Name of Building: The House of Dawn
Submitted by: email@example.com
Type of Building: a three-story stone and glass temple with two towers
Business conducted in the building: religion
High Priest: Morninglord Genna Whistflow of Lathander (hf, NG, 12th lvl Morninglord of Lathander)
Description of building:
The House of Dawn, dedicated to the god Lathander, is located in Sunrise Ward and is the most noticeable building to any who enter the city through Sunrise Gate. The wide Dawning Street branches off the East River Road just outside the gate and leads to the temple's front lawn.
The front of the temple's main building is three stories tall and shaped in a semi-circle like the sun rising over the horizon. On either side is a round tower, each two stories tall. The whole construction is built of polished white limestone that shines with a rosy hue in the morning sun. Atop the main building is a three-foot statue of a priest in flowing robes. His arms outstretched and face tilted toward the rising sun. A large archway window of glass begins just above the doors to the temple and continues upwards to the roof. This allows the sun's rays to enter the chapels of the temple. Several other large windows are also visible. The front lawn of the temple is well tended with a few flowerbeds and a single well whose water is used in ceremony.
The grounds of the temple also include a well-kept garden behind the temple. Rows of sunflowers and daisies are planted along the short garden wall as well as several stone benches. A small shrine has been erected in the garden for private ceremonies at any time of the day or night. Construction has also begun on housing for the Warriors of Dawn, the crusaders of the House of Dawn, though the organization has not yet been established.
As you pass through the main doors, a ten-foot tall statue of Lathander, the Morninglord, greets you. It is made of marble and its robes are trimmed in gold. The statue beckons followers to enter with an outstretched hand. In his other hand rests a globe of crystal, which glows with an intense yellow light. Two wide staircases begin on either side of the statue and lead to the second floor. Between the statue and the stairs are large, burning braziers. Doorways lead to the office tower, the library tower, public privies, and storage areas. The whole foyer is made of white limestone plaster that reflects the yellow light of the statue's globe and the flames of the braziers.
The foyer is open the the full height of the temple to allow the sun's rays access to both chapels. Ornate railings can be seen separating the second and third floors from the foyer. The stairways lead up to the main chapel of the temple. From here, worshippers can look out toward the east past Sunrise Ward. Hallways lead from the chapel to private chambers of the priests, stairs to the third story, and the temple library. In the main chapel area an altar dedicated to Lathander sits next to the ornate railing. Four large paintings are framed on the walls. Each shows a scene of the sun rising over a different landscape: a snow covered valley, a mountain range, a seashore, and a field of wheat.
The third and final floor contains a small private chapel used by the priests of the temple, their private chambers, kitchen, dining room, and a pantry. Like the main chapel, it looks out across Sunrise Ward through a wall of glass. The chapel walls are covered in tapestries depicting the god Lathander.
The tower interiors are not as well decorated. The library in the right one is filled with bookshelves leaving room for only a few small tables. There are a couple of wrought iron spiral staircases leading to the second floor which consists of a wrought iron balcony that circles the inside of the tower and allows easy access to all the books. The offices in the left tower contains desks and the paperwork of the temple. There are no outside doors or windows in either.
Description of business:
The House of Dawn holds services to the god Lathander. These services are held each sunrise and are open to the public. The temple was built on the original site of a shrine to Lathander. The original shrine had been constructed during the Amnian trade expansion era. As new people came to Arylon, the shrine was later expanded to the House of Dawn. The temple has continued to see its membership increase with the growth of the city. While the temple was only damaged in 1241 DR during the orc devastation of the region, it was destroyed during the Time of Troubles in 1358 DR. After the gods returned to their realm, the House of Dawn was rebuilt into its present shape.
The House of Dawn is not only a dedication to Lathander but to the "foolishness of wealthy men" as the current High Priestess calls it. Its extravagance came about from Dawnlord Kaire's seeking money from the nobles of the city. Many sought to put their personal stamp on the temple. While the entire city agrees the temple is beautiful, the High Priestess only sees the starving people its construction could have fed. Her only recourse is to spend as little time within its walls as possible.
Since it was rebuilt, the temple has taken moves to become the dominant faith in Arylon. They have expanded their sphere of influence beyond simple faith matters and now have a hand in many business concerns including several large farmlands. Many of these were donations from the faithful in their wills when there were no family members to inherit. The temple is also seeking to become a source of learning and has established a library within its walls. They have maintained strong ties with the nobles since the Lathanderian faith is popular when beginning a new business. Many who enter or leave the city through Sunrise Gate, will stop to offer a small gift. Those leaving hope to insure a safe journey, while visitors entering, wish for successful business dealings in Arylon. They also host a competition of athletics that passes through the region once a year.
Among the duties of the priesthood is the awakening of new hope and faith in the citizens of the city, especially the poor. They also manage the farms under the church as well as any other businesses under the control of the church. Their most important duty is the holding of services to the god Lathander.
These services begin just before sunrise and continue past dawn. The faithful enter the church, bowing to the statue of their god. Some bring incense, which is tossed into the braziers as they climb the stairs to the chapel. There they listen to the opening service given by Dawnmaster Daelydia as they await the sun to appear. Morninglord Genna then takes the main service after choruses are sung as the symbol of Lathander breaks the horizon. This is followed by a drinking of water drawn from the temple's well. Genna has begun allowing either Daelydia or Kaire to lead the main service as several nobles have complained of her insistence that the poor of the city should be a top priority. Most nobles have voiced support of Dawnlord Kaire to become the high priest of the temple once Genna has stepped down. Dawnmaster Daelydia is currently favored by the largest part of the congregation and Genna herself. Breakfast is occasionally held in the garden after the service depending on the weather. It is a chance for the priests and worshippers to exchange pleasantries before the workday begins. The garden is also a place where marriages are held often involving day-long celebrations.
The twilight worship is similar to the dawn service. Worshippers again gather in the main chapel and listen to the service. As the sun inches slowly to night, songs echo through the temple. When night falls, the service ends and people return to their homes. As this service is not as important to the Lathanderian faith, it has a much smaller attendance.