Campaign of the Month: January 2013
DANgerous Kalamar 4
Blessings of the Land
Blessings of the Land (usually spoken and written as “Blessings”) has a soft leather cover that conceals a lightweight canon. The inks and print are plain for the first half of the book, with numerous images in the last half.
The book includes four Seasons, and each Season defines a person’s duties concerning tilling the earth and herding the beasts. Alliterative rhymes help farmers and herdsmen remember the passages. A few pages devote attention to fertility among humans and non-humans, as well: recipes for aphrodisiacs and techniques to ensure conception. Blessings of the Land does not ignore the city dweller–it teaches the benefits of owning a garden where one can find both inner peace and ready food. A common motif is the promotion of a simple hardworking farmer to sainthood through his diligence.
Each of the four Seasons provides additional insight beyond the plain word. While on the surface they give instruction and lessons regarding agriculture and farming, the Four (a nickname used by devout followers) also contain a second, deeper message. Allegorically, they describe the four stages of life: conception to toddling, toddling to puberty, puberty to middle age and middle-age to the twilight years. Indeed, Blessings truly is a book about life, whether animal or vegetable.
Literally dozens of High Field Masters have written multiple texts commenting and explaining the meanings and life teachings behind the Seasons. Most of these commentaries build upon one another, though several are in conflict on key points. Nevertheless, in the end, they all agree that the true beauty of
Blessings lies in its allegorical lessons. These lessons include how to raise children (even being so specific as to cover bedtime routines and educational advice), grieving over the loss of a loved one (especially parents or children), dealing with neighborly disputes, etc.
Blessings contains few prohibitions, but they include destruction of a person’s crops or animals. The faith considers rape to be an evil perversion, and the only appropriate punishment is death. Wandering farmhands in search of work should be given at least three days work and three days of food. Blessings costs 30 gold pieces and might be the most common canon. Aside from its availability through temples and shrines, prosperous farmhouses and ranches across Tellene have copies and many households have a spare copy they will sell.