N S T I W
The Temple of the Fates
The Temple is named for the three gods to whom is it consecrated: The Raven Queen, Avandra, and Ioun (known collectively as the Three Fates). It is best known for the labyrinthine tunnels and chambers beneath it, which draw hundreds of pilgrims each year seeking to prove themselves, and present an ever-shifting spectrum of challenges.
The portico of the Temple is two stories high, and supported by two caryatids – one of a woman holding an owl, one of a woman holding a raven. Two (gender-segregated) ritual bath areas are beyond the foyer on either side. A hallway runs between them leading to the main sanctuary, and another hallway intersects it leading to the Library on the left, and to the cenobites’ living areas and private ritual chambers on the right.
The sanctuary hosts the Threefold Altar on the far wall, beneath immense stained-glass windows. Braids made of various materials are commonly left on the altar, a tangible offering of prayers. Some petitioners will buy or barter with the cenobites for beads of metal or semi-precious stone to weave into the braids – usually in cases where the prayers are those of thanks, but also occasionally when the prayer is particularly urgent or ardent. The stairway down to the catacombs lies in the center of the sanctuary, ringed by a wooden fence and gate to keep folks from falling down it accidentally.
The catacombs are the obvious reason that so many people visit the Temple, but the Library is perhaps the most important reason adventurers would do so. The Library records peoples’ lives and deeds for a fee, and archives them for an additional fee paid per year of storage. The service is not cheap, but if enough information is given to the scribes, their work can satisfy one of the three earthly requirements for raising the dead, so it is popular with anyone who can afford it.
Because a pilgrim’s progress through the catacombs can be scried upon through any of several mirrors in the Temple, many people use that adventure as their source material for the scribes, to ensure the greatest possible accuracy. And because the Temple is such a popular destination for people drawn to the adventuring life, there are also plenty of people who will visit the sanctuary just for the purpose of finding new teammates…or new hires.