The Unknown World
|The final corner of The Unknown World is Incendous to the West. Ruled by Queen Selena Mystic, the Northern Star, from it's capital city known as The Harthe; Incendous is the home of the mastery of the forge making it the source of the most finely crafted weapons of The Unknown World. Other important exports are the lavish lavender oils that come from the abundant fields of the Fire Kingdom, rare jewels that only come from the depths of the Vaale Mahlia Ko Volcano and the rich fabrics which are sold in the Cavern City. This place is a source of great joy, majesty and most importantly love.|
- Vaale Mahila Ko Volcano – It's name means "Fire-breathing Woman". It's the largest volcano in The Unknown World and a focal point of Incendous' religious worship.
- Maki Pani Lake – A large lake to the southeast of the Vaale Mahila Ko Volcano. Ki'i Wahi, the first city is on the other side of the lake, Maki Pani means "Death Stopper" as it protected Ki'i Wahi from an event known as The Great Eruption when, thousands of years ago the volcano erupted.
- Kuni Ulu Lāʻau, "The Burning Forest" - A vast forest in Incendous, so named because for a majority of the year the leaves of the tree stay a fire red.
- Mae i Mahinaʻai, "The Scorch Plains" – A vast desert that spans between The Burning Forest and The Fist of God Mountains.
- Lima o ke Akua, " The Fist of God Mountains" – A mountain range bordering Incendous and Pan's Forest.
- The Harthe - The Capital city of Incendous and hope to the Palace of Queen Selena, The Morning Star.
- Ke Ahi Temple – The central temple of the religion of The Immortal Flame. It's a large Lotus-shaped building with several pure pools of sparkling water around it and a giant brazier in the center that has the original Immortal Flame.
- Ki'i Wahi – The First City. This is the oldest city in Incendous and sits on the shores of Lake Maki Pani. Ki'i Wahi is also home to the world-famous market The Lavender Road. This giant market place is the place to go to buy or sell almost anything you could ever want or need.
- Cavern City – A giant city north of The Harthe that's built into a system of caves and caverns that exist in the side of a mountain.
- The Sparkling Villa – A city that sits right on the border of Pan's Forest and Moria. While it sits on all three territories, it is governed by Incendous. This village was given its name because of the trees. During the daylight, they sparkle like diamonds and at night they give off a soft luminous light.
Incendous religion centers mostly around the worship of Fire. As such sources of fire are revered and Volcanoes are Holy. Across the land are small temples in which there is a large, golden brazier that carries an Eternal Flame. These flames are magicked to keep burning day and night and are a focal point of worship. On the incredibly rare occasion that the flame ever goes out, it is believed that it bodes ill for the region and worshippers will actually stop attending the temple until a priest goes all the way to the Vaale Mahila Ko Volcano to retrieve a flame lit by it's fires. That flame is carefully carried back to the temple and used to re-light it's Eternal Flame. So engrained is religion in their culture, that the throne room in The Harthe is also a temple. Behind the throne is an Eternal Flame brazier. If the throne is out, that means the Queen is present, if the throne isn't, that means she is not in the city. Either way, even if it's being used in formal proceedings, citizens are encouraged to use the throne room as a place of worship and meditation.
Prayer of the Flame:
"Have mercy on me, Eternal Flame, in your greatness
in your abundant compassion
blot out my offense.
Burn away all my guilt;
from my sin cleanse me."
(This verse asks The Eternal Flame to burn away your past misdeeds)
"A clean heart create for me, Flame;
renew in me a steadfast spirit.
Do not drive me from your presence,
nor take from me your holy spirit.
Restore my joy in your salvation;
sustain in me a willing spirit."
(This verse asks The Eternal Flame to help you embrace the good in your life)
"Cleanse me with water, that I may be pure;
wash me, make me whiter than snow.
Let me hear sounds of joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Turn away your face from my sins;
blot out all my guilt."
(The final verse asks The Eternal Flame to wash away your past so you can face the future clean)
Followers of the faith pray daily to The Eternal Flame. Prior to the prayer, they wash their hands and face using a basin of water. After those are clean, they wash their feet. Ceremonial lavender oil is then used to draw a flame on your forehead. Prayer mats are then unrolled so that they face the Vaale Mahila Ko Volcano. You are then to kneel on the mat and hold your hands to your chest, cupped in prayer and say "No ka mea, o ke ahi" which means "For the flame". You lower your head to the mat and say the first verse of the prayer. Then you sit up and repeat "No ka mea, o ke ahi". You then bow back down and say the second verse, rise up and say "No ka mea, o ke ahi". Finally you bow down and say the third verse, stand up completely, bow your head and say, "Ke ahi, ua Mau Loa" which means The Fire is Eternal. If the situation isn't conducive to the whole ceremony, some find it easier to just bow and say the prayer out loud or internally.
Pilgrims will regularly make a trip to the Ke Ahi Temple to view the original Eternal Flame and pay homage to the volcano. The truly devout travel all the way southeast to The Fist of God mountain and make their pilgrimage starting at The Scorch Plains and travel all the way northwest to the Volcano. The first part of the journey is to remind them of the desolation of uncontrolled destruction and its effects on life. Next they cross the wilds which reminds them of the importance of life, but the dangers of life growing unchecked. The final stop before the Vaale Mahila Ko Volcano is the Maki Pani Lake upon which Ki'i Wahi borders to remind them that while in small amounts water is boiled away, in large quantities it can save them from destruction just as the lake saved the first City so many millennia ago during the Great Eruption. So too are individuals boiled away but a great many can stand strong together. The final stop is the Ke Ahi Temple on the slopes of the Volcano where offerings are left and prayers are said. It's common for followers to collect water from the Maki Pani lake and add it to the pools surrounding the Ke Ahi Temple as an offering in the belief that it's protection would extend to the temple in case of eruption.
|The Ke Ahi Temple|
Incendous culture is almost completely centered around their religion and the concept that love and compassion is the true way to live your life. Their prayers are a focal point of their day. They delight in teaching others their ways in the hopes of conversion and view death not as a sad event, but as a conversion towards the next state of being. All strangers are welcome and treated as family. As such, it is not unusual for family dinners to include strangers who one of the family members have just met.
Incendous is one of the warmest regions of The Unknown World. As such, a majority of the clothing is layers of loose, silken, baggy clothing that allows the wearer to be protected from the elements but cool at the same time. It's not uncommon for men to be seen wearing only pants and a vest or for women to be wearing a flowing skirt and a halter top.
All the laws of Incendous are based around the parables and rules of their scripture and the belief that the punishment should fit the crime. While the first offense is usually punishable by imprisonment, during which there is counseling and a focus on reformation. Repeat offenses refer back to an older law. Most crimes, after multiple offenses and trial, are punishable by the removal of the offending limb. (e.g. Theft = hands, Lying = tongue, Rape = castration…). As such, most of the other nations can view these practices as barbaric or savage.
In order to be a ruler of Incendous, you must receive the blessing of The Eternal Flame. While this is traditionally seen as crossing one of the Eternal Flames without harm, it is said that the truly chosen are spoken to by the Flame after becoming fully engulfed.