The Phodra Monastery was built upon the site of Savran Mythology of a sacred scrying pool where early Barovian Priests foretold a Great War leveling the northern steppes, and omens of dark powers, and an alliance of light that made a pact with fey forces to rescue the Barovian lineages.
The following information was gleaned from the texts and ruins discovered at the site:
The Phodra were a monastic offshoot of the worship of Savras, god of divination, fate and knowledge. The religious texts of the scriptorium portray this religion as fundamental to the pre-war Barovian culture. After just a brief read, you can trace the influence on Religious ceremonies of Savras to the stereotypes of Barovian Gypsy life... the fortune telling, the sense of fate driving family bonds towards unknown ends, and the odd blend of melancholy and joy with which their songs speak of their travels.
In the early years of the Great War, the oracles of the Monastery began to have dire visions of death and destruction, and a schism occurred amongst the faithful. Some of the priesthood lobbied for stoical isolation as a demonstration of their trust in fate, while a more populist leaning group of priests demanded action to attempt to avert disaster. The remaining history seems to have been written by the stoic faction, and the “unfaithful” left the Monastery to venture out across Barovia to warn the people to flee or take shelter against an unnameable threat.
In the decade that followed, the history texts read as a dry list of Barovian Settlements and villages throughout the eastern forests “falling to the darkness”. These entries are written with a sterile detachment referring often to “as was foretold Vallaki has fallen“ and “we place our trust in the all seeing servant of fate and pray for the lost souls of Krezk.” The list of the fallen marches on.
One of the more densely religious and arcane texts, thick with obtuse prayers in old Barovian, starts to refer in this era to a disruption in the boons of divination within the temple throwing even the highest priests into concern that the connection to their deity waned. Records of traditional ceremonies start to show hurried notes scratched into the margins of ways the priests sought to Re-energize their rituals.
One last text seems to confirm the elvish histories of the region. An organization referred to only as The Fangs seems to have systematically purged the region of Savran religious centers. Slaughtering priests, mystics and burning temples to the ground, the author of this text writes of being granted the last known visions from Savras explaining that these Fangs had made a pact with a dark force called Ctha Feemal, who feared Savras’s knowledge would hold the keys to defeating its agenda in this world. So while the Fangs eliminated the priests and faithful, Savras’s connection to this world became weaker. Savras’s final message to the author was to find a small cult of Lugh in the South and advise them that Savras has sealed himself in a crystal scepter, which if could be delivered to Lugh, a partnership strong enough to drive back the Fangs could be made.
The Emerald Covenant, elven assassins from Aellyn Rynass, made several excursions to the monastery which ultimately became their last excursions.