WiP: The Basilica of St. Leibowitz the Booklegger...
This month's Lite Challenge ("Zooming in Further="=) appeals to me even though I'm pressed for time in all aspects of my life just now. Last month I posted a non-entry for the Lite Challenge ("The Town="=)that showed the village of Sanly Bowitz, inspired by Walter Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz. When I was making that map I had a thought that I'd like to maybe do a map of the cathedral at some point. So, here goes:
This will be the Basilica of St. Leibowitz the Booklegger, the blessed martyr of the Leibowitzan order. Here's some fake history for the village and the cathedral itself, posted with the town map last month:
Keep in mind that this isn't some grand expression of Church opulance during the flush of European expansion...it's a post-apocalyptic stone heap put together on a shoestring budget by the faithful. The Church in those days was poor and under oppression itself. Travel and transport were limited so the building was built mostly by local stonemasons (under the guidance of expert architects from New Rome) using locally available resources (mostly excavated reinforced concrete from before the Flame Deluge). Great care was taken to preserve Fallout Shelter, which is now accessible via a stairwell off of the nave.
(This is) the village of Sanly Bowitz and its vicinity, a few hundred years after the events of year 3,174 as described in Fiat Lux (part II of the book). The village that would eventually become Sanly Bowitz was a small collection of hovels at the time Lord-Mayor Hannegan II, ruler of the Texarkana empire, began his conquest of the western plains. Balked in his attempts, through a scouting mission unknowingly led by renowned scholar Thon Thaddeo Pfardentrott, to use the Leibowitzan Abbey as a staging ground for his raids on the Empire of Denver, Hannegan laid siege to the abbey and declared the Holy Roman Church, as led by the Papacy in New Rome, a non-entity within the Empire.
The order of Saint Leibowitz weathered the storm, as did the residents of Sanly Bowitz. In the centuries following Hannegan II's reign, the Church was reinstated and the Leibowitzan Order grew in renown (in part because of the reluctant praise it received in the secular world from Thon Pfardentrott) as the source of much lost knowledge.
Sanly Bowitz, as it had come to be called, became something of a tourist attraction, especially after the construction of a modest cathedral on the spot of Fallout Shelter, the ancient ruins first discovered by Brother Francisco of the Order centuries prior. Within its altar are stored several relics of the Blessed Leibowitz, including numerous doohiki and thingumbob as well as the original blueprints found by Brother Francisco. Above the altar, encased in hand-blown glass, rests the skull of Emily of the Golden Tooth, St. Leibowitz' wife prior to the Flame Deluge and his sacred vows.
The town truly began to prosper when Emperor Hongan Lupas (Mad Wolf), the first Texarkanan ruler of plains nomad descent and a true friend of the Church, ordered an crew of his best sappers to redirect numerous water sources into a channel formed by the ancient roadway running to the south of the town. In mere years the town quadrupled in size as new residents flocked to the formerly parched lands.
I'll post some more details of the cathedral itself as I go along. For now, here's my starter image...just a blown-up, rotated clip from the town map overlaid with the basic shape of the cathedral and the wall surrounding it. Hopefully I find some time, and the will, to work on this and get it out of my head.