On Aphend V, there is a vineyard and winery. The vineyard is millennia old, though its reputation does not match its age. For as long as grapes have grown in its soil and wine has aged in its barrels, master vinter after master vinter has moved in, only to be met with catastrophe after disaster until they achieved the lofty status of bankrupt. The population of Nzreth, a rural town located half a mile from the vineyard, consists of former employees of the failed businesses. As a vineyard is large and requires a fair amount of skilled and unskilled workers, the town has grown to a respectable size.
The most recent vinter is a Ni-Kunni Matriarch. Her run, so far, is thirty five years. Some speculate her success is due to her lack of understanding as to how a typical successful operation has run. She has been met with the usual disasters - exploding wine tanks, a toe in a crusher, a small animal riding a conveyor - but she persevered. Her employees are all unskilled, some former physics students from a planet side college, some miners, and a couple of factory workers. Even then, its quality of success has been a topic of contention for the locals. "Is it really a successful winery if its wine tastes of lemon?"
While the wine is made with sour grapes, Lightvale Vineyard and Winery enjoys respectable popularity and profits from several Holdings where noble families have acquired a taste. The success of the winery is debatable, but the success of the business is not.
The vineyard has an on-site chapel. Its Ni-Kunni stained glass speaks to grandeur, but that glass stands out in the way a Pith X-Type Kinetic Deflection Field does on a Velator. The wood of the pews and the ceiling has lost the gleam of its polish and stain from age. No one thought to include wiring for electricity during its construction, so at the bright and early time of 8 AM, the place is lit with candles.
What the church lacks in decorum it makes up with its attendance. During the course of the day, it seems like the entire workforce of the vineyard filters in and out. There are more Khanid and True Amarr in attendance than Ni-Kunni, and friends greet friends with hugs and loud, warm laughter. They seem to follow the example of the single Father working the chapel, who reads sermons of wavering volume to match the ebb and flow of his audience.
Father Izlerim, if his face reflected his personality, would be a plain, simple man with not much in the way of substance between his ears. His forehead's width is only matched by the width of his jaw, which seems to be locked in its position. When he speaks, he does so with his teeth clamped together, in much the same way a tetanus patient would. What he lacks for mobility in his bones, though, he makes up for with a wide variety of expressions he makes with only his lips and his forehead. He greets all newcomers with a stiff smile but a soft hug.
Father Izlerim's version of cleansing is tedious. First, the Father asks for those being cleansed to kneel before the alter. Then he asks for them to lift a ceramic bowl containing a gallon of Holy Water to head level. While they do that, Father Izlerim recites passages of Scripture. If those being cleansed can repeat the passage word-for-word, Father Izlerim dips his fingers into the water and draws a holy symbol on their foreheads with it. After which, the people are asked to stand up, walk down the length of the church and back, only to resume their kneeling position in front of the altar again. Every thirty minutes, Father Izlerim relents. There is a break for cheese and wine.
If an individual being cleansed makes a mistake, Father Izlerim asks them to set down their bowl and stand before him. When they do so, he recites a short prayer without embellishment.
"Dear God Above,
Though (name)'s challenges are great, they persevere to do the right thing in your name. Please allow them the strength of Soul to fight through these trials.
When individuals undergo a longer cleansing, Father Izlerim invites of them to dinner. He only has warm bread, cold cuts, and honey to offer, but he offers them with both mild embarrassment and the utmost sincerity.
At 8 AM every day, services start. Father Izlerim's preaching tends to favor the lighter parts of the Faith. On Mondays he always preaches about the importance of second chances, redemption, and forgiveness, because the crowd of vineyard workers come in hungover from enjoying a little too much of their product over the weekend. On days other than Monday, the general theme of his preaching focuses on the role of hard work and servitude. God loves those who labor! God loves those who serve and serve well.
The workers of the vineyard continue to filter in and out during the services. On the rare occasion a bloodline from outside the Empire visits, some of workers work up the nerve to ask the outsiders questions about their race and faction. "Is it true the Gallente fornicate with animals?" "Your hair is so dark and lovely! Is that its natural color?" "Do the Caldari really never taste the tit of a mother's breast?"
There are breaks in the sermons every two hours for thirty minutes. At 3, the sermons stop and don't resume until 7. During that time, Father Izlerim takes people in for confession. After each person privately confesses in the box, he gives them a goodbye on the outside in the form of an all-encompassing hug. It is easy to get lost in his modest grey robes during those hugs.