The Trinitine Church surveyed the Haracon valley and found it ripe for missionary work. The local economy was robust, and the locals didnt have a strongly established state faith. It looked like a good site to raise a new Cathedral to both honor the Gods of the Trinity, as well as serving as the hub of a new diocese. The job of organizing the operation fell on the capable shoulders of High Priest Abelard Munir.
Munir did the legwork and was able to get the local nobility to grant the land to the church and fund 50% of the building costs. The nobles were glad to do since the church would create a draw of pilgrims, as well as creating more land being farmed and more income for their coffers. The stonecutters werre glad to see a new demand for their produce while the Vandergraffian woodsmen were excited to see their lumber put to such a lofty purpose. Everything was set to succede.
A mile and one half up river from Powlgraff the casements were dug and the stone foundation, some thirty feet thick was sunk into the earth. The next two years saw the outer walls raised and allow to cure. The stone shell was growing, and everyone could tell that the cathedral was going to be as much a work of art, and a fortress as it was a place of worship. Work procedded for another five years without incident. during that time, the workers erected a shacktown at the base of the Cathedral, so that they could literally live on site. During the day, their wives and children would travel to and from the city on errands while their sons and husbands went about stonecutting, mortaring and hammering.
Conflict arose as hostility between the nobility of the two cities flared. During the construction, Vandergraff had experienced a boom in industry, fueled by the introduction of zettelettes and zettel-paper. The population had grown and had eclipsed that of Powlgraff, the capitol of Haracon. The Powlers were upset by the decline of their own economy and even worse, the supply of wonderful rose marble used in the cathedral’s construction was looking to run out before the building was complete. Arguments between nobles became common and tempers ran hot.
There were even incidents where fights and duels broke out when nobles and their entourags visited the construction site and the attached sprawl of workers houses, constructed of leftover wood and half-shaped stone. For the most part, there was little damage done, but that would quickly change. A fire was started, some think it to have been a prank done by the younger and more volatile members of the noble houses. The flames spread rapidly, burning down half of the Cathedral village and devouring much of the scaffolding that was holding the newly raised walls in place.
By most estimates, nearly 100 people perished in the blaze. The quickly constructed homes, covered with thatch, burned quickly and fiercely. Attempts to put out the blaze were difficult as the cathedral had been built nearly a mile from the Running Blood river. On that day, many children were orphaned and many a woman lost her husband.
The next day, Munir held a morning mass and preached it with fire and gusto. He proclaimed that the cathedral would be built despite the attempts of cowardly arsonists. He proclaimed that the gods of the Trinity would smite the offender a mighty blow so that they would be remembered for their folly. The crowd murmered in astonishment, this sort of fire on the heels preaching was new to them. More surprising was when the east wall, the one wall that had remained gave a groan and collapsed. Munir and three acolytes were instantly crushed to death.
The crowd was shocked, but many assumed that the Priest was right and that he himself had started the fire. The gods saw fit to punish him as he had promised. Without the dynamic energy and local finesse of Munir, the tithes and grants to maintain construction dried up. Along the same time, the rose marble supply also ran dry. The Cathedral was abandoned and the Trinitine Church decided the plan had been too ambitious and built a much more humble Temple of plain stone and slatboard plaster.
The Cathedral Ruins
The foundations of the cathedral remain, sunk some 30 feet into the earth. The base of the first floor, and the underlying catacombs were also completed, but all of the rose marble facing has since been stripped from the building. The interior walls, being made of stronger load bearing granite remain, save for the collapsed ruin of the East Wall. Locals avoid that area since the bodies of Munir and his acolytes were never recovered from under the debris.
Munir’s Ghost - since he was never buried, and he was slain by his own work, the spirit of Munir wanders about the ruins at night. Mostly he mutters to himself, lost in the planning and construction of the structure. He is oblivious to the fact that it has been ruined. The PCs discover Munir knew a valuable secret (tm) and they have to find him and figure out how to communicate with his restless shade.
The Inverted Trinity - A cult devoted to defiling the works of the Trinity has settled in the ruins, living in the catacombs and hiding from the locals. things run smoothly until people start vanishing and the pillars of the cathedral are flound splattered with blood. Can the PCs thwart these evil cultists before the accomplish their evil design?
Back to Work Boys! - The Church or an ambitious local lord has decided to resume work on the cathedral, converting it to his own personal use, or simply restoring the cathedral to its original purpose. Can the PCs assist, or do they support the opposing faction who want to deny the church access to Haracon or Locl Lord gaining a pseudo-fortress on the edge of their turf.
Additional Ideas (1)
The PC's are present at the fateful sermon. The local lords (responsible for funding) are deeply concerned that someone is using arcane or religious powers to thwart the cathedral. The timing of the wall collapse suggests an unnatural cause, and they hire the PCs to find out what happened.
Munir's ghost can appear, and proclaim his own innocence. Alternately, the Gods could send a message that something is amiss.