Dustin's Legacy of Fire Campaign
“The eastern cloister walk abuts what must be the outer wall of the monastery itself. The lengthy wall bears a marred sculpture depicting the five figures from the north cloister mural in battle against numerous creatures of evil demeanor. Several of the creatures appear to be composed at least partly of fire, while others are much more difficult to define, being outright monsters of unknown origin or unusual warriors with weapons bonded into their flesh like organic tools. In the background Pale Mountain looms large, and over it two titanic figures lock in a deadly wrestler’s embrace. One has the demoniac visage of a noble efreeti, while the other is a gorgeous woman who could only be a djinni princess. Opposite the sculpted wall, a series of open arches leads out into an open-air courtyard.”
“A sweeping bas-relief sculpture along the north wall depicts five bearded, larger-than-life humans riding the wind with triumph carved upon their faces. Though some of their arms and hands are missing, each is clearly meant to wield a distinctive weapon. One of the five warriors holds a large axe, while another holds a fragment of what must once have been a regal staff. In the distance, an ominous mountain looms over the quintet. East of the wall decoration, two open arches lead into small rooms off the north wall. The south wall is little more than a series of open arches that look out into an open-air courtyard.”
A Knowledge (religion) check identifies the five figures as legendary genies known as the Templars of the Five Winds. The stone carving bears a name for each genie, engraved near their feet. They are, from left to right, Kardswann, Pazhvann, Vardishal, Zayifid, and Davashuum. The latter wields the broken staff, while Kardswann wields the strange axe. No other weapons can be seen on the other damaged statues. Any PC who viewed the bas-reliefs in areas A1a or A1b recognizes Vardishal as the same figure depicted there.
“An open arch along the southern wall at the eastern end of the corridor leads off into darkness, while a series of archways lines the north wall, looking in on the monastery’s massively overgrown courtyard. The southern wall bears a bas-relief sculpture in the form of a triptych. In the first scene, a heroic-looking bearded figure takes leave of four similarly attired companions, who rise off into the heavens, leaving him to stand vigil over the large mountain in the background. The next scene depicts the bearded figure in battle with a flaming half man, half snake creature wielding a spear. The fire spirit transfixes the bearded hero with the spear, seemingly striking a killing blow. In the final scene, the hero appears twice—once on the ground with a wound in his back and once standing over this form, looking down upon it sadly.”
“The outer wall of the west cloister passage bears a massive carving. The central figure—the heroic man with the pointed beard—preaches to a variety of human clerics from throughout the long history of the monastery. The first image depicts the figure manifesting in a spiritual manner to a small group of pilgrims of Sarenrae. Another shows the figure conversing with a man in religious finery while the monastery itself is being constructed in the background. Thereafter follows a procession of similar poses, each depicting a visit by the bearded man and the leader of each era of the temple. The depictions of these clerics often also bear an identifying inscription, complete with dates that span the last several hundred years. The most recent carving is from thirty years ago, and while ample room remains for additional carvings on the west wall, the last thirty feet or so are completely blank.”
Shrine to Vardishal
This small, contemplative chapel is dedicated to Vardishal, a once-immortal warrior slain hundreds of years ago in a great battle near this spot. Pilgrims of Sarenrae who settled in the region about two hundred years ago were drawn here by a goodly spirit, the ghost of a noble warrior who manifested here occasionally to make pronouncements and speak omens. Most of these involved the evil cult of Rovagug and the threat posed by Pale Mountain’s denizens. Some aspect of the traumatic death that turned Vardishal into a ghost in the first place kept him from clearly communicating his warnings, but the flock of Sarenrae took the inchoate pronouncements of the benevolent spirit as a reminder to dedicate themselves to vigilance of their land, and especially to close monitoring of the ominous white mountain on the horizon.
The pilgrims erected their monastery to honor their own god, of course, but they maintained this chapel, built on the spot of the ghost’s most frequent manifestations, to honor him as a symbol of their mutual struggle against evil. The walls of the shrine make out in filigreed religious iconography the bare bones of what the Sarenraen clerics were able to determine about the past of their ghostly benefactor. Careful study of these runes and graven images over the course of twelve hours clearly reveals that the central devotional figure of the shrine was a tall, apparently human warrior named Vardishal, and that this figure served in ancient times with a quintet of genies known as the Templars of the Five Winds.