Mosque

Among the architectural jumble of the Academica Septima Superior is a ruined mosque. According to the covenfolk, it was stolen from its usual resting place in Cadiz and deposited in the Academica by Xinophides of Tytalus, after he was annoyed by the boasting of the townsfolk that they would be prosperous and teeming with foreign slaves until Allah took their mosque from them. In what may prove to have been a wise decision, Xinophides left the mosque at the very edge of the Academica. Since then, it has become a tiny outpost of the Dominion within the covenant.

Appearance

The mosque consists of a covered prayer hall and an open courtyard, both rectangular and approximately the same size. One corner of the courtyard wall was dominated by a minaret when the mosque was originally built. Either the violence of the structure's theft or subsequent neglect has caused the majority of the tower above the second storey to collapse.

The courtyard was once kept clean and tidy, but is now a morass of broken paving stones, mud and the detritus of centuries. A fountain in the centre of the courtyard, where the faithful once ritually washed themselves before prayer, is now choked with leaf litter and compost. Around the wall, half a dozen dead orange trees are slowly decomposing.

The prayer hall looks no better, as several interior columns have collapsed, allowing large sections of the roof to fall in. The elaborate mosaic that covered three walls is now cracked and filthy.

Kostas the Autocrat once used a hidden compartment beneath the minbar to store the Academica's accumulated coin and jewellery. Since the coming of the new magi, and especially the passing of the Autocracy to Tyche after her father's death, this secret treasury has been thoroughly looted. The space, however, remains useful for storing things out of sight of the covenfolk.

Regio

Despite appearances, the power of the Almighty has not fled the mosque. Rather, it has retreated to a Divine regio overlaying the site. Anyone who attempts to climb the inside of the minaret, or who removes their shoes and enters the prayer hall, at one of the five traditional prayer times (dusk, dawn, mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon) will immediately find themselves elsewhere.

Appearance

In contrast to the drab decay of the mundane level, the mosque in the regio is a place of wonder. The air is as warm and dry as an Andalusian summer, no matter what season holds sway over the rest of the covenant and the light is almost blindingly, painfully bright. The minaret stands tall and proud, and the prayer hall is intact. The mihrab of the prayer hall bears a calligraphic inscription, inlaid with silver, proclaiming 'there is no God but Allah'. William le Pen has noted that the rest of the customary credo '…and Mohammed is his prophet' appears to be absent.

Outside, the stones of the courtyard are in good repair, and covered with a fine layer of gold dust. This dust falls constantly, seemingly from nowhere. Much of it lands in the fountain, creating a bowl full of gold in which the words 'God is great. God is good.' are constantly written by an invisible hand.

The orange trees remain dead, marring the otherwise beautiful serenity of the scene.

Effects on Magic

Naturally enough, the regio bears a significant Divine aura. Exactly how strong the aura is has not been tested. This makes power drawn from the Magical or Faerie realms difficult to exercise.

Inhabitants

When the magi and their companions first entered the regio, they were greeted by an angel named Tephas. In between chiding Brennix for his refusal to honour God, Tephas indicated that the curse could be lifted if it once again smelled the Blossoms of Al-Andalus.

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