The Last and First Home
On the edge of the Great Rift at the heart of the The Desolation of Ghul Drazul sits Xiramond: the Last and First Home. This quiet monastery is buried at the edge of all maps, in a place where time and gravity break down. The inhabitants are protected from the deadly chaos outside within their glittering tunnels and compartments that wind deep into the basalt beneath the blasted plateau above.
Have you left your home or have you arrived?Despite, or perhaps because of, the inhospitable environs, Xiramond has a reputation across the wastelands of Mortugurra as a place of welcome refuge and hospitality. The Last and First Home is spoken of as a myth to inspire tavern keeps and hoteliers as far away as the bustling streets of Kukutana. The monks live long and quiet lives of servitude as they contemplate the paradoxes of time and gravity that they observe within the rift.
Do you crave shelter or will you provide?
Are you never leaving or moving on?
Are your answers uncertain?
Are your questions honed?
the ritual greeting to new arrivals at Xiramond.
Key features of the MonasteryThe settlement is tunnelled underground, with smooth flowing walls and graceful pillars all covered in anbstract mosaics of glass and obsidian shards. All the interiors glitter with relfected lights. Compartments and living areas are furnished with polished obsidian tables, the floors adorned with soft rugs and piles of pillows and low reclining sofas.
The Theatre of BilishThe settlement's primary contemplation chamber is a near speherical room of polished obsidan walls. The monks they spend their time here making complex and ever-moving glass and sand sculptures which refract the incoming light to create complex animations of light and shadow across the walls of the chamber.
The Last and First InnThe tavern and hostel run by the monks for visitors. It is lushly decorated with soft furnishings and climate-controlled for the comfort of those not adapted to the heat. There are many private rooms on the top levels, and a central dining area where all in the community share meals.
Bilish GreenThe lush protected garden tended by the monks that grows the fruit and vegetables for the community. The area is climate controlled, and a common place for residents and visitors of the monestary to relax and recreate.
The Heart WellThe central well that extends down to lower levels of the Warrens to the deep the stores of Uhd and the environmental controls far below. A spiral ramp descends around the edge of the shaft, allowing for passage of people and carts.
The Warrens, Creche and HospiceThese areas are where the monks live, care for their young and those injured or sick.
Xiramondians are a small group of religious zealots. Mostly comprised of devilkin, but a small numbers of other kin have joined the close-knit community over the centuries. A curious and defining trait unites all Xiramindians regardless of ancestry. All children born from biological parents are born as identical twins, without exception.
The monks are governed in all religious matters by the Undivided Chamber, with more mundane matters left to individuals to manage for themselves. It is a highly colaborative community, with most decisions being made through quick and constant questioning and discussion.
The remoteness and harshness of the environment is the best defence against any potential invasion. Most arrivals are in such dire need of shelter and assistance by the time they get there that aggressive acts are simply not possible. Despite this, the monks of Xiramond are well trained in divine and Blood magics, and have a near endless supply of Uhd on hand, that rare aggressive acts can be dealt with easily.
Below the main level of the monastary lie vast grids of Uhd that have been designed and maintained to transfer heat away from the living areas and deliver cooling air and moisture into small tubes that connect the many chambers.
The heat is extreme and most cannot survive without protection. The surface of the plateau is a wash of melted sand, shattered obsidian, and steaming lava flows. The great sweep of the Nightbridge which dominates the skies in front of the Monastary protects the settlement from the worst of the direct blaze of the sun, but environmental factors remain the most severe threat to the settlement. There are regular storms that erupt from the rift. They bring great whirlwinds of molten glass and obsidian shards that can shred any living thing in seconds, or vast whirling explosions of fire and molten rock that can turn the most robust shelter to piles of slag. These storms are often accompanied by gravitational upheavals and localised time disturbances that can send people hurtling into the sky, or trap the unwary in stasis for minutes, hours or even years.
Vast stores of Uhd that are mined from the many floating islands and falling materials from the Nightbridge. A small outpost of agents from The Gleaming City live alongside the Xiramundians. They send out mining exbiditions to trawl the nearest of the floating islands at the edge of the Rift to gather UHD to return to their masters at the Gleaming City.