Ground 46.1 - The Saline Dunes and The Purgatorial Monastery

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SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class Mitis

  • Sanctified
  • Moderate Danger
  • Devoid of Creatures

Description

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The Purgatorial Monastery.

The Saline Dunes are an independent sector of the Arabian Desert characterized by its endless dunes composed of coarse, white salt. The salt is ever-present, only occasionally disrupted by dried bushes and petrified trees. Unlike the varied states that rule Ground 46, The Saline Dunes are found in a perpetual state of dusk, with the only meteorological phenomenon present in the sector being the salt storms. Travel to and from The Saline Dunes is impossible during one of these storms, as the salt is propelled so fast it withers clothes and flesh alike.

The storms are but a layer of protection for the unwary, though not the only ones. By the grace and decree of our patron, Argos, only those who bear the anguish of guilt, and truly seek repentance, will be able to stumble into The Saline Dunes. Said protections, and other enchantments, were instituted when The Saline Dunes were originally chosen as a candidate for sanctification. It was because of the inherent properties of the ground that the initial seven wardens, who later became the first of the Sons of Guilt, decided to build their stronghold in The Saline Dunes. The ground was primarily selected for the repellent properties of its salt, since it functions as a natural defense against devious spirits and wretched souls, making the land spiritually inert.

The Monastery

In the farthest reaches of The Saline Dunes, towering over the starless sky, rests The Monastery. Home of the Sons of Guilt, and guardian of The Profane Burial Site, it is one of the five primary bastions of the Eyes of Argos. Built of solid stone, the structure and its surrounding buildings were raised to last. The Monastery was created both as a sanctuary, with intricate carvings, altars, and high columns, and as a fortress, with battlements, thick walls, and no windows that could risk weakening the structure. Yet, the persistent assault of the salt storms, and of the abominations below, has made a dent in the immaculate construction. Still, the robust walls and the high towers of The Monastery stand strong against all foes and will continue to do so in the centuries to come, forever protecting the entrance to the Profane Burial Site.

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One of the supplementary chambers of The Monastery.

The defensive walls attached to The Monastery also enclose a series of separate buildings and chambers that complement its operations. These were built over time, as extensions of the original construction, to supply more specific functions, and include a main gathering hall, dedicated barracks, a repository, and many other, more secretive, rooms. Numerous more modern systems have been installed in all these buildings to ensure proper communication, reliability, and safety, which makes their accommodating interior contrast with the cold dry conditions of The Saline Dunes.

The Monastery serves as a place of gathering for the Sons of Guilt, who, in an unconditional display of penitence, voluntarily took the sacred vow of warding the isolated location and protecting the Labyrinth from the horrors of the Profane Burial Site. In such a remote location, no sin can reach the watchers but their own, making it the perfect place for the Sons of Guilt's rituals of repentance and redemption. It is in this secluded sanctuary where those who are granted exoneration by service are brought to be trained in the arts of the Eyes and to become one more of the Sons of Guilt. Sinners who seek other means of absolution are usually also stationed here, preventing them from evading their newfound duties.

Entrance and Escape Locations

The Saline Dunes' position is at a fixed point relative to Ground 46. Those who travel between The Monastery and other places of interest frequently are able to subconsciously follow the path to The Saline Dunes. It is recommended that those uninitiated in this practice make the journey to this location during one of the sanctioned voyages, otherwise they will have to rely solely on the ability of their guilt to guide them. Once the ground has been entered, The Monastery will be easily noticeable in the distance, and no further protection needs to be bypassed to reach it. To depart, it will only be necessary to walk in the opposite direction of The Monastery with the declared intention of leaving the ground.

Notes

Although The Monastery is mainly inhabited by Sons of Guilt, travel between this location and other bastions, such as The Platform and The Enclave, is frequent. The necessities of The Monastery often require expertise in practices outside the Sons of Guilt's standard training, which demands the presence of sanctifiers, interpreters, and inquisitors from different branches of the organization. Not all of those on duty at The Monastery were intentionally allocated. Some voluntarily pursue penitence, others aim to test themselves by providing aid in the sacred duty of all who are stationed in The Monastery, and there are also the ones who take advantage of the confined nature of the site to study and meditate.

The Monastery is the oldest of all the Eyes of Argos' bastions, and as such is shelter to many of the most sacred relics our group holds. Legendary ancient weapons, impious texts, and prominent objects are all safeguarded by the expert hands of the Sons of Guilt. Though some of these objects are kept with reverence, most are retained within The Monastery because of the sinful potential they represent in the wrong hands. Should The Monastery fall, and all these instruments be released to plague the rest of the Labyrinth, the consequences would be catastrophic.


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