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Standing atop a high hill, the Shining Temple of Bishamon dominated the town. A gate stood at the entrance of the temple, guarded by massive lions carved of ebony with eyes of gold and teeth of crystal. Climbing the hill was a 3000-step stairway, flanked by rows of wooden pillars, dyed red and topped by ivory spires, leading up to the main temple building. In front of the temple stood a soaring apple tree—the fruit was said to bestow immortality on the deserving, but death to the wicked, but only Bishamon could pick them. Hanging from a branch of the tree was brass that was tolled every hour in homage to Bishamon, the Wide Hearing.
Within the temple sat cross-legged a colossal idol of Bishamon covered in gold. Before it were long rows of small brass statues of the most important priests of the faith of the last thousand years, numbering 3,333 in all. The strange statues depicted them with multiple heads and dozens of arms, to symbolize their good deeds.
The Shining Temple of Bishamon was the undoubted center of the faith for many Wanese, especially commoners, peasants, and others of the lower classes (nobles and upper classes preferred the Great Temple of Bishamon in Kurahito). Thus, pilgrims from across the country made the perilous journey over the islands and through the mountains to Aru to worship. They were rewarded with the amazing site of the Shining Temple.
A special ceremony in Aru involved believers making an individual prayer of thanks to each and every one of the 3,333 priest statues in the Shining Temple. True faithful were required to do this each year.
In 1754 WY (c. 1336 DR, Shogun Matasuuri Nagahide gave to the temple an important sword. It had originally been given by the Spirit of the Sun to Matasuuri Shogoro, but Nagahide got the idea that it and the other gifts were unlucky, and gave them away. The glowing sword resided at the temple.
Around 1357 DR, one of the monks, Yuchimo Ein stolen and pawned the sword in a dodgy pawn shop to pay off a gambling debt. He replaced the sword with a forgery while he tried to scrape together enough coin to buy it back. When agents of Nagahide sought to retrieve the sword (after the Spirit of the Sun returned wondering where the sword was), and found it no longer glowed as described, and had to investigate, discovering the forgery.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 160. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 162. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume II). (TSR, Inc), p. 184. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.