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Two More Old Quarter Temples

Temple of Niu Dahan
Like many of the gods of Tiangao, Niu Dahan was once human, a Tiangaon merchant during the Seven Kingdoms era who made his fortune running caravans throughout Tiangao and beyond during what was a particularly dangerous period in the empire’s history. He was always ready with a crafty scheme to make money and is renowned for his daring escapades, once evading capture by bakemono bandits by riding away on the back of a tiger. He was the first merchant to cross the deserts and the Great Grass Sea from Tiangao to Parsantium centuries ago, and is now worshipped as “City God” of Parsantium in addition to his status as God of Wealth by the city’s Tiangaon residents.

The roof of the Temple of Niu Dahan is its dominant feature: this is green and decorated with figures of the Tiangaon gods and lucky symbols such as dragons and carp. Stone lions guard the temple entrance. Inside is a small courtyard with a large bowl where incense and paper offerings are burnt. Beyond is the main hall which contains an intricately carved altar and a great statue of Niu Dahan riding his tiger. There are gongs, side altars and adjoining rooms with shrines to other gods, chapels for prayers to the dead and displays of funerary plaques. Red (representing joy), gold (heavenly glory) and green (harmony) are the dominant colours and Niu Dahan’s symbol, a set of scales, is everywhere. There is no set time for prayer and no communal service except for funerals. Worshippers enter the temple whenever they want to make offerings, pray for help or give thanks.

The priest of the temple of Niu Dahan is Wang Jin We, a capable cleric but a bit too fond of strong drink. He is ably assisted by his long-suffering student, Gong Sun.

Golden Mosque of Jisan the Bountiful
Also called Jisan of the Floods, this goddess symbolizes fertility and productivity and is the most-widely worshipped Akhrani deity. There are several mosques in the Old Quarter, but Jisan’s is the largest and most splendid. The mosque has a shining gold dome situated over the prayer hall, a vast courtyard with a large fountain for ablutions before prayer, and four beautiful minarets over 300 feet tall from which the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer five times per day. There is no furniture in the prayer hall: this allows for as many worshippers as possible to pray inside.

Note: Niu Dahan is from Dragon Fist; Jisan is from Al-Qadim.

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