Dying of the Light
KEEP knowledge alive, HALLOW the land and its people, WATCH for the coming Dark.
A repository of knowledge and a beacon in the dark the Monastery of the Covenant is the oldest known permanent settlement in the world, a magic school dedicated to rebirth and the advancement of civilization in the aftermath of the Dark. Covenant mages are trained in the basics of all magical skills but they excel at controlling life forces to heal and occasionally harm. A Covenant mage can restore a blighted area to full bloom in a few days or can help control the spread of the wilds. They can heal the sick or put the plagued dead to rest. Their training is long, arduous and mysterious and many wonders are said to lie at the core of the Monastery, unseen by simple eyes.
The Covenant is run by a council of five, known simply as the Council. The Covenant itself has three branches: the Hallowers, the Keepers and the Watchers.
The Hallowers are itinerant mages, tasked with the tending of wounds. The wounds of the body, those of the people they meet in their travels, the wounds of the land, the scarred landscapes left behind after the Dark, and the wounds of the soul, which they heal by spreading the Word of the Covenant.
The Keepers are the guardians of knowledge, rarely ever leaving the walls of the Monastery. Keepers are both scholars and scribes, gathering, studying and organizing knowledge for the benefit of all. They catalog and ensure that nothing is lost to the ages. And when they aren’t sifting through troves of new knowledge, they are putting quill to parchment for the sake of sharing what they know with the masses. Simple, useful knowledge that all may benefit from is gathered into small works and sent out to blooming settlements so that they may better prepare for the coming Dark. It is also whispered in dark corners and peculiar confidence that the Keepers practice the lost art of Metamorphosis.
The Watchers are the strong arm and the silent blade of the Covenant. They serve a dual purpouse, to protect the Monastery at all costs and to stay informed of any dangerous goings-on in the world. They are trained in all manner of skills, wielding might and magic alike in the name of the Covenant. They mostly stay near the Monastery to protect its walls, but they are the ones that go out to enforce the need of the many, when the Council deems it necessary. While they are not always as skilled in magic as their counterparts, they are often deadlier still, not merely for their skill in combat, but the fervor with which they perform their duties. It is said a Watcher will never stray from the Word of the Covenant.
The walls of the Monastery are closed to all but a few, mostly trusted merchants, as the Monastery, due to its seclusion, relies heavily on trade between itself, the Witherfort, and the outside world. These merchants, when visiting, are housed in (and restricted to) a compound within the walls, which is for all intents and purpouses, a giant stone dome, filled with guest houses and home to the Petitioner’s Hall.
Outside the walls lies a sprawling city, the marked end of the trade route and center of pilgrimage. Despite the Covenant insisting that its Word is not meant to be worshiped, after each cycle this quickly becomes the case, as pilgrims walk the Lantern Road to kiss the walls of the beloved Monastery or take a pinch of earth from within its borders. Lately however, there has been less worship, as happens often towards the end of a cycle when many come up with their own cults.