West. St. Balthazar’s Monastery
West St. Balthazar’s Monastery is located just off of the western Imperial highway that runs from central Orynn all the way down to the Dragon’s Tail hills. Here resides an order of Pelorian monks devoted to the creed of St. Balthazar. St. Balthazar is reported to have been a mortal human who, three hundred years ago, traveled across Solista helping the poor, fighting injustice, and performing miracles. WSBM is one of two monasteries devoted to this religious figure, and numerous shrines are scattered across central Solista in his honor.
The monks of St. Balthazar’s Monasteries are bound by oaths of the same creed that St. Balathazar lived by – to stand against injustice, to help the poor, and to honor the goodness of life. The monks worship Pelor and tend the sunflower fields where the golden flowers have bloomed in abundance every year regardless of drought, disease, or disaster.
The monastery is large, encompassing several acres within its stone walls, and the monks attend several more acres of fenced fields outside the walls. Approximately two hundred monks reside at WSBM, with room for more. Due to the monastery’s location, the monastery also serves as a traveler’s waypoint and gladly gives food, rest, and shelter to those traveling the Imperial highway. Injured travelers and animals brought to the monastery find the monks are willing and able to care for all injuries and ailments.
A particular religious holiday known as St. Balthazar’s Day occurs in midsummer when the sunflowers begin to bloom. The monks celebrate their favorite holiday with a grand Event open to all races. People come to enjoy the spectacle of the games and the fair that goes on. For a modest donation, merchants are allowed to open booths, troupes sets up stages and perform for crowds, and contests of skill and strength are commonly sponsored with prizes.
The normally xenophobic outlook of Orynnites is not present among the monks of St. Balthazar’s. They report they take their example from the study of St. Balthazar’s life, a man who had many friends among many races including the gryfolk, kobolds, the marru, and others. As a result, the festival at the western monastary is often well attended by non-humans. Furthermore, the diminished state of Orynn’s military has left the Imperial highway with fewer patrols, leading to easier travel for those that would normally find such travel frustrating and tiresome.