In the most ancient city of Bryarham is the oldest known building in the world. The Great Temple of Ceremony is dedicated to Wyr the god of the harvest and is a vast stone structure, a perfect cube of fifteen metres. The inside is lavishly decorated with tombs, relics and artworks. In contract the outside is bare white marble, except for the side that faces the central square of the city. This face is entirely smooth, with no windows, doors or any openings on it. This is to ensure that nothing disrupts the mural that is painted on the stonework. When it is inert, the mural rests in the form of abstract colours and black lines that form holy symbols of Wyr. The mural could be magic is four different ways.
The mural shows the past
With the correct incantation the mural paints itself into a depiction of a past event. The scene is as selected by the summoner and is a true representation of what happened. A restriction is that the scene can only be shown from the point of view of someone who was there but has since died. Wyr’s temple priests use it to show key moments from the lives of the prophets to illustrate their weekly sermons. It has also been used by the lord of the city to decide important trials when all evidence is inconclusive.
The mural shows what is happening now
With the correct incantation the mural paints itself into a moving series of images. These images show what is happening from the point of view of a transmitting spell caster. There is no limit to the range of the spell, only that the transmitting spell was cast when the recipient was stood next to the mural. The mural has been used to relay important messages, let the people see important speeches and occasionally for sporting events. Lords of the city has also used it to observe battles and to gather intelligence.
The mural shows the future
At sunset on every day the mural shifts from its resting artwork. For the final five minutes of the day, as the last of the sunlight touches the temple, it shows an important event from the next day that will affect the city. Sometimes it can be as simple as the weather or the outcome of a great battle. The event shown may not come to affect the city many years or it may cause chaos that night. The more certain the event is to happen, the sharper the focus and clarity of the mural’s prediction. There exists a cadre of Wyr’s priests who dedicate themselves to interpreting the more abstract predictions.
The mural illustrates
With the proper incantation the mural comes alive and becomes responsive to the words of the chanter. When a story is told in front of it, the mural illustrates the story, shifting between scenes with bursts of colour. The palette varies to match the mood of the story and the art style is drawn from the words the storyteller uses. It requires a lot of magical energy to power the mural, so its use is saved for public holidays. It is a great honour to be the storyteller on these occasions. Should the storyteller make mistakes or speak poorly, the mural will become confused. The quality of the artwork will degrade and it render the scene chaotically.
Image Credit – Fortress Hill MTR Mural by Jaye Foster – CC-BY-NC-SA-2.0