The Silent Mountain

In the night before their arrival they will witness a great boar that comes past their camp - it stares at them before heading off into the night in the direction of the mountain. If they try and divine its nature they will get a sense of an ancient and inscrutable power that Salix might recognise as one of the ancient spirits - a demigod.

The Silent Mountain is probably not what the party expects. Here, delivered from their safe and pure lives amongst the citizens of Hanoria the children are raised by a commune of nuns. The atmosphere is more akin to a boarding school than any den iniquity and is overseen by the Mother Superior.

By virtue of their cloistered upbringing the acolytes are however rather spoiled and there is an element of authority that is required to bring them into line. The party may witness this whilst resting at the monastery but punishments are limited to beatings and demeaning tasks. The carrot is used in equal measure and for this there are a significant number of pets running around the place. When the party first meet her at the gates Mother Superior will be holding an enormous rabbit.

The party are shown to guest quarters - it is explained that upon arrival the acolytes immediately become Probationers and in this ceremony they are released from their concealing robes though they must now wear the habits of the order. At this point they can be perceived by others and this is encouraged as they must now begin to learn to be worldly.

If asked about the political state of Hanoria, Mother Superior will admit that she is not exactly at the political heart of the country here - indeed she is not even in the political heart of the church. That is to the south in Benessador. Asked about the column of slaves and she says that she is unsure - they would not be permitted here as undead are not allowed within this place and they have no use for slaves.

If the party are ensconced in the monastery then they will be asked to remain indoors during the hours of prayer - if they are found out and about then they will merely be told that they are being disrespectful and asked to return to their quarters.

On the day of their visit, the acolytes are taking out models worked in clay from a makeshift kiln - their efforts are formed by hands unused to hard labour and are difficult to discern but slowly the party realise that they have crafted boars. That afternoon there is a religious ceremony that the party are invited to where each of the models is smashed by an acolyte. They are told that another false god was consumed last night.

Mother Thalis is the gatekeeper she holds the Settlement of Caratia, the document that names Caratia as a forsaken place owned by no man and cast out from this world. She knows that the Immortal Council believe that they hold the Settlement however she replaced it with a copy when she was Archbishop before exile here.

The Immortals have the used the knowledge of the documents power to summon Orcus to this plane and treat with him at the city gates. Now she aims to amend the document permitting free access to this realm for the ancient demigod. In return she wishes to rule as his equal and is in the process of creating a massive legal document prescribing that union.

In order to grant power she has built a network of shrines across the field of stones, each holds a pure soul bound and she can tap into that network to grant herself inordinate power. She has been using this to destroy the ancient gods with some success.

Beneath the library she has secret chambers in which she works by night on the document of union. Access is through the library above the scriptorium though there is another route through the natural caves in which she has built her hideaway. The well goes down to a pool that forms part of the caverns carved out by an underground river that heads south for several miles before spilling out through an icy cascade. From a roost high in the northern mountains at the rivers source, access can be found through a cave system revealed by the volcanically warmed water melting the ice and steaming gently.

She has defended the place with earth elementals, bound to her service and preventing passage.

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