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The Sage's Travelogue
By The Sage
Well, after a lot of hard work and study, I am finally putting the finishing touches to the first book of my 'Travelogue' for the Realms. It's official title is The Sage's Travelogue - Book I - Being a scholarly study of the lesser known areas of the Realms, unusual creatures, bizarre customs, rare magical items, and other things.
The first book details lesser known realms, hamlets, towns, and waystops that are usually not marked on the many maps that proliferate the Realms.
Located south, and just outside the ancient overgrown forest named Cloak Wood, the hamlet of Wood's Edge is a small port-fishing and agricultural community of approximately 30 buildings and houses that thrives mostly on the infrequent travellers and adventurers who sometimes pass through this trading waystop before entering the wood. The hamlet has a low wooden log palisade and studry iron gate-house protecting it's northern reaches towards the forest, but little else surrounding the community. The rest of the hamlet is spread across the rich farmland in a haphazard fashion. The need for buildings and industry mostly being determined wherever the land is profitable.
Although the land is good for farming and some domestication, little of the produce is exported outside of the town, mostly because the hamlet produces only a very limited amount above it's own needs to feed it's own people. A portion of what little overflow of produce is grown is sent via trade caravan to the small tent-community of Tymoran priests stationed just outside the east portion of Wood's Edge proper. The tent-community houses at any one time, at least 5-6 lvl 3 priests led by a lvl 5 'high' priest. The small dome tents surround a finely crafted stone shrine to Tymora, which serves the priests immediate needs. The priests themselves were sent as a temporary military force attached to the community by Baldur's Gate mostly for the community's protection against the gremlins, satyrs, and other less common varieties of monsters that inhabit the wood.
As well as farming and domestication, some trade by sea is allowed, but only by those mariners who wish to combat the difficult terrain of the lower Sword Coast, and a small population of sea beasts, monsters, and other various creatures. Also, the amount of produce grown will also determine the need for trade by sea. Because of these deterents, the small port and moorings are rarely used and little maintained by the community as ships will stop here at this port only on infrequent occassions. Wood's Edge has only a small standing fleet of fishing ships, but no trade boats, relying entirely on what visits the port.
Wood's Edge has no standing militia or military force, simply because the population of the community does not have enough residents to compensate for the absence of a regularly trained militia. Instead when adventurers and travellers who make their trade in battle and tactics pass through the community, they are encouraged by the community leader, and his ruling council to stay in the hamlet for several days to train some of the members of the community that can be spared, for example some of the elderly, or the young, in basic battle skills and tactics. They are not expected to work for free and every adventurer who helps to train a few residents can expect free basic provisions for their journey north to Baldur's Gate and also a free stay at the only inn located in the hamlet as well as free meals and mugs of ale at the inn's tavern. Once the training is completed the adventurers are allowed to continue, and the hamlet is left with a number of residents skilled in the basic arts of attack and defense. The remaining portion of overflow produce is stored away in warehouses and granaries for exactly this purpose.
As well as basic training received by passing adventurers, the priests of Tymora are also teaching several younger members of the community, the basic tenets and beliefs of the Tymoran faith, with the intention of them becoming initiates when their basic training is complete.
The town itself has little history beyond what it's oldest residents can remember, and several records from different periods kept in the community meeting hall. Nearly every resident is so tied in with the actual workings of the community from young children, to the elderly, that their is little time to produce written histories, and books of knowledge on the day-to-day life of the hamlet. Instead, the priests try to instill in their biding young initiates the true value of knowledge, and the benefits it can provide for the community.
What little history has been recorded, either orally or in written format tells of several skirmishes with the creatures of the Cloak Wood, the wooden palisade being the end result of the first of these attacks. The iron gate-house was erected soon after the priests arrived ten years ago, citing that it would improve the town's defenses, and aid in protection of the community. A plague brought by an afflicted halfling from the south, which struck the village several years ago nearly brought an end to the community, fortunately the priests of Tymora arrived in time to prevent a complete village wide epidemic. Last year saw a large stampede of forest dwelling creatures from Cloak Wood flee the forest rampaging through the north and east portions of the town, damaging several important buildings. The reason for the stampede was later to be revealed as the explosive collapse of the gate, which scarred a large region in the center of the forest. At present both the priests of Tymora, and visiting Loremasters, have been unable to divine why the gate collapsed, or what caused the large swath of destruction. The town council is considering employing a number of druids to try and restore the pristine nature of the wood.
The hamlet is lead by an open-minded half-elf of fifty-five winters by the name of Gregery Val'toth, a semi-retired blacksmith from Baldur's Gate, who assumed the position after his father died during the plague several years ago. Val'toth heads a council of six representatives of the local community, business and industry concerns housed inside the village. Council meetings are held once every month, pending any major threat to the community. The council meets inside a great hollowed out great oak that stands in the center of the hamlet, a small chamber being built inside the base of the great tree. The position that Val'toth holds, that of community leader, is a life position, or should he choose to retire, the title then passes to one of the community representatives of the council, normally the elder of the two and a new member from the community selected to replace his/her now vacant position. Val'toth deemed that only a community representative should be chosen as successor because he fears what may happen to the local population should either a member for business or industry be chosen.
The local buildings of the community hold very little other than what is necessary for day-to-day operations of the hamlet. A warehouse sits alongside the council chamber, while several small granaries have been built both before and behind the warehouse. A blacksmith, operated by Val'toth and two apprentices serves the immediate needs of the community, while the local inn and tavern The Tipsy Dragon is run by the two members for business on the council. The members for industry are responsible for all the other operations of the hamlet, such as food production, building, and so on. The housing districts for the town's inhabits, crowd around hard-packed gravel roads that meander through the hamlet in a warped spider's web pattern, and are the responsibility of the community representatives on the council.
The hamlet has two shrines, plus the shrine to Tymora held in the priests semi-enclave. A shrine to Umberlee sits just outside the west portion of the hamlet near the port overlooking the Sword Coast. It is maintain only when those wishing to use the port pass by, and is otherwise forgotten. The second shrine sits before the great oak of the council chambers and represents the faithful of Eldath. Over the last several years, the shrine has been visited by a female halfling druid named Elisaar, from somewhere in the south. It is not known why she visits the shrine, as she speaks little when she arrives, and rarely does anyone notice when she departs. It is believed by some of the elderly or rather those in the know, and agreed upon by the priests of Tymora, that the shrine may represent a site sacred to the faithful of Eldath. However a search by the priests in the libraries of Candlekeep has revealed very little.
The information written here represents careful studies of both the 2e Grand Tour of the Realms , and the 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign setting .
The village of Braszov was until very recently, a trading waystop for caravans travelling north along the Trade Way from Scornubel to Soubar, and then back south again. The village sits inside a small bend of the Trade Way, almost midpoint between the the town of Soubar and the Caravan City of Scornubel in the south. The present reality of Braszov is very different from that of the peaceful town of 20 buildings - including an inn and tavern - that it was before the takeover by the Black Network. Now the town is simply a front for the Zhentarim to conduct their particular brand of trade, - mainly slaves, coerced creatures such as the local goblinoids who inhabit portions of the Reaching Woods, and other illegal contraband. The town also serves as a temporary military base for garrisons out of Darkhold.
The Black Network has complete control over every business and operation conducted within the town proper. The local inn and tavern operate solely for the purposes of the Zhentarim officers stationed here, and the recently built barracks outside the city, functions as housing for the Zhentilar troops.
For all intents and purposes, the only true population the town has to speak of are the slaves who are responsible for keeping the businesses and industry of the town in operation. The six housing blocks built along the main road through the town were burnt to the ground, to make room for the Zhentarim training facility for the troops stationed at the barracks. Most of the local population were instantly regarded as slaves by the Zhentarim leaders, and shipped off to various holdings within the Black Network's sphere of influence. This dispersion solved two problems. It prevented the Network from having to deal with a rebellious or nuisance population, and provided a quick workforce to operate most of the industry of the village, such as the local blacksmith, a building force for the barracks, and women for the 'entertainment' of the Captains of the Zhentilar.
A Shrine to Cyric dominates the center of town, erected soon after three clerics of Cyric from Darkhold arrived to take up residence to provide aid to the Zhentilar troops who occupy the town. The clerics are both of 3rd level, and are supported in their duties by five initiates (0 level). The clerics operate the Temple to Cyric that has been built under the surface of the Council Hall, by slaves and laborer Hill Giants under enchantment.
The command of the town's Zhentilar garrisons falls to the highest ranking Zhentilar officers of the units currently stationed in the town, and is normally a Captain (LE human, Ftr6). The Captain in turn is supported by 1 lieutenant (LE half-orc Ftr4), and an elite guard consisting of 4 soldiers (LE, humans, orcs Ftr2). At any one time there can be as many as three garrison units stationed in the town with enough food and water to support them for 10 days. The food is shipped in by caravan, and supplemented by the four farms operated by the Zhentarim and worked by slaves, on the outskirts of the town. Overall command of the town is held solely by a human wizard of Cyric by the name of Evis Taronne (LE human, Wiz8). He resides in the town Council Hall, located at the entry to the town, and has a host of slaves tending to his every need. He is arrogant, stubborn, and very sure of himself. He has no guards, or protection of any kind other than his own magic, as he strongly believes there is very little that can threaten him here.
The town began as a retired caravan masters dream 20 winters ago. The ailing caravan master wanted to settle down with all his hard earned wealth, and so he commissioned a petition with the local council of Soubar to begin construction of a small waystop for caravans and travellers on their way north to the Savage Frontier. Relgard Braszov, the merchantman, as he was known, profited a great deal from trade and shippments made along the Trade Way, and so he decided to build his town along the Way, midpoint between the two surrounding trade points. Construction began the following year, and soon immigrants attracted by the potential for wealth soon arrived on the burgeoning town's doorsteps. Within 5 years of it's inital beginnings as an inn and a tavern, the population of the town was now reaching 2,000, and had a blacksmith, granaries, a refurbished inn, and a council chamber, as well as all the other necessary amenities associated with the numerous other trading waystops across the Realms. The town prospered under Relgard's prosperous leadership for 13 years. Then in 1365DR, a series of raids conducted by the goblinoids hidden in the Reaching Woods, forced Relgard to hire mercenaries and a group of adventurers who were passing through to help halt the advances being made by the goblins. Unbeknownst to Relgard, and the towns inhabitants, the goblinoids were actually in the employ of the Zhentarim, hired to harass the town so they would call for help.
The next day as Relgard, and the mercenaries prepared for the defense of the town, the adventurers who had been in the town when the attack began mysteriously disappeared. Relgard unsure of what to make of this, quickly asked the mercenaries to arm some of the townspeople to compensate for the adventurers apparent abandonment. It was then that the reason for the disappearance of the adventurers became clear. Relgard watched in horror as the adventurers returned to the village at the head of the goblin horde. Scanning his mind to devise strategies as the combined goblin and adventurer force rampaged through the outskirts of his town, Relgard turned to the head of the mercenary force to devise a plan. He was met with a sword in his gut. The mercenaries - also in the employ of the Zhentarim - had quickly and quietly seized control of all the major points of the town during the chaos of the first stages of the attack. Relgard died, and the rest of the town council were quickly executed as the Zhentarim took complete military occupation of the town and it's surrounding environs. To this day, any trade caravan not sponsored by the Black Network, that passes near the town, is attacked and captured, it's supplies given over to the needs of the town. No lawful force as yet has made a move against the town of Braszov.
The Zhentarim regularly send out patrols to keep the surrounding regions of their dominion firmly under their control. For Zhentarim encounters in the area, please use the Zhentarim Sample Encounter Groups listing on pg. 99 of the supplement Lords of Darkness .
This text was compiled from information researched from several sources - 2e Grand Tour of the Realms , 3e Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting , and the 3e Lords of Darkness .
Meldengard is not really a town at all, but rather a ruined and ramshackle collection of rotting orckin, and goblinoid camps lying around a poorly built crumbling stone wizard-tower. Located high in the North away from the region of Damara, Meldengard sits upon the shores of the frozen tundra sandwiched between where the Galena Snake and the Icelace River met. The Tower itself, can be said to have been built many years ago during the war between Damara and it's northern neighbour, Vaasa. The war began over 15 years ago when a Vaasan military force - sent by the Witch-King of Vaasa - invaded the southern realm of Damara. The war itself lasted for 10 years, and at it's end the Vaasan army defeated the armies of King Virdin of Damara, claiming much of the northern regions of the kingdom for themselves.
During the closing years of the war, the kingdom of Damara began to lose several key engagements, allowing the Vaasan army to strike deeper and deeper in Damaran terrority. King Virdin desperate to resolve the issue hastily commissioned his High Wizard, named Melden Val'iloth (LG, human, Wiz 12) to head north - with a small force of clerics, several enchanters and a highly mobile force of laborers- into the deepest cold lands and recruit an army comprised primarily from the various orc and goblin tribes that populated the northern regions. Melden was permitted to use whatever means necessary to force the goblins and orcs compliance, even offering a large portion of the countries treasury, should the realm survive. This, more than the spells of enchanters and clerics, motivated the goblins and orcs to 'assist' the southern neighbours.
Melden sent word south, to the capital that he had succeeded in gaining help of the tribes, detailing the pact the two forces had agreed to and what it would cost the Kingdom. Melden never received any word back from the King, so began the next phase of the plan outlined by Virdun's military strategists. Melden set the laborers, and those orcs and goblins willing to profit from the exercise, to work on the foundations of the tower he would conduct the armies to battle from. The workforce went day and night with little rest and little food, the humans motivated mostly by the fact that this venture could hopefully save their homeland and their families. The goblins and orcs, were motivated simply by the promises of wealth and conquest, and the occassional treasure caravans that the wizard would have transported to the orc and goblin leaders for their continued service and support.
Whatever the motivation, the efforts of the laborers and orcs and goblins paid off. The stone tower was contructed with a week, and was soon populated by the strategtists and military commanders sent from the capital upon word of the towers completion, and Melden himself. As a final directive, Melden then ordered the construction of a small village-style collection of tents, camps, two blacksmiths, a wooden barracks and horse husbandry facilities to house, arm and train the humans, orcs and goblins, awaiting the word to strike from the King. Melden also organised the food shipments and the construction of a small temple to Torm (for the clerics and built into a small hullock overlooking the village of the Tower) sent from the capital to feed the troops and keep the morale situation from collapsing.
Several weeks passed, Melden and the military commanders scheduled training routines for the orcs and goblins (when they would co-operate), those laborers who offereed their services, and the ten-thousand strong army sent north from Damaran. However Melden became increasingly concerned when some of the most recent reports he had sent south, to the capital were not being responded to. Finally, word from the capital seemed to halt completely. Melden sent riders and messengers south to discover the problem. Only one ever returned. The messenger told the wizard that the entire kingdom had been overun by the Vaasan forces, and that the capital was in ruins. The kings palace had been razed, and the various governmental structures burnt to the gound. The first thing Melden asked after the initial shock of what had happened, had worn off, was the status of the underground Kingdom treasury. The messenger told Melden, that the treasury had been cleared out and the contents within had been shipped to the Vaasan occupation zones.
Needless to say, that when the orc and goblin leaders learned of this turn of events, they quickly withdrew their support, immediately turning upon the wizard and his human army, and the collected townsfolk. The battle was short, and brutal, Melden himself receiving mortal wounds that would eventually take his life. The fighting between the two forces lasted 5 hours. Although the orcs and goblins struck quickly to begin with, rallying against the humans, the humans were more expertly trained and eventually managed to drive the orcs and goblins not slaughtered in the first few hours of battle off into the northern lands. When the battle was done, more than 6,000 of the human army lay dead or dying, almost the same number of orc and goblin bodies also littered the area. The real damage however was to the makeshift willage itself and to it's laborers and those villages sent north from the capital to poulate the town. Entire tents and dome-camps had been burnt or torn down, the blacksmiths shattered under the onslaught of orc-shaman spells, the other facilities of the village struck by goblin sorcerers looking for loot and other things they could take from the battlefield. The bodies of those human caught in the crossfire littered the dirt paths through and around the camps. Gravely injured, and seeing no alternative Melden slowly ordered those troops remaining around him, 123 in total, into the tower. The rest of the army fought valiantly against the combined orc and goblin force. By the time the inhabitants of the tower reached the inner chambers, Melden was dead. The retreat proved ineffective however. As a parting shot before they fled, the orc-shamans and goblin sorcerers mustered their combined magical might and launched a viscious spell volley of lightning bolts and fireballs at the stone tower. Under the assault, the top of the tower collapsed in upon itself, crashing all those inside, as the top fell down into the innards of the tower proper.
With the orcs and goblins driven off, their town destroyed, it's leader gone and their homeland conquered, the remaining villagers and soldiers collected together around the now crumbling wizard tower. They buried the dead, and gathered together what supplies that remained. The clerics of the temple of Torm also lay dead, caught completely by surprise in the attack. The remaining former inhabitants abandoned Meldengard, and headed off into the wilderness, praying to Tymora, that luck would fall upon their weary shoulders.
This grassland village is located at the junction of the trade road east out of the city of Tantras, and the road heading south for the city of Procampur, just north of the small mountain range - the Earthfast Mountains - that seperates Raven's Bluff and Procampur. The town itself is laid around the junction and is only protected by a wooden palisade built along the portions of the village not surrounding the junction, at about the time the town was first settled. It has only two stone watch towers constructed on both sides of the east trade road heading into town that are mainly used for defense. They are only manned however, when the town itself is under threat.
The town is home to some 5,000 immigrants from across the face of the collected Realms. The town began around a vast temple of Lathnader built in 1345DR under the watchful eye of a Cleric of Lanthander named Malleus Lightbringer (LG, human, Clr 10). He organised the construction of a vast temple to Lathander he intended to build at the junction. No one knows why Malleus decided to build a temple in an area so far outside the realms of civilised towns, and when he had been asked, Malleus would only reply that he had been directed by a vision from Lathander himself to erect a temple facing the east.
The town itself seemed to grow up around the temple. It began in 1353DR shortly after a stout and bald dwarven merchant named Dunthar Ironbane (LN, dwarf, Ftr2), who had been using the trade route, travelled past the recently contructed temple, and took notice of the amount of caravan traffic heading south from the northern realms. Seeing the potential for profit, Ironbane quickly gave up his job as proprietor of the 'Olaf Trading Coster' in High Haspur, closing up shop and relocating to the area surrounding the temple. Ironbane consulted the cleric before hand, but received no reply, so he went ahead with his plans for building a small town, with all the amenities he would require for his business. Once construction began on a number of warehouses, and blacksmiths Ironbane decided he would need to populate his town with some basic services for those visitors wishing to stay in town. So he contacted an old Dwarven friend from his early trading days in the Great Rift, to come to his town and run the tavern and inn Ironbane was planning to construct. His friend agreed and told Ironbane he would be in town by the end of the month.
As the village grew around the temple, more and more immigrants seemed to flock to this locale drawn mostly by a sense of peace and prosperity represented by the often-silent temple in the town's midst. Agriculture also made a fresh beginning here. Clerics from the temple, eager to try new and innovative techniques of farming, and land usage quickly began the process of setting aside large tracts of land within the hinterlands of the town, specifically for farming and grazing.
With the population passing two thousand, Ironbane put out a call for local merchants and business owners to visit his home near the temple. Inside, Ironbane and the merchants began the slow process of creating a governing body for the town based on the sound laws of dwarven codes of conduct, and business operations. For the most part, the multi-racial residents of the town didn't seem to mind the dwarven structured town body, just so long as members of different races were allowed to sit the council. Ironbane readily agreed and the town council was formed, with Ironbane as mayor.
The population of the village quickly climbed, and soon all the basic needs of the poulation were being met, by opportunistic merchants and proprietors hoping to set up shop in town. In fact the influx of merchants and potential businesses, became some great that Ironbane and the ruling council had to put a temporary ban on immigration, as competition between the merchants of the town and their businesses became soon intense, that several riots broke out in the streets when prices for local services sky-rocketed. This was a result mainly of the intensive methods of competition the merchants employed, and was slowly eroding away the foundations of the community.
Business in town has prospered since those early days, and Ironbane's Rest now rivals some of the more famous merchant cities of the Realms, all by itself. The presence of a powerful temple has deterred many types of monstrous creatures from assaulting the town, and the presence of powerful merchants and their hired guards has kept trouble within the town to a minimum. The only major event in the recent past has been the passing of Ironbane, who died in 1369DR from failing health and an old wound received from his early days as a caravan guard. Leadership of the town and council passed to the most prosperous merchant and business owner of the time, a human merchant named Fatius Melborn (CN, human, Sor 2). Melborn's rule has been fair and just, however he seems to rule on decisions more with his bank accounts and money-purse than with reason and logic. In fact some residents have called him cold and calculating, more in love with wealth and power than anything else. Only time will tell whether this will cause problems later.
The only other event of note, occured last year when Malleus left the temple for the first time in three years, collecting his adventuring gear and heading out towards the east, alone. He spoke to no one before he left, and none of the clerics knew why he was leaving. The only thing they told the council was that for several months before he leftr, Malleus had been in constant deep meditions, often muttering incoherent babble why in his trance. Rumors persist among the townsfolk, that Malleus had communion with his god, who had given him another vision, to this dday, no one knows why Malleus abandoned the temple and left Ironbane's Rest.
Temple of Serene Enlightenment
Located deep in the heart of the Wu Pi Te Shao Mountains range, south of the Empire of Shou Lung, the isolated Temple of Serene Enlightenment is actually a very unique place among the lands of the exotic east. It is only one of a few places in the East that actually has regular contact with the Realms of the West, to as far as Waterdeep on the Sword Coast. The sole reason for this is due to the presence of the Temple of Serene Enlightenment based in the heart of the great mountainous Temple-city holding. It functions as a hermitage for Monks from many different Orders from across the Realms, both West and East. It is said that the Temple-city is so peaceful and serene that the only sounds that can be heard are the calls of the birds who inhabit the mountain range, and the soft unbroken chants of the monks within the Temple.
The structure of the Temple-city is based upon the supreme order of the Heavens, in that, every single place and locale within the Temple-city has it's defined place where it should be located and nowhere else. To upset this order is to invite Chaos into the world corrupting the hearts and minds of all those of pure spirit. The hierarchy of the Temple-city is based along exactly the same methods of Order and Structure. Each Monk, or member of the Orders has a unique place within the overall structure of the Temple-city, and a specifically defined task that must be performed at the exact same time, every time, every day. The reason for the Monk's complete dedication to ultimate Order and Structure is twofold. The first, the sense of structure that all this order creates helps define every monks place in the celestial order of things, and also keeps the minds of the monks so intuned with the cosmic forces of Order and Chaos within the multiverse, that the very fabric of the multiverse seems to respond to the whims of the Monks. The second, due to the deep connection the Monks have with the cosmos, the forces of Order and Chaos are actually believed to be held in place by the chants and prayers of these monks alone.
It is written within the ancient texts of the temple, that should for any reason at all, the chanting of the Monks stop, the forces of the cosmos will fall out of synch, disrupting the delicate balance of Order and Chaos, which will in turn allow either of the two forces to gain too much presence within the multiverse throwing everything within the material planes into confusion. The monks sternly believe that everything within the multiverse exists due to the presence of Order and Chaos, but the balance between these two cosmic forces gives everything the form that it has. To disrupt that balance would encourage all reality to collapse into a cold shapeless void of formlessness. The balance between Order and Chaos is what allows both to exist without dominating the multiverse.
The Temple-city is dominated mostly by the Temple of Serene Enightenment , a vast star-shaped complex consisting of four points each facing the cardinal points of the compass - North, East, West, and South. The complex consists of only one level and each of the four sections facing the cardinal directions contains one sect of monks responsible for keeping their portion of the cosmos in balance with their ceaseless chanting. In the center of the focus of the temple, resides the Altar of Singular Thought. It is here that the High Monk of the Temple, called the Kar'a'yatar , kneels before the altar in complete silence and eternal vigil. From this point the Kar'a'yatar can hear all the chanting from all four sects of the Temple. It is the Kar'a'yatars task to hear these chants and give them form within his mind, combining the rhythms of the chanting into a singular song of silent thought. It is told by the Monks that the Kar'a'yatar's thoughts are what keeps the balance in synch.
Outside the temple, very little exists within this moutainous region, a few house-constructs built at the time of foundation have been given over to the duty of temple maintainence. Monk amenities are housed within the Temple sects. Other than these buildings, and the Temple, the only other place the city holds is a small dome-shaped holding located past the city entrance. Called, The Dome of Supreme Patience , it is here that visiting Monks, sages, and scholars are held in company - by the Monks responsible for the day-to-day operations of the city - until such time as they have been given a blessing by the Buy'up'yatar , or Holy Administrator. Once the Buy'up'yatar has deemed those he sees as blessed, they can pass freely into the rest of the city. They are told however not to interupt the workings of the main Temple itself. If anyone who visits the city has any questions or queries they are told by the Holy Administrator to direct all their inquiries to the Mal'yatar'betu , or Monks of the Divine Sevice. These monks perform all the duties consigned to them by the Holy Administrator, and their duties range from, Temple maintainence, food service, acting as guides to visitors, and perhaps, the most important duty of all, temporary points in the sects should one monk be unable to fufill his chanting.
The main reason, monks, sages and scribes will visit the Temple is to experience the chanting and works of the monks of the main Temple first hand. It is said by some of the visitors, that once they left the Temple, they had a greater understanding of the multiverse, and had shared a measure of enlightenment about the greater essence of cosmic forces within the cosmos.
The written history of the Temple-city dates back at least 5,000 years, but the Holy Administrator has claimed at times to have knowledge of the founding of the city long before the Empires of the East rose to dominance. Reference has been given to the time period by a certain portion of his lectures that states, that he had visited the lands to the West but retreated back to the East because the West was infested with large brutish creatures and flying wyrms representative of the Celestial Dragons of Legend. It is believed by Western sages and scholars that this was during the time, the Troll, and Giant Empires were at their peak within Faerun, and the Dragons ruled the skies.
The foundation of the Temple itself is said to have occurred when a lone Monk from the lands of the South wandered north into the vast mountain ranges in search of Enlightenment. What he found was a great Dragon of immense proporations sleeping deep within a vast vale in the heart of the mountains. The monk approached the great Wyrm wearily, anxious to cross the range at this low point. As the monk made his way slowly down the slopes and into the vale, he noticed a near infinite number of hourglasses surrounding the sleeping dragon, each recording a different amount of time. Intrigued, the Monk slowed to a halt near a collection of the hourglasses. He bent to retrieve one from the sandy ground. As soon as his hand closed around the glass of the recorder, the Great dragons eyes flew open. The Monk completely stunned by Dragon-fear dropped the Hourglass and watched as the Dragon rose to sitting position, stretching out it's broad wings. A deep booming voice resounded around the vale, shattering the Monk's iron revolve, causing him to cower into a crouched position, hugging his legs to his chest.
"So...,you have came seeking answers to your Questions on Fate", echoed the voice of the Great Wyrm.
The monk completely stunned, did not answer. So surprised was he that the dragon understood the real reason for his journey.
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