Pillars of Procrastination

Fell's picture
Few who come to the Waste realise upon arrival at the temple ruins, that this was once a place that held significant power and extraordinary ability. ________________________________________________________________Deep in the heart of the Gray Waste lies a once-grand temple. It is now in ruins, thanks largely to the nature of the plane on which it has existed for over three centuries. To most common people, it's not known who originally built the temple, or for that matter, what the temple was used for. However, one thing is known by those who have encountered it... and that is what the temple has become. Over time, as the all-pervading nature of the Waste infiltrated every corner and fibre of the temple's make-up, it began to erode away. Eventually only the central pillars that stood in the grand hallway of the temple remained, forever denying the Waste a complete kill. And it is these gray stone pillars that are forever rising and falling in the dust and dirt of the plane, that have given the location its name. It is because the Pillars act as focal points for essences of Time from the Temporal Energy plane that the Waste has been unable to completely erode the pillars, crumbling them to dust, and eroding the foundations of this once proud and majestic place. They seem to rise and fall completely at random, with some rising to great heights, almost beyond the perceptions of mortals, while others sink completely beneath the sands of the Waste, only to rise again several moments later. It was in this temple just over three hundred and fifty years ago, on a Prime world of little significance, that several monks with inclinations into the ways of the arcane erected the pillars that became the centre piece for the temple. It was the collective intention of these monks to create a place that could grant mortals access to the Temporal Energy plane and provide them with the ability to fulfill their grand purpose. That purpose was the storage of memories. The monks wished to collect and store individual memories that held great importance, memories that contained fragments of lost or forgotten lore, of civilisations long since passed, or loved ones whose time had come and gone. It was their aim to create a place on their world where people could come, and could experience these memories; whether their own or someone else’s. No one really cared about privacy. All they cared about was that these memories would be preserved in a state befitting their content. It's really such a shame then that the Pillars of Procrastination never actually worked properly to begin with. Visitors to the temple would describe to the monks which memories they wished preserved, and would then be taken to sit at the base of a pillar. At that time the pillars were motionless -- all rising to the same height. They each stood tall and silent, seeming to absorb the sounds around them, creating a muted atmosphere in this part of the temple. After the appropriate blessings and spiritual prayers had been uttered by the monks, each person was then left alone, at the base of each pillar, and told only one thing by the monks: "Sit and think, and recall the one memory that you wish to keep". And so each person would start thinking about the memories that held the most importance for them, recalling to their minds... images, voices, smells, feelings, knowledge... anything that they felt that they did not want to forget or have taken away by the ultimate thief of memory... time. It is so ironic then, that the command of temporal energy would become the basis for the method by which the monks would assist these people in preserving their memories. Each of the pillars would begin to thrum with harmonious energies... rising and falling at speeds that reflected the intensity or lack thereof of the memories being recalled. And each time they rose and fell, a little piece of each of the recalled memories would be taken from that person's mind. They would speed up and slow down, quickly and quietly, without a sound. And then, they'd speed up again slowly, only to slow down several minutes later. The silence in the temple hall always seemed to intensify when the pillars were in motion. Not a single movement, voice, echo, or even the shifting sands caused any sound. The pillars just rose and fell and the people at each of the bases of the pillars continued to recall their memories. And then, it would all be over. Sound and movement would once again appear possible, as the monks would quickly move to recover each person from their position at the base of the pillars. Slightly dazed and more than a little confused, each of them would stand bewildered for a few moments, as if trying to register where they were, and why. Then it would come to each of them; they were here to store something... a memory. The monks, confident of how each and every pillar functioned, would inform these people that their most prized recollections were now stored in the pillars and that they could access them whenever they wished. The monks knew this was a lie though, a lie perpetuated by their desire to help these people. For the monks did not know how to retrieve the memories stored in each of the pillars. As it were, all they knew was that each pillar seemed to create an artificial temporal pocket which held each of the memories contained within like scrolls on a bookshelf. They weren't librarians however, and did not know how to seek or even obtain a specific memory for recollection. Of the few who actually know, or even remember the temple, and the experiences they had within it, no one knows how or truly why the temple suddenly vanished from the world one day, never to be seen again. Little more is known about the temple after that point. A place that is seemingly so in tune with the cosmological force of time apparently seems quite content with keeping its secrets locked away. Among those who still remember, speculation and rumor run rampant. Some suggest that the temple succumbed to the forces it was manipulating, drawn into a temporal pocket of its own making. Others say that it still exists... only that the temporal energy that powers the pillars has somehow frozen the temple in one point of time, forever. And then there are the few who believe that something sinister was responsible for the temple's removal from the Prime. It's these few who have recently heard reports about a location within the Gray Waste, about a ruined temple with pillars of stone that appear to rise and fall completely at random with no reason or rhyme. It is these few who believe that someone intends to use the pillars for these own fiendish purposes. Whatever really happened and whoever was truly responsible for what happened to the temple, the fact remains that it has ended up here in the Waste... forgotten, degraded, and lost amidst the very magical forces that it once manipulated.
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