Temple of Kord, Legacy of Courage

Written by Steve Tremblay

When the city of Esterholt was founded almost 300 years ago, little that came after would make it stand out from any other large city on Ellara more than the Temple of Kord.    Built only 120 years ago, the massive temple to the God of Courage towers over most other buildings and houses one of the largest non-military forces on the continent.  Not surprisingly, people want to learn how to fight and survive in a land that has had near constant conflicts between cities and against the monsters that roam the land. To be fair, many of them are out to prove themselves and their abilities by fighting against each other first but many do aspire to fight for a cause as well.    The Temple houses hundreds of recruits, dozens of paladins and clerics and the upper leadership that most smaller temples take their cues from.  The current leaders are Una Anhelada and Julie Fairway, step-sisters who came together after a long feud (based on a basic misunderstanding) when the long time head of the Temple mysteriously disappeared. 
Craig Mason's disappearance is understood by Julie and Una but not likely shared with the general public. In Therian lore, 10 individuals ascended to godhood after being trapped in human form for several lifetimes. As of 3 years ago nly one of them was aware of the power they used to hold but she had found others who used to be The Pantheon
It was explained to Una that Craig was among them. Kord, in the body of the person who most embodied his tenets and trained others to follow the path. He was a father figure to both Julie and Una and his ascension was the catalyst for them to finally bond rather than fighting each other.    Craig had worked his way up through the church and made it his home. He held the top spot for nearly 2 decades and knew the ins and outs of the building he presided over. 
The main temple was built from white/gray marble over a 10 year period. The pillars reach 30 feet tall in places and the great hall has room for hundreds to be in attendance. 
The walls are covered in detailed etchings of large battles, the symbology of Kord displayed prominently of course.   
The most recent addition to the wall is of a group of 12 warriors led by two horses. One carrying a large, heavily armored man and the other with two female riders. They ride toward a ruined city with a dragon perched high atop a tall tower. 
Note: This depicts Craig, Una, Briahna Ebelmare and a contingent of paladins from the temple chasing down the legendary red dragon Straad which happened in Arc 1 - Episode #084 of the Dungeons and Randomness postcast.    Beneath the Temple's main structure is the feature that is unique to these churches and many of the faithful travel to Esterholt for its secret. 
A short hallway ending at a set of large double doors with two black clad figures guarding the entrance. If approached, they will open the doors revealing a longer hallway with a single door, barred with a heavy lock on the outside.    On the other side of that door, paladins of Kord can challenge an Angel of Death to earn the power of Resurrection. In Theria, these powers must be earned and in this case, it means win or die. 
In the room beyond there is a gong and mallet. When struck, an Angel is summoned and will verify the intent of the ringer. Any additional people who enter the room will increase the number of foes they will need to fight to win. 
When the battle ends regardless of who is victorious, the doors will unseal and blue flames will erupt from the sconces that line the hallway. 
Note: This took place on the podcast in Arc 1 - Episode #066 when Una, Fie Lar'va and Liara Bryos entered in an attempt to bring a friend back to life.    Less than a handful have gone in and come out alive in the last 15 years. Una and Julie have both earned this achievement and as such have earned the respect of those they lead at the temple.

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