The Ramedaran Brotherhood was a monastic order of the church of Ilmater that operated the Cloister of St. Ramedar in Tethyr circa the mid–14th century DR. The Cloister was a combination of Ilmatari shrine, prison, and sanitarium.
The Ramedaran Brotherhood was an exclusively male organization made up of monks and painbearers of Ilmater. Each member was required to take vows of celibacy and poverty. As of the Year of the Tankard, 1370 DR, there were approximately one hundred fifteen members on staff in the Cloister of St. Ramedar, administered by the Reverend Father Benentine Boldoran.
The Brotherhood had a long-standing reputation for upholding the law and administering to those in their custody with mercy—curing or rehabilitating where possible and providing constant care for the incurably insane. Their aim was to reform criminals and heal the mentally ill enough for them to become productive members of society and reduce the rate of recidivism. They gave classes in reading, writing, and other useful skills to further this goal.
In addition to their penitentiary and sanitarium efforts, the monks of the Cloister maintained a library and repository of many tomes and scrolls sacred to the Ilmateri faith, recopying, studying, and annotating the scholarly works. They also kept detailed records of the daily activities and treatments of every being under their care.
Base of Operations
Until the Year of the Spur, 1348 DR, the Brotherhood's headquarters were located in the eastern part of Zazesspur, Tethyr's largest city and former capital. At that time they petitioned the Zazesspuran government to use the ancient fortress known as Zazessovertan to house their charges, and received permission. The monks then moved into the citadel under Mount Adiir in the Starspire Mountains at the head of the Bay of Bormul, approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Zazesspur, and renamed it the Cloister of St. Ramedar.
Having taken vows of poverty, the Brotherhood had very few possessions with significant intrinsic value. The Chapel of the Whipping Winds, located in the courtyard of the Cloister, had a mithral ball that hovered above the altar and electrocuted any non-believer that touched it. It was rumored that this holy relic could transform into a powerful weapon for defending the Cloister in times of need.
The Ramedaran Brotherhood was charged by the Tethyrian government to administer the kingdom's penal system and care for the mentally ill. They received funds from the Crown and from some families of their patients. The wardmist barrier on the windows of the Cloister cells was maintained by mages in exchange for taking care of someone dear to them and for other services or favors. Although they performed an essential service to Tethyr, the Zazesspuran authorities were glad to grant the Brotherhood the use of Zazessovertan and get them and their wards out of the city proper.
The order was founded in the Year of Bright Dreams, 1261 DR, in honor of Saint Ramedar who was tried for treason and executed on a rack by the Duke of Ankramir in the Year of the Empty Goblet, 1252 DR. They set up a prison and sanitarium in Zazesspur and earned a reputation for mercy while upholding the law and caring for the mentally ill. In 1348 DR they received permission to use the long-abandoned fortress of Zazessovertan and began a decade of renovations converting the tunnels and halls into cells, kitchens, administrative offices, and a library. Halfway through the refurbishment, the redoubt was renamed the Cloister of St. Ramedar at a dedication ceremony in the Year of the Dragon, 1352 DR.
- Eric L. Boyd (September 1997). Powers & Pantheons. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 144. ISBN 978-0786906574.
- Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 76. ISBN 978-0786903849.
- Eric L. Boyd (September 1997). Powers & Pantheons. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 145. ISBN 978-0786906574.
- Eric L. Boyd (September 1997). Powers & Pantheons. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 142. ISBN 978-0786906574.
- Steven E. Schend (August 1997). “Book One: Tethyr”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Lands of Intrigue (TSR, Inc.), p. 69. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.