From The Hub
Not a lot of bashers are lining up to visit the Shattered Temple headquarters of the Athar faction. Sure, the clueless tramped all over the place back when the Lost still gave tours that included a look into the Astral, but those that don't have faction business there generally avoid the whole area on account of its bad omens. After all, there's a reason it's ruined. Almost looks like a cataclysm - some say the Lady's wrath - razed not only the Shattered Temple, but this entire surrounding neighborhood in a blocks-wide area. That fissure has split the grounds around the temple and, curiously enough, Aoskar's Folly vine crawls up the fissures' walls, almost as a reminder of the temple's former master.
Folks still live just at the edge of the devastation though; there's freshly cobbled streets, well lit rail stations and tightly clustered houses, shops and inns. Ne'ermind that the beams and stones of these buildings look old, bobbed from the tattered remains in the area, but the construction is tidy enough. As we head towards the temple, a body might note the Soused Duck on the right, with its copper tubs of periwinkle at its door. This tavern and the Generous Coin Mercantile popped up long ago to serve faction members. And these businesses serve little else, on accounts that outsiders avoid this place like the Lady's Shadow.
- Aiden, Lower Ward Tout
|Location:||Shattered District Lower Ward|
The remnants of this once gigantic temple stand at the heart of a zone of destruction several blocks across. As a barmy approaches the area (cuz only a barmy would), they'd notice that the bustle and hubbub of the Cage fades as a body approaches the temple. A cold, misty breeze whispers through a mat of Aoskar's Folly littered with tumbled stone and splintered wood. Some of Sigil's poor wander here and there, gathering up loose stones and beams from the surrounding shelled-out buildings. The sods look more than a little uneasy, and the don't linger.
The tilted skeleton of the Shattered Temple looms above these and other, lesser ruins. Razorvine curtains tis ragged walls, listing buttresses, and cracked columns and towers. The Lost have shored up the remains of the crumbling sanctuary, but they like the ravaged mood of the place. They gain comfort from the mute witness to fact that powers can die - as did Aoskar, the near-forgotten god of portals once worshiped here when the place was still called the Great Temple of Doors.
Within this zone of destruction, all but the Athar heed long-standing tradition and superstition. Wagoners stop at the very edge of the ruins, sedan chairs won't enter, and moneylenders refuse loans to those foolish enough to attempt a new business venture inside. Packed along this outer rim of ruin are a whole host of shops and inns catering to the Lost and their visitors, forming a ring of gaudy nightlife around the ruin. Over the years, the reputation of the area's grown enough to to attract even wealthy lords looking for a little low-life fun.
A visitor can attempt to request a guide to take them on a tour of the ruined temple. The grounds are not grand and the Lost keep it this way on purpose. Once you leave a guardhouse, visitors to the Shattered Temple emerge upon an expanse of rough grasses humped by mole tunnels and pocked with thistle and dock. A careless berk could lose his footing on the uneven walkways that lead from the peripheral outbuildings toward the incredible pile of stone that is the temple. Guards patrol the grounds, from the four overgrown terraces to the decrepit temple itself. The Lost didn't break much of a sweat fixing the place up, but visitors can see why the faction members like the place so: Its ragged heights suggest the irregular battlements of a mountain fortress. When it rains, a body can tell the every stone in the Piebald Tower on the left seems a slightly different color.
A quick walk across the grass leads a party to the Scriptorium, where the Athar create their books and, of course, the propaganda tracts that always seem to be blowing like leaves in the street of the Cage. Those entering the detached Old Temple Wing first notice the gaping, glassless windows in its upper floors and its distinct lack of a roof. The ground floor seems sound enough, though. Beyond the anteroom is a light-filled chamber where nearly 50 scribes sit at tables stacked high with paper. The scratch of quills and the murmur of lowered voices both dictating to a host of Automatic Scribes and in conversation sounds as long as light lasts. Makeshift shelves and old tables hold pots of in - scarlet, cobalt, verdigris, and gold for the books that become part of the faction's library. The tracts get only black. Seems the Athar know how to spend their jink.
Back outside and over into the other side of this building, visitors step into another anteroom. The long oak tables in the chamber beyond suggest the room's purpose: the rectory. The lost don't eat too bad, goes the chant. The kitchen beyond has the same tall but glassless windows of this dining area.
The Shattered Temple
The clearest path up to the most sound Shattered Temple entrance winds left around the central building. Heading up the path and into the buttressed bulk of the temple itself, the curious pass under a massive arch. Some say going in there feels like entering a tomb. In the vaulted entry hall, ornate portals stand to the left and the right, and light shines through an opening at the far end.
A quick look into the room on the right reveals nothing but a maze of falling-down shelves holding boxes of papers and piles of ledgers. The left portal leads to what was once a shrine. Now, books fill the shelves lining the walls. A ladder (attached to a rail the encircles the room at head height) gets a body up a narrow balcony, from which yet another tier of shelves springs upward. A visitor's likely to encounter a thin blood in hooded robes flipping through the pages of some thick tome at one of the tables in the center of the floor. This is Hobard, a grouch of a mage who'll spare a moment to grumble at strangers under his breath before poking his nose back in his book.
- The Shattered Temple, along with the Gatehouse Asylum, is one of the oldest buildings in Sigil dating back to the Age of Arendur.
- An old dwarf named Garmundi claims to be a priest of Aoskar and has been seen preaching on top of the shattered columns of the temple.
- Some bodies claim that there are still active portals not only in the Temple, but in the fissure as well.