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ID: 3530


January 3, 2007, 3:33 pm

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Holokrine Holy Monastery


A masterpiece of religious architecture and a major center of learning in the last era, The Monastery is still considered a place of reverence, especially for those who love the written word.

The Chapel and Monastery at Holokrine overlooks the strong headwater of the Great River in the northern region, just short of the Tower Wall Mountains. It was built, not on a peak, but halfway up a hillside on a site chosen to afford protection and concealment from prying eyes and as a kind of monastic humility. It is built on a verdant promontory located in the middle of a mountain cirque, which is often wreathed in clouds. (This image has often been captured on frescos, illustrations, and other medium, as one of the most strikingly holy. (Few actually know that it is a real Chapel) The Holy Center has this image, with a holy light shining through the high clouds, in the Monstean Chapel.) A peak on the opposite side of the river is over 2,500 strides (meters) high. The monasteries of Northern Region of the last era are not isolated, unlike their counterparts in the Southern and Western regions. They were built in a village environment. Holokrine Holy Monastery is surrounded by many hamlets in the surrounding valleys, dales, hills, and mountains. The better to spread The Faith and to make commerce easier.

The Site here was dedicated to Most Venerably Holokrine of the Book. The Holy Folk here are believers in his holy guides, in the sanctity of books and knowledge, in the study of logic to express faith, and that a wise man will always choose the right path (or know that he is to be “lost”). He wandered these lands in his end years, passing on the teachings and guides that color the faith of the Norther Regions still today.  

The Founding of this Church started one year, to the day, from his mysterious death in Bannalstad. The Dour Prince had a chance meeting with the man the day before. He was so impressed by him, that he was moved to tears upon learning that this great light of truth had been lost to the world.  He commissioned the Chapel here, and eight others.  They are all that survive of his lineage’s legacy.

The complex is comprised of seven buildings. The main building, The Chapel, is just short of a cathedral in size and style. Its tall central somewhat pointed dome rests on the four imposing pillars of the lateral walls. (The domes are made of reddish tiles) The outside walls are dotted with triangular recesses (made of brownish grey stone). There are many pointed rooflines along the various spines of the building covered in the reddish tile, to keep it free from the weight of snow. A fresco in the apse depicts the many trials of the holy faith, with an The Sainted Holokrine behind the alter. The patron for the chapel and related complex was the Dour Prince Kapaan. He is is depicted in heart breaking detail with his family in the south transept (a transversal nave intersecting the main nave). It is the only surviving image of the Dour Prince given the Caldorian Uprising. Apart from one or two minor restorations carried out three and four centuries ago, The Chapel has retained its original character.
There is the small somewhat pointed domed Church, called The Small Church at Holokrine, dates from two centuries after the founding. It was reserved for “local use” or private ceremonies.

Two small side chapels (proper chapels) were added to the original - The Chapel.

The Great House was started five decades after The Founding. This three story building replaced the hovels for the holy men and clerics here. In the early centuries of The Chapel, it was here that learning occurred. The Church emphasized Letters and the Holy Words, but taught history and other Imperial Studies. These days, only those holy folk in direct attendance to the Chapel reside here. The rest are found in the large refectory built outside the bounded limits of The Chapel grounds, halfway between the closest village and the grounds. 

Because of the good relations the Monastery had with the locals, and its somewhat remote locations, it has avoided damage or destruction based on the Caldorian Uprising, The Great Reformation and The Greater Twenty Year War, that claimed many older holy buildings.

There are still studies here. The monks still hold seminars on a variety of subjects. The Church holds many a conclave at the site. Many still study in the Great Library found in the Great House. Here, the only surviving original copies of many great works are found. Some are even pre-imperial. While the emphasize the theurgical/ the spirit, they run the gamut of knowledge. The Monastery follows Holokrine’s direction to the faithful to revere the old and all knowledge.

One must be a member of the holy order to access the library; or have a special pass from the crown government. Any student must spend a week in holy preparation before any studies in the library are allowed.

This brief part of the description is what makes the setting dramatic. Players will always need access to the information here, but be unable to properly access it.

The Bell Tower of Song is a three-story tall free-standing belltower. The distinctive domes and pillar look of the buildings is best expressed here. The eight bells in the tower make a beautiful call to faith, and have been used to give a variety of songs. It can be heard throughout the region here, tolling four times each day.

The Scriptorium is perhaps what The Monastery is best known for. Here The Holy Words and many greater works from earlier eras were copied with the greatest of care and artistry. Most of the monks trudge from the Refectory to the Scriptorium every day. (Though the habit of sleeping at one’s desk is quite common). Though The Reformation (and the Press) has reduced the need for the word passed here, beautifully illuminated holy works are still made here. Each Noble Family in the region, once raised by the Crown Government, receives a copy of the Holy Words from the Monastery.

There are also a number of splendid khachkars (cross-stones) of the the early part of the last Era standing on the territory of the monastery. The best known among them is the All-Savior khachkar which has been standing since here since the completion of The Chapel, moved from the now destroyed Great Temple at Dannub.

The monastery has been damaged many times. Sometime during The Reformation Years, an earthquake destroyed parts of The Monastery and it was not restored until fifty years later. It also suffered numerous attacks by armed forces in the many centuries of its existence and from a major earthquake just a decade ago. Nevertheless, much of the complex is still intact and stands today without substantial alterations.

Today the area is an increasingly-popular pilgrimage site.

One quirky note: The Monastery was built with a Wardstone like Churches of the earlier eras (and all Imperial Centers). These stones were meant to seal the spirit of the land to the Holy Faith (or the Path of Order if Imperial), protecting those who follow it and their descendents. It is deep in a “lost” store room under The Chapel, the stairwell is under the right side’s new chapel. The last earthquake cracked the Wardstone (which should be impossible given their magics). Wilder Magic, not known to the Civilized Lands for nearly a Millennium because of the network of WardStones capping node points, is slowly returning to the region.

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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
January 3, 2007, 17:28
I like this holy building.
Voted Exile
January 4, 2007, 7:50
Very nice!Interesting and inspiring all in one.
Voted valadaar
January 4, 2007, 8:26
A very well detailed location, but there are a lot of references to people and events that are not linked and only mentioned. Some of these sound quite interesting and could use some elaboration or linkages to the posts to make these clear.
January 4, 2007, 11:55
These names are mostly placeholders so you can find things and places and personages of a similar type in your own game history, so you can insert the setting. If I gave you all the various personas, places, and such with their full write ups, you would have to force them into your own world - eliminating some of your own history and forcing you to take mine. So what do we have

A church, with a central authority

A saint for a church that promotes knowledge

A difference between the Northern peoples, when compared to the Southern and Western.

A political historical feature, a local ruler (I just added a little pesonality)

A political uprising, in which there is a new lineage ruling.

A reformation or change in the church

These are all things you can easily install into your world. They may actually be there already.

Sure I used words and names, but that is to give you an idea as to what to plug in. If I had used The Saint, The Church, the local ruler, instead of the names, you would of ignored the post as boring.

We are not here to write up all your world for you with cross hyperlinked elements, we are here to give you significant pieces to adapt to your own world.

And to me, this is mostly just a solid piece. This isn't even enough to begin a world off of, which is what you implied or wanted. Now if you wanted to build a world off this piece, please feel free.
Voted Murometz
January 4, 2007, 10:42
what val said. I like this one Moon! Nifty details!

In fact, I am going to use a modified version of this, in my next session.
January 4, 2007, 11:59
Cool Muro, this place has a lot of potential in a number of campaigns.

Continuing my comment to Valadaar:

And that is what you are supposed to do, take what we give, and adapt it to your own world. In only a few cases are we actually designing the actual setting. Go to the free-text and click the really big names to see those setting.
January 4, 2007, 12:06
The descriptions of the branches seemed detailed and specific enough that I assumed they existed and that there was more to the story.

I was genuinely interested in seeing what, if any, other aspects of the sub and it's implied universe were in place. It was not clear to me that it was intended as a standalone sub not part of a larger world which had not yet been linked in.
January 4, 2007, 13:06
Unless there are links, or notes saying there will be more subs, assume it is a solo piece.
January 4, 2007, 16:58
An addition:
Holokrine Chapel at The Blue

Inspired by the original, The Local Church built their own "most beautiful church".
Voted Roack
January 9, 2007, 15:40
I love the size of this post, just right for reading and still packed full of MoonHunter brand detail.
Voted Scrasamax
January 10, 2007, 3:46
Only voted
October 11, 2007, 21:55
I really like this sub.

Holokrine, The Bell Tower of Song, splendid khachkars (cross-stones), Dour Prince, and Bannalstad excite me for some reason.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Scrasamax

Orcish currency is derived from glass beads. The art of glassworking is well beyond them, but perhaps the orcs have something of value to the civilized races, such as animal pelts, and well made axes, and bows. The humans trade beads for the goods, and the orcs will trade the beads amongst themselves as a form of their own currency. Perhaps they value blood red beads above all others, or animistic orcs favor beads in the colors of their gods.

Inspired by Indian trade beads, some of which could be quite ornate and beautiful. Most North American Indian beads were made in Italy. Surprise!

Ideas  ( System ) | August 14, 2004 | View | UpVote 2xp

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