A lonely church, long abandoned, is visible from the road. The gate stands alone, its walls gone, and you could swear that you hear a bell tolling, despite the tower having no bell.
The Church of St. Christopher is located in the Golden Fields about one day's march from Willowdale along the Lonesome Road. Once a spot for missionaries and travellers, it was abandoned over 50 years ago under mysterious circumstances and has since fallen into ruin. The church's ground floor contains the main sanctuary along with eight smaller rooms, four on each side. The third room on the left is the Abbot's Room, while the fourth on the right contains the stairs that lead down into the crypt. Further stairs downward lead to the church's catacombs, and deeper still, a natural cave system can be found with a river running through it.
When first discovered by the Pathfinders, a soft red glow eminated from the building's windows at night, and a bell could occasionally be heard tolling. Both the ground level and the defiled graveyard were inhabited by hoards of undead, including skeleton warriors, ghouls and wraiths, which would roam the surrounding fields at night. Deeper in the church's catacombs, devils were found roaming the halls. The root of these foul happenings was uncovered and destroyed, and the church returned to a more peaceful state.
Preceeding the Battle of Willowdale, Jord came to the church to pray to St. Christopher for aid. Miraculously, the main altar statue restored itself as he prayed, suggesting the building's return to its original function: a shrine to the True Pilgrim.
Cause for CorruptionEditThe reasons for the corruption and abandonment of the church were for a long time unknown; the Reverend Mother of the Temple of Yoma implored the Pathfinders to discover the cause and purge the evil with all haste, and rewarded them for finally bringing an end to the horror.
While exploring the abandoned rooms, several pieces of a journal written by a monk named Brother Harold were recovered which referenced a new abbot who arrived to take the place of the late former abbot shortly before the fall of the church. This new abbot apparently engaged in several odd activities, including relocating church funds to expand the cellar into a much larger system of catacombs, and having various arcane and divine artifacts delivered to the premesis. He himself was discovered, and summarily defeated, by the Pathfinders in the depths of the catacombs on the 15th of Eleint. Brother Harold knew not whether he was possessed or was in fact a disguised devil; further inquiry via Commune revealed that he was a possessed man.
The abbot had in his care a long finger bone with an evil aura, apparently the source of corruption. After its destruction, the Pathfinders had a vision of a place of green fire, where demonic figures and people shrouded in red robes stood around an apparent ruler of hell, who expressed rage and confusion before disregarding the party as insignificant.
The Abbot's RoomEditOf the eight rooms on the Church's ground floor, only one, dubbed the Abbot's Room, remained unexplored by the Pathfinders for some time. There is no door on any visible wall, and evidence of a divinely magical seal originally existed. Efforts to break into the room by both mundane and magical means proved unsuccesful.
One of Brother Harold's diaries described the magic seal as the work of the old Abbot, in order to protect his chamber in case of danger to the church. The door remained sealed despite the cleansing of the corruption, though a vision of an old man suggested that only a priest who lived at the church at the time when it fell into ruin would be able to open the door. Sister Tamoko, the only remaining survivor, assisted the Pathfinders in opening this room by giving them her holy symbol, as she was too old to make any sort of trip herself. When the symbol was presented, a doorway appeared, leading into what appeared to be a private study. The room contained a collection of several magical items, as well as a small library. When the symbol was taken away, the door vanished into the stone wall again; the door only appears when presented with the holy symbol. However, the powerful wards appear to have vanished permanently, making it merely a room with no entrance.