The Shrine of Saint Craydin the Healer

"Marilee! I haven't seen you in a year! And yer... yer walkin' again!"

"Ya! Look at me! It took months o' travel and nearly every coin me an' Talbott could scrape t'gether, but we made the pilgrimmage ter Saint Craydin's. An' look at me! One drink o' the waters in the pool an' the next day I could walk again! Praise be ter the Saints an' the True Church!"
— conversation between two of the Humanfolk on the streets of the city of Elderkeep
In the southernmost marches of the Duchy of Feorria, where the mountains mark the edge of the First Kingdom of Humankind, there lies a small village surrounding an unimposing stone church. To any foreigner unfamiliar with the kingdom, this church, administered by the True Church of the Humanar, would be easy to overlook. Serving the daily devotional needs of but a handful of villagers, and very difficult to reach from any other more metropolitan parts of the kingdom, there is nothing to suggest that this church is significant. And yet, every citizen of the Kingdom knows its name. And every citizen prays daily that they never feel the need to travel to this church to avail themselves of its somewhat unique services. This is the Shrine Church of Saint Craydin the Healer.

The church was built to enclose a small pool fed by a spring that trickles out of the sheer cliff wall in whose shadow the village was built. It is said that the waters of this pool have had magical healing powers ever since they were blessed by the Mother Goddess of the Humans and Halflings, Caronalyn herself over 1900 years ago. The True Church of the Humanar teaches that the goddess granted this blessing in response to the great cries that went up from the people when the kingdom was inflicted with the Rotting Plague.

History

Before the Rotting Plague struck the First Kingdom in the year 207CR, the village of Mountainshadow and its parish church were obscure at best. The church's paster, Craydin Grimlion, was known to the church hierarchy as a bit of a troublemaker and his assignment to this far-from-anything parish was designed to give him time to reconsider his ways of thinking about some of the edicts being handed down by the Church. Caronalyn apparently found favor with the priest, though, since it a tiny spring and pool in his village that she chose to be the only place where one could go to be healed of the Rotting Plague. When he died many years after the plague receded, the Church authorized the building of the shrine to surround the pool and to act as the tomb of this priest to whom Caronalyn had shown such favor.
Location
Duchy of Feorria,
First Kingdom of Humankind
Founding Date
TBD
Type
Shrine
Owning Organization
Shrine of St. Craydin (small).webp
Floor Plan of Shrine of St. Craydin

Architecture and Structure

The shrine was built around the spring after Craydin's death as a memorial to him, and in recognition of the importance of the spring and pool. The structure itself is simple. The back wall of the church is the cliff wall itself; the other three sides of the rectangular building are built from shaped stones and limestone mortar. The peaked roof is steeply angled and covered with large stone slab shingles over a wooden frame. WIndows of stained glass are inset into the side walls, and a very large double door provides the only entrance to the building.

Inside, beneath the place on the back wall where the spring leaks out of the cliff and flows down the rock, is an altar to Caronalyn. Smaller altars to the other major Humanar gods line the side walls. Wooden kneelers are set before each of the altars. Along the walls between these, there are wooden benches to allow Folk to meditate or simply rest. The pool itself is in the center of the stone-laid floor; an open channel runs from point where the spring's flow leaves the wall and runs toward the pool. The pool itself is not stone lined. Water is permitted to seep into the earth, keeping the pool filled withoug overflowing.

The tomb of Craydin Grimlion is located beneath Caronalyn's Altar. It is written in the annals of the shrine that the priests was originally buried at the spot where the spring flowed to the ground, and that as the grave was dug, the spring was allowed to flow into that ground to ensure Caronalyn herself consecrated it. After placing the body and filling the grave with dirt, a heavy stone slab was laid over the grave. A channel in the stone carried the waters of the spring away from the cliff wall. Other channeled stones were laid to carry the water to a depression in the ground about 30 feet from the grave, and at that point a new pool was allowed to form - the pool that is found within the shrine today.

Pilgrimmage

Pilgrimmages to the Shrine are relatively rare in present times, due to the difficulty and cost associated with traveling there. Furthermore, priests throughout the kingdom are usually able to pray for healing for most who need it, without the need to make the pilgrimmage. It is only when cases of the Rotting Plague suddenly begin to reappear within the kingdom that the number of afflicted rushing to the shrine sees an increase. The last such outbreak was seventy-five years ago, but there are rumors coming out of the kingdom that another outbreak is beginning, and there are reports that there are now as many as three or four per week showing up to be healed at the shrine.

There are also occasionally some desperate Folk - not always Human or Halfling - that make the journey to the Shrine as a last chance effort to rid themselves of some malady of curse. Not all of these come away healed, however. The True Church attributes this to a lack of devotion to Caronalyn and the Humanar deities.

Credits

Banner images by Vinson Tan ( 楊 祖 武 ) from Pixabay

Floor plan map by DinosaurBob using Inkarnate

Page background cathedral Image by 5163451 on Pixabay
Page background manor house image by Josef Pichler on Pixabay
Page background hut image by PamelaAndrey15 on Pixabay
Page background forest image by Waldkunst on Pixabay
Character portraits by RPGDinosaurBob on Hero Forge®

Comments

Author's Notes

Additional artwork will be provided. Final formatting will be done once the artwork is in place.


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