Temple of Unwholesome Blossom
Styles: Ill Lily Style
Dojo: The Garden Most Wicked, in the Temple of the Unwholesome Blossom compound
Sifu: Unending Righteous Torment, a Wood-Aspected outcaste high priestess of Unwholesome Blossom
In a certain valley in the Dehennen Mountains, the angle of the sun in the sky overhead, combined with certain hot springs produces a climate many degrees warmer than the mountains that surround it. The grass grows quite lushly here, and there are many strange plants found few other places in Creation. At the entry of the valley is a thick screen of vegetation, rich with poisonous plants and haunted by vicious Northern predators that know the lush vegetation attracts easy prey. This area is the site of a Wood-Aspected Demesne of minor power, just rich enough to keep the area around it fruitful and green. But once a visitor passes through the thick tangles of Northern ferns, poisonous thorn-bearing vines and other plants, the verdant valley stretches before him. At the other end of the valley stands an impressive many-columned Manse, the Temple of the Unwholesome Blossom, likewise Wood-Aspected.
Though signs indicate that this valley and Manse may have once acted as the private vineyard and country retreat of some First Age personage, it is now the temple of a small Northern goddess, Unwholesome Blossom, the goddess of this verdant valley. In the chaos of the Contagion, many local tribes sought sanctuary here; though it did not save them, the devastation here was lesser compared to many other areas, and the tribes gave thanks to the goddess here.
The Temple of the Unwholesome Blossom is a large compound of buildings, surrounded by a high wall impressively crafted of the native stone, without seam or joining. The central building is the Manse proper, a rating 3 Wood-Aspected Manse, though the Demesne upon which it stands is rating 4; excess Essence is channeled through geomantic landscaping into the gardens of the compound itself, allowing the priestesses to grow rich food stuffs with a minimum of effort and space. This central building also acts as the temple proper, where at least one priestess remain in prayer at all hours of the day.
The other three buildings are the Sanctuary of Holy Keepers, the living and training quarters of the priestesses of the temple, the Ancient Domicile, an unused and sealed building partially overgrown by vines because no one is able to open its great doors, and the Garden Most Wicked, a vast greenhouse a hundred yards square, where potent Wood-Aspected Essence is channeled to feed a wide variety of incredibly venemous plants.
The Garden Most Wicked also features a large square training area, with rick, thick soil upon which to practice. Many of the priestesses here have their Essence awakened by Unwholesome Blossom, and are trained in techniques of thaumaturgy and other small mortal magics, which they use to brew incredibly potent alchemical poisons, among other things.
Eighty years ago, however, an outcaste Wood-Aspect came seeking sanctuary from the temple. She met for two days with Unwholesome Blossom, and when she emerged from the meeting, the goddess declared her the temple's new High Priestess. The old High Priestess protested, and the outcaste proved her fitness for the role by sacrificing her to Unwholesome Blossom before the gathered clergy. Moreover, this Dragon-Blooded brought with her the secrets of the Ill Lily style of Terrestrial martial arts; most of the older priestesses agree that it was probably her offer to train the priesthood in its secrets that won her Unwholesome Blossom's favor. In the time since, practice of the Ill Lily techniques has become a requirement for those priestesses rewarded with Unwholesome Blossom's Touch of Divinity.