Tales of the Red Way
Most of the following comes from an ancient text discovered in the library of, titled The Curse of the Valarians Upon Mankind.
Mt. Sin, formally called the Virtuon Academy, was once a bastion of Valarian thought and philosophy. Essentially a school of higher learning, the location was once a great secret, like all Valarian settlements, catering to those who wanted to excel at one of several disciplines: The Ways of Pleasure, The Ways Honor, The Ways of Success, The Ways of Restraint, The Ways of Justice, The Ways of Competitive Spirit, and The Ways of Confidence. These were once considered the pillars of Valarian society as well as the highest measures of the Valrian people.
Founded over two thousand years ago by Arkus Arvexx, a powerful warrior-mage, he was the first master of the academy. It was at the academy that many different theories were explored both focusing on the individual as well as the Valarian society as a whole. Within the mountain were created great towers, each focusing on the different philosophical pillars to which the academy embraced. No subject was taboo as it was decided that in order to truly explore the nature of spirit, no topic would be off limits for study.
It was not until generations later as the world of humans rose with the rest of the growing empire came with it a different set of philosophies. As humanity learned of the existence of the secretive Valarians, they grew more suspicious, not understanding their strange and often hedonistic ways. The current master of the Virtuon Academy, Olfrm Glastyr, invited a charismatic sexton, Prester Tobbs, from one of the churches of humanity into the academy to share some of the knowledge the Valarians had accumulated. It was a decision that Glastyr would learn to regret.
When Tobbs and his men entered the academy, their religious sensibilities were horrified by what they saw. According to their accounts, they witnessed not only witchcraft dedicated to strange gods, but magic that enhanced erotic pleasures, rites that existed for no other reason than to make food more sumptuous and alchemy that increased the repressed rage for warfare. Sexton Tobbs immediately condemned the entire academy. According to the accounts written in The Curse of the Valarians Upon Mankind an altercation broke out between Tobbs as the Valarians which lead to Tobbs’ death by defenestration.
This then led to a series of wars between the Empire and the Valarian people. As the Empire was only ever aware of one location to find the Valarians, the Virtuon Academy was the major target of the Empire’s fury. Sexton Tobb’s surviving followers told what they could about the academy and word spread that the Valarian philosophical pillars were actually Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride, things that were roundly condemned by the churches of men.
As years progressed, the wars raged against Mt. Sin, as it was now called. But striking at Mt. Sin was no easy task as it was settled high in the mountains. The final headmistress of Mt. Sin was Lady Firebaugh, a woman consumed with anger and hatred towards the humans and their repressive religion for their inability to understand or appreciate the advancement of the Valarian philosophy.
An unknown agent in the employ of the humans was able to infiltrate the academy and steal an artifact from Lady Firebaugh’s chamber; one of two diadems. It is said that the diadems possessed mysterious and potent power associated with the Valarian society. These powers may have been some of the power that kept the human martial forces at bay. The diadem that the unknown thief was able to make off with was handed over to Duke Marcel of Crooklake. Shortly after the theft of the diadem the humans were able to break through the defenses of Mt. Sin with a small force that overpowered the Valarians long enough for a larger force to make their way through. This certainly gave way to the notion that the diadems were sources of defensive power. This, in turn, led to the sacking of the academy but due to some of the patent magic present, the human forces were repelled after just a few hours of taking and destroying what they could.
The breakdown between the humans and the Valarians caused the Valarians to never trust humanity again. Their plans of reaching out and sharing their magic, science and philosophy with humanity was cut short, feeling that humanity was not ready for such knowledge as they would reject it in favor of religious zealotry.
Currently, the academy known as Mt. Sin sits mostly empty, except for whatever vagrants have penetrated its walls, whatever strange magic has brought life or undeath to those that roam the corridors. There are supposedly many unusual and bizarre treasures to be uncovered within the halls. Supposedly, one of the greatest and most unusual treasures is the matching diadem of Lady Firebaugh which is a twin of the one that until recently, rested in the possession of the Duke of Crooklake.
It is unknown what became of Lady Firebaugh. Rumors persist that she was placed in suspended animation somewhere within the academy’s walls, keeping silent vigil over the entire facility, punishing those humans who would dare try and steal the remaining secrets of the academy.