G is for Givneh

G is for Givneh.

Givneh is a high plateau in of the continent of Nerelan, isolated from the rest of the land by gullies, washes, and grassy plains. Here is its description from the book, Windmaster, whose name was later taken for both a series and a world.
The low sun shadowed the red cliffs that raised the Givneh plateau hundreds of feet into the air. Gullies and washes trenched the grassy plains leading to the rock pillar. Earlier in the day, Tairneach had smelled water and led the way to the clump of short trees. Water and good grazing turned the short rest into an overnight camp. Dal lay on the side of the shallow wash, scanning every inch of the trail that twisted up the sheer rock face. In a few locations, a scrub tree or low brush clung tenuously to the edge, while at others, scattered piles of boulders marked dangerous switchbacks. He knew from his military experience a few men could hold the approach against an army.
Besides the plateau that gave the area its name, Givneh was more well known for the religious order of the Oracle of Givneh and its temple. Clerics wear brown robes; higher ranked ones wear dark brown robes; bishops were black robes; acolytes wear gray ones. You don't want to be given a white one.

Also from Windmaster, Ellspeth's entrance into the temple.
Hidden among the neat lines of pilgrims, Ellspeth studied the temple courtyard. The setting sun reflected off the gold leaf that covered the massive gates. The glare blinded any who dared to lift their heads during the mandatory prayers so she studied the area and those within from lowered eyes. The placement of the columns confined, she noted, not welcomed. No one could leave without permission—even if someone wanted to.

Through slitted lids, Ellspeth saw the gates swing open. Inside was the gaping maw of a dimly-lit tunnel. The cleric raised his arms in benediction over those gathered. “Rise and know the truth of the Oracle.”
Among the Oracle’s tenets as shown in Windmaster, is that magic is evil. Contrasting with Ellspeth’s experience at the temple where it was a cult, is an excerpt from the March 2019 release, Windmaster Legend of Iol’s time as a guest at the temple. Instead of the teachings introduced in Windmaster that ordered the destruction of anything tainted by magic and the confiscation of personal property, in the time of the past that Windmaster Legend takes place, the temple was a community of service.
Iol took advantage of the time to survey his surroundings. Instead of the pale glow from the handful of torches that illuminated the hallways, every sconce in the vast space of the audience hall held an oil lantern. Their bright light transformed what would have been black featureless walls without it into life-like murals. Each scene was a work of art and would have taken a master of his craft a lifetime to execute. Fascinated, Iol walked from one colorful vignette to the next. Here, one showed the bountiful harvest owed to those who worked hard. In another, pilgrims followed a white-robed Oracle up a gold path to paradise.

One depiction of a man with outspread arms caught his interest. That must be the First Oracle, Iol realized. The artist had depicted the children sitting around the man’s feet with an expression of innocence. Iol shifted his focus from the children’s faces to the pilgrim’s outfits. The design on the robe hems reminded him of the old-style music annotation Conall had once shown him.
Windmaster - universal buy link
Windmaster Legend - universal buy link

#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary badgeThe next post is "H is for Horses." If you're following other blogs in the challenge, here's the master list of the other participants.

~ till next time, Helen

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