Place Story: Structure, Ooloo Continent
By Rick Merriman as Grumby
Rising from the center of the Village of the Gentle Ones, hidden deep in a valley in the Hooklock Mountains, the Oontrill Shrine towers high into the sky and often its summit is almost obscured by the clouds. Known to be the highest of such Fur shrines, the Oontrill Shrine is often visited by Furs from all over the continent of Ooloo so that they might become closer to the Mothers who are thought to be in the heavens.
It is said that the Oontrill Shrine was commissioned in the 12th century when the Gentle Ones’ Clan still numbered in the thousands, by far the largest of any Fur clan before or since. The Scribes and Sages who know of such things write that the Oontrill Shrine was a gift from the Goldenfur leader, Uumboo Aaltoo to the Silverfur, Suulan from the Clan of Black Bear. However, instead of winning her as his bride as was the plan, the sheer beauty and elegance of the shrine caused Suulan to have a religious epiphany and the young Silverfur chose to be celibate and dedicate her life to caring for and healing others.
It is thought that this is the beginning of the doctrine that all Silverfurs become Menk Healers. At the time of Suulan, and for several centuries after, Silverfur Menks were only the purest of heart and were demanded to remain virgins their entire lives. This was so the temptations and delights of sex would not interfere with the work to which this religious order was committed. During these several hundred years, the Vestal Healers, as the order was called, maintained control of the shrine and none but themselves and high ranking Goldenfur leaders were allowed to visit the monument.
This changed with the Chandralee of 1572 when three of the Mothers appeared to Iilen Oolon, then the leader of the Vestal Healers at the summit of the shrine. It took the combined influence of Siberlee, the Mother of Nature, Terees, the Mother of Healing and compassion, and Dulan, the Matron of the Fur Race to convince Iilen that the shrine should be shared by all Furs. With that decision made, the importance of Vestal Healers diminished – as did the belief that Menk healers should be virgins. It is now a common practice that all Silverfurs be trained in the way of the Menk and that they may only mate with a Goldenfur. The Vestal Healers eventually vanished into obscurity, though some suspect a few may remain near the Three Mothers’ rock formations North of Lake Seelos.
In the late 1570s construction began again on the Oontrill Shrine. It was ordered that each day Brownfur workers would go to the forest and dig up 100 sleds of dirt and rock and transport them to the summit of the Fur-made mountain. The reason or reasons remained elusive for over a millennium, told only secretly by Goldenfur leader to Goldenfur leader during their rites of passage. There were countless speculations, but the true reasons did not surface until the writings of prophet Mootill in his ‘Third Book of Goldenfur.’ Mootill wrote:
With this ongoing construction the Oontrill Shrine now towers above the Valley of the Gentle Ones, rivaling the scale of many of the natural Hooklock Mountains that surround that valley. It continues to increase in size even to this day.
Meticulously groomed and landscaped on a daily basis, the Oontrill Shrine is decorated with flowering Tiko plants and glowing Kooja Bushes. Once the blue thorns of the bushes begin to glow with the coming of night, all but Goldenfurs must retreat from its beauty. For it is at this time Goldenfurs contemplate both the good and the evil of the complicated world in which they find themselves.
It is written by the Scribes and Sages who know of such things, that the summit of the Oontrill Shrine where, in 2646 the Goldenfur Mootill began his path to becoming one of the Champions of Mernac and this was his place of meditation when he evolved into a Whitefur prophet, later in life.