Specifically, the part of a temple in which the equivalent of an altar is situated, also where the religious services are performed.
I need this word for a fantasy novel I'm writing in which no real-life religions exist. I intend for the word to be as general as is possible. Here is the context:
With the remaining renegades scouting the settlement, sometimes literally shaking information out of the inhabitants, they found the imperial guards to be stationed at a large temple-like structure erected with stone pillars and enclosed with emblazoned curtains and banners.
It was dusk, and no watchmen of any sort was set for the garrison, which the renegades confirmed to be a normal occurrence with corroborations from several near-broken mouths. Also gathered was the fact that the leader of the imperial guards lived in the basement of the garrison, under a raised part of the structure that was once a ____ of some kind.
The goal here to show that the people don't really know what organized religion is anymore after imperial occupation, and any specific terms for the structure was forgotten.
- Altar: has specifically Christian association, and is an item to be found in the room in question, rather than the room itself