Fables of the Borderlands
Saint Cuthbert Monastery
The Saint Cuthbert Monastery is a remote haven first and foremost for followers of the religion of Saint Cuthbert.
However, travelers, refugees, adventurers, and people in need are welcome to stay and are even provided sustenance and asylum. Men of evil are rooted out and are chased from the monastery with a cat-o-nine-tails, by a group of zealous monks. Openly chaotic, and evil unrepentant travellers are disallowed entry entirely. Those of penitent disposition however are permitted entry, provided they acquiesce to being disarmed during their stay. The domains of St. Cuthbert are Destruction, Good, Law, Protection, Strength. Which promotes a dormant but militantly defensive readiness among it’s adherents.
Every year on Saint Cuthbert’s Day, the fourth day of the fourth month of the lunar calendar pilgrims, monks, and followers of all kinds arrive at the fortified walls of the monastery in celebration of “…the largest festival celebrated by Saint Cuthbert’s church. It involves locals and pilgrims gathering at a city’s gate at dawn and parading and singing along a major road until they reach the local shrine or temple. Children swipe at everyone within reach with switches in a custom known as “the cleansing.” At their destination, a cleric brings out a replica of the Mace of Cuthbert and there is a great feast from noon until dusk, and then a bonfire from sundown until midnight that the faithful believe can remove curses and misfortune." Source
The monastery has the structural integrity of any great castle or military fortress, with high stone walls capped by defensive crenelations. Four gatehouses, reinforced by both an inner and outer portcullis and heavy doors, have prevented the monastery and its inhabitants from ever falling prey to a raid by warlike barbarian tribes, or wandering beasts.
Beneath the monastery a holy sanctum has been built, along with catacombs to contain the dearly departed in graceful reverence for all time.
The buildings within the monastery include a chapel The Holy Basilica of St. Cuthbert, an abstemious dormitory, a beautiful cloister, a communal refectory, the largest library in any direction for over 100 miles, a unique balneary, an infirmary and hospice.
Among other buildings, the monks have constructed a school for orphans, a forge, a brewery, and several storage houses for food supplies. Cleared land around the monastery is used for agriculture, lumbering, and provides the advantage of clear vigilance from the monastery walls.
A nearby lake, Chateau Lac, borders the western face of the Monastery and serves to welcome pilgrims, and exchanges via river travel, it is also used for fishing on occasion, but this is regulated to prevent over-fishing. Similar controls are set in place to prevent over-hunting the woodland surrounding the monastery.
A unique creature inhabits the forests and rocky terrain around the monastery called le serpent bijou. It is quite rare, but is held in religious significance portending evil. It is also a creature which is thought to generate precious stones, although the rarity, and peril associated with it has prevented serious study.