Temple at Ise, The

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EDITORS NOTE: The Temple at Ise must have been destroyed (if specifically done so in game terms) at least prior to the year 1450 (T91) - at least 250 years before its reconstruction began. That's as far back as my records go. At that time Japan was ruled by the Taira Shogunate of Luzon, a Buddhist nation, and they ruled for quite some time thereafter. In the absence of Shintoism in Japan, the Nisei continued the practice of Shintoism in America ever since they were driven from Japan prior to at least the year 1220 (T44).

T186, Tokugawa Japan
At Ise, the priests of the shrine suddenly stopped praying amid the ruins of the ancient temple. A gardener had paused amid the tumbled rock and brick, looking down at his feet. The nearest priest scrambled up and ventured over to join him. Between a charred log and a fire-cracked pile of masonry tiles, a pale yellow flower was pushing its shoot up from the dark soil. The priest fell to his hands and knees before it, "the sun," he breathed, "the sun is rising!"

Beyond the precincts of the temple, the Pure Realm embassy that had waited for so long was startled from their game of draughts by the sound of running feet. One of the Shinto priests came to a halt, panting, his face beaming in delight. "Come! Come!" the Shinto priest exclaimed, "we must rebuild the temple, quickly!"

T190, Tokugawa Japan
At Ise, the slow work of rebuilding the ancient Shinto shrine there was held up by the anger of the Buddhist monks in the province, who demanded that they be allowed to rebuild the shrine instead. The local daimyo, seeking harmony, ordered the work to cease. The monks, mindful of the secular authority, complied. Later the guards at the site were dismayed to see, each day, another stone laid, another panel raised up.

T191, Tokugawa Japan
At Ise, in Kwanto province, the mysterious rebuilding of the Shrine of the Goddess was at last complete, despite the fulminating obstacle of the local Buddhist priest. When, at last, the cherrywood doors stood open, and the smiling Shinto priests welcomed the first visitors, the populations of all of the villages in the district made a pilgrimage to the shrine. Carrying flowers, candles and wicker-door posts, they came in hundreds and then thousands. Each man and woman passed through the door-gate and wound their way up the steps into the sanctuary nave. At last, all fifteen thousand had passed through, leaving their offerings, prayers and thanks to the smiling Goddess. The Buddhist priest, Ju, was the last to pass through the doors, and he knelt and prayed at the shrine the longest. When at last he left, there was peace in his heart.

T207, Somewhere in near-Earth Space
Ice-shrouded gray rock tumbled through darkness. The surface of the flying mountain swarmed with uncounted numbers of winged, crustacean-like creatures. They labored in the darkness, drilling and shaping with their machines. The vast stone tumbled slowly, end over end, though the mob of creatures burrowing within its mantle was so great even the light of the distant sun failed to reflect from their carapaces and velvet wings.

Near the northern pole of the asteroid, a lean black shape drifted on the solar wind, engaged in the rudimentary communications which prevailed between the denizens of Yuggoth and other creatures.

<Once split,> the messenger radiated, <one striking | falling | incinerating stone will strike | crush | shatter these islands...> The messenger radiated a picture of four great islands lying alongside a vast continent. Great importance was placed upon a certain coastline, and a particular bay.

The Mi-Go flashed agreement in cerulean and azure.

<the other hammer | vessel | tool will impact | rend | absorb this place, at the foot of these mountains | dimples | grains of sand.>

The messenger waited, but the Mi-Go did not reply. Instead its rumpled, chitinous skin flared and coruscated with a dozen nameless colors. Other of the fungi nearby gathered, and they fell to an inscrutable conversation, even to the dark messenger. At length they replied no.

A dispute followed, and the dark messenger was forced to admit defeat. Who could divine the thoughts of the fungi? They were beyond the byakhee's poor skill in such things.

<rend | slaughter | consume | know> it spat in disgust. The master will not be pleased...

EDITORS NOTE: The first target's description clearly appears to be Japan ("four great islands"), which lies off Asia ("lying alongside a vast continent"). Other sources have intimated that the specific target was the sacred Shinto temple at Ise. Indeed, the city of Ise sits on the eastern peninsula of the region of Yamato which forms the western shore of Ise Bay ("Great importance was placed upon a certain coastline, and a particular bay").

The second target's description is far less definitive ("this place, at the foot of these mountains | dimples | grains of sand"). Although the second target was rejected, the description nonetheless appears to fit the eventual impact site of the city of Venice - a city at the foot of the Alps. So the question that remains is: what requested target was rejected in favor of Venice?

Last updated: 3 February 2002 (T199 - 1728)

© 2002 Robert Pierce

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