Saint Catherine of Alexandria Catholic Church
745 Christchurch Road

Constructed in 1817, St. Catherine's is the oldest Roman Catholic church in Shadowgard, a testament to faith that has endured nearly two centuries. As originally designed, the chapel was to be far humbler than it is today; the funds for its construction came primarily from impoverished local farmers and shopkeepers who gave what they could but could only provide so much. At the last moment, however, the funds for the church increased inexplicably and exponentially, and a renowned architect native to the region abruptly agreed to design the chapel at no cost. No one is quite sure how this windfall came about; theories range from a single wealthy and exceedingly generous donor, to a donation provided by thieves or highwaymen feeling the weight of sin on their souls, to truly outlandish and absurd notions involving black magic or deals with the devil. The official story is that the money was given anonymously, and the church has no surviving record of the gift, so the answers (if there are any) aren't about to come any time soon.

In any event, the structure that came about as a result of this gift is truly awe-inspiring: a vast Gothic chapel cast in dark gray stone, complete with glowering gargoyles and grotesques and huge stained-glass windows paying homage to the life of Jesus Christ and the precepts of Catholic doctrine. Within the spacious lobby, a series of grand tableaux play out the life and martyrdom of the chapel's patron saint. An eight-sided stone stoup sits just inside the door, with a broader copper font in the chapel proper. The main chapel easily seats a few hundred congregants and features a classically beautiful set of mahogany choir stalls as well as an antique pipe organ that's carefully maintained and still in constant use.