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Author Topic: The Book of the Fallen - Chapter 5 - The Great School of Sharuun  (Read 1304 times)
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Kane
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« on: January 11, 2010, 07:07:50 AM »

Finally, after almost an arc on the roads, I arrived before the gates to the Sorshef School in Sharuun.  At first I was overwhelmed by the grandeur of the complex, which was its own distinct section of the city.  The gates were of a dark polished wood with bronze plates dedicated to the Riding Host.  While formidable, the gates looked like they hadnít been closed for years.  Just through the gates was a large courtyard with fountains and flowering trees. Directly ahead was the temple, most of which was open to allow worship under the night sky. To the left was where I would spend much of the next year, the dormitories, libraries, and the observatory.  To the right were various support buildings, a small stable, and houses for the servants and guards.

My first impression upon seeing the school was that faith in the Riding Host was still vibrant and the Sorshef were both wealthy and influential.  I soon found out that the courtyard and the temple were a false faÁade.  Away from the publicís eye, the weakness of the Sorshef was very clear.  Whole floors of the dormitories were closed off and caked in dust. Some rooms were stripped of furniture, carpets, and art, that had been sold to help pay for the enormous cost to maintain the school. I had expected that there would be hundreds of students, but there were barely seventy.  Some of the students were orphans or wards of the school, left by families that couldnít afford to feed them.  Many were just like me; here out of a sense of duty rather then out of faith. We, the poor, the honor bound, the weak in faith, were the future of the Sorshef.

The first few days were a blur, as I settled into my duties and studies. The students were just one part of the school.  There were four major groups, each distinct, and often autonomous. The first and largest was the students and their teachers. The second largest group was the scholars, or the keepers of the Book, monastics who spent their lives interpreting the stars and omens from the past.  The third group was those Sahi who held services for the masses, administered to the poor, and counseled those who came seeking the guidance of the stars. The last group was the laity; the servants and guards who kept the compound running as best as possible. Surprisingly, the four groups rarely interacted with each other, and that lack of interaction allowed corruption to find a home and spread its dark tendrils.

Overseeing the entire complex was the Abbot; appointed by the Sorshef to run the school, maintain the libraries, and administer to the faithful.  The Abbot rarely interfered with the running of the school or the work of the Keepers of the Book.  His real power came from his control over the laity and his influence with the great families of Sharuun. I would learn later that the Abbot was appointed more for his connection to the Sussar of Sharuun then for his holiness. I donít mean to imply that Abbot lacked faith, only that he did not have the respect of many of the Sahi, especially among the Keepers. Iíve wondered over the years that if the Abbot truly had moral authority over the Sahi, if he could have prevented any of what occurred.
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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: The Book of the Fallen - Chapter 5 - The Great School of Sharuun
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