In northwest Trierzon, the triangle between the Gaden and Urven Rivers is an area much visited by Laranian pilgrims. Three adjacent esards on the border between Ilbra and Senedalo — Irulane, Yras and Tiridh — are home to abbeys of three different orders of the Laranian church.
Irulane abbey is the traditionally recognised birthplace of Saint Irula, a Trierzi maiden who lived about six centuries ago. The story of Irula is well-known in the region. It recounts her chaste love for a lost warrior, how her tears of mourning turned to precious stones, and the miracles of healing which she later performed in Larani's name. The story is an important instructive tale in the conversion of the Trierzi tribesmen to the Laranian faith and is oft repeated by priests today in northwest Trierzon.
The abbey complex at Irulane includes the convent of the Order of Saint Irula, an all-female clerical and lay order of the church of Larani, along with a shrine to the saint and a sickhouse in which the priestesses and lay members of the order treat the afflicted. The abbey is surrounded by pleasant gardens in which grow a multitude of medicinal flora.
The central chapel of the abbey is home to the greatest treasure of the Order of Saint Irula, a necklace of gold in which is set fifteen diamonds and five opals. These jewels are known as the Tears of Irula, and legend says that they are the very gems created when the saint wept upon learning of the death of her beloved. Whether this is true cannot be said for sure, but it is generally known that the necklace is quite ancient and has great healing powers. The necklace is only removed from the chapel one day per year, the feast day of Irula on 7th Nolus, when the re is a great celebration in the Irulane commons and the treasure is briefly displayed to the populace.
The Order of Saint Irula was formally established in TR637 when the Telkor of Stalfore gifted the esard of Irulane to a group of Laranian nuns who had for decades run a hostel for pilgrims visiting the shrine located there. Since then, the sisters of the order have established a regional reputation as women of mercy. Usually they perform their service at sickhouses attached to the order's convents, but a few of them have become healers, visiting rural villages and doing what they can to salve the afflicted.
The turintesa and spiritual leader of the order is Barida al Farenos, the Abbess of Irulane. Other prominent convents of the order are located at Beledar, Dalfos, Engaritane, and Ilbris. The abbesses of these convents meet at Irulane in conclave once per year, beginning on 2nd Peonu when they celebrate Alamirata and then continuing until they have thoroughly discussed all of the items on their agenda.
An old keep also stands near Irulane abbey. The dozen guardsmen posted there by the Malnir of Ilbra to watch over the nuns and the esard of Irulane jocularly refer to themselves as a fighting order in service to the Order of Saint Irula, but they are careful to do so out of the earshot of Abbess Barida, a small but imposing woman with a sharp tongue. There are often several knights of Larani resident at the keep, usually warriors recently released from the sickhouse. (Some of these may be members of the Order of the Spear of Celmin.) Whoever these knights may be, the abbess is adept at convincing them to stay and maintain a vigil in the abbey chapel and watch over the Tears of Irula.
Fourth in an occasional series of myths, tavern tales and even some truths from the realms of northwest Lýthia. Previous entries in the series include:
· The Târensten and the Weirding Wood
· The Long Night in Bélda
· The Centaurs of Lánkor