• Tag Archives Watchtower
  • Off The Beaten Path 4: Basilica of the Pillar, Zaragoza, Spain


    While Spain and Portugal remained relatively free from the horrors of the Great War, like Italy and Rome, they suffered heavily through the Purge.  The Zaragoza province, an early stronghold of the Church was one of the last to fall after the signing of the United Liberties Pact. Strangling land trade between Bilbao and Barcelona, the Church was able to cut off recourses to other major cities through control of Zaragoza.

     

    During the dark days of the Purge, the Church of the Reclaimer held the ancient Basilica of the Pillar as their seat of power. From here, they scourged the population of the Zaragoza province often arranging public stoning for those guilty of biblical crime. Victims of Church law were bound to stone posts outside the Basilica, their bodies left to rot as examples.

     

    Historians estimate over a thousand men and women were stoned at the Basilica of the Pillar. The High Priest Will, the Just, was said to be especially mindful of harlots, sluts and whores. There are multiple stories of pregnant women, killed for the crime of fornication.  Why the High Priest over Zaragoza province targeted these women specifically remains a mystery as Will, the Just, was killed in the bombing of the C51 train to Madrid carrying the fleeing oligarch and several of his high-ranking followers.

     

    For years after the Purge, the Basilica of the Pillar remained closed to the public as various government agencies combed the building and sister structures for information.  Today, the Basilica has returned to Catholic control. No longer active as a place of worship, the Basilica has been converted to a museum of religious artifacts that survived the Purge in Spain.

     

     

    The Haunting of the Basilica of the Pillar

     

    Those with supernatural sensitivities may feel a feminine energy flowing through the Basilica, resonating most powerfully around the old alter. Through the years, there have been many reports of penitents witnessing the ghostly figure of a woman in blue and white lighting votive candles. While the stories are common around the first weeks of January, and February, the phenomena appear to become strong through the months of August and September.

     

    During the months of August and September, the fabric between Realms also seems to waver. There is a strong attunement to the Slumber. Any Character with Realm Sense will be able to feel this immediately through the grounds of the Basilica. The resonance appears strongest at the altar and votive tables.

     

    GMs may lower the Difficulty to activate any Slumber Boon or use of the Enter the Dream Flow Focus. During these times passing between the Slumber and Walking World may be easier for entities such as Broken Dreams.

     

    While a shallow point between the Waking World and the High Heavens, the Watchtower does not claim any outright dominion over the Basilica. This does not mean they are not aware of the strange nature of the Basilica. However, they remain conspicuously absent from all politics around the venerable site. The Watchtower does however keep multiple observation teams in and around Zaragoza. Why they maintain such a low profile concerning the Basilica is unknown.



  • Land of Confusion 4: The Religious Void

    Before the Purge no one outside the Reclaimer Church realized how large their numbers had swelled. Everyone was too busy fighting wars to check on splinter religious groups. While one could argue part of the reasoning behind the Purge was to consolidate power under a single religious banner it is unlikely the real reason will ever be known. However, when the Church was finally crushed by financial and political powers in 2136 the spiritual shock waves were felt across all religions.

    The countries most impacted by the Church, the ASA, parts of the EU, and Africa, devises new laws stripping religions of many of their rights as non-profit origination. While not involved with the Reclaimers the Vatican was nearly razed in the Orthodox Uprising. Soon other countries followed suit to avoid tariffs or political sanctions. This was not simply governmental regulation but on the streets and the towns across the world many turned from older religious institutions seeing the price of blind devotion.

    Of course, this would never really last. As with spiritual matters these things have a way of finding a balance. In the last thirty years there has begun a religious resurgence. Not just with the rebranded Redeemers and older faiths but new religions began to spring up. At first it was one of two a year that made the news. Today there are at least fifty seven channels covering emergent religions.

    These new religions are often cobbled together fragments of half understood older beliefs. Common elements include new interpretations or links between older religions. Some incorporate outdated or unproven scientific theories. Laws around these religious groups have also eased over the years allowing those with sufficient followings to obtain tax exception and possible corporate status.

    Today’s Current Trending Religions Include:
    Disciples of the Hackwrench, a technological order devoted to the Goddess Mouse.
    The Holy Order of Sin and Salvation, a matriarchal order that sees infidelity, and seduction as a woman’s right and purpose, unlike other transitions women of the Holy Order embrace their role.
    Particle Principle Preservists, dedicated to the belief that God can be found in particles yet undiscovered and too small to be perceived.
    Primal Deists, Old Testament purists that hold that as an evangelical religion they cannot be held accountable for the high death toll caused by the policing of their own flock.