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Pilgrims seeking to visit the Temple of Sacred Ashes are allowed to ride as far as the bridge known as "Penitents' Crossing." Then, whether they be sick or healthy, young or aged, the pilgrims are expected to walk by the temple sisters who supervise the bridge. All but the very sick and old are asked to shed heavy coats as they cross the bridge, allowing the cutting winds to strip prideful fixation upon this world from the flesh.
The bridge is also of significant military value, used especially for these purposes in the years since the Fifth Blight. As a chokepoint against bandits, rebels, or even darkspawn stragglers, the bridge serves as a defensible fortification to protect the Temple of Sacred Ashes from threats.