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The Vingan temple in Pavis is small, squashed in and almost lost between its associated temples of Orlanth and Ernalda. A three-storey building with a basement, it resembles the Ernalda temple in being a perfect cube, and the Orlanth temple in being based around a central courtyard. The single entrance is between the two larger temples, next to the ceremonial entrance to the Orlanth temple. This has the added convenience that guard duty can be shared to some extent.
Why isn't it shown on the standard map of Pavis? That's all explained in the History section...
Perhaps a hundred initiates will worship here at the holy days, but most of these are transients: guards, mercenaries, adventurers. Fewer than a dozen Vingan warriors are permanently attached to the temple, with another dozen working at their term of cult duties at any one time. However, this is one of the few Vingan temples with large numbers of lay members. Pavis is a rough and dangerous place, and most Orlanthi women will take advantage of the protection offered by Vinga. Many retired adventurers are also former Vingans: the visible warriors at the temple are very much the tip of the iceberg.
A single priestess runs the temple: and, cut off from the main-stream of Vingan worship, can tend towards some unusual preferences and views.
Like the other temples in Pavis, the Vingan temple was founded around 1550: although a little later than most, due to quarrels with the wealthy SunDomers. (Even now, maps of Pavis drawn by Yelmalian scribes refuse to show the Vingan temple!). The first priestess was Gwenllian Firehair: even by Vingan standards, a flamboyant and out-spoken lady. Her numerous duels with Count Varthanis were the subject of many songs and ballads, though the story that she ambushed him at the Hill of Gold is (probably) untrue. In 1565 she led a Vingan contingent to join the battle at Dwarf Ford, and did not return.
Her successor, Sercha, preferred to work by persuasion rather than outright aggression. Herself the daughter of a Sartarite Uleria priestess, she is best known for forging the strong links that now exist between her own temple and that of Uleria: in such a rough frontier town, the Uleria initiates found themselves in need of protection, which the Vingans were happy to provide. Since then the Vingan temple has had the use of the Ulerian Community spell, which helps enormously in large teaching sessions and in forging a community from such a disparate group of initiates, many of whom are from different countries and may not even have a language in common. She was badly injured in the nomad incursion of 1572 and retired shortly afterwards.
The next priestess, Cyfaredd, was also born in Sartar, though she had come to Pavis with her mother as a child. Brought up in the sanctuary of the ancient holy site of Tarthcaer, she was known for her skill in ceremony and ritual. Many of the enchantments that now protect the temple were her work, and their details are known only to the current priestess. During her period of office Vingans came to Pavis from a wide area, and she delighted in collecting the different myths of Vinga that they brought with them. As a result, the Pavis temple has perhaps the best collection of Vingan HeroQuest rituals in existence, though it does not boast enough initiates to actually carry out many of them. In 1593 she retired from active service to concentrate on prayer and meditation, and moved away from Pavis.
Aelflaed was the first priestess here to be a Pavis County native. Outwardly
she is unremarkable compared with previous holders of the office. While
she does not have Cyfaredd's flair for ritual, she is a capable administrator
and a fine teacher. Her knack of making alliances may not be as great as
that of Sercha, but she has survived as priestess for over twenty years,
including the upheaval of the Lunar conquest. Now in her sixties, she is
aware of her limitations, and hopes to be able to train up one of her pupils
to replace her soon, but all the candidates so far have either been killed
in battle or chased out of Pavis by the Lunars.
However there is quite a lot that is not generally known about Aelflaed. Her elder sister, for instance, who married a Sun County bard and has not been on touch with her family since, adding an edge to Aelflaed's natural dislike of Yelmalians. Her fifteen-year affair with an Orlanthi Wind Lord, executed by the Lunars in 1610. She keeps her hatred of Lunars well hidden, even to the Sartar patriots in Pavis, but her links with some of her former pupils give her perhaps the best over-view of the Resistance of anyone in the city. In particular, if the temple records that mysteriously vanished in 1610 ever show up, it will be discovered that Kallyr Starbrow studied here for some years as a young initiate, and might have succeeded Aelflaed as priestess if events had not intervened. At about the same period, this is the temple where Vega Goldbreath got her first lessons in combat (much against the wishes of her male relatives).
From the point of view of a Vingan PC showing up in Pavis, Aelflaed is competent, sympathetic, and can be very protective to anyone who has shown genuine devotion to Vingan ideals. And she keeps secrets.
The general temple plan is of an open court surrounded by a colonnade, with rooms and balconies. At the far end of the open area a thirty-foot high statue of Vinga faces the entrance. It is rumoured that this statue can animate in defence of the temple, though no-one claims to have actually witnessed this.
Ceremonies are held in the main courtyard: on the High Holy day the courtyard will be full of initiates and all the balconies will be full of lay members. Some ceremonies, to do with Vinga's Earth links, are held in the basement, and it is here that most sacred items and paraphenalia for rituals are stored.
Weapon practise and teaching is generally done in the main courtyard, though there is also space in the basement for very bad weather. A small archery range can be set up down here on occasion. However, it is worth remembering that practise facilities are shared with the Orlanth temple, where there is considerably more space.
The side rooms on the ground floor include the armouries (both real and practise weapons) and accomodation for guards. One of the larger rooms is set aside as a warming room in winter, and has limited cooking facilities. At the far end is a spiral staircase down to the basement, and there are steps up to the upper levels on each side.
The first-floor rooms include accomodation for the current priestess, although most also have more extensive rooms elsewhere. The rest of the rooms on this floor are for teaching and study. Notice the slits in the floor above the entrance: part of the defence system!
The rooms on the second floor include accomodation for initiates, more rooms for study, and some storage space. Accomodation is plain but adequate: bunks and a table and chair.
No plan of the basement is given, as the layout varies considerably with the use to which it is being put at the time. Pillars support the roof, in line with those above, and there is a second statue of Vinga (seated) under the main one. This represents Vinga the Protectress rather than the Warrior: no offensive spells are connected with it, but it can cast Warding 10, covering an area that includes the foot of the stairs. Women seeking sanctuary have temporary accomodation here. Unknown to many, there is also an entrance into the basement of the Ernalda temple from here.
A little more subtle, this one (though not much). Remember that the SunDomers don't like Vingans? And that Vingans need a supply of Camphire for their High Holy Day? Camphire is brought in by a particular trader from a Praxian oasis a week or so before the celebrations. The SunDomers decide to stop him. How they do this is up to you: they might buy all the camphire before he gets to Pavis (bribing him to keep quiet). They might use their own troops (out of uniform) to ambush him. They might hire the PCs to do the job for them, if they're known to dislike Vingans. Whatever you decide, come the High Holy Day, there's a shortage of camphire.
Immediate effects: a lot of panicking Vingans running round all the other temples that use camphire (Uleria and Ernalda, for certain) trying to scrape up enough. They may have to do those temples favours to get it. They may "out-source" some of the favours to the party, if they have particular skills. Hang in any other plot you were trying to find a hook for at this point: and remember the party can demand a high price if they want to. Or they might end up with the Vingans owing them a favour.
Next effect: the Vingans do in fact scrape up just enough that they can get through their High Holy Day with a bit of ingenuity. The ingenuity in question is one of hair-styles: the less hair you dye, the less dye you need. So some have gone Mohican, some have cropped it ridiculously short, some have just dyed it in stripes. All these effects will work for the ceremony. But there will be a lot of duels in the next few weeks as people try not to laugh.
A little bit later.... the Uleria and Ernalda temples use camphire, too. The Sundomers didn't realise that. So they get pressure put on them to return the camphire. Whether the ladies realise where it went depends on who's told who about what, and with what degree of truthfulness, which will depend on you and your players.
And if the Vingans ever find out who was behind it, they'll be beating up Sundomers all over the city! Which Sundomer you use as the instigator is up to you: I'd suggest a junior, fanatical, and un-documented acolyte myself. Will his superiors approve? Will you tell them? Lots of potential for politics and blackmail here!
A dilemma for the Vingans, this time, and as an addition to another scenario rather than being one in itself. Take a Vingan who has the geas "never let any woman suffer needlessly". Make her anti-Lunar. Now let the party beat up some defenceless female Lunar in front of her. If you've got the Coders in your campaign, see if you can use Princess Anderida (with all her defensive magic) as the "victim".