Mount Lam was the remote home of the Cyrene Temple where, forty years before the arrival of Taylor, a major earthquake caused all but one of the monks to evacuate. The last monk was working on the translation of an ancient scroll, and had just completed it when the gorilla soldier Aleron reached him to take him to safety. What the scroll contained caused the monk to kill himself, and the scroll, which Aleron brought back to Councilor Tenebris in Ape City, was destroyed to prevent it's account of human history from spreading.
Eight years before Taylor's arrival, Vitus, Milo and Cornelius travelled to Painted Valley in search of food supplies and came across the same rubble strewn road that had blocked the way of Aleron. They passed this and shortly came to Painted Valley below, where they eventually learned that the earthquake had caused their supply of water to be contaminated, causing mutations among some of their community.