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Brimstone Haruspex

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Though highly independent, even proud orc chieftains sometimes seek advice. When this happens, most warlords send their seconds-in-command to the Endseers of the Brimstone Haruspex, a temple complex high in the caldera of the smoking Eye of the Unmaker stratovolcano within the northern Kodar Mountains of the Hold of Belkzen.[1]

History

The Haruspex, built at the end of the Thassilonian empire's reign, was initially a temple to Mhar. The Endseers first occupied the complex during the Age of Anguish and have carried out their prophetic mission in the thousands of years since.[2]

Inhabitants

Two flesh golems carved from taiga giant bodies with owlbear claws, heads, and feet guard the compound's entrance, though in the past the guardians were described simply as giant owlbears; whether the guardians were always flesh golems or reconstituted from owlbears remains unknown.[2][3] The Dead Eye tribe claims the surrounding territory and harasses pilgrims to the Haruspex, angering the Endseers so much that the oracles offer bounties for their heads.[2]

Endseers

Inside the hold, an ancient group of inbred orc oracles of Rovagug known as the Endseers offer guidance in exchange for massive tribute.[1] In addition to maintaining the only supposedly complete record of orc history—a lengthy series of cave paintings stretching all the way back to the orcs’ initial emergence on the surface of Golarion—the oracles breathe in the vapors from the active fumaroles in order to spin weird and bloody prophecies.[4]

As the Endseers lack the engineering competence to maintain their seismically vulnerably temples, they work with local fire giants to repair and expand the Haruspex. Despite the volcano's devastating eruptions every several centuries, the temples themselves remain largely unscathed.[1]

Appearance and structures

The Haruspex consists of sprawling tunnels, caves, spires, a temple, and several constructed chambers, all located high in the Eye of the Unmaker's caldera and surrounded by lava and toxic fumes. Its many structures include:

  • The Hall of Omens, a tremendous cavern whose walls are inscribed with millennia of prophecies.[2]
  • The Tunnel of the Forefathers, a lava tube that purportedly records orcish history on its walls, dating back to the race's emergence on Golarion's surface and still maintained by the Endseers.[2]

References