The mountain called Rh’eyltakak by natives has a long history, as do most mountains. It’s been an object of religious veneration in Ech’kent since time before anyone was counting, and is understood to be the birthplace of the human race—where God created the fifty-score and ten original human beings. Native religion in Ech’kent holds that the plateau is just outside the Gated Land, and the people who live there the descendants of the patient humans. And Rh’eyltakak is the gate back to the Gated Land.
The mountain used to be called Chavej’dex, which translates roughly into ‘the gods’ gate,’ but at some point in history was changed to Rh’eyltakak, the exact meaning of which is lost in modern Chez’n, though the Chez’n word for mountain is nak’k, suggesting the current name is also a description of the mountain. Later missionaries would note that the name is similar to the rh’eyltn, which is the Catechism’s word for ‘messiah,’ and would call the mountain ‘Peak of the Anointed’ for about three hundred years.
Prior to the war that would later stretch into the Catechism war, the mountain was a stronghold of three local gods, all of whom were killed at Thunder’s Falls. During the ensuing war, the people of Ech’kent were one of the largest loyalist factions on the continent, and a number of gods sought refuge with them. During the war, they were infiltrated by a famed general named Klaus, who killed some of the hiding gods and managed to shake their loyalism. Klaus fled to Chavej’dex, after being discovered, where he disappeared—his body never found. The traps he placed around the mountain ensured that nobody looked that hard.
It was after this that the mountain began to be called Rh’eyltakak, and not long after this that the people of Ech’kent began to worship dragons. Dragons, however, never lived in or on the mountain for reasons known only to them. It came to be believed by humans to be a holy site, containing the workshop in which humans had been built. It was known to have a series of caves inside it, but it was also known to be unsafe to explore these caves, and nobody who tried ever returned alive, thanks to Klaus’s still-active traps. Climbing up the mountain and returning was a mark of divine favour that imparted authority for those who did it. For nearly two thousand years the mountain maintained this status, until Catechism missionaries began to have serious success converting the plateau.
Though Ech’kent was never fully converted to the Catechism, the old religion did begin to die out after a long struggle. Believing Rh’eyltakak to be connected to the messiah, the Catechism constructed a monastery to Saint Bernadette, a saint known for, among other things, being buried alive by heretics. The traps and wards that had made the interior of the mountain inaccessible were in many places still present, but enough of them had faded—because of having been triggered—that the monastery was largely constructed out of rooms already carved out of the mountain. It was made a site of pilgrimage for the Catechism, a set of stairs carved into the mountain for this purpose, and the nuns there were famed for their wisdom and knowledge of history.
They also became known for their opposition to the invasion of a Netzer Clan sorcerer named Solomon, who took over the plateau with brute force somewhat recently. They were firmly opposed to his presence and even sought political intervention, acting as a conduit between the conquered House Arkhewer and the crown in Hawk’s Roost, and when Solomon discovered this, he murdered all but one of them and set up a new series of wards for the mountain’s new resident.
Today, the mountain is the largest of a number of homes to the demonic entity known as Scott, and the primary place at which it can be contacted by those who don’t have it at their beck and call. It’s redecorated the place a little to suit its tastes, but kept the parts of the old interior that it thought were classy. All of Klaus’s wards and traps have been eaten, and between that and Scott having carved some new rooms, the interior of the mountain is even bigger and even more off-limits than it’s ever been.
From “The Definitive Atlas of the World, Vol. 1: Lands and Locations,” by Pascal Tiberius Naoton Quimbell Haeverine anNatalie, published in White Cape in DN 1997.
2 thoughts on “Friday Lore Post: Rh’eyltakak/Mount Saint Bernadette”
I find it interesting that Klaus, the only introduced character confirmed to have created an artificial human, spent an unknown amount of time in a place said to be where humans were first made.
Did his experiments in that field give rise to the rumors? Did the rumors (and the truth behind them) inspire him? Or is it all a coincidence?
(Coincidence? In a fantasy saga? HAH, I say. HAH!)
😀 I mean, coincidences do happen!
But yes, it is awfully interesting that the only person we know of who knows how to make people spent time in the only place we know of that has rumours of people being made in it attached. Awfully interesting indeed.