The Cathedral

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It took nearly three turns of the glass majora before the assembled nobility of Talemon and their guests finally seated themselves in the vast, sun-washed main cathedral of the massive Church of the Sun. As the colorfully arrayed lords and ladies slowly filed in, whispering to each other about the decorations all around them, Lawrence too had the chance to get a good look at the big chamber before he found his attention totally fixed by the ceremony.

From where he stood near the raised dais of the Rector's Bench, the great platform that dominated the cathedral's near end, Lawrence let his eyes range over the massive stone columns rising from the polished stone floor up through space to where they braced the great stone arches that formed the ceiling. These arches formed the high domes that marched along the chamber's ceiling to form the main cathedral's characteristic roof. Four domes formed the length of the ceiling that covered the long room, and was two domes' wide.

The chamber itself was decorated with deeply polished chalewood from the Vale of Induath deep in the Giant's Teeth Mountains. According to the druidic texts, the Vale was the mythical birthplace of humanity and was also the source of the granite quarried for the church's walls. Chalewood was almost black, with heavy streaks of gold running along the grain, and here was laid with the grain running from top to bottom. Its dark, luxurious color would've plunged the entire cathedral into darkness if it weren't for the great stained glass skylights that pierced the domes on both their east and west sides to let the late summer sun in.

At the far end, on the chamber's south perimeter, stood great oaken doors strapped with studded iron. These opened the cathedral into the main courtyard beyond outside. They stood tall enough to reach midway up the columns, a good ten spans off the chamber's floor and were currently thrown wide open to let in the assembled lords and ladies of the land, honored guests to the wedding ceremony.

Stained glass also pierced the thick granite walls themselves, marching in regular intervals down the length of the chamber, each window as tall as the great doors. Normally the windows would've flooded the interior with bright light, but today they were draped with thick velvet coverings of royal blue for the ceremony.

Behind Lawrence and the Rector's Bench, a great wooden carving in chalewood and sandalwood of the rising sun hung over a stone representation of the same, inlaid into the stone of the wall with precious and rare stone from all over Ramnor. Uncovered, the great stone bas relief carving of the druidic church's central symbol dominated the dark gray wall, its inlaid gold and silver twinkling in the light cascading down into the chamber from the skylights.

The rest of the front wall, like its other granite comrades, was covered with garlands and wreaths for the ceremony, excepting a small door in the center through which the Rector and his druids would enter. And, as far as the eye could see, the floor of the chamber consisted of polished granite from the Teeth, broken only by the rows of padded wooden benches that extended from the doorway to the chamber's halfway point, a distance of approximately 120 spans. The rest was open floor into which a huge mosaic of the sun in gold, silver and nightstone was inlaid into the polished granite where it reflected Ri'im's light streaming in from above to create the illusion it was aflame.

His examination done, Lawrence surreptitiously turned his attention to the Bench and the objects upon it. And quickly he found his eyes drawn to the thickly padded stool beside him, its leather dyed white and bearing the sun symbol stitched in silver in its center. It would be the place where Jorge and Kiira would kneel before the Rector to be Joined as man and woman, husband and wife.

The tall prince sighed as he considered the stool. It only reminded him of the part he was to play in this carefully crafted affair. Lawrence had been asked by both Jorge and Kiira to stand as the Left, or the Shield in more traditional weddings, a place of honor beside the man. According to those traditions, he served to protect the couple during the ceremony so they could be Joined with no interruptions, martial or otherwise. A golden star set into the floor marked the place where the Left was to stand, currently beneath his dress boots. Both the star and the stool normally were covered by the Rector's rostrum from which he delivered weekly readings from the texts and lessons on how to better live one's life.

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