June 22nd – The Trooping of the Proof of His Promise

The Temple of the Unforgotten Promise has been around for a very long time, but has never been that popular, existing as a tight-knit group of about thirty people for many hundreds of years. Today they will attempt to remind the universe of what was promised to them, of the alleged debt they are still owed. Today is their most holy day, the day they claim to have been promised ‘unimaginable riches and power,’ by their god, the Debtor, and today they will parade the Proof, an item given to their founder in lieu of full payment of what they claim to be owed, as His Chosen People.

The parade will pass out from their temple in Tallboys district, out Horseman’s Gate and through the surrounding suburbs, then up to Ceaen Moor, to a small barrow cut into the side of a hill. Inside the barrow is the tomb of Dratch Mordovo, the founder of the Temple, and upon his grave they will place the Proof, a matte black cube made from some unknown substance (the Temple refuses to submit the Proof for testing), although it is generally assumed to be some kind of stone. The cube is, however, said to be surprisingly light, so perhaps it made from preserved wood instead. Very few people have had close contact with the Proof, today being the only day it is brought out into the public, so it is difficult to make any real pronouncements about its composition.

According to the group’s legends, the Proof was given to Mordovo directly from the Debtor, after he met the godly being whilst walking out on the moor in this very spot in 1198. Details of the encounter are sketchy; the few written sources the Temple has were written long after the fact, and there seems to be much scholarly debate about the details between members. They all agree that Mordovo helped the Debtor out of some predicament, that he performed some essential service for the god, who promised great things in return. The most popular form of the myth says that the god was lying in a pool of water and could not leave, and that Mordovo dug a channel that connected him to a nearby stream, a channel which there are still remnants of to this day; a slight depression in the peaty soil.

Mordovo was a money lender, a loan shark of sorts, and he made sure to extract a good deal from the prostrate god before he agreed to help. The Debtor showed him images of fame and wealth and power in the reflective pool, which suddenly appeared very deep. Seeing that this being was powerful and that he could stand to gain from the agreement, Mordovo agreed to help so long as he could have some material sign of the deal. From some deep crevice in the pool the Debtor took the Proof and let it float to the surface. Apparently it repeated back to him the words of their agreement, recorded faithfully and perfectly, and would do so whenever placed in water.

Every member of the Temple is in some way a descendant of Mordovo; this is important to note because Mordovo never received any of the promised payment within his lifetime, presumably because no time limit was ever agreed upon, or because the payment took place in the afterlife (again, there is something of a rift within the Temple on this point). What Mordovo did agree upon was that when he died any of the benefits would pass to his children, and his children’s children after them, and so on. This is probably why the church has remained so small for so many years.

On the tomb is a small indentation which the paraders will fill with water and place the Proof into after. These days, there is no noise, no words are spoken. The last person to hear the voice in the box was Martha Shoreham in 1520, who heard it as a mere whisper whilst all those around her were deaf to it. According to the Temple’s legends, at one time it would be audible to all present, excepting non-family members. The theory is that over the centuries the blood of Mordovo thinned in their veins, watered down by other lineages, causing the Proof to quieten for them. According to the old Buentoilliçan law under which the agreement was made, however, the deal still stands, and so the Temple will wait, slowly accruing interest on what they are owed.

Other festivals happening today:

  • The Festival of Removal
  • The Day of the Fastest Dog
  • The Aural Fantasy Festival