About two hours north of Diamond Lake, a towering crag called Griffon’s Roost casts a dark shadow over the muddy road to Elmshire. From a perch hundreds of feet above looms the cat-infested Twilight Monastery, a three-towered monument dedicated to Xan Yae and her servant Zuoken, little known deities from the Baklunish West. Two score monks dwell within the monastery, dedicating themselves to a litany of exercises meant to perfect the body and spirit. The secretive monks hold dusk as the holiest of hours, and sonorous chants emit from the Twilight Monastery’s central courtyard when the night sky appears in the heavens.
Foremost among the monks is Izenfen the Occluded, a peerless masked combatant thought to be one of the wisest figures in the hills. Travelers frequently seek her council, but most leave Diamond Lake without ever having gained access to the Twilight Monastery, for Izenfen deigns to speak with only a handful of pilgrims foretold to her via the agency of the night sky and an immense mirrored lens called the Censer of Symmetry. When word of the Censer’s predictive prowess spread to the miners of Diamond Lake 20 years ago, a desperate contingent petitioned Izenfen to predict the location of the richest unclaimed ore deposits, appealing to her compassion with tales of starving children and dangerously unpaid debts. The masked mistress of the Twilight Monastery rebuffed their pleas, triggering the miners’ contingency plan – an ill-fated invasion of the monks’ compound that left seven miners dead. Only a single member of the order perished – Imonoth, Izenfen’s beloved daughter. The following morning, the remaining fifteen miners, who had escaped the monastery to nurse their wounds in the petty shacks along Diamond Lake’s waterfront, were found dead. Rumours of silent masked killers sent by Izenfen continue to this day, citing the disappearance or mysterious deaths of nearly a dozen political enemies within the town.
Although the monks of the Twilight Monastery keep mostly to themselves and desire only to lead lives of undisturbed contemplation, they frequently appear on the streets of Diamond Lake to reprovision or to engage in the trade of kalamanthis, a rare psychotropic plant grown regionally only on the slopes of Griffon’s Roost. Kalamanthis is popular among all classes of Diamond Lake, but the real business is centred in Greyhawk. Rumours hold that potential buyers should seek out Golgan Hant, the Twilight Monastery’s trade envoy, who can usually be found at Lazare’s House along the Vein’s central square. Both the wagons loaded with kalamanthis and the returning coaches loaded with city coin go unmolested in Diamond Lake, for all fear Izenfen’s relentless invisible killers.