The withering heat beats down on a clearing amidst the rubble of the surrounding ruins, where children's laughter can be heard over the barking of playing dogs. Merchants go by on overloaded wagons, giving only a momentary glance towards the smiling, happy beggars lined up outside the old adobe building begging for alms. As another merchant rolls past without giving so much as a single coin, the hungry men and women gathered at the roadside still manage to smile, nod, and wish the passerby a safe journey.
The Temple of Unending Joy has begun to rise in prominence in the ruins of the settlement/town/city the player characters happen to be visiting, drawing to it all sorts of vagabonds and downtrodden souls like a new beacon of hope. The benevolent clerics who run the old church offer free food and shelter to those who truly need it, only asking that those who stay listen to their sermons and help out where needed. Most capable folk around town have little or nothing to do with the Temple, being able to fend for themselves, but those who need someone to look out for them always have a home here.
The Temple's following has grown in the few months since it was first established, counting beggars, urchins, former prostitutes, and ex-thieves as their flock. The camp outside the crumbling building is always alive with the sound of children playing, dogs barking, joyful song, and the smell of campfires and fresh-cooked food. Dirty faces greet passerby with happy smiles and open hands, and whatever they receive goes to help support the small Temple and its staff.
But there is rumored to be a darker side to the Temple of Unending Joy. Whispers of strange cloaked figures coming and going in the darkest hours of the night; of strange chanting emanating from behind closed doors; and tales of a beggar here and an urchin there disappearing altogether, never to be seen again. Sadly, since most who go missing have no family or friends who care for them, these vanishings have largely gone unnoticed...