The Grey Watches
Septs, Septries, and Septons
The dominant religion in the Vale of Arryn is the faith of the Seven, and the Grey Watches region is no different.
The mountain clans maintain their own customs and beliefs which appear to be a mix of nature and ancestor worship.
While most settlements have a building dedicated to worship, not all maintain proper sept. A sept will consist not only of a dedicated space of worship, but a resident septon or septra, other helpers (who may be lay people or other godsworn). The sept may not be ornate, but it will be large enough to accomodate the community and administrate the sept’s business. Most often the sept is located in a settlement, but sometimes the sept will instead be established at the lord’s stronghold. Septons who oversee their own sept are usually influential in their communities and serve as advisors to the local lord.
Septs in the Grey Watches
The monastic life is one of dedication and labor, but it offers comforts and security in an uncertain world. The Vale of Arryn affords both an accepting social climate for the establishment of religious communities and also many isolated areas to foster religious contemplation.
Septries vary in the details of their organization and policies, but most will shelter travelers and most do interact on some level with the outside world for supplies. Many produce goods or services which are traded to fund the Septry. Some septries are training grounds for septons or septras, but most are strictly monastic enclaves.
Sea Rock Septry- Located on a tiny, rocky island off the southern shore of the Bay of Shards between the holdings of Cahill and Torston, the monks of this septry are known as “The Salt Brothers” or “Fish Brothers.” They scratch out subsistance from their rocky, desolate island and maintain a lighthouse to warns ships away from the treacherous rocks that litter the coast.
Stone Tears Septry- An ancient septry, built on the ruins of an ancient military outpost, located in the western edge of the Grey Watch mountains between the holdings of house Evered and Harkin. The monks of this Septry are reclusive, but welcome travelers seeking spiritual enlightenment, or who need shelter from the harsh mountains. The septry’s location makes is vulnerable to clan raiders, but it’s reletive poverty is as much proof against attack as its natural and man-made defenses.
Pine Hold Septry- A small septry in the woods on the North Coast of the Bay of Shards. The brothers have extensive land holdings, include large orchards. They often have to hire sellswords or hedgeknights to help protect their lands from bandits when the local nobles’s patrols are not sufficient.
Peace of the Hills Septry- This septry, located in the Hills southeast of Durell’s holdings, is devoted to the Silent Sisters, where training and education in the rituals of their order takes place.
Since many towns and castles do not have a permanent septon, traveling clergy will minister to their spiritual needs, usually in exchange for food and shelter. While sometimes refered to as “begging brothers,” these godsworn can often become vital members of the communities they visit. Many traveling septons have established routes, arriving in settlements each month or so, while others wander as their will or their faith guides them.
The most well known traveling godsworn in the area are:
Septon Horace has been traveling the Grey Watches for nearly a decade. He travels a circuit from Daylan’s holdings along the Bay Road to True Stone where he turns south through the pass, then east through the edge of the Vale and back north to Daylan. He makes the circuit in somewhere between 30-45 days in good weather.
Horace is a robust man who is somewhere passed his fortieth name day. He has black hair and a beard that is showing a fair amount of gray. He has slowed a little in the last few years, but is still a spirited man and an excellent orator.
Septon Whitney is a younger Septon. He occasionally travels with Septon Horace for stretches, but travels farther afield and is often absent for longer periods of time. Whitney is in his late twenties, with brown hair and eyes, which, along with his knowledge of Old Town, hint at southern blood. His is wiry and weathered from the long miles he has walked. He is soft spoken and largely quiet, though he will speak at length if encouraged with questions.
Septon Farns is not much for traveling anymore. He is nearing sixty, if not beyond, and resides for most of the year at Sea Rock. He travels to tend to the settlements along the coast as needed, usually when summoned to attend to some matter if Septon Horace is not expected to pass through soon enough. He is a distinguished man, somewhat stooped in posture, with thin, white hair.
The Silent Sisters also travel periodically between settlements to tend to the needs of the dead or dying.