Mount Seleya was the name of a sacred mountain on the planet Vulcan. It is said to be the place where Surak formulated his philosophies, including logic and IDIC, in the 3rd century. (ENT episodes: "The Forge", "Awakening", "Kir'Shara")
On a planet rife with hundreds of monasteries, temples, shrines, and ruins to the many sects and even gods which have held sway upon various regions of Vulcan, no place of worship is more important to the modern Vulcan way of life than Mount Seleya.
Ceremonies known to be conducted here include the koon-ut-la, the mind-melding of chosen bond-mates at age seven that causes the adult awakening of pon farr; the coming of age ceremony for Vulcan teenagers who have successfully passed through the rite of passage known as kahs-wan, and are confirmed as adult members of their Houses; and the koon-ut-kal-if-fee. All of these ceremonies are intensely private, and none are normally open to the public. Other families, especially old or influential ones, have their own sacred groves on their ancestral lands. For sufficiently important (or devout) families, the High Priestess of Seleya performs ceremonies on those lands as well. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
History[edit | edit source]
At some point around ten thousand years ago, the peak of Mount Seleya was destroyed in a volcanic eruption so powerful that it cratered moons several light-minutes away from the planet. (TOS novel: Firestorm)
One of the earliest known accounts of Seleya's history is the Battle of Seleya when it was sieged by the warlord Sulen in his attempt at capturing the daughter of T'Vhet, the ruler of the kingdom of ShiKahr. His goal was to wed his enemies daughter to his son in order to form an alliance. Learning this from her spies, T'Vhet hid her daughter at the temple at Mount Seleya in the hope that would not dare attack the clerics. She was horribly mistaken and the warlords armies besieged the mountain, with legends speaking of the inhabitants sending out lightning to rip apart the earth and the warlords armies. It is said that after eighty days, the siege stopped and the clerics surrendered.
Angered at the defiance, the warlord ordered his armies to kill all and to capture the daughter of T'Vhet. None survived as the clerics were massacred and it is said that it is for this reason that the mountain is blood red, though more scientific minded would state that it was simply because of the higher oxide content of the soil. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
- The writers at the Last Unicorn Games apparently forgot that Vulcan blood is green rather than red.
Mount Seleya is located at the far end of Vulcan's Forge. Pilgrimages are made to it for rituals such as the kahs-wan and the final ceremonies of the Kolinahr discipline are held there. Until the time of Surak, Vulcans who had dreams would journey to Seleya where the masters would interpret them. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exiles)
A memorial was held at Mount Seleya for the casualties of the Borg Invasion of 2381 during the weeks following that conflict. Close to fifty million Vulcans were reported to have gathered around the base of the mountain for the event. (TNG novel: Losing the Peace)
Location[edit | edit source]
The 7,000 meter peak of Seleya is kilometers from any other settlement, surrounded to the north and west by a range of hills that eventually turns west and becomes the Mountains of Gol.
Mount Seleya's only contact with civilization is a small shuttleport landing strip several kilometers to the east. Pilgrims can approach the mountain's base only from this direction, across a sandy plain which narrows gradually as you progress, ending at a narrow bridge without railings over a yawning chasm seemingly torn from the earth by a giant hand - as legend holds it was in the famous Battle of Seleya. The mountain gives evidence of its fortress heritage, even though since the Time of Awakening it has been the chief temple of disciplines of peace set down by Surak.
The temple complex at the summit of Mount Seleya stands at the top of a winding staircase containing well over a thousand steps. The thick stone walls and battlements offer further testament to its heritage of violence, though the balustrades now serve as balconies for the meditations of the adepts. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
To reach the Halls is a dangerous task for first the travelers must pass the dangerous Forge after which they must travel up a thousand steps, customarily done so barefoot. Once this is done, the pilgrims reach a plateau beneath the snow stopped peaks with a bridge leading into a cone shaped structure where the Halls resided.
Beneath the bridge lies a chasm where a volcanic river streams which makes the bridge dangerous at times. This is because at night time, the winds pick up speed with such strength that they are capable of toppling a grown Vulcan and make them fall to their death to the magma below. (TOS - Vulcan's Soul novel: Exodus)
Although both monks and laymen use the Temple for study and mediation, many traditional ceremonies conducted at Mount Seleya occur at the base of the mountain within a sacred grove of spindly old-growth trees ringed by stone monoliths. The grove opens at one end into a natural amphitheater that has been hollowed out of the very face of the mountain, and ends at a raised dais with an altar of blood-red stone. At the appointed time of a ritual, a priestess is carried down from the mountaintop on a litter, accompanied by a procession of acolytes carrying chimes or frameworks of miniature bells. (Last Unicorn RPG module: The Way of Kolinahr: The Vulcans)
Myth[edit | edit source]
The peak of Mount Seleya was also subject to an ancient myth known as the Treasury of Erebus that stated that a terrible ice demon resided within the snow at the mountains top.
Alternate timeline[edit | edit source]
In an alternate timeline in which Khan Noonien Singh won the Eugenics Wars and Humanity underwent genetic engineering en masse, the Khanate of Earth conquered Vulcan during the 21st century. The Vulcan government's unconditional surrender was presented to Khan in the rubble of the temple atop of Mount Seleya. (DS9 - Myriad Universes novel: Seeds of Dissent)