The Great Sanctuary of Mercy
The Great Sanctuary of Mercy is the largest and most imposing temple of Mera in all of Scarterra. It's also the most subtly terrifying temple of Mera because it was not originally built as a temple. The Great Sanctuary of Mercy was originally constructed by Vladimir the Conqueror and christened the Great Tower of Justice...Vladimir's version of justice. The black rock tower was known as a monument of fear, oppression, torture and death. After Vladimir reputedly died and his empire crumbled, the Tenders took control over the facility and vowed to turn this place of evil into a place of good. While the tower is now a place of hospitality and medical care, spiritual healing is the tower's main stated purpose. The Tenders here offer sanctuary to everyone here, even heinous criminals. The Tenders believed that only by completely countermanding Vladimir's original intent, could this evil site be cleansed.
Purpose / Function
This tower was designed to be imposing and terrifying. Originally designed as a courthouse, prison, torture chamber and blood larder for Vladimir and his vampiric brood. When the Tenders took over they consecrated parts of the tower a temple, part of the tower as a medical facility, part of the tower as a library, and the remainder as an unorthodox hospital.
The massive black tower has been painted white. Bit by bit, the scary monstrous gargoyle statues were replaced with less threatening art such as watch dogs, statues of famous Tenders, and soft gentle flowing fountains. In the minds of many locals and visitors, this has done little to make the tower less frightening.
The tower was created as a monument to Vladimir's ego, a symbol of Vladimir's ambitions, a courthouse, a prison and a blood larder. Originally criminals were tried and judged here. With a roughly 99% conviction rate, everything ranging from misdemeanors settled with fines to capital crimes. Many of the sentences were death by being a vampire's next meal, but a more than a few condemned were merely tortured and humiliated as living warnings against those who oppose Vladimir's regime. The Tenders have worked hard to rebuild the tower's image into one of peace and tranquility but both the literal and figurative ghosts of Vladimir's regime are said to still haunt here.
Some of the best magical and mundane healers in the world dwell here and their library of medicine and herbs is second to none, so many would-be healers choose to study here and many sick come here for aid. While Scarterran hospitals rarely turn people away, the Great Sanctuary of Mercy is even more generous than most. Even the most heinous criminals may stay here if they cause no trouble on the grounds. The Tenders love to boast about the sinners they redeemed here, but for every one villain who attempted true atonement after staying in the Great Sanctuary, at least half a dozen cynically used the Great Sanctuary as a temporary shelter to rest and avoid justice before resuming their villainy elsewhere.
Temple / Religious complex