Overlooking the edge of the western sea sits a large, imposing compound of chiseled stone and clay shingles. The center of the gargantuan edifice consists of the largest structure, a multi-floored square behemoth with three peaked roofs, the center point jutting upwards into an imposing spire easily dominating the facility's skyline. Wings of subsequent structures, of different styles and makes, jut out to the left and the right of the main building, each unit haphazardly added over time as the needs of the facility grew.
Here sits The Forgiving Saint's Home for Heroes Emeritus, a supposed paradise for decorated adventures nearing the end of their illustrious lives. However, those who are aware of the true nature of the facility use a different name, speaking it in hushed whispers and keeping an eye on what lurks in the shadows of the center spire. Those in the know refer to it as the Forsworn Asylum.
The foundation for what would become the Asylum began innocuously enough. Originally, it was a manor house gifted to a group of heroes by a grateful King for their part in the protection of the realm's safety, long ago. A generation later, the house empty of its original residents, a young Queen took inspiration from her predecessor and did much the same, signing the deed over to a new crew of adventures who had helped with her coronation. Thus, a tradition was born.
|This original manor still persists as the central structure of the Asylum, though all of the rooms have long been converted into a welcome center and front of house offices.|
Of course, occasionally there would be times where multiple groups of heroes were worthy of such praise from the established ruler, and thus the beginnings of the patchwork structures of the complex's wings began. As more heroes began to dwell there, the structure, still without a name, began to receive a reputation as a place where young adventurers could go to seek out advice from their wizened superiors.
Eventually, however, the practice of rewarding champions with the property fell out of vogue, and as the then-current tenants one by one began to pass, the hefty estate remained vacant for decades. The once grand structure began to fall into disrepair, though it still managed to maintain the imposing impression it left on those who stumbled upon it.
Enter the Acolytes of the Forgiving Saint Edit
After a lengthy period where the only occupation of the manor consisted of a few packs of wild animals and the occasional drifter, the historic property was chanced upon by a small group of travelers. This group of fourteen were members of a cult known as the Acolytes of the Forgiving Saint, though they would probably have taken offense at being referred to as such.
Little is known of the cult's teachings, even to this day. What is known, however, is the stuff of tales told to scare children away from the lore of the occult. Tales of dark pacts with fallen deities, of black rituals that do not lend themselves well to the survival of their witnesses... However, at the time of the Home for Heroes Emeritus founding, even less was known. They were perhaps considered a little... out there, so to speak, but thought to be harmless. Truthfully, setting up as seemingly benevolent an organization as a home for retired adventurers was a brilliant way to hide their true purpose.
The Forgiving Saint's Home for Heroes Emeritus Edit
Once they learned of the manor's history, the Acolytes went about restoring the site to its proper glory, and then some. They began to advertise it as The Forgiving Saint's Home for Heroes Emeritus, a place set up to care for elderly adventurers who were no longer able to do so themselves. After all, the great ones who walk among common folk, those who have communed with the gods and shook the earth with their magics, who have looked demons in the eyes and befriended the fiercest of beasts... these are are a special sort of people. And those who manage to survive their chaotic lifestyle into old age, even more so.
As a result of these unique challenges, the average family was not always equipped to fully care for such individuals. Even the most intelligent of wizards cannot fully escape the ravages of time, try as they might; someone who can summon a lightning storm with a flick of the wrist and a muttering of incantation is just as capable of succumbing to dementia as the dairy farmer. After years of shifting form, even the most harmonious of druid's can succumb to confusion as to what his true shape really is.
The Acolytes of the Forgiving Saint claimed to understand these particular needs, and offered their services as a way of allowing peace to come to these individuals at long last. They earned it, after all, and so had their families. At the Home for Heroes Emeritus, these weary adventures would find peace at last, and live out the twilight of their lives in comfort, luxury, and respect.
On the surface, all of this appeared to be true.
The Structure Edit