April 15, 2011

Lands of Syrene: Toramban

The small, mountainous island of Toramban is considered holy by all Islanders, and was before the Flood one of the Nine Sacred Cities of the Khamsaran Empire.  So holy is this isle that only a special order of monks are allowed to live here; all other visitors are discouraged from landing, and the rocky beaches are guarded by carnivorous giant crabs.  The island’s interior is one huge temple complex, with great temples carved right into and through the mountains.  The monks grow all their own food on terraced fields.

It is said the inscriptions and carvings on the temples detail the immense astrological lore of the Khamsarans, the ancient people most learned in that art, and careful study of the temples will yield knowledge of the future.  The monks consider it their sacred duty to learn the meaning of this legacy, and to guard it against all who would abuse that knowledge.   Islanders consider the monks an oracle, and from time to time a raja or a deeply troubled individual will make a  pilgrimage to Toramban, fighting or sneaking their way past the giant crabs to get to the temples.

The monks however are loath to give answers, and exactly what they want for their services, or what would convince them to make a prediction, remains unknown.  Once, and only once, did a raja attempt to force an answer from Toramban’s monks; but he and his warriors were never heard of again after they set foot on the island.

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