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The temple was large and looked like it had been there for ages. A pair of mighty two-headed elephants formed pillars to either side of a door as tall as three Nyueng Bao men. The two-headed elephant represented the god of luck among the Gunni. I recall One-Eye saying luck took that form because it was powerful and two-faced.

Murgen, She Is the Darkness, ch. 26

The Vinh Gao Ghang Temple of Ghanghesha was an ancient temple located in the giant swampy delta where the great river of the southern continent meets the western ocean. It has a long history, but by the time of the modern Annals, it was a central place of the Nyueng Bao race.

Before Croaker's Annals[]

Regarding the temple's ancient history, Tobo explained the following in Soldiers Live:

[The golden pickax] must have been the key that belonged to the Deceivers who hid the Books of the Dead back in Rhaydreynak's time. They must've hidden the pickax under the temple of Ghanghesha. The temple has a long history. It started out as a Janaka shrine. The Gunni took over and used it as a retreat. Then the survivors of Rhaydreynak's pogrom chased the Gunni out. But they faded away. Nyueng Bao folklore talks about bitter fighting over doctrine in the early days. A century later Gunni holy men from the cult of Ghanghesha began to come back to the swamp. Eventually most Nyueng Bao forgot Khadi and adopted Ghanghesha.

For many centuries, the temple was the location where the golden pickax – a priceless shadowgate key – had been stored and forgotten.

Bleak Seasons[]

Soulcatcher learned of the temple and the golden pickax from the Howler during the Siege of Dejagore. After the siege, she invaded the temple, and used her power to torture and intimidate the priests to surrender the pickax. (She would go on to use it to cross the homeworld shadowgate and tinker with the machinery in the fortress with no name, causing colossal earthquakes throughout the southernmost regions of the southern continent.) Years later, in Water Sleeps, Soulcatcher mentioned that during her invasion of the temple, she had also wiped out the masters of the Path of the Sword who attempted to stop her. This all transpired concurrently during the events of Bleak Seasons.

She Is the Darkness[]

For "defiling" herself with a foreigner named Murgen, Ky Sahra was secreted away from the Black Company and forced to labor in the temple by her mother Gota and her supporter Uncle Doj. The traveling merchant Banh Do Trang delivered Murgen's letter to her at the Temple. She gave birth to her son, Tobo, there as well. Murgen, in his disembodied spirit-walking form, visited Sahra at the temple several times during She Is the Darkness. She recognized his presence: the first few times, she was terrified, but later, she deeply treasured his visits.

Water Sleeps[]

In Water Sleeps, Soulcatcher flew to the Nyueng Bao swamp on her flying carpet and terrorized the temple a second time. She was looking in the wrong place for the Black Company, which was actually hiding out in Banh Do Trang's warehouse within Taglios. When Soulcatcher prepared to fly out yet again, the temple was spared a third invasion when her flying carpet – having been sabotaged by Jaul Barundandi – disintegrated over the great river.

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