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Setting snippet - Wind Temple
Today is windy. Walking up the street to darthmaus's place we passed a house with a wind chime in a tucked-away location so that it was tinkling only quietly, not clanging loudly in a rough wind. I got an idea for a piece of RPG setting:

Wind Temple

A setting location

The Wind Temple is situated on a naturally occurring location that is exposed to the wind—a hilltop, a rocky outcropping on a plain, a collection of boulders in a dry valley, or something similarly inspiring. The structures are not buildings per se, but designed to channel and direct the wind in interesting ways. Not necessarily to control the winds, but to interact with them. Ideally the Temple spans a significant area, much like a garden would. The combination of open architecture, lack of fully-enclosed areas, and sprawling layout makes the Wind Temple as much a garden as a building. It's really more of a Place.

The Temple layout is designed as carefully as a traditional Japanese garden, but the flow of wind is the primary consideration. The æsthetics are modelled on other windswept places: austere; dynamic; surfaces that are hard and resisting as well as flowing; amenities and plants alike tucked into unexpected sheltered spaces. Despite the open layout and acceptance rather than rejection of the elements, it is not bare and exposed. Rather than resisting the wind with walls and shutters, the Temple incorporates sheltered areas that appear almost accidental but are just as engineered as the more artistic aspects of the Temple. Not only do they work with the wind in creating areas of calm and lee, but they shift with the shifting winds themselves. Though visitors to the Temple may find it bewildering, a priest of the Wind who has left their novice days behind knows where the air will be calm and where it will be violent at any given time. In fact, the design of the Temple is such that it not only promotes an appreciation of the elemental aspect to which they are devoted, but also trains their sense of the flow of that invisible element. Even on nearly windless days, eddies and currents caused by the heating and cooling of air above the streams and rocks of the Temple that would mystify a visitor are plain as day to the priests.

Many features of the Temple give voice to the wind through narrow channels, sweeping corridors, rustling foliage, or sculptures that are as much visual art object as they are musical instrument. One such feature of the Temple are the chime gardens, found throughout the grounds. Some are as little as a single wind chime, while others give voice to entire symphonies from their myriad chimes, large and small.

I'm not sure what setting or campaign I might incorporate this into (most likely a fantasy setting, but there have been enough precedents in recent sci-fi that such an element-based religion wouldn't be entirely out-of-place in such a setting either), but I really like the imagery here. What I've written above doesn't sound very warm, though, so I need to work on that. I picture the wind through places like this being a swirling, playful thing rather than a harsh and tearing presence, but I'm not sure how to bring that element in and highlight it.

Anyway, this is a start from which to draw inspiration. I hope you like it.

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*laugh* That's Rachel! She has a 5th level Wind Monk whose monastary is just like that. Wind Monk is a variant of the 3rd edition Monk I came up with. Replacing stunning blow with Flying Kick. And adding things like 'wind step 1' (and 2, 3, 4 at higher levels) which allows her to treat air as solid ground for one step. It's pretty cool. :)

I like the eddies that mystify and the art-object, wind instruments. Those start to evoke something in my mind of the creative things that could be there- it feels like just starting to brush on the edge of magic. The kind of magic found in the mystery of seemingly everday things.

It does sound a little science- fictionish which tends to be very exacting
that's not necessairily a con though, it depends what you're going for.

What I do love though is your the clear calmness that you're form seems to pervade, nice.

I think the exactness comes from my trying to describe it for myself, as a GM, rather than it being how I would describe it to the players. I put in technical detail I can build off of that the players won't necessarily ever see.

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