The Temple Of Seven Pillars
Wisdom has built her house;
she has made it strong
with seven pillars.
The Bible, Proverbs, 9:1

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Nature: Ancient lost mage sanctum
Also known as: Temple of Seven Towers
Soundtrack: Après Moi - Regina Spektor

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Background

Most modern mages who've heard about the Temple learned about it from a moral fable told during their training to join an Order after having just Awakened. This educational parable is used to warn fresh and impressionable wizards about the dangers of becoming too attached to your own ideas, something most mages are especially susceptible to.

In short, it's a tale about a group of survivors from Atlantis who were alive when the Watchtowers first appeared, and who then became among the first (potentially the first) who studied this new phenomenon and tried to understand it. This part of the fable teaches about the Fall, the Diaspora, the doom that would befall humanity if the Watchtowers had never been erected, and introduces the idea that the lore mages today have about the Paths wasn't always available, but required hard work in order to attain. Many mentors like to emphasize this part of the history, as a way to make the apprentice understand how truly valuable and precious the information provided by Order membership actually is.

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Yet the true 'heart' of the tale is not about how groundbreaking this work was, but how these incredibly powerful and highly educated Atlanteans came to the wrongful conclusion that there must be seven paths, not five, because that result fit better with their own occult theories and understanding of the universe. As a result they supposedly celebrated the conclusion of their research efforts by erecting a temple to these seven Watchtowers built by the Oracles, to honor this gift which had saved humanity, and encoded the "truths" they had found about the new cosmic order into the very structure, so their findings would be available to all human generations that would follow.

In this way the myth tells us that enormous amounts of work and power and resources were wasted on making a monument to error and preserving the biggest mistake ever made since the Fall, simply because even the most learned or accomplished or enlightened of wizards can still be blinded by their own perspective if they don't remember that they themselves could be wrong, if they aren't willing to admit their own failings and thereby become wiser.

As can be expected, many elder mages are less than amused by the story and what it implies, while others enjoy it and even consider it a vital aspect of educating new members of the awakened community. But almost everyone agree that the place has only ever been a myth, a story, and didn't actual exist in the real world. Throughout history quite a number of explorers have searched the globe for this legendary place, or even structures that may at least have inspired it, but as far as is commonly known today no solid evidence even indicating its existence has ever been revealed to the public.

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Campaign Introduction

That is, until a member of the Eye of the Storm cabal performed a divination to see where the current events would lead them, and among the many surprising and/or absurd locations which they got as an answer, "The temple of seven pillars" was also listed. Though they later conferred with the Archaeomancers it sadly turned out that they knew nothing much of use when it came to finding the lost temple, and indeed, had also come to the conclusion that it probably never existed. The indication that it might be real did excite them, however, as they admitted with some embarrassment that it had been an early dream of their to find the fabled temple. They therefore pleaded with the PC's to share anything new they might come across, making fervent promises to provide whatever help they could provide in return, whether research, advice or even assistance in arranging an expedition if it ever came to that.

They found more useful results, however, when they had Apollo perform a prophecy about what they needed to do in order to find the temple. What ST remembers of the answers provided is roughly:

  • They'll have to research mundane history, geology, and similar, to get the basic info & understanding.
  • Theyll need a map received from Dalai Llama and the compass currently located in Nobel's room, which if used in conjunction will get them there properly.
  • Will also need scuba-gear or similar.
  • They should bring the strange crystal found at the Omphalos shrine, as well as the ones like it from Drake's Hoard, the Last Treasure of Iram, and the one which the Llama's allies have.

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PC Theories

  • That some of the creatures ("living spells") the cabal have encountered are connected somehow to the Temple, with at least some of them believed to act as guards or protectors of some sort. Notable suspects are Lhanvyini Nechidousa, Pnartaxwala, the "phoenix" that might radiation-blast Skadi to death, the minotaur-ish creature which shot people with Adamantine Arrows, and the "unicorn" which apparently interfered with Hermes' divinations (and which it was foreseen that Chameleon might encounter if she managed to get included in the PC's expedition to find the Temple, lending credence to the theory that the "unicorn" is somehow associated with the place)
  • Rui Shi suggests that each of the seven pillars, the "paths" honored by the Temple builders, has its own set of symbolism associated with itself, such as one of the seven magical metals each, or the seven celestial bodies/planets, and so on. He has even developed a list or chart mapping out his current understanding of these correspondences.
  • It has been speculated that the people who built the Temple might have been the "Children of Danu", also known as the Grigori, or "Watchers", based on various stories and texts, many of them found in The Book. This might fit with the fact that the Grigori were the "parents" of the Nephilim, and it was apparently the Nephilim who built Iram of the Pillars. If so, the Temple might very well be among the many works of the Grigori which were flooded by The Deluge, also known as "Noah's Flood".

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Other Sources & Mentions

The Book page 173 & 7

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The Temple Of Seven Pillars
One of the legends told by bards and skalds of the Mysterium is the tale of the fabled Temple of the Seven Pillars. It is a place shrouded in fables and superstition, yet is at heart a morality tale, showing that even the most well learned and powerful among us can not only make mistakes, not only be so set in our way that we blind ourselves from seeing the truth, but that we must overcome our pride and confidence that the beliefs and knowledge we already hold must be correct and true before we can ever achieve true enlightenment. It is not a fable which is much liked by the more orthodox and hidebound of pentacle members for exactly this reason, yet a surprisingly large amount of mystagogues and guardians hold it very dear, teaching it to all their students. The tale itself goes like this:

Before the Fall all mages could draw down magic as they wished, with no need for watchtower or paths. After the formation of the Abyss, however, fewer and fewer human souls managed to Awaken, as the roads to the Supernal were shutting down, and the human spirit slowly forgot its divine heritage. Many Atlantean survivors and descend
endants despaired, believing that the end of all magic was at hand, that humans would forget how to Awaken completely. Then something changed, for all at once people began to find their way back to the Supernal once more, yet the method they used was strange and new to the existing mages. To better understand what was going on a select group of sages clinging to the ways of Atlantis gathered together to study this new way of reaching the Supernal. They sought out as many newly Awakened as they could, and interviewed them about their experiences. They tried to fin common themes and guidelines, to map the new process as thoroughly as possible. What they found amazed them. It was obvious that something drew the humans across to the Supernal. It opened the way for them, letting them walk a set of new paths, guided by a distant light and shining star in the worlds above. It also became apparent that there were a set of types of Awakenings now, different sorts and themes occurring again and again within their research samples.

Certain symbols, tendencies and resonances seemed to be coded into the very concept of Awakening, and among these they found the Towers, the Pillars of Heaven. But they were cloaked in metaphor, in figments and archetypes and imagination, and so the scholars made a rather grave mistake. Noticing that several of these towers were keyed to the ancient magical metals they assumed that there must be one tower per celestial metal, that there were in fact seven new paths to enlightenment. And so they built a shrine to honour, research and understand the new structure of the cosmos. In their holiest of holies they constructed seven pillars, made out of one perfected metal each, upon which they scribed their lore and their wisdom and their findings. This then was the Temple of the Seven Pillars, a testament to the fact that we too often think we know the truth because we like the theories and ideas and models we have come up with, and forget to check with reality.
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The Book, page 107

soon Above Dyeus, Phter of the Elohim, saw that the tribe of the Fallen Ones flourished, and knew it as Transgression. Then said he unto Metatron, highest of his Daeva: "This cannot be, for the Watchers have given unto Mankind secrets which are Ours alone, and in mingling their blood they let mortals have what they should not, and one day they will seek to be like unto us. What should come were they to share also the fruit of the tree of Life, making man to live forever?"

And so he bade the Elohim to send a great Deluge, for to wipe out the Fallen Ones and their peoples unto the last child, and he bade the generals of his Daevas to hunt down the Watchers, to bind them in deep chasms and prisons, so that never again could they Transgress thusly. With this they sought to forever wash that forbidden knowledge away from humankind, but knew not that they were far too late.

Four generations earlier one of the many scholars who sought them out was Emmeduranki, great grandfather of Utnapishtim and seventh patriarch after Adaman ha-Kadmoni, and what Emmeduranki took away from his visit he carved into a temple of his own. Though he could not recall the whole of the Watchers' lore he still managed to fill two pillars.

In this fashion was the intent of the Devas denied, and before they could learn of its existence and remove the temple from Saïs several empires and civilizations had already sought it out and learned from its teachings, each making their own copies of what they remembered after departing.
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The Book, page 140

The Watchers, Grigori of Seventh Heaven, named Danavas, taught magic to Enmeduranki, seventh patriarch after Adam, who carved some of it onto 2 pillars at Sais

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Secrets of the Ruined Temple

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All researchers in dynastic Egypt, Awakened and otherwise, who sought knowledge of Atlantis (wherever they wished to place its ruins), petitioned for access to the Temple of Sebek in Saïs. Here stood two columns carved with hieroglyphics already hoary with age when the Sphinx was newly sculpted. According to occult rumor then and since, those were the Pillars of Enoch, engraved with the knowledge of “all true arts and sciences” by the seventh patriarch after Adam. Enoch (or Enmeduranki, as the Sumerian records name him) learned magic from the Grigori, the Watchers in the Seventh Heaven. He returned and carved these insights into a pillar of brass and a pillar of stone, strong enough to withstand another cataclysm of flood or fire. The story of his journey, but only hints of his recovered magical lore, made it into the apocryphal Books of Enoch, condemned by St. Augustine among other Christian church fathers.

The existence of the Pillars of Enoch, or at least of two pillars in the temple precincts at Saïs bearing knowledge of Atlantis, is confirmed by many ancient sources, both Sleeping and Awakened, as late as the visit of Krantor of Cilicia around 280 BC. The eventual Roman overlords of Egypt may have become jealous of the crocodile priests’ relics, or the Pillars may have vanished during one of the myriad invasions of Egypt since. The Exarchs (or Oracles) may have stepped in, removing such dangerous truths from the increasingly numerous eyes of mortals and ambitious willworkers alike and secreting the Pillars in some other lost corner of the Earth.

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The Ties That Bind (CD)

Track 15: The Temple of Seven Pillars - Apres Moi - Regina Spektor
I must go on standing
You can't break that which isn't yours
I must go on standing
I'm not my own, it's not my choice

Be afraid of the lame
They'll inherit your legs
Be afraid of the old
They'll inherit your souls
Be afraid of the cold
They'll inherit your blood
Apres moi, le deluge
After me comes the flood

Февраль. Достать чернил и плакать!
Писать о феврале навзрыд,
Пока грохочущая слякоть
Весною черною горит.

(Translation:
February. Get ink, shed tears.
Write of it, sob your heart out, sing.
While torrential slush that roars,
Burns in the blackness of the spring.
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See Also

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To list of Locations

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