The Ice Heart Shrine
The northern most tip of the north west continent is home to Druids. As with all druid lands it is a place where the planar realms are at their closest to each other. At the point where the realms almost touch, the Druids build a shrine, and it is here where the druids can most easily spirit walk between realms.
Purpose / Function
The shrine serves as both a sanctum and a watch post and it is never left unattended. Apprentice druids make the long trek here as part of their initiation. It is here they learn the secrets of the Druid Order and make their first spiritual passage into the planar realms. Upon surviving both the journey to the shrine and the subsequent spiritual journey, they are inducted into the Order and given their Heart Staff. The staff is formed from the temple itself and imbued with a blessing from the ice spirit who makes her home there.
Just as the Druids are able to more easily pass into the realms here, as are the denizens who live there more easily able to pass into ours. Hence the Druids keep a never ending vigil at the shrine. Not only to guard against intrusion from the more aggressive realms, but also in case a denizen of one of the realms wishes to communicate with ours.
Situated in the northern ice fields, the temple has been carved into the side of a glacier and every part of it is made entirely from ice. Easy to miss at first, in amongst the natural formations of the glacier face, the four sculpted pillars at the entrance stand 15ft high. A narrow natural fissure leads from the entrance to a large, circular domed chamber, the walls lined with ice sculptures of animals, people and planar denizens. This is the chamber in which the Druids make their spiritual journeys and the initiates are inducted into the order. Smaller more modest chambers, leading off from the long fissure, house the few druids who keep watch here. Another small fissure leading off from the back of the main chamber opens out into a small natural cave. In the centre of this cave lies a deep pool where the ice spirit resides, it is from this pool that the Heart staffs are formed and blessed.