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The House of the Broken God was a temple, monastery, and hospital dedicated to Ilmater, located in Keltar in Calimshan. It was the largest temple complex of the Broken God, and the center of his faith in southern Faerûn.
Although most Ilmatari temples in Calimshan were based in the countryside, owing to wealthy Calishites' dislike of the poor and the sick, the House of the Broken God was a prime exception, being set within a town. Regardless, it was only a minor, distant town, but having such an important facility within its confines made Keltar famous.
The whole complex was surrounded by a perimeter wall that stood 12 feet (3.6 meters) high. This wall abutted the sabban walls, standing some 8–9 feet (2.4–2.7 meters) over the sabban wall walkway.
In the core of the complex was a monastery, a major temple, and two shrines to local Ilmatari saints. Dotted about were also a cloister, a school, a hospital, a pharmacy, and two wells. There were also several small inns provided for the family and friends of patients at the hospital. The area was dominated by walled gardens, where herbs and plants with medicinal benefits were cultivated. A series of these walled gardens extended beyond the town limits, and joined a temple farm on a hill to the northwest of the town, and thence to a walled leper house, and thence to a sanitarium, as well as dormitories for patients who could not be cured.
As the largest hospital in the Realms, the House of the Broken God was dedicated to the treatment and care of the injured, sick, deformed, and mentally ill, including those suffering from leprosy. It was also home to best pharmacy in the land, where medicines were concocted from medicinal herbs and plants grown in the gardens and farms.
The House of the Broken God was already the greatest temple of Ilmater in the Realms by the mid–13th century DR.
At the time, the Tome of Torment—the holiest book of the Ilmatari faith—had come into the possession of another temple, the House of Holy Suffering in Mussum. There, the senior Sage-Priest of the church, known as the Spontaer, prayed to Ilmater and received visions of powerful magical protections that would render the Tome usable only by priests of Ilmater. However, these protections would come at the cost of his life. The Spontaer explicitly requested that the Tome of Torment be delivered to the House of the Broken God in Keltar, before he worked the magic on the Tome and sacrificed his own life, circa 1265 DR.
However, against the Spontaer's wishes, Shrymaun Beldaerth, leader of the Mussum temple, refused to relinquish the Tome to the House of the Broken God. Archsufferer Bloirt Waelarn, then Father of the House of the Keltar temple, declared all those of the "degenerate" Mussum house "heretics" and called for them to be cast out and treated as mentally ill. A few ambitious minor priests joined Waelarn and together they journeyed to the Mussum house, intending to "cleanse the filth". But Waelarn and his followers were attacked by the Mussum priests and the Companions of the Noble Heart paladin order, who labeled them "false clerics" and "subverted by evil".
An angry Waelarn summoned three other knightly orders—the Holy Warriors of Suffering, the Knights of the Bleeding Shield, and the Order of the Golden Cup—to his side and vowed holy war against the "unclean ones of Mussum" and their allies. The war saw the violent clashes of Holy Hill Farm in 1266 DR and Bronsheir's Charge and Weeping Rock in 1267 DR. Finally, Lord Sir Jargus Holenhond of the Golden Cup called an end to the bloodshed between true believers, insisted that the Tome of Torment be transferred to Keltar as planned, and blamed Bloirt Waelarn for the senseless violence, determining that he should be removed from office and sent into hermitage for the remainder of his years. The weary paladins accepted and carried out his judgment.
Althea the Abased succeeded Waelarn as leader of the House of the Broken God. Seeing the carnage wrought by the fight for ownership of the Tome, Althea declared that no high-ranking member of the church was worthy of it, saying instead that Ilmater had given them the Tome for lesser priests to do his work and recruit believers in the undeveloped lands. Shortly after, she selected Blaermon the Blessed, a knight of the Holy Warriors of Suffering, to take away the Tome of Torment and bestow it upon the first "needy and worthy" Ilmatari he met, someone who worked or fought for the benefit of the common people and their faith, not merely for wealth and adventure. Blaermon duly gave the Tome to Flaergon of Glister.
Thirty years later, following the death of Flaergon in the Year of the Claw, 1299 DR, Daern of Hawksroost brought the Tome of Torment back to Althea at the House of the Broken God, now called High Mistress of Worthy Suffering. Daern's devotion moved Althea, and she named him an honorary Brother of the temple. Daern became Althea's bodyguard and assistant.
In the 1320s DR (50 years before 1370 DR), a seriously wounded woman came to the House seeking aid. The encounter had a serious effect of Brother Kalil the Painbearer, once abbot of the House and later a leader of the Janessar.
Althea lived to a great age, but finally passed on in the Year of the Gate, 1341 DR. Daern was given a new role as Guardian of the Tome. Unfortunately, within the year, he was murdered by the returned Bloirt Waelarn, who stole the Tome and escaped.
The Tome was recovered, lost, and recovered again several times. Finally, after being forcibly taken from the clutches of Thayan agents, the Tome was returned to the House of the Broken God in the possession of the triumphant Enduring Servant Elisker Hagathan at the end of the Year of the Boot, 1343 DR.
The Tome remained at the House of the Broken God for almost twenty years, only occasionally being loaned to Ilmatari priests embarking on dangerous missions with the Holy Warriors of Suffering.
The Tome of Torment was once again stolen in Year of the Helm, 1362 DR, its whereabouts and thief unknown. The Church of Ilmater offered a reward for its surrender at either the House of Holy Suffering in Mussum or the House of the Broken God in Keltar.
The leaders of the House of the Broken God were:
- – 1267 DR: Father of the House, Archsufferer Bloirt Waelarn
- c. 1267 DR – 1341 DR: High Mistress of Worthy Suffering Althea the Abased
- Abbot Kalil the Painbearer [note 1]
- c. 1369 DR: Revered Father of the House, Melder Rythtin of the Healing Hand
- c. 1370 DR: Revered Father of the House Adhan el Ilmater
- ↑ It is unknown when Kalil served as abbot of the House. As an abbot is a leader of a monastery, Kalil might only be leader of the monastery in the House of the Broken God, rather than of the temple complex as a whole.
- ↑ Eric L. Boyd, Erik Mona (May 2002). Faiths and Pantheons. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 0-7869-2759-3.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc), p. 76–77. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Steven E. Schend and Dale Donovan (September 1998). Empires of the Shining Sea. (TSR, Inc), pp. 55, 176, 110. ISBN 978-0786912377.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Ed Greenwood and Doug Stewart (1997). Prayers from the Faithful. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 100–103. ISBN 0-7869-0682-0.