Nestled in the mountains is a spiritual retreat center known as the Palace of the Winding Path. Its unique architecture stands in stark contrast to the rest of Appalachia, based on Indian and Nepalese architecture, with a look similar to a Buddhist temple.
The palace was founded by what is best described as a new-age cult, led by Cyrus, seeking to offer the citizens of America an alternative, in a path to enlightenment rather than destruction. The cult fell prey to a shady con man, Simon Gladwell. A Cyrus disciple, Simon eventually saw an opportunity to make a profit at the cultists' expense, and turned the entire operation into one giant money-making scheme, concealing his exploitation of the cultists behind ever more complex layers of newspeak. Already controlling the marketing and business side of the cult, he managed to conceal operations from Cyrus.
After the Great War, the cultists proved to be a remarkably hardy bunch, using their isolated location and cohesion to resist attempts at takeovers. When the Diehards established contact with them, both groups started making deals, as trading or making a copy of the Margie McClintock key holotape. The entire cult disappeared literally overnight, as the Diehards found one day after visiting them when they went back to the temple and it was deserted.
There is a back entrance to the palace that gives access through the basement. There are two chemistry stations, a tinker's workbench, an armor workbench, and a weapons workbench all in the basement and a cooking station in the kitchen.
Points of interest
Located off of state routes 95 and 98, the Palace is a large and visually stunning location and is fairly easy to navigate. It has two major areas, including the palace itself to the north and the artificial lake to the south. The lake is covered in gazebos connected by wooden walkways and have some minor loot in them. The pavilion to the southeast contains a tinker's workbench. Just beside the lake is the parking lot. Outside the gates is a road leading alongside the mesa the palace sits on, which leads to a rear entrance used for deliveries. The entrance leads to the basement with the generator room.
The main palace consists of the central building and two wings surrounding the central courtyard, where the brazier for the Guided Meditation is lit. The wings themselves contain the kitchens and the green lounge in the western one, and the cultists' showers, bunk beds, and meditation rooms in the eastern branch. Both of the employee areas, so to speak, connect to the basement, which contains the generators, a locked storeroom, and nearly every crafting station in the main area or adjacent chambers. There is also a Vault-Tec bobblehead spawn on top of the left generator and a fusion generator with a core to take.
The main building has multiple floors. On the bottom are the offices, with the main terminal and holotape duplication machine in the western one and the main office in the eastern. The central floor contains the main stairwells on both the western and eastern ends and access to the wings flanking the main courtyard. The floor above contains the grand chamber of enlightenment and two more staircases that lead to the top floors in the spire, which surround the central chamber.
These include the raiders' sleeping quarters, bar and bedroom of the cult's leadership, and the upper balcony surrounding the spire on the topmost level. The topmost level also includes a magazine spawn. The body of Margie McClintock can be found on the upper veranda overlooking the palace entrance.
- Child's note - Note, inside of the highest gazebo on the pond.
- Cyrus's concern - Holotape, on an office desk in the basement.
- Incense complaint - Note, on a desk in the western room near the north entrance.
- About the noise - Note, sitting on a desk next to a television, close to the north entrance.
- Margie's goodbye note - Note, in Margie's backpack on the roof of the palace.
- Palace admin password - Note, in a dresser on the ground floor during the quest Key to the Past.
- Pillars of Transcendence - Holotape, in the holotape duplication terminal during Key to the Past.
- Diehards key fragment - Holotape, can be duplicated from the holotape duplication terminal during Key to the Past.
- Unsent letter - Note, inside of the upper rooms, in the same area as the small bar, sitting under a nightstand.
- Potential Vault-Tec bobblehead - In the basement, with the fusion generator and the two large vats, inside the shallow water below the machinery on the northwest side. The bobblehead is touching the northeastern "leg" of the machine.
- Potential magazine - On the top floor balcony directly above the north entrance, below an ornate red couch.
- Potential armor plan - On top of an empty filing cabinet opposite of the tinker's workbench in the access tunnel, on the far right.
- Potential recipe - In the kitchen area, next to the sink.
- Two fusion cores:
- In a generator in the basement.
- On the metal shelves next to the generator in the basement.
The Palace of the Winding Path appears only in Fallout 76.
Behind the scenes
- The Palace of the Winding Path is based on Prabhupada's Palace of Gold, a memorial shrine constructed in 1979 by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness and dedicated to the movement's founder. Although lead artist Nathan Purkeypile did not end up visiting the real-world palace while scouting out West Virginia, he expressed that he was glad it managed to make its way into the game, as it is such an interesting place to him.
- In the tower where the child's note is found, there is a stack of three teddy bear variants that resemble the main characters of We Bare Bears, an animated television series that began airing in 2015.
The Vault-Tec bobblehead spawns centered directly below the cistern tank, and cannot be picked up or moved by any means, not even with explosives.[verified]
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "Nestled in the mountains is a spiritual retreat center known as the Palace of the Winding Path. Its unique architecture stands in stark contrast to the rest of Appalachia."
- Cyrus's concern
- Sunnytop Ski Lanes terminal entries; Vincent Fried's terminal, RE: Disappearance
- Nate Purkeypile on Twitter: "Another great one. :) Glad we got this in the game. Such an interesting place."
"Looks amazing, I didn't actually make it out there. I'd love to go some day."
- We Bare Bears comparison