To the east of the Quadrangle, the Temple of Ramor (or simply the Temple) is the single, spiritual and religious organisation that the Shaler recognise. It has a strong following and its teachings and experiences are based around the ideals and symbolisation of Ramor, the sun.
Formed early in the Second Era and originally known as the Temple of the Shaler, its basis was developed from the need of comfort and explanation to a largely disorganised people. With the discovery of the Synth, and specifically increasing questions relating to trying to find meaning behind it, an enterprising individual decided that he knew the answers, inspired by the original discovery.
Even though he had no initial scientific reasoning for his explanations, his arguments were convincing. Discoveries fifty years later that the sun in the sky was responsible for the Synth energy provided weight to the original belief and unquestionable credibility was given to the organisation. In light of this, it was renamed the Temple of Ramor.
By the Third Era and continuing into the Fourth, the Temple is regularly attended by most of the Shaler population. However, serious students and lecturers at the Synth Institute are quick to dismiss the Temple and its operation as obscuring the true meaning to the Synth.
The construction of the Temple was completed during the Second Era. The People’s Union saw great benefit in the teachings and theories portrayed by the Temple representatives and took great pride in the development of the iconic building.
Featuring a distinctive, elongated octagonal shape, at the top of a slightly elevated area at the eastern side of the Quadrangle, the building is entirely constructed from pure white stone. Having two floors, the roof is rounded into a conic design with a glass window located at its peak.
As emperors in the past and present have had great admiration for the Temple, an annex was added to its side providing a burial site for deceased rulers of the Shaler. This annex has no roof and is more like a walled garden.
Roles Within the Temple
In the organisation of the Temple, there are distinct roles of people that represent it.
The High Priest is the most senior position. Responsible for the overseeing of the running and direction of the organisation, they are respected in almost saintly regard. It is rare for the general populace to speak directly with High Priests, but are more accessible to emperors and senators. However, typically every night, the High Priest coordinates the popular end of day services.
These are people of the Shaler that have dedicated themselves to the Temple and worship of Ramor. Typically, a Priest is a person that has failed to find a career in the People’s Union or rejected by the Synth Institute. One characteristic that is common throughout the priesthood is the role of counselor. It is common for people to approach a Priest to seek advice or suggestions about direction in their individual lives.
Those that attend the Temple generally are referred to individually as an Acolyte. It is a grand name that is an attempt to provide more of a meaning to each person’s position inside the Temple.
Shrine of Ramor
One outstanding feature of the Temple itself is a glass column that rises from the ground, through the second floor and extends to the top of the conic roof. Inside this column are many mirrors and cut crystals. It is an incredible symbol that represents Ramor inside the Temple.
The glass window at the peak of the roof is designed to reflect the sunlight down into the column, allowing for a constant shine to be broadcast around the inside.
On the second floor of the Temple are the archives. Here, writings and observations are stored, penned by any number of Priests and Acolytes since the Temple was founded in the Second Era, with some written before that.
This vast archive of thousands of papers is maintained by a group of Priests. It is chronologically organised and a large book known as The Register provides an index of every written work.
A collection of what the maintainers of the archive believe to be the best works is formed to create an authoritative book known as the Twilight Compendium. During services, a High Priest may choose to read from these works to inspire the Acolytes.
As a religious organisation, the Temple has a collection of rituals that are designed to be inspiring for the Acolytes. These are ordained and generally orchestrated by the High Priest. A commonly practised ritual is the Awakening of the Dark Light.