The Ulf Monastery is nestled over the Sky Spear River, two days south of Felbreak Hold. On the surface, the architecture looks incredible and landscape serene under the sun and clouds. But, the land where this monastery stands has a history that spans hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
Its foundations clinging to the steep slope. The two main wings were built around either side of an enormous slab of rock, protruding from the stepped terraces and coming to a wicked point, like a giant axe lodged in the heart of the mountain. A feature difficult to discern if it had been formed naturally or by man.
A maze of courtyards and corridors, it quickly becomes apparent to anyone wandering the grounds that the Ulf Monastery was much older than it appeared. The architecture is stunning to say the least. Beneath the incredible detail of the pillars and temple walls were signs of significant aging. But, beyond that in various locations, there were subtle and then sometimes more visible differences in architectural style.
On the outskirts of the monastery along the river's ridgeline are what seems to be temple ruins from ages past. Crumbled structures overgrown with brush, root, and vines seeking to reclaim what had once been theirs. Among them are a vast variety of architectural styles. It is as if this land is sacred and had been fought over millennia past. Crushed and rebuilt multiple times. It is both beautiful and somewhat terrifying at the same time.
Flashes of languages are carved into the stone. Common, Elvish and Dwarvish scripts, and even some that are unrecognizable. The place reeks of history.
The Monks of the Ulf Monastery Edit
The monks of the Ulf Monastery are an introverted society. Staunch followers to the Goddess, Vita, and practitioners of Corpora Sano way of life. The monks are known to take a vow silence once initiated into their society. They completely and utterly devote themselves to the perfection of one's self and whatever they pursue. Skilled martial artist and gifted healers. Although they never venture out beyond the monastery grounds, they also would never turn away someone in need no matter their background of beliefs.
The History of Ulf Edit
There are many legends that surround the mystery of Ulf and its historic past. At night, around the campfire, men tell legendary tales of the monastery's origin. Its version changes drastically depending who told it. Some speak highly of the noble and peaceful monks who had built the temple. Most, however, spun dark tales of murder, betrayal, and the Gods.
Its true history remains unknown to most on Etape. Some ancient and extensive libraries may have some insight or detail into Ulf's shrouded past. Still, most remain unaware. The witch hunters of Felbreak Hold seem to have some information regarding its recent history and caution those who seek passage over the river at the monastery, although, are not very keen on elaborating as to why.
Criminals and brigands are known to have attempted to take advantage of the monk's hospitality. Some have been sheltered, bandaged, and sent on their way. Others, are never seen or heard from again.....
Present Day Edit
What most everyone outside the Ulf Monastery don't know is of the curse that had befell the monks. On nights of a full moon, the monastery grounds are deserted. Most travelers avoid this river crossing all together in fear of superstitions. Although, no one really knows the truth for certain.
Beneath the primary temple on the highest ridge of the east side of the river, is an ornate door elaborately decorated with a beautiful depiction of the Goddess, Vita. Rays of golden light shine brightly behind the divine image of Vita. However, on the night of a full moon, the golden light fades. And in its place is a shadowy purple darkness pulsating behind Her divine image in the shape of wings resembling that of a devil. The image of the Anti-Vita.
Behind the door, crashing and howling echoes deep within the catacombs. The sounds of vicious wolves barking and fighting. The sounds of a Lycan. Of Werewolves.