Kapalanum (n.) – a seeing device. There are only three in existence and all are located in Zion, one each for past, present and future.
I’m hoping that you’ve read the other articles on the technology of Trailokya that have come out this month. Lot’s of good stuff in them, and a way to get really immersed in the books.
The kapalanum are one of my favorite pieces of technology in the series. The word was constructed using the Sanskrit word kapal, meaning forehead, or top of head. Kapals are a Buddhist/Tibetan religious implement traditionally constructed from the top of a human skull. The bowls were decorated lavishly. In Hindu tradition, some deities use the bowl to drink blood. The rituals surrounding the use of the kapal were to reach higher tantric meditation and usually included imbibing things that would assist in this level of consciousness. In Tibet, they were placed on altars containing offerings, which could be blood, to the gods.
The point of using this particular religious icon, was not only to tie in more with the use of Sanskrit, but to show something that was used in a similar manner to, albeit by different means, tie in the broken memories theme that runs throughout Trailokya. Instead of a human skull, the kapalanum is shaped more like a Grecian urn. Instead of blood, it contains a plasma in which tiny atman are suspended. Their location in Zion is to protect them from those who would abuse the power they possess. Each is housed in the most logical of places: the past is in the library of Akash; the present is at the heights of Otzar and the gates to Samsara; the future is at the top of Mount Zion inside the King’s chambers.
Each kapalanum does exactly what it says. The Akash kapalanum makes use of the documents in the library as well as the impressive connection between the three. The plasma within glows a pale yellow, harkening the lower chakras and the gilded memories of the past. No, they can’t be hacked to make one do what a different one does or cross wires to make it think it’s showing you the past when it’s the future, etc. Still, they’re a very powerful piece of machinery, and they’d be dangerous in the hands of the wrong individual. I bet Belial would love to get his hands on them, and maybe that is why he’s so bent on getting into Zion again?
The Otzar kapalanum requires a piece of the subject to be dropped into it’s plasma in order to interface with specific individuals. So, if you wanted to see the moon, you’d need a bit of moon rock and so on. The craziest part is, that it views from the exact location you find the donor of material. The glow of the plasma here is teal, combining the tones of the midsection chakras and throat.
The King’s kapalanum is the most mysterious of the three. It has never been seen, so it’s existence is more of a rumor than a truth, but as all things come in three, it’s a safe bet it does actually exist. This kapalanum is supposedly how the High Council manage their meddling in the lives of souls and duta, and many plans likely have been forged around their findings in the vessel. The glow from this particular well is violet. Such a glow has been seen coming from the king’s private chambers beyond the council chamber where he sits court.
Is there something special the three can do together? As of yet, the three do not do more than have a theory link between them. They sound like more of a scrying tool than an actual window into true events, though, at least the third one. However, in order to determine the present or future, one must understand the past, and vice versa.
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