Path of the Polestars
Monastery of the Yellow Rose
The Monastery of the Yellow Rose, also known as the Citadel of the White Worm, is a monastery dedicated to Saint Sollars the Twice-Martyred and Ilmater, the Broken God. It is situated high in the Earthspur Mountains between the nations of Impiltur and Damara, overlooking the Glacier of the White Worm. It is the most well known of the facilities belonging to the Disciples of Saint Sollars the Twice-Martyred.
The Monastery is a difficult place to reach, as the trails leading there are hard to find and follow. Furthermore, it is an arduous climb up a mountain pass to reach the entrance. It is a very solitary and remote place.
Located high in the Earthspur Mountains, the monastery lies east of the Glacier of the White Worm. Overlooking the glacier, it is built into the rocky side of a jagged mountain peak, one of the tallest in the Earthspurs, and upon a high plateau.
The Citadel of the White Worm is an immense and sprawling fortress. From the outside, it projects many turrets, balconies, and windows. The top of the highest structure is a crenulated tower. There are also extensive tunnels into the mountain below. Every generation of monks has built on new structures and dug out new subterranean chambers and tunnels.
Inside, every room displays the artwork and architecture of the monks of the Yellow Rose, reflecting their great discipline. The monastery resembles an impressive museum devoted to the persistence, indomitability, and rise of human-kind in Faerûn. However, being built into the side of a mountain, only about half the rooms have windows looking onto the daylight. The remainder are underground, within the mountain itself.
A lengthy network of catacombs runs under the monastery and through the mountain. There are three main sections. One wing holds a vast cellar where the monks store vats of blueberry wine. Another houses their archives and records about the Bloodstone Lands, the most complete collection anywhere in the Realms. Finally, the catacombs serve as burial vaults, holding the remains of deceased monks.
The monastery contains a private prayer room for masters that includes a table on a stage, where the masters sit for audiences.
At the Monastery of the Yellow Rose, the monks dedicate themselves to venerating the Suffering God, Ilmater. This seems to be primarily through the hard work necessary to survive in the harsh environment around the monastery, and here they thrive. The monks toil for at least sixteen hours a day, without fail.
Initiates and low-ranking monks are most responsible for the basic necessities of life in the high mountains. They work in the small gardens, they cut and haul blocks of ice that will be melted for water, and they forage in the desolate mountains for supplies. The monks also create blueberry wine from blueberries they collect. Their efforts give their superiors the time and capacity to focus on less vital but more spiritual work. Those with the skill focus on crafting sculptures and tapestries. They keep a grand museum of artwork themed around Ilmater, preserving the art, architecture, and handiworks of his faithful in a tribute to their faith and discipline.
The monks also dedicate their time to genealogical studies. At the Monastery, they maintain vast archives about the Bloodstone Lands—the most complete anywhere in the Realms. Once a year, the mid-ranking monks lead expeditions out of the mountains and into the cities of the Bloodstone Lands, including those in Damara, Vaasa, Impiltur, and Narfell. There they gather and record local news, familiarize themselves with travelers passing through and with newcomers settling in the area, and list births and deaths. As a result of their genealogical expertise, the monks are used in dealing with delicate matters of heritage among the nobility. They sometimes even serve as emissaries within the Bloodstone Lands.
One other task the monks have is to construct and maintain the Watcher’s Mounds that lay throughout the Earthspur Mountains south of the Monastery. Well over a hundred of these campsites are situated along the trails running down from the monastery. Not only mounds, there are defensible campsites with shelter where a traveler, a ranger, or a Watcher might spend a night in safety. Each site also contains a hidden cache of preserved food, water, and tools. The monks and local rangers restock these caches and track when and how they are used by travelers in the region.
The monks of the Monastery of the Yellow Rose are [[Disciples of St. Sollars the Twice-Martyred]], also called the Order of the Yellow Rose. The Monastery is their most famous facility, and it accommodates up to 750 monks.
The Monastery seldom has visitors, and few come purely for sightseeing, owing to its remoteness and inaccessibility. But those who do come find the journey worth their while and the experience rewarding. For the same reason, orphans are rarely left at the gates as at other monasteries. Instead, every few years, the monks go out into the neighboring lands of Damara and Vaasa and chose a young orphan to join them.
The monks are renowned for the loyalty they show to their allies, such as the Order of the Golden Cup, with whom they often travel. They are greatly respected in diplomatic matters and on issues of truth, for their inner strength, and as dangerous enemies.
The Disciples of St. Sollars are greatly respected wherever they journey, even by the Nars of Narfell. They maintain friendly and supportive relations with nearby communities in Damara, Impiltur, and Vaasa, and they are especially respected there. Even those who oppose the Monastery of the Yellow Rose and its works would not dare move openly against them.
The Knights of Imphras II of Impiltur, who were backed by the Church of Ilmater, had in the past fought alongside the Disciples of St. Sollars. The Lords of Imphras II, a ruling council of Impiltur in 1359 DR, had respected the Disciples for a long time.