the streets, the temple raised and educated him and taught him to read and write and to use the head on his shoulders. Egil took to his training and found he loved learning. Egil never wanted the power thrust into his hands, but he believes that Gilidan has mandated his ascent. Unfortunately, his post has created tensions within the priesthood, leading many to splinter off in rebellion. Egil now works to reconcile the rift and restore the temple to its former greatness.

Egil is young for a high priest, having just turned thirty. He has tonsured brown hair, open, honest features, and a warm smile. His brown eyes are inquisitive and friendly, and he has a relaxed demeanor. He wears the vestments of his station and rarely leaves the temple these days.

Brother Ansel: Brother Ansel is behind the schism. An old friend of Thuron, Ansel was dismayed when his friend and colleague cut him off, setting aside nearly twenty years of friendship for a young upstart. Ansel simmered and watched, looking for some clue as to what was really going on, but the more he worked to distinguish himself, the more Egil eclipsed him. Finally, when Egil was appointed high priest, Ansel had had enough. He gathered those loyal to him and left the temple, assembling under the shelter of the gallery, where he and his fellows protest Egil’s claim as high priest.

Stannis Alensin: Stannis began his career as an adventurer, and explored several dangerous corners of the world. However, he and his surviving colleagues gave up that deadly profession after an encounter with a dragon turtle off the coast of Verdantor, and he returned to his first love, books. Now, he is one of the many scholars who frequent the Temple. He is younger than most, but looks older than he is. He wears simple, loose-fitting capes, and spends much of his time in the libraries. He has some wizardly talents, and is fond of using unseen servants to enable him to work with multiple books at the same time.

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