The Citadel of Serenity

Griften‘s main residence is now the Citadel of Serenity, nestled deep within the Oytwood Forest. During one of his adventures, acting seemingly as if controlled by some external force, Griften subjected himself to the magic of the Deck of Many Things. The result was that Griften immediately became aware of this large structure where none stood before. As if masons and stoneworkers had just completed it, the citadel was furnished and boasted all the functionality and comforts expected in a keep of its size. Griften immediately travelled there to investigate, and when it was confirmed, he immediately sent word to the Temple of the Yellow Rose that they now had a stronghold in the west to continue their works. The
Brotherhood realized the importance of expanding their influence westward and sent a contingent of studying monks and psions to study there with comforts enough to support those who would donate their lives to the search for enlightenment and spirituality.

Since that day, Griften remains keeper and absentee master of the tower. Now populated with a host of monks, psions and staff, the Citadel has changed now from an echoing, empty stronghold to a bastion of learning, training and security in a forest fraught with dangers in a region where political turmoil still persists.

The Oytwood Forest

The Oytwood is a small forest compared to the Grandwood and the Hornwood, and lies almost entirely in the Duchy of Geoff. The Oytwood itself stands naked against the flat, barren terrain of the March, solitary against the sweeping winds and small against the Hellfurnaces that loom overhead. The forest is sparsely decorated with groves of fruit trees and small rolling hills. Cold, quick rivers and streams snake their way from the northern edges of the forest, and disappear to underground springs just south of the forest’s southern border. Because of Geoff’s unique geography, the Oytwood is plagued constantly by early morning fog, and frequent rain and thunderstorms. It is home to the Grey Elves and the Weeping Council which guides them, and they still defend the forest and its borders vigorously against the slowly diminishing bands of marauding giants who wander its borders. Diplomatic efforts with the Grey Elves have earned The Brotherhood of the Yellow Rose an alliance with  he Grey Elves of the Oytwood; based largely on their mutual concern with the Giant occuption of Geoff.

As it turns out, the elves have shared with Griften and the Brotherhood leadership that when the Citadel of Serenity was conjured into existence, it did so right in the heart of the forest; an almost geometric perfect center to the oddly-shaped forest borders. The elves and the seat of their Weeping Council remain north of the Citadel, and advised Griften of the small series of caves that the Citadel and its fortifications were conjured over. These caves were abandoned long ago and have never served any practical purpose, but their location underneath the Citadel does hold some curiosity with Griften.

The Citadel

The Citadel is several stories high and hundreds of feet in diameter with a secure outer wall almost three stories high; a large structure by most measures, but smaller than fortifications like Blazebane on the Almorian border. There is a central tower, several stories taller than the rest of the residence, and it is in the top floor that Griften has his personal residence. Comfortable furnishings but not ornate, a large library but not vast, and many windows that look out over the forest below. When not with his companions, Griften spends many hours here; a rare place of quiet and peace for the troubled monk.

While the Temple of the Yellow Rose enjoys some natural protection nestled high in the Raker mountains in the East, the Oytwood forest offers little natural protection and the Grey Elves of the forest do not protect the Citadel any more than they do the rest of the forest.

Griften visits often his Citadel, although much of his time is spent away on ambassadorial trips with the Brotherhood. “The Scourge” has gone through many metamorphoses, but Griften keeps in contact with his old friends as often as he can. Griften‘s mental powers allow him great mobility and allow him to travel back and forth between the many important factions he is in constant communication with.

The Brotherhood, realizing the importance of having a presence in the west, have stationed many of the order at the Citadel, ensuring that those stationed there continue their study of body and mind.

The Construct at that time was cylindrical in shape, perhaps only two stone’s throws in diameter. With five different floors, the CItadel was suitable for study, residence and training of the monk and psions that live there. Griften, of course, taught those who required training, and resided there himself for a time. Of course, his advventures and quest to bring peace and order to the Flannaess requires his abasence much of the time, but his resolved that the Citadel remain protected inspried those who thought less of expanding the reach of the Brotherhood.

The Brotherhood began fortifying the structure, enlarging it to accommodate more monks, guarding it against attackers, etc. The walls were dotted with windows, the grounds decorated with statues & beds of flowers and the Citadel’s entrance made grand and inviting, so that all might feel welcome.

Protections & Precautions

The forest is not so dense as to impede movement through it. Characters have the same movement rate in the forest as they would without, but the forest is not innocent of impeding its visitors’ progress. The forest is inhabited by many; animals, humans perhaps, and a league of others. its magic protections are the result of the druidic contingent within the forest, seldom seen and seldom heard. The forest possesses a strange array of magiks, all designed to discourage evil-doers and dissuade adventure seekers. Those who enter the forest are unknowingly under the effects of a Lose the Path spell.

This ensures that those trying to find the Citadel cannot find it unless the monks of the Brotherhood or the druidic order within the forest aid them. (thought none can claim to have met any of the druids). To ensure this protection, the Grand Master of Flowers suggested that other druidic/priestly spells be employed to assure the discouragement of the travelers without causing them any harm. Thus, the forest is designed to look exactly as every poart of it; wherever the wanderes look.

Within the Citadel, the residing monks have the use of a magical items to aid in discerning the identity and intent of those who wander into teh forest. As they watch the wanderess, they may choose to aid them or not. If aided, an emisssary from the Citadel may go out to the forest to meet them, and lean them in, or to help them if help is necessary. otherwise, it is unliekly that any contact would be made. If however, the wanderes are able to get close to the Citadel without the aid of the order, there are certain safebuardsin place to dissuade them further, or to lead them in should that be their desire.

(hallucinatory forest & programmed illusion & mirage arcana) When anyone comes within 200 yeards of the Citadel, a combination spell of Pogrammed Illusion an dPermanent Illusion comes into effect. The illusion only activates once they come within this radius, and when they do, the observant traveller will se ea man dressed in black robes resting on a rock ahead on teh path. (no doubt at this point, the traveleres are fed up with the same scenery, and this is a welcome sight!)

The Man sitting on the rock is the Master of Dragons, Brother Griften Insaith of the Yllow Rose, sitting in the sunshine, smoking a piipe. (the obliging wizard thought this was a hilarious touch… griften doesn’t smoke). As the traveleres approach, the illusion stands, bows depely to them and tells them that they approach the Citadel of Serenity, a place of peace, contemplation and wonder. Griften encourages them to approach if they mean wellk, and dissuades them if they mean harm to those withing. Of course, he cannot answer questions, buut he doe thell them if they require audience with the Master of the Tower, they shoujld request it of the monks that live inside.

Afte rthis, the illusion of Brother Griften wihes them well in their journy, whatever it might be, and walks off the path into th forest where he probmtply and obviously fades into nothingness.

After the metting with the illusion of Brother Griften, the adventurers are perstered no more by the effects of the forest. They may proceed unhindered to the Citadel, though they know not where it actually is.

Soon they will come to a clearing in the woods, a break in the monotonous paths and trees. Unfortunately, before those who gaze upon it appears to be a great swamp. The forest opens up to a gamping swamp, dire with putrid water and decaying, dead tress. If however they vernture into teh swamp, they will quikcly find they ai face stand on an open plaoin, and not amidst the mucky swamp they thought they would be.

(mirage arcana & hallucinatory terrain) –

As the adventurers venture into the swamp, they will quickly each individually realize that is a vast, open plain, and can proceed more easily. Once their resolve in reaching the Citadel is obvious, (they’ve entered the swamp), the Mirage Arcana will cease, and the Citadel will phase into view, looming over the adventurers who hopefully stand awestruck before it. If elation sweeps their ranks, it is soon to be taken away because as they approach the Citadel, they will get no close, and it will seem to them that they always remain the same distance away… another common misconception.

(distance distortion)

Those wishing still to approach may, and the effects will wear off as they come to the door of the Citadel at last. A tall, dark coloured door, unlocked and standing as tall as two men bars the entrance, but do not dissuade anyone from entering.

The citadel was molded into a small fort, a surrounding wall offering privacy and defense wee any ever necessary, with turrets and lookouts surrounding it. The walls were dotted with windows, the Citadel;’s entrance being obvious and welcoming as none are denied access.

The inside of the Citadel is very plain and aesthetic, fitting to a place of such discipline and study. As visitors open the great entrance doors to the Citadel, no one welcomes them. None come to greet them, no one offers them aid, and there is nothing visible but an empty hall, what was originally the Citadel as it came to exist in the Oytwood Forest. This hall was the entranceway and main floor of the original five-floor Citadel, before the fortification orders from the Brotherhood.

To the left of the hallway as visitors enter the foyer rests a large tome atop a simple wooden dais. The book lies open, and across the pages are scrawled a number of signatures; it appears very much like a simple guestbook, and a beautiful quill and jar of ink sit on the dais. If a simple Detect Magic spell is used, the book radiates faint alteration magic. If visitors enter and do nothing but waltz into the sanctuary, the Vacancy spell that shrouds the Citadel will remain in effect. If however, the visitor(s) pay attention to the tome as they enter, all this can be avoided.

The book is not magical of course, but an important part of a Contingency spell. Once a visitor signs the book and places the quill back in the ink, the Contingency spell triggers the Vacancy spell to discontinue, and the citadel will literally ‘come to life’. The bare halls become lined with benches and paintings, tapestries adorn the walls and torches light up the hallways. Smells of cooking wafts towards the entrance, and sounds of meditative chant and the clash of training drift down the long corridors. It is only after the visitors sign the guestbook that monks living here will approach the visitors and welcome them, unless given other instructions (by Brother Griften).

Filled with training rooms, study halls, libraries and small chapels, the Citadel itself is rather plain and ordinary. Now that it has been fortified, there are many more monks that have taken residence here, anxious to be part of the Brotherhood’s movement westward, preferring the forest atmosphere to the harsh mountain range that surrounds The Temple of the Yellow Rose.

Psions arrive seldom, there are only seven residing there now, but many of the monks have been give this gift.

The means by which the inhabitants of the Citadel may know of the presence of those within the forest is accomplished by the use of the Orb of Seeing presented to the Brotherhood. It is one of a pair, in fact, that is used with the spell Wizard Eye. Thus the monks are able to sense and observe those in the forest and may choose to go to them if necessary. The other Orb of Seeing was given as gift to the Grand Master of Flowers, and is kept for all to use in the Temple of the Yellow Rose, in the Crystalmists.

The torches that burn on the walls burn forever, imbued with Cantrip to burn with a pale blue light, illuminating as much of the citadel as would a regular torch. Monks may use these at night to walk among the halls of the Citadel, never in fear of them extinguishing and unafraid of the heat, for these torches bear none. The monks refer to this effect as Coldfire.

In the middle of the construct lies now it’s the central tower, 7 stories in height stop which is Griften‘s private residence, luxurious and lavish in comparison to the accommodations of the other monks and psions. Roughly 50 yards in diameter, the circular tower houses little else than Griften‘s chambers. A long, winding staircase curls its way up the inner walls of the tower, the only entrance to this residence. This is because there is no entrance to the residence itself. There is no door, and the windows are magical blocks of stone. For this is not how Griften enters or leaves his rooms; simply the manner by which it was constructed by his fellow monks of the brotherhood.

While the Grandmaster of Flowers realized that the Citadel must be protected, it was recognized that he could not always rely on the order to make every decision with his approval. The Grandmaster has been pleased with Griften, and subsequently has treated him well. Magikcs surrounding the Citadel and the Oytwood are not only favoured to the Grand Master, but favours for Griften as well, from mages of significant power and influence, and a druidic order that Griften knows not of within the Oytwood itself.

Griften‘s residence does not have any windows, but where windows should be the stone blocks have been enchanted to act as windows. Tall, elegant windows, that offer a sweeping view of the forest and its beautiful sunsets. As strong as stone themselves, they off Griften a unique characteristic used not for protection, but for pleasure (Glassee).

Thus, Griften is able to see outwards, but no one is aware, or able to see into the residence, offering excellent privacy and anonymity. Unfortunately, the residence is not lived in most of the time, the monks of the Brotherhood respect Griften‘s privacy. The residence is finely furnished, as its real purpose is not only to act as a refuge for the Master of Dragons, but also for entertaining of a more private nature. As Griften‘s influence in the Flanaess continues to grow, so too does the need for privacy. Those with whom Griften now associates appreciate methods such as these; and enjoy the comforts provided here.

Couches of finest velvet circle the ornate fireplace, which is kept constantly burning. A vast array of books line the walls of the main room, stretched from floor to ceiling, on subjects as varied as the animals on Oerth. Baskets of fruit remain constantly replenished, and freshly cooked bread is supplied from the bakery in the Citadel below.

Candles light the room, a chandelier hangs steadily from the tall, cathedral ceiling and scented flowers lighten up the room with their scent and beauty. The room is kept immaculately clean, and this is not accomplished through any of Griften‘s means…

(unseen servant)

Thus Griften need not worry about bringing guests into a messy entertaining room, or not being able to offer them a glass of wine and some food. often Griften and guests relax in their fortress of solitude for hours, discussing important matters or simply watching the flames lick the fireplace, reminiscing and enjoying each other’s company.

The residence is cloaked in a veil of protective magic, so that no one may simply watch its inhabitants with the uses of Crystal balls or scrying magic. the room has been covered in a nondetection spell, so that these magiks are ineffective.

With the aid of the magic bestowed upon his residence, Griften can safely and worrilessly bring guests to and from his entertaining quarters. But without doors and windows (of a typical manner), Griften‘s guests must rely on the extradimensional means of transportation that Griften himself must use to gain access. When Griften wants to bring a guest or he himself withes to enter, he simply uses the psion abilities granted him to Teleport or Wormhomel inside the residence. There, 2 other guests may stay comfortably with their own beds and rooms, enjoying the comfort and solitude, but only for a short time. those individuals with the means to return later via their own magics are politely asked to refrain from doing so by Griften, as this is his personal sanctuary. and he has gone to great pains to keep it as such.

Griften‘s Closest Followers

Brotherhood Acolytes

  • Anexcemites
  • Canter
  • Parmenates
  • Justinian
  • Maleitis
  • Phineas

Psion Students

  • Illiatic
  • Merros
  • Aramus
  • Mehlissis

Honoured Trainees

All of the above trainees and acolytes reside with him in the Citadel of Serenity. There they refine their skills and strive to reach new levels of understanding and discipline. They use their talents and gifts with and against one another to learn more about what they each can do, and how they might use their talents with others to better all of mankind.

Much of the training is done by other monks of the Yellow Rose; instructors of the various arts reside in the Citadel as well, but those listed here are the ones that Griften has either taken a special interest in, or have shown the most potential in their trainings with the Master of the Citadel.

Author: Turnerbuds

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