Location: Royal domain of Burzyn, Kingdom of Chybisa
Holder: Church of Peoni
Leige: Church of Peoni
Saint Angryl's Temple lies on 465 acres in the wide valley of the Ulmerien River, almost one league south of Burzyn castle. Approximately 300 acres of the temple's fief are cleared farmland and pasture; the remainder is covered with mixed woodland. The temple holds only enough land to support the resident priests and acolytes; there are no villages or other tenants associated with the fief.
The temple was founded by Sir Uthris Venera, Earl of Chybisa, when the region was briefly a Kaldoric fief in the turbulent period following the Treasure War. Grievously wounded in the fighting north of the Ulmerien River in 675, Sir Uthris, a cousin of Leni Cerl (the Queen of Kaldor), was not expected to survive and was left in the care of Brother Brant, a mendicant Peonian reslava who tended to the common soldiers of King Torastra's army. Uthris survived his wounds and, after spending nearly four months in the care of Brother Brant, rejoined Kaldor's forces as they lay seige to Burzyn castle. King Torastra named Sir Uthris as Earl of Chybisa following the castle's surrender in 678.
In a display of gratitude for the services of Brother Brant, and hoping to curry the favor of his new subjects, the Earl immediately granted Peoni's Church just enough land to establish what would become the first, and still only, Temple of Peoni in Chybisa. Uthris petitioned the Peonian Sulaplyn (Bishop) in Tashal to accept the grant and she quickly appointed Sister Lauran (655 - 717) as the first Pelnala of the new temple.
A small chapel, living quarters, the workshop and first barn were completed soon after the arrival of the temple's first Pelnala in 678. The temple itself, constructed of undressed fieldstone, was completed and consecrated to the memory of Saint Angryl in 681. The remaining major buildings were completed soon after, and by 685 the temple had established its role as an important center of religious education and training.
When King Balesir regained the Chybisan throne in 687, he found it politic to leave the temple intact and reaffirmed the deed of transfer to the Church. Mindful of the economic interests of the nearby manors, however, Balesir included in the deed restrictions on the acceptance of tithes that came at the expense of the local glebes. These restrictions are still in effect and the temple, though self-sufficient, is constantly on the verge of poverty.
Peonian disinterest in secular politics and the temple's very tenuous ties to the Sulaplyn in Tashal allayed many of King Balesir's concerns regarding the founding of the temple by Kaldoran invaders. His successor, Verlid VII, is less comfortable with the temple's ties to Tashal, noting the church's practice of appointing natives of Kaldor as its Pelnala.
Sister Lauran, the founding Pelnala, operated the temple as an autonomous entity focused on theological education and the practical training of new ebasthe - completely ignoring both secular politics and those of the church. She deliberately distanced the temple from the Kaldoric church in order to implement her unique interpretations of the Unification Doctrine and the message of the Aerlathos - both of which were slightly out of the mainstream of conventional belief and practice in Kaldor. During her nearly forty-year tenure at the temple, Lauran passed on her beliefs and practices to almost every ordained Ebasthe currently serving in Chybisa.
Lauran's successor, Sister Cerila, shares few of her beliefs and initially made several attempts to bring the temple's practices and teaching back in concert with those of the Kaldoric church. In this she was opposed by the temple's Ebasthe, all contemporaries of Sister Lauran, and enjoyed only limited success. Cerila's campaign for recognition as Chybisa's Sulaplyn has recently caused her to reconsider the value of forcing the temple to adopt Kaldoric practices.
Saint Angryl's Temple of Peoni is shared by both the female Order of the Balm of Joy and the male Irreproachable Order. The temple's humble status precludes the establishment of separate facilities for the two orders and they share all but living quarters. This practice, though unusual, conforms to the founding Pelnala's views on the centrality of the Unification in church doctrine, and the relationship between the two orders as symbolic of the joining of the Aerlathos. The present division of the temple's leadership evenly between the two orders reflects these same principles.
The pelnala is the legitimate head of the temple but in Peonian tradition functions as the first among equals in the council formed by the temple's masters. She performs most of the temple's important rituals, sets general policy, and offers advice and council to the masters but generally allows them autonomy in their respective areas of responsibility.
Sister Cerila is an anomaly among Peoni's leading ebasthe - she is an ambitious, self-centered social-climber. Aged 34, Cerila was born into a poor Kaldoran peasant family. Believing she deserved better than the life of a peasant, Cerila sought escape by entering Peoni's temple in Erone at age 16. After her ordination in 708 she served as a village Ebasthe in Semethshire. Her early attempts to bring herself to the attention of the Church's leaders actually improved the lot of the faithful in her charge and furthered the aims of Peoni's church, bringing Cerila much acclaim. Her rising fame led to appointment as the Deputy Pelnala of Peoni's Temple in Tashal in 714 but it was only a short time before Cerila's less than altruistic motives came to the attention of the Church's hierarchy.
Cerila's unbridled ambition soon found her vying for recognition against such worthies as Brygyne Kynge, a young Pelnala widely respected for her saintliness. Aware that Cerila's politicking was having a disruptive effect on the Kaldoran church, the Sulaplyn (Bishop) sought to reacquaint Cerila with the Peonian value of humility and in 717 appointed her as Pelnala of Saint Angryl's Temple of Peoni in Chybisa, replacing the recently deceased Sister Lauran, the temple's founding Pelnala.
Though initially subdued by having been assigned to a small temple in the relative backwater of Chybisa, the appointment of Sister Brygyne Kynge as Sulaplyn in 718 rekindled Cerila's competitive ambition. She has lately convinced at least herself that her appointment to Chybisa was not meant to remove her from the Church's mainstream but was instead intended to elevate her position at Saint Angryl's to that of Sulaplyn of Chybisa.
Since arriving at Saint Angryl's, Cerila has attempted to bring the temple into conformity with the conventional mainstream practices of Kaldor by eradicating many of the unique practices implemented by Sister Lauran. But otherwise, busy in pursuit of recognition of her status as Sulaplyn, Cerila has all but abdicated her role as the temple's Pelnala to Brother Hardel, Saint Angryl's Solana.
The solana is responsible for the overall training of the esolani (acolytes) - a task he accomplishes by assigning the esolani their daily labors and ensuring they are properly surpervised by the temple's masters or resident ebasthe. Since he controls the source of the temple's labor, the solana is responsible for the efficient operation of both the temple and its farm.
Brother Hardel has been at the temple since it was founded. A native of Nathshire, he was trained at Cherafir in Melderyn where he continued to serve for three years after his ordination. In spite of his relative youth, Brother Hardel's extraordinary organizational talents made him an ideal candidate for the position of solana at the new temple. His mentor, the pelnala of the temple in Cherafir, arranged for his posting to Saint Angryl's in 679.
Hardel quickly fell under Sister Lauran's charismatic spell and is now one of the more devoted followers of her practices. The stern and taciturn Hardel, nearly twice the age of the new Pelnala, has conceded to her demands on superficial issues but has so far successfully opposed her efforts to change the temple's fundamental teachings or practices. Hardel is amused by Cerila's pretensions to the title of Sulaplyn but, believing her efforts harmless and ineffectual, pays little attention to her politicking. Accustomed to having nearly full responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the temple, Hardel considers himself the de-facto head of the temple and believes he has been successful in marginalizing Sister Cerila.
Painfully aware that only the Pelnala has had any practical experience as a village ebasthe, Hardel instituted a program of inviting village ebasthe and even reslava to visit the temple and share their experiences with the esolani. This initiative has made Saint Angryl's the most practically oriented theological curriculum on Hârn.
The lerovana manages the temple's hospital and instructs esolani in the arts of the physician.
Saint Angryl's had no lerovana until the arrival of Sister Dyna in 683. A native of Chybisa, Dyna was trained in Thay by Sister Arnil, the preeminent Peonian physician of her day.
Sister Dyna saw the founding of a new temple as an opportunity for someone as relatively young as herself to head an infirmary where she could put into practice some of Arnil's more novel ideas. Under her direction, Saint Angryl's hospital was completed in 684. Since then she has added a number of smaller buildings where she experiments with the cultivation of medicinal plants, some of which are quite rare and exotic.
While always diligent in her duties as both a trainer of acolytes and the temple's mistress of healing, Dyna is preoccupied with her long-term study of the medicinal value of various plants. Though she would not be familiar with the word, her approach to this study is scientific and rigorous. Her goal is not only to identify the essential qualities that determine a plant's medicinal value but also to prove or disprove, to her own satisfaction, the benefits of Peonian healing rituals and prayers. Only recently, in spite of her religious faith, has she acknowledged that some of her students seem to have a gift for healing which cannot be explained by her scientific evaluation of cause and effect.
The avasana is the keeper of the temple's records and safeguards the temple's artifacts and relics. He shares responsibility with the solana for the administration of the temple's finances. The avasana is also responsible for the doctrinal and theological instruction of the esolani.
A native of Kaldor, Brother Garra was trained at Peoni's Temple in Tashal; it was there that he met Saint Angryl's founding pelnala, Sister Lauran. Fascinated with Sister Lauran's fresh theological approach, Garra and several other male esolani risked expulsion by taking every opportunity to seek her mentoring. In spite of his relative youth and inexperience, Sister Lauran asked Garra to accompany her to Chybisa and accept a position as the temple's first Avasana. The two ebasthe made the long journey together shortly after Garra's ordination in 678.
Brother Garra is a lover of knowledge for its own sake and delights in the study of what others would deem trivial bits of history or esoteric nuances of theological doctrine and thought. His love of knowledge extends to the means of conveying it and he is nearly obsessed with the temple's small collection of written works. When not otherwise actively engaged he can often be found in the archives, sorting and resorting the collection into yet another new system of organization.
By inviting visiting ebasthe to bring along written works they are willing to share, Garra has taken advantage of Brother Hardel's visitation program to dramatically improve both the quality and quantity of the temple's collection. Brother Garra's initiative has also generally increased the willingness of village ebasthe to make the journey to Saint Angryl's in anticipation of taking back copies of other documents from the temple's collection. Even Sister Dyna, who usually chides Garra for his obsession with the written word, has praised the results of his efforts.
Though responsible for the doctrinal and theological instruction of the esolani, Garra abhors lecturing. Instead, he accompanies small groups of esolani in the conduct of their daily duties and engages them in philosophical and theological debates while they work. His excellent memory and his unnerving ability to turn one's poorly founded arguments against one's self generally succeed in forcing his pupils to resort to intensive study in preparation for these daily battles of wit. Most of his students look forward to these debates but some occasionally find his logic circular, relying overmuch on acceptance of assumptions based on religious faith or literal interpretation of religious writings and traditions.
|Inset to show general location of Saint Angryl's|
|Local area map of Saint Angryl's Temple|
|Plan of the interior of Saint Angryl's Temple|
|Better view of the temple's interior|
|The visitation house|
|What's what on the local map of Saint Angryl's|