Stories tell of a temple in the Barrens that sunk deep into the ground, lost for sometime. This lost temple was known as the Temple of the Hidden by those who knew of its existence. The stories told of this temple vary, some say it was the home of a pre-Altarian society, others call it the clandestine incursion of the secretive Hidden faction - once believed to control all of the land.
One incident involving the temple happened in 23 ACI, when then assistant Historian Sorin Hraldr uncovered some disturbing information. At the time Castle Kelly was being constructed and strange events were occurring around the site.
Malcolm Campbell and Cyrus Cabot approach the table in the corner of the Inn where Sorin is sitting with a concerned look on his face.
"Thank you both for coming, please have a seat"
"Can I get you anything to drink, I believe the Nicholshire Blonde is on tap tonight."
Both shook their head.
Sorin continues, "Terrible weather we are having, I have heard that it is going to...."
"You did not invite us here to talk about the weather, Cyrus Interrupts. "What is it you wanted, your letter sounded urgent.
Sorin’s face grows stern, and his voice drops to barely a whisper.
"Right.. I brought you two here because I trust you both. You see, after I left the Inn three nights ago I headed to Castle Kelly, to borrow a few Letcher to pay off my tab. When I arrived the workers were putting the finishing touches on the south end off the Castle. I thought to myself I could work for the few Letcher I needed, but when I asked where the Foreman was, no one knew. I made my way to the north end looking for him and found nothing, except.... bloody footprints leading into the servant’s quarters of the castle. Grabbing a lantern hanging nearby, I followed the footprints and came upon a flight of stairs that led down to the wine cellar. I descended the steps. The dank air was laced with the scent of death. I approached, what I thought to be, a wide open door leading deeper into the cellar. Above the door an inscription read-
“per mihi via in patientia urbs ,
Per mihi via ut eternus poena ,
Per mihi via ut runs inter lost.
Justicia urgeo in meus altus simultas ;
Meus plasmator eram divinus auctorita ,
altissimus sapientia , quod primal diligo.
Pro mihi nusquam tamen eternus res erant no ,
Quod EGO tolero intemporaliter.
Relinquo sulum spes ye quisnam penetro hic”
“That door contained a darkness not even my lantern could penetrate. I dared not enter, so with all the haste I could muster, I hurried back to town. For the next two days I spent my time in the libraries, researching to discover anything I could about that Inscription. It took a while, but I found the answer I was looking for. The origin of it is Latin and roughly translates to-
“Through me the way into the suffering city,
Through me the way to the eternal pain,
Through me the way that runs among the lost.
Justice urged on my high artificer;
My maker was divine authority,
The highest wisdom, and the primal love.
Before me nothing but eternal things were made,
And I endure eternally.
Abandon all hope, ye who enter here."
"It is said to be the inscription over the gates of Hell. I sent word to you two, and that brings us to where we are here. I’m not sure what to do. If we tell the populace it might incite a panic." He continued
Sorin sticks his head up and looks around to make sure no one is listening. "Have you heard the legends of The Temple of the Hidden"?
"Aye, but it is folly, no more than a drunkard's tale" Said Malcolm.
"I used to think the same" Sorin replies "But as of lately my perspective on a lot of things have changed" "The legend even places the Temple of the Hidden not far from the construction site, as a matter a fact right below it. We are always worried about the gates to the Shade Realm that surround our borders, but what if there was a gate here, inside our very county. And what if that, during the construction of Castle Kelly, this gate was somehow unlocked"!
Sorin stops as a chill travels down through his body. "I take back what I said before. We must warn the county, but we must do it properly.
"Captain Cabot rally the Dukes Guard, but do not tell them why".
"Malcolm, you must bring word to Sir MacLeod and Sir Dunbar, tell them what I have said here".
"I will tell Duke Ramon and Baron Boltac about what I have discovered. I will also tell Stephen Kelly about this so he may immediately stop all construction on the castle".
"If my assumptions are correct, then we will need to amass a force large enough and close the gate".
"Now go, when your task is complete meet me back here at the Tavern".
The chronicles of the era say that there was indeed some small conflict during the construction of Castle Kelly. A group of peasants and 'warrior priests' descended upon the site of the construction to pressure an investigation, but they were dispersed without major incident. Also in the records, several workers were killed during the construction, but nothing out of the ordinary for such a project. It is also recorded that Stephen Kelly called upon the Society of St Paul to bless the site. Again, not unexpected for the consecration of a castle and for somebody like Kelly to do to his brewery. As to the nature of a Shade Realm gate, there is no evidence of such a thing existing in Castle Kelly.
The stories do line up with the records from many cycles before that tell of a Shade Realm gate in the area. Texts found in the Library of Leng in Roses reference the Braxton tomb being reachable only from a hidden room within a tower in the Prahova Grasslands, an archaic term or the Barrens. Finally, the Chalice of Thought considers Castle Kelly to be haunted and cursed. While this seems convincing, the animosity of the Chalice toward the Granite Spire must be taken into consideration for this legend.