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Aga's Sanctuary

Unnaturally pleasant. While the weather outside the Sanctuary is highly seasonal with snow in winter and humid heat in summer, the Sanctuary stays mild and enjoyable with only minor variations for the season.
Nestled in the blackened and broken "arms" of the ancient, exploded volcano Ravarri, the soil of Aga’s Sanctuary is unusually fertile. The Sanctuary is a small garden full of abundant greenery. The smoke coming from the crater can often be seen in the distance behind the array of tropical plants which flower abundantly in the garden. A small spring is at the center, the start of a small stream that runs down the volcano. Clusters of Japanese maple and cherry blossom trees are abundant in the garden, the seeds brought to their present location by birds thousands of years ago. The floor of the valley is carpeted in rolling, verdant hills and dotted with wild chrysanthemums, hydrangeas, and lavender. Local fauna includes black-tailed deer, white-spotted falcons, river otters, red badgers, and silk songbirds.
The area also hosts a group of nine stone temples built long ago in the forested mountains. They were lost to time and only recently rediscovered, and are now occupied by worshipers of Aga. While many of the temples remain completely overgrown, some have been cleared out, made suitable as a space to live once again, and connected by a dirt path for convenience. The monks here see Aga as their main deity and believe that by embracing nature and living in isolation from large cities and the danger they cause the environment, they are following her will. They do have some association with nearby towns, however, as they often make the journey down the mountain to ask for alms.
The monks are known to take in and rehabilitate animals who have been victims of poaching, abuse, or natural disaster. They also keep many tokotas on the temple grounds as they see these animals as being sacred to Aga. The monks wear brown robes with a simple green lining, and many of the tokotas are decorated in green silk or cloth to let others know of their association with the temple.
In high contrast to the expanding beauty of the Sanctuary, the land surrounding this pocket of nature is desolate; the skeletons of old structures dot the ruined land. Adventurers often explore these abandoned, burned structures looking for lost artifacts and other treasures in order to gain riches.
  • Lava’s Edge - Flows of now-solid igneous rock surround the garden, forming a barrier which directs any flowing lava around it. In places this is as tall as a tokota, and the dark colours of the rock form a sharp contrast to the greenery of the garden. It marks the end of the Sanctuary and the beginning of unprotected land.
  • Altar of Aga - The altar of Aga is a stone altar carved out in the central temple that is the most overgrown by plant life. Massive tree roots have spread out and covered the building, and a towering tree sits high above the forest canopy. Vines and plants have almost entirely covered the building, except for a small break in the plant life that allows residents to come in and out. Broken stone in one corner of the building allows sunlight to filter through, providing scarce lighting. Many of the monks come here to leave offerings to Aga or to meditate and pray.
  • Mountainside Path - A steep path down the mountain that the monks take to reach the nearby towns and villages. Oftentimes you can see a crowd of green-clad monks and tokotas walking down the path to town to ask for alms.
  • The Gardens - These sport incredibly complex and rare flowers and plants. Lakes filled with a stunning variety of koi and lotus flowers, pagodas, jade and stone sculptures of the various deities of Tokotna, cherry blossom trees, and stone lanterns are scattered throughout the landscape. The gardens are a place of peace and worship, and those visiting are asked to be quiet and polite.
  • The stories go that even in the event of a volcano eruption, the Sanctuary is safe - the ash will fall around it, but only lightly brush the plants of the garden, and lava flows will part before they reach the first plant. Local officials would like to note that the area around the volcano should still be left when it is active - the Sanctuary should only be used in cases where there isn’t enough time to leave the area entirely.
  • Many in the nearby town consider the temple and monks highly respectable, and when the monks and their tokotas descend to collect alms they are happy to give - many sustenance hunters provide all of their extra meat to the temple to feed the large number of tokotas it houses. Being stingy is a sign of disrespect and a bad omen sure to attract Borga’s gaze.
  • The creation of Aga’s Sanctuary is highly debated, but one explanation is often accepted: Before the Vyuur and Ikkuva were locked away in their respective volcanoes, they decimated the land with constant eruptions. The land was nearly inhospitable for locals trying to gain their footing and start towns. It is said that Aga herself imprisoned the spirits and calmed the land enough for settlements to rise.

  • Original location inspiration by shekeira, hrhianne and aitaica
    Location art by USERNAME