I wrote this without a specific front in mind. These monks are not, like most ascetics, seeking a life without temptation. This doctrine believes that only through overcoming evil will you be saved. In the midst of the frozen steppe, long ago a great summoning circle was etched in stone. It maintains a tenuous connection to the hells, enough to heat the hot spring and for evil whispers to come through. The monks bathe in the evil spring, to overcome temptation. The weak are flayed so that their souls might find peace. Who knows what the evil whispers say to the monks while you are visiting, or perhaps they view the party as a means to test their faith.
Thanks to Dyson Logos for the map. I was originally inspired by Yoon-Suin and Valley of Five Fires but I wanted to explore the part of the Steppe that was closer to Russia. I watched Alexander Nevsky and read about Khlysts. Thanks also to those of you I spoke to on Google+, especially Joseph Manola for sharing his post Religions of the Great Road and for Boris Stremlin for sharing a some Russian inspired RPG material. Also art is public domain, the bottom piece is by Ivan Bilibin.