Basin of Stars
Graceful arches turn your eyes up to the stars of a pastel sky. A warm and gentle breeze that carries the scent of flowers and waterfalls sighs gently through the grasses. A pathway of polished stone leads onward to the Gathering of the Entranced.
The Bridge of Memories Written by Midhir and also attributed to FireKracker
This is a tale of the last day of the Dream before The Great Loss. It begins uneventful enough in Cloudsbreak. Ialura was going about her daily routine, gathering the eggs in the chicken coupe, churning the butter with her sisters from the cream gathered by her brothers in morning milking and preparing the evening meal with her mother singing in the kitchen of their small country home. All gathered and as always the meal was mixed with laughter and smiles often shared in her family. Then suddenly a great sadness filled her heart and formed into a single tear, traveling solemnly down his cheek, a droplet of pure sorrow made its way down her now pale cheek. Marking the beginning of an end.
Excusing herself from the table she went up to her room to rest suddenly feeling quite ill. The concern apparent on her family?s faces was dismissed as a touch of the flue that was going around the shire. She sat down quietly upon the edge of her bed and decided to see if she could find some answers to what troubled he in the dream. She quickly fell into a fitful sleep, awakening into the dream she found her self-alone in the Threshold of the City. All else seemed as it was when last she was here except for the apparent lack of other dreamers on a night when the rooms of Threshold are usually packed so tight you are forced to become friends do to proximity. A small seed of despair had been planted in her heart.
Unable to find a single soul she decided to see if any of her friends could be found at their house in the Basin. Stepping through the portal to the planes of the Basin the seed sprouted and entangled her heart. She stood horrified at the sight laid out before her. The ground was littered with essence of her fellow dreamers. Despair turned quickly to fear, almost swallowing her soul. She built up her resolve and fought back the almost uncontrollable desire to run from this horror before her. She instead began to gather up the essence. Hoping against hope she could find someone who could help her restore her fiends. Tears cascading down the hills and valleys of her once lovely face like a raging river now contorted into a mask of sorrow and fear. She whipped them on her sleeve and filled her cloak outstretched on the ground, gathered it up and headed for the house in hopes someone their could help, if there was someone there. As she passed from portal to portal she gathered more and more until her cloak was full and her arms could carry no more. Vowing to return for them she pushed on.
With her vision blurred from the tears, the salty taste finding its way to her now drawn and pale lips as they traveled her cheeks she stumbled under the weight of her burden. She pressed on almost feverish with despair. As she reached a small bridge crossing over a gently flowing stream she took a moment to rest. Legs shaking, chest heaving, her head was spinning searching for some reason for the death that lay scattered about the City. Then she felt it, deep with in her. Like an iron fist squeezing her heart, stomach tied in knots shear terror overcame her. Then it swept through the plane, a pure wave of Chaos. The second to tear through the Dream Plane this day. Desperately she dove into the waters. The essence of those she carried scattering over its surface. Her attempt to avoid the horror that the Chaos would bring was doomed to fail as all attempts made earlier had. But before it hit for the second time this day a lone tear formed in the well of tears and wound its way down her cheek to break free and fall joining the gently waters of the plane as the wave overcame her. The last dreamer had fallen.
Somehow in that instant all of what she and those she carried became infused in the waters that flowed under the bridge. Mingling together the only thing that would survey the utter destructive force of the Chaos, their Memories. It is rumored that if one stands upon the bridge and looks out upon the waters they will see the Dream as it was before The Great Loss, as it was seen by the eyes of all those souls that make the gentle waters under the bridge their home.
Although lost to Antiquity, I have been able to learn little of the:
It is known that the first sanctuaries were created shortly after the Nightmare Wars began by the great master dreamwright elder Klin Benfar. He created the first sanctuaries within Underlight as a foothold from which to stand against the destructive tide of marauding Mares during the Nightmare Wars.
Building upon Klin’s knowledge used to create the first Sanctuary, Master Dreamwrights of the Gathering, created the Sanctuary within the House. This was created within an existing room between Gathering Hall and Center Hall, the original purpose or the room has been lost to antiquity, only Aethimir and his fellow Dreamwrights know it’s original purpose.
The physical construction vaguely resembles the "infinity" sign "8". Each side is exactly like the other, or a mirror image as it were. Each with a small round pool, surrounded by a circular walk, each having 5 supporting pillars on the outside wall. Directly between these two sections of the room a small raised dais, the center or fulcrum point of balance as it were. The color scheme of this sanctuary is that of most of the House. Greens, Browns and Grays, a representation of the "physical" world between Chaos and Nirvana.
This sanctuary had many purposes, it served as a redoubt from the mares, and since no violent actions could be performed within sanctuary, it served as a place of mediation as well as meditation.
The sanctuaries in Upper and Middle Basin were constructed concurrently, some time after the sanctuary at the House. Their construction was similar to the Sanctuary at House, differing slightly, as shown by the vaulted columns in the center of each pool, but their coloration was drastically different. Based upon the underlying theme of balance and Harmony, each of these two Sanctuaries were colored to represent op positional purposes and symbolism.
The Sanctuary in Upper Basin of Stars: Here the coloration is dark, with the symbolism of stars, (in groupings of 5), all about it’s interior. It is believed that here, as well as being a redoubt from conflict, many meditate and reflect on the balance and harmony of actions and events external to the Dreamer, symbolized by the Night and Stars. To reach out beyond oneself to the possibilities and knowledge that can be gained from contemplation of the physical aspects of each plane. This external focus is also further emphasized by the other places within the Upper Basin of Stars, "the Commons" and the "meeting rooms". All with external connotations and emphasis on conducting business and discussions on the physical plane.
The Sanctuary in Middle Basin of Stars: Here the coloration tends toward light white colors. A redoubt as well, it is believed that many come here to meditate and reflect inwards. To gain knowledge and insight concerning the spiritual aspects of the Dreamer. This sanctuary and it’s purpose is opposite to the one in Upper Basin, together they are the poles of thought, inner and outer, between which the harmony and balance exist.
As with the Upper Basin of Stars, the other places within Middle Basin of Stars, such as Fayd's Fortress, the Study, Meditation Hall and the Private meeting room all reflect spiritual and inner purpose and reflection.
Although each sanctuary, has as it’s basis, the normal functions associated with all sanctuaries, it is believed that those in the Gathering and the Basin, were built with an underlying purpose within the Beliefs, The Charter, and the Oath of the Gathering. As a diplomatic House, the Gathering offers Sanctuary to many in their time of need, and a non-violent balance, or solution to conflicts is pursued and implemented. These Sanctuaries were built to help and ensure the Gathering could do so in a location where violence could not occur.
As to why there is no Sanctuary in the Lower Basin of the Stars, one can only assume. At the time the sanctuaries were built, many of the lands of the Lower Basin (The Stairs and Rooms, as well as the area of the Fields) were already established and set aside before The Nightmare Wars. Each with it’s own purpose, but a more justifiable reason no Sanctuary was built, in this Dreamers reasoning, would be the fact that Cholok's Temple is located within the Lower Basin.
There is much symbolism that can be found within the sanctuaries that can be closely associated with the Beliefs of the Gathering, The Avatar Crest and the Pillar system but these are only theories, that I will discuss separately.
Some time before The Great Loss there was a group of SoulMaster in House Guardians of The Entranced. These individuals were the healers of the house, their leader was a dreamer by the name of Cholok. Cholok had a policy of equal healing and aid to all in need. When the house wars started this caused some friction between the order of healers and the house rulers. As the wars heated up, more and more pressure was placed on Cholok to heal only those of house Guardians of The Entranced.
Finally as Cholok could take no more, he and his loyal followers left the house. They wandered for a ways until they came to a waterfall. Working under the cover of darkness the excavated an area out from behind the waterfall and built a temple (this is why Cholok's Temple lies off by itself, behind Hidden Falls). There the healers stayed hidden from all for many generations, until they were all but forgotten.
As a new group of dreamers occupied the houses, a new period of warring began. After one particularly bloody battle there were many wounded scattered about the land. That evening, under the cover of darkness, the members of Cholok's Temple snuck out and used their art to heal all on the field. They returned before any were aware of what had happened or who had performed these healings. A few days later another battle raged. In the aftermath, the Cholok's once again snuck out and healed all on the battlefield.
Word soon spread of the miraculous healing going on in this area... Dreamers came from all over to receive this healing. It was not long before the entire area was wall to wall dreamers.
The rulers of Gathering of the Entranced, upset about all the dreamers occupying their land set about organizing the mob. One area was set aside for dreamers to bring their friends and loved ones, this they called Field of Friends. One area was sectioned off for prisoners of war, this they called Field of Foes. One area was for those victorious in battle, this was known as Battled Field. And the last area was for those vanquished in battle, this was Conquered fields. The Cholok's and their many healing arts were all but lost in The Great Loss. It was not until sometime after that their temple was rediscovered.
Previously occupied by: