Difference between revisions of "Research:The Graveyard"

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* [[Research:The Vvrael Quest]]
 
* [[Research:The Vvrael Quest]]
 
* [[Research:The Rift (planes)]]
 
* [[Research:The Rift (planes)]]
* [[Research:[[The Unlife]]]] ;)?
 
 
* [[ICE gods]]
 
* [[ICE gods]]
  
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The world setting of GemStone III in the [[ICE age|I.C.E. Age]] (Dec. 1989 - Sept. 1995) was set on [[Kulthea]] rather than [[Elanthia]]. This is the archaic [[Shadow World]] historical timeline, in contrast to the modern [[History of Elanthia]]. The story for the Graveyard is "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990), and it is set in the context of Shadow World.  This means the details and areas associated with the story must be interpreted in terms of the contemporary Shadow World source books. More subtly, it must be interpreted using books of an early enough date, as details first existing in later books would be apocryphal.
 
The world setting of GemStone III in the [[ICE age|I.C.E. Age]] (Dec. 1989 - Sept. 1995) was set on [[Kulthea]] rather than [[Elanthia]]. This is the archaic [[Shadow World]] historical timeline, in contrast to the modern [[History of Elanthia]]. The story for the Graveyard is "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990), and it is set in the context of Shadow World.  This means the details and areas associated with the story must be interpreted in terms of the contemporary Shadow World source books. More subtly, it must be interpreted using books of an early enough date, as details first existing in later books would be apocryphal.
  
<span class="mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-methodology mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-empress-kadaena mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-black-hel mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-wars-dominion" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand all Shadow World sub-categories...</span>
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<span class="mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-methodology mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-empress-Kadæna mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-black-hel mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-wars-dominion" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand all Shadow World sub-categories...</span>
 
==Methodology==
 
==Methodology==
The Graveyard is one of the oldest areas from GemStone III. The most original parts of it are older the first Kelfour's Edition newsletter from June 1990. This is problematic as some Shadow World source books relevant to Empress Kadaena, the Dark Lords, and the Wars of Dominion are copyright 1990. "Emer: The Great Continent" and "Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum" in particular have forewords of "April" and "Spring" 1990. It is unclear to what extent these books matter to the design concept, even though they were available prior to the release of some later areas associated with the story.  
+
The Graveyard is one of the oldest areas from GemStone III. The most original parts of it are older the first Kelfour's Edition newsletter from June 1990. This is problematic as some Shadow World source books relevant to Empress Kadæna, the Dark Lords, and the Wars of Dominion are copyright 1990. "Emer: The Great Continent" and "Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum" in particular have forewords of "April" and "Spring" 1990. It is unclear to what extent these books matter to the design concept, even though they were available prior to the release of some later areas associated with the story.  
  
 
This research page will take the conservative approach of only using books dated at most 1989, except for noting when later modifications to the source material would change the interpretation. The following are the most relevant books, though it is possible others might have minor significance. These instances will be mentioned in passing. Later books matter to spin-off stories such as the Broken Lands.
 
This research page will take the conservative approach of only using books dated at most 1989, except for noting when later modifications to the source material would change the interpretation. The following are the most relevant books, though it is possible others might have minor significance. These instances will be mentioned in passing. Later books matter to spin-off stories such as the Broken Lands.
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'''''Example: Scroll Room'''''
 
'''''Example: Scroll Room'''''
  
* The manuscript in the crypt is made of shaalk (Modern: vultite) and bears the symbol of Kadaena (Modern: Gosaena), Empress of the Lords of Essaence. In the first edition of the Master Atlas it says that the Lords of Essaence, an extremely ancient race, made their most valuable manuscripts out of shaalk. This is changed from Lords of Essaence to "Loremasters" in later editions of the Master Atlas.
+
* The manuscript in the crypt is made of shaalk (Modern: vultite) and bears the symbol of Kadæna (Modern: Gosaena), Empress of the Lords of Essaence. In the first edition of the Master Atlas it says that the Lords of Essaence, an extremely ancient race, made their most valuable manuscripts out of shaalk. This is changed from Lords of Essaence to "Loremasters" in later editions of the Master Atlas.
 
* The manuscript also bears a library seal of Nomikos (Modern: Biblia) claiming it is from the Reference section. Bandur was banned in the story for stealing Lord of Essaence artifacts.
 
* The manuscript also bears a library seal of Nomikos (Modern: Biblia) claiming it is from the Reference section. Bandur was banned in the story for stealing Lord of Essaence artifacts.
* The volume in the niche is titled "Servants of the Shadow: Power through Thralldom." The phrase "servants of the Shadow" refers to Kadaena's surviving followers who "fashioned" the first of the Great Demons. It is found in the history sections of the 1989 adventure modules, and mostly refers to [[Lorgalis]]. Earlier and later versions do not use the phrase, referring instead to servants of the Unlife.
+
* The volume in the niche is titled "Servants of the Shadow: Power through Thralldom." The phrase "servants of the Shadow" refers to Kadæna's surviving followers who "fashioned" the first of the Great Demons. It is found in the history sections of the 1989 adventure modules, and mostly refers to [[Lorgalis]]. Earlier and later versions do not use the phrase, referring instead to servants of the Unlife.
  
 
===Crypto-History===
 
===Crypto-History===
The second kind of implicit meaning is sub-text using the Shadow World source materials, in much the same way other mythological and literary sources are argued to be influences. This is '''theoretical interpretation''' using the source books to make an argument. The more details explained naturally from a given source increases the likelihood the theory is correct. It is not possible to reduce the Shadow World meaning of the story to the canon of the source books. Some details make no immediate sense and require interpretation, such as Kadaena contrasted with Eissa as "Guardian of the Forbidden".
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The second kind of implicit meaning is sub-text using the Shadow World source materials, in much the same way other mythological and literary sources are argued to be influences. This is '''theoretical interpretation''' using the source books to make an argument. The more details explained naturally from a given source increases the likelihood the theory is correct. It is not possible to reduce the Shadow World meaning of the story to the canon of the source books. Some details make no immediate sense and require interpretation, such as Kadæna contrasted with Eissa as "Guardian of the Forbidden".
  
 
With the Graveyard it is often the case that the details are multi-referential. The major sub-texts, assuming they are correct, are interlocked. Implications of Bandur as "Baldur" play off both the Black Hel from Shadow World and the Viking references which are both implicit. The Egyptian pharaoh and fallen archangel sub-texts cross in the Nyarlathotep references. These amount to a holistic integrated theory.
 
With the Graveyard it is often the case that the details are multi-referential. The major sub-texts, assuming they are correct, are interlocked. Implications of Bandur as "Baldur" play off both the Black Hel from Shadow World and the Viking references which are both implicit. The Egyptian pharaoh and fallen archangel sub-texts cross in the Nyarlathotep references. These amount to a holistic integrated theory.
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'''''Example: Scroll Room'''''
 
'''''Example: Scroll Room'''''
  
* The manuscript is in a wall niche near the ceiling of the scroll room. This probably corresponds to the high niche in the scroll room in the Temple of Burning Night with a letter bearing the symbol of Orgiana, whose Black Hel theocracy was run by Empress Kadaena's daughter, which is around the corner from where the Helm of Kadaena is kept. This is from page 40 of Demons of the Burning Night (1989).
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* The manuscript is in a wall niche near the ceiling of the scroll room. This probably corresponds to the high niche in the scroll room in the Temple of Burning Night with a letter bearing the symbol of Orgiana, whose Black Hel theocracy was run by Empress Kadæna's daughter, which is around the corner from where the Helm of Kadæna is kept. This is from page 40 of Demons of the Burning Night (1989).
 
* This sealed letter and helm location were (probably) not present until well after Bandur's death. This is implying his omen, nightmare vision abilities. There are other examples.
 
* This sealed letter and helm location were (probably) not present until well after Bandur's death. This is implying his omen, nightmare vision abilities. There are other examples.
 
* Thralls are the Viking slave class. Hel is the Norse goddess of the Underworld, mostly described in the legend of Baldur, who had nightmare omens of his own death.
 
* Thralls are the Viking slave class. Hel is the Norse goddess of the Underworld, mostly described in the legend of Baldur, who had nightmare omens of his own death.
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The flip side is that if the theory of a given source material is correct, this greatly increases the likelihood of details that can be explained with that framework. It is much less likely for something to be a coincidence if multiple details are being taken from the same source. Something that would be a wild speculation by itself can become almost a certainty within the context of a framework. The room and item descriptions from this period very often tell you what you are thinking, feeling, doing, and how you are reacting. This is considered wrong and bad design by later standards. The benefit of it is that the lack of illustrative language for the sake of illustration makes it much clearer when wording has deeper meaning. The artistic license helps facilitate layers of meaning that would be much harder to interpret.
 
The flip side is that if the theory of a given source material is correct, this greatly increases the likelihood of details that can be explained with that framework. It is much less likely for something to be a coincidence if multiple details are being taken from the same source. Something that would be a wild speculation by itself can become almost a certainty within the context of a framework. The room and item descriptions from this period very often tell you what you are thinking, feeling, doing, and how you are reacting. This is considered wrong and bad design by later standards. The benefit of it is that the lack of illustrative language for the sake of illustration makes it much clearer when wording has deeper meaning. The artistic license helps facilitate layers of meaning that would be much harder to interpret.
 
</div>
 
</div>
==Empress Kadaena==
+
==Empress Kadæna==
[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]] (1990) claims that Bandur pledged himself to Empress Kadaena early in his servitude to the Unlife, and later he established a theocracy in homage to her called the Dark Path. This is the '''central paradox''' of the story. Empress Kadaena was decapitated 100,000 years earlier. For this to be meaningful she must still exist in some form, or have some (telepathic?) contact with him across time, or be idolized in a warped theology as a proxy for some other dark power. Kadaena fashioned herself as an "Empress-goddess", but the Lords of Essaence were not actually gods.
+
[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]] (1990) claims that Bandur pledged himself to Empress Kadæna early in his servitude to the Unlife, and later he established a theocracy in homage to her called the Dark Path. This is the '''central paradox''' of the story. Empress Kadæna was decapitated 100,000 years earlier. For this to be meaningful she must still exist in some form, or have some (telepathic?) contact with him across time, or be idolized in a warped theology as a proxy for some other dark power. Kadæna fashioned herself as an "Empress-goddess", but the Lords of Essaence were not actually gods.
  
In the modern setting it is taken for granted that there is an association with Gosaena, prophetic foresight of death, and the other side of the Ebon Gate. In the Shadow World setting Empress Kadaena has nothing to do with the Gates of Oblivion and there is no premise of her knowing future events. There is solid reason for suspecting, however, that Kadaena is something along these lines in GemStone III.
+
In the modern setting it is taken for granted that there is an association with Gosaena, prophetic foresight of death, and the other side of the Ebon Gate. In the Shadow World setting Empress Kadæna has nothing to do with the Gates of Oblivion and there is no premise of her knowing future events. There is solid reason for suspecting, however, that Kadæna is something along these lines in GemStone III.
  
<span class="mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-empress-kadaena" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand Empress Kadaena sub-category...</span>
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<span class="mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-empress-kadaena" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand Empress Kadæna sub-category...</span>
 
<div class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" id="mw-customcollapsible-shadow-world-empress-kadaena">
 
<div class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" id="mw-customcollapsible-shadow-world-empress-kadaena">
 
===Timeline===
 
===Timeline===
The following is the objectively correct timeline from the out-of-character perspective as of the Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989). This pre-dates the establishment of the Eyes of Utha and the Shadowstone in the documentation. This is important because Kadaena is an "Empress-goddess" and the Unlife is associated with "Gates of the Void" that are set with "immortal Guardians."
+
The following is the objectively correct timeline from the out-of-character perspective as of the Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989). This pre-dates the establishment of the Eyes of Utha and the Shadowstone in the documentation. This is important because Kadæna is an "Empress-goddess" and the Unlife is associated with "Gates of the Void" that are set with "immortal Guardians."
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
c. 29,000 - 30,000 - The Emperors are increasingly corrupt and sadistic, showing little respect for life or the continuity of galactic stability. This perverse trend culminates in the Ascension of the Empress Kadaena in c. 30,000.
+
c. 29,000 - 30,000 - The Emperors are increasingly corrupt and sadistic, showing little respect for life or the continuity of galactic stability. This perverse trend culminates in the Ascension of the Empress Kadæna in c. 30,000.
  
 
c. 30,000 - 30,250 - Rebellion against the K'ta'viir begins, instigated by Utha, a cousin within the family. Political, technological and '''Psionic''' powers are used in a sweeping attempt to overthrow the current '''Empress-goddess.''' Although the rebellion is successful, the result also brings about the complete downfall of the Civilization. Worlds are destroyed or their populations reduced to a primitive existence.
 
c. 30,000 - 30,250 - Rebellion against the K'ta'viir begins, instigated by Utha, a cousin within the family. Political, technological and '''Psionic''' powers are used in a sweeping attempt to overthrow the current '''Empress-goddess.''' Although the rebellion is successful, the result also brings about the complete downfall of the Civilization. Worlds are destroyed or their populations reduced to a primitive existence.
  
c. 30,250 - Final conflict of Utha and Kadaena. Large areas are laid waste as the Uruths destroy the remaining K'ta'viiri. Survivors include a few pockets of men and races of experimental nature devised by the K'ta'viiri. There are also hints that a few of the K'ta'viir and Uruths survive, placing themselves in cryogenic freeze to awake at a later time.
+
c. 30,250 - Final conflict of Utha and Kadæna. Large areas are laid waste as the Uruths destroy the remaining K'ta'viiri. Survivors include a few pockets of men and races of experimental nature devised by the K'ta'viiri. There are also hints that a few of the K'ta'viir and Uruths survive, placing themselves in cryogenic freeze to awake at a later time.
  
 
...
 
...
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- Tomes of Kulthea #1016
 
- Tomes of Kulthea #1016
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
In the Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990), pages 10/11/13, "Gates of the Void" in the timeline is replaced with "Portals". The "Portals" in this specific context refer to the ones on Charon that are warded at the end of Wars of Dominion by the Lords of Orhan to keep the Dark Lords of Charon mostly contained to their moon. The Portals in this book allowed many strange and demonic creatures into the world in the First Era when they were damaged in the war between Utha and Empress Kadaena. This is important to the Broken Lands which is about her relationship with the Dark Gods.
+
In the Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990), pages 10/11/13, "Gates of the Void" in the timeline is replaced with "Portals". The "Portals" in this specific context refer to the ones on Charôn that are warded at the end of Wars of Dominion by the Lords of Orhan to keep the Dark Lords of Charôn mostly contained to their moon. The Portals in this book allowed many strange and demonic creatures into the world in the First Era when they were damaged in the war between Utha and Empress Kadæna. This is important to the Broken Lands which is about her relationship with the Dark Gods.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"Even the Lords of Orhan descend to Kulthea to combat the legions of the Darkness. The Unlife is driven back and imprisoned '''on Charon''', all of its powerful servants destroyed. Many valiant Loremasters and Sages are killed, however. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that the Unlife cannot re-enter the world at some future time. Enchanted, immortal Guardians are set at the Portals."
+
"Even the Lords of Orhan descend to Kulthea to combat the legions of the Darkness. The Unlife is driven back and imprisoned '''on Charôn''', all of its powerful servants destroyed. Many valiant Loremasters and Sages are killed, however. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that the Unlife cannot re-enter the world at some future time. Enchanted, immortal Guardians are set at the Portals."
  
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 13
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 13
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===Prophecy===
 
===Prophecy===
There is no premise in Shadow World canon that the Lords of Essaence had the innate ability to know future events. (Though they did have mastery of making portals, which were capable of time travel.) The Lord of Essaence race (the K'ta'viiri family of the Althans), however, has innate psionic abilities which are akin to mental magic without using the Essaence. The equivalent of psionic spell lists are given in the I.C.E. "Space Master" books, such as Future Law (1986) pages 52-63, and Spacemaster Companion (1986) pages 56-66. These powers include telepathy and possession over vast distances, mental transport across time, and the ability to know the ultimate fate of targets. It is not wild speculation to suspect that Empress Kadaena herself is supposed to have had these kinds of temporal powers.
+
There is no premise in Shadow World canon that the Lords of Essaence had the innate ability to know future events. (Though they did have mastery of making portals, which were capable of time travel.) The Lord of Essaence race (the K'ta'viiri family of the Althans), however, has innate psionic abilities which are akin to mental magic without using the Essaence. The equivalent of psionic spell lists are given in the I.C.E. "Space Master" books, such as Future Law (1986) pages 52-63, and Spacemaster Companion (1986) pages 56-66. These powers include telepathy and possession over vast distances, mental transport across time, and the ability to know the ultimate fate of targets. It is not wild speculation to suspect that Empress Kadæna herself is supposed to have had these kinds of temporal powers.
  
In the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989) the introduction of the book is a quote from the "Visions of Andraax." In this nightmare vision Andraax, who is a cousin of Empress Kadaena, witnesses himself in the future encountering the Unlife itself. Interpreted literally with Andraax being a Seer, this may be the Future Visions list or psionic powers. It might be taken as him having an omen of his own death.
+
In the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989) the introduction of the book is a quote from the "Visions of Andraax." In this nightmare vision Andraax, who is a cousin of Empress Kadæna, witnesses himself in the future encountering the Unlife itself. Interpreted literally with Andraax being a Seer, this may be the Future Visions list, or psionic powers. It might be taken as him having an omen of his own death.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"...We cleared the summit and it was as Kirin had said: ahead of us lay a wide vale, filled with the green of growing things. Sunlight warmed us and reflected off of a long lake ahead. But scattered across the valley were dark patches which raced across the rolling hills, sliding like ethereal snakes. They were only shadows cast by clouds under the sun, but they gave me a feeling of menace; of malignant purpose. Even as I pondered this, one of the dark patches rose up the hillside and covered us. '''The sun went out,''' and I have never been so afraid before or since. We were in the presence of the Unlife."
 
"...We cleared the summit and it was as Kirin had said: ahead of us lay a wide vale, filled with the green of growing things. Sunlight warmed us and reflected off of a long lake ahead. But scattered across the valley were dark patches which raced across the rolling hills, sliding like ethereal snakes. They were only shadows cast by clouds under the sun, but they gave me a feeling of menace; of malignant purpose. Even as I pondered this, one of the dark patches rose up the hillside and covered us. '''The sun went out,''' and I have never been so afraid before or since. We were in the presence of the Unlife."
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- Tomes of Kulthea #1000
 
- Tomes of Kulthea #1000
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The blacking out of the sun in this vision may be important to the Graveyard, as various details of its design appear to be symbolically defying the sun. The ability of Empress Kadaena to know the future and have some measure of contact with Bandur across the aeons is one way of resolving the central paradox of the story. However, this is not the only option, as she may be "dead" but now in some other form.
+
The blacking out of the sun in this vision may be important to the Graveyard, as various details of its design appear to be symbolically defying the sun. The ability of Empress Kadæna to know the future and have some measure of contact with Bandur across the aeons is one way of resolving the central paradox of the story. However, this is not the only option, as she may be "dead" but now in some other form.
  
 
===Lords of Orhan===
 
===Lords of Orhan===
Empress Kadaena was the ruler of the Lords of Essaence, the royal line of the ancient humanoid race of the world. The Lords of Orhan are a pantheon of non-corporeal deities who reside on the moon Orhan (Modern: Liabo). These two groups are supposed to be completely unrelated to each other, in spite of beliefs to the contrary, which is explicitly stated on page 24 of the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989).
+
Empress Kadæna was the ruler of the Lords of Essaence, the royal line of the ancient humanoid race of the world. The Lords of Orhan are a pantheon of non-corporeal deities who reside on the moon Orhan (Modern: Liabo). These two groups are supposed to be completely unrelated to each other, in spite of beliefs to the contrary, which is explicitly stated on page 24 of the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989).
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"Early in his servitude to the Unlife, Bandur had pledged himself to the Empress Kadaena, the first '''Lord of Orhan''' to follow the ways of the Unlife. He turned his own bondage to her into the state cult, which he called The Dark Path. Followers of The Dark Path engaged in many heinous ritual practices beneath a genteel facade of prayer. They were ostentatious in their devotions, carrying around long rosaries of windak beads and reciting out loud the Iylarian phrase "Kadaena Throk Farok." True followers of the cult of Kadaena who recited the phrase with fervor and dedication were promised everlasting existence by Bandur, and after death were transformed by him into various levels of undead creatures."
 
"Early in his servitude to the Unlife, Bandur had pledged himself to the Empress Kadaena, the first '''Lord of Orhan''' to follow the ways of the Unlife. He turned his own bondage to her into the state cult, which he called The Dark Path. Followers of The Dark Path engaged in many heinous ritual practices beneath a genteel facade of prayer. They were ostentatious in their devotions, carrying around long rosaries of windak beads and reciting out loud the Iylarian phrase "Kadaena Throk Farok." True followers of the cult of Kadaena who recited the phrase with fervor and dedication were promised everlasting existence by Bandur, and after death were transformed by him into various levels of undead creatures."
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</pre>
 
</pre>
  
This is preserving a typographical error from the history section of the 1989 adventure modules where the phrase "servants of the Shadow" originates. This text is vestigial from older I.C.E. books prior to the Shadow World setting, such as the 1984 version of The Iron Wind source book. This text is important because the "servants of the Shadow" line is worded in such a way that it sounds like Empress Kadaena is leading the Wars of Dominion in the Second Era, in spite of having been slain in the First Era. This can be read into lines elsewhere about Kadaena "spurning death" and "defying Death itself."
+
This is preserving a typographical error from the history section of the 1989 adventure modules where the phrase "servants of the Shadow" originates. This text is vestigial from older I.C.E. books prior to the Shadow World setting, such as the 1984 version of The Iron Wind source book. This text is important because the "servants of the Shadow" line is worded in such a way that it sounds like Empress Kadæna is leading the Wars of Dominion in the Second Era, in spite of having been slain in the First Era. This can be read into lines elsewhere about Kadæna "spurning death" and "defying Death itself."
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
'''The Lords of Essaence and the Three Eras'''
 
'''The Lords of Essaence and the Three Eras'''
 
'''(A Whirlwind History of Kulthea)'''
 
'''(A Whirlwind History of Kulthea)'''
  
Imbued with extraordinary powers by a freak flare of Essence, the immortal Lords ruled over the lands and waters of Kulthea for thousands of years until two camps formed. A titanic struggle ensued, tearing the world apart. Races were buried by rock and flooded by mountainous tidal waves; lands sank, and islands emerged. The wicked '''Empress Kadaena was slain, her head severed.''' This upheaval ended the First Era, and with it faded the power and presence of the '''Lords of Orhan.'''
+
Imbued with extraordinary powers by a freak flare of Essence, the immortal Lords ruled over the lands and waters of Kulthea for thousands of years until two camps formed. A titanic struggle ensued, tearing the world apart. Races were buried by rock and flooded by mountainous tidal waves; lands sank, and islands emerged. The wicked '''Empress Kadæna was slain, her head severed.''' This upheaval ended the First Era, and with it faded the power and presence of the '''Lords of Orhan.'''
  
 
The Second Era saw the healing of the land and the reawakening of the few races of beings who survived the cataclysms. Erratic Essence Flows tortured the world for 100,000 years, if certain Loremasters are to be believed. Perhaps descendants of the Lords, Loremasters appeared to guide and to speed the healing of Kulthea in the Second Era. Able to tap Essence Flows at will, the remote and power-shy Loremasters tutored Elves and Men in their recovery over the course of several centuries, then all but disappeared into the mists of myth.
 
The Second Era saw the healing of the land and the reawakening of the few races of beings who survived the cataclysms. Erratic Essence Flows tortured the world for 100,000 years, if certain Loremasters are to be believed. Perhaps descendants of the Lords, Loremasters appeared to guide and to speed the healing of Kulthea in the Second Era. Able to tap Essence Flows at will, the remote and power-shy Loremasters tutored Elves and Men in their recovery over the course of several centuries, then all but disappeared into the mists of myth.
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'''The Unlife'''
 
'''The Unlife'''
  
The coming of the Unlife, a vast power which feeds upon destruction, brought to light (and to darkness!) cults and orders dedicated to evil; '''Great Demons were fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords who had fallen under the influence of the Unlife, led by the Empress Kadaena.''' Wise but twisted in spirit, the '''servants of the Shadow''' offered knowledge beyond that which the Loremasters deigned to give such "lesser beings," and the power of the Unlife grew unfettered in the Second Era.
+
The coming of the Unlife, a vast power which feeds upon destruction, brought to light (and to darkness!) cults and orders dedicated to evil; '''Great Demons were fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords who had fallen under the influence of the Unlife, led by the Empress Kadæna.''' Wise but twisted in spirit, the '''servants of the Shadow''' offered knowledge beyond that which the Loremasters deigned to give such "lesser beings," and the power of the Unlife grew unfettered in the Second Era.
  
 
The 300-year-long Wars of Dominion concluded the Second Era. Weary Loremasters at last overcame the forces of the Unlife. At great cost in blood and power, the world was once again at rest, however uneasily, at the dawning of the Third Era.
 
The 300-year-long Wars of Dominion concluded the Second Era. Weary Loremasters at last overcame the forces of the Unlife. At great cost in blood and power, the world was once again at rest, however uneasily, at the dawning of the Third Era.
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- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 2-3
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 2-3
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
There is some inconsistency on when the Unlife, however defined, is first corrupting the world given the Lords of Essaence under Kadaena herself. The Graveyard story is treating Kadaena as explicitly a follower of the ways of the Unlife dating back to the First Era. The blame for it has precedent in the Lords of Essaence weakening the barriers between planes with their portals and civil war.
+
There is some inconsistency on when the Unlife, however defined, is first corrupting the world given the Lords of Essaence under Kadæna herself. The Graveyard story is treating Kadæna as explicitly a follower of the ways of the Unlife dating back to the First Era. The blame for it has precedent in the Lords of Essaence weakening the barriers between planes with their portals and civil war.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"This anti-essence has emerged in the universe here, on the Shadow World, because of the very powerful flows of energy which - by their very presence - set the stage to allow the Unlife to enter. Before the tapping of the Flows '''by the early Lords''', the Unlife remained safely beyond the reach of our universe, but when they began to utilize these massive energies, the balance was upset and the barrier of Essence which keeps the planes of existence separate was weakened. The Unlife perceived a window through which to attack, and did so without hesitation."
 
"This anti-essence has emerged in the universe here, on the Shadow World, because of the very powerful flows of energy which - by their very presence - set the stage to allow the Unlife to enter. Before the tapping of the Flows '''by the early Lords''', the Unlife remained safely beyond the reach of our universe, but when they began to utilize these massive energies, the balance was upset and the barrier of Essence which keeps the planes of existence separate was weakened. The Unlife perceived a window through which to attack, and did so without hesitation."
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</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The Dark Lords of Charon (Modern: Lornon) were not defined as a pantheon until the Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum book in Spring 1990. Individual dark gods such as Orgiana and Andaras, who are modernly Eorgina and Andelas, were described mostly without reference to Charon. Charon was described as an evil place with servants of the Unlife and a gate world, and the Jaiman source book had an Amulet of Charon that was made by servants of Kadaena in the Wars of Dominion. This may go some way to explaining why "Lord of Orhan" was the term used, as the Great Demons were described in 1989 as fallen demigods. There is an unexplained relationship between Empress Kadaena and Orgiana, as there are demons of the Black Hel on the Isle of Aranmor dating back to the rule of Kadaena herself.
+
The Dark Lords of Charôn (Modern: Lornon) were not defined as a pantheon until the Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum book in Spring 1990. Individual dark gods such as Orgiana and Andaras, who are modernly Eorgina and Andelas, were described mostly without reference to Charôn. Charôn was described as an evil place with servants of the Unlife and a gate world, and the Jaiman source book had an Amulet of Charôn that was made by servants of Kadæna in the Wars of Dominion. This may go some way to explaining why "Lord of Orhan" was the term used, as the Great Demons were described in 1989 as fallen demigods. There is an unexplained relationship between Empress Kadæna and Orgiana, as there are demons of the Black Hel on the Isle of Aranmor dating back to the rule of Kadæna herself.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"Charon is considered an evil presence by most Kultheans, who believe that the orb is a haven of strange, otherworldly beings and presences. Once again, superstition is not without a basis in fact, for Charon is indeed a gate-world which hovers on the boundary between dimensions. Beneath the shining icy surface are myriad caves and tunnels - hiding places for the unspeakable. It is shunned by the Lords of Orhan. When Charon passes close the inhabitants of the Great Moon are especially vigilant."
+
"Charôn is considered an evil presence by most Kultheans, who believe that the orb is a haven of strange, otherworldly beings and presences. Once again, superstition is not without a basis in fact, for Charôn is indeed a gate-world which hovers on the boundary between dimensions. Beneath the shining icy surface are myriad caves and tunnels - hiding places for the unspeakable. It is shunned by the Lords of Orhan. When Charôn passes close the inhabitants of the Great Moon are especially vigilant."
  
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 17
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 17
 
- Tomes of Kulthea #1046
 
- Tomes of Kulthea #1046
  
''(Note: There is 1989 text carried over into the Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 37, where it still says "servants of the Unlife" visit the world from Charon on the night of the Third Moon.)''
+
''(Note: There is 1989 text carried over into the Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 37, where it still says "servants of the Unlife" visit the world from Charôn on the night of the Third Moon.)''
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
 
===Gates of Oblivion===
 
===Gates of Oblivion===
The Gates of Oblivion are a portal on the moon Orhan that is guarded by the goddess Eissa (Modern: Lorminstra). This page has two separate instances of explicitly stating that the Lords of Orhan are not Lords of Essence. "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" retains the "Lord of Orhan" typo, insinuating Empress Kadaena was an actual goddess who split off a dark faction. This is important as canonically Kadaena has nothing to do with the fate of souls and death religion. The premise seems to be a twisted parallel of Guardians of Oblivion and the Void, the light path and the dark path.
+
The Gates of Oblivion are a portal on the moon Orhan that is guarded by the goddess Eissa (Modern: Lorminstra). This page has two separate instances of explicitly stating that the Lords of Orhan are not Lords of Essence. "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" retains the "Lord of Orhan" typo, insinuating Empress Kadæna was an actual goddess who split off a dark faction. This is important as canonically Kadæna has nothing to do with the fate of souls and death religion. The premise seems to be a twisted parallel of Guardians of Oblivion and the Void, the light path and the dark path.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"Orhan itself has not felt the dark touch of the Unlife, and the Lords are careful to keep their home safe from its agents. Whether or not the souls of dead Kultheans go to Orhan is uncertain, but the Lady Eissa does guard the portal to another dimension, from whence she has the power to recall souls from the dead. She can also channel that ability to her devout followers."
 
"Orhan itself has not felt the dark touch of the Unlife, and the Lords are careful to keep their home safe from its agents. Whether or not the souls of dead Kultheans go to Orhan is uncertain, but the Lady Eissa does guard the portal to another dimension, from whence she has the power to recall souls from the dead. She can also channel that ability to her devout followers."
Line 220: Line 219:
  
 
===Gates of the Void===
 
===Gates of the Void===
The "Key to the Void" is the key "never used" by Eissa, which in some sense makes it forbidden. This is the most likely reason for Kadaena being portrayed as "Guardian of the Forbidden" in contrast to Eissa (though in the Lovecraftian frame below it might also be referring to "forbidden knowledge.") The Void is repeatedly associated with the demonic and the Unlife, though the Shadow World canon and the Rolemaster bestiaries are somewhat inconsistent on this terminology. The Void is important in this context because the Wars of Dominion are blamed on Kadaena's surviving followers in 1989.
+
The "Key to the Void" is the key "never used" by Eissa, which in some sense makes it forbidden. This is the most likely reason for Kadæna being portrayed as "Guardian of the Forbidden" in contrast to Eissa (though in the Lovecraftian frame below it might also be referring to "forbidden knowledge.") The Void is repeatedly associated with the demonic and the Unlife, though the Shadow World canon and the Rolemaster bestiaries are somewhat inconsistent on this terminology. The Void is important in this context because the Wars of Dominion are blamed on Kadæna's surviving followers in 1989.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"Keys: A set of six keys, two of which (The Key of Life and the Key of Death) open the Gates of Oblivion. '''One, a key never used, is the Key to the Void.'''"
 
"Keys: A set of six keys, two of which (The Key of Life and the Key of Death) open the Gates of Oblivion. '''One, a key never used, is the Key to the Void.'''"
Line 241: Line 240:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The Demons of the Essence are naturally aligned with the Unlife because they are "fallen spirits." The Flamesouls are described as demigods serving Kadaena in the present tense. This is changed in the Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 18, to say they were favored guardsmen but were mostly banished in the "Final Conflict" rather than the Wars of Dominion. (It says the Demons of the Essence do not necessarily serve the Unlife, but are naturally evil because of their Chaos planes origin. The Void is then asserted to have some parallel to the Order-Chaos axis of existence to explain the Pales.)
+
The Demons of the Essence are naturally aligned with the Unlife because they are "fallen spirits." The Flamesouls are described as demigods serving Kadæna in the present tense. This is changed in the Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 18, to say they were favored guardsmen but were mostly banished in the "Final Conflict" rather than the Wars of Dominion. (It says the Demons of the Essence do not necessarily serve the Unlife, but are naturally evil because of their Chaos planes origin. The Void is then asserted to have some parallel to the Order-Chaos axis of existence to explain the Pales.)
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"They all share one quality: each is a corrupt soul who has betrayed of abandoned its original conception and purpose. Each is a fallen spirit. ... Fire-demons are associated with destruction and typically serve the forces of terror. The mightiest of these creatures, the Flamesouls, are '''corrupted demigods''' in the service, whose avarice and hunger for hegemony led to their fall from grace. '''These vile, vengeful Demons serve Kadaena, although most were imprisoned on other planes at the end of the Wars of Dominion, or were utterly destroyed.''' The few survivors retreated into the depths of the underworld in order to survive until they could regain strength and exploit new opportunities. They repose like a dormant curse upon the world."
+
"They all share one quality: each is a corrupt soul who has betrayed of abandoned its original conception and purpose. Each is a fallen spirit. ... Fire-demons are associated with destruction and typically serve the forces of terror. The mightiest of these creatures, the Flamesouls, are '''corrupted demigods''' in the service, whose avarice and hunger for hegemony led to their fall from grace. '''These vile, vengeful Demons serve Kadæna, although most were imprisoned on other planes at the end of the Wars of Dominion, or were utterly destroyed.''' The few survivors retreated into the depths of the underworld in order to survive until they could regain strength and exploit new opportunities. They repose like a dormant curse upon the world."
  
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 34
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 34
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
In the Emer book (1990), page 63, Kadaena also had an Ordainer named Morloch as a bodyguard. In the Shadow World setting Ordainers are re-defined to be Thematic Demons. Lorgalis summoned an Ordainer named [[Kharuugh]] (only implied in 1989) leading up to the Wars of Dominion, who conquered the region of our game setting 71 years into the Wars of Dominion. This is important because it would be an upper bound on the possible independent existence of The Dark Path theocracy. The "sarcophagus" of Bandur below the Graveyard could be interpreted as Ordainer self-immolation symbolism.
+
In the Emer book (1990), page 63, Kadæna also had an Ordainer named Morloch as a bodyguard. In the Shadow World setting Ordainers are re-defined to be Thematic Demons. Lorgalis summoned an Ordainer named [[Kharuugh]] (only implied in 1989) leading up to the Wars of Dominion, who conquered the region of our game setting 71 years into the Wars of Dominion. This is important because it would be an upper bound on the possible independent existence of The Dark Path theocracy. The "sarcophagus" of Bandur below the Graveyard could be interpreted as Ordainer self-immolation symbolism.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
Thematic Demons represent abstract rather than elemental or tangible concepts. They concern themselves with the important themes spawned by Creation. As such, they were originally conceived as caretakers of the various Flows embodied by the Essence. These fallen spirits constitute the corrupted demigods who once served as guardians responsible for the protection of all relationships, emotions, and motivations found in Existence - the foundation themes attuned to the Essence. Rather than maintaining the Balance of Things with respect to these fundamental concepts, Thematic Demons try to manipulate their associated themes, reordering instead of guarding their appointed trusts. Some even destroy or constrain Essential Flows. Having fallen from his mission, a Spirit of Hope for instance, might become a Doombringer.
 
Thematic Demons represent abstract rather than elemental or tangible concepts. They concern themselves with the important themes spawned by Creation. As such, they were originally conceived as caretakers of the various Flows embodied by the Essence. These fallen spirits constitute the corrupted demigods who once served as guardians responsible for the protection of all relationships, emotions, and motivations found in Existence - the foundation themes attuned to the Essence. Rather than maintaining the Balance of Things with respect to these fundamental concepts, Thematic Demons try to manipulate their associated themes, reordering instead of guarding their appointed trusts. Some even destroy or constrain Essential Flows. Having fallen from his mission, a Spirit of Hope for instance, might become a Doombringer.
Line 269: Line 268:
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 37
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 37
  
''(Note: In the creature beastiaries it will assert that especially unruly Ordainers can be cast into this realm. This book does not describe the Void demons with the words "Ordainer" and "Moloch" in spite of drawing the distinction earlier. By 1990 there are portals to the Pales on Charon, and the Dark Gods are "related" to Demon of the Pale.)''
+
''(Note: In the creature beastiaries it will assert that especially unruly Ordainers can be cast into this realm. This book does not describe the Void demons with the words "Ordainer" and "Moloch" in spite of drawing the distinction earlier. By 1990 there are portals to the Pales on Charôn, and the Dark Gods are "related" to Demon of the Pale.)''
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
Shadow World re-defined the Demons of the Void made from souls of our own world into demons of the Outer Void that only resemble beings of our world. GemStone III does not necessarily follow the inhabitants guide instead of the bestiary on this point of the Void. It is possible that "the Void" is envisioned as a form of everlasting existence with Empress Kadaena portrayed as the Guardian of the Void in contrast to Eissa as the Guardian of Oblivion. In particular the bestiaries speak of Void demons coming from the souls of evil immortal spellcasters, of which the Lords of Essaence would apply.
+
Shadow World re-defined the Demons of the Void made from souls of our own world into demons of the Outer Void that only resemble beings of our world. GemStone III does not necessarily follow the inhabitants guide instead of the bestiary on this point of the Void. It is possible that "the Void" is envisioned as a form of everlasting existence with Empress Kadæna portrayed as the Guardian of the Void in contrast to Eissa as the Guardian of Oblivion. In particular the bestiaries speak of Void demons coming from the souls of evil immortal spellcasters, of which the Lords of Essaence would apply.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
'''Demons of the Void vs. Pales Lore (Before Shadow World Retcon)'''
 
'''Demons of the Void vs. Pales Lore (Before Shadow World Retcon)'''
Line 282: Line 281:
 
- Creatures & Treasures I (1985); page 35
 
- Creatures & Treasures I (1985); page 35
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The Flamesouls of Kadaena are probably retconned Void demons called the Noble Gogonaur who are fallen demigods. Lesser Ordainers are called Raukamar, and the most powerful are Moloch. The Pale is described as "Near-void" (page 38) with "tortured demonic souls" existing "without hope" in a twisted state on "planes where life and death have no meaning." The "Demons Beyond the Pale" are defined as downcast demigods related to Ordainers who have not yet been banished into the Void. With the exception of the demi-god variants, the Void demons are essentially a form of extraplanar undeath.
+
The Flamesouls of Kadæna are probably retconned Void demons called the Noble Gogonaur who are fallen demigods. Lesser Ordainers are called Raukamar, and the most powerful are Moloch. The Pale is described as "Near-void" (page 38) with "tortured demonic souls" existing "without hope" in a twisted state on "planes where life and death have no meaning." The "Demons Beyond the Pale" are defined as downcast demigods related to Ordainers who have not yet been banished into the Void. With the exception of the demi-god variants, the Void demons are essentially a form of extraplanar undeath.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
'''Lords of Essence ''Creating'' Demons'''
 
'''Lords of Essence ''Creating'' Demons'''
Line 290: Line 289:
 
- Cloudlords of Tanara (1984); page 8
 
- Cloudlords of Tanara (1984); page 8
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The text about the followers of Kadaena having fashioned the Great Demons is vestigial from an earlier period where demons were considered to have been created by the Lords of Essence. This is stated explicitly in the Cloudlords of Tanara (1984) source book on page 8, and in that book calls those ones demons of the Pales. The "servants of the Shadow" line said "Unlife" instead of "Shadow."
+
The text about the followers of Kadæna having fashioned the Great Demons is vestigial from an earlier period where demons were considered to have been created by the Lords of Essence. This is stated explicitly in the Cloudlords of Tanara (1984) source book on page 8, and in that book calls those ones demons of the Pales. The "servants of the Shadow" line said "Unlife" instead of "Shadow."
  
 
===Apocrypha===
 
===Apocrypha===
Line 297: Line 296:
 
'''(1) Sarcophagus'''
 
'''(1) Sarcophagus'''
  
In the Emer: The Great Continent book dated April 1990, page 7, there is a history section where Empress Kadaena's body falls through the black Gate of the Void when she is decapitated by Utha, which has unclear relevance to the Graveyard story. This same book contradicts that detail later on page 64 with her headless body being in a sarcophagus near the South Pole in a fortress made for Lorgalis.
+
In the Emer: The Great Continent book dated April 1990, page 7, there is a history section where Empress Kadæna's body falls through the black Gate of the Void when she is decapitated by Utha, which has unclear relevance to the Graveyard story. This same book contradicts that detail later on page 64 with her headless body being in a sarcophagus near the South Pole in a fortress made for Lorgalis.
  
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"Then the rebellion began, sweeping through the galaxy, returning finally to the home world, where Utha and Kadaena faced each other before the '''Black Gate of the Void.''' Utha slew her with the Soulsword and Kadaena's head fell to the ground, '''her body (and the Shadowstone) sucked into the Black Gate.''' The world cried out in an agony of relief. Kulthea would have been utterly destroyed if Utha had not at once placed the Eyes at the poles to stabilize the planet. Exhausted by his efforts, he departed; the Era came to an end with the world a wasteland."
+
"Then the rebellion began, sweeping through the galaxy, returning finally to the home world, where Utha and Kadæna faced each other before the '''Black Gate of the Void.''' Utha slew her with the Soulsword and Kadæna's head fell to the ground, '''her body (and the Shadowstone) sucked into the Black Gate.''' The world cried out in an agony of relief. Kulthea would have been utterly destroyed if Utha had not at once placed the Eyes at the poles to stabilize the planet. Exhausted by his efforts, he departed; the Era came to an end with the world a wasteland."
  
 
- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 7
 
- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 7
  
"Here it seemed that Lorgalis scored a victory of the schemes of Schrek, for he enlisted the aid of the Dark God Klysus and lobbied to have the pinnacle at Ordia named as Ahrenryak (Ir. "Secret of Souls"). This monastic center had been a gathering place for activities of Darkness for several centuries before the Ahrenreth had resumed. The location of a splinter of the Crystal here enhanced the Dark God's power and caused some concern for Schrek. ... Only the order of monks reside within this fortress-monastery, honing their physical and mental skills, and guarding the splinter of the Crystal. Something else is guarded at the Secret of Souls, however: '''the body of Kadaena. Sealed within a sarcophagus of black laen and eogs,''' the remains of this evil queen continue to radiate an aura of unmatched evil."
+
"Here it seemed that Lorgalis scored a victory of the schemes of Schrek, for he enlisted the aid of the Dark God Klysus and lobbied to have the pinnacle at Ordia named as Ahrenryak (Ir. "Secret of Souls"). This monastic center had been a gathering place for activities of Darkness for several centuries before the Ahrenreth had resumed. The location of a splinter of the Crystal here enhanced the Dark God's power and caused some concern for Schrek. ... Only the order of monks reside within this fortress-monastery, honing their physical and mental skills, and guarding the splinter of the Crystal. Something else is guarded at the Secret of Souls, however: '''the body of Kadæna. Sealed within a sarcophagus of black laen and eogs,''' the remains of this evil queen continue to radiate an aura of unmatched evil."
  
 
- Emer The Great Continent (1990); page 64
 
- Emer The Great Continent (1990); page 64
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The temptation is to think the sarcophagus in the crypt of the Graveyard and Kadaena as perhaps the Guardian of the Gates of the Void come from these details. However, this text may not have been available yet when the Graveyard was being designed, so priority must be given to the 1989 books. Empress Kadaena has a false sarcophagus next to the portal to the Black Hel on Aranmor, and her cousin Andraax has a false sarcophagus on an island next to the Library of Nomikos. These seem to be the only two references to the Lords of Essaence having sarcophagi in the 1989 books.
+
The temptation is to think the sarcophagus in the crypt of the Graveyard and Kadæna as perhaps the Guardian of the Gates of the Void come from these details. However, this text may not have been available yet when the Graveyard was being designed, so priority must be given to the 1989 books. Empress Kadæna has a false sarcophagus next to the portal to the Black Hel on Aranmor, and her cousin Andraax has a false sarcophagus on an island next to the Library of Nomikos. These seem to be the only two references to the Lords of Essaence having sarcophagi in the 1989 books.
  
 
'''(2) The Shadowstone'''
 
'''(2) The Shadowstone'''
  
The Shadowstone is an immensely powerful necklace worn by the Empress Kadaena. It is first introduced in the 1990 books. One of its properties is that it absorbs the soul of the wearer if they are killed, and the soul is destroyed if the next wearer wins control of it in a contest of wills. In principle this would imply the soul of Kadaena was destroyed when Ondoval took possession of the Shadowstone. This might be entirely inconsistent with the concept of the Etrevion story. For our purposes we must pretend the Shadowstone does not exist, though the Helm of Kadaena is earlier and may be important.
+
The Shadowstone is an immensely powerful necklace worn by the Empress Kadæna. It is first introduced in the 1990 books. One of its properties is that it absorbs the soul of the wearer if they are killed, and the soul is destroyed if the next wearer wins control of it in a contest of wills. In principle this would imply the soul of Kadæna was destroyed when Ondoval took possession of the Shadowstone. This might be entirely inconsistent with the concept of the Etrevion story. For our purposes we must pretend the Shadowstone does not exist, though the Helm of Kadæna is earlier and may be important.
  
 
'''(3) Lorgalis'''
 
'''(3) Lorgalis'''
  
In the 1989 books Lorgalis is strongly implied to be a survivor from the First Era, while in the 1990 books and onward he is described as actually having been born in the Second Era to a surviving follower of Kadaena. His role eventually shifts to reluctantly siding with the Dark Gods, who are the primary actors in the Wars of Dominion. In the 1989 books the Wars of Dominion are instead driven by figures such as Lorgalis. Lorgalis is most likely the warlord Kestrel Etrevion was serving, and the subject of Bandur Etrevion's book. In later books (at least 1998) it is established that his Ordainer conquers Saralis in 6521 Second Era, which happens to be the exact year Uthex is killed nearby in the Broken Lands. It is unclear at the moment if this is a bizarre coincidence or if that information was available in 1993.
+
In the 1989 books Lorgalis is strongly implied to be a survivor from the First Era, while in the 1990 books and onward he is described as actually having been born in the Second Era to a surviving follower of Kadæna. His role eventually shifts to reluctantly siding with the Dark Gods, who are the primary actors in the Wars of Dominion. In the 1989 books the Wars of Dominion are instead driven by figures such as Lorgalis. Lorgalis is most likely the warlord Kestrel Etrevion was serving, and the subject of Bandur Etrevion's book. In later books (at least 1998) it is established that his Ordainer conquers Saralis in 6521 Second Era, which happens to be the exact year Uthex is killed nearby in the Broken Lands. It is unclear at the moment if this is a bizarre coincidence or if that information was available in 1993.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"Lorgalis' origins are lost amid the uncertain histories of the First Era and the Interregnum. Few facts regarding his parentage are known even among the inner circles of the Loremasters; their races ''are'' known, however. The son of a Dyar Elf and a Lord of Essence, it is most likely that he was actually born '''before''' the struggle between Utha and Kadaena which ended the '''First Era'''; this way he might have survived by passing for an Elf. It is possible (though less likely) that Lorgalis was born later, his K'ta'viir parent somehow escaping the purge in which all Lords of Essence were supposedly slain (of course, we know this to be not entirely correct)."
+
"Lorgalis' origins are lost amid the uncertain histories of the First Era and the Interregnum. Few facts regarding his parentage are known even among the inner circles of the Loremasters; their races ''are'' known, however. The son of a Dyar Elf and a Lord of Essence, it is most likely that he was actually born '''before''' the struggle between Utha and Kadæna which ended the '''First Era'''; this way he might have survived by passing for an Elf. It is possible (though less likely) that Lorgalis was born later, his K'ta'viir parent somehow escaping the purge in which all Lords of Essence were supposedly slain (of course, we know this to be not entirely correct)."
  
 
- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 18
 
- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 18
Line 333: Line 332:
 
- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 59
 
- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 59
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The Priests Arnak were founded around 4,000 Second Era, which is established on page 11 of "Jaiman: Land of Twilight" (1989). Lorgalis having Dyari and Lord of Essaence parents at an earlier time, most likely the First Era in the 1989 books, provides a seed for why "Kadaena Throk Farok" is called an Iylarian phrase in "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990). The surviving followers of the Empress Kadaena may be interpreted as including Iylari and not only Lords of Essaence for this reason. Another surviving follower was the "Master of Malice", carried over from the Vog Mur (1984) book.
+
The Priests Arnak were founded around 4,000 Second Era, which is established on page 11 of "Jaiman: Land of Twilight" (1989). Lorgalis having Dyari and Lord of Essaence parents at an earlier time, most likely the First Era in the 1989 books, provides a seed for why "Kadaena Throk Farok" is called an Iylarian phrase in "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990). The surviving followers of the Empress Kadæna may be interpreted as including Iylari and not only Lords of Essaence for this reason. Another surviving follower was the "Master of Malice", carried over from the Vog Mur (1984) book.
  
 
'''(4) The Unlife'''
 
'''(4) The Unlife'''
  
One of the most serious nuances between the 1989 and 1990 books is the way the Unlife is described. In the 1989 books it is a plausible interpretation to believe that the forces of Unlife, including Lorgalis and the Priests Arnak, ultimately serve Empress Kadaena somehow even in the Second Era. This interpretation is present in things written by GemStone players in the Kelfour Editions. It would be plausible to interpret the Council of Light as serving Kadaena, even though they are probably the regional Priests Arnak. The Unlife is written as though it has willful purpose, self-awareness, desires and intent.  
+
One of the most serious nuances between the 1989 and 1990 books is the way the Unlife is described. In the 1989 books it is a plausible interpretation to believe that the forces of Unlife, including Lorgalis and the Priests Arnak, ultimately serve Empress Kadæna somehow even in the Second Era. This interpretation is present in things written by GemStone players in the Kelfour Editions. It would be plausible to interpret the Council of Light as serving Kadæna, even though they are probably the regional Priests Arnak. The Unlife is written as though it has willful purpose, self-awareness, desires and intent.  
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"When evil is referred to in the Shadow World, it does not mean the small injustices one man commits against another; not does it even mean most acts of violence or warfare. True Evil, the evil which is fostered by the Unlife, is '''the drive to destroy''' - and to feed on that destruction. The Unlife '''desires''' not only to kill, but to draw energy from the poor spirit as it dies. Without attempting to make a judgment on what is 'evil' and what is not, the concept of pure, true, universal evil in the context of Shadow World applies only to the Unlife and its willing servants. Others may do 'evil' deeds, but they are not evil until they succumb to its power.
 
"When evil is referred to in the Shadow World, it does not mean the small injustices one man commits against another; not does it even mean most acts of violence or warfare. True Evil, the evil which is fostered by the Unlife, is '''the drive to destroy''' - and to feed on that destruction. The Unlife '''desires''' not only to kill, but to draw energy from the poor spirit as it dies. Without attempting to make a judgment on what is 'evil' and what is not, the concept of pure, true, universal evil in the context of Shadow World applies only to the Unlife and its willing servants. Others may do 'evil' deeds, but they are not evil until they succumb to its power.
Line 348: Line 347:
 
- Tomes of Kulthea #1095, #1097
 
- Tomes of Kulthea #1095, #1097
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
This is no longer the case in the books published in 1990. The Unlife is described as the extreme end of a corruptive axis, with likely no sentience or goal of its own. The Wars of Dominion are attributed to the Dark Gods, who are made distinct from the servants of the Unlife. Usage of the term Unlife will generally refer to specific groups with their own agendas. Lorgalis is made distinct from the factions of the Unlife, who he already had a treacherous relationship with, and the Dragonlords are no longer described as followers of the true Unlife. Empress Kadaena is not described as having any role in the Second Era.
+
This is no longer the case in the books published in 1990. The Unlife is described as the extreme end of a corruptive axis, with likely no sentience or goal of its own. The Wars of Dominion are attributed to the Dark Gods, who are made distinct from the servants of the Unlife. Usage of the term Unlife will generally refer to specific groups with their own agendas. Lorgalis is made distinct from the factions of the Unlife, who he already had a treacherous relationship with, and the Dragonlords are no longer described as followers of the true Unlife. Empress Kadæna is not described as having any role in the Second Era.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"Good versus Evil" was discussed briefly in the ''Master Atlas World Guide''. Perhaps it needs further elucidation now that the background of the Shadow World has been much further fleshed-out. 'Good' and 'Evil' fall at the two exteme ends of a spectrum; most thinking beings exist somewhere in the middle ground. In addition, there are the complicating factors of the competing affiliations among those of evil ambition. '''The servants of the absolutist Unlife sometimes find themselves at odds''' with power thirsty Dragonlords, the Dark Gods, and numerous other agencies of evil."
 
"Good versus Evil" was discussed briefly in the ''Master Atlas World Guide''. Perhaps it needs further elucidation now that the background of the Shadow World has been much further fleshed-out. 'Good' and 'Evil' fall at the two exteme ends of a spectrum; most thinking beings exist somewhere in the middle ground. In addition, there are the complicating factors of the competing affiliations among those of evil ambition. '''The servants of the absolutist Unlife sometimes find themselves at odds''' with power thirsty Dragonlords, the Dark Gods, and numerous other agencies of evil."
Line 360: Line 359:
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 6
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 6
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
In the 1990 book the Unlife itself has been walked back to only influencing through subtle, decentralized minions in "small and localized" cults, except for an odd reference to its being imprisoned on Charon at the end of the Wars of Dominion. By the second edition of the Master Atlas in 1992 the Unlife itself is described as actually "not a single entity", "mindless", and "may or may not" possess awareness.
+
In the 1990 book the Unlife itself has been walked back to only influencing through subtle, decentralized minions in "small and localized" cults, except for an odd reference to its being imprisoned on Charôn at the end of the Wars of Dominion. By the second edition of the Master Atlas in 1992 the Unlife itself is described as actually "not a single entity", "mindless", and "may or may not" possess awareness.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"Historically, the Unlife has acted through minions, using stealthy, guileful, insidious means. ... This structure can be sabotaged from within when the servants themselves grow too powerful. ... Another two-edged sword of the Unlife is its decentralized structure. With the exception of the Ahrenreth (which is, after all, a corruption of an order from the Interregnum), cults of the Unlife are small and localized. Its minions work in disguise; rarely are they unsubtle.
 
"Historically, the Unlife has acted through minions, using stealthy, guileful, insidious means. ... This structure can be sabotaged from within when the servants themselves grow too powerful. ... Another two-edged sword of the Unlife is its decentralized structure. With the exception of the Ahrenreth (which is, after all, a corruption of an order from the Interregnum), cults of the Unlife are small and localized. Its minions work in disguise; rarely are they unsubtle.
Line 390: Line 389:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
It would allow outlandish possibilities such as the black sea drakes in the burial mound and coastal cliffs representing the Dragonlord Ulya Shek, even though it is much more likely to refer to the Cult of the Sea Drake obeying Lorgalis. More importantly, when Bandur usurped Kestrel he was really usurping Kestrel's liege lord, as their land was only a fiefdom. This was most likely Lorgalis. While it is implied that Bandur crushed a coup attempt by his nephews, it would be absurd for him to resist Lorgalis. What is unclear is if resistance would even be necessary. It matters a great deal if Lorgalis is taken to be a surviving follower of Kadaena, as the theocracy would still be swearing fealty to him through its homage to her. This might be plausible for the 1989 books, but it would be incoherent beyond them.
+
It would allow outlandish possibilities such as the black sea drakes in the burial mound and coastal cliffs representing the Dragonlord Ulya Shek, even though it is much more likely to refer to the Cult of the Sea Drake obeying Lorgalis. More importantly, when Bandur usurped Kestrel he was really usurping Kestrel's liege lord, as their land was only a fiefdom. This was most likely Lorgalis. While it is implied that Bandur crushed a coup attempt by his nephews, it would be absurd for him to resist Lorgalis. What is unclear is if resistance would even be necessary. It matters a great deal if Lorgalis is taken to be a surviving follower of Kadæna, as the theocracy would still be swearing fealty to him through its homage to her. This might be plausible for the 1989 books, but it would be incoherent beyond them.
  
 
'''(5) The Slayer'''
 
'''(5) The Slayer'''
  
"Emer: The Great Continent" (1990) has a glossary, pages 95-96, that includes the pronunciations of many terms. Kadaena is either "ku da' na" (kuh-day-nah) or "ku da e' na" (kuh-day-ee-nah), and still means "slayer" in Iruaric, which is pronounced "ir' u ar ik" (er-oo-air-ik). The GemStone III glossary for Iruaric is consistent with the apostrophes (e.g. K'ta'viir or "kuh' ta' ver") sounding like glottal stops.
+
"Emer: The Great Continent" (1990) has a glossary, pages 95-96, that includes the pronunciations of many terms. Kadæna is either "ku ' " (kuh-day-nah) or "ku dā ē' " (kuh-day-ee-nah), and still means "slayer" in Iruaric, which is pronounced "ir' ū ār ǐk" (ir-oo-air-ik). The GemStone III glossary for Iruaric is consistent with the apostrophes (e.g. K'ta'viir or "kuh' ta' vēr") sounding like glottal stops.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
Utha was the first of his kind: the masters of the Flows. Power was in their hands, and the shaping of the lands was for them an easy task. The world was yet young and warm with red-hot rock which ran like rivers across the steppes. stha and his people were wise and sought to temper the wild earth and still her uneasiness. But there were those among the masters, led by a woman, '''Kadaena (I. "the slayer")''', who sought to disrupt their ways, and there arose a great conflict. This was the First Era (also abbreviated as "FE").
+
Utha was the first of his kind: the masters of the Flows. Power was in their hands, and the shaping of the lands was for them an easy task. The world was yet young and warm with red-hot rock which ran like rivers across the steppes. stha and his people were wise and sought to temper the wild earth and still her uneasiness. But there were those among the masters, led by a woman, '''Kadæna (I. "the slayer")''', who sought to disrupt their ways, and there arose a great conflict. This was the First Era (also abbreviated as "FE").
  
 
Lydek Terisonen  
 
Lydek Terisonen  
Line 405: Line 404:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
There is vestigial text in the Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989) regarding "Kadaena" being Iruaric for Slayer. This was present in earlier books such as the 1984 version of The Iron Wind, which pre-dates the Iruaric language glossary that first appears in the Master Atlas Addendum (1990). In the 1989 books certain words are given Iruaric meanings, but there is no dictionary for identifying the meaning of word parts. K'ta'viir is defined as meaning "Lord of Essaence", but the "K'ta'viir" and "Althans" exist in earlier Spacemaster books. These are essentially retcons of earlier terms. However, the term "Lord of Essence" was used in the Loremaster series of I.C.E. books around 1984, and did not include the phrase "K'ta'viir." These are wedded together in Shadow World proper by the year 1989.
+
There is vestigial text in the Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989) regarding "Kadæna" being Iruaric for Slayer. This was present in earlier books such as the 1984 version of The Iron Wind, which pre-dates the Iruaric language glossary that first appears in the Master Atlas Addendum (1990). In the 1989 books certain words are given Iruaric meanings, but there is no dictionary for identifying the meaning of word parts. K'ta'viir is defined as meaning "Lord of Essaence", but the "K'ta'viir" and "Althans" exist in earlier Spacemaster books. These are essentially retcons of earlier terms. However, the term "Lord of Essence" was used in the Loremaster series of I.C.E. books around 1984, and did not include the phrase "K'ta'viir." These are wedded together in Shadow World proper by the year 1989.
  
While there are monsters named "Kaeden" mentioned in the Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989) book, they are not given any description. In the Master Atlas Addendum (1990) the Kaeden are defined as insectoid artificial constructs organized around "queens", with Kadaena herself as the high queen as she was their maker. The Iruaric glossary is present to define the " K' " construct as "Lord", with "daen" meaning "Elder." K'daen would translate literally as Lord Elder, or Elder Lord, and so the word Kadaen or Kaeden essentially means "Queen." This is too late to matter for the Graveyard.
+
While there are monsters named "Kæden" mentioned in the Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989) book, they are not given any description. In the Master Atlas Addendum (1990) the Kæden are defined as insectoid artificial constructs organized around "queens", with Kadæna herself as the high queen as she was their maker. The Iruaric glossary is present to define the " K' " construct as "Lord", with "daen" meaning "Elder." K'dæn would translate literally as Lord Elder, or Elder Lord, and so the word Kadæn or Kæden essentially means "Queen." This is too late to matter for the Graveyard.
 +
 
 +
'''(6) Gosaena'''
 +
 
 +
When the I.C.E. Age ended the various copyrighted terms were mostly given replacements, and the lore for the modern analogs is usually fairly similar to the original. "Kadaena" was replaced with "Gosaena", but there was no information for Gosaena. The modern version of Gosaena as a prophetic silent angel of death was not released until the [[Gods of Elanthia|gods documentation]] near the end of the 1990s when the Pantheon of Neutrality was introduced. The "lost to the demonic" messaging referencing the "Gates of Oblivion" does not mention her, as it is much older than the concept of Gosaena beyond the Ebon Gate.
 +
 
 +
There is no way to tell if this premise of Kadaena as a dead goddess banished beyond the Gates, sleeping in silent repose and seeing the future, is the seed of the later Gosaena conception. Similarly, Eorgina in some ways resembles Kadaena more than Orgiana, but both of these could be coincidences. The association of Gosaena with Lorminstra's Gate certainly comes from the gate of the Graveyard.
 +
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 +
[Hall of the Dead, Tunnel]
 +
As you enter into the tunnel you feel the cold wind of death chill you to the bone.  You know this is where many a dead adventurer lies to rest.  You shudder with the revulsion of such a fate befalling you.  The flickering torch in the wall mount does little more than bring the shadows to life.  You also see a lesser mummy, a large crack in the wall and '''a marble angel statue.'''
 +
Obvious exits: east
 +
 
 +
[Wormwood Slough, Excavation]
 +
The walls of the small vestibule are formed of solid slabs of granite, mottled in dark and light grey and a deep mossy green that almost matches the color of the creeping fingers of lichen that spread up from the dirt-covered stone floor on every side.  The north wall is a pile of rubble and broken stone, some age-old landslide having obscured whatever passage may lie beyond.  A large grey stone slab lies half-buried in the rubble, as if an attempt to unearth it had gone unfinished long ago.  You also see a broken granite archway.
 +
Obvious exits: none
 +
 
 +
>look slab
 +
The slab looks as if it had been cleaned of layers of age-old soil and debris centuries ago, and grown over again with dust and moss that have not yet managed to obscure the legend engraved into its face.  Though the words are unfamiliar, the characters are similar to those common in runes and magical writings, and it is possible to decipher their probable sound if not their meaning.
 +
There appears to be something written on it.
 +
 
 +
>read slab
 +
In the Common language, it reads:
 +
~ Dha baes'irin dha shi ta liat shi hestos i siath a shidar ~ Oraesh'lan dha laediach ta geilach ~ '''Oraesh'lan'da ta Gosaena''' ~
 +
</pre>
 +
The crypt expansion behind the sarcophagus, leading to the wraiths and minion quarters, is older than the lore for Gosaena. It was part of a 1996 story involving the town undertaker and grave robbers. It is unclear if the "angel statue" was present or only added later. The Wormwood Slough expansion to the bog includes a slab referencing Gosaena explicitly. This is something from around 2000. It is the archaic Elven language that was sometimes used in rooms and storylines in that period. The glossary for it was not available to players. It is unclear when Gosaena as a concept matters prior to documentation. The intermediate period documentation, where Sheru still has a hyena head and Lorminstra is blonde, was still being used in April 1998. But concepts in the next version were [http://www.gshousephoenix.com/Enlightenment/Temple/Arkati/Events/ArkatiForum.php mentioned] by Varevice.
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
==Black Hel==
 
==Black Hel==
The Empress Kadaena had a daughter named V'rama Vair who ruled the theocracy of Orgiana (Modern: Eorgina) for most of the Second Era, as detailed in the Demons of the Burning Night (1989) source book. Orgiana was the ruler of a pantheon of dark gods residing in a demonic plane called the Black Hel. In the purge of the pantheon by the Lords of Orhan, it was rumored that she escaped to Charon, but is trapped in the Black Hel with the other surviving gods. When the Dark Lords of Charon pantheon was made in 1990, they lumped in Orgiana, even though she has not been there in over six thousand years.  
+
The Empress Kadæna had a daughter named V'rama Vair who ruled the theocracy of Orgiana (Modern: Eorgina) for most of the Second Era, as detailed in the Demons of the Burning Night (1989) source book. Orgiana was the ruler of a pantheon of dark gods residing in a demonic plane called the Black Hel. In the purge of the pantheon by the Lords of Orhan, it was rumored that she escaped to Charôn, but is trapped in the Black Hel with the other surviving gods. When the Dark Lords of Charôn pantheon was made in 1990, they lumped in Orgiana, even though she has not been there in over six thousand years.  
  
The Black Hel gods are presumably the subset of Charon gods following Orgiana, but this would be a retcon and was never stated. Orgiana is not the ruler of the Charon gods, and when statistics were made for her, she was one of the least powerful of the named ones. There is little "queen" premise about her, and her hatred of males is not established until 1990. She wants revenge on Shadow World.
+
The Black Hel gods are presumably the subset of Charôn gods following Orgiana, but this would be a retcon and was never stated. Orgiana is not the ruler of the Charôn gods, and when statistics were made for her, she was one of the least powerful of the named ones. There is little "queen" premise about her, and her hatred of males is not established until 1990. She wants revenge on Shadow World.
  
 
<span class="mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-black-hel" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand Black Hel sub-category...</span>
 
<span class="mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-black-hel" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand Black Hel sub-category...</span>
 
<div class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" id="mw-customcollapsible-shadow-world-black-hel">
 
<div class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" id="mw-customcollapsible-shadow-world-black-hel">
 
===Isle of Aranmor===
 
===Isle of Aranmor===
The isle of Aranmor in southwest Jaiman was a stronghold of Empress Kadaena in the First Era conflict. It is a volcanic island surrounded by boiling water called the Sea of Fire. There are beings dating back over 100,000 years on Aranmor, including the "Red Gate", a greater invoker demon of the Black Hel that is the wall of the city Tarek Nev. This is important because the Black Hel demons, who are made by the Black Hel gods, thus date back to the rule of Empress Kadaena without explanation of the history. His demonic energy slows the passage of time to 1/100th its normal rate within the walls of Tarek Nev.  
+
The isle of Aranmor in southwest Jaiman was a stronghold of Empress Kadæna in the First Era conflict. It is a volcanic island surrounded by boiling water called the Sea of Fire. There are beings dating back over 100,000 years on Aranmor, including the "Red Gate", a greater invoker demon of the Black Hel that is the wall of the city Tarek Nev. This is important because the Black Hel demons, who are made by the Black Hel gods, thus date back to the rule of Empress Kadæna without explanation of the history. His demonic energy slows the passage of time to 1/100th its normal rate within the walls of Tarek Nev.  
  
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"After centuries of relative obscurity, Aranmor an the city of Tarke Nev have begun to attract the attention of some very powerful individuals, including Navigators, Loremasters, and more importantly, formidable advocates of the Unlife. The reason for this new interest surrounds '''the recent awakening of a very powerful sentience''' believed to be located in or near the fallen city of Tarek Nev. Disturbances in the Essence Corridors have led many to believe there is more to this enigmatic place than ruins and rumbling volcanoes. Stories about Aranmor run the gamut from reports of '''shipwrecked sailors driven to cannibalism,''' to tales of undead dragons and '''soul-stealing ghouls.''' One popular account claims that '''Kadaena, dark mistress of the First Era, has risen again on Aranmor and prepares her resurrected armies''' for some final, shocking revenge."
+
"After centuries of relative obscurity, Aranmor an the city of Tarke Nev have begun to attract the attention of some very powerful individuals, including Navigators, Loremasters, and more importantly, formidable advocates of the Unlife. The reason for this new interest surrounds '''the recent awakening of a very powerful sentience''' believed to be located in or near the fallen city of Tarek Nev. Disturbances in the Essence Corridors have led many to believe there is more to this enigmatic place than ruins and rumbling volcanoes. Stories about Aranmor run the gamut from reports of '''shipwrecked sailors driven to cannibalism,''' to tales of undead dragons and '''soul-stealing ghouls.''' One popular account claims that '''Kadæna, dark mistress of the First Era, has risen again on Aranmor and prepares her resurrected armies''' for some final, shocking revenge."
  
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 4
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 4
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
 
This does not mean the Red Gate is 100,000 years old, it means the demon is that old. These Black Hel gods are often called "Nureti gods", and repeatedly the "dead gods" of Aranmor. There are cases such as the Black Lords (page 22), who are souls of "once great nobles and princes who committed atrocities in their natural lives", for which they were condemned to the Black Hel. "V'rama heard of these beings and made a bargain with Nureti gods, purchasing their wretched souls." The relevance of this is that it strongly implies the presence and role of this pantheon long before V'rama called out to the darkness and drew the attention of Orgiana. V'rama and her father awoke in 2000 Second Era, which is the same year the 1st Edition of the Master Atlas says is the first appearance of servants of the Unlife, suggesting the Black Hel gods involvement dates back to the First Era. They are inconsistent with the earlier Nureti nature religion, which means the Black Lords must be foreign or pre-date the Second Era entirely.
 
This does not mean the Red Gate is 100,000 years old, it means the demon is that old. These Black Hel gods are often called "Nureti gods", and repeatedly the "dead gods" of Aranmor. There are cases such as the Black Lords (page 22), who are souls of "once great nobles and princes who committed atrocities in their natural lives", for which they were condemned to the Black Hel. "V'rama heard of these beings and made a bargain with Nureti gods, purchasing their wretched souls." The relevance of this is that it strongly implies the presence and role of this pantheon long before V'rama called out to the darkness and drew the attention of Orgiana. V'rama and her father awoke in 2000 Second Era, which is the same year the 1st Edition of the Master Atlas says is the first appearance of servants of the Unlife, suggesting the Black Hel gods involvement dates back to the First Era. They are inconsistent with the earlier Nureti nature religion, which means the Black Lords must be foreign or pre-date the Second Era entirely.
===Helm of Kadaena===
+
===Helm of Kadæna===
The purpose of the Demons of the Burning Night (1989) book is a quest to acquire or destroy the Helm of Kadaena, a very powerful artifact that has "awakened" and retains part of Kadaena's consciousness. It calls out to others through dream visions. The Helm can be destroyed by dropping it in the volcano Mount Kadaena, which is one of the book's straight forward references to Lord of the Rings.
+
The purpose of the Demons of the Burning Night (1989) book is a quest to acquire or destroy the Helm of Kadæna, a very powerful artifact that has "awakened" and retains part of Kadæna's consciousness. It calls out to others through dream visions. The Helm can be destroyed by dropping it in the volcano Mount Kadæna, which is one of the book's straight forward references to Lord of the Rings.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"Locked in a mighty chamber deep in the city of Tarek Nev is an extremely powerful artifact of the Unlife: the Helm of Kadaena, now an intensely magical headpiece possessed of devastating powers. Kadaena is long dead, but her Helm retains a part of her consciousness and some of her arcane power. In recent years, the Helm has begun to call out for a master to wield it, warping the Flows of Essence." - page 4
+
"Locked in a mighty chamber deep in the city of Tarek Nev is an extremely powerful artifact of the Unlife: the Helm of Kadæna, now an intensely magical headpiece possessed of devastating powers. Kadæna is long dead, but her Helm retains a part of her consciousness and some of her arcane power. In recent years, the Helm has begun to call out for a master to wield it, warping the Flows of Essence." - page 4
  
"1. Dreams and Nightmares. Each PC spends a sleepless night; his respective god sends him a unique dream. One PC dreams of crossing a churning, smoking sea to an island of emeralds and smoking volcanoes; another envisions a jungle where nothing is as it seems, where children suffocate beneath the moss; others have pleasant dreams of forgotten scepters, a stone of power, emeralds and sapphires. When the PCs awake, they all remember the single whispered word, "Aranmor." The dreams are a telepathic calling from the Helm of Kadaena (part VIII-1)." - page 5
+
"1. Dreams and Nightmares. Each PC spends a sleepless night; his respective god sends him a unique dream. One PC dreams of crossing a churning, smoking sea to an island of emeralds and smoking volcanoes; another envisions a jungle where nothing is as it seems, where children suffocate beneath the moss; others have pleasant dreams of forgotten scepters, a stone of power, emeralds and sapphires. When the PCs awake, they all remember the single whispered word, "Aranmor." The dreams are a telepathic calling from the Helm of Kadæna (part VIII-1)." - page 5
  
"Blacker than death, with two emeralds and a huge ruby at its brow, the Helm of Kadaena is the most powerful item on Aranmor and the major cause of Essence disruptions on the islands. How and where the Helm was recovered are unknown. Although the Helm has no real intelligence of its own, it retains a powerful sense of Kadaena's hatred." - page 23
+
"Blacker than death, with two emeralds and a huge ruby at its brow, the Helm of Kadæna is the most powerful item on Aranmor and the major cause of Essence disruptions on the islands. How and where the Helm was recovered are unknown. Although the Helm has no real intelligence of its own, it retains a powerful sense of Kadæna's hatred." - page 23
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The Crypt in the Graveyard appears to be drawing off the two places on Aranmor where the Helm of Kadaena was kept. Bandur was in the early years of the Wars of Dominion, and the Lords of Orhan did not intervene initially. There is a timeline error on page 11 dating the last battle as 6200 Second Era, which pre-dates the Wars of Dominion. The Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989) on page 24 says the role of gods in the Lord of Essaence war and war against the Unlife is not clearly documented. On page 25 it says the Lords of Orhan disagreed with each other on whether to fight in the Wars of Dominion against the Unlife, and by 1990 it seems their first appearance is the Battle of Maegris in 6825 Second Era, though later books have them intervening several decades earlier. The Black Hel purge does not seem to have specific dates. Bandur should not have been able to know these references without prophetic visions of events after his death. He would have needed visions of the places regardless.
+
The Crypt in the Graveyard appears to be drawing off the two places on Aranmor where the Helm of Kadæna was kept. Bandur was in the early years of the Wars of Dominion, and the Lords of Orhan did not intervene initially. There is a timeline error on page 11 dating the last battle as 6200 Second Era, which pre-dates the Wars of Dominion. The Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989) on page 24 says the role of gods in the Lord of Essaence war and war against the Unlife is not clearly documented. On page 25 it says the Lords of Orhan disagreed with each other on whether to fight in the Wars of Dominion against the Unlife, and by 1990 it seems their first appearance is the Battle of Maegris in 6825 Second Era, though later books have them intervening several decades earlier. The Black Hel purge does not seem to have specific dates. Bandur should not have been able to know these references without prophetic visions of events after his death. He would have needed visions of the places regardless.
 
===The Crypt===
 
===The Crypt===
The Graveyard is probably making references to the Temple of Burning Night and the Royal Estate of V'rama Vair. The Temple of Burning Night is the major temple to Orgiana, and the place the Helm of Kadaena is stored after the Lords of Orhan purge the Black Hel pantheon. In later books this must be around 6800 Second Era, but is seemingly not (properly) defined in the 1989 books. (It is implied to have been late in the Wars, perhaps even what incited Orhan to intervene in general. V'rama's battle tiger Belkor, page 17, has stalked the forest of Aranmor "since the end of the Wars of Dominion.") There is no reason Bandur would have known this - past, future, or present - without visions. This is important as he was obsessed with stealing these kinds of artifacts, and should not have known about them.
+
The Graveyard is probably making references to the Temple of Burning Night and the Royal Estate of V'rama Vair. The Temple of Burning Night is the major temple to Orgiana, and the place the Helm of Kadæna is stored after the Lords of Orhan purge the Black Hel pantheon. In later books this must be around 6800 Second Era, but is seemingly not (properly) defined in the 1989 books. (It is implied to have been late in the Wars, perhaps even what incited Orhan to intervene in general. V'rama's battle tiger Belkor, page 17, has stalked the forest of Aranmor "since the end of the Wars of Dominion.") There is no reason Bandur would have known this - past, future, or present - without visions. This is important as he was obsessed with stealing these kinds of artifacts, and should not have known about them.
  
 
'''(1) Vertical Iron Spikes'''
 
'''(1) Vertical Iron Spikes'''
  
The Temple of Burning Night uses (implicitly rusted) iron to symbolize flames, directly above the chamber with the Helm of Kadaena. The Graveyard gate does the same thing. Orgiana has burning steel skin.
+
The Temple of Burning Night uses (implicitly rusted) iron to symbolize flames, directly above the chamber with the Helm of Kadæna. The Graveyard gate does the same thing. Orgiana has burning steel skin.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
D. Hel's Mistress: Orgiana
 
D. Hel's Mistress: Orgiana
Line 460: Line 483:
 
"16. The Temple of Burning Night. The sun glints off the dome of this striking building. Swooping towers guarded with '''jutting black spikes''' frame the murals of the temple's outer walls. '''Frescoes depict terrified mortals fleeing.''' The walls are cracked, the result of the Horn of Siege, but the temple is structurally solid. One section of the gold dome shows fire damage."  
 
"16. The Temple of Burning Night. The sun glints off the dome of this striking building. Swooping towers guarded with '''jutting black spikes''' frame the murals of the temple's outer walls. '''Frescoes depict terrified mortals fleeing.''' The walls are cracked, the result of the Horn of Siege, but the temple is structurally solid. One section of the gold dome shows fire damage."  
  
"E. Wall and Tapestry. An illusionary wall is partially covered by a tapestry depicting a demonic hand holding a small, shrouded object (The Helm of Kadaena). PCs who study the faded image intensely Hard (-10)[-1] may notice that in the background of the picture several white-robed men are fleeing."  
+
"E. Wall and Tapestry. An illusionary wall is partially covered by a tapestry depicting a demonic hand holding a small, shrouded object (The Helm of Kadæna). PCs who study the faded image intensely Hard (-10)[-1] may notice that in the background of the picture several white-robed men are fleeing."  
  
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 39
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 39
Line 487: Line 510:
 
'''(3) Secret Passage'''
 
'''(3) Secret Passage'''
  
The Temple of Burning Night has a secret passage down to the Sacred Cavern where the Helm of Kadaena is kept. These rooms are a crypt that have a conspicuous resemblance to the rooms of the crypt in the Graveyard, which would have said "shaalk" and "Kadaena" originally. These contain a scroll room with a high niche, a relic room with a false wall, and secret doorways in the form of stone panels.
+
The Temple of Burning Night has a secret passage down to the Sacred Cavern where the Helm of Kadæna is kept. These rooms are a crypt that have a conspicuous resemblance to the rooms of the crypt in the Graveyard, which would have said "shaalk" and "Kadæna" originally. These contain a scroll room with a high niche, a relic room with a false wall, and secret doorways in the form of stone panels.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"d. '''Scroll Room.''' PCs examining the wall Very Hard (-20)[-2] in the proper area detect a stone panel, which may be opened by inserting a finger in a '''niche 7' above the floor.''' With a click, the door opens. On a pillar in the center of the room is pinned a '''silver parchment, sealed in wax.''' The scroll is addressed to "the Mistress" and describes (in Black Nureti) the last actions taken by the High Priests. The scroll is Extremely Difficult (-30)[-4] to read and the '''skull symbol of the Mistress of Hel''' is stamped at the bottom."
 
"d. '''Scroll Room.''' PCs examining the wall Very Hard (-20)[-2] in the proper area detect a stone panel, which may be opened by inserting a finger in a '''niche 7' above the floor.''' With a click, the door opens. On a pillar in the center of the room is pinned a '''silver parchment, sealed in wax.''' The scroll is addressed to "the Mistress" and describes (in Black Nureti) the last actions taken by the High Priests. The scroll is Extremely Difficult (-30)[-4] to read and the '''skull symbol of the Mistress of Hel''' is stamped at the bottom."
Line 505: Line 528:
 
The pages and cover of the ancient manuscript are made of vultite, accounting for its persistence over the millenia.  The '''insignia of Gosaena is embossed''' on the otherwise blank cover.
 
The pages and cover of the ancient manuscript are made of vultite, accounting for its persistence over the millenia.  The '''insignia of Gosaena is embossed''' on the otherwise blank cover.
  
(Note: Orgiana's other symbol in her theocracy is the Helm of Kadaena, which is on page 12 describing that pantheon. This said "insignia of Kadaena" originally and was made of shaalk, implying it dates back to Kadaena herself.)
+
(Note: Orgiana's other symbol in her theocracy is the Helm of Kadæna, which is on page 12 describing that pantheon. This said "insignia of Kadæna" originally and was made of shaalk, implying it dates back to Kadæna herself.)
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
 
Then the Relic Room:
 
Then the Relic Room:
Line 521: Line 544:
 
Obvious exits: north
 
Obvious exits: north
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The "ahnver" lighting method in the Crypt said "arinyark" originally, a magical mineral that absorbs raw essence energy and radiates light. This may not have come from Demons of the Burning Night (1989). It might be from Kingdom of the Desert Jewel (1989) instead, an Egyptian themed module set in the subcontinent Gethyra, which is on the Bay of Throk in the continent Thuul. The Great Hall in the Royal Palace of the king (page 22) has columns of arinyark, which strongly suppresses the efficacy (-90) of Essence magic, and mummies are on pages 28 to 32. One way it might have originated in the Burning Night book is if it refers to the Ring of the Immortals, made of arinyark alloy, which Kadaena made in the First Era and was given to V'rama by Eogun. It gives great power over demons of all kinds, but is extremely evil. Once the ring is used even once, the wearer loses all access and ability to cast light magic spells, and can never again cast non-evil spells. This is the only reference to arinyark in the book. (p.56)
+
The "ahnver" lighting method in the Crypt said "arinyark" originally, a magical mineral that absorbs raw essence energy and radiates light. This may not have come from Demons of the Burning Night (1989). It might be from Kingdom of the Desert Jewel (1989) instead, an Egyptian themed module set in the subcontinent Gethyra, which is on the Bay of Throk in the continent Thuul. The Great Hall in the Royal Palace of the king (page 22) has columns of arinyark, which strongly suppresses the efficacy (-90) of Essence magic, and mummies are on pages 28 to 32. One way it might have originated in the Burning Night book is if it refers to the Ring of the Immortals, made of arinyark alloy, which Kadæna made in the First Era and was given to V'rama by Eogun. It gives great power over demons of all kinds, but is extremely evil. Once the ring is used even once, the wearer loses all access and ability to cast light magic spells, and can never again cast non-evil spells. This is the only reference to arinyark in the book. (p.56)
  
 
'''(4) Defying Death'''
 
'''(4) Defying Death'''
  
The Helm of Kadaena is down the passageway adjacent to the scroll and relic rooms, haunted by the dead priests of the Black Hel. It is under a heart shaped stone bearing an epitaph for Kadaena, directly under the flame trapped idol of Orgiana, which is mirrored by the frieze inscription in the Crypt. It might also be referenced in the Orgiana part of [[The Temple of Darkness Poem]] and the crypt of the priests in the Dark Shrine of the Broken Lands. By the 1990 books (e.g. Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum, page 9) it shows the Lords of Orhan did not intervene until the end of the Wars of Dominion.
+
The Helm of Kadæna is down the passageway adjacent to the scroll and relic rooms, haunted by the dead priests of the Black Hel. It is under a heart shaped stone bearing an epitaph for Kadæna, directly under the flame trapped idol of Orgiana, which is mirrored by the frieze inscription in the Crypt. It might also be referenced in the Orgiana part of [[The Temple of Darkness Poem]] and the crypt of the priests in the Dark Shrine of the Broken Lands. By the 1990 books (e.g. Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum, page 9) it shows the Lords of Orhan did not intervene until the end of the Wars of Dominion.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
An inscription is marked in white letters on the face of the Heartstone. It is written in Black Nureti and reads:
 
An inscription is marked in white letters on the face of the Heartstone. It is written in Black Nureti and reads:
Line 534: Line 557:
 
...
 
...
  
The Helm of Kadaena. The stone rumbles, revealing the ebony headpiece of Kadaena where it lies in a 2'x2' chamber of pure dark laen.
+
The Helm of Kadæna. The stone rumbles, revealing the ebony headpiece of Kadæna where it lies in a 2'x2' chamber of pure dark laen.
  
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 42
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 42
Line 546: Line 569:
 
In Homage to that which '''defies Death''' itself.
 
In Homage to that which '''defies Death''' itself.
  
(Note: The hero shining-clad refers to Tilak the Defiler, the warrior lover of Kadaena's daughter, who was the last wearer of the Helm.)
+
(Note: The hero shining-clad refers to Tilak the Defiler, the warrior lover of Kadæna's daughter, who was the last wearer of the Helm.)
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
 
It is quite likely that this is also what is being referenced in the Order of Vult (Modern: Voln) task: "Bring the light and warmth of the sun into the depths of the earth where death sleeps cold." The conceit of capitalizing "Death" might also come from this book, which has a gruesome altar called the Songstone of Solus, a Black Hel god trapped in meteoric eog by Iorak and later forged into a sword.
 
It is quite likely that this is also what is being referenced in the Order of Vult (Modern: Voln) task: "Bring the light and warmth of the sun into the depths of the earth where death sleeps cold." The conceit of capitalizing "Death" might also come from this book, which has a gruesome altar called the Songstone of Solus, a Black Hel god trapped in meteoric eog by Iorak and later forged into a sword.
Line 563: Line 586:
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 19
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 19
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The Songstone of Solus is the entrance to the "Underworld" section of Tarek Nev, page 48, which has crude stone tunnels resembling the greater ghoul maze. The slickness and fungi might refer to the stairway to Eogun's Gift Cavern, which had the portal rods that are traps for the Helm of Kadaena. These are relative long shots because the features in question are so generic.
+
The Songstone of Solus is the entrance to the "Underworld" section of Tarek Nev, page 48, which has crude stone tunnels resembling the greater ghoul maze. The slickness and fungi might refer to the stairway to Eogun's Gift Cavern, which had the portal rods that are traps for the Helm of Kadæna. These are relative long shots because the features in question are so generic.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Graveyard, Under Crypt]
 
[Graveyard, Under Crypt]
Line 584: Line 607:
 
"D. Slippery Stairs Down. Beyond the drawbridge/door, moist steps descend a narrow corridor. ... The air is stuffy; fungi cling to the walls and stairs. Eogun's Gift Cavern lies below." (page 53)
 
"D. Slippery Stairs Down. Beyond the drawbridge/door, moist steps descend a narrow corridor. ... The air is stuffy; fungi cling to the walls and stairs. Eogun's Gift Cavern lies below." (page 53)
  
''(Note: The hollow cheering are the skeletons cheering for Kadaena's daughter racing her chariot.)''
+
''(Note: The hollow cheering are the skeletons cheering for Kadæna's daughter racing her chariot.)''
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
 
'''(5) False Sarcophagus'''
 
'''(5) False Sarcophagus'''
  
In the very beginning it would have looked like the sarcophagus in the crypt is supposed to be Bandur Etrevion. When the shadow assassin area was included, it becomes clear that Bandur is actually deep below ground. That means the sarcophagus is fake and not really him. This has parallels to the sarcophagus of Andraax next to Nomikos, which would not have been a fake tomb until centuries after Bandur's death, and the false sarcophagus of Kadaena in the crypt of the Royal Estate of her daughter. This is where the Helm of Kadaena was stored, next to the locked gateway to the Black Hel.
+
In the very beginning it would have looked like the sarcophagus in the crypt is supposed to be Bandur Etrevion. When the shadow assassin area was included, it becomes clear that Bandur is actually deep below ground. That means the sarcophagus is fake and not really him. This has parallels to the sarcophagus of Andraax next to Nomikos, which would not have been a fake tomb until centuries after Bandur's death, and the false sarcophagus of Kadæna in the crypt of the Royal Estate of her daughter. This is where the Helm of Kadæna was stored, next to the locked gateway to the Black Hel.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
3. The Crypt of the Queens. A '''wall of granite''' capped with grey flagstones protects the three '''burial mounds''' of V'rama Vair's female ancestors. Two crypts are deceptive fabrications designed to fool the people of Tarek Neve into accepting V'rama's succession to the throne of the Nureti. The other tomb is devoted to Kadaena, V'rama's mother.
+
3. The Crypt of the Queens. A '''wall of granite''' capped with grey flagstones protects the three '''burial mounds''' of V'rama Vair's female ancestors. Two crypts are deceptive fabrications designed to fool the people of Tarek Neve into accepting V'rama's succession to the throne of the Nureti. The other tomb is devoted to Kadæna, V'rama's mother.
  
 
...
 
...
  
C. Crypt of Kadaena (V'rama's Mother). A curse is written in Low Nureti across the top of this crypt's entryway. It reads:
+
C. Crypt of Kadæna (V'rama's Mother). A curse is written in Low Nureti across the top of this crypt's entryway. It reads:
 
"Who disturbeth '''the sleeping queen'''
 
"Who disturbeth '''the sleeping queen'''
 
Thy luck lose, they skills fail
 
Thy luck lose, they skills fail
 
And join thy tormentor in the Black Hel!"
 
And join thy tormentor in the Black Hel!"
  
... The '''sarcophagus''' within is intact, bearing Kadaena's name in Black Nureti. A Very Hard (-20) effort removes the heavy lid, but the '''coffin''' is bare. PCs who probe the rear wall of the crypt with Very Hard (-20)[-2] Perception find a secret compartment which is locked and Extremely Hard (-30)[-4] to pick open. The compartment is of Dark Laen and empty, but spell casters can sense the lingering presence of an artifact of great evil (The Helm of Kadaena).
+
... The '''sarcophagus''' within is intact, bearing Kadæna's name in Black Nureti. A Very Hard (-20) effort removes the heavy lid, but the '''coffin''' is bare. PCs who probe the rear wall of the crypt with Very Hard (-20)[-2] Perception find a secret compartment which is locked and Extremely Hard (-30)[-4] to pick open. The compartment is of Dark Laen and empty, but spell casters can sense the lingering presence of an artifact of great evil (The Helm of Kadæna).
  
 
D. The Crossing. Near the rear wall of the crypt a wooden door stands closed, it surface scored wit the symbols of the Nureti gods. The door is held fast with six with six locks, each of increasing difficulty to pick, beginning with Routine (+30)[+/-0]. Runes above the door (in Black Nureti) read: "The Way is Open." PCs who manage to open the door see only blackness. The room absorbs all light. This chamber is a powerful gateway to the Black Hel (parts VI and X-10 for descriptions).
 
D. The Crossing. Near the rear wall of the crypt a wooden door stands closed, it surface scored wit the symbols of the Nureti gods. The door is held fast with six with six locks, each of increasing difficulty to pick, beginning with Routine (+30)[+/-0]. Runes above the door (in Black Nureti) read: "The Way is Open." PCs who manage to open the door see only blackness. The room absorbs all light. This chamber is a powerful gateway to the Black Hel (parts VI and X-10 for descriptions).
Line 606: Line 629:
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 46
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 46
  
''(Note: This page has a drawing depicting Kadaena's sarcophagus, which is apparently carved in her likeness.)''
+
''(Note: This page has a drawing depicting Kadæna's sarcophagus, which is apparently carved in her likeness.)''
  
  
Line 623: Line 646:
 
You see nothing unusual.
 
You see nothing unusual.
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
It turns out that this is a fake sarcophagus of Bandur and it is next to a secret portal that ultimately leads down into Hell. The fake sarcophagus of Kadaena could be reinterpreted as guarding the Gate of Hel, in our frame of reference, locked anti-parallel to the six keys of Oblivion. In the book if the adventurers travel through this portal they are imprisoned and tortured by Orgiana herself. Once again it refers to Kadaena as "sleeping" and conflates her with Orgiana. No explanation is given in the book for why Orgiana agreed to help Kadaena's daughter, or what relationship the Black Hel gods had with Kadaena in antiquity. This ambiguity is repeated in the Broken Lands. The Temple of Darkness Poem refers to Orgiana as repose in silent waiting, and the Iruaric inscription arguably conflates them.
+
It turns out that this is a fake sarcophagus of Bandur and it is next to a secret portal that ultimately leads down into Hell. The fake sarcophagus of Kadæna could be reinterpreted as guarding the Gate of Hel, in our frame of reference, locked anti-parallel to the six keys of Oblivion. In the book if the adventurers travel through this portal they are imprisoned and tortured by Orgiana herself. Once again it refers to Kadæna as "sleeping" and conflates her with Orgiana. No explanation is given in the book for why Orgiana agreed to help Kadæna's daughter, or what relationship the Black Hel gods had with Kadæna in antiquity. This ambiguity is repeated in the Broken Lands. The Temple of Darkness Poem refers to Orgiana as repose in silent waiting, and the Iruaric inscription arguably conflates them.
  
 
'''(6) Invoking Phrase'''
 
'''(6) Invoking Phrase'''
Line 653: Line 676:
 
In the Shadow World canon there is very little in the way of ascension concepts. Most demi-gods of Orhan (Modern: Liabo) are not remarkable and only a few have attained godlike powers. There is nothing in the Shadow World books for souls becoming gods, though the Rolemaster bestiaries allowed souls to become demons. The Black Hel demons are supposedly made artificially. In the later Shadow World books there is text for some Loremasters believing the Dark Gods came from Lord of Essaence experiments creating non-corporeal life, but this does not appear to exist in the early books.  
 
In the Shadow World canon there is very little in the way of ascension concepts. Most demi-gods of Orhan (Modern: Liabo) are not remarkable and only a few have attained godlike powers. There is nothing in the Shadow World books for souls becoming gods, though the Rolemaster bestiaries allowed souls to become demons. The Black Hel demons are supposedly made artificially. In the later Shadow World books there is text for some Loremasters believing the Dark Gods came from Lord of Essaence experiments creating non-corporeal life, but this does not appear to exist in the early books.  
  
What does exist in the 1989 books for Shadow World is the premise that Eogun, the slave father of Kadaena's daughter V'rama Vair, was seeking a way to make them become "gods." He kidnapped her as an infant and hid themselves in near stasis, knowing Kadaena would kill the infant (and likely him) when discovering the baby was not immortal. V'rama Vair had ways of keeping herself from aging.
+
What does exist in the 1989 books for Shadow World is the premise that Eogun, the slave father of Kadæna's daughter V'rama Vair, was seeking a way to make them become "gods." He kidnapped her as an infant and hid themselves in near stasis, knowing Kadæna would kill the infant (and likely him) when discovering the baby was not immortal. V'rama Vair had ways of keeping herself from aging.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"Eogun is both father and advisor to V'rama Vair. Like V'rama, he hungers for immortality. Only his fascination with science overpowers his fear of death. His prime of life gone, Eogun's lined face shows the stress of time. ... A genius, Eogun understands the Flows of Essence. Eogun's dream is that through understanding science he can become a god himself, and V'rama will be his goddess."
 
"Eogun is both father and advisor to V'rama Vair. Like V'rama, he hungers for immortality. Only his fascination with science overpowers his fear of death. His prime of life gone, Eogun's lined face shows the stress of time. ... A genius, Eogun understands the Flows of Essence. Eogun's dream is that through understanding science he can become a god himself, and V'rama will be his goddess."
Line 661: Line 684:
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
==Wars of Dominion==
 
==Wars of Dominion==
The Wars of Dominion date back to the 1980 version of The Iron Wind source book. Much of the text surrounding "Empress Kadena" and the Wars of Dominion can be found in the 1984 edition. This is older than the Shadow World setting, though details such as the five moons, including Orhan were already present. The text from these earlier books are included in later books and do not sound quite right surrounded by more refinement to the concepts. By the 1990 books there is a pantheon of Dark Gods on Charon, with their worldly access and likely presence on the moon caused by the accidental opening of ancient Lord of Essaence portals on Charon. The Curse of Kabis (1995) (not considered canon) has Empress Kadaena monstrously manipulating life on an artificial prison demi-plane within Charon.
+
The Wars of Dominion date back to the 1980 version of The Iron Wind source book. Much of the text surrounding "Empress Kadena" and the Wars of Dominion can be found in the 1984 edition. This is older than the Shadow World setting, though details such as the five moons, including Orhan were already present. The text from these earlier books are included in later books and do not sound quite right surrounded by more refinement to the concepts. By the 1990 books there is a pantheon of Dark Gods on Charôn, with their worldly access and likely presence on the moon caused by the accidental opening of ancient Lord of Essaence portals on Charôn. The Curse of Kabis (1995) (not considered canon) has Empress Kadæna monstrously manipulating life on an artificial prison demi-plane within Charôn.
  
 
<span class="mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-wars-dominion" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand Wars of Dominion sub-category...</span>
 
<span class="mw-customtoggle-shadow-world-wars-dominion" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand Wars of Dominion sub-category...</span>
 
<div class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" id="mw-customcollapsible-shadow-world-wars-dominion">
 
<div class="mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" id="mw-customcollapsible-shadow-world-wars-dominion">
===Servants of Kadaena===
+
===Servants of Kadæna===
The 1989 source books put the blame for the Wars of Dominion on servants of Kadaena, which in the 1989 sources presumably includes Lorgalis. From 1990 onward it is more explicitly attributed to the Dark Gods of Charon exploiting a previously unknown ease of projecting themselves from their moon. The pantheon of the Dark Lords of Charon was not defined until the 1990 source books.
+
The 1989 source books put the blame for the Wars of Dominion on servants of Kadæna, which in the 1989 sources presumably includes Lorgalis. From 1990 onward it is more explicitly attributed to the Dark Gods of Charôn exploiting a previously unknown ease of projecting themselves from their moon. The pantheon of the Dark Lords of Charôn was not defined until the 1990 source books.
  
 
'''Example 1: Servants of the Shadow'''
 
'''Example 1: Servants of the Shadow'''
  
The "servants of the Shadow" line comes from lines implying Empress Kadaena's followers transformed spirits of great power into demons to serve the Unlife in the Wars of Dominion.
+
The "servants of the Shadow" line comes from lines implying Empress Kadæna's followers transformed spirits of great power into demons to serve the Unlife in the Wars of Dominion.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"The coming of the Unlife, a vast power which feeds upon destruction, brought to light (and to darkness!) cults and orders dedicated to evil; '''Great Demons were fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords who had fallen under the influence of the Unlife, led by the Empress Kadaena.''' Wise but twisted in spirit, the '''servants of the Shadow''' offered knowledge beyond that which the Loremasters deigned to give such "lesser beings," and the power of the Unlife grew unfettered in the Second Era. The 300-year-long Wars of Dominion concluded the Second Era."
+
"The coming of the Unlife, a vast power which feeds upon destruction, brought to light (and to darkness!) cults and orders dedicated to evil; '''Great Demons were fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords who had fallen under the influence of the Unlife, led by the Empress Kadæna.''' Wise but twisted in spirit, the '''servants of the Shadow''' offered knowledge beyond that which the Loremasters deigned to give such "lesser beings," and the power of the Unlife grew unfettered in the Second Era. The 300-year-long Wars of Dominion concluded the Second Era."
  
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 3
 
- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 3
Line 679: Line 702:
 
'''Example 2: Servants of the Unlife'''
 
'''Example 2: Servants of the Unlife'''
  
This is the same section of vestigial text included in the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989), page 8, where the phrase has been changed back from "servants of the Shadow" to "servants of the Unlife." In this version the context is alluding more specifically to Lorgalis and the [[Priests Arnak]]. The text is more of an in-character view, unlike the timeline on the next page which is for GMs. It is the text from Example 1 that matters to "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]", because that story associates Kadaena with the Unlife in the First Era instead of introducing it in the Second Era long after her death.
+
This is the same section of vestigial text included in the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989), page 8, where the phrase has been changed back from "servants of the Shadow" to "servants of the Unlife." In this version the context is alluding more specifically to Lorgalis and the [[Priests Arnak]]. The text is more of an in-character view, unlike the timeline on the next page which is for GMs. It is the text from Example 1 that matters to "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]", because that story associates Kadæna with the Unlife in the First Era instead of introducing it in the Second Era long after her death.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"Through the '''surviving followers of Kadaena''', who for long years licked their wounds in hidden places, the Unlife found its instruments. These souls, desperate for power - for even a '''shadow''' of the strength they once had - eagerly accepted the offers of energy from the Unlife and grew strong in dark places, gathering to themselves minions of many types and creating others to suit their needs. Cults and Orders of varied origins and membership took form, but their purposes were dark and evil. '''It was during this time that the Great Demons were first fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords.'''
+
"Through the '''surviving followers of Kadæna''', who for long years licked their wounds in hidden places, the Unlife found its instruments. These souls, desperate for power - for even a '''shadow''' of the strength they once had - eagerly accepted the offers of energy from the Unlife and grew strong in dark places, gathering to themselves minions of many types and creating others to suit their needs. Cults and Orders of varied origins and membership took form, but their purposes were dark and evil. '''It was during this time that the Great Demons were first fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords.'''
  
 
Soon the young mannish people were presented with choices: they were offered great knowledge by these new Cults, more than the Loremasters were willing to impart. Some servants of the Unlife impersonated the Loremasters, gaining the confidence and trust of the naive cultures in this way. The teachings of the false sages were different, however. They spoke of the ways of warfare and whispered tales of hostile peoples - imagined enemies who were readying to attack. Thus were the seeds of suspicion sown."
 
Soon the young mannish people were presented with choices: they were offered great knowledge by these new Cults, more than the Loremasters were willing to impart. Some servants of the Unlife impersonated the Loremasters, gaining the confidence and trust of the naive cultures in this way. The teachings of the false sages were different, however. They spoke of the ways of warfare and whispered tales of hostile peoples - imagined enemies who were readying to attack. Thus were the seeds of suspicion sown."
Line 690: Line 713:
 
This is almost exactly the same as the wording on page 3 of The Iron Wind (1984), which has Priests Arnak but not Lorgalis. The brief version in Example 1 is condensed for 1989 adventures. Other parts such as the Lydek Terisonen quote about "Kadena" as the Slayer and the forces under the sway of the Unlife rising "like one beast" in the three hundred year Wars of Dominion are also in this book. The wording "almost as a unit" is present in the version on page 3 of the Cloudlords of Tanara (1984). The "Lords of Essence" are referenced in these early books, but not the language "Iruaric."
 
This is almost exactly the same as the wording on page 3 of The Iron Wind (1984), which has Priests Arnak but not Lorgalis. The brief version in Example 1 is condensed for 1989 adventures. Other parts such as the Lydek Terisonen quote about "Kadena" as the Slayer and the forces under the sway of the Unlife rising "like one beast" in the three hundred year Wars of Dominion are also in this book. The wording "almost as a unit" is present in the version on page 3 of the Cloudlords of Tanara (1984). The "Lords of Essence" are referenced in these early books, but not the language "Iruaric."
  
'''Example 3: Amulet of Charon'''
+
'''Example 3: Amulet of Charôn'''
  
The text concerning the worship of Charon, the night of the Third Moon, and "servants of the Unlife" are retained in Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 37. In the following text about the Amulet of Charon it refers to the subversive plotters leading up to the Wars of Dominion as "servants of Kadaena", in spite of the fact that Empress Kadaena was decapitated many thousands of years earlier.
+
The text concerning the worship of Charôn, the night of the Third Moon, and "servants of the Unlife" are retained in Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 37. In the following text about the Amulet of Charôn it refers to the subversive plotters leading up to the Wars of Dominion as "servants of Kadæna", in spite of the fact that Empress Kadæna was decapitated many thousands of years earlier.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"Dark cults worship Charon. They consider the zenith to be a time of particular importance, a time when '''servants of the Unlife''' are able to '''leave their home on Charon''' and come to the Shadow World. ... The Amulet of Charon is listed as an NPC because it has schemes, goals, and powers of its own, and should be treated like an NPC by the GM. This device is an ancient artifact dating back to the Wars of Dominion at the end of the Second Era. It was a tool created by the '''servants of Kadaena''' as one of their many plots of subversion - the prelude to all-out war."
+
"Dark cults worship Charôn. They consider the zenith to be a time of particular importance, a time when '''servants of the Unlife''' are able to '''leave their home on Charôn''' and come to the Shadow World. ... The Amulet of Charôn is listed as an NPC because it has schemes, goals, and powers of its own, and should be treated like an NPC by the GM. This device is an ancient artifact dating back to the Wars of Dominion at the end of the Second Era. It was a tool created by the '''servants of Kadæna''' as one of their many plots of subversion - the prelude to all-out war."
  
 
- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 46-47
 
- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 46-47
Line 838: Line 861:
 
- "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1991)
 
- "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1991)
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
Something more subtle is the likelihood that Bandur crushed the stronghold using demons, specifically Demons of the Fifth and Sixth Pale. This would be interesting because of the line that the creatures were created by him. The Fifth Pale demons are physically the strongest, able to punch through steel doors and stone walls, possibly what flattened this guard. Sixth Pale demons are wild, murderous acrobats who sink their claws in stone walls and cliffs, and swoop down decapitating their prey. This would be consistent with the theocracy severing heads, presumably symbolic of Empress Kadaena's death.
+
Something more subtle is the likelihood that Bandur crushed the stronghold using demons, specifically Demons of the Fifth and Sixth Pale. This would be interesting because of the line that the creatures were created by him. The Fifth Pale demons are physically the strongest, able to punch through steel doors and stone walls, possibly what flattened this guard. Sixth Pale demons are wild, murderous acrobats who sink their claws in stone walls and cliffs, and swoop down decapitating their prey. This would be consistent with the theocracy severing heads, presumably symbolic of Empress Kadæna's death.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Underground Ruin, Entrance Hall]
 
[Underground Ruin, Entrance Hall]
Line 976: Line 999:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
There are two major differences between the Eissa and contemporary Lorminstra lore on death. The first is that ''only'' Eissa is capable of resurrecting the dead through followers. This is implied in the Master Atlas, and explicitly stated in the Master Atlas Addendum. No other god can do it, and no other god has a say in it. The Dark Lords of Charon (Modern: Lornon) themselves might not be able to resurrect at all, due to their intrinsic nature, and were most likely not even defined yet when the death mechanics were implemented. In the contemporary setting of GemStone IV any of the gods can resurrect through Clerics. It is only Lorminstra who can send souls back into/as bodies, and her favor with deeds is a matter of making "death's sting" be milder. There is no explanation for why only NPCs are "lost to the demonic."
+
There are two major differences between the Eissa and contemporary Lorminstra lore on death. The first is that ''only'' Eissa is capable of resurrecting the dead through followers. This is implied in the Master Atlas, and explicitly stated in the Master Atlas Addendum. No other god can do it, and no other god has a say in it. The Dark Lords of Charôn (Modern: Lornon) themselves might not be able to resurrect at all, due to their intrinsic nature, and were most likely not even defined yet when the death mechanics were implemented. In the contemporary setting of GemStone IV any of the gods can resurrect through Clerics. It is only Lorminstra who can send souls back into/as bodies, and her favor with deeds is a matter of making "death's sting" be milder. There is no explanation for why only NPCs are "lost to the demonic."
  
 
The second major difference is that the conditions under which she is willing to allow resurrection were dropped. Originally, she would not allow resurrections in cases of significant or meaningful deaths, which is bad news for heroic adventurers. The deeds mechanic as an accrued credit is a loophole in this lore point. She "will usually deny the soul's return" in these cases, but here is our exception to those rules. The idea might be that it amounts to the "mission on Kulthea has not been completed", so she is allowing exceptions on the heroic deaths. Deeds would presumably not save you from death by old age.
 
The second major difference is that the conditions under which she is willing to allow resurrection were dropped. Originally, she would not allow resurrections in cases of significant or meaningful deaths, which is bad news for heroic adventurers. The deeds mechanic as an accrued credit is a loophole in this lore point. She "will usually deny the soul's return" in these cases, but here is our exception to those rules. The idea might be that it amounts to the "mission on Kulthea has not been completed", so she is allowing exceptions on the heroic deaths. Deeds would presumably not save you from death by old age.
Line 1,008: Line 1,031:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The present messaging on decay has cut out the older messaging of Lorminstra speaking to you, which would have said Eissa originally due to its Gates of Oblivion references. She is speaking with archaic English and talking about interceding because she is bonded by promise from the homage of the adventurer. The temple priestess "Tyriyn Bythronian of Ubl" is seemingly a cluster of words from different medieval languages. "Byth" is Welsh for "eternity" or "always." Tyriyn is trickier. "Tyryn" could be a form of the Welsh "twr", meaning tower, which could signify "keep." Tyryn is more likely a variant of Tyrone, like "Tyrion", Irish (T�r Eoghain) for the Land of Eoghan. Eoghan is cognate with Owen. The Welsh version [https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/text/foster-three-purgatory-poems-sir-owain-introduction Owain] is related to St. Patrick's Purgatory, the origin of the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tractatus_de_Purgatorio_Sancti_Patricii medieval concept] of Purgatory.  
+
The present messaging on decay has cut out the older messaging of Lorminstra speaking to you, which would have said Eissa originally due to its Gates of Oblivion references. She is speaking with archaic English and talking about interceding because she is bonded by promise from the homage of the adventurer. The temple priestess "Tyriyn Bythronian of Ubl" is seemingly a cluster of words from different medieval languages. "Byth" is Welsh for "eternity" or "always." Tyriyn is trickier. "Tyryn" could be a form of the Welsh "twr", meaning tower, which could signify "keep." Tyryn is more likely a variant of Tyrone, like "Tyrion", Irish (Tír Eoghain) for the Land of Eoghan. Eoghan is cognate with Owen. The Welsh version [https://d.lib.rochester.edu/teams/text/foster-three-purgatory-poems-sir-owain-introduction Owain] is related to St. Patrick's Purgatory, the origin of the [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tractatus_de_Purgatorio_Sancti_Patricii medieval concept] of Purgatory.  
 +
 
 +
This might be entirely coincidental. "Tirion" is a Welsh girl's name meaning kind, gentle, compassionate. "Tirion byth" would then mean "the ever compassionate." It is difficult to parse what "ronian" might mean. "Ronion" is archaic for scabby creature, and "rhonion" is medieval Welsh for maggots. "Ubl" is likely a medieval German variant of names like Ubba or Ubald, which could relate to the Baldur premises, or Ubba the leader of the Viking invaders in the "Great Heathen Army." It comes from "übel" meaning bad or evil. This is assuming Ubl is not a former Shadow World place name that was converted without being listed. If it were "Ulor" it would have drastic implications, as the Lord High Cleric might secretly be Lorgalis. Whatever the precise meaning it suggests the deed ritual has implicit medieval symbolism.
 +
 
 +
===Biblical===
 +
Taken naively, "Tyriyn Bythronian of Ubl" translating as "purgatory eternal maggots of evil" might easily fit within the surrounding pattern, as purgatory in the death mechanics contains the souls of all those who could not choose. In the context of Dante's Inferno these are the souls forever in neither Heaven nor Hell, where their punishment involves maggots feeding on their blood and tears. Unlike the souls in his own Purgatory, they will not be saved in the Last Judgment, when the "book of deeds" is read. It is very easy to see how this could be based on the Book of Revelation, an ominous prophecy of the apocalypse.
 +
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 +
"Then I saw a great white throne and the One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. '''And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books.''' The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and '''each one was judged according to his deeds.'''
 +
 
 +
The sea gave up its dead, and '''Death and Hades''' gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to '''his deeds.''' Then '''Death''' and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. '''This is the second death—the lake of fire.''' And if anyone was found whose name was not written in the '''Book of Life''', he was thrown into the lake of fire."
  
This might be entirely coincidental. "Tirion" is a Welsh girl's name meaning kind, gentle, compassionate. "Tirion byth" would then mean "the ever compassionate." It is difficult to parse what "ronian" might mean. "Ronion" is archaic for scabby creature, and "rhonion" is medieval Welsh for maggots. "Ubl" is likely a medieval German variant of names like Ubba or Ubald, which could relate to the Baldur premises, or Ubba the leader of the Viking invaders in the "Great Heathen Army." It comes from "�bel" meaning bad or evil. This is assuming Ubl is not a former Shadow World place name that was converted without being listed. If it were "Ulor" it would have drastic implications, as the Lord High Cleric might secretly be Lorgalis. Whatever the precise meaning it suggests the deed ritual has implicit medieval symbolism.
+
- Book of Revelation 20:11-15
 +
</pre>
 +
In this view the River of Life leading to the Gates of Oblivion is analogous to the River of Life in the Bible. "Death and Hades" correspond to Eissa and Kadaena at the gate of the Graveyard, and being "lost to the demonic" is akin to the "second death" and "lake of fire" from the Book of Revelation. The book of deeds literally corresponds to the book of deeds. There is similarly a lake of fire in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Some denominations hold that this really means annihilation of the soul, total non-existence rather than eternal suffering, while others treat it as a purgatory where souls are eventually purified.
 
</div>
 
</div>
 
==Purgatory==
 
==Purgatory==
Line 1,100: Line 1,134:
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 28
 
- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 28
  
"'''Eissa:''' Almost always alone, beautiful Eissa wanders through '''the forest-garden where the River of Life flows.''' While friendly with the other Lors, she prefers solitude and the others respect her wishes."
+
"'''Eissa:''' Almost always alone, beautiful Eissa wanders through '''the forest-garden where the River of Life flows.''' While friendly with the other Lords, she prefers solitude and the others respect her wishes."
  
 
- Shadow World Maste Atlas Addendum (1990); page 49
 
- Shadow World Maste Atlas Addendum (1990); page 49
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
 
This is consistent with the notion of cleansing the soul that is present in the Justicar's Temple, but has no equivalent in Shadow World canon. The history of the Order of Vult as described on the Path of Enlightenment is very dubious in its original context. It is not clear to what extent they are reliable narrators or what agenda they are hiding. The "forest-garden" is not early enough for the Graveyard.
 
This is consistent with the notion of cleansing the soul that is present in the Justicar's Temple, but has no equivalent in Shadow World canon. The history of the Order of Vult as described on the Path of Enlightenment is very dubious in its original context. It is not clear to what extent they are reliable narrators or what agenda they are hiding. The "forest-garden" is not early enough for the Graveyard.
 +
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 +
'''(5) Reann's Shrine'''
 +
 +
[The Shore of Dreams]
 +
'''Fel and pine trees crowd close to the shore of an almost perfectly clear pool.'''  A low wall crafted from bright blue [[Orhan marble|Liabo marble]] surrounds the tiny pond, encircling it in a loving embrace.  The gleaming surface of the water is disturbed only by concentric rings drifting away from the waterfall lazily spilling down from an outcropping of rocks overhead.  Though the shadows are deep here, an occasional beam of light pierces the darkness, illuminating the vivid colors surrounding you.  You also see a faint path.
 +
Obvious paths: none
 +
 +
>look waterfall
 +
A shimmering curtain of water cascades down from the outcropping of rocks overhead, lazily arching outward to feed a small pool at the base.
 +
 +
[Beyond the Shore of Dreams]
 +
'''Tears spring unbidden to your eyes''' as you bask in the serenity found here behind the waterfall.  The '''music of water''' rushing over the stones surrounds you, '''easing away the cares of the world''' as you ponder the liquid wall enclosing this room on two sides.  '''Light''' angles down from a break in the rocks on the northern wall, illuminating the fine spray of droplets floating through the air so that you are in the midst of a tiny, '''swirling rainbow''' of glorious color.  You also see a graceful Liabo marble arch.
 +
Obvious exits: out
 +
 +
>go arch
 +
[The Shrine of Dreams]
 +
'''Stars surround you,''' twinkling brightly as far as the eye can see.  Or so it seems, until you look more closely, and realize that the walls and ceiling of this room are made of rocks pieced together in such a way that bits of light flicker through the crevices, giving the illusion of being '''beneath a starlit sky.'''  Pinpoints of light reflect off of the polished black marble floor, adding to the sensation that you have entered the heavens themselves.  You also see a stained black marble altar with a shallow font on it.
 +
Obvious exits: out
 +
 +
>look altar
 +
Wrought of fine black marble, the altar rises just a few feet above the floor.  The highly polished surface gleams softly in the dim light.  Draped over the altar's sides are deep silver stains, '''appearing like rivulets of frozen tears.'''  There appears to be a small crack on one side.
 +
 +
>look font
 +
The font is little more than a shallow depression carved into the surface of the altar.
 +
</pre>
 +
The Ronan shrine in the Upper Dragonsclaw (Reann's shrine in the Upper Dragonsfang) is from the late I.C.E. Age and important in the Path of Enlightenment of the Order of Vult. This is timed right for the forest encircling the spring to be a parallel. Unlike in the Shadow World canon, our Oblivion is implicitly dream themed. Reann and Eissa were "brother" and "sister" in some sense, and the deed priestess refers to herself as Daughter of the Night. Since the Phoen step with respect to the Graveyard appears to be consistently mythologically informed, it is possible Reann's shrine is making references to the drowsiness inducing sound of the river Lethe, which springs from the cave of Hypnos where day and night meet. Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death) are children of the goddess of Night. Hypnos is married to Pasithea, goddess of relaxation and hallucinations, one of the Graces. He is the father of Morpheus, god of sleep and dreams. Homer has dreams coming from the the shores of the western ocean.
 +
 +
Another curious deviation from the I.C.E. version of Reann is the repeated references to tears, which by the 2nd Edition of the Master Atlas (1992) were overtly associated with Eissa and her servant Baeris. Baeris was later split into the spirits '''Laethe''' and Voaris, the former of which helps those suffering from lost loves. They split the qualities of Baeris between them, and his tears originally had resurrection powers. The Lake of Tears of Lorminstra is likely a continuation of such notions a couple of years later. It is plausible to suspect these are connected on the level of subtext to the River of Life.
 +
 
</div>
 
</div>
 +
 
==The Dark Path==
 
==The Dark Path==
The Dark Path is the name of the theocracy of Bandur Etrevion, where he turned his bondage to Empess Kadaena over to a state cult. The words "Dark Path" come from the part of the Shadow World Master Atlas regarding the unavoidable and inevitable corruption of casting spells that use dark essence for power. Later books make the "anti-essence" more of a spectrum with "The Unlife" at the extreme end.
+
The Dark Path is the name of the theocracy of Bandur Etrevion, where he turned his bondage to Empess Kadæna over to a state cult. The words "Dark Path" come from the part of the Shadow World Master Atlas regarding the unavoidable and inevitable corruption of casting spells that use dark essence for power. Later books make the "anti-essence" more of a spectrum with "The Unlife" at the extreme end.
  
 
<span class="mw-customtoggle-death-dark-path" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand The Dark Path sub-category...</span>
 
<span class="mw-customtoggle-death-dark-path" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand The Dark Path sub-category...</span>
Line 1,119: Line 1,183:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The "dark path" takes on a double meaning due to the "obvious exits" of light and darkness in purgatory. The "under barrow" of the Graveyard is described as a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory. It is most likely supposed to symbolize Purgatory from the death mechanics where the dark path is the only option, as the path to the surface with the light was not possible until someone managed to claw their way up. With the contrast set between Eissa and Empress Kadaena on the Graveyard gate, the theocracy seems to be a dark mirror of the Eissa religion as implied in the death mechanics.  
+
The "dark path" takes on a double meaning due to the "obvious exits" of light and darkness in purgatory. The "under barrow" of the Graveyard is described as a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory. It is most likely supposed to symbolize Purgatory from the death mechanics where the dark path is the only option, as the path to the surface with the light was not possible until someone managed to claw their way up. With the contrast set between Eissa and Empress Kadæna on the Graveyard gate, the theocracy seems to be a dark mirror of the Eissa religion as implied in the death mechanics.  
  
 
'''(1) The Gate'''
 
'''(1) The Gate'''
  
The basic premise of a dark mirror between Eissa and Kadaena is made blatant with sculptures of them around the Graveyard gate. Eissa is mocked with a Phantom Gatekeeper shaking a set of keys to the gate, as phantoms in the Rolemaster lore have lost their memory, which symbolizes the death mechanics messaging for Oblivion. This comparison in itself makes no sense in canonical Shadow World.
+
The basic premise of a dark mirror between Eissa and Kadæna is made blatant with sculptures of them around the Graveyard gate. Eissa is mocked with a Phantom Gatekeeper shaking a set of keys to the gate, as phantoms in the Rolemaster lore have lost their memory, which symbolizes the death mechanics messaging for Oblivion. This comparison in itself makes no sense in canonical Shadow World.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Graveyard]
 
[Graveyard]
Line 1,135: Line 1,199:
 
The '''Phantom Gatekeeper''' moans loudly as '''he shakes a set of keys''' at you. He slams the gate closed, checks the lock, then disappears in another chilly swirl of air.
 
The '''Phantom Gatekeeper''' moans loudly as '''he shakes a set of keys''' at you. He slams the gate closed, checks the lock, then disappears in another chilly swirl of air.
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The idea is probably Eissa is the goddess of Life and Death and Oblivion, and the cult is taking Kadaena to be her opposite, a goddess of Unlife and Undeath and Void.
+
The idea is probably Eissa is the goddess of Life and Death and Oblivion, and the cult is taking Kadæna to be her opposite, a goddess of Unlife and Undeath and Void.
  
 
'''(2) Homage'''
 
'''(2) Homage'''
  
The Crypt addresses the "pledge" and "bondage" of Bandur by using the word "homage" with Kadaena, who it identifies as "that which defies Death" itself:
+
The Crypt addresses the "pledge" and "bondage" of Bandur by using the word "homage" with Kadæna, who it identifies as "that which defies Death" itself:
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Graveyard, Crypt]
 
[Graveyard, Crypt]
Line 1,217: Line 1,281:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
In the Broken Lands the "hooded figures" are implicitly members of the Dark Path. This is strongly implied by the Empress Kadaena subtext in the Dark Shrine, combined with Uthex being there in 6521 Second Era, when the Wars of Dominion were between 6450 and 6825 Second Era and the theocracy was in the early years of it. The Dark Shrine parallels the deed ceremony by having a sacrifice altar, a broken gong in imitation of the chime and mallet, and the secret room where the vruul are stored in their urns. This is implied by having shared Lovecraft references as the purgatory death messaging.
+
In the Broken Lands the "hooded figures" are implicitly members of the Dark Path. This is strongly implied by the Empress Kadæna subtext in the Dark Shrine, combined with Uthex being there in 6521 Second Era, when the Wars of Dominion were between 6450 and 6825 Second Era and the theocracy was in the early years of it. The Dark Shrine parallels the deed ceremony by having a sacrifice altar, a broken gong in imitation of the chime and mallet, and the secret room where the vruul are stored in their urns. This is implied by having shared Lovecraft references as the purgatory death messaging.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Dark Shrine, Altar]
 
[Dark Shrine, Altar]
Line 1,244: Line 1,308:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The dark mirror of "fiefdom" is "thralldom", where thralls are the Viking slave class. This refers to the inevitable enslavement that follow from drawing power from the Unlife, with Empress Kadaena treated as the master to whom homage is owed. The following are some excerpts illustrating the master-slave nature of the Unlife, and the way it transforms and subjugates those using its power:
+
The dark mirror of "fiefdom" is "thralldom", where thralls are the Viking slave class. This refers to the inevitable enslavement that follow from drawing power from the Unlife, with Empress Kadæna treated as the master to whom homage is owed. The following are some excerpts illustrating the master-slave nature of the Unlife, and the way it transforms and subjugates those using its power:
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"Burning through in several areas with an orange light, he was soon unrecognizable, and in only a few moments there was nothing left but a heap of smoldering bits of cloth. He had been utterly consumed by '''his insatiable master.''' ... The force which is the beginning and end of all True Evil, '''whether its servants know it or not''', the Unlife is the shadow which taints many of the wonders of Kulthea." - Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 33
 
"Burning through in several areas with an orange light, he was soon unrecognizable, and in only a few moments there was nothing left but a heap of smoldering bits of cloth. He had been utterly consumed by '''his insatiable master.''' ... The force which is the beginning and end of all True Evil, '''whether its servants know it or not''', the Unlife is the shadow which taints many of the wonders of Kulthea." - Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 33
Line 1,345: Line 1,409:
 
The monk is well-muscled, compact and impassive.  While he seems to be deep in meditation, you suspect he is aware of your every movement.
 
The monk is well-muscled, compact and impassive.  While he seems to be deep in meditation, you suspect he is aware of your every movement.
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The Cleric's Office is arguably a dark mirror to the scroll room in the Crypt. It would have read "Lords of Orhan" originally, and "their Sages" may have been "Loremasters." This is somewhat odd but in keeping with the typographical error on the Lords of Orhan with the servants of the Shadow line that is preserved in the Graveyard story. This would be making a contrast of followers of Kadaena, secretive infiltrators like Bandur, and the Loremasters. The Temple of Burning Night on Aranmor also had a "Lord High Priest", on page 28, who was responsible for the black curse sealing away the Helm of Kadaena.
+
The Cleric's Office is arguably a dark mirror to the scroll room in the Crypt. It would have read "Lords of Orhan" originally, and "their Sages" may have been "Loremasters." This is somewhat odd but in keeping with the typographical error on the Lords of Orhan with the servants of the Shadow line that is preserved in the Graveyard story. This would be making a contrast of followers of Kadæna, secretive infiltrators like Bandur, and the Loremasters. The Temple of Burning Night on Aranmor also had a "Lord High Priest", on page 28, who was responsible for the black curse sealing away the Helm of Kadæna.
  
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
Line 1,360: Line 1,424:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The odd spelling "sorceror" is used interchangeably in the 1989 adventure modules, which have conversion charts for professions between Rolemaster systems. "Necromancer" (among others) in Rolemaster Companion is "Sorceror" in Character Law. Thus the title may mean "Lord High Necromancer", where Bandur makes undead (or worse) out of his followers for everlasting existence, instead of the resurrection spells Clerics can cast through Eissa. More subtly, Lorgalis has an assistant known as the Lord High Executioner, and the theocracy decapitated heretics probably because Kadaena had her head severed:
+
The odd spelling "sorceror" is used interchangeably in the 1989 adventure modules, which have conversion charts for professions between Rolemaster systems. "Necromancer" (among others) in Rolemaster Companion is "Sorceror" in Character Law. Thus the title may mean "Lord High Necromancer", where Bandur makes undead (or worse) out of his followers for everlasting existence, instead of the resurrection spells Clerics can cast through Eissa. More subtly, Lorgalis has an assistant known as the Lord High Executioner, and the theocracy decapitated heretics probably because Kadæna had her head severed:
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"Nitire is the Lord High Executioner (or "Thev O'Erlin Ni" in the Dyar tongue) secretly serving Lorgalis. He is of half-Dyar descent, as are Lorgalis and Aeryk, though mention of this similarity to any of the three will bring swift death."
 
"Nitire is the Lord High Executioner (or "Thev O'Erlin Ni" in the Dyar tongue) secretly serving Lorgalis. He is of half-Dyar descent, as are Lorgalis and Aeryk, though mention of this similarity to any of the three will bring swift death."
Line 1,418: Line 1,482:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The rosary beads are mentioned in "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" as part of the ritual devotions of the theocracy. This resembles the solemness and piety of the temple in the Landing, but is the opposite of the nature of Empress Kadaena and what is represented under the crypt. These would have said "windak beads" originally. "Spider silk" is strange as there is almost no reference to it in Shadow World. This is most likely referring to the description of "major spiders" in the Rolemaster or Shadow World bestiaries saying their silk is valuable. The significance of it would be that the major spiders are enchanted and believed to be part demon. The Master Atlas Inhabitants Guide (1990) does not explicitly attribute them to Empress Kadaena, though a player did in the Kelfour Edition of June 1990.
+
The rosary beads are mentioned in "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" as part of the ritual devotions of the theocracy. This resembles the solemness and piety of the temple in the Landing, but is the opposite of the nature of Empress Kadæna and what is represented under the crypt. These would have said "windak beads" originally. "Spider silk" is strange as there is almost no reference to it in Shadow World. This is most likely referring to the description of "major spiders" in the Rolemaster or Shadow World bestiaries saying their silk is valuable. The significance of it would be that the major spiders are enchanted and believed to be part demon. The Master Atlas Inhabitants Guide (1990) does not explicitly attribute them to Empress Kadæna, though a player did in the Kelfour Edition of June 1990.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
"The history of the cult deserves some discussion here. Early in his servitude to the Unlife, Bandur had pledged himself to the Empress Kadaena, the first Lord of Orhan to follow the ways of the Unlife. He turned his own bondage to her into the state cult, which he called The Dark Path. Followers of The Dark Path engaged in many heinous ritual practices beneath a genteel facade of prayer. They were ostentatious in their devotions, carrying around long rosaries of windak beads and reciting out loud the Iylarian phrase "Kadaena Throk Farok." True followers of the cult of Kadaena who recited the phrase with fervor and dedication were promised everlasting existence by Bandur, and after death were transformed by him into various levels of undead creatures."
+
"The history of the cult deserves some discussion here. Early in his servitude to the Unlife, Bandur had pledged himself to the Empress Kadæna, the first Lord of Orhan to follow the ways of the Unlife. He turned his own bondage to her into the state cult, which he called The Dark Path. Followers of The Dark Path engaged in many heinous ritual practices beneath a genteel facade of prayer. They were ostentatious in their devotions, carrying around long rosaries of windak beads and reciting out loud the Iylarian phrase "Kadaena Throk Farok." True followers of the cult of Kadæna who recited the phrase with fervor and dedication were promised everlasting existence by Bandur, and after death were transformed by him into various levels of undead creatures."
  
 
- [[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]] (1990)
 
- [[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]] (1990)
Line 1,456: Line 1,520:
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Shadow World'''
 
|'''Shadow World'''
|Kadaena / Ordainers / Orgiana  
+
|Kadæna / Ordainers / Orgiana  
 
|Void / Black Hel
 
|Void / Black Hel
 
|Gate of the Void
 
|Gate of the Void
Line 1,622: Line 1,686:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
The Graveyard gate with all its details included looks like it is on fire with a flame burst when it opens. The bulk of it is solid bronze, which corrodes green. The spikes on top of it and the hinges are iron, which instead rust red, making it look like the gate is in flames. It is decorated with the likeness of Eissa (Modern: Lorminstra) and a "grotesque statue" of Empress Kadaena as a twisted dark mirror. The Phantom Gatekeeper is a mockery of Eissa as the guardian of the Gates of Oblivion. Phantoms in the Rolemaster bestiaries are oblivious of their own past. This is symbolic here of being forever lost to Oblivion.
+
The Graveyard gate with all its details included looks like it is on fire with a flame burst when it opens. The bulk of it is solid bronze, which corrodes green. The spikes on top of it and the hinges are iron, which instead rust red, making it look like the gate is in flames. It is decorated with the likeness of Eissa (Modern: Lorminstra) and a "grotesque statue" of Empress Kadæna as a twisted dark mirror. The Phantom Gatekeeper is a mockery of Eissa as the guardian of the Gates of Oblivion. Phantoms in the Rolemaster bestiaries are oblivious of their own past. This is symbolic here of being forever lost to Oblivion.
  
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
Line 1,730: Line 1,794:
 
- Dante's Inferno, Canto IV; [https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1001/1001-h/1001-h.htm Longfellow translation]
 
- Dante's Inferno, Canto IV; [https://www.gutenberg.org/files/1001/1001-h/1001-h.htm Longfellow translation]
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The creature description on the phantoms and the presence of the goblins thus could also symbolize blindness. The Second Circle is the one for punishing the sin of lust, and involves darkness with perpetual wind blowing. This might be encoded by the "grotesque statue" of Empress Kadaena on the gate, who had a secret daughter with a slave, with the wind that whips through it between her and Eissa.
+
The creature description on the phantoms and the presence of the goblins thus could also symbolize blindness. The Second Circle is the one for punishing the sin of lust, and involves darkness with perpetual wind blowing. This might be encoded by the "grotesque statue" of Empress Kadæna on the gate, who had a secret daughter with a slave, with the wind that whips through it between her and Eissa.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"The first of those, of whom intelligence
 
"The first of those, of whom intelligence
Line 1,980: Line 2,044:
 
The [[gorcrow]] on the burial mound refers to Rolemaster lore that they are used as spies for dark spell casters. The ghoul kings (masters) were seemingly introduced in the Graveyard but may have been moved to Castle Claedesbrim for a time later. It is valid to interpret the ghoul kings as mastering and directing the lesser ghouls as that is what they do, but they were not ''initially'' present to be using the gorcrows as familiars. Gorcrow is an old word for the carrion crow, which rips flesh from dead bodies. Their presence might refer instead to the suicides, as it was the Harpies (i.e. birds) that ripped their flesh in the forest. This may in turn be subtly reinforced by the presence of the sirenflowers. The Sirens in Greek mythology are a hybrid of women with birds, which is congruent with what Dante describes using the Harpies.
 
The [[gorcrow]] on the burial mound refers to Rolemaster lore that they are used as spies for dark spell casters. The ghoul kings (masters) were seemingly introduced in the Graveyard but may have been moved to Castle Claedesbrim for a time later. It is valid to interpret the ghoul kings as mastering and directing the lesser ghouls as that is what they do, but they were not ''initially'' present to be using the gorcrows as familiars. Gorcrow is an old word for the carrion crow, which rips flesh from dead bodies. Their presence might refer instead to the suicides, as it was the Harpies (i.e. birds) that ripped their flesh in the forest. This may in turn be subtly reinforced by the presence of the sirenflowers. The Sirens in Greek mythology are a hybrid of women with birds, which is congruent with what Dante describes using the Harpies.
  
 +
The forest of suicides is preceded by the Phlegethon, the river of boiling blood where those who were violent (i.e. bloody) in life are submerged in proportion to their sin, who are forced to stay at their depth by centaurs with arrows. There have never been centaurs in the Graveyard, and the creature analog is not obvious. The bloodbeasts were originally placed in the Graveyard before they were moved to Castle Claedesbrim. They were designed to fling caustic blood, which is different from their Rolemaster lore, where they are those who died in especially bloody ways. This fits naturally with the Inferno subtext.
 +
===The Descent===
 +
The Eighth Circle of Hell is not obviously represented in the Graveyard, as the cobras are more likely from the forest of suicides. (They would be thieves in the Eighth Circle.) In the Inferno it has the steep descent within the City of Dis. This is awkward because the manor section that in practice was the descent in the game was actually the ''ascent'' from the Ninth Circle. That is, it is backwards in a functional sense, but it is not the only thing that is backwards. The sloping tunnel is next to the stairs leading into the burial mound, and it is unclear if this goes backwards some way or continues northeast.
 +
 +
In the "purgatory" section the rooms are labeled "Under Barrow", implying you are under the burial mound in spite of the sloping. When you travel east and ''north'' from here, and descend essentially straight down, you end up in the "Under Crypt." The Crypt is southwest of the Burial Mound. This is blatantly backwards. That might be a subtle reference to the false prophets, astrologers, and seers of the Eighth Circle, who were condemned to walk forever in a circle with their heads on backwards. In spite of moving forward to the northeast, the implication is you were moving back toward the crypt.
 +
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 +
          He afterwards spoke these words to the friar,
 +
          "Would you please, if it’s allowed, tell us
 +
          If on the right side there lies any passage
 +
 +
130      "By which we two can go away from here
 +
          Without compelling some of those black angels
 +
          To come down to this depth to get us out."
 +
 +
          He answered then, "Closer than you hope
 +
          There is a rocky ridge that reaches out from
 +
135    The huge round wall and spans all the wild valleys
 +
 +
          '''"Except this broken bridge which does not cross.'''
 +
          '''You can climb back up by way of the ruins'''
 +
          '''That lie along the slope, heaped at the bottom."'''
 +
 +
          My guide stood awhile, head bowed, then said,
 +
140      "That one who grapples sinners over there
 +
          '''Gave us a false account''' about this business."
 +
 +
          And the friar: "Once in Bologna I heard
 +
          Described the devil’s many vices, among them
 +
          That he’s a liar and the father of lies."
 +
 +
- Dante's Inferno, Canto XXIII; [http://www.italianstudies.org/comedy/Inferno23.htm Cotter translation]
 +
</pre>
 +
The Eighth Circle consists of ditches surrounding the deep shaft into the Ninth Circle, which are akin to moats around a castle with bridges. The ruling demons are the Malebranche, the "evil claws", whose names are all word plays on family names of the politically powerful. Possible links could include the claws on the wights, which do not come from their Rolemaster forms, and the word plays on the castle features. The demons try to trick Dante and Virgil into thinking a path exists, when one of the bridges is out from the earthquake when Christ died. The intent is to trap them, which might be referenced.
 +
 +
The simplest way to link the Eighth Circle to the Graveyard is to interpret the shadow assassins as representing political corruption, as it is the dominant theme of the Circle and Dante even admonishes an assassin who is held upside down. The creature description of the assassins would not have been added until at least 1993, but if there was any additional insight from that it does not seem to be recorded. The wight lords may have initially been down there as well. The Malebranche demons force corrupt politicians to stay submerged in boiling pitch, which would be symbolized by their Boil Earth spell.
 
===Satan===
 
===Satan===
 
The Ninth Circle of Hell is a frozen lake formed by river water falling into it. This is the circle of the treacherous, including those who betrayed close relations, liege lords, and God. The sinners here are frozen in ice, the worst of them entirely encased in blocks of it. Satan is fully consumed in ice as well, but only appears half frozen. His wings flap cold winds which further freeze him and his tears. Virgil and Dante then climb up Satan. He is described as hideous instead of once beautiful, which is inverted as Bandur was in failing health (revealed in the "death sleeps cold" puzzle from late 1994) but appears vital.
 
The Ninth Circle of Hell is a frozen lake formed by river water falling into it. This is the circle of the treacherous, including those who betrayed close relations, liege lords, and God. The sinners here are frozen in ice, the worst of them entirely encased in blocks of it. Satan is fully consumed in ice as well, but only appears half frozen. His wings flap cold winds which further freeze him and his tears. Virgil and Dante then climb up Satan. He is described as hideous instead of once beautiful, which is inverted as Bandur was in failing health (revealed in the "death sleeps cold" puzzle from late 1994) but appears vital.
Line 2,220: Line 2,319:
 
  \_/____________________________________________________________________/
 
  \_/____________________________________________________________________/
  
(Note: The earliest reference to the shadow assassin area is the Kelfour Edition of December 1990. This is late enough for the 1990 books. The throne could be made by Kadaena's Kiss in Master Atlas Addendum, page 86.)
+
(Note: The earliest reference to the shadow assassin area is the Kelfour Edition of December 1990. This is late enough for the 1990 books. The throne could be made by Kadæna's Kiss in Master Atlas Addendum, page 86.)
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
 
</div>
 
</div>
Line 2,255: Line 2,354:
 
Certain major features of the Osiris myth are conspicuously absent. The first is that "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990) makes no mention of Kestrel's sons, which means the legend has no analog of Horus. It only says the debased descendants of the family use the graveyard for burial. This is an integral part of the Osiris myth, as it leads to the ascension of Osiris to lord of the Underworld. The descendants of Horus are the Egyptian pharaohs. There is no such hereditary dynasty with the Etrevion family, and the whole region became Quellbourne by the end of the Wars of Dominion.
 
Certain major features of the Osiris myth are conspicuously absent. The first is that "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990) makes no mention of Kestrel's sons, which means the legend has no analog of Horus. It only says the debased descendants of the family use the graveyard for burial. This is an integral part of the Osiris myth, as it leads to the ascension of Osiris to lord of the Underworld. The descendants of Horus are the Egyptian pharaohs. There is no such hereditary dynasty with the Etrevion family, and the whole region became Quellbourne by the end of the Wars of Dominion.
  
The other major feature is the absence of women. In the Osiris myth it is his sister-wife Isis who rules the land in his absence, whereas Bandur himself is in that role for Kestrel but ignores it all. Isis is the one who reassembles Osiris and resurrects him. Loosely, Isis would correspond to Eissa in this way, who does not resurrect Kestrel. One reason Set is jealous is that Osiris had a son with Set's wife Nephthys. This physical aspect of jealousy is more implicit or even repressed with Bandur, including his bondage to Empress Kadaena, and the backwards way he represents her worship with ostentatious piety.
+
The other major feature is the absence of women. In the Osiris myth it is his sister-wife Isis who rules the land in his absence, whereas Bandur himself is in that role for Kestrel but ignores it all. Isis is the one who reassembles Osiris and resurrects him. Loosely, Isis would correspond to Eissa in this way, who does not resurrect Kestrel. One reason Set is jealous is that Osiris had a son with Set's wife Nephthys. This physical aspect of jealousy is more implicit or even repressed with Bandur, including his bondage to Empress Kadæna, and the backwards way he represents her worship with ostentatious piety.
  
 
'''(3) Other Details'''
 
'''(3) Other Details'''
  
The words "necropolis" and "sarcophagus" have Egyptian connotations, but the words themselves are Greek. Necropolis is loosely "city of the dead", sarcophagus is "flesh eating." While Kestrel may refer to the Egyptian falcon gods, and Bandur may refer to the Germanic god Baldur, Etrevion is much harder to figure out and would have to be a combination of words. "Etre" would be the French word "[https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%AAtre#French �tre]" meaning "being", as in existing, descending from the Latin "esse." "Vion" is more difficult and may be "[https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B2%CE%AF%CE%BF%CE%BD �???]", Greek for "life" in the sense of living the good life. If this is the intent it is irony.
+
The words "necropolis" and "sarcophagus" have Egyptian connotations, but the words themselves are Greek. Necropolis is loosely "city of the dead", sarcophagus is "flesh eating." While Kestrel may refer to the Egyptian falcon gods, and Bandur may refer to the Germanic god Baldur, Etrevion is much harder to figure out and would have to be a combination of words. "Etre" would be the French word "[https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%C3%AAtre#French être]" meaning "being", as in existing, descending from the Latin "esse." "Vion" is more difficult and may be "[https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B2%CE%AF%CE%BF%CE%BD βιον]", Greek for "life" in the sense of living the good life. If this is the intent it is irony.
  
 
Inverting the myth so that the Set figure becomes the Lord of the Underworld has intriguing consonance with the other major subtexts. He is a usurper figure who descends into chthonic godhood as monarch of the Underworld. This is the role of Satan in Dante's Inferno. Meanwhile, in the Lovecraft frame of reference, Nyarlathotep is described as a mixture of an antique pharaoh and a fallen archangel.
 
Inverting the myth so that the Set figure becomes the Lord of the Underworld has intriguing consonance with the other major subtexts. He is a usurper figure who descends into chthonic godhood as monarch of the Underworld. This is the role of Satan in Dante's Inferno. Meanwhile, in the Lovecraft frame of reference, Nyarlathotep is described as a mixture of an antique pharaoh and a fallen archangel.
Line 2,336: Line 2,435:
 
Stone walls negate.
 
Stone walls negate.
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
This is backwards in the crypt of the Graveyard. The false door is on the east wall with it all oriented northeast. The sarcophagus is centrally located, but this is not the actual sarcophagus of Bandur, which is really a block of ice deep below ground. This would originally have only led to Kestrel, the Osiris figure, but the offering formula is to Kadaena which is a mockery as the theocracy usurped him.
+
This is backwards in the crypt of the Graveyard. The false door is on the east wall with it all oriented northeast. The sarcophagus is centrally located, but this is not the actual sarcophagus of Bandur, which is really a block of ice deep below ground. This would originally have only led to Kestrel, the Osiris figure, but the offering formula is to Kadæna which is a mockery as the theocracy usurped him.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
>look tablet
 
>look tablet
Line 2,344: Line 2,443:
 
The beads are intricately carved and threaded on a thin length of spider silk.  They are covered with the dust and cobwebs of the ages.
 
The beads are intricately carved and threaded on a thin length of spider silk.  They are covered with the dust and cobwebs of the ages.
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The "offering formula" consists of words that may be spoken to symbolically represent sacrificing things to the pharaoh or gods on behalf of the pharaoh. This is a ritual phrase beginning with the king giving the offering ("hotep"), followed by the title of a death god. Sometimes it is Anubis. It is often "Osiris, Lord of the West" which is represented instead in the burial mound as "Kestrel, Lord of the West Country." The offering formula in the crypt was "Kadaena Throk Farok", meaning "Kadaena, Guardian of the Forbidden." These were the original words for invoking the teleportation, but it was later changed to "Shadow bind my soul" which obscures the Egyptian symbolism. Speaking the offering formula is called an invocation. Its meaning is twisted in the Graveyard to mean cannibalism and human sacrifices.
+
The "offering formula" consists of words that may be spoken to symbolically represent sacrificing things to the pharaoh or gods on behalf of the pharaoh. This is a ritual phrase beginning with the king giving the offering ("hotep"), followed by the title of a death god. Sometimes it is Anubis. It is often "Osiris, Lord of the West" which is represented instead in the burial mound as "Kestrel, Lord of the West Country." The offering formula in the crypt was "Kadaena Throk Farok", meaning "Kadæna, Guardian of the Forbidden." These were the original words for invoking the teleportation, but it was later changed to "Shadow bind my soul" which obscures the Egyptian symbolism. Speaking the offering formula is called an invocation. Its meaning is twisted in the Graveyard to mean cannibalism and human sacrifices.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Graveyard, Burial Mound]
 
[Graveyard, Burial Mound]
Line 2,358: Line 2,457:
 
The Deeds of Kestrel Etrevion, '''Lord of the West Country.'''
 
The Deeds of Kestrel Etrevion, '''Lord of the West Country.'''
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The sarcophagus of Bandur Etrevion turns out to be false, with him truly being in a "sarcophagus of his own devising" below ground. This raises the question of whether Kestrel is truly in the burial mound, especially since the epitaphs are mocking and remorseless. In the Osiris myth the body of Osiris is mutilated later by Set, so it is reasonable to speculate that Kestrel is actually the throne of warped and melted bones in the purgatory palace hall. This would be more consistent with the line where Bandur says he is returning to where his brother is waiting. If this is the case then the throne may have been made with a soul destroying curse, called Kadaena's Kiss (Master Atlas Addendum, page 86), where the flesh melts away but they live in agony for six hours. There is a Black Channels curse that liquifies bones.
+
The sarcophagus of Bandur Etrevion turns out to be false, with him truly being in a "sarcophagus of his own devising" below ground. This raises the question of whether Kestrel is truly in the burial mound, especially since the epitaphs are mocking and remorseless. In the Osiris myth the body of Osiris is mutilated later by Set, so it is reasonable to speculate that Kestrel is actually the throne of warped and melted bones in the purgatory palace hall. This would be more consistent with the line where Bandur says he is returning to where his brother is waiting. If this is the case then the throne may have been made with a soul destroying curse, called Kadæna's Kiss (Master Atlas Addendum, page 86), where the flesh melts away but they live in agony for six hours. There is a Black Channels curse that liquifies bones.
  
 
'''See Also:'''
 
'''See Also:'''
Line 2,414: Line 2,513:
  
 
===Motifs===
 
===Motifs===
The ancient Egyptian tombs and obelisks are made from granite, as is the crypt in the Graveyard. It was [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramesseum customary] for the pylons and outer walls of pharaoh temples to depict their military victories and kinship with the gods. In the case of the Graveyard this is a facade with horrific demonic onslaughts of the Unlife, implicitly the works of Bandur (or perhaps Kadaena) in the Wars of Dominion.
+
The ancient Egyptian tombs and obelisks are made from granite, as is the crypt in the Graveyard. It was [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramesseum customary] for the pylons and outer walls of pharaoh temples to depict their military victories and kinship with the gods. In the case of the Graveyard this is a facade with horrific demonic onslaughts of the Unlife, implicitly the works of Bandur (or perhaps Kadæna) in the Wars of Dominion.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Graveyard]
 
[Graveyard]
Line 2,456: Line 2,555:
  
 
===Gates===
 
===Gates===
In the journey of the sun god Ra sailing through the Underworld, there were a number of gates that had to be passed. In the Book of Gates there were twelve of them, for example, each with the secret name of a goddess. The idea is that the pharaoh has to use his knowledge to help Ra through the gates. This might be an explanation in the Egyptian context for the Graveyard gate being guarded by Eissa and Empress Kadaena. It might also play into the original invocation of "Kadaena Throk Farok" on the false door, as even with the original objects it was likely still a secret password for passing the gateway.
+
In the journey of the sun god Ra sailing through the Underworld, there were a number of gates that had to be passed. In the Book of Gates there were twelve of them, for example, each with the secret name of a goddess. The idea is that the pharaoh has to use his knowledge to help Ra through the gates. This might be an explanation in the Egyptian context for the Graveyard gate being guarded by Eissa and Empress Kadæna. It might also play into the original invocation of "Kadaena Throk Farok" on the false door, as even with the original objects it was likely still a secret password for passing the gateway.
  
The Egyptian funerary texts are not consistent on the gates of the Underworld and the specific details of the guardian goddesses. The "Book of the Dead" has a God, a Doorkeeper, and a Herald for each of seven gates. The "Secret Portals Of The Mansion Of Osiris In The Field Of Reeds" has twenty-one goddess gates along with a guardian at each. The "Book of Gates" has a gate goddess, a guardian, and a spitfire snake at each of twelve gates. The pairing of Eissa and Kadaena might play off the idea that the Unlife, or Apophis the Eater of Souls, wishes total annihilation by devouring the Essaence.
+
The Egyptian funerary texts are not consistent on the gates of the Underworld and the specific details of the guardian goddesses. The "Book of the Dead" has a God, a Doorkeeper, and a Herald for each of seven gates. The "Secret Portals Of The Mansion Of Osiris In The Field Of Reeds" has twenty-one goddess gates along with a guardian at each. The "Book of Gates" has a gate goddess, a guardian, and a spitfire snake at each of twelve gates. The pairing of Eissa and Kadæna might play off the idea that the Unlife, or Apophis the Eater of Souls, wishes total annihilation by devouring the Essaence.
  
 
'''See Also:'''
 
'''See Also:'''
Line 2,502: Line 2,601:
 
- "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990)
 
- "[[The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion]]" (1990)
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
With our modern bias we might think of Bandur as losing his sanity under the guilt of murdering his brother. But this is a world system with demons, possession, and seers who can see other times. It is only a matter of taking the text literally to see the premise that Bandur had disturbing visions of other places or times. Whether this comes from Empress Kadaena, the Helm of Kadaena, Orgiana, or the Unlife itself, it is the built-in explanation for how Bandur was able to possess "forbidden knowledge" that a low born human would know nothing about. Baldur and Hel would be the roots of Bandur and the Black Hel.
+
With our modern bias we might think of Bandur as losing his sanity under the guilt of murdering his brother. But this is a world system with demons, possession, and seers who can see other times. It is only a matter of taking the text literally to see the premise that Bandur had disturbing visions of other places or times. Whether this comes from Empress Kadæna, the Helm of Kadæna, Orgiana, or the Unlife itself, it is the built-in explanation for how Bandur was able to possess "forbidden knowledge" that a low born human would know nothing about. Baldur and Hel would be the roots of Bandur and the Black Hel.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Graveyard, Top of Gate]
 
[Graveyard, Top of Gate]
Line 2,573: Line 2,672:
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
  
There is another black sea drake represented in the Coastal Cliffs cemetery from [[Kelfour Edition volume II number II|July 1991]], which has a mausoleum resembling the Crypt. This was released at the same time as the underground stronghold with the hidden chamber. The Luukosian extension was from the late 1990s, but blood sacrifice text is probably a Klysus reference, who by that time was defined and associated with Lorgalis and the actual sarcophagus of Kadaena. This stronghold would be either a dark cult purged in the rise of the theocracy, or else one of the nephews being killed in the failed revolt. The dark vysans were originally "dark wisplings", which are the weakest kind of elemental of darkness, which inflict cold criticals. The clawed stone, ripped apart body, and head shoved in a tree was probably a Demon of the Sixth Pale.
+
There is another black sea drake represented in the Coastal Cliffs cemetery from [[Kelfour Edition volume II number II|July 1991]], which has a mausoleum resembling the Crypt. This was released at the same time as the underground stronghold with the hidden chamber. The Luukosian extension was from the late 1990s, but blood sacrifice text is probably a Klysus reference, who by that time was defined and associated with Lorgalis and the actual sarcophagus of Kadæna. This stronghold would be either a dark cult purged in the rise of the theocracy, or else one of the nephews being killed in the failed revolt. The dark vysans were originally "dark wisplings", which are the weakest kind of elemental of darkness, which inflict cold criticals. The clawed stone, ripped apart body, and head shoved in a tree was probably a Demon of the Sixth Pale.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Coastal Cliffs, Cemetery]
 
[Coastal Cliffs, Cemetery]
Line 2,701: Line 2,800:
 
The bones that make up this grisly seat look as though they were somehow melted together.  They flow and twist like half-melted wax.  You have no idea how it was done and less wish to find out.
 
The bones that make up this grisly seat look as though they were somehow melted together.  They flow and twist like half-melted wax.  You have no idea how it was done and less wish to find out.
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The throne room is blatant with the Lovecraftian language, and acts as the hint that Purgatory is Lovecraftian. The adjacent rooms may be more subtle references to Lovecraft stories. Most obviously, the lighting method underground in the Graveyard is glowing fungus, a common feature in his stories. Possible stories being referenced are sketched out below. The Lords of Essaence are described as sleeping over thousands of years using stasis technology. Another overlap of motifs is Aranmor describing Kadaena as in sleeping death, and the Black Hel deities as "dead gods" who have not returned yet.
+
The throne room is blatant with the Lovecraftian language, and acts as the hint that Purgatory is Lovecraftian. The adjacent rooms may be more subtle references to Lovecraft stories. Most obviously, the lighting method underground in the Graveyard is glowing fungus, a common feature in his stories. Possible stories being referenced are sketched out below. The Lords of Essaence are described as sleeping over thousands of years using stasis technology. Another overlap of motifs is Aranmor describing Kadæna as in sleeping death, and the Black Hel deities as "dead gods" who have not returned yet.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
'''(1) Dead Cthulhu Waits Dreaming'''
 
'''(1) Dead Cthulhu Waits Dreaming'''
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- [http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/dq.aspx The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath], H.P. Lovecraft
 
- [http://www.hplovecraft.com/writings/texts/fiction/dq.aspx The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath], H.P. Lovecraft
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The Purgatory messaging refers to the surreal fall to the waking world. The messaging probably also refers to the Randolph Carter sequel "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", which has astral projection into higher dimensions to encounter Yog-Sototh, the guardian and gateway of forbidden knowledge. This may be the Lovecraft premise for Empress Kadaena as "Guardian of the Forbidden." In that story the soul can be transformed into any number of otherworldly kinds as they are manifestations of a more fundamental archetype, and the narrator can see many other versions of himself in timeless Oblivion.
+
The Purgatory messaging refers to the surreal fall to the waking world. The messaging probably also refers to the Randolph Carter sequel "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", which has astral projection into higher dimensions to encounter Yog-Sototh, the guardian and gateway of forbidden knowledge. This may be the Lovecraft premise for Empress Kadæna as "Guardian of the Forbidden." In that story the soul can be transformed into any number of otherworldly kinds as they are manifestations of a more fundamental archetype, and the narrator can see many other versions of himself in timeless Oblivion.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Purgatory]
 
[Purgatory]
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- "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990)
 
- "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990)
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
The words "esoteric lore" suggest the sort of esotericism used thematically in Lovecraft, such as Randolph Carter's astral projection. The point of his being apprehended attempting to steal a rare speaking crystal, which is a Lord of Essaence artifact that details the First Era, might come from "The Dunwich Horror" where the unnatural human offspring of Yog-Sothoth is killed trying to steal the unabridged copy of the Necronomicon from Miskatonic University. Yog-Sothoth is the guardian and gateway of all forbidden knowledge, and quite likely the basis of the notion of Kadaena as "Guardian of the Forbidden."  
+
The words "esoteric lore" suggest the sort of esotericism used thematically in Lovecraft, such as Randolph Carter's astral projection. The point of his being apprehended attempting to steal a rare speaking crystal, which is a Lord of Essaence artifact that details the First Era, might come from "The Dunwich Horror" where the unnatural human offspring of Yog-Sothoth is killed trying to steal the unabridged copy of the Necronomicon from Miskatonic University. Yog-Sothoth is the guardian and gateway of all forbidden knowledge, and quite likely the basis of the notion of Kadæna as "Guardian of the Forbidden."  
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
"The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. '''Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.''' He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again."
 
"The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. '''Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.''' He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again."
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The other details of Bandur being driven on to obscure quests and stealing specific things from all over the world, which implies both knowing the things exist and where to find them, along with his demented edifice construction likely comes from "The Shadow out of Time." In this story there is a very ancient race of telepaths who can see the future, including their own deaths, and transfer their consciousness into other races in the future to evade death. This gives such people foreign memories, fits of possession and amnesia, and fragmentary knowledge they obsess to piece together into understanding.  
 
The other details of Bandur being driven on to obscure quests and stealing specific things from all over the world, which implies both knowing the things exist and where to find them, along with his demented edifice construction likely comes from "The Shadow out of Time." In this story there is a very ancient race of telepaths who can see the future, including their own deaths, and transfer their consciousness into other races in the future to evade death. This gives such people foreign memories, fits of possession and amnesia, and fragmentary knowledge they obsess to piece together into understanding.  
  
If this is the intent when Bandur gives his soul up to Kadaena, presumably, the Graveyard might be implying that Empress Kadaena herself is frozen in the ice sarcophagus in his body as a malevolent trick. This would invert Baldur/Hel and correspond to Nyarlathotep's trickery in using Randolph Carter to capture Earth's gods and return them to the cold waste of Kadath at the end of "The Dream-Quest".
+
If this is the intent when Bandur gives his soul up to Kadæna, presumably, the Graveyard might be implying that Empress Kadæna herself is frozen in the ice sarcophagus in his body as a malevolent trick. This would invert Baldur/Hel and correspond to Nyarlathotep's trickery in using Randolph Carter to capture Earth's gods and return them to the cold waste of Kadath at the end of "The Dream-Quest". The concept might be that Bandur is tormented with guilt, and Kestrel went to Oblivion, so Bandur is warning the Dark Path priests not to follow him. They would lose their lives to seek him in Purgatory, and they would lose their souls to Eissa if they found him in Oblivion. This would make the "In Homage to that which defies Death itself" inscription mocking as well, and turn the whole story into an inversion.
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
'''Thematic Excerpts from the Shadow out of Time:'''
 
'''Thematic Excerpts from the Shadow out of Time:'''
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''(Note: This might be able to naturally explain why "Kadaena Throk Farok" is called an Iylarian phrase when it is Iruaric. The amnesia premise might be present in taking "demented" literally, along with his "fit of possession".)''
 
''(Note: This might be able to naturally explain why "Kadaena Throk Farok" is called an Iylarian phrase when it is Iruaric. The amnesia premise might be present in taking "demented" literally, along with his "fit of possession".)''
 
</pre>
 
</pre>
And so on. The general notion is that if the Lords of Essaence are interpreted as having telepathic abilities across time in addition to visions, they can be the analog of the Great Race of Yith who wrote the Pnakotic Manuscripts. These were stored in metal casings underground, similar to the Lords of Essaence preserving their manuscripts in shaalk (Modern: vultite), like the one in the Crypt. The horror of the story climaxes with the narrator finding this very ancient complex, and discovering text written in modern English with his own handwriting. This is a candidate explanation for how Empress Kadaena could be leading the Wars of Dominion millennia after her own death and why Bandur is in homage to "the Shadow out of time" (so to speak.) But Kadaena may also be a Yog-Sothoth figure outside time "now."
+
And so on. The general notion is that if the Lords of Essaence are interpreted as having telepathic abilities across time in addition to visions, they can be the analog of the Great Race of Yith who wrote the Pnakotic Manuscripts. These were stored in metal casings underground, similar to the Lords of Essaence preserving their manuscripts in shaalk (Modern: vultite), like the one in the Crypt. The horror of the story climaxes with the narrator finding this very ancient complex, and discovering text written in modern English with his own handwriting. This is a candidate explanation for how Empress Kadæna could be leading the Wars of Dominion millennia after her own death and why Bandur is in homage to "the Shadow out of time" (so to speak.) But Kadæna may also be a Yog-Sothoth figure outside time "now."
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
<pre{{log2|margin-right=350px}}>
 
[Graveyard, Crypt]
 
[Graveyard, Crypt]
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|'''Cobra'''
 
|'''Cobra'''
 
|Thieves
 
|Thieves
 +
|Seventh/Eighth
 +
|-
 +
|'''Wight lord'''
 +
|Malebranche
 
|Eighth
 
|Eighth
 
|-
 
|-
 
|'''Shadow assassin'''
 
|'''Shadow assassin'''
|Lethe
+
|Corruption/Lethe
|Ninth
+
|Eighth/Ninth
 
|}
 
|}
 
Inside the crypt and burial mound likely follows a different internal logic. The theme is things haunting the tombs of kings, with cannibal nobles guarding them. This is the parallel between the lesser mummies in the crypt and the barrow wights in the mound. The wight lords would also fall under this logic. These are backwards much as the details with Inferno parallel creatures. The bone golems perhaps signify the Egyptian "opening of the mouth" ceremony on ka statues which can be twisted along these lines. The greater ghouls in the tunnels would be the fallen grave robbers the others guarded against.
 
Inside the crypt and burial mound likely follows a different internal logic. The theme is things haunting the tombs of kings, with cannibal nobles guarding them. This is the parallel between the lesser mummies in the crypt and the barrow wights in the mound. The wight lords would also fall under this logic. These are backwards much as the details with Inferno parallel creatures. The bone golems perhaps signify the Egyptian "opening of the mouth" ceremony on ka statues which can be twisted along these lines. The greater ghouls in the tunnels would be the fallen grave robbers the others guarded against.
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The Shadow World books do not help with this situation as there is not actually a single "common man" language across all cultures, though in the Aranmor book the writing is all in Low or Black Nureti. The archaic Elven on the slab in Wormwood Slough is apocryphal, as that part of the bog was added in 2000. Though the legend refers to "Kadaena Throk Farok" as an Elven phrase for some reason.
 
The Shadow World books do not help with this situation as there is not actually a single "common man" language across all cultures, though in the Aranmor book the writing is all in Low or Black Nureti. The archaic Elven on the slab in Wormwood Slough is apocryphal, as that part of the bog was added in 2000. Though the legend refers to "Kadaena Throk Farok" as an Elven phrase for some reason.
 
===Black Hel===
 
===Black Hel===
The various references to the Black Hel are almost certainly from times and places Bandur himself never witnessed. The false sarcophagus of Kadaena was probably where the Helm of Kadaena was kept when Bandur was alive, while the references to it from the Temple of Burning Night were centuries after his death. He would also need to somehow know the indigenous language Black Nureti.
+
The various references to the Black Hel are almost certainly from times and places Bandur himself never witnessed. The false sarcophagus of Kadæna was probably where the Helm of Kadæna was kept when Bandur was alive, while the references to it from the Temple of Burning Night were centuries after his death. He would also need to somehow know the indigenous language Black Nureti.
 
===Bog===
 
===Bog===
 
The bog did not exist until thousands of years after Bandur was dead, but he must have made the spatial warp in that spot. The symbolism in it is mostly OOC, arguably being Inferno references in the middle circles. If the bog is supposed to be a flooded "circle" with a path bounded on the side by the creek, that would be an element of the grand design that would not come into fruition until much later. If the creek is supposed to be some inverted analog of the River of Life, the small lake would be the Spring of Youth or the Mere of Life near the Gates of Oblivion on Orhan, but the "natural dam" is not that old.
 
The bog did not exist until thousands of years after Bandur was dead, but he must have made the spatial warp in that spot. The symbolism in it is mostly OOC, arguably being Inferno references in the middle circles. If the bog is supposed to be a flooded "circle" with a path bounded on the side by the creek, that would be an element of the grand design that would not come into fruition until much later. If the creek is supposed to be some inverted analog of the River of Life, the small lake would be the Spring of Youth or the Mere of Life near the Gates of Oblivion on Orhan, but the "natural dam" is not that old.
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The orientation of the 1990 parts of the Graveyard are on an overall southwest-northeast axis. This does not include the parts where locals and debased descendants buried people later. The crypt itself is oriented north-south and the burial mound is instead west-east. This is most likely playing off Egyptian death mythology symbolism. In the case of the burial mound the Saxons mostly buried people facing west, which is seemingly the opposite of how the Kestrel coffin is oriented. The symbolism is generally about being unable to sail through the afterlife and denying the dawn or rebirth of the sun.
 
The orientation of the 1990 parts of the Graveyard are on an overall southwest-northeast axis. This does not include the parts where locals and debased descendants buried people later. The crypt itself is oriented north-south and the burial mound is instead west-east. This is most likely playing off Egyptian death mythology symbolism. In the case of the burial mound the Saxons mostly buried people facing west, which is seemingly the opposite of how the Kestrel coffin is oriented. The symbolism is generally about being unable to sail through the afterlife and denying the dawn or rebirth of the sun.
  
There are spatial warps in the Graveyard which are in one sense subtle but obvious if considered. The forest approach  from the Landing involves hidden magical transport, because the plateau is much further east. The greater ghoul tunnels, the bog, and the shadow assassin area around the ice room (now arch wights) have mazes with impossible directions. When on top of the burial mound the crypt is "southeast" when it should be southwest. Underground the "under crypt" is north of the "under barrow" which is backwards. This is obscured by the 1998 extension that made a path into albino tomb spiders.
+
There are spatial warps in the Graveyard which are in one sense subtle but obvious if considered. The forest approach  from the Landing involves hidden magical transport, because the plateau is much further east. The greater ghoul tunnels, the bog, and the shadow assassin area around the ice room (now arch wights) have mazes with impossible directions. When on top of the burial mound the crypt is "southeast" when it should be southwest. Underground the "under crypt" is north of the "under barrow" which is backwards. This is obscured by the 1998 extension that made a path into albino tomb spiders. The steep descent into the earth involving facing one way and walking the other way might refer to the Eighth Circle of Inferno. The punishment of the seers was to walk in a circle with their heads on backwards.
  
 
<span class="mw-customtoggle-grand-design-layout" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand Layout sub-category...</span>
 
<span class="mw-customtoggle-grand-design-layout" style="color:#0000ff">Click to Collapse/Expand Layout sub-category...</span>
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   | on Map 2          |                                                |
 
   | on Map 2          |                                                |
 
   |  say        go corridor                                            |
 
   |  say        go corridor                                            |
   | "Kadaena         |                          CURSES!              |
+
   | "Kadæna         |                          CURSES!              |
 
   |  Throk          ZZ                                                |
 
   |  Throk          ZZ                                                |
 
   |  Farok"          |                            `___'                |
 
   |  Farok"          |                            `___'                |
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Some parts of the Graveyard were added much later, and are only superficially consistent. These have to be ignored because including them makes the symbolism of the design incoherent.
 
Some parts of the Graveyard were added much later, and are only superficially consistent. These have to be ignored because including them makes the symbolism of the design incoherent.
  
* '''The Burial Mound Extension:''' There is a case for the May 1998 extension of the burial mound that includes wights, ghoul masters, and albino tomb spiders potentially being consistent with subtexts for Shadow Valley. Shadow Valley itself is from 1995 and has its own mixture of Lovecraft and comparative mythology, but on the surface seems only tangentially related to the Graveyard. However, the details of the in-game events are very poorly recorded, and important information may be missing.
+
* '''The Burial Mound Extension:''' There is a case for the May 1998 extension of the burial mound that includes wights, ghoul masters, and albino tomb spiders potentially being consistent with subtexts for Shadow Valley. Shadow Valley itself is from 1995 and has its own mixture of Lovecraft and comparative mythology, but on the surface seems only tangentially related to the Graveyard. However, the details of the in-game events are very poorly recorded, and important information may be missing. But the area seems to be minimally related to the Graveyard's own internal logic.
  
 
* '''The Crypt Extension:''' The crypt was extended behind the sarcophagus to include wraiths and more mummies around 1996. This is part of a storyline about the town undertaker, Serenity, with a chop shop and grave robbing. The physical space itself has no meaning with the symbolic design of the Graveyard, though it would probably have to intersect parts of it, and makes the crypt very big.  
 
* '''The Crypt Extension:''' The crypt was extended behind the sarcophagus to include wraiths and more mummies around 1996. This is part of a storyline about the town undertaker, Serenity, with a chop shop and grave robbing. The physical space itself has no meaning with the symbolic design of the Graveyard, though it would probably have to intersect parts of it, and makes the crypt very big.  
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The Vvrael quest is basically couched in the concept of prophetic visions or "revelation" of the end times. The Vvrael is literally a collective sentience of "anti-mana", making it effectively equivalent with The Unlife by definition. Castle Anwyn is heavily related to the Grail legend. Glastonbury Abbey was supposedly founded by Joseph of Arimathea, and supposedly is the isle of Avalon, the Welsh equivalent of which is Anwyn. It was much later the final resting place of Saint Patrick, and the castle on Lough Ne'halin with its cracked cavern is probably playing at St. Patrick's Purgatory on Lough Derg.  
 
The Vvrael quest is basically couched in the concept of prophetic visions or "revelation" of the end times. The Vvrael is literally a collective sentience of "anti-mana", making it effectively equivalent with The Unlife by definition. Castle Anwyn is heavily related to the Grail legend. Glastonbury Abbey was supposedly founded by Joseph of Arimathea, and supposedly is the isle of Avalon, the Welsh equivalent of which is Anwyn. It was much later the final resting place of Saint Patrick, and the castle on Lough Ne'halin with its cracked cavern is probably playing at St. Patrick's Purgatory on Lough Derg.  
  
Castle Anwyn may have subtle word plays on medieval terminology like the Graveyard as well, such as the wine casks being kept in the Keep instead of the Buttery, or the Dungeon being located in the Keep. This will all be elaborated in much more detail on [[Research:The Vvrael Quest]]. The hidden subtexts in the Vvrael quest are messier than the Graveyard. It is more difficult to filter intent from coincidences.
+
Castle Anwyn may have subtle word plays on medieval terminology like the Graveyard as well, such as the wine casks being kept in the Keep instead of the Buttery, or the Dungeon being located in the Keep. This will all be elaborated in much more detail on [[Research:The Vvrael Quest]]. The hidden subtexts in the Vvrael quest are messier than the Graveyard. It is more difficult to filter intent from coincidences. The thrust of it is playing off the breaking of the seals in the Book of Revelation which is the Last Judgment. The sun was blacked out with the sky raining blood near the climax of the Vvrael quest.
 
</div>
 
</div>
  
 
[[Category:Player Research]]
 
[[Category:Player Research]]

Latest revision as of 14:49, 14 October 2019

Warning: This page concerns archaic world setting information from the I.C.E. Age of GemStone III. It is not canon in contemporary GemStone IV, nor is it canonical for Shadow World as the details may be specific to GemStone III.

Contents

This is a research page for systematically decrypting the hidden meaning and references in The Graveyard. The allegorical and symbolic aspects of The Graveyard are mostly backwards or inverted from their real world counterparts. There are several "major subtexts" that interlock with each other at a hidden layer of meaning. The most conservative of these in a sense is also the most complicated, because the Shadow World documentation was changing in important ways at the same time the Graveyard was designed. This requires carefully considering which source materials apply and which do not.

This involves quoting substantial amounts of text to show the reference being made, or to highlight the inconsistencies in the sources. Several other locations in the game are subtly related to The Graveyard. These relations are matters of interpretation. Theoretical and speculative content on relevant I.C.E. Age category pages will be pushed to this page or its related research pages with a forwarding link.

Related Projects:

The following research pages are interrelated with the subject of this one:

Collapse/Expand all sections

(Note: The table of contents will only work as internal links if you have the section for it expanded.)

Shadow World

The world setting of GemStone III in the I.C.E. Age (Dec. 1989 - Sept. 1995) was set on Kulthea rather than Elanthia. This is the archaic Shadow World historical timeline, in contrast to the modern History of Elanthia. The story for the Graveyard is "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990), and it is set in the context of Shadow World. This means the details and areas associated with the story must be interpreted in terms of the contemporary Shadow World source books. More subtly, it must be interpreted using books of an early enough date, as details first existing in later books would be apocryphal.

Click to Collapse/Expand all Shadow World sub-categories...

Methodology

The Graveyard is one of the oldest areas from GemStone III. The most original parts of it are older the first Kelfour's Edition newsletter from June 1990. This is problematic as some Shadow World source books relevant to Empress Kadæna, the Dark Lords, and the Wars of Dominion are copyright 1990. "Emer: The Great Continent" and "Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum" in particular have forewords of "April" and "Spring" 1990. It is unclear to what extent these books matter to the design concept, even though they were available prior to the release of some later areas associated with the story.

This research page will take the conservative approach of only using books dated at most 1989, except for noting when later modifications to the source material would change the interpretation. The following are the most relevant books, though it is possible others might have minor significance. These instances will be mentioned in passing. Later books matter to spin-off stories such as the Broken Lands.

Click to Collapse/Expand Methodology sub-category...

I.C.E. Source Books

These books are especially likely to have some degree of relevance to the story. The brothers Etrevion story is unique to GemStone, it does not exist in the source books.

  • Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989)
  • Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989)
  • Quellbourne: Land of the Silver Mist (1989)
  • Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989)
  • Demons of the Burning Night (1989)
  • Creatures & Treasures I (1985)
  • Creatures & Treasures II (1989)

Paleo-History

The source books provide two kinds of implicit meaning to the room painting and story of the Graveyard. The first are specific references to details in the source books, where recognizing the relevant documentation gives immediate meaning. This is "paleo-history" in the sense that it has hidden meaning defined by mostly forgotten archaic books. It is highly conservative and not synthetic.

Example: Scroll Room

  • The manuscript in the crypt is made of shaalk (Modern: vultite) and bears the symbol of Kadæna (Modern: Gosaena), Empress of the Lords of Essaence. In the first edition of the Master Atlas it says that the Lords of Essaence, an extremely ancient race, made their most valuable manuscripts out of shaalk. This is changed from Lords of Essaence to "Loremasters" in later editions of the Master Atlas.
  • The manuscript also bears a library seal of Nomikos (Modern: Biblia) claiming it is from the Reference section. Bandur was banned in the story for stealing Lord of Essaence artifacts.
  • The volume in the niche is titled "Servants of the Shadow: Power through Thralldom." The phrase "servants of the Shadow" refers to Kadæna's surviving followers who "fashioned" the first of the Great Demons. It is found in the history sections of the 1989 adventure modules, and mostly refers to Lorgalis. Earlier and later versions do not use the phrase, referring instead to servants of the Unlife.

Crypto-History

The second kind of implicit meaning is sub-text using the Shadow World source materials, in much the same way other mythological and literary sources are argued to be influences. This is theoretical interpretation using the source books to make an argument. The more details explained naturally from a given source increases the likelihood the theory is correct. It is not possible to reduce the Shadow World meaning of the story to the canon of the source books. Some details make no immediate sense and require interpretation, such as Kadæna contrasted with Eissa as "Guardian of the Forbidden".

With the Graveyard it is often the case that the details are multi-referential. The major sub-texts, assuming they are correct, are interlocked. Implications of Bandur as "Baldur" play off both the Black Hel from Shadow World and the Viking references which are both implicit. The Egyptian pharaoh and fallen archangel sub-texts cross in the Nyarlathotep references. These amount to a holistic integrated theory.

Example: Scroll Room

  • The manuscript is in a wall niche near the ceiling of the scroll room. This probably corresponds to the high niche in the scroll room in the Temple of Burning Night with a letter bearing the symbol of Orgiana, whose Black Hel theocracy was run by Empress Kadæna's daughter, which is around the corner from where the Helm of Kadæna is kept. This is from page 40 of Demons of the Burning Night (1989).
  • This sealed letter and helm location were (probably) not present until well after Bandur's death. This is implying his omen, nightmare vision abilities. There are other examples.
  • Thralls are the Viking slave class. Hel is the Norse goddess of the Underworld, mostly described in the legend of Baldur, who had nightmare omens of his own death.
  • This is a cross-reference to the niches in the public collections of Nomikos (Jaiman source book), but this manuscript never would have been kept in that part of the library.
  • Wording from this room is borrowed in the Vvrael scroll room of Castle Anwyn. Several rooms in Vvrael quest associated areas make Graveyard parallels.

Weaknesses

There are some inherent limitations to this which cannot be overcome without better information. It is much more difficult to take the end result of a thing and predict the initial conditions, which are called inverse problems, than it is to start with those details and know how they have combined into the end result. This requires figuring out what ingredients were used in a thing to reconstruct the original recipe, which in this case are "major sub-texts" or the "ur-texts" acting as hidden layers of meaning. There may be important missing information, including information you do not even know is missing.

These are some hazards with the allegorical interpretation. They are mitigated with parsimony:

(1) Assumption that all relevant details are either unchanged or recorded in forms sufficiently close to the original.

(2) The absence of recorded information about events in the I.C.E. Age that are relevant to the subject matter.

(3) Not knowing when the details are being over-threaded. (i.e. over-fitting the data, with the system over-determined)

(4) Not being able to falsify things, other than finding argument defects, short of inventing superior explanations.

(5) Not knowing if some later I.C.E. details were available at earlier dates than the known book sources.

(6) Imputing purpose into fine details that were not actually considered.

(7) More variables makes higher risk of coincidental pattern matches.

(8) Coincidences happen even in low probability situations.

(9) Uncertainty over which source materials were used.

(10) Uncertainty over inconsistent source materials.

The flip side is that if the theory of a given source material is correct, this greatly increases the likelihood of details that can be explained with that framework. It is much less likely for something to be a coincidence if multiple details are being taken from the same source. Something that would be a wild speculation by itself can become almost a certainty within the context of a framework. The room and item descriptions from this period very often tell you what you are thinking, feeling, doing, and how you are reacting. This is considered wrong and bad design by later standards. The benefit of it is that the lack of illustrative language for the sake of illustration makes it much clearer when wording has deeper meaning. The artistic license helps facilitate layers of meaning that would be much harder to interpret.

Empress Kadæna

The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion (1990) claims that Bandur pledged himself to Empress Kadæna early in his servitude to the Unlife, and later he established a theocracy in homage to her called the Dark Path. This is the central paradox of the story. Empress Kadæna was decapitated 100,000 years earlier. For this to be meaningful she must still exist in some form, or have some (telepathic?) contact with him across time, or be idolized in a warped theology as a proxy for some other dark power. Kadæna fashioned herself as an "Empress-goddess", but the Lords of Essaence were not actually gods.

In the modern setting it is taken for granted that there is an association with Gosaena, prophetic foresight of death, and the other side of the Ebon Gate. In the Shadow World setting Empress Kadæna has nothing to do with the Gates of Oblivion and there is no premise of her knowing future events. There is solid reason for suspecting, however, that Kadæna is something along these lines in GemStone III.

Click to Collapse/Expand Empress Kadæna sub-category...

Timeline

The following is the objectively correct timeline from the out-of-character perspective as of the Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989). This pre-dates the establishment of the Eyes of Utha and the Shadowstone in the documentation. This is important because Kadæna is an "Empress-goddess" and the Unlife is associated with "Gates of the Void" that are set with "immortal Guardians."

c. 29,000 - 30,000 - The Emperors are increasingly corrupt and sadistic, showing little respect for life or the continuity of galactic stability. This perverse trend culminates in the Ascension of the Empress Kadæna in c. 30,000.

c. 30,000 - 30,250 - Rebellion against the K'ta'viir begins, instigated by Utha, a cousin within the family. Political, technological and Psionic powers are used in a sweeping attempt to overthrow the current Empress-goddess. Although the rebellion is successful, the result also brings about the complete downfall of the Civilization. Worlds are destroyed or their populations reduced to a primitive existence.

c. 30,250 - Final conflict of Utha and Kadæna. Large areas are laid waste as the Uruths destroy the remaining K'ta'viiri. Survivors include a few pockets of men and races of experimental nature devised by the K'ta'viiri. There are also hints that a few of the K'ta'viir and Uruths survive, placing themselves in cryogenic freeze to awake at a later time.

...

2,000 SE - First appearance of servants of the Unlife.

6,450 - 6,825 SE - Wars of Dominion. Even the Lords of Orhan come to Kulthea to join in combat against the legions of the Unlife. After centuries of strife, the dark forces are destroyed or rendered ineffective, and the the Unlife is driven back into the Void. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that it cannot re-enter the World at some future time. Enchanted, immortal Guardians are set at the Gates of the Void.

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 9
- Tomes of Kulthea #1015
- Tomes of Kulthea #1016

In the Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990), pages 10/11/13, "Gates of the Void" in the timeline is replaced with "Portals". The "Portals" in this specific context refer to the ones on Charôn that are warded at the end of Wars of Dominion by the Lords of Orhan to keep the Dark Lords of Charôn mostly contained to their moon. The Portals in this book allowed many strange and demonic creatures into the world in the First Era when they were damaged in the war between Utha and Empress Kadæna. This is important to the Broken Lands which is about her relationship with the Dark Gods.

"Even the Lords of Orhan descend to Kulthea to combat the legions of the Darkness. The Unlife is driven back and imprisoned on Charôn, all of its powerful servants destroyed. Many valiant Loremasters and Sages are killed, however. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that the Unlife cannot re-enter the world at some future time. Enchanted, immortal Guardians are set at the Portals."

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 13

(Note: The "Dark Gods" are described in this timeline of having systematically gathered "evil creatures into a host of darkness" over 2,500 years.)

Prophecy

There is no premise in Shadow World canon that the Lords of Essaence had the innate ability to know future events. (Though they did have mastery of making portals, which were capable of time travel.) The Lord of Essaence race (the K'ta'viiri family of the Althans), however, has innate psionic abilities which are akin to mental magic without using the Essaence. The equivalent of psionic spell lists are given in the I.C.E. "Space Master" books, such as Future Law (1986) pages 52-63, and Spacemaster Companion (1986) pages 56-66. These powers include telepathy and possession over vast distances, mental transport across time, and the ability to know the ultimate fate of targets. It is not wild speculation to suspect that Empress Kadæna herself is supposed to have had these kinds of temporal powers.

In the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989) the introduction of the book is a quote from the "Visions of Andraax." In this nightmare vision Andraax, who is a cousin of Empress Kadæna, witnesses himself in the future encountering the Unlife itself. Interpreted literally with Andraax being a Seer, this may be the Future Visions list, or psionic powers. It might be taken as him having an omen of his own death.

"...We cleared the summit and it was as Kirin had said: ahead of us lay a wide vale, filled with the green of growing things. Sunlight warmed us and reflected off of a long lake ahead. But scattered across the valley were dark patches which raced across the rolling hills, sliding like ethereal snakes. They were only shadows cast by clouds under the sun, but they gave me a feeling of menace; of malignant purpose. Even as I pondered this, one of the dark patches rose up the hillside and covered us. The sun went out, and I have never been so afraid before or since. We were in the presence of the Unlife."

From the Visions of Andraax 
Nomikos Library, Jaiman 

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 4
- Tomes of Kulthea #1000

The blacking out of the sun in this vision may be important to the Graveyard, as various details of its design appear to be symbolically defying the sun. The ability of Empress Kadæna to know the future and have some measure of contact with Bandur across the aeons is one way of resolving the central paradox of the story. However, this is not the only option, as she may be "dead" but now in some other form.

Lords of Orhan

Empress Kadæna was the ruler of the Lords of Essaence, the royal line of the ancient humanoid race of the world. The Lords of Orhan are a pantheon of non-corporeal deities who reside on the moon Orhan (Modern: Liabo). These two groups are supposed to be completely unrelated to each other, in spite of beliefs to the contrary, which is explicitly stated on page 24 of the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989).

"Early in his servitude to the Unlife, Bandur had pledged himself to the Empress Kadaena, the first Lord of Orhan to follow the ways of the Unlife. He turned his own bondage to her into the state cult, which he called The Dark Path. Followers of The Dark Path engaged in many heinous ritual practices beneath a genteel facade of prayer. They were ostentatious in their devotions, carrying around long rosaries of windak beads and reciting out loud the Iylarian phrase "Kadaena Throk Farok." True followers of the cult of Kadaena who recited the phrase with fervor and dedication were promised everlasting existence by Bandur, and after death were transformed by him into various levels of undead creatures."

- The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion (1990)

This is preserving a typographical error from the history section of the 1989 adventure modules where the phrase "servants of the Shadow" originates. This text is vestigial from older I.C.E. books prior to the Shadow World setting, such as the 1984 version of The Iron Wind source book. This text is important because the "servants of the Shadow" line is worded in such a way that it sounds like Empress Kadæna is leading the Wars of Dominion in the Second Era, in spite of having been slain in the First Era. This can be read into lines elsewhere about Kadæna "spurning death" and "defying Death itself."

The Lords of Essaence and the Three Eras
(A Whirlwind History of Kulthea)

Imbued with extraordinary powers by a freak flare of Essence, the immortal Lords ruled over the lands and waters of Kulthea for thousands of years until two camps formed. A titanic struggle ensued, tearing the world apart. Races were buried by rock and flooded by mountainous tidal waves; lands sank, and islands emerged. The wicked Empress Kadæna was slain, her head severed. This upheaval ended the First Era, and with it faded the power and presence of the Lords of Orhan.

The Second Era saw the healing of the land and the reawakening of the few races of beings who survived the cataclysms. Erratic Essence Flows tortured the world for 100,000 years, if certain Loremasters are to be believed. Perhaps descendants of the Lords, Loremasters appeared to guide and to speed the healing of Kulthea in the Second Era. Able to tap Essence Flows at will, the remote and power-shy Loremasters tutored Elves and Men in their recovery over the course of several centuries, then all but disappeared into the mists of myth.

The Unlife

The coming of the Unlife, a vast power which feeds upon destruction, brought to light (and to darkness!) cults and orders dedicated to evil; Great Demons were fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords who had fallen under the influence of the Unlife, led by the Empress Kadæna. Wise but twisted in spirit, the servants of the Shadow offered knowledge beyond that which the Loremasters deigned to give such "lesser beings," and the power of the Unlife grew unfettered in the Second Era.

The 300-year-long Wars of Dominion concluded the Second Era. Weary Loremasters at last overcame the forces of the Unlife. At great cost in blood and power, the world was once again at rest, however uneasily, at the dawning of the Third Era.

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 2-3

There is some inconsistency on when the Unlife, however defined, is first corrupting the world given the Lords of Essaence under Kadæna herself. The Graveyard story is treating Kadæna as explicitly a follower of the ways of the Unlife dating back to the First Era. The blame for it has precedent in the Lords of Essaence weakening the barriers between planes with their portals and civil war.

"This anti-essence has emerged in the universe here, on the Shadow World, because of the very powerful flows of energy which - by their very presence - set the stage to allow the Unlife to enter. Before the tapping of the Flows by the early Lords, the Unlife remained safely beyond the reach of our universe, but when they began to utilize these massive energies, the balance was upset and the barrier of Essence which keeps the planes of existence separate was weakened. The Unlife perceived a window through which to attack, and did so without hesitation."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 34
- Tomes of Kulthea #1096

(Note: In the 1990 books and onward there is a periodically returning comet called Sa'kain that is disrupting and weakening artifacts called the Eyes of Utha that mostly keep these dark powers out. This was not defined yet in 1989. It explains why the dark powers were pushed out but able to return in the Second Era.)

The Dark Lords of Charôn (Modern: Lornon) were not defined as a pantheon until the Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum book in Spring 1990. Individual dark gods such as Orgiana and Andaras, who are modernly Eorgina and Andelas, were described mostly without reference to Charôn. Charôn was described as an evil place with servants of the Unlife and a gate world, and the Jaiman source book had an Amulet of Charôn that was made by servants of Kadæna in the Wars of Dominion. This may go some way to explaining why "Lord of Orhan" was the term used, as the Great Demons were described in 1989 as fallen demigods. There is an unexplained relationship between Empress Kadæna and Orgiana, as there are demons of the Black Hel on the Isle of Aranmor dating back to the rule of Kadæna herself.

"Charôn is considered an evil presence by most Kultheans, who believe that the orb is a haven of strange, otherworldly beings and presences. Once again, superstition is not without a basis in fact, for Charôn is indeed a gate-world which hovers on the boundary between dimensions. Beneath the shining icy surface are myriad caves and tunnels - hiding places for the unspeakable. It is shunned by the Lords of Orhan. When Charôn passes close the inhabitants of the Great Moon are especially vigilant."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 17
- Tomes of Kulthea #1046

(Note: There is 1989 text carried over into the Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 37, where it still says "servants of the Unlife" visit the world from Charôn on the night of the Third Moon.)

Gates of Oblivion

The Gates of Oblivion are a portal on the moon Orhan that is guarded by the goddess Eissa (Modern: Lorminstra). This page has two separate instances of explicitly stating that the Lords of Orhan are not Lords of Essence. "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" retains the "Lord of Orhan" typo, insinuating Empress Kadæna was an actual goddess who split off a dark faction. This is important as canonically Kadæna has nothing to do with the fate of souls and death religion. The premise seems to be a twisted parallel of Guardians of Oblivion and the Void, the light path and the dark path.

"Orhan itself has not felt the dark touch of the Unlife, and the Lords are careful to keep their home safe from its agents. Whether or not the souls of dead Kultheans go to Orhan is uncertain, but the Lady Eissa does guard the portal to another dimension, from whence she has the power to recall souls from the dead. She can also channel that ability to her devout followers."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989), page 24

The Gates of Oblivion are further described in the Eissa documentation. In the Shadow World lore only Eissa has the power to channel resurrection magic. It is established explicitly in the Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 48, that even the other Lords of Orhan can only raise the dead in person. The Dark Path theocracy seems to be framed as a mockery of the Eissa religion.

"Goddess of Death/Rebirth (and Winter), she is the sister of Reann. Eissa is the deity appealed to when a religious "Lifegiving" is administered. She guards the Gates of Oblivion and it is her decision whether a soul is returned - even Kuor will not over rule her decision. Eissa is more inclined to allow the return of a soul whose mission on Kulthea has not been completed. If the being in question has lived a full life, or has died in a significant and meaningful way, she will usually deny the soul's return.

Eissa wears a hooded, flowing black robe and carries a staff of crystal - and a set of crystalline keys to the Gates. Before the Gates is a small garden, in the center of which is the Spring of Youth, which feeds the enchanted River of Life on Orhan. Eissa rests here often, staring into the mere by the spring, through which she views her followers on Kulthea.

Cultures on Kulthea have myriad differing beliefs regarding the soul and what becomes of it when someone dies. Those who follow Eissa believe that the soul lives forever, though if the body is destroyed or fails due to age, the soul passes beyond the gates into another state of being. The worst fate is if the soul itself is somehow destroyed, something which can only happen to someone who falls victim to one of the Unlife's cruel servants."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 27
- Tomes of Kulthea #1082

Another important detail is her Staff of Doom and her Keys. These are explicitly mentioned at the Graveyard gate, and "doom" is in the death mechanics messaging.

"Eissa also has a unique Fatal Channeling (For effectiveness, treat as Absolution Pure on the Clerical Base Channels list): "Eissa's Call." Anyone failing is 'dead', though their body slides into a deep coma. Their soul is stored in Eissa's Staff if she wishes - or (in the case of creatures of the Unlife only) destroyed."

"Staff of Doom: A 6' long rod of clear laen which can be used as a +30 quarterstaff. It can hold as many as 12 souls; Eissa uses the staff to transport souls to and from Oblivion, and to aid her in returning them to a body on Kulthea."

"Keys: A set of six keys, two of which (The Key of Life and the Key of Death) open the Gates of Oblivion. One, a key never used, is the Key to the Void."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 27

The other side of the Gates of Oblivion is not described at all in the Shadow World books of 1989. In much later books it allows multiple possible afterlives. The death mechanics of GemStone III depicting Oblivion are unique to the game and do not come from Shadow World itself. It was described as all memory and sense of identity washing away. There were no demons when "lost to the demonic."

Gates of the Void

The "Key to the Void" is the key "never used" by Eissa, which in some sense makes it forbidden. This is the most likely reason for Kadæna being portrayed as "Guardian of the Forbidden" in contrast to Eissa (though in the Lovecraftian frame below it might also be referring to "forbidden knowledge.") The Void is repeatedly associated with the demonic and the Unlife, though the Shadow World canon and the Rolemaster bestiaries are somewhat inconsistent on this terminology. The Void is important in this context because the Wars of Dominion are blamed on Kadæna's surviving followers in 1989.

"Keys: A set of six keys, two of which (The Key of Life and the Key of Death) open the Gates of Oblivion. One, a key never used, is the Key to the Void."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 27

6,450 - 6,825 SE - Wars of Dominion. Even the Lords of Orhan come to Kulthea to join in combat against the legions of the Unlife. After centuries of strife, the dark forces are destroyed or rendered ineffective, and the the Unlife is driven back into the Void. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that it cannot re-enter the World at some future time. Enchanted, immortal Guardians are set at the Gates of the Void.

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 9

In the Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 34, "demons" are defined as belonging to two fundamental categories: Essence and Void. This can be confusing as both get associated with the Unlife, which by 1990 is defined as the most chaotic end of Essence. It is important because it establishes demons can be made from souls and corrupted demigods or gods can become powerful demons.

"Demons are incorporeal souls who are capable of assuming various physical shapes, forms conducive to life in any number of settings. A seemingly infinite variety of these powerful entities exist, but all fall into two broad categories which are rooted in the origin of all spirits. Most are Demons of the Essence, who owe their existence to the imperfections of the Flows of Creation. Others are Demons of the Void, who were created before or outside of that which now is: Existence. Demons of the Essence include Elemental Demons, Singular Demons, and Thematic Demons. The Outsiders and the Older Ones constitute the two branches of the Demons of the Void.

... [paragraphs about how they take on corporeal forms on given planes and can be trapped in them] ...

Unique and as a whole extremely rare, they remain enigmatic and live according to their own special rules. Kulthea's are no exception. All attempts to classify them have failed to some degree. Nonetheless, the chronicler Artsa Nay Lum proved successful in isolating two general divisions of Kulthean demons. As he noted in his immortal treatise entitled Othersouls, the Spirits Beyond Our Kind, every demon is either a Soul From the Essence or a Soul From the Void."

- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 34

The Demons of the Essence are naturally aligned with the Unlife because they are "fallen spirits." The Flamesouls are described as demigods serving Kadæna in the present tense. This is changed in the Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 18, to say they were favored guardsmen but were mostly banished in the "Final Conflict" rather than the Wars of Dominion. (It says the Demons of the Essence do not necessarily serve the Unlife, but are naturally evil because of their Chaos planes origin. The Void is then asserted to have some parallel to the Order-Chaos axis of existence to explain the Pales.)

"They all share one quality: each is a corrupt soul who has betrayed of abandoned its original conception and purpose. Each is a fallen spirit. ... Fire-demons are associated with destruction and typically serve the forces of terror. The mightiest of these creatures, the Flamesouls, are corrupted demigods in the service, whose avarice and hunger for hegemony led to their fall from grace. These vile, vengeful Demons serve Kadæna, although most were imprisoned on other planes at the end of the Wars of Dominion, or were utterly destroyed. The few survivors retreated into the depths of the underworld in order to survive until they could regain strength and exploit new opportunities. They repose like a dormant curse upon the world."

- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 34

In the Emer book (1990), page 63, Kadæna also had an Ordainer named Morloch as a bodyguard. In the Shadow World setting Ordainers are re-defined to be Thematic Demons. Lorgalis summoned an Ordainer named Kharuugh (only implied in 1989) leading up to the Wars of Dominion, who conquered the region of our game setting 71 years into the Wars of Dominion. This is important because it would be an upper bound on the possible independent existence of The Dark Path theocracy. The "sarcophagus" of Bandur below the Graveyard could be interpreted as Ordainer self-immolation symbolism.

Thematic Demons represent abstract rather than elemental or tangible concepts. They concern themselves with the important themes spawned by Creation. As such, they were originally conceived as caretakers of the various Flows embodied by the Essence. These fallen spirits constitute the corrupted demigods who once served as guardians responsible for the protection of all relationships, emotions, and motivations found in Existence - the foundation themes attuned to the Essence. Rather than maintaining the Balance of Things with respect to these fundamental concepts, Thematic Demons try to manipulate their associated themes, reordering instead of guarding their appointed trusts. Some even destroy or constrain Essential Flows. Having fallen from his mission, a Spirit of Hope for instance, might become a Doombringer.

Death-watchers: The mightiest of the Thematic Demons are known as Death-watchers or, as they are sometimes called, Ordainers. Others call them Moloch (although neither of the latter terms should be confused with the Demons of the Void who are known by the same names). These lordly demigods are the fallen servants of the Lord of Fate, and now serve those who feed their appetite for death and destruction. Some are united in their service to the Unlife, but all are unique in form. ... Given to immolation, a Death-watcher can explode into flame or shroud himself in ice, and all within 6' receive a "D" heat or cold critical each round they remain in the terrible, flickering radius. These demons can also "ordain" a foe, tearing the target's soul from his body with a 30th lvl "Absolution" (Ess list; "Soul Destruction").

- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 35

There is earlier lore for the Ordainers dating their turn toward evil to a great power in the First Era:

"The Ordainers are the closest servants of the Iron Wind, and of them only six are known. They are the viceroys of Unlife in its domains and rarely leave the strongholds that are built for them, preferring to send the Messengers to remove those who oppose them or the Priests Arnak. They themselves come forth only in situations where immense power is called for and whole armies would be impractical. They are the demonic masters of such power and it is in consideration of their immense priestly might that my blood recoils, for they are but the servants of the Iron Wind.

The origin of these lords is unknown at present, and will probably remain so for all time. They appear to have become enamored of evil at an early time during the First Age of Ire, seduced by a greater power than is now apparent. Their character gave new shape to their bodies, and they gradually assumed a form that was in all ways without beauty. Normally, they appear as winged demons of some 12-18 feet in height, bearing a weapon in each hand. They have the power of self-immolation, allowing their bodies to become bathed in intense flames which will burn those that come within six feet. Their flesh is all but immune to cold, and the monsters are able to swim with ease beneath the waves in the icy waters about the Mur Fostisyr, able even to burst through the thick ice effortlessly. In addition to their physical might, they also possess the power to modify their form, even becoming invisible. They can survive tremendous punishment, above that of the greatest giant and of the level of the gods themselves, yet they serve the Iron Wind." - Elor Once Dark; The Iron Wind (1984), page 8

Contributing to the muddle is the Demons of the Pale, the "Edge of Existence" of the Near Void, who are described as often being banished souls of the essence.

"Demons Beyond the Pale: These hail from the indescribable reaches of the Last Planes. No spirits reside further away from the edge of Existence. Unlike Demons of the Pale, their nature is virtually unknown, for the Kulthean scholars have no understanding of their home planes. Downcast demigods, the Demons Beyond the Pale are souls who shunned the Essence and disdained Creation. Some of these spirits were born of the Essence and later banished into the Void. They control their own, bizarre dominions and exercise control over many of the lesser demons that inhabit the Known Planes."

- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 37

(Note: In the creature beastiaries it will assert that especially unruly Ordainers can be cast into this realm. This book does not describe the Void demons with the words "Ordainer" and "Moloch" in spite of drawing the distinction earlier. By 1990 there are portals to the Pales on Charôn, and the Dark Gods are "related" to Demon of the Pale.)

Shadow World re-defined the Demons of the Void made from souls of our own world into demons of the Outer Void that only resemble beings of our world. GemStone III does not necessarily follow the inhabitants guide instead of the bestiary on this point of the Void. It is possible that "the Void" is envisioned as a form of everlasting existence with Empress Kadæna portrayed as the Guardian of the Void in contrast to Eissa as the Guardian of Oblivion. In particular the bestiaries speak of Void demons coming from the souls of evil immortal spellcasters, of which the Lords of Essaence would apply.

Demons of the Void vs. Pales Lore (Before Shadow World Retcon)

"Demons of the Void are evil creatures who reside in the Nothingness outside of Creation, apart from the Essence and beyond known planes. They are of the realm at the very edge of Existence. Unlike Demons of the Pale, they are beings who were once of the "high races," but have long been changed. There are three kinds of these demons: (1) malformed spirits of fallen demigods; (2) perverted elven spirits; and (3) corrupt souls of immortal mannish spellcasters. All were cast into the Void as a result of heinous crimes or their own foul incantations. In any case, they were sundered from this world because of their own evil acts.

Demons who dwell in the Void can only take form on known planes when under a summons or by entering a Gate to the Otherworlds. Since the Gates are guarded, their passage is often tied to a pardon, a rare event typically inspired by trickery. Like Demons of the Pale, these wicked spirits take distasteful forms while in this world, thereby interacting with other beings.  These forms serve as their conveyance, but are vulnerable and can be destroyed. Their "real being" or spirit, on the other hand, cannot be destroyed outside the Void. Demons of the Void, like undead, are rated on a scale from I to VI, with Ordainers stretching off the bounds. An Ordainer may only be summoned by a spellcaster of at least 50th level utilizing a "Summon Demons VI" spell. They may never be controlled or mastered, although their presence outside the void usually requires the use of these spells."

- Creatures & Treasures I (1985); page 35

The Flamesouls of Kadæna are probably retconned Void demons called the Noble Gogonaur who are fallen demigods. Lesser Ordainers are called Raukamar, and the most powerful are Moloch. The Pale is described as "Near-void" (page 38) with "tortured demonic souls" existing "without hope" in a twisted state on "planes where life and death have no meaning." The "Demons Beyond the Pale" are defined as downcast demigods related to Ordainers who have not yet been banished into the Void. With the exception of the demi-god variants, the Void demons are essentially a form of extraplanar undeath.

Lords of Essence Creating Demons

"Theories regarding the origins and creation of Demons are plentiful and contradictory, but the most commonly accepted explanation is that they were created by the Lords of Essence out of that force itself, and they exist on some other plane, waiting to be called forth. Now, most serve the Unlife. Whether Demons are intrinsically evil in nature or not is another matter open to speculatio, and it is doubtful that the answer is soon forthcoming, since few users of Essence who are not already servants of the Unlife are willing to risk summoning one of these terrors."

- Cloudlords of Tanara (1984); page 8

The text about the followers of Kadæna having fashioned the Great Demons is vestigial from an earlier period where demons were considered to have been created by the Lords of Essence. This is stated explicitly in the Cloudlords of Tanara (1984) source book on page 8, and in that book calls those ones demons of the Pales. The "servants of the Shadow" line said "Unlife" instead of "Shadow."

Apocrypha

For our purposes books that are canonical in Shadow World after 1989 are to be considered apocryphal if applied to The Graveyard, though not later areas such as the Coastal Cliffs or the Broken Lands. Sometimes there are details that would be highly significant if they were included. It is more conservative to assume details did not exist yet if early enough dated sources for them are not known.

(1) Sarcophagus

In the Emer: The Great Continent book dated April 1990, page 7, there is a history section where Empress Kadæna's body falls through the black Gate of the Void when she is decapitated by Utha, which has unclear relevance to the Graveyard story. This same book contradicts that detail later on page 64 with her headless body being in a sarcophagus near the South Pole in a fortress made for Lorgalis.

"Then the rebellion began, sweeping through the galaxy, returning finally to the home world, where Utha and Kadæna faced each other before the Black Gate of the Void. Utha slew her with the Soulsword and Kadæna's head fell to the ground, her body (and the Shadowstone) sucked into the Black Gate. The world cried out in an agony of relief. Kulthea would have been utterly destroyed if Utha had not at once placed the Eyes at the poles to stabilize the planet. Exhausted by his efforts, he departed; the Era came to an end with the world a wasteland."

- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 7

"Here it seemed that Lorgalis scored a victory of the schemes of Schrek, for he enlisted the aid of the Dark God Klysus and lobbied to have the pinnacle at Ordia named as Ahrenryak (Ir. "Secret of Souls"). This monastic center had been a gathering place for activities of Darkness for several centuries before the Ahrenreth had resumed. The location of a splinter of the Crystal here enhanced the Dark God's power and caused some concern for Schrek. ... Only the order of monks reside within this fortress-monastery, honing their physical and mental skills, and guarding the splinter of the Crystal. Something else is guarded at the Secret of Souls, however: the body of Kadæna. Sealed within a sarcophagus of black laen and eogs, the remains of this evil queen continue to radiate an aura of unmatched evil."

- Emer The Great Continent (1990); page 64

The temptation is to think the sarcophagus in the crypt of the Graveyard and Kadæna as perhaps the Guardian of the Gates of the Void come from these details. However, this text may not have been available yet when the Graveyard was being designed, so priority must be given to the 1989 books. Empress Kadæna has a false sarcophagus next to the portal to the Black Hel on Aranmor, and her cousin Andraax has a false sarcophagus on an island next to the Library of Nomikos. These seem to be the only two references to the Lords of Essaence having sarcophagi in the 1989 books.

(2) The Shadowstone

The Shadowstone is an immensely powerful necklace worn by the Empress Kadæna. It is first introduced in the 1990 books. One of its properties is that it absorbs the soul of the wearer if they are killed, and the soul is destroyed if the next wearer wins control of it in a contest of wills. In principle this would imply the soul of Kadæna was destroyed when Ondoval took possession of the Shadowstone. This might be entirely inconsistent with the concept of the Etrevion story. For our purposes we must pretend the Shadowstone does not exist, though the Helm of Kadæna is earlier and may be important.

(3) Lorgalis

In the 1989 books Lorgalis is strongly implied to be a survivor from the First Era, while in the 1990 books and onward he is described as actually having been born in the Second Era to a surviving follower of Kadæna. His role eventually shifts to reluctantly siding with the Dark Gods, who are the primary actors in the Wars of Dominion. In the 1989 books the Wars of Dominion are instead driven by figures such as Lorgalis. Lorgalis is most likely the warlord Kestrel Etrevion was serving, and the subject of Bandur Etrevion's book. In later books (at least 1998) it is established that his Ordainer conquers Saralis in 6521 Second Era, which happens to be the exact year Uthex is killed nearby in the Broken Lands. It is unclear at the moment if this is a bizarre coincidence or if that information was available in 1993.

"Lorgalis' origins are lost amid the uncertain histories of the First Era and the Interregnum. Few facts regarding his parentage are known even among the inner circles of the Loremasters; their races are known, however. The son of a Dyar Elf and a Lord of Essence, it is most likely that he was actually born before the struggle between Utha and Kadæna which ended the First Era; this way he might have survived by passing for an Elf. It is possible (though less likely) that Lorgalis was born later, his K'ta'viir parent somehow escaping the purge in which all Lords of Essence were supposedly slain (of course, we know this to be not entirely correct)."

- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 18

"He who is to become the "Traveller Afar" was born of a Dyar-K'ta'viir union in the early Second Era of Ire. He had barely come to manhood when his K'ta'viir father was slain by Daenku (Andraax). Lorgalis escaped, and vowed to avenge his father's destruction. For thousands of years he pursued the elusive Lord of Essaence, but was unable to entrap Andraax. At last he decided to conquer and destroy the land which Andraax loved most: Jaiman."

- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 59

The same section of text illustrates his "reluctant" association with the Wars of Dominion. The 1989 books more emphasize his working with Priests Arnak as "The Magician" for centuries prior.

"In the Second Era 6450, he reluctantly he joined forces with factions serving the Unlife, and it was his undoing. As one of the Captains of the Dark Forces, Lorgalis found himself unable to maneuver to a position where he might engage Andraax in combat. Instead, to his dismay, he encountered none other than Jaysek, the Lord of Orhan. Even a K'ta'viir prince such as Lorgalis could not hope to stand against a Lord of Orhan. He fled the battlefield and escaped the cleansing aftermath which closed the Second Era of Ire."

- Emer: The Great Continent (1990); page 59

The Priests Arnak were founded around 4,000 Second Era, which is established on page 11 of "Jaiman: Land of Twilight" (1989). Lorgalis having Dyari and Lord of Essaence parents at an earlier time, most likely the First Era in the 1989 books, provides a seed for why "Kadaena Throk Farok" is called an Iylarian phrase in "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990). The surviving followers of the Empress Kadæna may be interpreted as including Iylari and not only Lords of Essaence for this reason. Another surviving follower was the "Master of Malice", carried over from the Vog Mur (1984) book.

(4) The Unlife

One of the most serious nuances between the 1989 and 1990 books is the way the Unlife is described. In the 1989 books it is a plausible interpretation to believe that the forces of Unlife, including Lorgalis and the Priests Arnak, ultimately serve Empress Kadæna somehow even in the Second Era. This interpretation is present in things written by GemStone players in the Kelfour Editions. It would be plausible to interpret the Council of Light as serving Kadæna, even though they are probably the regional Priests Arnak. The Unlife is written as though it has willful purpose, self-awareness, desires and intent.

"When evil is referred to in the Shadow World, it does not mean the small injustices one man commits against another; not does it even mean most acts of violence or warfare. True Evil, the evil which is fostered by the Unlife, is the drive to destroy - and to feed on that destruction. The Unlife desires not only to kill, but to draw energy from the poor spirit as it dies. Without attempting to make a judgment on what is 'evil' and what is not, the concept of pure, true, universal evil in the context of Shadow World applies only to the Unlife and its willing servants. Others may do 'evil' deeds, but they are not evil until they succumb to its power.

It has been theorized that without the 'Positive Essence', the 'Negative Essence' of the Unlife could not exist. It is even believed that, should the Unlife somehow succeed in its horrible plan to absorb the entire Essence of the world, it would itself be destroyed. In some strange manner, this might be what the Unlife desires: complete annihilation."

"The Unlife itself cannot be seen or otherwise detected in this universe; it is so alien that there are no common reference points. In fact, the most perceptive of the Masters of Essence can barely detect the Unlife as a 'void' or an absence of the usual 'background' Essence which is everywhere. Thus the Unlife must utilize servants and strange - often indescribably hideous - manifestations to work towards its ultimate, unspeakable goal. Most of these 'manifestations' are in the form of the demons, but others can take almost any shape - depending on the purposes of the Unlife."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 33-34
- Tomes of Kulthea #1095, #1097

This is no longer the case in the books published in 1990. The Unlife is described as the extreme end of a corruptive axis, with likely no sentience or goal of its own. The Wars of Dominion are attributed to the Dark Gods, who are made distinct from the servants of the Unlife. Usage of the term Unlife will generally refer to specific groups with their own agendas. Lorgalis is made distinct from the factions of the Unlife, who he already had a treacherous relationship with, and the Dragonlords are no longer described as followers of the true Unlife. Empress Kadæna is not described as having any role in the Second Era.

"Good versus Evil" was discussed briefly in the Master Atlas World Guide. Perhaps it needs further elucidation now that the background of the Shadow World has been much further fleshed-out. 'Good' and 'Evil' fall at the two exteme ends of a spectrum; most thinking beings exist somewhere in the middle ground. In addition, there are the complicating factors of the competing affiliations among those of evil ambition. The servants of the absolutist Unlife sometimes find themselves at odds with power thirsty Dragonlords, the Dark Gods, and numerous other agencies of evil."

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 5

"Individually, the Dark Gods are the most intrinsically powerful of the 'evil' factions. They are not driven by one will like the Unlife, and they are not fully independent like the Dragonlords. These masters of dark power are not even life in the biological sense, but energy beings: manifestations of the chaotic power of the Anti-Essaence. Most are less than complete personalities, driven by specific needs and goals. As a result, they seem two-dimensional and are often predictable in their reactions. Vindictive, violent and wantonly destructive, their methods are most often the antithesis of the artful minions of the pure Unlife."

"So named because they stand for the opposite of order and Existence, the Unlife itself originates in the heart of Chaos. The Dark Gods entered the Kulthean universe from the Chaos Planes, though they are not the pure antithesis of existence that the Unlife is."

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 6

In the 1990 book the Unlife itself has been walked back to only influencing through subtle, decentralized minions in "small and localized" cults, except for an odd reference to its being imprisoned on Charôn at the end of the Wars of Dominion. By the second edition of the Master Atlas in 1992 the Unlife itself is described as actually "not a single entity", "mindless", and "may or may not" possess awareness.

"Historically, the Unlife has acted through minions, using stealthy, guileful, insidious means. ... This structure can be sabotaged from within when the servants themselves grow too powerful. ... Another two-edged sword of the Unlife is its decentralized structure. With the exception of the Ahrenreth (which is, after all, a corruption of an order from the Interregnum), cults of the Unlife are small and localized. Its minions work in disguise; rarely are they unsubtle.

When the Unlife is moved to use force, it can unleash servants who wield a terror of majestic proportions. Not the horror of the demons, nor the brute force often preferred by the Dragonlords, but such lieutenants as the Heralds of Night possess a commanding presence. They are lordly and distant, and cannot be swayed by bribes or other coercions. They are inhuman in their unwavering allegiance to that formless ultimate evil which is the Unlife."

- Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum (1990); page 6

(Note: In actuality, the Heralds of Night are usually found in the service of the non-absolutist evil factions they are being contrasted with here, such as Dark Gods and Dragonlords.)


1992 Changes:

"There are those who do not consider themselves 'evil': the Dragonlords and certain cults believe that they are merely imposing a better structure on the world. However, they tap their power from the raw, unfocused power of the Unlife: the Anti-essaence." (appended to the "beginning and end of all True Evil" line)

"Let it not be misunderstood: the Unlife itself is not a single intelligent entity. It is a collective energy which may or may not possess what could be called 'awareness.'" (appended to the "a window through which to attack, and did so without hesitation" line)

"The beings and groups discussed elow tap the Anti-essaence of the Unlife, but remain essentially immune to its direct power. They walk a thin line, however, and at any time risk losing their own will to that of the mindless power of the Unlife." (preceding the Dragonlords and Dark Gods descriptions; Dark Gods changed to "chaotic aspects" instead of "chaotic power")

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 2nd Edition (1992); page 121

This has serious implications for the story as the 1989 books describe the Wars of Dominion with the forces of evil essentially acting as a unified whole for the "chill Shadow of the Unlife":

"Almost as a unit, the peoples and creatures under the sway of the Unlife arose and attacked those who remained free of dark domination. Great Demons and hosts of creatures, led by Priests, Essence Masters and the elite servants of the Unlife lashed out and attempted to destroy utterly what the Loremasters had nurtured for so long. The wars lasted for nearly three hundred years, and though the powers unleashed during this conflict were as nothing compared to those used in the battle of the Lords of Essence, much was destroyed that had taken long years to build. There were many valiant leaders in the wars, and many who fell before the chill Shadow of the Unlife."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 8
- Tomes of Kulthea #1013

It would allow outlandish possibilities such as the black sea drakes in the burial mound and coastal cliffs representing the Dragonlord Ulya Shek, even though it is much more likely to refer to the Cult of the Sea Drake obeying Lorgalis. More importantly, when Bandur usurped Kestrel he was really usurping Kestrel's liege lord, as their land was only a fiefdom. This was most likely Lorgalis. While it is implied that Bandur crushed a coup attempt by his nephews, it would be absurd for him to resist Lorgalis. What is unclear is if resistance would even be necessary. It matters a great deal if Lorgalis is taken to be a surviving follower of Kadæna, as the theocracy would still be swearing fealty to him through its homage to her. This might be plausible for the 1989 books, but it would be incoherent beyond them.

(5) The Slayer

"Emer: The Great Continent" (1990) has a glossary, pages 95-96, that includes the pronunciations of many terms. Kadæna is either "ku dā' nă" (kuh-day-nah) or "ku dā ē' nă" (kuh-day-ee-nah), and still means "slayer" in Iruaric, which is pronounced "ir' ū ār ǐk" (ir-oo-air-ik). The GemStone III glossary for Iruaric is consistent with the apostrophes (e.g. K'ta'viir or "kuh' ta' vēr") sounding like glottal stops.

Utha was the first of his kind: the masters of the Flows. Power was in their hands, and the shaping of the lands was for them an easy task. The world was yet young and warm with red-hot rock which ran like rivers across the steppes. stha and his people were wise and sought to temper the wild earth and still her uneasiness. But there were those among the masters, led by a woman, Kadæna (I. "the slayer"), who sought to disrupt their ways, and there arose a great conflict. This was the First Era (also abbreviated as "FE").

Lydek Terisonen 
2267 Third Era (of Ire)

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 7
- Tomes of Kulthea #1010

There is vestigial text in the Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989) regarding "Kadæna" being Iruaric for Slayer. This was present in earlier books such as the 1984 version of The Iron Wind, which pre-dates the Iruaric language glossary that first appears in the Master Atlas Addendum (1990). In the 1989 books certain words are given Iruaric meanings, but there is no dictionary for identifying the meaning of word parts. K'ta'viir is defined as meaning "Lord of Essaence", but the "K'ta'viir" and "Althans" exist in earlier Spacemaster books. These are essentially retcons of earlier terms. However, the term "Lord of Essence" was used in the Loremaster series of I.C.E. books around 1984, and did not include the phrase "K'ta'viir." These are wedded together in Shadow World proper by the year 1989.

While there are monsters named "Kæden" mentioned in the Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989) book, they are not given any description. In the Master Atlas Addendum (1990) the Kæden are defined as insectoid artificial constructs organized around "queens", with Kadæna herself as the high queen as she was their maker. The Iruaric glossary is present to define the " K' " construct as "Lord", with "daen" meaning "Elder." K'dæn would translate literally as Lord Elder, or Elder Lord, and so the word Kadæn or Kæden essentially means "Queen." This is too late to matter for the Graveyard.

(6) Gosaena

When the I.C.E. Age ended the various copyrighted terms were mostly given replacements, and the lore for the modern analogs is usually fairly similar to the original. "Kadaena" was replaced with "Gosaena", but there was no information for Gosaena. The modern version of Gosaena as a prophetic silent angel of death was not released until the gods documentation near the end of the 1990s when the Pantheon of Neutrality was introduced. The "lost to the demonic" messaging referencing the "Gates of Oblivion" does not mention her, as it is much older than the concept of Gosaena beyond the Ebon Gate.

There is no way to tell if this premise of Kadaena as a dead goddess banished beyond the Gates, sleeping in silent repose and seeing the future, is the seed of the later Gosaena conception. Similarly, Eorgina in some ways resembles Kadaena more than Orgiana, but both of these could be coincidences. The association of Gosaena with Lorminstra's Gate certainly comes from the gate of the Graveyard.

[Hall of the Dead, Tunnel]
As you enter into the tunnel you feel the cold wind of death chill you to the bone.  You know this is where many a dead adventurer lies to rest.  You shudder with the revulsion of such a fate befalling you.  The flickering torch in the wall mount does little more than bring the shadows to life.  You also see a lesser mummy, a large crack in the wall and a marble angel statue.
Obvious exits: east

[Wormwood Slough, Excavation]
The walls of the small vestibule are formed of solid slabs of granite, mottled in dark and light grey and a deep mossy green that almost matches the color of the creeping fingers of lichen that spread up from the dirt-covered stone floor on every side.  The north wall is a pile of rubble and broken stone, some age-old landslide having obscured whatever passage may lie beyond.  A large grey stone slab lies half-buried in the rubble, as if an attempt to unearth it had gone unfinished long ago.  You also see a broken granite archway.
Obvious exits: none

>look slab
The slab looks as if it had been cleaned of layers of age-old soil and debris centuries ago, and grown over again with dust and moss that have not yet managed to obscure the legend engraved into its face.  Though the words are unfamiliar, the characters are similar to those common in runes and magical writings, and it is possible to decipher their probable sound if not their meaning.
There appears to be something written on it.

>read slab
In the Common language, it reads:
~ Dha baes'irin dha shi ta liat shi hestos i siath a shidar ~ Oraesh'lan dha laediach ta geilach ~ Oraesh'lan'da ta Gosaena ~

The crypt expansion behind the sarcophagus, leading to the wraiths and minion quarters, is older than the lore for Gosaena. It was part of a 1996 story involving the town undertaker and grave robbers. It is unclear if the "angel statue" was present or only added later. The Wormwood Slough expansion to the bog includes a slab referencing Gosaena explicitly. This is something from around 2000. It is the archaic Elven language that was sometimes used in rooms and storylines in that period. The glossary for it was not available to players. It is unclear when Gosaena as a concept matters prior to documentation. The intermediate period documentation, where Sheru still has a hyena head and Lorminstra is blonde, was still being used in April 1998. But concepts in the next version were mentioned by Varevice.

Black Hel

The Empress Kadæna had a daughter named V'rama Vair who ruled the theocracy of Orgiana (Modern: Eorgina) for most of the Second Era, as detailed in the Demons of the Burning Night (1989) source book. Orgiana was the ruler of a pantheon of dark gods residing in a demonic plane called the Black Hel. In the purge of the pantheon by the Lords of Orhan, it was rumored that she escaped to Charôn, but is trapped in the Black Hel with the other surviving gods. When the Dark Lords of Charôn pantheon was made in 1990, they lumped in Orgiana, even though she has not been there in over six thousand years.

The Black Hel gods are presumably the subset of Charôn gods following Orgiana, but this would be a retcon and was never stated. Orgiana is not the ruler of the Charôn gods, and when statistics were made for her, she was one of the least powerful of the named ones. There is little "queen" premise about her, and her hatred of males is not established until 1990. She wants revenge on Shadow World.

Click to Collapse/Expand Black Hel sub-category...

Isle of Aranmor

The isle of Aranmor in southwest Jaiman was a stronghold of Empress Kadæna in the First Era conflict. It is a volcanic island surrounded by boiling water called the Sea of Fire. There are beings dating back over 100,000 years on Aranmor, including the "Red Gate", a greater invoker demon of the Black Hel that is the wall of the city Tarek Nev. This is important because the Black Hel demons, who are made by the Black Hel gods, thus date back to the rule of Empress Kadæna without explanation of the history. His demonic energy slows the passage of time to 1/100th its normal rate within the walls of Tarek Nev.

"After centuries of relative obscurity, Aranmor an the city of Tarke Nev have begun to attract the attention of some very powerful individuals, including Navigators, Loremasters, and more importantly, formidable advocates of the Unlife. The reason for this new interest surrounds the recent awakening of a very powerful sentience believed to be located in or near the fallen city of Tarek Nev. Disturbances in the Essence Corridors have led many to believe there is more to this enigmatic place than ruins and rumbling volcanoes. Stories about Aranmor run the gamut from reports of shipwrecked sailors driven to cannibalism, to tales of undead dragons and soul-stealing ghouls. One popular account claims that Kadæna, dark mistress of the First Era, has risen again on Aranmor and prepares her resurrected armies for some final, shocking revenge."

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 4

This does not mean the Red Gate is 100,000 years old, it means the demon is that old. These Black Hel gods are often called "Nureti gods", and repeatedly the "dead gods" of Aranmor. There are cases such as the Black Lords (page 22), who are souls of "once great nobles and princes who committed atrocities in their natural lives", for which they were condemned to the Black Hel. "V'rama heard of these beings and made a bargain with Nureti gods, purchasing their wretched souls." The relevance of this is that it strongly implies the presence and role of this pantheon long before V'rama called out to the darkness and drew the attention of Orgiana. V'rama and her father awoke in 2000 Second Era, which is the same year the 1st Edition of the Master Atlas says is the first appearance of servants of the Unlife, suggesting the Black Hel gods involvement dates back to the First Era. They are inconsistent with the earlier Nureti nature religion, which means the Black Lords must be foreign or pre-date the Second Era entirely.

Helm of Kadæna

The purpose of the Demons of the Burning Night (1989) book is a quest to acquire or destroy the Helm of Kadæna, a very powerful artifact that has "awakened" and retains part of Kadæna's consciousness. It calls out to others through dream visions. The Helm can be destroyed by dropping it in the volcano Mount Kadæna, which is one of the book's straight forward references to Lord of the Rings.

"Locked in a mighty chamber deep in the city of Tarek Nev is an extremely powerful artifact of the Unlife: the Helm of Kadæna, now an intensely magical headpiece possessed of devastating powers. Kadæna is long dead, but her Helm retains a part of her consciousness and some of her arcane power. In recent years, the Helm has begun to call out for a master to wield it, warping the Flows of Essence." - page 4

"1. Dreams and Nightmares. Each PC spends a sleepless night; his respective god sends him a unique dream. One PC dreams of crossing a churning, smoking sea to an island of emeralds and smoking volcanoes; another envisions a jungle where nothing is as it seems, where children suffocate beneath the moss; others have pleasant dreams of forgotten scepters, a stone of power, emeralds and sapphires. When the PCs awake, they all remember the single whispered word, "Aranmor." The dreams are a telepathic calling from the Helm of Kadæna (part VIII-1)." - page 5

"Blacker than death, with two emeralds and a huge ruby at its brow, the Helm of Kadæna is the most powerful item on Aranmor and the major cause of Essence disruptions on the islands. How and where the Helm was recovered are unknown. Although the Helm has no real intelligence of its own, it retains a powerful sense of Kadæna's hatred." - page 23

The Crypt in the Graveyard appears to be drawing off the two places on Aranmor where the Helm of Kadæna was kept. Bandur was in the early years of the Wars of Dominion, and the Lords of Orhan did not intervene initially. There is a timeline error on page 11 dating the last battle as 6200 Second Era, which pre-dates the Wars of Dominion. The Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989) on page 24 says the role of gods in the Lord of Essaence war and war against the Unlife is not clearly documented. On page 25 it says the Lords of Orhan disagreed with each other on whether to fight in the Wars of Dominion against the Unlife, and by 1990 it seems their first appearance is the Battle of Maegris in 6825 Second Era, though later books have them intervening several decades earlier. The Black Hel purge does not seem to have specific dates. Bandur should not have been able to know these references without prophetic visions of events after his death. He would have needed visions of the places regardless.

The Crypt

The Graveyard is probably making references to the Temple of Burning Night and the Royal Estate of V'rama Vair. The Temple of Burning Night is the major temple to Orgiana, and the place the Helm of Kadæna is stored after the Lords of Orhan purge the Black Hel pantheon. In later books this must be around 6800 Second Era, but is seemingly not (properly) defined in the 1989 books. (It is implied to have been late in the Wars, perhaps even what incited Orhan to intervene in general. V'rama's battle tiger Belkor, page 17, has stalked the forest of Aranmor "since the end of the Wars of Dominion.") There is no reason Bandur would have known this - past, future, or present - without visions. This is important as he was obsessed with stealing these kinds of artifacts, and should not have known about them.

(1) Vertical Iron Spikes

The Temple of Burning Night uses (implicitly rusted) iron to symbolize flames, directly above the chamber with the Helm of Kadæna. The Graveyard gate does the same thing. Orgiana has burning steel skin.

D. Hel's Mistress: Orgiana
Standing in the midst of a fortress of vertical iron rods of is an agate idol in the shape of a youthful woman, her flesh simmering with flame (value 300 gp, weight 900 lbs.) PCs intending to touch or approach the idol are walking into a trap. ... [Fireball, Level 8] ... If the trap is sprung, a voice says: "Offend not Orgiana, Lest Thou Give Up Thy Soul!"

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 39

[Graveyard, Top of Gate]
You find yourself hanging from the ornate ironwork of this gate, the top of which consists of rows of
sharp iron spikes pointing straight up. You might be able to vault over them, but that is best left to
the acrobats.
Obvious paths: down

(2) Frescoes

The horrific carvings on the crypt and temple are potentially generic and a meaningless coincidence, but given the other more specific points it is worth noting.

"16. The Temple of Burning Night. The sun glints off the dome of this striking building. Swooping towers guarded with jutting black spikes frame the murals of the temple's outer walls. Frescoes depict terrified mortals fleeing. The walls are cracked, the result of the Horn of Siege, but the temple is structurally solid. One section of the gold dome shows fire damage." 

"E. Wall and Tapestry. An illusionary wall is partially covered by a tapestry depicting a demonic hand holding a small, shrouded object (The Helm of Kadæna). PCs who study the faded image intensely Hard (-10)[-1] may notice that in the background of the picture several white-robed men are fleeing." 

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 39

Contrast with the Graveyard:

[Graveyard]
You pause inside the gates to survey the eerie scene.  A magnificently crafted granite crypt to the north inspires wonder and loathing.  The carvings on the facade are horrific, detailing the onslaughts of the Unlife throughout the chaotic history of Elanthia.  A gravel path wraps around the structure, while thorny brambles growing among the tombstones deter you from leaving the paved route.
Obvious paths: northeast, northwest

>look crypt
The crypt is built of the finest gray granite from the High Plateau.  Great magic and determination must have been expended to bring the ponderous blocks to this location.  The demonic aspect of the decorations on the face of the tomb make you uneasy.  Above the entry to the crypt, is an inscription.

>go crypt
[Graveyard, Crypt]
The entry foyer to this enormous granite crypt is stark, adorned only with grisly friezes sculpted in low relief into the walls.  Bands of bluish-green ahnver are inlaid into the stone in thin strips just below the ceiling throughout the entire structure, bathing the rooms in a subtle light.  A shadowy arch curves overhead and leads deeper into the inner sanctum of the sepulcher.  You also see a cracked urn and an open black marble ossuary.
Obvious exits: out

>look frieze
The flat reliefs chiselled into the walls depict unspeakable acts and hideous beings.
There appears to be something written on it.

(Note: The ossuary was not present originally. It is unclear how old the cracked urn is compared to the room.)

(3) Secret Passage

The Temple of Burning Night has a secret passage down to the Sacred Cavern where the Helm of Kadæna is kept. These rooms are a crypt that have a conspicuous resemblance to the rooms of the crypt in the Graveyard, which would have said "shaalk" and "Kadæna" originally. These contain a scroll room with a high niche, a relic room with a false wall, and secret doorways in the form of stone panels.

"d. Scroll Room. PCs examining the wall Very Hard (-20)[-2] in the proper area detect a stone panel, which may be opened by inserting a finger in a niche 7' above the floor. With a click, the door opens. On a pillar in the center of the room is pinned a silver parchment, sealed in wax. The scroll is addressed to "the Mistress" and describes (in Black Nureti) the last actions taken by the High Priests. The scroll is Extremely Difficult (-30)[-4] to read and the skull symbol of the Mistress of Hel is stamped at the bottom."

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 40


[Graveyard, Crypt]
This room holds niches and chests filled with dusty tomes, yellowing scrolls and brittle manuscripts.  The scrolls are fastened with sealing wax and silk ribbons, while the volumes are bound in rare leathers.  Although fragile from the passage of time, the dry atmosphere of the tomb has preserved them.  The documents arouse your interest but the fear that they may contain evil spells and dangerous knowledge prompts you to leave them be.  You also see a stone niche with some stuff on it.
Obvious exits: east


>look niche
The niche is carved into the stone just below the ceiling.  It is too high for you to reach, although you still can get a good view of its contents.

>look manuscript
The pages and cover of the ancient manuscript are made of vultite, accounting for its persistence over the millenia.  The insignia of Gosaena is embossed on the otherwise blank cover.

(Note: Orgiana's other symbol in her theocracy is the Helm of Kadæna, which is on page 12 describing that pantheon. This said "insignia of Kadæna" originally and was made of shaalk, implying it dates back to Kadæna herself.)

Then the Relic Room:

e. Relics. A secret door, Medium (+0) [+/-0] difficulty to find, is set into a thin wall of plaster designed to look like stone. Once discovered, the false wall can be easily kicked down. Some of the lesser holy relics of the temple were stashed within this cell. Piled amidst mortar and debris is a silver ches containing scraps of clothes and ruined books on theology, and a silver ball with protruding spikes. (See Borimar's Mace, part XXII-1.)

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 40

[Graveyard, Crypt]
This room is a square space with plain stone walls on three sides composed of virtually seamless granite blocks.  The far wall draws your attention immediately.  Before it stands a black onyx tablet, nearly tall enough to touch the flat ceiling.
Obvious exits: west

[Graveyard, Anteroom]
This stone chamber is elaborately decorated and furnished.  One wall contains a doorway leading north and another is covered with rich embroideries and gilt-framed paintings.  In one corner is a statue formed from various precious minerals and metals.  You notice the same thin bands of ahnver embedded along the walls, shedding enough light for you to realize that fabulous treasures once must have filled this room to the rafters.  A long stone ramp leads down, its destination cloaked in darkness.
Obvious exits: north

The "ahnver" lighting method in the Crypt said "arinyark" originally, a magical mineral that absorbs raw essence energy and radiates light. This may not have come from Demons of the Burning Night (1989). It might be from Kingdom of the Desert Jewel (1989) instead, an Egyptian themed module set in the subcontinent Gethyra, which is on the Bay of Throk in the continent Thuul. The Great Hall in the Royal Palace of the king (page 22) has columns of arinyark, which strongly suppresses the efficacy (-90) of Essence magic, and mummies are on pages 28 to 32. One way it might have originated in the Burning Night book is if it refers to the Ring of the Immortals, made of arinyark alloy, which Kadæna made in the First Era and was given to V'rama by Eogun. It gives great power over demons of all kinds, but is extremely evil. Once the ring is used even once, the wearer loses all access and ability to cast light magic spells, and can never again cast non-evil spells. This is the only reference to arinyark in the book. (p.56)

(4) Defying Death

The Helm of Kadæna is down the passageway adjacent to the scroll and relic rooms, haunted by the dead priests of the Black Hel. It is under a heart shaped stone bearing an epitaph for Kadæna, directly under the flame trapped idol of Orgiana, which is mirrored by the frieze inscription in the Crypt. It might also be referenced in the Orgiana part of The Temple of Darkness Poem and the crypt of the priests in the Dark Shrine of the Broken Lands. By the 1990 books (e.g. Shadow World Master Atlas Addendum, page 9) it shows the Lords of Orhan did not intervene until the end of the Wars of Dominion.

An inscription is marked in white letters on the face of the Heartstone. It is written in Black Nureti and reads:
"By coward Utha cruelly slain
She sleeps, who spurns death
And awaits the hero shining-clad..."

...

The Helm of Kadæna. The stone rumbles, revealing the ebony headpiece of Kadæna where it lies in a 2'x2' chamber of pure dark laen.

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 42

[Graveyard, Crypt]
The entry foyer to this enormous granite crypt is stark, adorned only with grisly friezes sculpted in low relief into the walls.  Bands of bluish-green ahnver are inlaid into the stone in thin strips just below the ceiling throughout the entire structure, bathing the rooms in a subtle light.  A shadowy arch curves overhead and leads deeper into the inner sanctum of the sepulcher.  You also see a cracked urn and an open black marble ossuary.
Obvious exits: out

>read frieze
In the Common language, it reads:
In Homage to that which defies Death itself.

(Note: The hero shining-clad refers to Tilak the Defiler, the warrior lover of Kadæna's daughter, who was the last wearer of the Helm.)

It is quite likely that this is also what is being referenced in the Order of Vult (Modern: Voln) task: "Bring the light and warmth of the sun into the depths of the earth where death sleeps cold." The conceit of capitalizing "Death" might also come from this book, which has a gruesome altar called the Songstone of Solus, a Black Hel god trapped in meteoric eog by Iorak and later forged into a sword.

"When awakened, this altar of sacrifice expands and deflates, pumping blood into its seven long-haired appendages (skulls). After one round, the skulls begin to sing in loud, grating voices, singing different lyrics (See part XII-2 for effects on PCs.)

"Sorrow I salute you
Pain my greatest joy
Despair all those who fail me Death I shall employ;
Souls, souls, a feast for a Queen
Blood for the mistress
Murder we sing!"

The heads in the Songstone sprouted when V'rama slew sacrifices upon the stone."

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 19

The Songstone of Solus is the entrance to the "Underworld" section of Tarek Nev, page 48, which has crude stone tunnels resembling the greater ghoul maze. The slickness and fungi might refer to the stairway to Eogun's Gift Cavern, which had the portal rods that are traps for the Helm of Kadæna. These are relative long shots because the features in question are so generic.

[Graveyard, Under Crypt]
A long stone ramp angles up from this room.  You carefully make your way along the slick, granite floor.  Muck, slime and condensation make the walls a perfect haven for the glowing lichen that lights the route.
Obvious exits: north

>n
[Graveyard, Under Crypt]
A bewildering series of tunnels through the rock greets you.  While not shaped by clever craftsmen, the channels do not appear natural.  Trails of slime coat the ground and lead off in several directions.
Obvious exits: east, south, west, down

[Graveyard, Tunnel]
The granite-walled tunnel here is in a state of disrepair, although it appears never to have been very well planned or constructed to begin with.  A low stone corridor leads off to the north, while a confusing jumble of channels are cut into the ground as you look south.
Obvious exits: south

(Note: Corridor moves northeast after this to the branch point for the burial mound and under barrow.)

"Entering the gloomy passage beneath the Songstone, the steps descend some 15' before reahcing an underground floor. The caves and tunnels here are crudely carved in the solid rock. An abrupt turn leads into an 8' wide tunnel; a dark circular room is visible ahead. ... 1. The Hub. Tunnels branch in various directions. Upon reaching this point, GMs should ask the PCs to roll their Perception scores at -10. Anyone who is alert can detect the faint sound of a weird, hollow cheering coming from the southwest corridor." (page 48)

"D. Slippery Stairs Down. Beyond the drawbridge/door, moist steps descend a narrow corridor. ... The air is stuffy; fungi cling to the walls and stairs. Eogun's Gift Cavern lies below." (page 53)

(Note: The hollow cheering are the skeletons cheering for Kadæna's daughter racing her chariot.)

(5) False Sarcophagus

In the very beginning it would have looked like the sarcophagus in the crypt is supposed to be Bandur Etrevion. When the shadow assassin area was included, it becomes clear that Bandur is actually deep below ground. That means the sarcophagus is fake and not really him. This has parallels to the sarcophagus of Andraax next to Nomikos, which would not have been a fake tomb until centuries after Bandur's death, and the false sarcophagus of Kadæna in the crypt of the Royal Estate of her daughter. This is where the Helm of Kadæna was stored, next to the locked gateway to the Black Hel.

3. The Crypt of the Queens. A wall of granite capped with grey flagstones protects the three burial mounds of V'rama Vair's female ancestors. Two crypts are deceptive fabrications designed to fool the people of Tarek Neve into accepting V'rama's succession to the throne of the Nureti. The other tomb is devoted to Kadæna, V'rama's mother.

...

C. Crypt of Kadæna (V'rama's Mother). A curse is written in Low Nureti across the top of this crypt's entryway. It reads:
"Who disturbeth the sleeping queen
Thy luck lose, they skills fail
And join thy tormentor in the Black Hel!"

... The sarcophagus within is intact, bearing Kadæna's name in Black Nureti. A Very Hard (-20) effort removes the heavy lid, but the coffin is bare. PCs who probe the rear wall of the crypt with Very Hard (-20)[-2] Perception find a secret compartment which is locked and Extremely Hard (-30)[-4] to pick open. The compartment is of Dark Laen and empty, but spell casters can sense the lingering presence of an artifact of great evil (The Helm of Kadæna).

D. The Crossing. Near the rear wall of the crypt a wooden door stands closed, it surface scored wit the symbols of the Nureti gods. The door is held fast with six with six locks, each of increasing difficulty to pick, beginning with Routine (+30)[+/-0]. Runes above the door (in Black Nureti) read: "The Way is Open." PCs who manage to open the door see only blackness. The room absorbs all light. This chamber is a powerful gateway to the Black Hel (parts VI and X-10 for descriptions).

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 46

(Note: This page has a drawing depicting Kadæna's sarcophagus, which is apparently carved in her likeness.)


[Graveyard, Crypt]
You enter the close, stuffy room that houses the sarcophagus of the once-illustrious inhabitant of this imposing crypt.  The coffin stands upright against one wall, almost touching the low ceiling, its painted lid stuck open on sagging hinges.  You shudder as you notice that there are long, fresh tracks on the dust-covered stone floor.  You also see a shadowy arch.
Obvious exits: east, west

>look coffin
A black wooden box in a roughly human shape, the sarcophagus contains some remains.

>look in coffin
In the open coffin:
Misc [1]: a dessicated shroud-wrapped corpse

>look corpse
You see nothing unusual.

It turns out that this is a fake sarcophagus of Bandur and it is next to a secret portal that ultimately leads down into Hell. The fake sarcophagus of Kadæna could be reinterpreted as guarding the Gate of Hel, in our frame of reference, locked anti-parallel to the six keys of Oblivion. In the book if the adventurers travel through this portal they are imprisoned and tortured by Orgiana herself. Once again it refers to Kadæna as "sleeping" and conflates her with Orgiana. No explanation is given in the book for why Orgiana agreed to help Kadæna's daughter, or what relationship the Black Hel gods had with Kadæna in antiquity. This ambiguity is repeated in the Broken Lands. The Temple of Darkness Poem refers to Orgiana as repose in silent waiting, and the Iruaric inscription arguably conflates them.

(6) Invoking Phrase

When the invoking phrase in the crypt is triggered, it gives messaging about your voice being absorbed. It is not heard when said in the room.

"d. Chapel 4. Although this room appears empty, PCs who speak may notice that their voices are not heard."

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 39



[Graveyard, Crypt]
This room is a square space with plain stone walls on three sides composed of virtually seamless granite blocks.  The far wall draws your attention immediately.  Before it stands a black onyx tablet, nearly tall enough to touch the flat ceiling.
Obvious exits: west

>'Shadow bind my soul
As the words leave your mouth, they seem to be drawn into the air and absorbed into the tablet.  The tablet starts to vibrate, resonating to your words.
Suddenly, your vision blurs and you have a sensation of floating through a narrow space.
Abruptly as it faded, your vision returns, leaving you a little dizzy.

The "black onyx" could be referring to throne room in the Royal Palace, with the misleadingly granite thrones, but this would be a stretch with little support.

Godhood

"Demons found in the city of Tarek Nev are unlike others found on Kulthea. Although they can be loosely grouped as of the Pale and beyond the Pale, they hail from a dark netherworld known as 'The Black Hel,' home to the dead gods of the Nureti and their demons. Lesser demons of the Black Hel were created by the dead gods for specific needs. ... Little is known about the true nature of those demons called 'The Invokers.' They exist beyond the Pale, outside the seven wards of the Black Hel. Some speculate that they are demi-gods: deformed offspring of unholy unions between the Nureti gods. Others insist that they are lesser demons who grew beyond the control of their masters."

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 13-15

In the Shadow World canon there is very little in the way of ascension concepts. Most demi-gods of Orhan (Modern: Liabo) are not remarkable and only a few have attained godlike powers. There is nothing in the Shadow World books for souls becoming gods, though the Rolemaster bestiaries allowed souls to become demons. The Black Hel demons are supposedly made artificially. In the later Shadow World books there is text for some Loremasters believing the Dark Gods came from Lord of Essaence experiments creating non-corporeal life, but this does not appear to exist in the early books.

What does exist in the 1989 books for Shadow World is the premise that Eogun, the slave father of Kadæna's daughter V'rama Vair, was seeking a way to make them become "gods." He kidnapped her as an infant and hid themselves in near stasis, knowing Kadæna would kill the infant (and likely him) when discovering the baby was not immortal. V'rama Vair had ways of keeping herself from aging.

"Eogun is both father and advisor to V'rama Vair. Like V'rama, he hungers for immortality. Only his fascination with science overpowers his fear of death. His prime of life gone, Eogun's lined face shows the stress of time. ... A genius, Eogun understands the Flows of Essence. Eogun's dream is that through understanding science he can become a god himself, and V'rama will be his goddess."

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 18

Wars of Dominion

The Wars of Dominion date back to the 1980 version of The Iron Wind source book. Much of the text surrounding "Empress Kadena" and the Wars of Dominion can be found in the 1984 edition. This is older than the Shadow World setting, though details such as the five moons, including Orhan were already present. The text from these earlier books are included in later books and do not sound quite right surrounded by more refinement to the concepts. By the 1990 books there is a pantheon of Dark Gods on Charôn, with their worldly access and likely presence on the moon caused by the accidental opening of ancient Lord of Essaence portals on Charôn. The Curse of Kabis (1995) (not considered canon) has Empress Kadæna monstrously manipulating life on an artificial prison demi-plane within Charôn.

Click to Collapse/Expand Wars of Dominion sub-category...

Servants of Kadæna

The 1989 source books put the blame for the Wars of Dominion on servants of Kadæna, which in the 1989 sources presumably includes Lorgalis. From 1990 onward it is more explicitly attributed to the Dark Gods of Charôn exploiting a previously unknown ease of projecting themselves from their moon. The pantheon of the Dark Lords of Charôn was not defined until the 1990 source books.

Example 1: Servants of the Shadow

The "servants of the Shadow" line comes from lines implying Empress Kadæna's followers transformed spirits of great power into demons to serve the Unlife in the Wars of Dominion.

"The coming of the Unlife, a vast power which feeds upon destruction, brought to light (and to darkness!) cults and orders dedicated to evil; Great Demons were fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords who had fallen under the influence of the Unlife, led by the Empress Kadæna. Wise but twisted in spirit, the servants of the Shadow offered knowledge beyond that which the Loremasters deigned to give such "lesser beings," and the power of the Unlife grew unfettered in the Second Era. The 300-year-long Wars of Dominion concluded the Second Era."

- Demons of the Burning Night (1989); page 3

Example 2: Servants of the Unlife

This is the same section of vestigial text included in the Shadow World Master Atlas (1989), page 8, where the phrase has been changed back from "servants of the Shadow" to "servants of the Unlife." In this version the context is alluding more specifically to Lorgalis and the Priests Arnak. The text is more of an in-character view, unlike the timeline on the next page which is for GMs. It is the text from Example 1 that matters to "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion", because that story associates Kadæna with the Unlife in the First Era instead of introducing it in the Second Era long after her death.

"Through the surviving followers of Kadæna, who for long years licked their wounds in hidden places, the Unlife found its instruments. These souls, desperate for power - for even a shadow of the strength they once had - eagerly accepted the offers of energy from the Unlife and grew strong in dark places, gathering to themselves minions of many types and creating others to suit their needs. Cults and Orders of varied origins and membership took form, but their purposes were dark and evil. It was during this time that the Great Demons were first fashioned by the most powerful of the Lords.

Soon the young mannish people were presented with choices: they were offered great knowledge by these new Cults, more than the Loremasters were willing to impart. Some servants of the Unlife impersonated the Loremasters, gaining the confidence and trust of the naive cultures in this way. The teachings of the false sages were different, however. They spoke of the ways of warfare and whispered tales of hostile peoples - imagined enemies who were readying to attack. Thus were the seeds of suspicion sown."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 8
- Tomes of Kulthea #1012

This is almost exactly the same as the wording on page 3 of The Iron Wind (1984), which has Priests Arnak but not Lorgalis. The brief version in Example 1 is condensed for 1989 adventures. Other parts such as the Lydek Terisonen quote about "Kadena" as the Slayer and the forces under the sway of the Unlife rising "like one beast" in the three hundred year Wars of Dominion are also in this book. The wording "almost as a unit" is present in the version on page 3 of the Cloudlords of Tanara (1984). The "Lords of Essence" are referenced in these early books, but not the language "Iruaric."

Example 3: Amulet of Charôn

The text concerning the worship of Charôn, the night of the Third Moon, and "servants of the Unlife" are retained in Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 37. In the following text about the Amulet of Charôn it refers to the subversive plotters leading up to the Wars of Dominion as "servants of Kadæna", in spite of the fact that Empress Kadæna was decapitated many thousands of years earlier.

"Dark cults worship Charôn. They consider the zenith to be a time of particular importance, a time when servants of the Unlife are able to leave their home on Charôn and come to the Shadow World. ... The Amulet of Charôn is listed as an NPC because it has schemes, goals, and powers of its own, and should be treated like an NPC by the GM. This device is an ancient artifact dating back to the Wars of Dominion at the end of the Second Era. It was a tool created by the servants of Kadæna as one of their many plots of subversion - the prelude to all-out war."

- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 46-47
(The amulet mind controls women and makes the female cult sacrifice men, giving the women youth and immortality.)

Lorgalis

Lorgalis is the warlord that is the primary threat to Jaiman, the continent GemStone III was set on originally. He is half Dark Elven, half Lord of Essaence. His stronghold is in the Bay of Ulor, which is southwest of Quellbourne. In the years leading up to the Wars of Dominion he conquered Xa'ar, the peninsula west of Quellbourne, which does not exist in the modern setting of Elanthia. He controlled the access into Claedesbrim Bay. Kestrel Etrevion was almost certainly serving the fleet of Lorgalis. Kestrel's invasion of the Bay would not have penetrated further south because of the Wyvern Crown of Saralis.

"3,750 - Lorgalis the White annexes Ly-Aran. He leads a fleet to the shores and secures the land with a mighty army. The rest of Jaiman continues to be divided into dozens of petty fiefs and kingdoms."

"3,835 - Lorgalis the White, after two years of sea and land battles, defeats the armies and fleets of Xa'ar. He controls the Bay of Ulor and all sea trade in western Jaiman. The Loremasters, fearing that Lorgalis is of the Unlife, seek ways to stop his advance." (page 11)

"In 3833 Lorgalis sailed with a mighty fleet to attack the main Xa'ar fleet in her western harbor - but the king was ready, and the Xa'arian ships were waiting and well armed. The battle was inconclusive, and began a long and debilitating series of land and sea engagements between the two powers. Saralis sent some aid but it was token; U-lyshak was too embroiled in internal problems to help at all. In the end, the resources of Xa'ar were exhausted first, and Lorgalis took that land as part of his Empire of Ulor." (page 18)

- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); pages 11, 18

In "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" it says the brothers Etrevion were from eastern Jaiman, and realized the quickest way to rise was by joining the forces of the Unlife. This is probably rooted in the detail that Lorgalis sent his fleet to the eastern side of the continent while his armies fought on land in the west. In this time period the Priests Arnak were warring openly, and Lorgalis controlled the Cult of the Sea Drake after 6215 Second Era. This may relate in Shadow World terms to why the burial mound of Kestrel and Coastal Cliffs cemetery portray black sea drakes. It represents his "warriors of the Unlife."

"6,450 - 6,825 - Wars of Dominion. ... On Jaiman, Lorgalis leads a massive fleet to the eastern regions while armies swarm across the lands to the west. The Masters of Emer are revealed in their full majesty as Titans and join the forces of Light. Even the Lords of Orhan come to Kulthea to combat the legions of the Darkness. The Unlife is driven back into the void, all of its powerful servants destroyed. Lorgalis is supposedly killed but his body is never found."

- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 11


"The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion is numbered among the tales that emerged from the devastating Wars of Dominion that ended the Second Era of Kulthea. Two brothers from the eastern region of Jaiman set off to join the struggle and seek their fame and fortune in the early days of the Wars. Of undistinguished lineage, the brothers realized that the quickest means to power and wealth was to cast their lot in with the forces of the Unlife. ... Bandur used his black arts and warped intelligence to take advantage of the chaos that the Wars of Dominion caused and devoted himself to masterminding the rapid rise of Kestrel in the ranks of the warriors of the Unlife. Bandur remained a shadowy presence in the background, gathering dangerous knowledge and subjecting himself more and more totally to the foul aims of the Unlife. Kestrel came to be rewarded for his service after a particularly hard fought campaign (actually pulled from the jaws of certain defeat by Bandur's sorcerous intervention) with a small territory carved out along the west coast of Jaiman, along the craggy shores of Claedesbrim Bay. This is part of the land that forms the windward edge of the High Plateau in the region now called Quellbourne. Lord Kestrel reluctantly left the camaraderie of the battlefield and the exhilaration of combat to rule this small fiefdom."

- The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion (1990)

It is not quite said in explicit terms, but by having Kestrel rising rapidly in the ranks of these forces, it is providing Bandur with first hand knowledge with how figures such as Lorgalis and the Priests Arnak work. This is the "gathering dangerous knowledge" line, which is the material for the books he wrote that nominally helped the Loremasters, leading to him having unlimited access to the Library of Nomikos.

Saralis

Very few specific events in the Wars of Dominion are named with dates. One of those few is 6521 Second Era when the Ordainer of Lorgalis destroys the Wyvern Crown and lays siege to Saralis, whose northern border was what we now call the Dragonsclaw Mountains. This is one of the crown artifacts which have tremendous power over the lands and enforce the borders so that whole armies are prevented from invading. In the 1989 books its destruction by an Ordainer was not established yet. Saralis was vaguely described as having been undermined by treachery from within by servants of the Unlife.

"Even as the Tanarans were being seduced by the words of the Sorcerer Sages, Saralis and U-Lyshak were suffering similar fates. Both fell to the seduction of treachery, and once-great realms descended into barbarism."

- Jaiman: Land of Twilight (1989); page 9

Kestrel was rewarded with a fiefdom for winning "a particularly hard fought campaign", which Bandur is given credit because it was "certain defeat" without his "sorcerous intervention." The subtlety is that this is a whole campaign, not turning the tide of a battle that would have been lost. There is a possibility that this is supposed to mean Bandur was behaving like the Priests Arnak within Saralis and was somehow responsible for the failure of the Wyvern Crown. It is not clear if the 6521 conquest event was established somewhere by I.C.E. prior to the Broken Lands story where Uthex is killed in that year.

"Kestrel came to be rewarded for his service after a particularly hard fought campaign (actually pulled from the jaws of certain defeat by Bandur's sorcerous intervention) with a small territory carved out along the west coast of Jaiman, along the craggy shores of Claedesbrim Bay. This is part of the land that forms the windward edge of the High Plateau in the region now called Quellbourne."

- The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion (1990)

When you look at the map of Jaiman it is clear that Saralis was the remaining kingdom to be conquered on the Bay of Ulor. This is because Lorgalis had taken over U-Lyshak two centuries before the Wars of Dominion began, and the peninsulas of Xa'ar and Ly-Aran two thousand years earlier. His focus would have been on Saralis in the early years of the wars, which is the context of the Etrevion story. It is not established anywhere if the Claedesbrim Bay region was part of Saralis prior to the Third Era. The refugees from Zor who established Quellbourne arrived some time during the Wars of Dominion.

The fact that Kestrel was raiding the other coastal settlements of the Bay, essentially because he was bored, suggests the whole Bay region was not conquered. In other words, the "West Country" was a fiefdom of the warlord Kestrel served, but whatever settlements were further north were not. It is doubtful this would be the case if all of Saralis had fallen. Kestrel is more likely holding a forward position on the edge of enemy territories. Prior to the establishment of Quellbourne there is no reason Saralis would have limited itself to the "Saral March" (Kaldsfang) mountain range instead of the Bay right next to it.

Cult Purge

The top level of the Coastal Cliffs was released in July 1991, and is apparently related to the Graveyard story due to the contents of the cemetery. The underground stronghold nearby was purged while it was still under construction. This was presumably one of Kestrel's sons, as it has a royal bedroom. There is a hidden wing that implies the stronghold was housing a secret cult of Klysus (Modern: Luukos), who in his Shadow World form is more about bloody sacrifices and soul eating than undeath. If this is the intent then it might refer to the period when Bandur was crushing all of the sinister cults in the lands.

 / \                                           \
 \@/___________________________________________/
  |                                           |
  |              New Coastal Cliffs           |
  |              """"""""""""""""""           |
  |       Charted by Lokyy of Thangoith       |
  |                                           |
  |              *-*-*                        |
  |             /     \  coast                |
  | *-*-6       *-*-*-*       *               |
  |      \     /      |        \              |
  |       *-*-*       *         *-*-*-*       |
  |       |          /               / \      |
  |       *         *   *-*-*       *   *-*-7 |
  |        \        |  /     \      |         |
  |         *-*-*   *-*       *     *         |
  |               1 2   \       \   9         |
  |               *     *       *-*           |
  |              /     /       /   \          |
  |             *     *       *     *         |
  |            / \    |      /      | village |
  |           *   *   *     *       *         |
  |     cemetary  |    \     \      |         |
  |               *     3     *     *         |
  |               |                /          |
  |               *               8           |
  |              /                            |
  |             *                             |
  |                     3       *             |
  |      underground    |      /              |
  |             ruin    *     *               |
  |                    /|\   / \              |
  |               *-*-* * 5-*   *             |
  |                     4   |                 |
  |                     *-* *   *-*-8         |
  |                     |  /|   | secret wing |
  |                     * * *   5             |
  |-------------------------------------------|
  | Ye Old Monsters   | Legend                |
  |    Level 1        | 1: path               |
  |     Sea Nymph     | 2: trail              |
  |     Carrion Worm  | 3: steps              |
  |    Level 2        | 4: door (trap)        |
  |     Ghost         | 5: pull sconce, chain |
  |    Level 3        | 6: tree (knothole)    |
  |     Dark Wispling | 7: go road (Kelfours) |
 _|    Level 7        | 8: shrine             | 
/@|     Bounder       | 9: gap                |
\_/__________________________________________/

[Underground, Hidden Wing]
This appears to be a small shrine of some sort.  Against the east wall is an altar with tarnished religious symbols on it.  The covering is tattered and the three pews here are dry and rotted.  For the first time you notice that the thick dust on the floor is punctuated by shallow footprints, leading you to think that this place is not as abandoned as you first imagined.
Obvious exits: west

>look altar
The altar stands about waist high and is covered with a tattered cloth.  A rotting book holder, tarnished oil lamps and small sacrificial pots hold their place on the altar top.

>look on altar
On the small altar:
Misc [1]: a faded ancient tome
Total items: 2

>look tome
Upon further examination of the tome you realize that disturbing it in any way would cause the pages to turn to dust.  You decide to satisfy your curiosity with just the two pages the book is currently open to.

>look in tome
In the ancient tome:
Misc [1]: some brittle and yellowed pages
Total items: 1

>look pages in tome
The ancient script on these pages is faded and barely legible.  From the parts that are still readable you derive that this tome contains various rituals which are used in the worship of Luukos.  The ritual detailed on these pages appears to call for a blood sacrifice of some kind.  You cannot, however, determine exactly what manner of creature is required.

(Note: The recent footprints in the dust was also done in the crypt of the Graveyard.)

However, since this is late enough for later books to exist regarding Lorgalis and Klysus, it is possible this is related to the unwritten period when the nephews fought Bandur. Lorgalis is established to have some measure of alliance with Klysus on page 64 the Emer (1990) book. The bounders (leapers) on the Coastal Cliffs in the Rolemaster bestiaries are used like hunting hounds by Dark Elves.

"The leaper appears a bizarre cross between a wolf and a frog.  Perhaps six feet from snout to rump, covered with slick, hairless skin in a dark green, it lacks all trace of fur but has a set of fangs worthy of any wolf that ever strode the land.  Extra long front legs tipped with raking claws give it the bounding gait that has earned its name."

"The dark vysan is a peculiar beast, dapple grey and extremely bloated with gas to the point that it can float from place to place.  Its appendages extend straight out from its rotund body, and its head resembles an overturned kettle.  Afraid of bright light, it prefers to inhabit underground passageways, moving slowly from room to room in search of food and treasure."

"The greater kappa moves slowly on land, its bulk more suited to shallow bays and underwater cities. It stands on short, fleshy legs and observes the world through lidless, bulbous eyes. Totally black from head to webbed foot, the greater kappa easily blends in with the dark sands of its hunting area and is nearly impossible to see once underwater. The flesh of the greater kappa is very oily and, though a good source of lamp fuel, is not good to eat." (Post-I.C.E. creature)

- GemStone creatures descriptions

If it is the time immediately preceding the formation of the theocracy, the legend says Bandur used foul creatures of his own creation to crush the "strongholds of resistance to central rule." This is curious if applied to the bounders. In the Lovecraft frame the bounders and village could be reminiscent of the Doom that came to Sarnath, possibly hinted by the greater kappas later referring to underwater cities, which itself is reminiscent of the Deep Ones of "The Shadow over Innsmouth". The dark wisplings (vysans) were darkness elementals of the weakest kind, which have pound attacks and inflict cold criticals. They come from the Elemental Companion (1989) book (though their GemStone creature description is odd.) This suggests a summoner crushed the stronghold. There were no red orcs until later.

"Kestrel's maritime forays took him farther and farther afield from his unquiet kingdom, and Bandur's depraved obsessions and extravagances caused the citizens to resent and rebel against the restrictions of civilized, orderly society. The spirit of the Unlife was strong; it pervaded and corrupted the land and its influence was felt everywhere. Bands of armed brigands and rogues ran free, kidnappings and ritual slaughter became commonplace, wild creatures roamed the towns in search of prey, and enemies raided the borderlands at frequent intervals. Many fragmented, sinister cults arose to fill the vacuum left by the deterioration of law and morale in the land.

Finally, after one particularly gruesome incident (too hideous even to be repeated here), Bandur's advisors pleaded with him to take some action to restore a semblance of order in the land. Bandur roused himself from his arcane pursuits and concluded that something had to be done to suppress the wanton bloodshed, cruelty and disorder in the land, not for the sake of peace and tranquility, but more to allow him to continue to exploit it and divert its resources to the efficient service of the Unlife.

He relentlessly eradicated pockets and strongholds of resistance to central rule with a dedicated force of well-paid soldiers and an assembly of foul creatures of his own creation. Once all opposition in the land was crushed, he formed an official cult dedicated to the worship of the Unlife, which all inhabitants were strongly urged to join if they wished to keep their heads connected to their necks for any period of time. The state cult filled the need of the people for leadership and direction and Bandur thus usurped the throne of Kestrel, transforming the land into an evil theocracy."

- "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1991)

Something more subtle is the likelihood that Bandur crushed the stronghold using demons, specifically Demons of the Fifth and Sixth Pale. This would be interesting because of the line that the creatures were created by him. The Fifth Pale demons are physically the strongest, able to punch through steel doors and stone walls, possibly what flattened this guard. Sixth Pale demons are wild, murderous acrobats who sink their claws in stone walls and cliffs, and swoop down decapitating their prey. This would be consistent with the theocracy severing heads, presumably symbolic of Empress Kadæna's death.

[Underground Ruin, Entrance Hall]
This is the southern most end of the entrance hall.  The walls are bare except for a few burnt out torches.  Flattened against the south wall is the mummified corpse of a guard.  You also see a wooden door and a trapdoor.
Obvious exits: north

>look corpse
It looks as if every bone in the poor man's body was not merely broken, but crushed almost to powder.  His helmet has been squashed to plate like thinness, too bad it was still on his head.

>go door
[Underground Ruin, Antechamber]
This room is completely finished off.  The walls are smooth and polished.  The floor is covered with fitted stone.  The remains of rich tapestries and banners hang from hooks on the walls.  Ornate torch holders still cling to the walls.  Furniture is scattered around the room, some of it smashed, other pieces in good shape.  You also see a dark vysan and a wooden door.
Obvious exits: east, south

>e
[Underground Ruin, Royal Bedroom]
A huge bed dominates the east wall of this room.  Along the other walls are a few armoires and low chests, all undamaged.  The occupant of the bed, however, was not as fortunate; while his body continues to rest in pieces, his head seems to have taken a walk.  You also see a dark vysan.
Obvious exits: west

(Note: There is a lady's bedchamber to the south that is completely untouched.)

The incredible force of devastation is depicted in the east wing, which has rooms remarking on how oddly un-lived in the stronghold seems (i.e. it is a front for a cult.)

[Underground Ruin, Dining Hall]
This huge room seems to have been meant for grand entertainment.  There is a large fireplace, now caved in, on the south wall.  Sconces designed to hold torches line the walls but were obviously never used.  Oddly, there is no evidence of furnishings here.
Obvious exits: east, northwest

>east
[Underground Ruin, Fire Room]
Fitted stones cover every square foot of this room.  The entire east wall is nothing but a huge fireplace for cooking.  It seems very odd to you that there are no burn marks in the fireplace.
Obvious exits: northeast, south, west

>s
>sw
[Underground Ruin, Excavation]
You look upon a hideous sight.  Scores of twisted, broken skeletons are pressed against the rough hewn walls and floor.  It's as if they were swept in here by a great wind or wall of water.  You also see a crude passage.
Obvious exits: northeast

(Note: The crude passage was added much later.)

The dismembered body had its head taken for a walk along the cliffs. It was stuffed into the knothole of a tree, and part of his shirt is on the branches of another.

(1) Shirt

[Coastal Cliffs]
The crushed stone and grass underfoot are stained in splotches of an odd shade of brownish crimson.  A ragged bit of cloth clings to the claw-like branches of a dead tree, fluttering like a flag in the wind.
Obvious paths: east, west

>look cloth
The fabric might once have been white, with gold threads.  Now it is a shredded, dingy thing that appears to be matted with dried blood and bits of hair.

>look tree
Bleached white by the sun and smoothed on the northern side by constant wind, the tree might easily be mistaken for the bones of some grotesque and deformed creature.  A tattered bit of cloth hangs from it, flapping wildly in the breeze.

(2) Severed Head

[Coastal Cliffs]
A large tree clings tenaciously to the edge of the cliff, its roots dug deep into the face of the rock.  Branches like skeletal fingers form an arch overhead, and only a sparse scattering of yellowish-green leaves attests to the fact that it still lives.
Obvious paths: southeast, west

>look tree
Grotesquely twisted roots grasp the rock face of the cliff, holding this gnarled skeleton of a tree in place.  There appears to be a large knothole in the trunk of the tree.

>look knothole
As you peer into the knothole you are startled by two cavernous orbs that glare back at you from within the well-preserved remains of a human skull.

>look skull in knothole
The skull is in perfect shape.  The eye-holes seem to mock you as you lean close for a better look, and it appears to be firmly lodged in the hole.  It's quite obvious that it was placed there deliberately.

Consider the west wing of the underground stronghold, which has the "Welcome to GemStone" message written backwards on a wall.

[Underground Ruin, West Wing]
The walls here are unfinished.  Marks gouged deep into the rock suggest that the work was abandoned long before it was finished.  Tools lie scattered about the floor.  The dry air has kept them in remarkably good shape.
Obvious exits: east, west

The cemetery has a mausoleum resembling the crypt of the Graveyard, and a grave marker with a black sea drake like in Kestrel's burial mound. This clearly links the cemetery and stronghold, released at the same time in 1991, to the Graveyard story. The most likely explanation is that it relates to the death of the nephews, which is of unknown timing, and eradicating rival cults in their strongholds.

(1) Stronghold

[Underground Ruin, Entrance Hall]
You are in the northern end of a huge entrance hall.  It goes on to the south beyond the reach of your eyesight.  Your feet kick up small clouds of dust as you make your way around.  The smooth walls are covered with the faint rememberings of murals depicting great sea battles.  You also see some stone steps.
Obvious exits: south

(2) Cemetery

[Coastal Cliffs, Cemetery]
Isolated by a thicket of bramble bushes and all but hidden from view, one sturdy marker stands in proud solitude.  Carved in the shape of a sailing vessel borne aloft by a sea drake, it was most likely erected in memorial to those lost at sea.
Obvious paths: northeast

>look marker
White marble, carved in the shape of a sailing vessel is borne aloft by a sea drake of dark, mottled stone.  It is an eloquent memorial to those lost at sea, but somehow out-of-place among the coarse reminders of this simple community.

(3) Mausoleum

[Coastal Cliffs, Cemetery]
A plain and dreary little mausoleum of grime-streaked stone, pockmarked by erosion and damaged by looters, stands empty and abandoned in a small clearing by itself.
Obvious paths: northeast

>look mausoleum
Upon close inspection, you see that the mausoleum entrance has been smashed in.  The stone is cracked and weather beaten, but the structure is still sturdy.

[Coastal Cliffs, Mausoleum]
The interior of this mausoleum is dim, the air dry and stale.  It appears to have been carved and hollowed out of a solid stone outcropping, its construction keeping the contents free of rot and decay.  Primitive friezes in low bas relief cover the walls, telling of raging tides, storms and warriors lost at sea.  You also see a stone sarcophagus.
Obvious exits: out

>look in sarcophagus
There is nothing in the sarcophagus.

Death

The death mechanics were designed around the same time as The Graveyard and its story in the first half of 1990. The mechanics have changed multiple times over the decades, but the deed ceremony in the Landing temple and the messaging on decaying are very old. The Graveyard symbolizes aspects of the death religion, and arguably is a dark mirror to what is represented in the temple of Eissa in the Landing. It is no longer possible for player characters to be "lost to the demonic", but the messaging about the danger when having zero deeds is still present, and so is the temple deed ceremony.

Click to Collapse/Expand all Death sub-categories...

Deeds

Deeds have been part of the death mechanics since 1990. The ritual in the temple of the Landing was the only way to acquire them. Deeds do not come from the Shadow World lore for Eissa, nor do they seem to come from Rolemaster Companions. They are a unique aspect of GemStone and must be interpreted in their original context. This does not reduce entirely to the Shadow World canon.

Click to Collapse/Expand Deeds sub-category...

Major Considerations

There are three major factors to consider:

(1) The messaging on the mechanics whenever possible, assuming existing logs retain the original details.

(2) The theoretically constructed meaning of the Graveyard with the death mechanics.

(3) Shadow World documentation for Eissa and the Gates of Oblivion.

Eissa

This is an excerpt of the Eissa documentation. Most of the details in these lines were removed for Lorminstra when the gods document was written for the Elanthia world setting around 1997:

"Eissa is the deity appealed to when a religious "Lifegiving" is administered. She guards the Gates of Oblivion and it is her decision whether a soul is returned - even Kuor will not over rule her decision. Eissa is more inclined to allow the return of a soul whose mission on Kulthea has not been completed. If the being in question has lived a full life, or has died in a significant and meaningful way, she will usually deny the soul's return."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 27

There are two major differences between the Eissa and contemporary Lorminstra lore on death. The first is that only Eissa is capable of resurrecting the dead through followers. This is implied in the Master Atlas, and explicitly stated in the Master Atlas Addendum. No other god can do it, and no other god has a say in it. The Dark Lords of Charôn (Modern: Lornon) themselves might not be able to resurrect at all, due to their intrinsic nature, and were most likely not even defined yet when the death mechanics were implemented. In the contemporary setting of GemStone IV any of the gods can resurrect through Clerics. It is only Lorminstra who can send souls back into/as bodies, and her favor with deeds is a matter of making "death's sting" be milder. There is no explanation for why only NPCs are "lost to the demonic."

The second major difference is that the conditions under which she is willing to allow resurrection were dropped. Originally, she would not allow resurrections in cases of significant or meaningful deaths, which is bad news for heroic adventurers. The deeds mechanic as an accrued credit is a loophole in this lore point. She "will usually deny the soul's return" in these cases, but here is our exception to those rules. The idea might be that it amounts to the "mission on Kulthea has not been completed", so she is allowing exceptions on the heroic deaths. Deeds would presumably not save you from death by old age.

You turn your attention to the altar and notice a faint light coming through the arch.  The light grows consistently brighter until an aged priest carrying a small torch walks through the arch and stands behind the altar.  The priest bows to you and says, "I see you have no deeds to thy name, XXXXX.  If you wish to ask for the intervention of the High Priestess, then you must know what must pass.  You shall be leaving an offering to the Goddess.  Though she has little use for the trinkets and baubles of this world, she understands the importance your race places on them.  By giving this offering, you offer proof that your life is worth more to you than the treasures you possess.  But be warned that She guards the Gates of the Dead and your proof must be overwhelming in her mind."

- Temple deed ceremony. Probably the old man from the dais, who is probably the Lord High Cleric.

The trouble is trying to understand what, precisely, the word "deeds" means in this context. It might be a play on words with a few different meanings. The most obvious one is that the treasure from fortune hunting represents the spoils of a heroic deed, and its sacrifice is what is meaningful to Eissa such that she allows it as a substitution. This might be suggested by the temple having a Hall of Sacrifice. The total monopoly of power possessed by Eissa requires "homage" in her service for special rights. Her sadness over premature deaths or choosing darkness persisted through the first Griffin Sword War.

Homage

The Graveyard makes specific use of words of medieval origin. Among these include "homage", "fiefdom", "liege", and even "deeds" in the mound. One possible meaning of "deed" is that in Middle English it is the spelling for "dead", and so the word "deeds" essentially means "deaths." Deeds would literally be your allowance of deaths. This would be a double meaning on top of the more obvious modern English use of the word. However, the other common meaning of "deed" as the title record of land holding dates back to the 1300s, and was preceded by manorial rolls or books recording feudal investitures.

(1) Fee and Intercession

After a considerable pause, the old woman says in a voice strong and steady, "I am Tyriyn Bythronian of Ubl, Daughter of the Night, High Priestess and faithful servant to the Lords of the Great Moon.  The purpose of thy pilgrimage to this most sacred of shrines has been made clear to me.  There will be no need to speak.  The fee for my intercession is high, but my influence is substantial.  If thy wish to live is strong, then kneel and prepare thy offering."

(2) Book of Fees

After a considerable pause, the old woman says in a voice strong and steady, "Your face and deeds are well documented in the Book of Passing, XXXXX.  If it is thy wish that I pray to my Goddess for further favor, then kneel and prepare thy offering."

- Excerpts from the temple priestess deed ceremony

(Note: "fee" is from Middle English, from the Anglo-Norman French for "fief", feudal duties of payment. The play on words of "intercession", a prayer to God on behalf of someone else, is "intercede" as intervention of a mediator.)

Homage is a medieval practice of pledging reverence and submission to a liege lord, while in turn gaining special rights of intervention as protection. This is stronger than pledging "fealty", involving a kneeling ceremony with an altar. The fief is usually a tenure of land, but could be other support. In the case of the deed ceremony it is the soul. You are only a tenant, your life is owned by Eissa.

In time the Goddess Lorminstra finds you wandering the endlessness of Purgatory and says, "For thy deed, my promise to intercede shall be fulfilled." Taking you by the hand, the Goddess leads you back to mortality... 

- GemStone III decay messaging; late 1990s

The present messaging on decay has cut out the older messaging of Lorminstra speaking to you, which would have said Eissa originally due to its Gates of Oblivion references. She is speaking with archaic English and talking about interceding because she is bonded by promise from the homage of the adventurer. The temple priestess "Tyriyn Bythronian of Ubl" is seemingly a cluster of words from different medieval languages. "Byth" is Welsh for "eternity" or "always." Tyriyn is trickier. "Tyryn" could be a form of the Welsh "twr", meaning tower, which could signify "keep." Tyryn is more likely a variant of Tyrone, like "Tyrion", Irish (Tír Eoghain) for the Land of Eoghan. Eoghan is cognate with Owen. The Welsh version Owain is related to St. Patrick's Purgatory, the origin of the medieval concept of Purgatory.

This might be entirely coincidental. "Tirion" is a Welsh girl's name meaning kind, gentle, compassionate. "Tirion byth" would then mean "the ever compassionate." It is difficult to parse what "ronian" might mean. "Ronion" is archaic for scabby creature, and "rhonion" is medieval Welsh for maggots. "Ubl" is likely a medieval German variant of names like Ubba or Ubald, which could relate to the Baldur premises, or Ubba the leader of the Viking invaders in the "Great Heathen Army." It comes from "übel" meaning bad or evil. This is assuming Ubl is not a former Shadow World place name that was converted without being listed. If it were "Ulor" it would have drastic implications, as the Lord High Cleric might secretly be Lorgalis. Whatever the precise meaning it suggests the deed ritual has implicit medieval symbolism.

Biblical

Taken naively, "Tyriyn Bythronian of Ubl" translating as "purgatory eternal maggots of evil" might easily fit within the surrounding pattern, as purgatory in the death mechanics contains the souls of all those who could not choose. In the context of Dante's Inferno these are the souls forever in neither Heaven nor Hell, where their punishment involves maggots feeding on their blood and tears. Unlike the souls in his own Purgatory, they will not be saved in the Last Judgment, when the "book of deeds" is read. It is very easy to see how this could be based on the Book of Revelation, an ominous prophecy of the apocalypse.

"Then I saw a great white throne and the One seated on it. Earth and heaven fled from His presence, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds, as recorded in the books. The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to his deeds.

The sea gave up its dead, and Death and Hades gave up their dead, and each one was judged according to his deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death—the lake of fire. And if anyone was found whose name was not written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire."

- Book of Revelation 20:11-15

In this view the River of Life leading to the Gates of Oblivion is analogous to the River of Life in the Bible. "Death and Hades" correspond to Eissa and Kadaena at the gate of the Graveyard, and being "lost to the demonic" is akin to the "second death" and "lake of fire" from the Book of Revelation. The book of deeds literally corresponds to the book of deeds. There is similarly a lake of fire in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Some denominations hold that this really means annihilation of the soul, total non-existence rather than eternal suffering, while others treat it as a purgatory where souls are eventually purified.

Purgatory

Purgatory has no basis in the Shadow World source material, much as Dante's vision of Purgatory is completely made up. It is a surreal vision that has to be interpreted within the context of GemStone and theoretical guessing. The messaging for the most part seems to originate in stories by H.P. Lovecraft dealing with dream walking and a place called "Oblivion." This is strongly supported by the landscape of the Broken Lands tightly corresponding to the Underworld region in one of those stories. The symbolic relevance is the Gates of Oblivion, for which Purgatory is probably the sorting point.

Click to Collapse/Expand Purgatory sub-category...

Decay

This is one version of the messaging from the late 1990s. The current messaging in GemStone IV uses a condensed version of the "tattered soul" variant that happened from Sign of Hopelessness.

Slowly the world begins to dissolve into a grainy montage of color... 

[Purgatory]
You find yourself wandering amidst endless streaming light, and vast nothingness. This place feels torn between two prophecies, each vying for your loyalty.
Also in the room: All the spirits of those who could not choose.
Obvious exits: light and darkness. 

Time seems to have no meaning as you wander aimlessly amidst the uncomfortable tugging for your attention. Hopelessness washes over dreams you once held like the creeping tide of doom. 

In time the Goddess Lorminstra finds you wandering the endlessness of Purgatory and says, "For thy deed, my promise to intercede shall be fulfilled." Taking you by the hand, the Goddess leads you back to mortality... 

Suddenly you feel an intense pain scorching your very soul! The world of your past suddenly comes rushing back into your memory. You are quite bewildered by what has transpired, but alive... 

Demonic

The Goddess uses the same archaic language as the temple monks, priest, and high priestess. Interestingly, the statue of Orgiana in the Temple of Burning Night threatens the soul using "thy" as well, which may or may not be a coincidence given its likely relevance to the Graveyard. In spite of the image that comes to mind for "lost to the demonic", the messaging for final death makes no reference to demons. This might also be explained by a Lovecraft story about Oblivion. The final death messaging as well as a few important lines from the ordinary death part have been cut out in GemStone IV.

You realize that you have no outstanding favors which Lorminstra owes you, and without having accomplished a deed for Her, your soul is in danger of vanishing from the land forever! 

Slowly the world begins to dissolve into a grainy montage of color... 

[Purgatory] 
You find yourself wandering amidst endless streaming light, and vast nothingness. This place feels torn between two prophecies, each vying for your loyalty. 
Also in the room: All the spirits of those who could not choose. 
Obvious exits: light and darkness. 

Time seems to have no meaning as you wander aimlessly amidst the uncomfortable tugging for your attention. Hopelessness washes over dreams you once held like the creeping tide of doom. 

In time your soul finds a home, be it in the light or the darkness, but not again in the mortal world. As the last memories of your existence fade, an image of the Goddess Lorminstra, who guards the Gates of Oblivion, tempts your hindsight.

[Purgatory]
It appears that your mortal life has ended once and for all, and that Lorminstra shall be embracing you shortly. This Purgatory is here to provide you with information about what to expect as you move on to the next stage of your existence. Before you is The Afterlife. You will need to enter it in order to create a new character for yourself. ---> 
You can LOOK AT THE AFTERLIFE to get information about what to expect now that your character has died permanently. When you are ready, simply RETIRE. 
Obvious exits: none. 

These are log clips from the late 1990s. If there were changes to the messaging between then and 1990, other than "Eissa" to "Lorminstra", they do not seem to be recorded. For our purposes we have to assume the saved versions of Purgatory are sufficiently complete compared to the original and the Graveyard of 1990 has been negligibly altered. The current messaging is missing important details.

River of Life

Purgatory in the medieval sense implies a temporary place where sins are purged before reaching Heaven. In the Dante representation the river Lethe, which is the river of forgetting and oblivion in Greek mythology, springs from the top of the mountain of Purgatory and flows down to Hell where it freezes Satan. The waters are used to wash away sins. This can be taken to be the River of Life in Shadow World, which is itself a biblical reference such as in the Book of Revelation, as well as the (arguably analogous) Lake of Tears on top Mount Aenatumgana which was carried over from the first Griffin Sword War.

In the Order of Vult (Modern: Voln) monastery next to the Landing, which was introduced in late 1994, the waters for cleansing oneself of "worldly pollutions" are described as a gift from Eissa herself. The courtyard represents the garden, spring, and stream by the Gates of Oblivion on Orhan. The grizzled old warrior speaks of it as the Enchanted River. The premise of cleansing the taint from the souls of the undead seems to be using the River of Life in this way. In the Shadow World canon the "cleansing" by Vult more likely means annihilation, as Eissa destroys dark spirits with her Staff of Doom.

(1) Grizzled Old Warrior

The old warrior pulls you close and whispers, "I had a dream once that I was dead.  As I approached the Gates to Oblivion Lorminstra appeared and clothed my naked soul in a simple white robe.  

She then cleansed me in a pool at the head of the Enchanted River, to purify me for eternity."

The old warrior sighs longingly.  "Just as I was passing through the gate, I felt something pulling on me and my soul was wrenched backwards.  When I awoke I was lying upon the ground.  A cleric of Lorminstra was kneeling over me and he looked very drained.  It was many years ago now, but I still remember it vividly."

The old warrior stares at you directly in the eye and traces a strange symbol in the air.  "To the east, not far from here is a pool similar to the one in my dream.  Seek your fortune with the Order of Voln, you can dedicate yourself to no higher purpose.  You will need to be strong of heart and character, but I think you will do well."

A tear forms in the old warrior's eye.  "Remember," he says, "always, always strive to be pure."


(2) Courtyard Gate Monk

>ask guard about spring
The guard says, "The waters are a blessing from Lorminstra."


(3) Courtyard and Spring

[Courtyard]
A well maintained and healthy garden occupies the entirety of the courtyard. The air here is cool and crisp, but the bulk of the monastery shelters you from wind and makes the air bracing instead of chilling. In the center of the garden is a natural spring bubbling up several inches above the surface of the encircling pool of crystal clear water. A large stone and iron gate blocks the entrance to the monastery flanked by a statue of a woman carrying a crystal staff and a set of crystalline keys facing a second statue of a kneeling young man bedecked in battle-worn black chain armor. You also see a large fel tree and a polished marble bench with some stuff on it.
Obvious paths: west

[Bubbling Spring]
Shooting forth from a single hole in the stone floor of the pool the spring pierces the surface and rises several inches before coming down in a shower of drops. Mist wafts up from the warm water, though you can still see the entire garden through the hazy air. Draining through a rectangular notch that is cut into the southern lip of the pool, the water cascades down a series of stone steps before turning westward and forming a small stream.
Obvious paths: out

The warm water causes your skin to tingle.

You feel calm and rested, at peace with the world and cleansed of all worldly pollutions.


(4) Garden

"Eissa wears a hooded, black flowing robe and carries a staff of crystal - and a set of crystalline keys to the Gates. Before the Gates is a small garden, in the center of which is the Spring of Youth, which feeds the enchanted River of Life on Orhan. Eissa rests here often, staring into the mere by the spring, through which she views her followers on Kulthea."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 28

"Eissa: Almost always alone, beautiful Eissa wanders through the forest-garden where the River of Life flows. While friendly with the other Lords, she prefers solitude and the others respect her wishes."

- Shadow World Maste Atlas Addendum (1990); page 49

This is consistent with the notion of cleansing the soul that is present in the Justicar's Temple, but has no equivalent in Shadow World canon. The history of the Order of Vult as described on the Path of Enlightenment is very dubious in its original context. It is not clear to what extent they are reliable narrators or what agenda they are hiding. The "forest-garden" is not early enough for the Graveyard.

(5) Reann's Shrine

[The Shore of Dreams]
Fel and pine trees crowd close to the shore of an almost perfectly clear pool.  A low wall crafted from bright blue Liabo marble surrounds the tiny pond, encircling it in a loving embrace.  The gleaming surface of the water is disturbed only by concentric rings drifting away from the waterfall lazily spilling down from an outcropping of rocks overhead.  Though the shadows are deep here, an occasional beam of light pierces the darkness, illuminating the vivid colors surrounding you.  You also see a faint path.
Obvious paths: none

>look waterfall
A shimmering curtain of water cascades down from the outcropping of rocks overhead, lazily arching outward to feed a small pool at the base.

[Beyond the Shore of Dreams]
Tears spring unbidden to your eyes as you bask in the serenity found here behind the waterfall.  The music of water rushing over the stones surrounds you, easing away the cares of the world as you ponder the liquid wall enclosing this room on two sides.  Light angles down from a break in the rocks on the northern wall, illuminating the fine spray of droplets floating through the air so that you are in the midst of a tiny, swirling rainbow of glorious color.  You also see a graceful Liabo marble arch.
Obvious exits: out

>go arch
[The Shrine of Dreams]
Stars surround you, twinkling brightly as far as the eye can see.  Or so it seems, until you look more closely, and realize that the walls and ceiling of this room are made of rocks pieced together in such a way that bits of light flicker through the crevices, giving the illusion of being beneath a starlit sky.  Pinpoints of light reflect off of the polished black marble floor, adding to the sensation that you have entered the heavens themselves.  You also see a stained black marble altar with a shallow font on it.
Obvious exits: out

>look altar
Wrought of fine black marble, the altar rises just a few feet above the floor.  The highly polished surface gleams softly in the dim light.  Draped over the altar's sides are deep silver stains, appearing like rivulets of frozen tears.  There appears to be a small crack on one side.

>look font
The font is little more than a shallow depression carved into the surface of the altar.

The Ronan shrine in the Upper Dragonsclaw (Reann's shrine in the Upper Dragonsfang) is from the late I.C.E. Age and important in the Path of Enlightenment of the Order of Vult. This is timed right for the forest encircling the spring to be a parallel. Unlike in the Shadow World canon, our Oblivion is implicitly dream themed. Reann and Eissa were "brother" and "sister" in some sense, and the deed priestess refers to herself as Daughter of the Night. Since the Phoen step with respect to the Graveyard appears to be consistently mythologically informed, it is possible Reann's shrine is making references to the drowsiness inducing sound of the river Lethe, which springs from the cave of Hypnos where day and night meet. Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death) are children of the goddess of Night. Hypnos is married to Pasithea, goddess of relaxation and hallucinations, one of the Graces. He is the father of Morpheus, god of sleep and dreams. Homer has dreams coming from the the shores of the western ocean.

Another curious deviation from the I.C.E. version of Reann is the repeated references to tears, which by the 2nd Edition of the Master Atlas (1992) were overtly associated with Eissa and her servant Baeris. Baeris was later split into the spirits Laethe and Voaris, the former of which helps those suffering from lost loves. They split the qualities of Baeris between them, and his tears originally had resurrection powers. The Lake of Tears of Lorminstra is likely a continuation of such notions a couple of years later. It is plausible to suspect these are connected on the level of subtext to the River of Life.

The Dark Path

The Dark Path is the name of the theocracy of Bandur Etrevion, where he turned his bondage to Empess Kadæna over to a state cult. The words "Dark Path" come from the part of the Shadow World Master Atlas regarding the unavoidable and inevitable corruption of casting spells that use dark essence for power. Later books make the "anti-essence" more of a spectrum with "The Unlife" at the extreme end.

Click to Collapse/Expand The Dark Path sub-category...

"There are a number of spell lists - and even entire professions - in Spell Law and the Rolemaster Companions (e.g., Sorcerer, Warlock, etc.) which some might consider to be 'evil' because of the nature of the spell lists. However, while it is possible for an 'evil' spell user to have access to these professions (or any other, for that matter), they are not by their nature 'evil' in the absolute sense. Some cultures may find them objectionable, yet they are not evil for system purposes. Most users of the Essence will not even be aware of the nature of the Evil lists, much less how to use them. Every so often, however, an ambitious apprentice may gain access to books or a tutor of uncertain motives. In the process of learning an Evil list, there should be no question that the spell caster is turning to a new power source for his energies: the Unlife. Once the first spell is cast, he starts down a Dark Path. It may take years, but eventually he will reach the end: submission to utter and complete Evil."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 33

(Note: Dark Path is capitalized in the 1st & 2nd editions of the Master Atlas. It is lower case in later versions.)

The "dark path" takes on a double meaning due to the "obvious exits" of light and darkness in purgatory. The "under barrow" of the Graveyard is described as a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory. It is most likely supposed to symbolize Purgatory from the death mechanics where the dark path is the only option, as the path to the surface with the light was not possible until someone managed to claw their way up. With the contrast set between Eissa and Empress Kadæna on the Graveyard gate, the theocracy seems to be a dark mirror of the Eissa religion as implied in the death mechanics.

(1) The Gate

The basic premise of a dark mirror between Eissa and Kadæna is made blatant with sculptures of them around the Graveyard gate. Eissa is mocked with a Phantom Gatekeeper shaking a set of keys to the gate, as phantoms in the Rolemaster lore have lost their memory, which symbolizes the death mechanics messaging for Oblivion. This comparison in itself makes no sense in canonical Shadow World.

[Graveyard]
A massive bronze gate spans the path, blocking the way north.  On either side are high stone walls surmounted with jagged rocks.  Now green and pitted, the gate is still locked shut by a rusted chain fastened with an ancient padlock.  A cast likeness of the goddess Lorminstra, Keeper of the Gates of Oblivion, her Staff of Doom in hand, and a grotesque statue of the Empress Gosaena are the main motifs of the elaborately decorated portal.  You also see a dirt path.
Obvious paths: none

A cool breeze sweeps around the gate, sending a shiver down your spine.
 
Suddenly, a Phantom Gatekeeper appears.
 
The Phantom Gatekeeper moans loudly as he shakes a set of keys at you. He slams the gate closed, checks the lock, then disappears in another chilly swirl of air.

The idea is probably Eissa is the goddess of Life and Death and Oblivion, and the cult is taking Kadæna to be her opposite, a goddess of Unlife and Undeath and Void.

(2) Homage

The Crypt addresses the "pledge" and "bondage" of Bandur by using the word "homage" with Kadæna, who it identifies as "that which defies Death" itself:

[Graveyard, Crypt]
The entry foyer to this enormous granite crypt is stark, adorned only with grisly friezes sculpted in low relief into the walls.  Bands of bluish-green ahnver are inlaid into the stone in thin strips just below the ceiling throughout the entire structure, bathing the rooms in a subtle light.  A shadowy arch curves overhead and leads deeper into the inner sanctum of the sepulcher.  You also see a cracked urn and an open black marble ossuary.
Obvious exits: out

>read frieze
In the Common language, it reads:
In Homage to that which defies Death itself.

The temple in the Landing anthropomorphizes Death as well for the deed ceremony, which we interpret as homage to Eissa as liege lord:

As you approach the black velvet tapestry, the hooded figure stands and steps in front of you.  In a quiet but firm voice the hooded figure says, "I cannot recall thy face, XXXXX.  Either this is thy first visit or thy features have become twisted to my eyes by the touch of Death's hand.  But it matters not.  This is the Temple of Lorminstra and you are welcome.  Acolytes are waiting to assist you on the other side of this curtain.  May you find the answers that you seek."

As you approach the black velvet tapestry, the hooded figure stands and steps in front of you.  In a quiet but firm voice the hooded figure says, "I see that death has yet to make a final claim to thy soul, XXXXX.  Welcome back."

(Note: The "thy features have become twisted" line is probably just referring to people re-rolling their characters.)

The fee of the homage is represented with human sacrifices in the shrine where Bandur is frozen, so adventurers are sacrificing their lives in homage as inversion of deeds. This section of the Graveyard is modeled on a medieval manor or palace, with Bandur represented as the monarch. It is inverted so that the monarch is down in the larder, the ice room for all the meat, instead of the throne room.

(3) Offering

Under the Crypt, the undead have inverted the concept of sacrificing the spoils of heroic deeds in homage for further life, instead sacrificing the bodies of dead fortune hunters:

[Under Crypt, Ice Room]
This room is dominated by a giant slab of ice.  There is a chill here that transcends the cold you felt elsewhere.  Piled in front of the ice slab are the remains of many a grisly sacrifice.  Bones and skulls lie piled at the base of the slab as though in homage to something.  Your curiosity piqued, you draw close to the slab.  Dimly within you can make out a richly robed figure.  On one side of the room are some roughly carved stairs.  You also see a smaller slab of ice.
Obvious exits: none

The smaller slab acts as a kind of offering table or altar. In the Egyptian frame the invoking phrase for the tablet in the crypt is called an "offering formula", and those who say the words become the offering. In the medieval manor frame it is an "ice room" or larder slab for keeping meat cold. The theme under the crypt is human sacrifice and cannibalism, and the dark path ultimately leads to Bandur.

[Temple, Hall of Sacrifice]
This part of the hallway is decorated in tapestries which were hung methodically in rows.  Each of the handwoven marvels depicts various acts of self-sacrifice: a valiant warrior placing himself in front of a fallen friend, a noble-looking lady giving her cloak to an impoverished child and many other similar scenes.  You also see a marble dais.
Obvious exits: south

>go dais
A thunderous voice resounds within your mind: "DO NOT BRING YOUR FOUL SOUL IN HERE!"

The booming after-echo leaves you stunned for a while.

(4) Tapestry

The tapestry room and the hall of sacrifice with the dais in the temple have dark mirrors in the Graveyard and Broken Lands:

[Temple, Tapestry Room]
A large candle burns with a steady flame in each corner of this room.  Various forms of artwork adorn the walls of this chamber, each representing one of the Gods of Elanthia.  One particular object, a long black tapestry, attracts your attention.  A small chair sits next to the tapestry and seated in this chair is the hooded figure of a man.  You also see a black arch.
Obvious exits: none

>look tapestry
The tapestry is intricately embroidered to depict a large gate.  It appears to be covering a portal of some kind.

The purgatory section of the Graveyard uses the dais as a throne and the tapestry to parallel the store room for the sacrifices. It is all rotted junk:

[Under Barrow, Throne Room]
This high chamber is a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory.  On a dais sits an eldritch throne inlaid with the ivory of human bones.  The walls are carved with gut-wrenching scenes of sub-human figures dancing and gibbering with hellish glee under constellations you have never seen.  Behind the throne is a tapestry whose subject turns your stomach.  You also see a rotted wooden door.
Obvious exits: north, west

>look tap
The tapestry is woven with mad scenes of unspeakable cruelty and terror.  As you avert your gaze from the unutterable insanity it depicts, you notice behind it a rotted wooden door.

>look throne
The bones that make up this grisly seat look as though they were somehow melted together.  They flow and twist like half-melted wax.  You have no idea how it was done and less wish to find out.

>look door
The door is open.

>go door
[Under Barrow, Storeroom]
This room is low roofed and very cramped.  It is stuffed full of ancient clothing, unsalvagable armor, rotted backpacks, battered chests and many more things you cannot even identify.  Time, damp and vermin have taken their toll here.  Nothing in the form of serviceable plunder is apparent in this stuffy, closet-like anteroom.  You also see a rotting wooden door and a rotten wooden crate.
Obvious exits: none

>look in crate
The wooden crate is filled with a variety of garbage.  You see nothing useful or appetizing.

In the Broken Lands the "hooded figures" are implicitly members of the Dark Path. This is strongly implied by the Empress Kadæna subtext in the Dark Shrine, combined with Uthex being there in 6521 Second Era, when the Wars of Dominion were between 6450 and 6825 Second Era and the theocracy was in the early years of it. The Dark Shrine parallels the deed ceremony by having a sacrifice altar, a broken gong in imitation of the chime and mallet, and the secret room where the vruul are stored in their urns. This is implied by having shared Lovecraft references as the purgatory death messaging.

[Dark Shrine, Altar]
The low stone altar is covered with dark stains.  One corner of the altar has been broken off, and several of the hideous faces and figures carved into the stone walls have been smashed.  Large iron braziers, covered with rust and corrosion, stand at each end of the altar table.  A cracked brass gong hangs from a wooden brace along the north wall, facing an ancient tapestry which hangs directly opposite.
Obvious exits: west

[Dark Shrine, Secret Room]
Row upon row of tall stone jars stand against the walls of this room.  A strong odor hangs in the air, sickeningly sweet with a subtle bitter, acidic quality.  The fetid odor makes your bile rise, and it is hard to breathe.
Obvious exits: out

In the Sheruvian monastery the tapestry is imitated with Lornon gods, and similarly is imitated for that function in the Order of Voln monastery:

[Sheruvian Monastery, Chapel]
A circular dais, with three small steps surrounding it, squats in the center of the room.  Standing alone on the dais is an altar formed from a block of black marble, the pale glow from the sphere overhead reflecting off of the veniom inlaid into its surface.  Lurking on the outskirts of this circular room, almost hidden in the heavy brocade tapestries adorning the walls, are statues, one for each of the Gods of Lornon.  Spaced between the statues are large candles on vaalin stands.
Obvious exits: none

(5) Thralldom

Prior to the establishment of the Dark Path theocracy, the land was a "fiefdom" presumably under the overlordship of Lorgalis:

"Kestrel came to be rewarded for his service after a particularly hard fought campaign (actually pulled from the jaws of certain defeat by Bandur's sorcerous intervention) with a small territory carved out along the west coast of Jaiman, along the craggy shores of Claedesbrim Bay. This is part of the land that forms the windward edge of the High Plateau in the region now called Quellbourne. Lord Kestrel reluctantly left the camaraderie of the battlefield and the exhilaration of combat to rule this small fiefdom."

- The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion

The dark mirror of "fiefdom" is "thralldom", where thralls are the Viking slave class. This refers to the inevitable enslavement that follow from drawing power from the Unlife, with Empress Kadæna treated as the master to whom homage is owed. The following are some excerpts illustrating the master-slave nature of the Unlife, and the way it transforms and subjugates those using its power:

"Burning through in several areas with an orange light, he was soon unrecognizable, and in only a few moments there was nothing left but a heap of smoldering bits of cloth. He had been utterly consumed by his insatiable master. ... The force which is the beginning and end of all True Evil, whether its servants know it or not, the Unlife is the shadow which taints many of the wonders of Kulthea." - Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 33

"In the process of learning an Evil list, there should be no question that the spell caster is turning to a new power source for his energies: the Unlife. Once the first sepll is cast, he starts down a Dark Path. It may take years, but eventually he will reach the end: submission to utter and complete Evil." - Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 33

"When the PP stat reaches Zero, the PC becomes 'Evil'. He loses his regular PPs and must use his anti-Essence points for all spells. He does not lose all free will, but any thought or action is subject to 'veto' by the GM, who must intercede on behalf of the Unlife. The PC should try to play the character appropriately, as a being who now is indebted to the Unlife for power, and wishes to serve this new master." - Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 34

"While all dragons are intelligent, sentient beings, these Dragonlords are all of surpassing cleverness and strength. Each is a master of Arcane Power and could stand against a Lord of Essence as equal. While - as noted elsewhere - dragons are not by nature 'evil' creatures, all that is known of the Dragonlords indicates that they follow a path of cruelty and domination of other peoples. They have lived for thousands of years, having survived the Wars of Dominion. Some rule lands, while others hold only their citadel and operate in more sutle ways to gain power and ever greater wealth. All follow the true Unlife and draw strength from it, though they are not its slaves." - Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 47

"Chill he is of lungs and mind, and his minions know no mercy for those who would stand against the Dragonlord. I know, for I have faced Oran Jatar, and it was one of the rare occasions of my life during which I knew true fear. Jatar is a terror beyond even the Ordainers in some ways for he - as one of the Dragonlords - is not one of the creations of the Unlife, but an independent being who serves the Iron Wind willingly." - The Iron Wind (1984); page 22

(Note: In the Master Atlas Addendum (1990), page 6, the Dragonlords line is changed to "not its servants", but their power is defined to come from "Chaos", which is "indirectly" from the Unlife. They are "able to use the power of Chaos without being overcome by it, a feat greater than most of the Lords of Essaence can claim.")

The word thralldom is used in the Crypt. It is a copy of the book Bandur wrote on the ways of servants of the Unlife, for which he was recognized by the Loremasters.

>glance volume
You glance at a strangely compelling volume on a stone niche.

>look at volume
The volume is dust covered with a legend in faded gilt upon the tooled leather cover.
There appears to be something written on it.

>read volume
In the Common language, it reads:
Servants of the Shadow: Power through Thralldom by Bandur Etrevion, H.S., M.C.L., R.L.N.

(Note: The abbreviated titles can only be speculated. L.N. is probably Library of Nomikos, C.L. might be College of Loremasters. The Graveyard is older than the Council of Light, in both the IC and OOC senses.)

The smaller slab of ice in the ice room of the under crypt is called a "thrawl" in the medieval context, and the Cary translation of Dante's Inferno for the corresponding scene in the Ninth Circle refers to "error's thralldom" when leaving to climb up the "stairs" of Satan toward Purgatory. The Council of Light mastery messaging is rooted in this concept that using Unlife power unavoidably leads to thralldom.

(5) Deeds

The concept of "deeds" may be mocked in the burial mound of Kestrel Etrevion. This refers on one level to the courageous acts of battle of Kestrel with his accomplishments, subverted with Bandur portrayed as manipulating the events in the background. In the Middle English meaning of "deeds" as deaths, it would mean all the times Kestrel would have died without Bandur. In the medieval homage sense it would be implying Bandur was the true lord of the fief all along, and that Kestrel had owed his continued life to Bandur's favor and intervention. The epitaphs in the Graveyard are generally ironic mockeries.

[Graveyard, Burial Mound]
The room is triangular, the "prow" of the shiplike structure. On the dirt walls are faded remains of strange murals. The line drawings all have an oppressive and ominous sameness about them, even though they depict different scenes. You approach one wall to get a closer look, stooping down as the elevation of the roof drops sharply.
Obvious exits: southwest, northwest

>look mural
The disquieting murals depict a series of episodes in the life of a great warrior. Painted in earthtones and mineral colors of ochre, yellow, umbre, turquoise, green and charcoal, the panels sketch epic sea and land battles, all featuring a powerful, striking figure leading the frays. Hovering by his side, in each scene, is a shadowy dark figure, who appears to be floating just above the ground or water, the better to observe and influence the course of the pitched battles.
There appears to be something written on it.

>read mural
In the Common language, it reads:
The Deeds of Kestrel Etrevion, Lord of the West Country.

(6) Purgatory

The body chamber and the throne room under the Graveyard symbolically correspond to Purgatory in the death mechanics. Since the tunnel up was not present until people clawed all the way up, these corpses correspond to the souls of all those who could not choose. The single pathway would mean the path of darkness is the only exit, which makes a double meaning for the Dark Path. In the Dante Inferno frame it corresponds to river Lethe, the river of oblivion flowing down Mount Purgatory that washes sins away, which may subtly be an inversion of the River of Life leading to the Gates of Oblivion. This is the scene where Dante and Virgil are climbing up from the frozen Ninth Circle toward Purgatory. It is dim litted and called "no palace hall" because Satan is "Hell's Monarch" in the previous Canto of Inferno.

[Purgatory]
You find yourself wandering amidst endless streaming light, and vast nothingness. This place feels torn between two prophecies, each vying for your loyalty.
Also in the room: All the spirits of those who could not choose.
Obvious exits: light and darkness. 

The pile of bodies is identified as being fellow adventurers. In context with this representing the path of darkness in purgatory, the bodies are "all the spirits of those who could not choose."

[Under Barrow, Cavern]
A smallish cavern domes out above you, the packed earthern walls appear part natural and part artificial.  It is dimly lit by the same fungus that infests the entire area.  But there are sights here that would be better left in total darkness, piles of bones, heaps of rotting flesh, and things less recognizable, in diverse stages of decay.  The air is full of unseen comings and goings though you feel no earthly breeze.
Obvious exits: east, up
>

>look bone
Your eyes wander over a gruesome assortment of bones. They range from old and crumbling fragments of limbs and skulls, human and otherwise, to others still covered with decaying flesh that twitches with an unwholesome semblance of life as they are worked over by various things of the creeping and crawling variety.

>look flesh
This corpse appears to be that of a fellow adventurer who apparently has died in some less than happy manner. The part of the face that is left is twisted in a final grimace of horror that makes you doubt your sanity at being here.

The room next to it makes explicit use of the words "purgatory" and "hellish." This was the only room that uses "purgatory" in its description other than the death mechanics.

>e
[Under Barrow, Throne Room]
This high chamber is a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory.  On a dais sits an eldritch throne inlaid with the ivory of human bones.  The walls are carved with gut-wrenching scenes of sub-human figures dancing and gibbering with hellish glee under constellations you have never seen.  Behind the throne is a tapestry whose subject turns your stomach.  You also see a rotted wooden door.
Obvious exits: north, west

The death mechanics messaging may also be subtly referenced in the room descriptions of the Under Crypt (including the ice slab induced memories):

Suddenly you feel an intense pain scorching your very soul! The world of your past suddenly comes rushing back into your memory. You are quite bewildered by what has transpired, but alive...

[Under Barrow, Shaft]
You pause as you cling to the treacherous handholds to adjust your gear.  Here there is neither light nor any sound save that of your breathing.  Suddenly, your foot slips free of its fragile hold and you scramble frantically for a more secure position and continue onwards, shaken but still alive.
Obvious exits: up, down

[Under Crypt, Tunnels]
As you wander through these tunnels, the cold gets deeper and deeper, penetrating to your very soul.
Obvious exits: north, northeast, southeast, south

(7) Lord High Cleric

The deed ceremony is presided over by the High Priestess, but the Temple of Eissa seems to be administratively run by a Lord High Cleric. This is probably the old man on the dais, who introduces the high priestess the first time you enter the tapestry for the ceremony. In the theocracy of the Dark Path this is given a dark mirror with Bandur having the title Lord High Sorceror.

[Temple, Cleric's Office]
The Lord High Cleric of the Landing has his study here, which houses priceless manuscripts and scrolls, the sum of the learning of the ancient Lords of Liabo and their Sages.  An impassive monk is stationed by the door.  Though unarmed, he inspires awe and respect.  On the Lord Cleric's writing table are an ora chalice and a finely carved, inlaid reliquary.
Obvious exits: none

>look monk
The monk is well-muscled, compact and impassive.  While he seems to be deep in meditation, you suspect he is aware of your every movement.

The Cleric's Office is arguably a dark mirror to the scroll room in the Crypt. It would have read "Lords of Orhan" originally, and "their Sages" may have been "Loremasters." This is somewhat odd but in keeping with the typographical error on the Lords of Orhan with the servants of the Shadow line that is preserved in the Graveyard story. This would be making a contrast of followers of Kadæna, secretive infiltrators like Bandur, and the Loremasters. The Temple of Burning Night on Aranmor also had a "Lord High Priest", on page 28, who was responsible for the black curse sealing away the Helm of Kadæna.

[Graveyard]
You pause inside the gates to survey the eerie scene.  A magnificently crafted granite crypt to the north inspires wonder and loathing.  The carvings on the facade are horrific, detailing the onslaughts of the Unlife throughout the chaotic history of Elanthia.  A gravel path wraps around the structure, while thorny brambles growing among the tombstones deter you from leaving the paved route. 
Obvious paths: northeast, northwest

>glance inscription
You glance at a sinister inscription on a granite crypt.

>read inscription
In the Common language, it reads:
Bandur Etrevion, Lord High Sorceror, Follower of The Dark Path and devoted brother to Lord Kestrel.

The odd spelling "sorceror" is used interchangeably in the 1989 adventure modules, which have conversion charts for professions between Rolemaster systems. "Necromancer" (among others) in Rolemaster Companion is "Sorceror" in Character Law. Thus the title may mean "Lord High Necromancer", where Bandur makes undead (or worse) out of his followers for everlasting existence, instead of the resurrection spells Clerics can cast through Eissa. More subtly, Lorgalis has an assistant known as the Lord High Executioner, and the theocracy decapitated heretics probably because Kadæna had her head severed:

"Nitire is the Lord High Executioner (or "Thev O'Erlin Ni" in the Dyar tongue) secretly serving Lorgalis. He is of half-Dyar descent, as are Lorgalis and Aeryk, though mention of this similarity to any of the three will bring swift death."

- Norek: Intrigue in a City-State of Jaiman (1990); page 17

(Note: This book may be too late to matter. Aeryk is the High Priest Arnak obeying Lorgalis. The high ranking Priests Arnak are generally Iylari, which is how they impersonate Loremasters, and a likely candidate for why The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion called Kadaena Throk Farok an "Iylari" phrase instead of Iruaric.)

The Council of Light was introduced around the middle of 1990 and plays off that dais in the temple as well. While they should be the regional Priests Arnak instead of the Dark Path, and the society is lacking in depth, the title "Poohbah" does originate in Gilbert & Sullivan with many ostentatious titles such as Lord High Admiral and Lord High Everything Else. The soul cleansing process (removing the taint of the Unlife) for leaving the society occurs in the Justicar's temple, an archaic form of judge over the fiefdoms that serves as regent in the monarch's absence, sometimes known as the Lord High Justiciar.

[The Justicar's Temple]
The small temple of the Justicar is adorned solely in shades of the most brilliant white. This makes it hard to see the crystal altar that dominates the center of the room. Behind the altar is a small door. You also see a shining portal.
Obvious exits: none.

(Note: Leaving through the portal brought you to the altar of the temple in the Landing.)

(8) Altar

[Temple, Altar]
The altar is plain, and bears only onyx bowls of smouldering incense and smoking paraffin.  Draped behind it is a cloth banner, appliqued with an ancient mystical pattern.  A legend is embroidered along the bottom.  On the far side of the room at the end of an aisle, you see two pillars.  You also see the bloodstained Xorus disk with scuffed and dented sides.
Obvious exits: out

>look on altar
On the plain altar:
Containers [1]: some onyx bowls
Total items: 1

>look bowls
The bowls are made of pure onyx.  Within them you see smouldering incense and paraffin that fill the chamber with their scented smoke.

>read banner
In the Common language, it reads:
All things begin and end here.
[Graveyard, Crypt]
This room is a square space with plain stone walls on three sides composed of virtually seamless granite blocks.  The far wall draws your attention immediately.  Before it stands a black onyx tablet, nearly tall enough to touch the flat ceiling.
Obvious exits: west
>look tablet
The tablet is of black onyx, streaked faintly with white veins.  Engraved in the stone is a mystical symbol which is beyond your comprehension.  Draped atop the slab, and wedged between it and the wall so it cannot be removed, is a long strand of modwir wood beads.

>look bead
The beads are intricately carved and threaded on a thin length of spider silk.  They are covered with the dust and cobwebs of the ages.

>look ceiling
You notice some faint writing on the ceiling above you.

>read writing
It reads:

Arch to gate,
Northeast to fate,
His words you speak,
Stone walls negate.

The rosary beads are mentioned in "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" as part of the ritual devotions of the theocracy. This resembles the solemness and piety of the temple in the Landing, but is the opposite of the nature of Empress Kadæna and what is represented under the crypt. These would have said "windak beads" originally. "Spider silk" is strange as there is almost no reference to it in Shadow World. This is most likely referring to the description of "major spiders" in the Rolemaster or Shadow World bestiaries saying their silk is valuable. The significance of it would be that the major spiders are enchanted and believed to be part demon. The Master Atlas Inhabitants Guide (1990) does not explicitly attribute them to Empress Kadæna, though a player did in the Kelfour Edition of June 1990.

"The history of the cult deserves some discussion here. Early in his servitude to the Unlife, Bandur had pledged himself to the Empress Kadæna, the first Lord of Orhan to follow the ways of the Unlife. He turned his own bondage to her into the state cult, which he called The Dark Path. Followers of The Dark Path engaged in many heinous ritual practices beneath a genteel facade of prayer. They were ostentatious in their devotions, carrying around long rosaries of windak beads and reciting out loud the Iylarian phrase "Kadaena Throk Farok." True followers of the cult of Kadæna who recited the phrase with fervor and dedication were promised everlasting existence by Bandur, and after death were transformed by him into various levels of undead creatures."

- The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion (1990)

There is missing text in the beads (maybe the tablet), as the original look description (allegedly) included more sentences about the ritual chanting, with the phrase "Kadaena Throk Farok" included. This was the original invoking phrase for the teleportation effect, but was changed to "Shadow bind my soul" around 1996. This is not really a "puzzle" as there is no way to figure out or guess "Shadow bind my soul."

Major Sub-Texts

There are solid arguments for The Graveyard having intentional parallels to other sources. The themes of these sources generally involve a fallen god in the Underworld, usurpers, and blocking out the sun. These hidden layers of meaning amount to the Graveyard story being an allegory. Whether an allegorical interpretation is convincing depends on the evidence, so blocks of text are quoted to spell it out.

(1) Brief Summary of References

These subtexts involve prophecy and dream visions in various ways, include fate versus free will with choices.

Major Subtexts Fallen God Underworld Gate
Dante Satan Hell Gate of Hell
Egyptian Osiris Duat Underworld Gates
Viking Baldur / Hel Hel Hel-gate
Lovecraft Nyarlathotep Dreamlands Last Gate
Shadow World Kadæna / Ordainers / Orgiana Void / Black Hel Gate of the Void
GemStone Bandur The Graveyard Graveyard Gate

(2) Table of Overlaps: Graveyard Sections

This is an over-simplification, but illustrates the overlap of subtexts.

Major Subtexts Dante Egyptian Viking Lovecraft Shadow World
Dante N/A Ice Room Graveyard Gate Purgatory Purgatory
Egyptian Ice Room N/A Burial Mound Ice Room Crypt
Viking Graveyard Gate Burial Mound N/A Purgatory Crypt
Lovecraft Purgatory Ice Room Purgatory N/A Ice Room
Shadow World Purgatory Crypt Crypt Ice Room N/A

Click to Collapse/Expand all Major Sub-Texts sub-categories...

Dante's Inferno

There is a fairly strong parallel to the journey of Dante through Inferno, which is the Underworld, the beginning and end of it being especially clear. The punishments in his Hell are "contrapasso", resembling or inverting the sin itself, doing poetic justice through some metamorphosis or transfiguration. Seers of the future in the Eighth Circle have their heads on backwards and must walk backwards for all eternity, for example, while those in the Sixth Circle who cared only for the present in life are now only able to know the future and lose sight of it as it draws near. When the end times come they will no longer be able to know anything. Similarly, things are often symbolically backwards in the Graveyard, compared to what would be expected. This analysis only works for the oldest parts of it that were implemented in 1990.

Click to Collapse/Expand Dante's Inferno sub-category...

Dark Wood

The Inferno begins "in media res" with Dante lost in a dark forest, unable to find the straight way. This is symbolic of being alienated from God, and a recurring motif. He is having a dream vision and cannot remember how he ended up in the woods. The Graveyard's original parts are explicitly oriented on a southwest-northeast axis, so the only way through the forest is by following those directions.

"IN the midway of this our mortal life,
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray
Gone from the path direct:  and e'en to tell
It were no easy task, how savage wild
That forest, how robust and rough its growth,
Which to remember only, my dismay
Renews, in bitterness not far from death.
Yet to discourse of what there good befell,
All else will I relate discover'd there.
How first I enter'd it I scarce can say,
Such sleepy dullness in that instant weigh'd
My senses down, when the true path I left,
But when a mountain's foot I reach'd, where clos'd
The valley, that had pierc'd my heart with dread,
I look'd aloft, and saw his shoulders broad
Already vested with that planet's beam,
Who leads all wanderers safe through every way.

- Dante's Inferno, Canto I; Henry Cary translation

The forest leading up the gate of the Graveyard is a maze that can only be reached by the straight way. This is an inversion of Canto I of the Inferno. It is not possible to go terribly far northeast of Kelfour's Landing on the Quellbourne map without hitting the Bay. When looking at the Graveyard it appears to be on the edge of the High Plateau, which is much farther to the east near Blototh (Modern: Glatoph).

[Lower Trollfang, Forest]
You are surrounded by trees.  Trees in front of you, trees behind you.  Trees to the right and trees to the left.  Never before in your life have you seen so many trees.
Obvious paths: north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest

>
You wander northeast into the forest.
[Lower Trollfang, Forest]
The trees are older and higher here, and their leaves more densely intertwined, lending a somewhat gloomy atmosphere to an otherwise pleasant forest.
Obvious paths: north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest

There is likely some magical transport in the woods that happens without being noticed. The mazes in the Graveyard may refer to the misdirection variant of "essence barriers", or might involve invisible portals warping the spaces. There is also a mechanic in place interfering with dragging bodies into the forest. This may be symbolic of preventing going backwards, similar to the spikes on the gate allowing people to climb in but not out. The premise that this is a place without the sun, which is the love of God, is established very early and symbolized in the Graveyard with the Egyptian and passage mound motifs.

"She brought upon me so much heaviness,
With the affright that from her aspect came,
That I the hope relinquished of the height.
And as he is who willingly acquires, 55
And the time comes that causes him to lose,
Who weeps in all his thoughts and is despondent,
E'en such made me that beast withouten peace,
Which, coming on against me by degrees,
Thrust me back thither where the sun is silent. 60
While I was rushing downward to the lowland,
Before mine eyes did one present himself,
Who seemed from long-continued silence hoarse.
When I beheld him in the desert vast,
"Have pity on me," unto him I cried, 65
"Whiche'er thou art, or shade or real man!"

- Dante's Inferno, Canto I; Longfellow translation

There are no beasts or animals of any kind in the woods, which is an inversion of what happens to Dante in Canto I. He flees back in the direction of Hell, "where the sun is silent." The Graveyard depicts "lowlands" adjacent to a plateau, most likely the High Plateau which is a vast desert. This might be the reason for the terrain. This is the moment where Dante runs into his guide, the prophet poet Virgil.

Gate of Hell

Virgil leads Dante to the Gate of Hell after finding him in the desert. Before that happens Virgil explains that Beatrice told him where to find Dante and asked him to guide Dante for her. Virgil resides in the part of Inferno for the virtuous pagans who did not know Christ, and so he can bring Dante through Hell and Purgatory. Beatrice is in Paradise and later acts as Dante's guide in Heaven.

Her eyes were shining brighter than the Star; 55
And she began to say, gentle and low,
With voice angelical, in her own language:
'O spirit courteous of Mantua,
Of whom the fame still in the world endures,
And shall endure, long-lasting as the world; 60
A friend of mine, and not the friend of fortune,
Upon the desert slope is so impeded
Upon his way, that he has turned through terror,
And may, I fear, already be so lost,
That I too late have risen to his succor, 65
From that which I have heard of him in Heaven.
Bestir thee now, and with thy speech ornate,
And with what needful is for his release,
Assist him so, that I may be consoled.
Beatrice am I, who do bid thee go; 70
I come from there, where I would fain return;
Love moved me, which compelleth me to speak.
When I shall be in presence of my Lord,
Full often will I praise thee unto him.'

- Dante's Inferno, Canto II; Longfellow translation

This is inverted in "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" where Bandur is essentially saying his brother is waiting for him in Hell and he must return to it.

"Finally, he was satisfied that the work was finished according to his grand design. Now totally mad and in failing health, he returned to the capital to appear before an assembly of the high-ranking priests of The Dark Path, who ran the day-to-day affairs of the land. Pronouncing the words solemnly, "Kadaena Throk Farok", he told them, "There is a place that calls me, where I must go. My brother awaits me there. Seek me not if you value your lives. Find me not if you value your souls!" With that, he uttered a Spell of Returning and transported himself to the crypt, within the gates of the necropolis he had built."

- The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion (1990)

The text immediately preceding that has Virgil speaking to Dante of cowardice, and in some translations it uses the word "phantom" for it. The poem at this point has two other "Ladies benedight" immediately before encountering the Gate of Hell. One is Saint Lucia, a blinded martyr associated with sight and vision, who tells Beatrice that Dante is in trouble. The other is the Virgin Mary. This might explain the two women represented at the gate of the Graveyard. Beatrice then describes why the flames are no concern of hers. (Though the Graveyard gate inverts it with language of coldness.)

'Since thou wouldst fain so inwardly discern, 85
Briefly will I relate,' she answered me,
'Why I am not afraid to enter here.
Of those things only should one be afraid
Which have the power of doing others harm;
Of the rest, no; because they are not fearful. 90
God in his mercy such created me
That misery of yours attains me not,
Nor any flame assails me of this burning.

- Dante's Inferno, Canto II; Longfellow translation

The Graveyard gate with all its details included looks like it is on fire with a flame burst when it opens. The bulk of it is solid bronze, which corrodes green. The spikes on top of it and the hinges are iron, which instead rust red, making it look like the gate is in flames. It is decorated with the likeness of Eissa (Modern: Lorminstra) and a "grotesque statue" of Empress Kadæna as a twisted dark mirror. The Phantom Gatekeeper is a mockery of Eissa as the guardian of the Gates of Oblivion. Phantoms in the Rolemaster bestiaries are oblivious of their own past. This is symbolic here of being forever lost to Oblivion.

A cool breeze sweeps around the gate, sending a shiver down your spine.
 
Suddenly, a Phantom Gatekeeper appears.
 
The Phantom Gatekeeper moans loudly as he shakes a set of keys at you. He slams the gate closed, checks the lock, then disappears in another chilly swirl of air.

[Graveyard]
A massive bronze gate spans the path, blocking the way north. On either side are high stone walls
surmounted with jagged rocks. Now green and pitted, the gate is still locked shut by a rusted
chain fastened with an ancient padlock. A cast likeness of the goddess Lorminstra, Keeper of the
Gates of Oblivion, her Staff of Doom in hand, and a grotesque statue of the Empress Gosaena are
the main motifs of the elaborately decorated portal. You also see a dirt path.
Obvious paths: none.

>l gate
The massive bronze gate is wrought with strange and marvelous metalwork beneath the tarnish.
Although topped with sharp, menacing spikes, it looks possible to climb it.
It is closed.

>look chain
The chain is rusted but intact. It is long enough to leave sufficient slack should that be needed.

>l padlock
The padlock is old and corroded, its mechanism frozen shut by rust.

>climb gate
You carefully grab hold of the sharp grill work and begin to work your way up it.

[Graveyard, Top of Gate]
You find yourself hanging from the ornate ironwork of this gate, the top of which consists of rows of
sharp iron spikes pointing straight up. You might be able to vault over them, but that is best left to
the acrobats.
Obvious paths: down

>jump
With characteristic daring, you decide to vault over the spikes!
With the grace of a swan you swing yourself over the deadly barbs and drop to the other side of the gate.

[Graveyard]
You pause inside the gates to survey the eerie scene.  A magnificently crafted granite crypt to the north inspires wonder and loathing.  The carvings on the facade are horrific, detailing the onslaughts of the Unlife throughout the chaotic history of Elanthia.  A gravel path wraps around the structure, while thorny brambles growing among the tombstones deter you from leaving the paved route.
Obvious paths: northeast, northwest

>climb gate
The sharp edges, for some reason, are mostly pointed towards the inside of the gate, making it impossible to attempt to climb.  You realize this is rather unusual since most gates try to keep things out!

The huge gate shudders violently! Dark red flakes of rust fall from its massive hinges like a blizzard
of bloodstained snow as it slowly swings open. 

The phantoms are then creatures inside the gate, and later were given descriptions of being mostly unbound to this plane, blind except for a brief moment when flickering into it. Later Rolemaster bestiaries assert that phantoms are made through people dying in situations of hopeless imprisonment. This is seductive but appears to be apocryphal, not existing in versions early enough to matter to the Graveyard. It would be playing off the writing on the Gate of Hell about hopelessness, a word present in the Purgatory death mechanics messaging, which itself is the meaning of the old Sign of Hopelessness.

"THROUGH me the way is to the city dolent;
Through me the way is to eternal dole;
Through me the way among the people lost.
Justice incited my sublime Creator;
Created me divine Omnipotence, 5
The highest Wisdom and the primal Love.
Before me there were no created things,
Only eterne, and I eternal last.
All hope abandon, ye who enter in!"

These words in sombre color I beheld 10
Written upon the summit of a gate;
Whence I: "Their sense is. Master, hard to me!"

And he to me, as one experienced:
"Here all suspicion needs must be abandoned,
All cowardice must needs be here extinct. 15
We to the place have come, where I have told thee
Thou shalt behold the people dolorous
Who have foregone the good of intellect."

- Dante's Inferno, Canto III; Longfellow translation

The phantoms would probably represent the souls of those did not choose in the purgatory of the death mechanics, as your sense of memory and identity do not exist in that place and it is a kind of limbo. In the Inferno frame this could be those who did not choose even though they could have in the First Circle. It would be a stretch to interpret the crypt as a twisted analog of the castle of the virtuous pagans.

Thus we went on as far as to the light,
  Things saying 'tis becoming to keep silent,
  As was the saying of them where I was.

We came unto a noble castle's foot,
  Seven times encompassed with lofty walls,
  Defended round by a fair rivulet;

- Dante's Inferno, Canto IV; Longfellow translation

[Graveyard]
The crypt casts fell shadows that block out any bleak light imparted by the heavens.  They also seem to absorb all sounds and signs of life.  The rough stone walls that enclose the graveyard stretch far to the northeast, sheltering the irregular rows of burial sites from unwanted intrusions.  You also see a black altar.
Obvious paths: north, southwest

[Graveyard]
The path leads you close to the crypt.  The grey-flecked rock has been ground to a smooth, dull surface.  To the southwest, the boundary walls extend up to the edge of a shallow creek, and to the southeast, the spires of a high gate can be seen.
Obvious paths: north, southeast

(Note: The "black altar" and wisps of energy were added much later. The shadow dragon dates to the Death's Sting mechanics introduction around 2004.)

Upper Hell

The early circles of Inferno are less clear. The ghouls are most likely grave robbers who were infected with Ghoul Rot, representing the greed of the Fourth Circle. Though they sleep in muck which could be gluttony of the Third Circle, which Dante defines much more broadly than most. Skeletons would be a poetic punishment for gluttony in the normal sense of excessive food. Goblins in the mythological sense are known for being greedy, though they are gluttons for punishment (in the literal sense of torture) in Rolemaster. Their foul smelling description seems GemStone specific and could refer to the Third Circle. Their presence could imply underground tunnels, or symbolize the absence of sun because they were blinded by daylight and only come up at night. Hobgoblins were not originally present in 1990, but were a little later. Bone golems were in the Crypt. The interior of the crypt and burial mound seem to follow a different internal logic than Inferno, and the next step should be the adjacent river anyway.

"Let us descend now into the blind world,"
  Began the Poet, pallid utterly;
  "I will be first, and thou shalt second be."

- Dante's Inferno, Canto IV; Longfellow translation

The creature description on the phantoms and the presence of the goblins thus could also symbolize blindness. The Second Circle is the one for punishing the sin of lust, and involves darkness with perpetual wind blowing. This might be encoded by the "grotesque statue" of Empress Kadæna on the gate, who had a secret daughter with a slave, with the wind that whips through it between her and Eissa.

"The first of those, of whom intelligence
  Thou fain wouldst have," then said he unto me,
  "The empress was of many languages.

To sensual vices she was so abandoned,
  That lustful she made licit in her law,
  To remove the blame to which she had been led."

- Dante's Inferno, Canto V; Longfellow translation

It is possible in context that the circular road of gravel around the Crypt comes from the Third Circle:

Round in a circle by that road we went,
  Speaking much more, which I do not repeat;
  We came unto the point where the descent is;
There we found Plutus the great enemy.

- Dante's Inferno, Canto VI; Longfellow translation

In the Black Hel context it might instead (unlikely) refer to the race track in the Underworld, below the Songstone of Solus on page 48, where V'rama Vair rides her chariot in endless circles as a demi-gorgon. The reason for suspecting this is the relative likelihood of references to Aranmor in the Crypt, along with the stands in the chariot race cavern being filled with cheering skeletons animated by a fake sun.

River Styx

The River Styx or "Stygian river" is a swamp making up the Fifth Circle of Inferno surrounding the City of Dis. Those punished there are guilty of the sin of anger. The wrathful are condemned to fight with each other for eternity, while the sullen are condemned to be submerged in the muck. Wrath and sullenness are considered outward and inward forms of the same sin. This leads into the "rage" elements encountering the gate of the City of Dis. The rivers in Inferno all come from same source, the weeping of a colossal statue of an old man, Styx followed by the fiery Phlegethon (named for war.)

"We crossed the circle to the other bank,
  Near to a fount that boils, and pours itself
  Along a gully that runs out of it.

The water was more sombre far than perse;
  And we, in company with the dusky waves,
  Made entrance downward by a path uncouth.

A marsh it makes, which has the name of Styx,
  This tristful brooklet, when it has descended
  Down to the foot of the malign gray shores."

- Dante's Inferno, Canto VII; Longfellow translation

[Graveyard]
Along the northeast flank of the great earthen barrow, some loose stones and mud have washed down the slope, slashing a narrow gully through the sod and spewing detritus out onto the trail.  You detour around the debris, stepping back onto the turf.  From this perspective, you pause to get your bearings, gazing up thoughtfully at the silent, inscrutable heights.
Obvious paths: southeast, west

The bog in the Graveyard primarily refers to this feature of the Fifth Circle, though a reasonable case could be made for it also referencing the violent of the Seventh Circle. Those sinners are submerged in the river of boiling blood (Phlegethon) proportionate to their guilt. This is implicitly the site of the battle where Kestrel was forced to unleash demons, and was later killed by Bandur in his field tent.

[Graveyard, Bog]
Strangely carved tombstones with fiendish faces and creatures incised upon them bear epitaphs in long-forgotten scripts.  Mute testament to slain heroes and fallen villains, the unearthly silence is broken only by the eerie rustlings of the sirenflower plants growing among the gravesites.
Obvious paths: south, west

>search
You look over the graves carefully, but don't find anything of interest.

This language of violence between heroes and villains in a place haunted by death dirges likely signals the combination of wrath and sullenness. In the Rolemaster bestiaries the dirges are depressed bards. The creature describe verb was first announced as new, however, in the Kelfour Edition of February 1993. The actual description of the dirges shows them as soldiers blinded by fury and eternally defending a battleground. This makes the duality more explicit, and paradoxical without the Inferno explanation. The dirges are also much older than the actual implementation of spells from the Bard spell list.

"Defender of a battleground long lost in the terrain, the death dirge still maintains its post relentlessly, battling all that would attempt to invade its position. All that seems to remain in its consciousness are the orders to repel all who enter, a task it executes with single-minded fury."

- GemStone creature description of death dirges

"A dirge is a spirit that is somehow tied to the physical world through music. They often carry with them an instrument of some sort, playing deathly depressing funeral music wherever they go. They know the bardic spell lists, "Controlling Songs", "Sound Control", and "Sound Projection". Minor dirges know the lists to 5th level, lesser to 10th level, greater to 20th level, and major dirges know the entire lists. They all are dark-eyed musicians with only a vague form."

- Creatures & Treasures II (1989); page 39

The dirges were given Holding Song and they cast, and still cast, the Calm spell preventing violent actions. This is ironic and possibly intentional as a contrapasso inversion. The bloodbeasts (flinging acidic blood) were present before the release of Claedesbrim Castle, with some indication of being in the Graveyard. For both level and Seventh Circle reasons it makes sense for them to be near the revenants. The greater ghouls were present in both the crypt and the bog. In the bog their purpose is to represent the sullen who are submerged in the swamp, as that is the behavior of ghouls in Rolemaster bestiaries.

City of Dis

The ruined funerary gate next to the burial mound of Kestrel is a portal dolmen typical of passage barrow mounds. This one is described as having been very large, and was upended by "demonic strength and fury." This corresponds in Inferno to the gate of the City of Dis in the Sixth Circle, which is surrounded by the swamp River Styx. The fallen angels (demons) closed the gate of the city, refusing to allow Virgil and Dante, angry that someone of the living was entering. Virgil compares it to when the Gate of Hell was damaged in the harrowing by Christ, and a heavenly power comes down and forces the way open.

[Graveyard]
The land is level here, away from the main graveyard.  A few slab-like stone monoliths lie fallen in a rough semicircle on the grass, part of a ruined funerary gate honoring some past hero.  Had they remained standing, they would form a perfect frame through which could be seen a large dirt mound to the east.  Southwest is a dark lowland dotted by broken tombstones.
Obvious paths: northeast, southeast, southwest

>look monolith
The monoliths are formed of the same high-grade granite as the crypt to the south.  They appear to have been upended by a power endowed with blind, demonic strength and fury.

Dis is one of the names used for Satan in Dante's Inferno, so the City of Dis is the necropolis by analogy. This incident with the demons and Furies is a long passage through Canto XIII and Canto IX with many references to ire, anger, and rage for passing through the gates of Dis. This is the transition point between Upper Hell and Lower Hell, where the more serious sins are punished. There is no reference to the shadow assassin area (now arch wights) of the Graveyard until the Kelfour Edition of December 1990. It is unclear if there was any incident in the game of someone clawing their way up from below.

The mariner cried vehement: "Go forth!
The' entrance is here!"  Upon the gates I spied
More than a thousand, who of old from heaven
Were hurl'd.  With ireful gestures, "Who is this,"
They cried, "that without death first felt, goes through
The regions of the dead?"  My sapient guide
Made sign that he for secret parley wish'd;
Whereat their angry scorn abating, thus
They spake: "Come thou alone; and let him go
Who hath so hardily enter'd this realm.
Alone return he by his witless way;
If well he know it, let him prove.  For thee,
Here shalt thou tarry, who through clime so dark
Hast been his escort." Now bethink thee, reader!
What cheer was mine at sound of those curs'd words.
I did believe I never should return.

...

     I could not hear what terms he offer'd them,
But they conferr'd not long, for all at once
To trial fled within.  Clos'd were the gates
By those our adversaries on the breast
Of my liege lord:  excluded he return'd
To me with tardy steps.  Upon the ground
His eyes were bent, and from his brow eras'd
All confidence, while thus with sighs he spake:
"Who hath denied me these abodes of woe?"
Then thus to me: "That I am anger'd, think
No ground of terror:  in this trial I
Shall vanquish, use what arts they may within
For hindrance.  This their insolence, not new,
Erewhile at gate less secret they display'd,
Which still is without bolt; upon its arch
Thou saw'st the deadly scroll:  and even now
On this side of its entrance, down the steep,
Passing the circles, unescorted, comes
One whose strong might can open us this land."

...

"Doth ever any
Into this rueful concave's extreme depth
Descend, out of the first degree, whose pain
Is deprivation merely of sweet hope?"
     Thus I inquiring. "Rarely," he replied,
"It chances, that among us any makes
This journey, which I wend.  Erewhile 'tis true
Once came I here beneath, conjur'd by fell
Erictho, sorceress, who compell'd the shades
Back to their bodies.  No long space my flesh
Was naked of me, when within these walls
She made me enter, to draw forth a spirit
From out of Judas' circle.  Lowest place
Is that of all, obscurest, and remov'd
Farthest from heav'n's all-circling orb.  The road
Full well I know:  thou therefore rest secure.
That lake, the noisome stench exhaling, round
The city' of grief encompasses, which now
We may not enter without rage."

...

     And now there came o'er the perturbed waves
Loud-crashing, terrible, a sound that made
Either shore tremble, as if of a wind
Impetuous, from conflicting vapours sprung,
That 'gainst some forest driving all its might,
Plucks off the branches, beats them down and hurls
Afar; then onward passing proudly sweeps
Its whirlwind rage, while beasts and shepherds fly.
     Mine eyes he loos'd, and spake: "And now direct
Thy visual nerve along that ancient foam,
There, thickest where the smoke ascends." As frogs
Before their foe the serpent, through the wave
Ply swiftly all, till at the ground each one
Lies on a heap; more than a thousand spirits
Destroy'd, so saw I fleeing before one
Who pass'd with unwet feet the Stygian sound.
He, from his face removing the gross air,
Oft his left hand forth stretch'd, and seem'd alone
By that annoyance wearied.  I perceiv'd
That he was sent from heav'n, and to my guide
Turn'd me, who signal made that I should stand
Quiet, and bend to him. Ah me!  how full
Of noble anger seem'd he!  To the gate
He came, and with his wand touch'd it, whereat
Open without impediment it flew.

- Dante's Inferno, Canto IX; Henry Cary translation

Strictly speaking the dolmens of portal tombs are not the same thing as trilithons. But the Lords of Essaence made magical portals out of the lintel stone structures, where it is implicitly how the granite for the crypt was transported from the High Plateau. It would have been the only way down into the Under Crypt where Bandur is frozen, as the connecting path to the surface was dug up from below. Originally, the burial mound extension up through the albino tomb spiders did not exist, neither did Shadow Valley. There would have been no way back up as there is not a corresponding portal below ground.

"The Lords of Essence have created a network of Portals (or 'Gates' as they are sometimes called) linking points on the globe. These doorways allow someone who enters to instantly be transported to another location, exiting at another Portal. The manner of operation of these gateways is unknown; while some are very predictable two-way corridors between points, others seem random, transporting the unwary not only across vast distances but through time.

Many take the form of crude trilithons isolated in the wilderness, while others appear as gleaming silvery ovals on ornate pedestals. Some are concealed underground, or are even disguised as normal doors in ancient structures. Some are always 'active' - meaning that should someone step through one, they will be instantly teleported to the other end of the portalway - while others must be activated by a magical phrase or item. Generally, active Portals are easily noticeable by a strange, 'substantial' darkness covering the entire opening; looking at the darkness for too long a time can cause queasiness. These also give off a barely audible thrumming sound/vibration. There is an occasional Portal, however, that appears completely normal, and is instantly activated as one walks through it."

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 55
- Tomes of Kulthea #1123

(Note: The Iruaric invoking phrase in the Crypt is one as well. It is very strange Bandur was able to build these himself.)

The position of the dolmen as due west of the burial mound is a common configuration historically. They are positioned in orientation to the sunset on the equinox, when day and night are equal length. The journey of Dante up to Purgatory from Hell is supposed to take place on the vernal equinox, which is March in the northern hemisphere and around Easter. Easter is the Sunday after the first full moon following the equinox in the spring. The burial mound might be made of the displaced earth for the under crypt, which is the relationship Dante invents between his Purgatorio and Inferno.

The dolmen does not actually lead into the burial mound, being physically separated from it, and has been destroyed regardless. The gate to the City of Dis is the way into the Sixth Circle, where Dante encounters heretics imprisoned in flaming tombs. Kestrel was not a follower of the Dark Path, and was buried in a dragonship shaped coffin. This is a Viking style ship burial, who sometimes had ship shaped burial mounds. This may be insinuating in context the popular imagination of "Viking funerals" as burning bodies in ships. This is inverted in the Graveyard, which represents Hel. It is worth noting in the Black Hel context the Outworld (page 49), an (only seemingly) endless landscape where the Black Hel overlaps this world, a warrior (Black Lord) is sitting on a granite throne in front of a trilithon.

Forest of Suicides

In the Seventh Circle is wreckage from the earthquake in the harrowing, with the violent to others submerged in another of Hell's rivers. This is followed by the forest of the suicides. Those who were violent to themselves in life, thinking they could separate soul from body with suicide, are turned into trees that can only speak when parts of them are ripped off. Dante is confused because he hears the sounds of sad voices but sees only plants. Their punishment involves having their tree parts broken inflicting pain on them. This is followed slightly later by "gaunt" black mastiffs ripping the flesh of profligates apart.

"On all sides
I heard sad plainings breathe, and none could see
From whom they might have issu'd.  In amaze
Fast bound I stood.  He, as it seem'd, believ'd,
That I had thought so many voices came
From some amid those thickets close conceal'd,
And thus his speech resum'd:  "If thou lop off
A single twig from one of those ill plants,
The thought thou hast conceiv'd shall vanish quite."

     Thereat a little stretching forth my hand,
From a great wilding gather'd I a branch,
And straight the trunk exclaim'd:  "Why pluck'st thou me?"
Then as the dark blood trickled down its side,
These words it added:  "Wherefore tear'st me thus?
Is there no touch of mercy in thy breast?
Men once were we, that now are rooted here.
Thy hand might well have spar'd us, had we been
The souls of serpents."  As a brand yet green,
That burning at one end from the' other sends
A groaning sound, and hisses with the wind
That forces out its way, so burst at once,
Forth from the broken splinter words and blood."

- Dante's Inferno, Canto XIII; Henry Cary translation

This might be a motivation for the sirenflowers in the bog and the knocked over tree trunks that flooded the bog with the creek. The revenants are the suicides, and their description is inconsistent with the Rolemaster lore establishing that fact, similar to the death dirges. Their non-corporeal status along with their portrayal as having their flesh ripped away may reflect the punishment in Inferno that the suicides will not be rejoined with their bodies at the Last Judgement. Their role as suicides is obscured by their description, when the describe verb was created, emphasizing their being flayed by others.

"The revenant howls in pain, excruciatingly remembering its grisly demise. It presents a ghostly visage of skin shredded by the torturer's whip to display exposed muscles, shriveled organs, and protruding bones. This gaunt creature strikes quickly in its attempt to eradicate all that is living, thereby making sure its enemies die as well."

- GemStone description of revenants

"An artful suicide ties this haunt to the world. Death channels its inward destruction toward the living, further strengthening the chains of blood that bind its soul. The weapon that ended its life, if such exists, accompanies the ghost on its nightly forays to draw new victims through the last gate."

- Creatures & Treasures I (1985); page 42

It is important to use the old description of revenants stressing they are suicides, as later Rolemaster bestiaries include misleading lines associating them with mass deaths. This passage could also explain the nearby snakes, though Dante uses serpents a lot. In the Eighth Circle some thieves are transformed into serpents, and can only escape that form by inflicting it on others. It might also explain the presence of the highly toxic spinewood in the creek, as that may be a play on words for the symbolic hybridity of body and trunk. The creature roaming mechanics have changed, this is where the cobras spawned.

[Graveyard]
The small lake overflows the creek bank and laps against your feet.  Low, shrubby spinewood trees grow right up to the edge and some protrude from the surface of the water.  The only firm footing to be found is over the felled logs that hold back the course of the creek, blocking its northward flow.  You also see a natural dam.
Obvious paths: south

>go dam
[Graveyard, Natural Dam]
A pile of uprooted trees lying across the creek creates this natural dam that holds back the scummy green waters.  The waters contain the slimy remains of putrifying vegetation and carcasses.  A dragonfly skims the surface, causing concentric ripples to radiate out from its landing spot.  Looking down, you see the dry remnants of the creek bed.  You also see the creek bank.
Obvious paths: down

>d
[Graveyard, Creek Bed]
A shallow puddle surrounded by a darker ring of sand punctuates the otherwise dry powdery surface of the old creek bed.  Water seeps in a slow trickle between the mud-wattled logs that form the natural dam here.  The logs have fallen in a staggered pattern, acting as the only scalable way out of the gulch.
Obvious paths: northeast, up

>ne
[Graveyard, Creek Bed]
The fine, white sand and rounded pebbles on the floor of the dry creek bed make walking difficult but the dense thickets of the spinewood trees and traesharm shrubs along the banks make the former watercourse the best route.  Better to struggle through the sand than to get lost in the trackless wilds that can hide all manner of unpleasant surprises.
Obvious paths: northeast, southwest

(Note: In the Seventh Circle the river becomes shallower until they reach a ford and then have fully circled back. The forest of suicides is next with the mention of serpents. This might explain the shallow and dry creek bed.)

The gorcrow on the burial mound refers to Rolemaster lore that they are used as spies for dark spell casters. The ghoul kings (masters) were seemingly introduced in the Graveyard but may have been moved to Castle Claedesbrim for a time later. It is valid to interpret the ghoul kings as mastering and directing the lesser ghouls as that is what they do, but they were not initially present to be using the gorcrows as familiars. Gorcrow is an old word for the carrion crow, which rips flesh from dead bodies. Their presence might refer instead to the suicides, as it was the Harpies (i.e. birds) that ripped their flesh in the forest. This may in turn be subtly reinforced by the presence of the sirenflowers. The Sirens in Greek mythology are a hybrid of women with birds, which is congruent with what Dante describes using the Harpies.

The forest of suicides is preceded by the Phlegethon, the river of boiling blood where those who were violent (i.e. bloody) in life are submerged in proportion to their sin, who are forced to stay at their depth by centaurs with arrows. There have never been centaurs in the Graveyard, and the creature analog is not obvious. The bloodbeasts were originally placed in the Graveyard before they were moved to Castle Claedesbrim. They were designed to fling caustic blood, which is different from their Rolemaster lore, where they are those who died in especially bloody ways. This fits naturally with the Inferno subtext.

The Descent

The Eighth Circle of Hell is not obviously represented in the Graveyard, as the cobras are more likely from the forest of suicides. (They would be thieves in the Eighth Circle.) In the Inferno it has the steep descent within the City of Dis. This is awkward because the manor section that in practice was the descent in the game was actually the ascent from the Ninth Circle. That is, it is backwards in a functional sense, but it is not the only thing that is backwards. The sloping tunnel is next to the stairs leading into the burial mound, and it is unclear if this goes backwards some way or continues northeast.

In the "purgatory" section the rooms are labeled "Under Barrow", implying you are under the burial mound in spite of the sloping. When you travel east and north from here, and descend essentially straight down, you end up in the "Under Crypt." The Crypt is southwest of the Burial Mound. This is blatantly backwards. That might be a subtle reference to the false prophets, astrologers, and seers of the Eighth Circle, who were condemned to walk forever in a circle with their heads on backwards. In spite of moving forward to the northeast, the implication is you were moving back toward the crypt.

          He afterwards spoke these words to the friar,
          "Would you please, if it’s allowed, tell us
          If on the right side there lies any passage
 
130      "By which we two can go away from here
          Without compelling some of those black angels
          To come down to this depth to get us out."
 
          He answered then, "Closer than you hope
          There is a rocky ridge that reaches out from
135     The huge round wall and spans all the wild valleys
 
          "Except this broken bridge which does not cross.
          You can climb back up by way of the ruins
          That lie along the slope, heaped at the bottom."
 
          My guide stood awhile, head bowed, then said,
140      "That one who grapples sinners over there
          Gave us a false account about this business."
 
          And the friar: "Once in Bologna I heard
          Described the devil’s many vices, among them
          That he’s a liar and the father of lies."

- Dante's Inferno, Canto XXIII; Cotter translation

The Eighth Circle consists of ditches surrounding the deep shaft into the Ninth Circle, which are akin to moats around a castle with bridges. The ruling demons are the Malebranche, the "evil claws", whose names are all word plays on family names of the politically powerful. Possible links could include the claws on the wights, which do not come from their Rolemaster forms, and the word plays on the castle features. The demons try to trick Dante and Virgil into thinking a path exists, when one of the bridges is out from the earthquake when Christ died. The intent is to trap them, which might be referenced.

The simplest way to link the Eighth Circle to the Graveyard is to interpret the shadow assassins as representing political corruption, as it is the dominant theme of the Circle and Dante even admonishes an assassin who is held upside down. The creature description of the assassins would not have been added until at least 1993, but if there was any additional insight from that it does not seem to be recorded. The wight lords may have initially been down there as well. The Malebranche demons force corrupt politicians to stay submerged in boiling pitch, which would be symbolized by their Boil Earth spell.

Satan

The Ninth Circle of Hell is a frozen lake formed by river water falling into it. This is the circle of the treacherous, including those who betrayed close relations, liege lords, and God. The sinners here are frozen in ice, the worst of them entirely encased in blocks of it. Satan is fully consumed in ice as well, but only appears half frozen. His wings flap cold winds which further freeze him and his tears. Virgil and Dante then climb up Satan. He is described as hideous instead of once beautiful, which is inverted as Bandur was in failing health (revealed in the "death sleeps cold" puzzle from late 1994) but appears vital.

"THE banners of Hell's Monarch do come forth
Towards us; therefore look," so spake my guide,
"If thou discern him."  As, when breathes a cloud
Heavy and dense, or when the shades of night
Fall on our hemisphere, seems view'd from far
A windmill, which the blast stirs briskly round,
Such was the fabric then methought I saw,
     To shield me from the wind, forthwith I drew
Behind my guide:  no covert else was there.
     Now came I (and with fear I bid my strain
Record the marvel) where the souls were all
Whelm'd underneath, transparent, as through glass
Pellucid the frail stem.  Some prone were laid,
Others stood upright, this upon the soles,
That on his head, a third with face to feet
Arch'd like a bow.  When to the point we came,
Whereat my guide was pleas'd that I should see
The creature eminent in beauty once,
He from before me stepp'd and made me pause.
     "Lo!"  he exclaim'd, "lo Dis! and lo the place,
Where thou hast need to arm thy heart with strength."

- Dante's Inferno, Canto XXXIV; Henry Cary translation

The "frail stem" line has been translated by other writers as "straws in glass." Compare to what happens when the power of the sun is brought in the ice room, revealing Bandur as he truly is:

You feel an energy gather along the ceiling, coalescing quickly into a ball of orange flame that bathes you in a warm iridescent light.  For a moment everything about you becomes translucent and you can see through the walls around you.  The frozen image in the block of ice appears to be a hollow shell, like a dried out piece of fruit.  Then the light fades and everything returns to normal.

(Note: It is worth mentioning "Lucifer" as a name for Satan comes from "light bringer" or "morning star.")

Though this is not necessarily purely a reference to Canto XXXIV of the Inferno. There are Egyptian and Shadow World dimensions to the messaging as well:

Then Kedrik raised his hand, and mouthing words in the ancient tongue of the Lords, he summoned a spell to Absolve the Dark Priest. Nyrdru gave a cry which was a sound no human should be capable of; a shriek whose origins were beyond the Wall of Darkness and could only have been the utterance of the Unlife. Nyrdru's body arched in a convulsion of agony, and - frozen on a contortion of pain - his skin and clothing began to disintegrate, revealing an empty shell within. It was as if his outer appearance was all that remained of him. Burning through in several areas with an orange light, he was soon unrecognizable, and in only a few moments there was nothing left but a heap of smoldering bits of cloth. He had been utterly consumed by his insatiable master.

Turis of Eidolon 
From "The Purge of Galthon" 
T.E. 450 

- Shadow World Master Atlas, 1st Edition (1989); page 33
- Tomes of Kulthea #1094

Bandur is frozen in a block of ice in his shrine, where he is symbolized as lord of the Underworld. He corresponds to Satan in this way. The theme in the Under Crypt and Under Barrow is cannibalism, and there is reference to that in the Ninth Circle as well. The immolation in ice with the cold wind may refer to either Inferno or Ordainer symbolism. This circle is completely silent and furthest from the sun.

[Under Crypt, Tunnels]
As you wander through these tunnels, the cold gets deeper and deeper, penetrating to your very soul.
Obvious exits: north, northeast, southeast, south

>ne
[Under Crypt, Tunnels]
This area looks like a ghoul's larder.  Bodies and parts of bodies lie buried in ice that was scraped off the walls and ceiling then covered with layers of the gruesome pink icicles.  Not a pretty sight.  In one corner of the room you see some roughly carved stairs leading upwards.
Obvious exits: northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest

>go stair
[Under Crypt, Ice Room]
This room is dominated by a giant slab of ice.  There is a chill here that transcends the cold you felt elsewhere.  Piled in front of the ice slab are the remains of many a grisly sacrifice.  Bones and skulls lie piled at the base of the slab as though in homage to something.  Your curiosity piqued, you draw close to the slab.  Dimly within you can make out a richly robed figure.  On one side of the room are some roughly carved stairs.  You also see a smaller slab of ice.
Obvious exits: none

>look slab
Peering into the monolithic block of ice, you make out a human figure trapped deep within, like a fly in amber.  It is the body of an ancient sorcerer, richly garbed.  You notice that his eyes, rather than being dried out and shrunken, glitter with an evil vitality that raises the hair on your neck and causes you to recall old prayers forgotten since youth.

Of special interest is the word "thralldom" in the Henry Cary translation of Inferno. Bandur titled his book "Servants of the Shadow: Power through Thralldom." Naively this is about the references in the source material to being enslaved by the Unlife when using its dark power. The phrase "error's thralldom" is used by Cary when Virgil and Dante are climbing up Satan. This room is also the larder or "ice room" in the mockery of the medieval palace. The ice room slabs that are used for keeping meat cool are called "thrawls" in archaic English. The Graveyard uses other subtle word plays with terminology in this way.

Purgatory

When leaving the Ninth Circle of Hell, Virgil puts Dante on his back, and climbs up Satan. There is a "rocky opening" or "crevice" near the waist, and moving past it flips gravity. Satan's legs are now the part that are visible and seemingly not frozen in ice, and Virgil explains to Dante they have passed through the center of the earth. There is now a twelve hour difference, and there will be unfamiliar constellations in the southern hemisphere. The cavern is called "no palace hall" and the explanation is that the fall of Satan caused the Mountain of Purgatory to rise from displaced earth on the opposite side of the Earth.

"Expect that by such stairs as these," thus spake
The teacher, panting like a man forespent,
"We must depart from evil so extreme."
Then at a rocky opening issued forth,
And plac'd me on a brink to sit, next join'd
With wary step my side.  I rais'd mine eyes,
Believing that I Lucifer should see
Where he was lately left, but saw him now
With legs held upward.  Let the grosser sort,
Who see not what the point was I had pass'd,
Bethink them if sore toil oppress'd me then.

     "Arise," my master cried, "upon thy feet.
"The way is long, and much uncouth the road;
And now within one hour and half of noon
The sun returns."  It was no palace-hall
Lofty and luminous wherein we stood,
But natural dungeon where ill footing was
And scant supply of light.  "Ere from th' abyss
I sep'rate," thus when risen I began,
"My guide!  vouchsafe few words to set me free
From error's thralldom.  Where is now the ice?
How standeth he in posture thus revers'd?
And how from eve to morn in space so brief
Hath the sun made his transit?"

- Dante's Inferno; Canto XXXIV, Henry Cary translation

The "purgatory" section of the Graveyard in the Under Barrow is a mockery of a medieval manor or palace hall. In the throne room it explicitly uses the word "purgatory", which was the name given the place where souls go upon decaying in the death mechanics. There were two paths, light and darkness. With the upward path non-existent originally, there is only "the dark path." The bodies probably symbolize the souls of "all those who could not choose", which in the frame of Dante's Inferno may be referring to the Vestibule of Hell, where the fallen angels who did not take sides in the rebellion of Satan are punished.

[Under Barrow, Cavern]
A smallish cavern domes out above you, the packed earthern walls appear part natural and part artificial.  It is dimly lit by the same fungus that infests the entire area.  But there are sights here that would be better left in total darkness, piles of bones, heaps of rotting flesh, and things less recognizable, in diverse stages of decay.  The air is full of unseen comings and goings though you feel no earthly breeze.
Obvious exits: east, up

>look bone
Your eyes wander over a gruesome assortment of bones. They range from old and crumbling fragments of limbs and skulls, human and otherwise, to others still covered with decaying flesh that twitches with an unwholesome semblance of life as they are worked over by various things of the creeping and crawling variety.

>look flesh
This corpse appears to be that of a fellow adventurer who apparently has died in some less than happy manner. The part of the face that is left is twisted in a final grimace of horror that makes you doubt your sanity at being here.

>e
[Under Barrow, Throne Room]
This high chamber is a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory.  On a dais sits an eldritch throne inlaid with the ivory of human bones.  The walls are carved with gut-wrenching scenes of sub-human figures dancing and gibbering with hellish glee under constellations you have never seen.  Behind the throne is a tapestry whose subject turns your stomach.  You also see a rotted wooden door.
Obvious exits: north, west

>look throne
The bones that make up this grisly seat look as though they were somehow melted together.  They flow and twist like half-melted wax.  You have no idea how it was done and less wish to find out.

The tapestry is woven with mad scenes of unspeakable cruelty and terror.  As you avert your gaze from the unutterable insanity it depicts, you notice behind it a rotted wooden door.

>n
[Under Barrow, Banquet Hall]
This place has been the scene of many a revolting semblance of a feast.  You have trouble holding on to your insides as the horror of what transpired in here sinks in.  A scattering of chairs, benches and old broken tables tells of the terrifying attempts of the sinister celebrants to mock and imitate the ways of their civilized and unsuspecting prey.  At one end of the room is an ancient cabinet that once may have held food.  A numbingly cold breeze flows from that direction.
Obvious exits: north, south

>go cabinet
[Under Barrow, Deep Shaft]
Inside the old cabinet, you find dessicated remnants of various items of food: slabs of mouldy beef, dusty mounds that once were vegetables and other less identifiable things.  These have mostly been shoved off the shelves and lie heaped on the flooring.  Part of the floor is an old wooden grating, now so warped and rotted that you could easily squeeze through it into the chilling darkness below.
Obvious exits: out

The river of Lethe - which is forgetfulness and oblivion, originating in the cave of the sleep god Hynpos, and necessary for washing away sin for reincarnation - flows down Purgatory and into Hell where it freezes Satan. The sound of it induces sleepiness, and Dante and Virgil follow it up. This is by analogy referring to the River of Life that flows to the Gates of Oblivion, beyond which in GemStone III all memory washed away when "lost to the demonic", and is implicitly dream themed. The path up from this palace hall under the Graveyard was dug by victims clawing their way up to the surface from below.


          "Here it is morning when it is evening there,
          And he whose hair supplied our ladder down
120      Is still stuck fast, as he was from the first.
 
          "He fell down straight from heaven on this side,
          And the land, which once had bulged out here,
          In fright at his fall cloaked itself with sea
 
          "And rushed up toward our hemisphere; perhaps,
125      What you see on this side, to flee from him,
          Left this space vacant here and spurted upward.
 
          "Below, as far away from Beelzebub
          As the limit of his tomb, there is a place
          Which is known not by sight but by the sound
 
130      "Of a small stream that courses down this way
          Along the hollow of a rock it wore
          Away with winding flow and trickling fall."
 
          Along that hidden path my guide and I
          Started out to return to the bright world.
135      And without a thought for any resting-stops,
 
          We bounded up, he first and I second,
          Until, through a round opening, I saw
          Some of the lovely things the heavens hold:
 
          From there we came out to see once more the stars.

        - Dante's Inferno, Canto XXXIV; easier to read translation

It would be a highly cryptic reference to this line of "known not by sight but by the sound", but this may be the subtextual motivation for the shadow assassins. The "air is full of unseen comings and goings though you feel no earthly breeze" line is referring to them, as they were designed to call your name mockingly and strike at you from out of invisibility. These may be the souls of Bandur's spies, but it is not necessary. Shadow assassins are supposed to be "conjured" and then go away when their mission is accomplished. These ones were permanently bound below the Graveyard.

"The spirits of dead assassins and nightblades, these entities are often conjured up by foul necromancers and dark priests or magi to slay their enemies. These beings are shadowy in form, sometimes holding weapons, and always with yellow, piercing eyes. They wield magical weapons, preferring knives and short swords to slay their victims. They know all the Nightblade base lists to their level, and are apt to use poison. They use their non-solid form to walk through walls and barriers - there are few ways to hide from their relentless pursuit. They are never encountered without a mission, and they discorpeate after completing it. They are crafty, shrewd and have no mercy. A shadow assassin has no qualms about slaying anyone that gets in the way of its mission."

- Creatures & Treasures II (1989); page 41

(Note: The shadow assassins in GemStone III had scimitars and cast the weaponfire spell. They were removed around the De-ICE period. Wight lords were originally in Castle Claedesbrim rather than the Graveyard, so arch wights may have no symbolic relevance to the Graveyard. They were "rumored" to sometimes be in the Graveyard in 1992.)

They still existed when the describe verb was implemented, but their creature description does not seem to be recorded. They went as high as the clawed up tunnel, which is sloping back southerly, though curiously the "Under Barrow" is further south than the "Under Crypt." This is inverted. The top of the burial mound also says the crypt is "southeast" when it should be "southwest" of the mound.

[Under Barrow, Sloping Passage]
This narrow, cramped passage slopes at a steep angle.  Years of accumulated muck makes the footing very treacherous.  As you proceed along it, you come to the disturbing conclusion that the tunnel seems to have been dug upwards from deep underground, by constant clawing and scraping, as though something were desperately trying to burrow its way out.
Obvious exits: up, down

This ASCII map in the guided tour of the Graveyard by Aegyptia from July 1992 shows how this tunnel was originally the only access point:

   / \                                                                    \
   |@/____________________________________________________________________/
   |                                                                     |
   |            N                  YYY-------XXX                         |
   |          W + E                  |       |                           |
   |            S                    |  CCCC |                           |
   |                                 |   |   |                           |
   |                                 |   go  |**                         |
   |    ==================         ZZZ stair WWW                         |
   |    |                |           |***|  /|                           |
   |    |     MAP 3:     |           |  BBBB |      * sw from VVV is     |
   |    |   GRAVEYARD,   |           | /    \|        one-way to TTT     |
   |    |  UNDER CRYPT   |         AAAA     VVV                          |
   |    |                |           | \   */|     ** n from WWW is      |
   |    ==================           |   \   |        one-way to XXX     |
   |                                 |     \ |                           |
   |                                TTT-----UUU   *** se from ZZZ is     |
   |                                 |                one-way to BBBB,   |
   |                         down/   |                nw from BBBB is    |
   |                   RRR----up----SSS               one-way to WWW     |
   |                    |                                                |
   |                 down/up                                             |
   |                    |                                                |
   |                   QQQ-----go-----PPP                                |
   |                         grating   | (n or go cabinet, same thing/   |
   |                                  OOO      to return, out)           |
   |                                   |                                 |
   |                        LLL-------MMM                                |
   |       VV-WW             |         |                DDD-III          |
   |    No monsters?      down/up     go             Barrow Wights       |
   |                         |       door        (These may roam much    |
   |                        KKK        |         further north, but I    |
   |       XX-CCC            |        NNN       did not see any there.)  |
   |   Greater Ghouls     down/up                                        |
   |   (Found mainly         |                                           |
   |     throughout         JJJ                        JJJ-DDDD          |
   |     the maze.)          |                     Shadow Assassins      |
   |                    go pile/up                                       |
   |                         |      go >                                 |
   |                       CCC-----hole-----DDD--EEE--FFF                |
   |                      /         go <     |           \               |
   |   START            BBB       burrow     |           GGG             |
   |  AT VV:            /                    |           /               |
   |  from N          AAA                   III-------HHH                |
   | on Map 2          |                                                 |
   |   say        go corridor                                            |
   | "Kadaena          |                           CURSES!               |
   |   Throk          ZZ                                                 |
   |   Farok"          |                            `___'                |
   | to return        YY (MAZE) down,n/          = /     \ =             |
   | to Map 2,         |        up,s            ==|  o o  |==            |
   |    go       go   XX                       ===|  ___  |===           |
   |  portal    ramp                          ====   ' '   ====          |
   |          |  /                            ====         ====          |
  _|          | /                             ====         ====          |
 /@|          WW                                                         |
 \_/____________________________________________________________________/

(Note: The earliest reference to the shadow assassin area is the Kelfour Edition of December 1990. This is late enough for the 1990 books. The throne could be made by Kadæna's Kiss in Master Atlas Addendum, page 86.)

Egyptian

The Graveyard has a number of motifs that appear to be Egyptian, such as mummies and sarcophagi and cobras, which could easily be somewhat meaningless. With closer inspection this is not the case, there is a hidden layer of meaning playing off the ancient Egyptian death mythology. The story of Kestrel and Bandur Etrevion is loosely the same as the legend of Osiris and Set, with the nephews of Bandur corresponding to Horus. This is a myth that has taken various forms, with the role of Set becoming more evil over the centuries, and late versions having the nephew Horus overthrowing Set in the end.

Kestrel represents Osiris, while Bandur represents Set. "Kestrel" is probably a reference to kestrels, which are a kind of falcon that hovers. Osiris is associated with the Egyptian falcon gods, most notably the sun god Ra and his own son Horus. In the Graveyard the burial tombs for Bandur and Kestrel are in this sense backwards. Bandur is (only seemingly) the one with the mummies and Egyptian decor.

Click to Collapse/Expand Egyptian sub-category...

Osiris

In the myth of Osiris we have an example of the archetype of a sacred god king of death and rebirth whose sacrifice is responsible for the seasonal fertility of the land. He is typically the heir to an ancestral land, becoming king of Egypt and is a wise and just ruler. Osiris is typically the first child of Geb and Nut. He has a wicked brother called Set who is a schemer, and jealous of the power and attractiveness of Osiris. When ruled by Osiris the Egyptians are taught civilization, renouncing cannibalism and live peacefully. In time Osiris leaves the kingdom to travel far away, spreading civilization around the world.

The jealous Set puts together an assembly of conspirators. When Osiris returns from his long voyage, he is murdered by his brother Set. In some versions he is sealed into a coffin when still alive, but generally his body is mutilated and dismembered at some point. Horus is typically conceived after the death of Osiris, and rebels against the usurper Set. Osiris becomes the lord of the Underworld.

(1) Inversion

This is in broad outlines the story of Bandur and Kestrel in "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" with most of the details backwards:

  • Kestrel is a warrior who is awarded a fiefdom through conquest, though he is still the fair and even handed ruler.
  • The jealous brother Bandur is the elder and the one associated with intelligence and learning.
  • Bandur is guarding Kestrel in his service to the Unlife, which is by analogy Apophis, perhaps the shadow snakes in the Visions of Andraax.
  • Kestrel's long voyages are raids of plundering, stealing the relics of other civilizations.
  • The land descends into chaos when Kestrel is living but traveling, and Bandur imposes order when he usurps Kestrel.
  • Bandur usurps the throne with his own faction, but not from jealousy, murdering Kestrel on impulse and feeling guilt.
  • Bandur rips Kestrel's soul out with Absolution Pure. This would leave no marks. He is never resurrected.
  • Kestrel's sons fail to take the land back and are killed.
  • Bandur becomes the lord of the Underworld.

The way that Bandur is portrayed as protecting Kestrel in his voyages may come from earlier versions of Set, where Set plays that role against Apophis for Ra in the journey of the sun across the sky. Osiris in the Underworld is centered on the death and rebirth process, but with the Dark Path symbolism of Unlife contra Eissa, this is exactly the opposite of what Bandur represents under the Graveyard.

(2) Omissions

Certain major features of the Osiris myth are conspicuously absent. The first is that "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990) makes no mention of Kestrel's sons, which means the legend has no analog of Horus. It only says the debased descendants of the family use the graveyard for burial. This is an integral part of the Osiris myth, as it leads to the ascension of Osiris to lord of the Underworld. The descendants of Horus are the Egyptian pharaohs. There is no such hereditary dynasty with the Etrevion family, and the whole region became Quellbourne by the end of the Wars of Dominion.

The other major feature is the absence of women. In the Osiris myth it is his sister-wife Isis who rules the land in his absence, whereas Bandur himself is in that role for Kestrel but ignores it all. Isis is the one who reassembles Osiris and resurrects him. Loosely, Isis would correspond to Eissa in this way, who does not resurrect Kestrel. One reason Set is jealous is that Osiris had a son with Set's wife Nephthys. This physical aspect of jealousy is more implicit or even repressed with Bandur, including his bondage to Empress Kadæna, and the backwards way he represents her worship with ostentatious piety.

(3) Other Details

The words "necropolis" and "sarcophagus" have Egyptian connotations, but the words themselves are Greek. Necropolis is loosely "city of the dead", sarcophagus is "flesh eating." While Kestrel may refer to the Egyptian falcon gods, and Bandur may refer to the Germanic god Baldur, Etrevion is much harder to figure out and would have to be a combination of words. "Etre" would be the French word "être" meaning "being", as in existing, descending from the Latin "esse." "Vion" is more difficult and may be "βιον", Greek for "life" in the sense of living the good life. If this is the intent it is irony.

Inverting the myth so that the Set figure becomes the Lord of the Underworld has intriguing consonance with the other major subtexts. He is a usurper figure who descends into chthonic godhood as monarch of the Underworld. This is the role of Satan in Dante's Inferno. Meanwhile, in the Lovecraft frame of reference, Nyarlathotep is described as a mixture of an antique pharaoh and a fallen archangel.

See Also:

Underworld

"Once the outside threat was quelled, the two fell to arguing violently again in Kestrel's field tent. Bandur, now hopelessly under the control of the Unlife, slew his brother Kestrel in a fit of possession and hatred with a Spell of Absolution Pure. When he came to his senses, Bandur's first instinct was to conceal his terrible transgression. As the new day dawned, he appeared before the remaining troops and announced that Lord Kestrel had died during the night of his battle wounds."

- "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990)

The most important and central myth to the Egyptian religion is the legend of Osiris, who was supposed to be the first pharaoh and mummy, and became the Lord of the Underworld. The pharaohs in death were supposed to travel the Underworld and make their way to Osiris. This would cause the pharaoh to ascend to the skies in the daily rebirth of Ra, where they would sail the sun across the sky from east to west into the realm of the dead. This symbolism of bringing the sun god to the lord of the Underworld is made explicit in the first Phoen step on the Path of Enlightenment from late 1994.

[Under Crypt, Ice Room]
This room is dominated by a giant slab of ice.  There is a chill here that transcends the cold you felt elsewhere.  Piled in front of the ice slab are the remains of many a grisly sacrifice.  Bones and skulls lie piled at the base of the slab as though in homage to something.  Your curiosity piqued, you draw close to the slab.  Dimly within you can make out a richly robed figure.  On one side of the room are some roughly carved stairs.  You also see a smaller slab of ice.
Obvious exits: none

[puzzle]

You feel an energy gather along the ceiling, coalescing quickly into a ball of orange flame that bathes you in a warm iridescent light.  For a moment everything about you becomes translucent and you can see through the walls around you.  The frozen image in the block of ice appears to be a hollow shell, like a dried out piece of fruit.  Then the light fades and everything returns to normal.

You feel overwhelmed by a sudden tingling sensation that seems to course through your body.  You feel intense satisfaction at a task well done. 

The sun god Ra and the dead king would then have to pass through the realm of the dead, using the knowledge of the gates and passing the various challenges so that the dawn could happen. The symbolism in the Graveyard is a denial of this process. The Lord of the Underworld is the Set figure instead of Osiris. There was no way out of the under barrow, and the ship-shaped burial mound is overturned. Within the Egyptian context the ship coffin of Kestrel represents a "solar barge", where it was common to bury ships with kings and use them in funeral processions for this reason.

[Graveyard, Burial Mound]
This is the burial chamber of a great warrior-king.  There are empty chests made of precious woods, now mildewed and rotten with fittings of beaten gold and silver.  Rusted weapons are scattered about.  A wooden coffin, carved in the shape of a proud warship with a dragon prow, lies at the far side of the circular room.
Obvious exits: southeast, west

>look in coffin
In the wooden coffin:
Misc [1]: a kingly corpse
Total items: 1

>look corpse
The corpse wears a deathmask of beaten silver and gold, the facial features grim, determined and cruel, beneath a jewel-encrusted coronet.  Swathed in a plain burial shroud with arms crossed over his chest, the warrior-king still inspires awe and dread.

>look coffin
The coffin was pried open long ago and damaged in the process.  The hinges are now so deformed that it cannot be shut.  The wooden casket is carved with broad, primitive strokes and covered with faded traces of paint and gilt.  A silver plaque is affixed to the casket.

>read plaque
In the Common language, it reads:
Our Lord and Liege, Ruler of the West Country--Never at peace while he lived, and yet to find peace beyond the grave.

(Note: Set was the "never at peace" one in the Osiris myth.)

The Egyptian underworld is not a place of eternal damnation for souls like Hell, though it has rivers and mounds and other features. What the whole process represents is maintaining the cosmic order or balance against the forces of chaos. The pharaoh is an intermediary between men and gods who ascends to godhood. The Graveyard symbolizes the forces of chaos preventing the rebirth of the sun.

In their religion it was possible for the spirits of the dead to starve, so the most important offering was food. The smaller slab of ice in the ice room is probably supposed to be the sacrificial offering table which is not present at the false door in the crypt. This is a scene that represents cannibalism. Part of the reason for this might be that there was an Egyptian myth, though no archaeological evidence for it, that the ancient Egyptians were cannibals prior to the rule of Osiris. It could also come from the Cannibal Hymn where the king hunts and eats the gods, or play off "sarcophagus" meaning "flesh eating."

See Also:

False Door

The ancient Egyptians believed that continual sacrifices and devotion were needed to sustain the gods so the balance or order of the world was maintained. The pharaohs came to have their own cults which sustained them in the afterlife so they could fulfill their role, traveling through the Underworld to meet Osiris so that ascension with Ra would keep the sun crossing the sky. The temples for pharaohs near their tombs are called "mortuary temples", distinct from the temples of gods. The hallmark feature of a mortuary temple is the presence of a "false door", in the back on the west wall facing the land of the dead.

It is a stone tablet resembling a door which is supposed to be the portal between the world and the spirit realm, which in the Graveyard is literally a magic portal of the Lord of Essaence kind. Offerings are made at the false door to sustain the dead pharaoh. They will have images on them of food to represent the offerings. In the case of the crypt it is a mystical pattern which probably refers to the mystical pattern behind the altar of the Temple of Lorminstra where the dead are reincarnated. This is a highly specific reference to the ancient Egyptian death religion which cannot plausibly be coincidental.

[Graveyard, Crypt]
This room is a square space with plain stone walls on three sides composed of virtually seamless granite blocks.  The far wall draws your attention immediately.  Before it stands a black onyx tablet, nearly tall enough to touch the flat ceiling.
Obvious exits: west

>look ceiling
You notice some faint writing on the ceiling above you.

>read writing
It reads:

Arch to gate,
Northeast to fate,
His words you speak,
Stone walls negate.

This is backwards in the crypt of the Graveyard. The false door is on the east wall with it all oriented northeast. The sarcophagus is centrally located, but this is not the actual sarcophagus of Bandur, which is really a block of ice deep below ground. This would originally have only led to Kestrel, the Osiris figure, but the offering formula is to Kadæna which is a mockery as the theocracy usurped him.

>look tablet
The tablet is of black onyx, streaked faintly with white veins.  Engraved in the stone is a mystical symbol which is beyond your comprehension.  Draped atop the slab, and wedged between it and the wall so it cannot be removed, is a long strand of modwir wood beads.

>look bead
The beads are intricately carved and threaded on a thin length of spider silk.  They are covered with the dust and cobwebs of the ages.

The "offering formula" consists of words that may be spoken to symbolically represent sacrificing things to the pharaoh or gods on behalf of the pharaoh. This is a ritual phrase beginning with the king giving the offering ("hotep"), followed by the title of a death god. Sometimes it is Anubis. It is often "Osiris, Lord of the West" which is represented instead in the burial mound as "Kestrel, Lord of the West Country." The offering formula in the crypt was "Kadaena Throk Farok", meaning "Kadæna, Guardian of the Forbidden." These were the original words for invoking the teleportation, but it was later changed to "Shadow bind my soul" which obscures the Egyptian symbolism. Speaking the offering formula is called an invocation. Its meaning is twisted in the Graveyard to mean cannibalism and human sacrifices.

[Graveyard, Burial Mound]
The room is triangular, the "prow" of the shiplike structure.  On the dirt walls are faded remains of strange murals.  The line drawings all have an oppressive and ominous sameness about them, even though they depict different scenes.  You approach one wall to get a closer look, stooping down as the elevation of the roof drops sharply.
Obvious exits: southwest, northwest

>look mural
The disquieting murals depict a series of episodes in the life of a great warrior.  Painted in earthtones and mineral colors of ochre, yellow, umbre, turquoise, green and charcoal, the panels sketch epic sea and land battles, all featuring a powerful, striking figure leading the frays.  Hovering by his side, in each scene, is a shadowy dark figure, who appears to be floating just above the ground or water, the better to observe and influence the course of the pitched battles.
There appears to be something written on it.

>read mural
In the Common language, it reads:
The Deeds of Kestrel Etrevion, Lord of the West Country.

The sarcophagus of Bandur Etrevion turns out to be false, with him truly being in a "sarcophagus of his own devising" below ground. This raises the question of whether Kestrel is truly in the burial mound, especially since the epitaphs are mocking and remorseless. In the Osiris myth the body of Osiris is mutilated later by Set, so it is reasonable to speculate that Kestrel is actually the throne of warped and melted bones in the purgatory palace hall. This would be more consistent with the line where Bandur says he is returning to where his brother is waiting. If this is the case then the throne may have been made with a soul destroying curse, called Kadæna's Kiss (Master Atlas Addendum, page 86), where the flesh melts away but they live in agony for six hours. There is a Black Channels curse that liquifies bones.

See Also:

Orientation

It is very common in ancient religious architecture for temples and burial tombs to be oriented in specific directions for symbolic reasons. The ancient Egyptians believed it was essential for mastabas to be oriented north-south for the dead to access the afterlife, and this is the way the mausoleum in the Graveyard is oriented. Later there were mortuary temples oriented northwest to southeast, such as that of Ramses II, which is exactly backwards of the Graveyard. The other side of the false door in the Graveyard arguably leads to a "serdab" chamber, which here leads down toward the actual tombs.

[Graveyard, Anteroom]
This stone chamber is elaborately decorated and furnished.  One wall contains a doorway leading north and another is covered with rich embroideries and gilt-framed paintings.  In one corner is a statue formed from various precious minerals and metals.  You notice the same thin bands of ahnver embedded along the walls, shedding enough light for you to realize that fabulous treasures once must have filled this room to the rafters.  A long stone ramp leads down, its destination cloaked in darkness.
Obvious exits: north

(Note: The corner is likely an angled Ka statue, which is supposed to be oriented squarely forward. The crypt originally had bone golems with the mummies, which could play off the opening of the mouth ceremony.)

Later mastabas were cut into rock to make it more difficult for grave robbers, which may correspond to the greater ghoul tunnels. The actual tomb chamber would be below the south end of the mastaba, "connected by a slanting passage to a stairway emerging in the center of a columned hall or court." This is arguably represented by the ramp to the ghoul tunnels and then by the sloping passage leading down to the "purgatory" palace hall. Kestrel's burial mound is oriented west-east, an overturned ship facing east, opposite the rising and setting of the sun. The pharaoh is supposed to sail with Ra.

[Graveyard]
The mound comes to a point just to the northeast, resembling the prow of a mighty ship.  To the south is an open, level field containing nondescript graves of common and humble folk.  The mound before you is the main source of interest and curiosity.
Obvious paths: northeast, west

>ne
[Graveyard]
At the eastern tip of the mound, the sides of the hill spread out, forming a broad shape reminiscent of the overturned hull of a dark, menacing warship.  Although the vertical slopes are steep and treacherous, the top of the mound would afford a good view of the surrounding area.
Obvious paths: southwest, northwest

Blinded Rooms:

There were specific rooms in the Graveyard where Locate, teleportation spells, and gold rings did not work (e.g. Kelfour Edition volume III number II.) This detail has been erased by the various changes to the location and teleportation mechanics over the decades. The room on the southwest corner of the crypt was one of them. The room in the exact middle of the infinity symbol around the crypt and burial mound was another, likely the spot that is over the head of Bandur himself. The northeast side of the burial mound may have as well. Whether it was or not, the other two are oriented, southwest to northeast.

(1) Southwest:
[Graveyard]
The path leads you close to the crypt.  The grey-flecked rock has been ground to a smooth, dull surface.  To the southwest, the boundary walls extend up to the edge of a shallow creek, and to the southeast, the spires of a high gate can be seen.
Obvious paths: north, southeast

(2) Center:
[Graveyard]
The trail turns at a sharp angle, causing you to move with greater purpose.  The air is sweet with the earthy scents of rich soil, growing things and long-buried secrets.  A lone gorcrow croaks overhead and alights upon a mysterious mound of earth to the north.
Obvious paths: north, southwest

(3) Northeast:
[Graveyard]
Along the northeast flank of the great earthen barrow, some loose stones and mud have washed down the slope, slashing a narrow gully through the sod and spewing detritus out onto the trail.  You detour around the debris, stepping back onto the turf.  From this perspective, you pause to get your bearings, gazing up thoughtfully at the silent, inscrutable heights.
Obvious paths: southeast, west

(Note: Room 2 was another room that creatures did not ordinarily enter prior to changes in the roaming mechanics.)

See Also:

Motifs

The ancient Egyptian tombs and obelisks are made from granite, as is the crypt in the Graveyard. It was customary for the pylons and outer walls of pharaoh temples to depict their military victories and kinship with the gods. In the case of the Graveyard this is a facade with horrific demonic onslaughts of the Unlife, implicitly the works of Bandur (or perhaps Kadæna) in the Wars of Dominion.

[Graveyard]
You pause inside the gates to survey the eerie scene.  A magnificently crafted granite crypt to the north inspires wonder and loathing.  The carvings on the facade are horrific, detailing the onslaughts of the Unlife throughout the chaotic history of Elanthia.  A gravel path wraps around the structure, while thorny brambles growing among the tombstones deter you from leaving the paved route.
Obvious paths: northeast, northwest

>look crypt
The crypt is built of the finest gray granite from the High Plateau.  Great magic and determination must have been expended to bring the ponderous blocks to this location.  The demonic aspect of the decorations on the face of the tomb make you uneasy.  Above the entry to the crypt, is an inscription.

>glance inscription
You glance at a sinister inscription on a granite crypt.

>read inscription
In the Common language, it reads:
Bandur Etrevion, Lord High Sorceror, Follower of The Dark Path and devoted brother to Lord Kestrel.

The nearby obelisk for his nephews has no ornamental decorations. The writing on the obelisks was supposed to record heroic deeds, so the absence of them is effectively writing the nephews out of the story. "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990) correspondingly does not even mention them. The base of the monument is mocking. The fiefdom was not their ancestral land, and as a fief they were not princes. This symbolizes a failure of Horus to take the throne back from Set. Obelisks are memorials where pharaohs intend on being immortalized with perpetual offerings. There are no offerings.

[Graveyard]
Several graves here are clustered around a large marble monument.  A low iron railing encloses the area.  The burial plots seem to be unplundered, but the dark, freshly turned earth atop one of the graves indicates the presence of an unquiet soul.  You also see a faded path.
Obvious paths: west

>look grave
The grave is mostly unremarkable except for a small marker at its head.

>look marker
The writing on the face of the marker has long since faded from the harsh ravages of time.

>look monument
The green-veined marble monument is a plain obelisk, tall and thin, with no ornamental carving.  There is an engraving on the wide base.

>read base
In the Common language, it reads:
Here lie the sons of Kestrel Etrevion, princes all, who perished in the battle to regain their ancestral land.

Oddly, the obelisk is marble rather than granite, maybe because of the temple dais. The creature roaming mechanics had changed by the year 2004. It used to be the case that the creatures did not wander into this room, unless they were driven in such as a Cleric repelling a lesser ghoul. It is tempting to think the obelisk is supposed to be Orhan marble, even though the color is wrong, but it does not appear that Orhan marble was a defined material yet in 1990. The nephews are buried out in the open, and the grave robbers are not even interested in them. The unquiet soul implies they cannot ascend to the afterlife, as the obelisks (Greek for "spit") are associated with Ra. They are sun dials carefully positioned for sunrise and sunset. Obelisks were in pairs for cosmic balance, so this symbolizes chaos triumphant.

See Also:

Gates

In the journey of the sun god Ra sailing through the Underworld, there were a number of gates that had to be passed. In the Book of Gates there were twelve of them, for example, each with the secret name of a goddess. The idea is that the pharaoh has to use his knowledge to help Ra through the gates. This might be an explanation in the Egyptian context for the Graveyard gate being guarded by Eissa and Empress Kadæna. It might also play into the original invocation of "Kadaena Throk Farok" on the false door, as even with the original objects it was likely still a secret password for passing the gateway.

The Egyptian funerary texts are not consistent on the gates of the Underworld and the specific details of the guardian goddesses. The "Book of the Dead" has a God, a Doorkeeper, and a Herald for each of seven gates. The "Secret Portals Of The Mansion Of Osiris In The Field Of Reeds" has twenty-one goddess gates along with a guardian at each. The "Book of Gates" has a gate goddess, a guardian, and a spitfire snake at each of twelve gates. The pairing of Eissa and Kadæna might play off the idea that the Unlife, or Apophis the Eater of Souls, wishes total annihilation by devouring the Essaence.

See Also:

Dreams and Prophecy

The Osiris myth does not immediately suggest dreaming, though the Egyptians believed the gods communicated to them through dreams. There is a "Dream Book" from the time of Ramses II where dreams are used for prophecy, and the Biblical figure Joseph interpreted Pharaoh's dreams to foretell future events. There is no special reason to suspect this is relevant other than the motif being present in the other major sub-texts. Similarly, there may be prophetic literature that could be indirectly relevant, such as the "Prophecy of Neferti" where Egypt is foreseen to fall into civil war until the rise of a great king.

One possibility is that the detail of Bandur being a commoner by birth, and yet so ascending, is that it is implicitly referencing Imhotep. Imhotep was one of the only two commoners to ever be deified, and was at the transition of Egyptian pharaohs being entombed in step pyramids instead of mastabas. Imhotep was later conflated with the Greek sleep and medicine god Asclepius who had sleep temples.

See Also:

Medieval England

The death mechanics section addresses various aspects of medieval feudalism and homage being encoded in things created in 1990. This exists in a still deeper way in the Graveyard, which seems to be focused on the Old English period, or what used to be called the Dark Ages. It is when the Vikings had mostly conquered England. The so-called "Last Kingdom" of Wessex, which is roughly what is known as "the West Country" of England, was the last of the independent Saxon kingdoms. Kestrel is described as the "Ruler" and "Lord" of the "West Country" (instead of "the West") in the burial mound.

This would be a double layer of meaning between the Egyptian and Viking frames in the case of the Crypt and the Burial Mound. The theory is "Bandur" refers to the Germanic god Baldur, who is trapped in the Underworld with Hel, with the Crypt encoding references to the Black Hel. Kestrel in turn is the one buried like a Viking. Their tombs are effectively backwards since Kestrel refers to falcon gods.

Click to Collapse/Expand Medieval England sub-category...

See Also:

Baldur

The Viking god Baldur is mostly known for the story of his death, which is what sets off Ragnarok and ultimately the death of the gods. Baldur was having nightmare omens of his own death. These visions are prophecies, fates that cannot be avoided. In spite of attempts to avoid it he ends up in Hel, ruled by the goddess of the same name, which is the afterlife of the unrighteous dead. Baldur was very good and associated with the light and day, which is inverted in our context, and was killed by accident (and trickery) with a harmless plant (mistletoe) whereas the Graveyard is filled with highly toxic plants.

The Vikings were people of north Germanic descent, but the Saxons and Anglo-Saxons spoke west Germanic languages. Instead of Odin the allfather is called Woden, and instead of Baldr it is Baldag, or Beldeg for the Anglo-Saxons. The Old English kingdoms traced their descent to Woden through him, thus giving Baeldaeg (Baldur) an analogous role to Osiris in their own royal genealogies.

"Bandur returned to the capital city, consumed with guilt and remorse at having slain his beloved younger brother. Troubled by evil dreams and ominous omens, he concocted mind-warping spells and powerful potions to drown his mental anguish. Nothing helped to ease his mind, and the Unlife fed on him with unbounded glee as his inner conflict tore his soul asunder."

- "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990)

With our modern bias we might think of Bandur as losing his sanity under the guilt of murdering his brother. But this is a world system with demons, possession, and seers who can see other times. It is only a matter of taking the text literally to see the premise that Bandur had disturbing visions of other places or times. Whether this comes from Empress Kadæna, the Helm of Kadæna, Orgiana, or the Unlife itself, it is the built-in explanation for how Bandur was able to possess "forbidden knowledge" that a low born human would know nothing about. Baldur and Hel would be the roots of Bandur and the Black Hel.

[Graveyard, Top of Gate]
You find yourself hanging from the ornate ironwork of this gate, the top of which consists of rows of sharp iron spikes pointing straight up. You might be able to vault over them, but that is best left to the acrobats.
Obvious paths: down

>jump
With characteristic daring, you decide to vault over the spikes! With the grace of a swan you swing yourself over the deadly barbs and drop to the other side of the gate.


"Now this is to be told concerning Hermódr, that he rode nine nights through dark dales and deep, so that he saw not before he was come to the river Gjöll and rode onto the Gjöll-Bridge; which bridge is thatched with glittering gold. Módgudr is the maiden called who guards the bridge; she asked him his name and race, saying that the day before there had ridden over the bridge five companies of dead men; but the bridge thunders no less under thee alone, and thou hast not the color of dead men. Why ridest thou hither on Hel-way?' He answered: 'I am appointed to ride to Hel to seek out Baldr. Hast thou perchance seen Baldr on Hel-way?' She said that Baldr had ridden there over Gjöll's Bridge,--'but down and north lieth Hel-way.'
"'Then Hermódr rode on till he came to Hel-gate; he dismounted from his steed and made his girths fast, mounted and pricked him with his spurs; and the steed leaped so hard over the gate that he came nowise near to it. Then Hermódr rode home to the hall and dismounted from his steed, went into the hall, and saw sitting there in the high-seat Baldr, his brother; and Hermódr tarried there overnight. At morn Hermódr prayed Hel that Baldr might ride home with him, and told her how great weeping was among the Æsir." 

- Prose Edda: Gylfaginning, page 74

The Prose Edda of Snorri Sturluson from the 13th century, in the story of the death of Baldr, is the only place Hel is described with any detail as a goddess. Hel was only willing to let Baldur leave if every living and dead thing wept for him, and the giantess Thokk refused. (This is conspicuously close to Throk from Iruaric, and there are peaks of Thok or Throk in Lovecraft's Dreamlands.) This was secretly Loki, who was also responsible for tricking Hodr into throwing mistletoe, which killed Baldr. The overturned hull shaped burial mound might also be a reference to the burning pyre of Baldr, who had the greatest ship:

"The Æsir took the body of Baldr and brought it to the sea. Hringhorni is the name of Baldr's ship: it was greatest of all ships; the gods would have launched it and made Baldr's pyre thereon, but the ship stirred not forward. Then word was sent to Jötunheim after that giantess who is called Hyrrokkin. When she had come, riding a wolf and having a viper for bridle, then she leaped off the steed; and Odin called to four berserks to tend the steed; but they were not able to hold it until they had felled it. Then Hyrrokkin went to the prow of the boat and thrust it out at the first push, so that fire burst from the rollers, and all lands trembled. Thor became angry and clutched his hammer, and would straightway have broken her head, had not the gods prayed for peace for her. Then was the body of Baldr borne out on shipboard; and when his wife, Nanna the daughter of Nep, saw that, straightway her heart burst with grief, and she died; she was borne to the pyre, and fire was kindled. Then Thor stood by and hallowed the pyre with Mjöllnir; and before his feet ran a certain dwarf which was named Litr; Thor kicked at him with his foot and thrust him into the fire, and he burned."

- Prose Edda: Gylfaginning, page 72-73

In the first Griffin Sword War of fall 1996, which was after the I.C.E. Age but probably before the post-I.C.E. gods document was written, Lorminstra is described as weeping for the souls who died prematurely or who chose darkness. This may refer to the Eissa's tears gems or even the resurrecting tears of Baeris, which were not defined yet when the Graveyard was created. But it is conceivable that the concept traces back to the weeping of the Aesir in the death of Baldr story. This is preceded in the Prose Edda with the story of Thor and Jormungandr, which is relevant to Shadow Valley and the Vvrael quest.

It is tempting to wonder if "Baldur's Gate" from the Forgotten Realms setting of Dungeons & Dragons had any relevance to the Graveyard. The earliest reference to it is an adventure book with a publication date of April 1990. There is nothing in the Baldur's Gate section of relevance, aside from the presence of a big gated wall. The use of spider silk as a material is seductive along these lines as that is not really a thing in Shadow World, while it is very much a thing in Forgotten Realms, but that is more likely a reference to major spiders being considered partly demonic and unnatural in the I.C.E. bestiaries.

See Also:

Ship Burial

In the legend of Bandur and Kestrel the western fiefdom, or "west country", would have to be inverted from the historical case of Wessex. Wessex was the last independent kingdom of the Saxons during the Viking invasions. In contrast to this it was Kestrel who was raiding the coastal settlements of the Bay like a Viking, though the invasion on the "northern marches" where the Graveyard was later built may be playing off "northmen." While the Anglo-Saxons built burial mounds prior to Christianity, and even (relatively rarely) did ship burials, the ship burials are more often associated with their Viking cousins.

In the burial mound of Kestrel there are a couple of references to black dragons. One is the ship coffin of Kestrel itself. This is a reference to the Viking "dragonships", whose prows were infamous for their dragon carvings. In spite of the common idea of "Viking funerals" as a ship set on fire and sent out to sea, high figures were buried in ships in mounds that were themselves often shaped like ships. This was for sailing into the afterlife with their grave goods. The Vikings burned the dead to send them into the skies toward Valhalla. This was not done for Kestrel, and implied by the mound having a "chimney."

[Graveyard, Burial Mound]
This is the burial chamber of a great warrior-king.  There are empty chests made of precious woods, now mildewed and rotten with fittings of beaten gold and silver.  Rusted weapons are scattered about.  A wooden coffin, carved in the shape of a proud warship with a dragon prow, lies at the far side of the circular room.
Obvious exits: southeast, west

>look in coffin
In the wooden coffin:
Misc [1]: a kingly corpse
Total items: 1

>look corpse
The corpse wears a deathmask of beaten silver and gold, the facial features grim, determined and cruel, beneath a jewel-encrusted coronet.  Swathed in a plain burial shroud with arms crossed over his chest, the warrior-king still inspires awe and dread.

>look coffin
The coffin was pried open long ago and damaged in the process.  The hinges are now so deformed that it cannot be shut.  The wooden casket is carved with broad, primitive strokes and covered with faded traces of paint and gilt.  A silver plaque is affixed to the casket.

>read plaque
In the Common language, it reads:
Our Lord and Liege, Ruler of the West Country--Never at peace while he lived, and yet to find peace beyond the grave.

(Note: With England the coronet is worn by lesser royals or nobles lower than a king who wears a crown.)

The other black dragon reference in Kestrel's mound is his throne, which was brought into battle situations. This is a subtle play on words. The canopy over thrones is usually made of cloth, but is sometimes made of harder materials. In this case it was made of wood as a protective covering. These canopies are called "baldaquins." More subtly, In the years very shortly before the rule of Alfred the Great and the struggle against the Viking invasions, King Aethelwulf (who instituted the tithe and married Judith, a daughter of Charles the Bald) went on an extended pilgrimage to Rome and returned to find his eldest son Aethelbald refused to give throne back. The kingdom is believed to have temporarily split, and Aethelbald took his wife after his death. This parallel and the Baldur word play may or may not be intentional.

[Graveyard, Burial Mound]
This small dirt annex houses crudely fashioned wooden furniture of a very functional kind.  One striking exception is a tall chair, which appears to have served as an impromptu throne on the field of battle or in the relative safety of troop encampments.  Though the chair is scarred with sword cuts and arrow holes, it is still a remarkable piece of work.
Obvious exits: north, east

>look chair
The chair is carved from a solid block of ebony and inlaid with bone-white bellacorn ivory and iridescent mother-of-pearl from the depths of Darkstone Bay.  The arms and legs are fashioned to resemble the supple limbs of a great sea drake.  The high back of the throne is carved like the scaly underside of the beast, culminating in a wooden canopy chiselled in the likeness of a fierce dragon's head.

There is another black sea drake represented in the Coastal Cliffs cemetery from July 1991, which has a mausoleum resembling the Crypt. This was released at the same time as the underground stronghold with the hidden chamber. The Luukosian extension was from the late 1990s, but blood sacrifice text is probably a Klysus reference, who by that time was defined and associated with Lorgalis and the actual sarcophagus of Kadæna. This stronghold would be either a dark cult purged in the rise of the theocracy, or else one of the nephews being killed in the failed revolt. The dark vysans were originally "dark wisplings", which are the weakest kind of elemental of darkness, which inflict cold criticals. The clawed stone, ripped apart body, and head shoved in a tree was probably a Demon of the Sixth Pale.

[Coastal Cliffs, Cemetery]
Isolated by a thicket of bramble bushes and all but hidden from view, one sturdy marker stands in proud solitude.  Carved in the shape of a sailing vessel borne aloft by a sea drake, it was most likely erected in memorial to those lost at sea.
Obvious paths: northeast

>look marker
White marble, carved in the shape of a sailing vessel is borne aloft by a sea drake of dark, mottled stone.  It is an eloquent memorial to those lost at sea, but somehow out-of-place among the coarse reminders of this simple community.



[Coastal Cliffs, Cemetery]
A plain and dreary little mausoleum of grime-streaked stone, pockmarked by erosion and damaged by looters, stands empty and abandoned in a small clearing by itself.
Obvious paths: northeast

>look mausoleum
Upon close inspection, you see that the mausoleum entrance has been smashed in.  The stone is cracked and weather beaten, but the structure is still sturdy.

>go mausoleum
[Coastal Cliffs, Mausoleum]
The interior of this mausoleum is dim, the air dry and stale.  It appears to have been carved and hollowed out of a solid stone outcropping, its construction keeping the contents free of rot and decay.  Primitive friezes in low bas relief cover the walls, telling of raging tides, storms and warriors lost at sea.  You also see a stone sarcophagus.
Obvious exits: out

(Note: Spirit Guide (130) does not work inside this mausoleum.)

See Also:

Passage Mounds

Passage mounds were built to be oriented with the sun or moon and stars. There might be a cromlech outside it, for example, with lines of monoliths tracking the moon. It was common for the dolmen to be facing southeast for the sunrise on the winter solstice, or due west (as it is in the Graveyard) for sunset on the equinox. These were often carefully angled so that on this one day of the year, the sunlight would penetrate through to the interior of the mound. In the case of the burial mound in the Graveyard this is all inverted. The passage corridor is buried below ground and oriented southwest to northeast.

The "natural chimney" is instead the source of the shaft of light, and represents the lack of cremation of Kestrel, who has a mocking epitaph about not truly being put to rest. This may also relate in the Dante's Inferno frame to the tombs of the burning heretics in the Sixth Circle. In the Egyptian frame the overturned hull is the failure of the sun rebirth, and the bellacorn ivory inside the mound symbolizes it.

[Graveyard, Burial Mound]
Your eyes adjust to the semi-darkness as a pale shaft of light filters through the tiny natural chimney in the domed roof of the curved chamber.  You see no signs of life yet low, unearthly murmurings, vague rustlings and flickers of faint lights swirl about you.  The only reality you are sure of is the dull thud of your footsteps on the earthern floor, echoing off the packed dirt walls.
Obvious exits: east, west

The "passage" is supposed to be a stone corridor leading into the tomb. This is very poorly done compared to Bandur's mausoleum.

[Graveyard, Tunnel]
Plain granite walls form this tunnel, unadorned and poorly finished.  The rough surface is now home to fluorescent mosses, which give off a faint, pale glow and are nourished by the water seeping through the dark joints in the stone.  You also see the low stone corridor.
Obvious exits: northeast

>ne
[Graveyard, Tunnel]
The hurried construction of the tunnel is apparent here, and the level of the slipperly stone walkway changes unevenly and suddenly.  The stone blocks in the walls and floor are fitted together carelessly, allowing water and the roots of trees to enter. 
Obvious exits: northeast, southwest

>ne
[Graveyard, Tunnel]
Stone gives way to dirt walls, shored up by several stripped treetrunks.  A short, crude stairway of fir timber leads up to a hole in the earth ceiling.  You also see a dug up dirt pile.
Obvious exits: southwest

Tomb wights were originally called "barrow wights", and the burial mound is a barrow. Barrow wights represent undead forms of lords and ladies in the mounds of great warriors and kings. Interestingly, the creature description they were given shows them as rotting corpses, emphasizing their cannibalism. Mummies could be their noble parallel, but the I.C.E. lore describes them as grave robber deterrents.

"Dark, shadowy human forms with eyes akin to faint lights, barrow-wights haunt the mounded tombs erected to honor great warriors and kings. Evil forces such as Priests of the Unlife create them by perverting the spirits of the fallen. When observed through magic, they take on the tattered forms of great lords and ladies with cold cruel gleaming eyes."

- Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide, 1st Edition (1989); page 32

"The tomb wight is a mass of blackened muscle in humanoid form. Striding boldly upright and with a determined gaze, the tomb wight marches through the world of the dead, seeking the bodies of the recently deceased. Though, in fact, dead itself, its putrid breath reveals its consumption of a steady diet of decayed flesh. If none can be found, the tomb wight is more than happy to cause the living to become the recently deceased."

- GemStone creature description

See Also:

Manor

The palace hall in the "purgatory" section of the Graveyard is a specific set of references to medieval manors of the kind that existed in England. The layout of a manor was an entryway through a pantry into a great hall, beyond which was a dais for the high lord with tapestries. Next to the high end was the bed chamber or more private quarters, which was called a solar room and typically faced south. This is a "closet" used as a store room behind the throne of bones. Instead of a paneled "pantry" (the entry from below), the Graveyard refers to an "ancient cabinet", which is a walk in room with rotten food.

[Under Barrow, Throne Room]
This high chamber is a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory.  On a dais sits an eldritch throne inlaid with the ivory of human bones.  The walls are carved with gut-wrenching scenes of sub-human figures dancing and gibbering with hellish glee under constellations you have never seen.  Behind the throne is a tapestry whose subject turns your stomach.  You also see a rotted wooden door.
Obvious exits: north, west

>look throne
The bones that make up this grisly seat look as though they were somehow melted together.  They flow and twist like half-melted wax.  You have no idea how it was done and less wish to find out.

The tapestry is woven with mad scenes of unspeakable cruelty and terror.  As you avert your gaze from the unutterable insanity it depicts, you notice behind it a rotted wooden door.

>n
[Under Barrow, Banquet Hall]
This place has been the scene of many a revolting semblance of a feast.  You have trouble holding on to your insides as the horror of what transpired in here sinks in.  A scattering of chairs, benches and old broken tables tells of the terrifying attempts of the sinister celebrants to mock and imitate the ways of their civilized and unsuspecting prey.  At one end of the room is an ancient cabinet that once may have held food.  A numbingly cold breeze flows from that direction.
Obvious exits: north, south

>go cabinet
[Under Barrow, Deep Shaft]
Inside the old cabinet, you find dessicated remnants of various items of food: slabs of mouldy beef, dusty mounds that once were vegetables and other less identifiable things.  These have mostly been shoved off the shelves and lie heaped on the flooring.  Part of the floor is an old wooden grating, now so warped and rotted that you could easily squeeze through it into the chilling darkness below.
Obvious exits: out

(Note: The wooden grating is perhaps supposed to symbolize the castle's portcullis.)

This is a subtle play on words. The "cabinet" is the private study of the manor lord next to his bed chamber, and in later centuries was referred to as a "closet." The cabinet is here a pantry leading down into the larder, where Bandur resides with a cannibalism context. The larder is known as the "ice room", and the slabs for keeping meat cool were called "thrawls", which is the smaller slab of ice next to him.

[Under Crypt, Tunnels]
This area looks like a ghoul's larder.  Bodies and parts of bodies lie buried in ice that was scraped off the walls and ceiling then covered with layers of the gruesome pink icicles.  Not a pretty sight.  In one corner of the room you see some roughly carved stairs leading upwards.
Obvious exits: northeast, southeast, southwest, northwest

>go stair
[Under Crypt, Ice Room]
This room is dominated by a giant slab of ice.  There is a chill here that transcends the cold you felt elsewhere.  Piled in front of the ice slab are the remains of many a grisly sacrifice.  Bones and skulls lie piled at the base of the slab as though in homage to something.  Your curiosity piqued, you draw close to the slab.  Dimly within you can make out a richly robed figure.  On one side of the room are some roughly carved stairs.  You also see a smaller slab of ice.
Obvious exits: none

See Also:

H.P. Lovecraft

The Graveyard is generally symbolic of the death mechanics and Shadow World lore on death. The messaging on spirit death appears to be taken from a few H.P. Lovecraft stories about dream walking or astral projection. The "purgatory" throne room is especially dense on Lovecraftian motifs. Bandur arguably corresponds to Nyarlathotep, who is a mixture of the pharaoh and fallen archangel premises.

Click to Collapse/Expand Lovecraft sub-category...

Throne Room

The throne room in the "purgatory" section of the Graveyard is very heavy with Lovecraftian motifs. These include Lovecraft's penchant for describing madmen, madness, and insanity. Words such as "eldritch" and "gibbering" are hallmark adjectives of his stories. Lovecraft was also prone to describing "savage" races as sub-human, dancing and worshipping the sleeping daemons of antiquity, such as Cthulhu who would only rise when the stars returned to their old alignments. His style is notorious for referring to things as too horrible to describe in detail, along with the horribleness of things never seen by man.

[Under Barrow, Throne Room]
This high chamber is a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory.  On a dais sits an eldritch throne inlaid with the ivory of human bones.  The walls are carved with gut-wrenching scenes of sub-human figures dancing and gibbering with hellish glee under constellations you have never seen.  Behind the throne is a tapestry whose subject turns your stomach.  You also see a rotted wooden door.
Obvious exits: north, west

>look tap
The tapestry is woven with mad scenes of unspeakable cruelty and terror.  As you avert your gaze from the unutterable insanity it depicts, you notice behind it a rotted wooden door.

>look throne
The bones that make up this grisly seat look as though they were somehow melted together.  They flow and twist like half-melted wax.  You have no idea how it was done and less wish to find out.

The throne room is blatant with the Lovecraftian language, and acts as the hint that Purgatory is Lovecraftian. The adjacent rooms may be more subtle references to Lovecraft stories. Most obviously, the lighting method underground in the Graveyard is glowing fungus, a common feature in his stories. Possible stories being referenced are sketched out below. The Lords of Essaence are described as sleeping over thousands of years using stasis technology. Another overlap of motifs is Aranmor describing Kadæna as in sleeping death, and the Black Hel deities as "dead gods" who have not returned yet.

(1) Dead Cthulhu Waits Dreaming

"Having noted and copied an oral ritual among the swamp cult-worshippers his men had arrested, he besought the professor to remember as best he might the syllables taken down amongst the diabolist Esquimaux. There then followed an exhaustive comparison of details, and a moment of really awed silence when both detective and scientist agreed on the virtual identity of the phrase common to two hellish rituals so many worlds of distance apart. What, in substance, both the Esquimau wizards and the Louisiana swamp-priests had chanted to their kindred idols was something very like this—the word-divisions being guessed at from traditional breaks in the phrase as chanted aloud:
     “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”
     Legrasse had one point in advance of Professor Webb, for several among his mongrel prisoners had repeated to him what older celebrants had told them the words meant. This text, as given, ran something like this:
     “In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”
     And now, in response to a general and urgent demand, Inspector Legrasse related as fully as possible his experience with the swamp worshippers; telling a story to which I could see my uncle attached profound significance. It savoured of the wildest dreams of myth-maker and theosophist, and disclosed an astonishing degree of cosmic imagination among such half-castes and pariahs as might be least expected to possess it."

(2) Sleeping Death

"In the elder time chosen men had talked with the entombed Old Ones in dreams, but then something had happened. The great stone city R’lyeh, with its monoliths and sepulchres, had sunk beneath the waves; and the deep waters, full of the one primal mystery through which not even thought can pass, had cut off the spectral intercourse. But memory never died, and high-priests said that the city would rise again when the stars were right. Then came out of the earth the black spirits of earth, mouldy and shadowy, and full of dim rumours picked up in caverns beneath forgotten sea-bottoms. But of them old Castro dared not speak much. He cut himself off hurriedly, and no amount of persuasion or subtlety could elicit more in this direction. The size of the Old Ones, too, he curiously declined to mention. Of the cult, he said that he thought the centre lay amid the pathless deserts of Arabia, where Irem, the City of Pillars, dreams hidden and untouched. It was not allied to the European witch-cult, and was virtually unknown beyond its members. No book had ever really hinted of it, though the deathless Chinamen said that there were double meanings in the Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred which the initiated might read as they chose, especially the much-discussed couplet:"
 
“That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.”

- The Call of Cthulhu, H.P. Lovecraft

Purgatory

The Purgatory death mechanics is primarily referencing the end scene from Lovecraft's "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", whose Underworld is the principal basis of the landscape of the Broken Lands made later in 1993 and 1994. The Dreamlands is a parallel dimension that is accessed mostly by dream walking. Time runs at a different speed in the Dreamlands, and it is the home of Earth's gods. The narrator is Randolph Carter, who is seeking the gods who reside in the mountain of unknown Kadath, and when he reaches it finds instead Nyarlathotep who has been the villain of the story.

Then down the wide lane betwixt the two columns a lone figure strode; a tall, slim figure with the young face of an antique Pharaoh, gay with prismatic robes and crowned with a golden pshent that glowed with inherent light. Close up to Carter strode that regal figure; whose proud carriage and swart features had in them the fascination of a dark god or fallen archangel, and around whose eyes there lurked the languid sparkle of capricious humour. It spoke, and in its mellow tones there rippled the mild music of Lethean streams.

     “Randolph Carter,” said the voice, “you have come to see the Great Ones whom it is unlawful for men to see. Watchers have spoken of this thing, and the Other Gods have grunted as they rolled and tumbled mindlessly to the sound of thin flutes in the black ultimate void where broods the daemon-sultan whose name no lips dare speak aloud.


[Under Crypt, Ice Room]
This room is dominated by a giant slab of ice.  There is a chill here that transcends the cold you felt elsewhere.  Piled in front of the ice slab are the remains of many a grisly sacrifice.  Bones and skulls lie piled at the base of the slab as though in homage to something.  Your curiosity piqued, you draw close to the slab.  Dimly within you can make out a richly robed figure.  On one side of the room are some roughly carved stairs.  You also see a smaller slab of ice.
Obvious exits: none

>look slab
Peering into the monolithic block of ice, you make out a human figure trapped deep within, like a fly in amber.  It is the body of an ancient sorcerer, richly garbed.  You notice that his eyes, rather than being dried out and shrunken, glitter with an evil vitality that raises the hair on your neck and causes you to recall old prayers forgotten since youth.

(Note: Recall the river Lethe references in the purgatory section of the Graveyard from Dante's Inferno.)

Nyarlathotep is the intermediary with the daemonic Outer Gods, has a mocking and ironic sense of humor, and manifests as a pharaoh mixed with a dark god or fallen archangel. Bandur thus corresponds to him in the Graveyard. In the end scene the narrator is being tricked into flying to Azatoth, the heart of chaos and for us the analog of the Unlife, but remembers he is dreaming so he leaps into the darkness.

Slowly the world begins to dissolve into a grainy montage of color... 

[Purgatory]
You find yourself wandering amidst endless streaming light, and vast nothingness. This place feels torn between two prophecies, each vying for your loyalty.
Also in the room: All the spirits of those who could not choose.
Obvious exits: light and darkness. 

Time seems to have no meaning as you wander aimlessly amidst the uncomfortable tugging for your attention. Hopelessness washes over dreams you once held like the creeping tide of doom.

In time the Goddess Lorminstra finds you wandering the endlessness of Purgatory and says, "For thy deed, my promise to intercede shall be fulfilled." Taking you by the hand, the Goddess leads you back to mortality... 

Suddenly you feel an intense pain scorching your very soul! The world of your past suddenly comes rushing back into your memory. You are quite bewildered by what has transpired, but alive... 



“For know you, that your gold and marble city of wonder is only the sum of what you have seen and loved in youth . . . the glory of Boston’s hillside roofs and western windows aflame with sunset; of the flower-fragrant Common and the great dome on the hill and the tangle of gables and chimneys in the violet valley where the many-bridged Charles flows drowsily . . . this loveliness, moulded, crystallised, and polished by years of memory and dreaming, is your terraced wonder of elusive sunsets; and to find that marble parapet with curious urns and carven rail, and descend at last those endless balustraded steps to the city of broad squares and prismatic fountains, you need only to turn back to the thoughts and visions of your wistful boyhood.”
     Onward—onward—dizzily onward to ultimate doom through the blackness where sightless feelers pawed and slimy snouts jostled and nameless things tittered and tittered and tittered. But the image and the thought had come, and Randolph Carter knew clearly that he was dreaming and only dreaming, and that somewhere in the background the world of waking and the city of his infancy still lay. Words came again—“You need only turn back to the thoughts and visions of your wistful boyhood.” Turn—turn—blackness on every side, but Randolph Carter could turn.
     Thick though the rushing nightmare that clutched his senses, Randolph Carter could turn and move. He could move, and if he chose he could leap off the evil shantak that bore him hurtlingly doomward at the orders of Nyarlathotep. He could leap off and dare those depths of night that yawned interminably down, those depths of fear whose terrors yet could not exceed the nameless doom that lurked waiting at chaos’ core. He could turn and move and leap—he could—he would—he would—
     Off that vast hippocephalic abomination leaped the doomed and desperate dreamer, and down through endless voids of sentient blackness he fell. Aeons reeled, universes died and were born again, stars became nebulae and nebulae became stars, and still Randolph Carter fell through those endless voids of sentient blackness.
     Then in the slow creeping course of eternity the utmost cycle of the cosmos churned itself into another futile completion, and all things became again as they were unreckoned kalpas before. Matter and light were born anew as space once had known them; and comets, suns, and worlds sprang flaming into life, though nothing survived to tell that they had been and gone, been and gone, always and always, back to no first beginning.
     And there was a firmament again, and a wind, and a glare of purple light in the eyes of the falling dreamer. There were gods and presences and wills; beauty and evil, and the shrieking of noxious night robbed of its prey. For through the unknown ultimate cycle had lived a thought and a vision of a dreamer’s boyhood, and now there were re-made a waking world and an old cherished city to body and to justify these things. Out of the void S’ngac the violet gas had pointed the way, and archaic Nodens was bellowing his guidance from unhinted deeps.
     Stars swelled to dawns, and dawns burst into fountains of gold, carmine, and purple, and still the dreamer fell. Cries rent the aether as ribbons of light beat back the fiends from outside. And hoary Nodens raised a howl of triumph when Nyarlathotep, close on his quarry, stopped baffled by a glare that seared his formless hunting-horrors to grey dust. Randolph Carter had indeed descended at last the wide marmoreal flights to his marvellous city, for he was come again to the fair New England world that had wrought him.
     So to the organ chords of morning’s myriad whistles, and dawn’s blaze thrown dazzling through purple panes by the great gold dome of the State House on the hill, Randolph Carter leaped shoutingly awake within his Boston room."

- The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, H.P. Lovecraft

The Purgatory messaging refers to the surreal fall to the waking world. The messaging probably also refers to the Randolph Carter sequel "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", which has astral projection into higher dimensions to encounter Yog-Sototh, the guardian and gateway of forbidden knowledge. This may be the Lovecraft premise for Empress Kadæna as "Guardian of the Forbidden." In that story the soul can be transformed into any number of otherworldly kinds as they are manifestations of a more fundamental archetype, and the narrator can see many other versions of himself in timeless Oblivion.

[Purgatory]
You find yourself wandering amidst endless streaming light, and vast nothingness. This place feels torn between two prophecies, each vying for your loyalty.
Also in the room: All the spirits of those who could not choose.
Obvious exits: light and darkness.

Time seems to have no meaning as you wander aimlessly amidst the uncomfortable tugging for your attention. Hopelessness washes over dreams you once held like the creeping tide of doom.

In time the Goddess Lorminstra finds you wandering the endlessness of Purgatory and says, "For thy deed, my promise to intercede shall be fulfilled." Taking you by the hand, the Goddess leads you back to mortality... 

Suddenly you feel an intense pain scorching your very soul! The world of your past suddenly comes rushing back into your memory. You are quite bewildered by what has transpired, but alive... 



"There were “Carters” in settings belonging to every known and suspected age of earth’s history, and to remoter ages of earthly entity transcending knowledge, suspicion, and credibility. “Carters” of forms both human and non-human, vertebrate and invertebrate, conscious and mindless, animal and vegetable. And more, there were “Carters” having nothing in common with earthly life, but moving outrageously amidst backgrounds of other planets and systems and galaxies and cosmic continua. Spores of eternal life drifting from world to world, universe to universe, yet all equally himself. Some of the glimpses recalled dreams—both faint and vivid, single and persistent—which he had had through the long years since he first began to dream, and a few possessed a haunting, fascinating, and almost horrible familiarity which no earthly logic could explain.
     Faced with this realisation, Randolph Carter reeled in the clutch of supreme horror—horror such as had not been hinted even at the climax of that hideous night when two had ventured into an ancient and abhorred necropolis under a waning moon and only one had emerged. No death, no doom, no anguish can arouse the surpassing despair which flows from a loss of identity. Merging with nothingness is peaceful oblivion; but to be aware of existence and yet to know that one is no longer a definite being distinguished from other beings—that one no longer has a self—that is the nameless summit of agony and dread.
     He knew that there had been a Randolph Carter of Boston, yet could not be sure whether he—the fragment or facet of an earthly entity beyond the Ultimate Gate—had been that one or some other. His self had been annihilated; and yet he—if indeed there could, in view of that utter nullity of individual existence, be such a thing as he—was equally aware of being in some inconceivable way a legion of selves. It was as though his body had been suddenly transformed into one of those many-limbed and many-headed effigies sculptured in Indian temples, and he contemplated the aggregation in a bewildered attempt to discern which was the original and which the additions—if indeed (supremely monstrous thought) there were any original as distinguished from other embodiments.
     Then, in the midst of these devastating reflections, Carter’s beyond-the-gate fragment was hurled from what had seemed the nadir of horror to black, clutching pits of a horror still more profound. This time it was largely external—a force or personality which at once confronted and surrounded and pervaded him, and which in addition to its local presence, seemed also to be a part of himself, and likewise to be coexistent with all time and coterminous with all space. There was no visual image, yet the sense of entity and the awful concept of combined localism, identity, and infinity lent a paralysing terror beyond anything which any Carter-fragment had hitherto deemed capable of existing.
     In the face of that awful wonder, the quasi-Carter forgot the horror of destroyed individuality. It was an All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self—not merely a thing of one Space-Time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence’s whole unbounded sweep—the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. It was perhaps that which certain secret cults of earth have whispered of as YOG-SOTHOTH, and which has been a deity under other names; that which the crustaceans of Yuggoth worship as the Beyond-One, and which the vaporous brains of the spiral nebulae know by an untranslatable Sign—yet in a flash the Carter-facet realised how slight and fractional all these conceptions are."

- "Through the Gates of the Silver Key", H.P. Lovecraft

The lost to the demonic messaging and the grainy montage of colors likely refers to Lovecraft's "Ex Oblivione", which can also explain why the Graveyard gate is bronze, why there are dirge-vaon vines outside it and the old trees near path. If this is correct then "lost to the demonic" would play off "the daemon Life", which is "the ugly trifles of existence" and "the daily torture of the commonplace" and the "dull world stript of interest and new colours." It amounts to inverting the story by saying that the permanent death of the character is losing the player to the real world which is drudgery and boring and common.

You realize that you have no outstanding favors which Lorminstra owes you, and without having accomplished a deed for Her, your soul is in danger of vanishing from the land forever! 

Slowly the world begins to dissolve into a grainy montage of color... 

[Purgatory] 
You find yourself wandering amidst endless streaming light, and vast nothingness. This place feels torn between two prophecies, each vying for your loyalty. 
Also in the room: All the spirits of those who could not choose. 
Obvious exits: light and darkness. 

Time seems to have no meaning as you wander aimlessly amidst the uncomfortable tugging for your attention. Hopelessness washes over dreams you once held like the creeping tide of doom. 

In time your soul finds a home, be it in the light or the darkness, but not again in the mortal world. As the last memories of your existence fade, an image of the Goddess Lorminstra, who guards the Gates of Oblivion, tempts your hindsight.



"When the last days were upon me, and the ugly trifles of existence began to drive me to madness like the small drops of water that torturers let fall ceaselessly upon one spot of their victim’s body, I loved the irradiate refuge of sleep. In my dreams I found a little of the beauty I had vainly sought in life, and wandered through old gardens and enchanted woods.
     Once when the wind was soft and scented I heard the south calling, and sailed endlessly and languorously under strange stars.
     Once when the gentle rain fell I glided in a barge down a sunless stream under the earth till I reached another world of purple twilight, iridescent arbours, and undying roses.
     And once I walked through a golden valley that led to shadowy groves and ruins, and ended in a mighty wall green with antique vines, and pierced by a little gate of bronze.
     Many times I walked through that valley, and longer and longer would I pause in the spectral half-light where the giant trees squirmed and twisted grotesquely, and the grey ground stretched damply from trunk to trunk, sometimes disclosing the mould-stained stones of buried temples. And always the goal of my fancies was the mighty vine-grown wall with the little gate of bronze therein.
     After a while, as the days of waking became less and less bearable from their greyness and sameness, I would often drift in opiate peace through the valley and the shadowy groves, and wonder how I might seize them for my eternal dwelling-place, so that I need no more crawl back to a dull world stript of interest and new colours. And as I looked upon the little gate in the mighty wall, I felt that beyond it lay a dream-country from which, once it was entered, there would be no return.
     So each night in sleep I strove to find the hidden latch of the gate in the ivied antique wall, though it was exceedingly well hidden. And I would tell myself that the realm beyond the wall was not more lasting merely, but more lovely and radiant as well.
     Then one night in the dream-city of Zakarion I found a yellowed papyrus filled with the thoughts of dream-sages who dwelt of old in that city, and who were too wise ever to be born in the waking world. Therein were written many things concerning the world of dream, and among them was lore of a golden valley and a sacred grove with temples, and a high wall pierced by a little bronze gate. When I saw this lore, I knew that it touched on the scenes I had haunted, and I therefore read long in the yellowed papyrus.
     Some of the dream-sages wrote gorgeously of the wonders beyond the irrepassable gate, but others told of horror and disappointment. I knew not which to believe, yet longed more and more to cross forever into the unknown land; for doubt and secrecy are the lure of lures, and no new horror can be more terrible than the daily torture of the commonplace. So when I learned of the drug which would unlock the gate and drive me through, I resolved to take it when next I awaked.
     Last night I swallowed the drug and floated dreamily into the golden valley and the shadowy groves; and when I came this time to the antique wall, I saw that the small gate of bronze was ajar. From beyond came a glow that weirdly lit the giant twisted trees and the tops of the buried temples, and I drifted on songfully, expectant of the glories of the land from whence I should never return.
     But as the gate swung wider and the sorcery of drug and dream pushed me through, I knew that all sights and glories were at an end; for in that new realm was neither land nor sea, but only the white void of unpeopled and illimitable space. So, happier than I had ever dared hoped to be, I dissolved again into that native infinity of crystal oblivion from which the daemon Life had called me for one brief and desolate hour."

- "Ex Oblivione", H.P. Lovecraft

Forbidden Knowledge

"The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. Theosophists have guessed at the awesome grandeur of the cosmic cycle wherein our world and human race form transient incidents. They have hinted at strange survivals in terms which would freeze the blood if not masked by a bland optimism. But it is not from them that there came the single glimpse of forbidden aeons which chills me when I think of it and maddens me when I dream of it."

- "The Call of Cthulhu"; H.P. Lovecraft

One aspect of "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990) that is not adequately accounted for in the other frames is the part concerning "esoteric", "forbidden", and "dangerous" knowledge. In the Lovecraft sense knowledge can actually be dangerous, the horrible understanding can drive people mad. There are also premises of coming into mental contact with daemonic powers, with nightmare visions and uninvited foreign memories. The way Bandur acts is consistent with Lovecraft protagonists who have some unnatural knowledge of impossibly ancient things and are driven to obsession by it.

Lovecraftian Elements in the Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion:

"The elder brother, Bandur Etrevion, was obsessed with the pursuit of esoteric lore and forbidden knowledge. ... Bandur remained a shadowy presence in the background, gathering dangerous knowledge and subjecting himself more and more totally to the foul aims of the Unlife. ... Bandur's obscure quests, hobbies and whims filled his days and nights, giving him neither rest nor peace of mind. He wrote several widely read volumes on the ways of the Unlife, including his most famous work, "Servants of the Shadow: Power through Thralldom." For this work he was recognized by the College at Karilon and permitted unlimited access to the Library at Nomikos to continue his research. But, to his everlasting bitterness, his privileges were revoked when he tripped an enchanted alarm system and was apprehended trying to leave one of the Library's vaults with a rare speaking crystal concealed in the folds of his robe. After that, he occupied himself with eccentric pursuits and vainglorious projects, all seeking to appease the ever more voracious demands of the Unlife upon him. He commissioned daring thefts of rare manuscripts, relics and scrolls from private collections and seats of learning from all the farflung corners of Kulthea. He depleted the royal treasury with this undertaking, as well as with the construction of demented edifices and terrifying monuments around the countryside in homage to the Unlife. ... Many fragmented, sinister cults arose to fill the vacuum left by the deterioration of law and morale in the land. Finally, after one particularly gruesome incident (too hideous even to be repeated here), Bandur's advisors pleaded with him to take some action to restore a semblance of order in the land. ... Bandur, now hopelessly under the control of the Unlife, slew his brother Kestrel in a fit of possession and hatred with a Spell of Absolution Pure. When he came to his senses, Bandur's first instinct was to conceal his terrible transgression. As the new day dawned, he appeared before the remaining troops and announced that Lord Kestrel had died during the night of his battle wounds. ... Bandur returned to the capital city, consumed with guilt and remorse at having slain his beloved younger brother. Troubled by evil dreams and ominous omens, he concocted mind-warping spells and powerful potions to drown his mental anguish. Nothing helped to ease his mind, and the Unlife fed on him with unbounded glee as his inner conflict tore his soul asunder. ... Now totally mad and in failing health, he returned to the capital to appear before an assembly of the high-ranking priests of The Dark Path, who ran the day-to-day affairs of the land. Pronouncing the words solemnly, "Kadaena Throk Farok", he told them, "There is a place that calls me, where I must go. My brother awaits me there. Seek me not if you value your lives. Find me not if you value your souls!" With that, he uttered a Spell of Returning and transported himself to the crypt, within the gates of the necropolis he had built. Sealing himself up in a sarcophagus of his own devising, he muttered a last black spell under his breath and gave up his soul to the powers that it had been promised to long ago."

- "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990)

The words "esoteric lore" suggest the sort of esotericism used thematically in Lovecraft, such as Randolph Carter's astral projection. The point of his being apprehended attempting to steal a rare speaking crystal, which is a Lord of Essaence artifact that details the First Era, might come from "The Dunwich Horror" where the unnatural human offspring of Yog-Sothoth is killed trying to steal the unabridged copy of the Necronomicon from Miskatonic University. Yog-Sothoth is the guardian and gateway of all forbidden knowledge, and quite likely the basis of the notion of Kadæna as "Guardian of the Forbidden."

"The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again."

- "The Dunwich Horror"; H.P. Lovecraft

"By the time the rite was over Carter knew that he was in no region whose place could be told by earth’s geographers, and in no age whose date history could fix. For the nature of what was happening was not wholly unfamiliar to him. There were hints of it in the cryptical Pnakotic fragments, and a whole chapter in the forbidden Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred had taken on significance when he had deciphered the designs graven on the Silver Key. A gate had been unlocked—not indeed the Ultimate Gate, but one leading from earth and time to that extension of earth which is outside time, and from which in turn the Ultimate Gate leads fearsomely and perilously to the Last Void which is outside all earths, all universes, and all matter."

- "Through the Gates of the Silver Key"; H.P. Lovecraft

The other details of Bandur being driven on to obscure quests and stealing specific things from all over the world, which implies both knowing the things exist and where to find them, along with his demented edifice construction likely comes from "The Shadow out of Time." In this story there is a very ancient race of telepaths who can see the future, including their own deaths, and transfer their consciousness into other races in the future to evade death. This gives such people foreign memories, fits of possession and amnesia, and fragmentary knowledge they obsess to piece together into understanding.

If this is the intent when Bandur gives his soul up to Kadæna, presumably, the Graveyard might be implying that Empress Kadæna herself is frozen in the ice sarcophagus in his body as a malevolent trick. This would invert Baldur/Hel and correspond to Nyarlathotep's trickery in using Randolph Carter to capture Earth's gods and return them to the cold waste of Kadath at the end of "The Dream-Quest". The concept might be that Bandur is tormented with guilt, and Kestrel went to Oblivion, so Bandur is warning the Dark Path priests not to follow him. They would lose their lives to seek him in Purgatory, and they would lose their souls to Eissa if they found him in Oblivion. This would make the "In Homage to that which defies Death itself" inscription mocking as well, and turn the whole story into an inversion.

Thematic Excerpts from the Shadow out of Time:

(1) Far Flung Quests and Seats of Learning

"I will not attempt to tell much of my life from 1908 to 1913, since readers may glean all the outward essentials—as I largely had to do—from files of old newspapers and scientific journals. I was given charge of my funds, and spent them slowly and on the whole wisely, in travel and in study at various centres of learning. My travels, however, were singular in the extreme; involving long visits to remote and desolate places. In 1909 I spent a month in the Himalayas, and in 1911 aroused much attention through a camel trip into the unknown deserts of Arabia. What happened on those journeys I have never been able to learn. During the summer of 1912 I chartered a ship and sailed in the Arctic north of Spitzbergen, afterward shewing signs of disappointment. Later in that year I spent weeks alone beyond the limits of previous or subsequent exploration in the vast limestone cavern systems of western Virginia—black labyrinths so complex that no retracing of my steps could even be considered.
     My sojourns at the universities were marked by abnormally rapid assimilation, as if the secondary personality had an intelligence enormously superior to my own. I have found, also, that my rate of reading and solitary study was phenomenal. I could master every detail of a book merely by glancing over it as fast as I could turn the leaves; while my skill at interpreting complex figures in an instant was veritably awesome. At times there appeared almost ugly reports of my power to influence the thoughts and acts of others, though I seemed to have taken care to minimise displays of this faculty."

(2) Shadowy Network

"Other ugly reports concerned my intimacy with leaders of occultist groups, and scholars suspected of connexion with nameless bands of abhorrent elder-world hierophants. These rumours, though never proved at the time, were doubtless stimulated by the known tenor of some of my reading—for the consultation of rare books at libraries cannot be effected secretly. There is tangible proof—in the form of marginal notes—that I went minutely through such things as the Comte d’Erlette’s Cultes des Goules, Ludvig Prinn’s De Vermis Mysteriis, the Unaussprechlichen Kulten of von Junzt, the surviving fragments of the puzzling Book of Eibon, and the dreaded Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. Then, too, it is undeniable that a fresh and evil wave of underground cult activity set in about the time of my odd mutation."

(3) Obscure Hobbies

"In the summer of 1913 I began to display signs of ennui and flagging interest, and to hint to various associates that a change might soon be expected in me. I spoke of returning memories of my earlier life—though most auditors judged me insincere, since all the recollections I gave were casual, and such as might have been learned from my old private papers. About the middle of August I returned to Arkham and reopened my long-closed house in Crane St. Here I installed a mechanism of the most curious aspect, constructed piecemeal by different makers of scientific apparatus in Europe and America, and guarded carefully from the sight of anyone intelligent enough to analyse it. Those who did see it—a workman, a servant, and the new housekeeper—say that it was a queer mixture of rods, wheels, and mirrors, though only about two feet tall, one foot wide, and one foot thick. The central mirror was circular and convex. All this is borne out by such makers of parts as can be located."

(4) Memories Out of Time

"Vague dreams and queer ideas continually haunted me, and when the outbreak of the world war turned my mind to history I found myself thinking of periods and events in the oddest possible fashion. My conception of time—my ability to distinguish between consecutiveness and simultaneousness—seemed subtly disordered; so that I formed chimerical notions about living in one age and casting one’s mind all over eternity for knowledge of past and future ages.
     The war gave me strange impressions of remembering some of its far-off consequences—as if I knew how it was coming out and could look back upon it in the light of future information. All such quasi-memories were attended with much pain, and with a feeling that some artificial psychological barrier was set against them."

(5) Correlating Possessed Memories

"But the dreams and disturbed feelings gained on me, so that I had to drop my regular work in 1915. Certain of the impressions were taking an annoying shape—giving me the persistent notion that my amnesia had formed some unholy sort of exchange; that the secondary personality had indeed been an intruding force from unknown regions, and that my own personality had suffered displacement. Thus I was driven to vague and frightful speculations concerning the whereabouts of my true self during the years that another had held my body. The curious knowledge and strange conduct of my body’s late tenant troubled me more and more as I learned further details from persons, papers, and magazines. Queernesses that had baffled others seemed to harmonise terribly with some background of black knowledge which festered in the chasms of my subconscious. I began to search feverishly for every scrap of information bearing on the studies and travels of that other one during the dark years."

(6) Foreign Memories and Nightmares

"The essence was always the same—a person of keen thoughtfulness seized with a strange secondary life and leading for a greater or lesser period an utterly alien existence typified at first by vocal and bodily awkwardness, and later by a wholesale acquisition of scientific, historic, artistic, and anthropological knowledge; an acquisition carried on with feverish zest and with a wholly abnormal absorptive power. Then a sudden return of the rightful consciousness, intermittently plagued ever after with vague unplaceable dreams suggesting fragments of some hideous memory elaborately blotted out. And the close resemblance of those nightmares to my own—even in some of the smallest particulars—left no doubt in my mind of their significantly typical nature. One or two of the cases had an added ring of faint, blasphemous familiarity, as if I had heard of them before through some cosmic channel too morbid and frightful to contemplate. In three instances there was specific mention of such an unknown machine as had been in my house before the second change."

(7) Visions of Other Times and Places

"The glimpses themselves were at first merely strange rather than horrible. I would seem to be in an enormous vaulted chamber whose lofty stone groinings were well-nigh lost in the shadows overhead. In whatever time or place the scene might be, the principle of the arch was known as fully and used as extensively as by the Romans. There were colossal round windows and high arched doors, and pedestals or tables each as tall as the height of an ordinary room. Vast shelves of dark wood lined the walls, holding what seemed to be volumes of immense size with strange hieroglyphs on their backs. ... ... Later I had visions of sweeping through Cyclopean corridors of stone, and up and down gigantic inclined planes of the same monstrous masonry. There were no stairs anywhere, nor was any passageway less than thirty feet wide. Some of the structures through which I floated must have towered into the sky for thousands of feet. ... ... Still later my dreams included vistas from the great round windows, and from the titanic flat roof, with its curious gardens, wide barren area, and high, scalloped parapet of stone, to which the topmost of the inclined planes led. There were almost endless leagues of giant buildings, each in its garden, and ranged along paved roads fully two hundred feet wide. ... [etc., etc.] ... By the autumn of 1914 I began to have infrequent dreams of strange floatings over the city and through the regions around it. I saw interminable roads through forests of fearsome growths with mottled, fluted, and banded trunks, and past other cities as strange as the one which persistently haunted me. I saw monstrous constructions of black or iridescent stone in glades and clearings where perpetual twilight reigned, and traversed long causeways over swamps so dark that I could tell but little of their moist, towering vegetation. Once I saw an area of countless miles strown with age-blasted basaltic ruins whose architecture had been like that of the few windowless, round-topped towers in the haunting city. And once I saw the sea—a boundless steamy expanse beyond the colossal stone piers of an enormous town of domes and arches. Great shapeless suggestions of shadow moved over it, and here and there its surface was vexed with anomalous spoutings."

(8) Trans-Temporal Telepaths

"But most of the tales and impressions concerned a relatively late race, of a queer and intricate shape resembling no life-form known to science, which had lived till only fifty million years before the advent of man. This, they indicated, was the greatest race of all; because it alone had conquered the secret of time. It had learned all things that ever were known or ever would be known on the earth, through the power of its keener minds to project themselves into the past and future, even through gulfs of millions of years, and study the lore of every age. From the accomplishments of this race arose all legends of prophets, including those in human mythology.
     In its vast libraries were volumes of texts and pictures holding the whole of earth’s annals—histories and descriptions of every species that had ever been or that ever would be, with full records of their arts, their achievements, their languages, and their psychologies. With this aeon-embracing knowledge, the Great Race chose from every era and life-form such thoughts, arts, and processes as might suit its own nature and situation. Knowledge of the past, secured through a kind of mind-casting outside the recognised senses, was harder to glean than knowledge of the future."

- "The Shadow out of Time"; H.P. Lovecraft

(Note: This might be able to naturally explain why "Kadaena Throk Farok" is called an Iylarian phrase when it is Iruaric. The amnesia premise might be present in taking "demented" literally, along with his "fit of possession".)

And so on. The general notion is that if the Lords of Essaence are interpreted as having telepathic abilities across time in addition to visions, they can be the analog of the Great Race of Yith who wrote the Pnakotic Manuscripts. These were stored in metal casings underground, similar to the Lords of Essaence preserving their manuscripts in shaalk (Modern: vultite), like the one in the Crypt. The horror of the story climaxes with the narrator finding this very ancient complex, and discovering text written in modern English with his own handwriting. This is a candidate explanation for how Empress Kadæna could be leading the Wars of Dominion millennia after her own death and why Bandur is in homage to "the Shadow out of time" (so to speak.) But Kadæna may also be a Yog-Sothoth figure outside time "now."

[Graveyard, Crypt]
This room holds niches and chests filled with dusty tomes, yellowing scrolls and brittle manuscripts.  The scrolls are fastened with sealing wax and silk ribbons, while the volumes are bound in rare leathers.  Although fragile from the passage of time, the dry atmosphere of the tomb has preserved them.  The documents arouse your interest but the fear that they may contain evil spells and dangerous knowledge prompts you to leave them be.  You also see a stone niche with some stuff on it.
Obvious exits: east

>look manuscript
The pages and cover of the ancient manuscript are made of vultite, accounting for its persistence over the millenia.  The insignia of Gosaena is embossed on the otherwise blank cover.

[Graveyard, Crypt]
You enter the close, stuffy room that houses the sarcophagus of the once-illustrious inhabitant of this imposing crypt.  The coffin stands upright against one wall, almost touching the low ceiling, its painted lid stuck open on sagging hinges.  You shudder as you notice that there are long, fresh tracks on the dust-covered stone floor.  You also see a shadowy arch.
Obvious exits: east, west


"At length I tremblingly pulled the book from its container and stared fascinatedly at the well-known hieroglyphs on the cover. It seemed to be in prime condition, and the curvilinear letters of the title held me in almost as hypnotised a state as if I could read them. Indeed, I cannot swear that I did not actually read them in some transient and terrible access of abnormal memory. I do not know how long it was before I dared to lift that thin metal cover. I temporised and made excuses to myself. I took the torch from my mouth and shut it off to save the battery. Then, in the dark, I screwed up my courage—finally lifting the cover without turning on the light. Last of all I did indeed flash the torch upon the exposed page—steeling myself in advance to suppress any sound no matter what I should find.
     I looked for an instant, then almost collapsed. Clenching my teeth, however, I kept silence. I sank wholly to the floor and put a hand to my forehead amidst the engulfing blackness. What I dreaded and expected was there. Either I was dreaming, or time and space had become a mockery. I must be dreaming—but I would test the horror by carrying this thing back and shewing it to my son if it were indeed a reality. My head swam frightfully, even though there were no visible objects in the unbroken gloom to swirl around me. Ideas and images of the starkest terror—excited by vistas which my glimpse had opened up—began to throng in upon me and cloud my senses.
     I thought of those possible prints in the dust, and trembled at the sound of my own breathing as I did so. Once again I flashed on the light and looked at the page as a serpent’s victim may look at his destroyer’s eyes and fangs. Then, with clumsy fingers in the dark, I closed the book, put it in its container, and snapped the lid and the curious hooked fastener. This was what I must carry back to the outer world if it truly existed—if the whole abyss truly existed—if I, and the world itself, truly existed."

... 

"I have said that the awful truth behind my tortured years of dreaming hinges absolutely upon the actuality of what I thought I saw in those Cyclopean buried ruins. It has been hard for me literally to set down the crucial revelation, though no reader can have failed to guess it. Of course it lay in that book within the metal case—the case which I pried out of its forgotten lair amidst the undisturbed dust of a million centuries. No eye had seen, no hand had touched that book since the advent of man to this planet. And yet, when I flashed my torch upon it in that frightful megalithic abyss, I saw that the queerly pigmented letters on the brittle, aeon-browned cellulose pages were not indeed any nameless hieroglyphs of earth’s youth. They were, instead, the letters of our familiar alphabet, spelling out the words of the English language in my own handwriting."

- "The Shadow out of Time"; H.P. Lovecraft

(Note: This takes place in a room with many such metal containers and texts.)

This premise may be present in the Graveyard outright. The bog makes a point of the epitaphs being written in forgotten scripts. With that being framed explicitly in the room description, it raises the question of why the writings on the parts Bandur built are in the common language of now, six thousand years after his death. Impossibly anachronistic language is used more blatantly in the Broken Lands.

[Graveyard, Bog]
Strangely carved tombstones with fiendish faces and creatures incised upon them bear epitaphs in long-forgotten scripts.  Mute testament to slain heroes and fallen villains, the unearthly silence is broken only by the eerie rustlings of the sirenflower plants growing among the gravesites.
Obvious paths: south, west

When Randolph Carter encounters Yog-Sothoth in higher dimensional space, it is possible for him to be transformed into countless other alien beings. This may be consonant with the Gate of the Void conception from earlier, and is likely continued in the Broken Lands with the Uthex story of giving physical forms to entities. The Dark Shrine may parallel the deed ceremony and is shaped as a key.

"The archetypes, throbbed the waves, are the people of the ultimate abyss—formless, ineffable, and guessed at only by rare dreamers on the low-dimensioned worlds. Chief among such was this informing BEING itself . . . which indeed was Carter’s own archetype. The glutless zeal of Carter and all his forbears for forbidden cosmic secrets was a natural result of derivation from the SUPREME ARCHETYPE. On every world all great wizards, all great thinkers, all great artists, are facets of IT.
     Almost stunned with awe, and with a kind of terrifying delight, Randolph Carter’s consciousness did homage to that transcendent ENTITY from which it was derived. As the waves paused again he pondered in the mighty silence, thinking of strange tributes, stranger questions, and still stranger requests. Curious concepts flowed conflictingly through a brain dazed with unaccustomed vistas and unforeseen disclosures. It occurred to him that, if those disclosures were literally true, he might bodily visit all those infinitely distant ages and parts of the universe which he had hitherto known only in dreams, could he but command the magic to change the angle of his consciousness-plane. And did not the Silver Key supply that magic? Had it not first changed him from a man in 1928 to a boy in 1883, and then to something quite outside time? Oddly, despite his present apparent absence of body, he knew that the Key was still with him.
     While the silence still lasted, Randolph Carter radiated forth the thoughts and questions which assailed him. He knew that in this ultimate abyss he was equidistant from every facet of his archetype—human or non-human, earthly or extra-earthly, galactic or trans-galactic; and his curiosity regarding the other phases of his being—especially those phases which were farthest from an earthly 1928 in time and space, or which had most persistently haunted his dreams throughout life—was at fever heat. He felt that his archetypal ENTITY could at will send him bodily to any of these phases of bygone and distant life by changing his consciousness-plane, and despite the marvels he had undergone he burned for the further marvel of walking in the flesh through those grotesque and incredible scenes which visions of the night had fragmentarily brought him."

- "Through the Gates of the Silver Key"; H.P. Lovecraft

"The Shadow out of Time" might explain the fog beetles in the Broken Lands to the extent that there is supposed to be a beetle race after the fall of man. This pattern of behavior was exemplified by the Norandar character in the Demon Queen of Anwyn storyline, who found the Vvrael scroll in the Anwyn scroll room. His obsession was accompanied by physical and mental changes, and he sometimes claimed to have no memory of it. The scroll was responsible for transforming Terate's sorceress mother into a demon, which is similarly consistent with this Lovecraftian theory of the Graveyard.

"What was hinted in the speech of post-human entities of the fate of mankind produced such an effect on me that I will not set it down here. After man there would be the mighty beetle civilisation, the bodies of whose members the cream of the Great Race would seize when the monstrous doom overtook the elder world. Later, as the earth’s span closed, the transferred minds would again migrate through time and space—to another stopping-place in the bodies of the bulbous vegetable entities of Mercury. But there would be races after them, clinging pathetically to the cold planet and burrowing to its horror-filled core, before the utter end."

"It was evident that the coming doom so desperately feared by the Great Race—the doom that was one day to send millions of keen minds across the chasm of time to strange bodies in the safer future—had to do with a final successful irruption of the Elder Beings. Mental projections down the ages had clearly foretold such a horror, and the Great Race had resolved that none who could escape should face it. That the foray would be a matter of vengeance, rather than an attempt to reoccupy the outer world, they knew from the planet’s later history—for their projections shewed the coming and going of subsequent races untroubled by the monstrous entities. Perhaps these entities had come to prefer earth’s inner abysses to the variable, storm-ravaged surface, since light meant nothing to them. Perhaps, too, they were slowly weakening with the aeons. Indeed, it was known that they would be quite dead in the time of the post-human beetle race which the fleeing minds would tenant. Meanwhile the Great Race maintained its cautious vigilance, with potent weapons ceaselessly ready despite the horrified banishing of the subject from common speech and visible records. And always the shadow of nameless fear hung about the sealed trap-doors and the dark, windowless elder towers."

- "The Shadow out of Time"; H.P. Lovecraft

Miscellaneous

There is little to ground guesswork on which Lovecraft stories might be specifically relevant below the Graveyard. Potential references could easily be coincidences. The first point is the detail that the only connecting path to the surface was dug up from beneath. This could come from Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls", which is inspired by St. Patrick's Purgatory, which has that feature from a vastly pre-historical underground grotto with sub-human cannibalism. There is a reasonable speculation to be made that this may have been relevant to Castle Anwyn, given its other Graveyard parallels.

"There now lay revealed such a horror as would have overwhelmed us had we not been prepared. Through a nearly square opening in the tiled floor, sprawling on a flight of stone steps so prodigiously worn that it was little more than an inclined plane at the centre, was a ghastly array of human or semi-human bones. Those which retained their collocation as skeletons shewed attitudes of panic fear, and over all were the marks of rodent gnawing. The skulls denoted nothing short of utter idiocy, cretinism, or primitive semi-apedom. Above the hellishly littered steps arched a descending passage seemingly chiselled from the solid rock, and conducting a current of air. This current was not a sudden and noxious rush as from a closed vault, but a cool breeze with something of freshness in it. We did not pause long, but shiveringly began to clear a passage down the steps. It was then that Sir William, examining the hewn walls, made the odd observation that the passage, according to the direction of the strokes, must have been chiselled from beneath.
     I must be very deliberate now, and choose my words.
     After ploughing down a few steps amidst the gnawed bones we saw that there was light ahead; not any mystic phosphorescence, but a filtered daylight which could not come except from unknown fissures in the cliff that overlooked the waste valley. That such fissures had escaped notice from outside was hardly remarkable, for not only is the valley wholly uninhabited, but the cliff is so high and beetling that only an aëronaut could study its face in detail. A few steps more, and our breaths were literally snatched from us by what we saw; so literally that Thornton, the psychic investigator, actually fainted in the arms of the dazed man who stood behind him. Norrys, his plump face utterly white and flabby, simply cried out inarticulately; whilst I think that what I did was to gasp or hiss, and cover my eyes. The man behind me—the only one of the party older than I—croaked the hackneyed “My God!” in the most cracked voice I ever heard. Of seven cultivated men, only Sir William Brinton retained his composure; a thing more to his credit because he led the party and must have seen the sight first.
     It was a twilit grotto of enormous height, stretching away farther than any eye could see; a subterraneous world of limitless mystery and horrible suggestion. There were buildings and other architectural remains—in one terrified glance I saw a weird pattern of tumuli, a savage circle of monoliths, a low-domed Roman ruin, a sprawling Saxon pile, and an early English edifice of wood—but all these were dwarfed by the ghoulish spectacle presented by the general surface of the ground. For yards about the steps extended an insane tangle of human bones, or bones at least as human as those on the steps. Like a foamy sea they stretched, some fallen apart, but others wholly or partly articulated as skeletons; these latter invariably in postures of daemoniac frenzy, either fighting off some menace or clutching other forms with cannibal intent.
     When Dr. Trask, the anthropologist, stooped to classify the skulls, he found a degraded mixture which utterly baffled him. They were mostly lower than the Piltdown man in the scale of evolution, but in every case definitely human. Many were of higher grade, and a very few were the skulls of supremely and sensitively developed types. All the bones were gnawed, mostly by rats, but somewhat by others of the half-human drove. Mixed with them were many tiny bones of rats—fallen members of the lethal army which closed the ancient epic."

- "The Rats in the Walls"; H.P. Lovecraft

(Note: Exham Prior is supposed to be an ancestral estate dating back over a thousand years in England.)

Nyarlathotep is referenced a few paragraphs further down, where he is conflated with Azatoth.

"Once my foot slipped near a horribly yawning brink, and I had a moment of ecstatic fear. I must have been musing a long time, for I could not see any of the party but the plump Capt. Norrys. Then there came a sound from that inky, boundless, farther distance that I thought I knew; and I saw my old black cat dart past me like a winged Egyptian god, straight into the illimitable gulf of the unknown. But I was not far behind, for there was no doubt after another second. It was the eldritch scurrying of those fiend-born rats, always questing for new horrors, and determined to lead me on even unto those grinning caverns of earth’s centre where Nyarlathotep, the mad faceless god, howls blindly to the piping of two amorphous idiot flute-players."

- "The Rats in the Walls"; H.P. Lovecraft

Contrast with the pile of body parts in the domed cavern next to the throne room, and the tunnel clawed up from below:

[Under Barrow, Sloping Passage]
This narrow, cramped passage slopes at a steep angle.  Years of accumulated muck makes the footing very treacherous.  As you proceed along it, you come to the disturbing conclusion that the tunnel seems to have been dug upwards from deep underground, by constant clawing and scraping, as though something were desperately trying to burrow its way out.
Obvious exits: up, down


[Under Barrow, Cavern]
A smallish cavern domes out above you, the packed earthern walls appear part natural and part artificial.  It is dimly lit by the same fungus that infests the entire area.  But there are sights here that would be better left in total darkness, piles of bones, heaps of rotting flesh, and things less recognizable, in diverse stages of decay.  The air is full of unseen comings and goings though you feel no earthly breeze.
Obvious exits: east, up
>

>look bone
Your eyes wander over a gruesome assortment of bones. They range from old and crumbling fragments of limbs and skulls, human and otherwise, to others still covered with decaying flesh that twitches with an unwholesome semblance of life as they are worked over by various things of the creeping and crawling variety.

>look flesh
This corpse appears to be that of a fellow adventurer who apparently has died in some less than happy manner. The part of the face that is left is twisted in a final grimace of horror that makes you doubt your sanity at being here.

The description of the adventurer's corpse and the ivory throne in the next room might come from "The Horror in the Museum", which is set in a wax museum depicting horrors such as nightgaunts and Great Old Ones, which was ghost written by Lovecraft. It is also the title of a 1989 anthology of stories he wrote for others, including the first full text of "The Mound", which is important for Shadow Valley.

"Fully ten feet high despite a shambling, crouching attitude expressive of infinite cosmic malignancy, a monstrosity of unbelievable horror was shewn starting forward from a Cyclopean ivory throne covered with grotesque carvings. In the central pair of its six legs it bore a crushed, flattened, distorted, bloodless thing, riddled with a million punctures, and in places seared as with some pungent acid. Only the mangled head of the victim, lolling upside down at one side, revealed that it represented something once human.
     The monster itself needed no title for one who had seen a certain hellish photograph. That damnable print had been all too faithful; yet it could not carry the full horror which lay in the gigantic actuality. The globular torso—the bubble-like suggestion of a head—the three fishy eyes—the foot-long proboscis—the bulging gills—the monstrous capillation of asp-like suckers—the six sinuous limbs with their black paws and crab-like claws—God! the familiarity of that black paw ending in a crab-like claw! . . .
     Orabona’s smile was utterly damnable. Jones choked, and stared at the hideous exhibit with a mounting fascination which perplexed and disturbed him. What half-revealed horror was holding and forcing him to look longer and search out details? This had driven Rogers mad . . . Rogers, supreme artist . . . said they weren’t artificial. . . .
     Then he localised the thing that held him. It was the crushed waxen victim’s lolling head, and something that it implied. This head was not entirely devoid of a face, and that face was familiar. It was like the mad face of poor Rogers. Jones peered closer, hardly knowing why he was driven to do so. Wasn’t it natural for a mad egotist to mould his own features into his masterpiece? Was there anything more that subconscious vision had seized on and suppressed in sheer terror?
     The wax of the mangled face had been handled with boundless dexterity. Those punctures—how perfectly they reproduced the myriad wounds somehow inflicted on that poor dog! But there was something more. On the left cheek one could trace an irregularity which seemed outside the general scheme—as if the sculptor had sought to cover up a defect of his first modelling. The more Jones looked at it, the more mysteriously it horrified him—and then, suddenly, he remembered a circumstance which brought his horror to a head. That night of hideousness—the tussle—the bound madman—and the long, deep scratch down the left cheek of the actual living Rogers. . . ."

- "The Horror in the Museum"; H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald

Contrast with the ivory throne in the throne room next to the corpse with partly missing face:

[Under Barrow, Throne Room]
This high chamber is a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory.  On a dais sits an eldritch throne inlaid with the ivory of human bones.  The walls are carved with gut-wrenching scenes of sub-human figures dancing and gibbering with hellish glee under constellations you have never seen.  Behind the throne is a tapestry whose subject turns your stomach.  You also see a rotted wooden door.
Obvious exits: north, west

>look throne
The bones that make up this grisly seat look as though they were somehow melted together.  They flow and twist like half-melted wax.  You have no idea how it was done and less wish to find out.

There is only a weak argument to make for it, but the banquet hall could refer to "The Doom That Came To Sarnath", where the king and nobles transformed into horrible other things.

"Then, close to the hour of midnight, all the bronze gates of Sarnath burst open and emptied forth a frenzied throng that blackened the plain, so that all the visiting princes and travellers fled away in fright. For on the faces of this throng was writ a madness born of horror unendurable, and on their tongues were words so terrible that no hearer paused for proof. Men whose eyes were wild with fear shrieked aloud of the sight within the king’s banquet-hall, where through the windows were seen no longer the forms of Nargis-Hei and his nobles and slaves, but a horde of indescribable green voiceless things with bulging eyes, pouting, flabby lips, and curious ears; things which danced horribly, bearing in their paws golden platters set with rubies and diamonds containing uncouth flames. And the princes and travellers, as they fled from the doomed city of Sarnath on horses and camels and elephants, looked again upon the mist-begetting lake and saw the grey rock Akurion was quite submerged."

- "The Doom That Came To Sarnath"; H.P. Lovecraft

(Note: Sarnath was located in the Dreamlands.)

Another random long-shot is the odd phrase "natural chimney" in the burial mound. Natural Chimneys park is a Paleozoic ("Palaeozoic" in Lovecraft) formation of limestone monoliths in western Virginia that was known as the Cyclopean Towers in the 19th century. This would be a direct reference to the narrator of "The Shadow out of Time" exploring limestone caverns there and the Cyclopean ruins. "The Rats in the Walls" encoding St. Patrick's Purgatory comes from "Baring-Gould and the Ghouls: The Influence of Curious Myths of the Middle Ages on “The Rats in the Walls”" (1983) by Steve Mariconda.

See Also:

Grand Design

The "grand design" of the Graveyard is partly the symbolism encoded in the major subtexts. These include the parallel to the journey of Dante through Inferno, the Egyptian solar barge journey of Ra in the Osiris myth, the Viking burial mound and Hel-gate. Bandur himself should not have known any of that, unless they are included as embellishments to Shadow World analogs, which is awkward for speaking of the meaning of his design. There is also the inverted relationship with the religion of Eissa, playing off the Gates of Oblivion on Orhan, and the death mechanics of homage and deeds and Purgatory.

"He returned to the site of his foul deed, and there planned and ordered a great graveyard and crypt to be built in the wilds. He oversaw the entire project himself, using magical powers and conjured hordes to complete the undertaking. He enclosed a large area, the burial mound of his brother forming the northern perimeter, with high rock walls and a huge gate. Inside the gate, he commanded a marvelous and perfect crypt to be built. That having been done, and all the enchantments and magical traps placed around the graveyard, Bandur installed all his valued possessions, treasured manuscripts and holy relics in rooms within the crypt. Finally, he was satisfied that the work was finished according to his grand design."

- "The Legend of the Necropolis of Etrevion" (1990)

Click to Collapse/Expand all Grand Design sub-categories...

Plants

The plants in the Graveyard have corresponding I.C.E. lore and may have significance in the major subtexts. These are mostly highly toxic, but terrain consistent. The Graveyard is probably supposed to be on "the windward edge of the High Plateau", which is so far east that it amounts to the northern border of the fiefdom past the Bay. The High Plateau is "arid windswept" and "much cooler and drier on average, with wider temperature fluctuations" than the land around Kelfour's Landing. It is a limestone plateau that is "a badland with a few coarse grasses and shrubs." (Quellbourne (1989), pages 5-6).

The following toxic plants (except dirge-vaon) are all in the Shadow World Master Atlas: Inhabitants Guide (1989), page 10, as well as pages 50-51 of Creatures & Treasures I (1985) with the same descriptions. The Coastal Cliffs release from July 1991 is likely part of the Etrevion story, either the cult purges or the nephew revolt, and includes dreamvine and delphinuris from these books.

Click to Collapse/Expand Plants sub-category...

Salorisa

[Graveyard]
The soft loam of the trail is cushioned by fallen leaves.  The crest of a broad moundlike formation is silhouetted against the sky to the northeast, its slopes carpeted with purple heather and pink-flowering salorisa shrubs.  The ghostly grey visage of a granite crypt haunts the southwest horizon.  You also see a winding trail.
Obvious paths: northeast

Salorisa is an I.C.E. Age term that was not given a new word, and was later retconned when the Elanthian flora documentation was written. Most of the time it is harmless and fed upon by deer. In the early spring its pollen when inhaled will cause damages of anywhere from 25 to 275 hit points. It is symbolically representing a denial of the spring renewal of seasonal rebirth, which is important to the Eissa theology, and its blue leaves would resemble water on the burial mound. The pink flowers, which are the dangerous part, might vaguely resemble the blood from bellacorn capsizing ships in the Bay.

The purple heath is the most common heather in the shrubby highlands. If it has special significance it is either in the history of burial mounds in western Europe, such as with Celtic mythology and mounds, or a sly Viking reference in the fact that it is the national flower of Norway. The purple heather is not toxic. There does not appear to be any mistletoe, mayweed, or other plants named after Baldr.

Deadly Trumpet

[Graveyard]
Weeds striving to grow between the gravel, and the thorn bushes and milk-white trumpet shrubs obscuring the foundation of the crypt provide the only clues that life goes on amid the desolation.  Wisps of tattered cloth and stray tufts of fur are caught upon the thorns.  Several intact gravesites lie to the east.
Obvious paths: north, east, south

Deadly milk-white trumpet is an I.C.E. Age term that was not given a new word, and probably refers to the angel trumpet which is related to deadly nightshade. In the late summer its pollen can cause nausea, blindness, and madness. In the mid-autumn it has black seedpods that cause false euphoria in battle if ingested. It is known to grow in the shadows of evil strongholds, and is located next to the crypt.

Spinewood

[Graveyard]
The small lake overflows the creek bank and laps against your feet.  Low, shrubby spinewood trees grow right up to the edge and some protrude from the surface of the water.  The only firm footing to be found is over the felled logs that hold back the course of the creek, blocking its northward flow.  You also see a natural dam.
Obvious paths: south

[Graveyard, Creek Bed]
The fine, white sand and rounded pebbles on the floor of the dry creek bed make walking difficult but the dense thickets of the spinewood trees and traesharm shrubs along the banks make the former watercourse the best route.  Better to struggle through the sand than to get lost in the trackless wilds that can hide all manner of unpleasant surprises.
Obvious paths: northeast, southwest

Spinewood is an I.C.E. Age term that was not given a new word, and was later retconned when the Elanthian flora documentation was written. Its original lore was that it grew along streams and was covered in tiny spines, causing a severe burning rash and muscle spasms brushed against the skin, and blindness if exposed to the eyes. When inhaled they can cause death from suffocation.

Sirenflower

[Graveyard, Bog]
Strangely carved tombstones with fiendish faces and creatures incised upon them bear epitaphs in long-forgotten scripts.  Mute testament to slain heroes and fallen villains, the unearthly silence is broken only by the eerie rustlings of the sirenflower plants growing among the gravesites.
Obvious paths: south, west

Sirenflower is an I.C.E. Age term that was supposed to become mournblooms, which were later retconned when the Elanthian flora documentation was written. Its original lore was that it makes mournful sounds when the wind passes through it, and often is found near cemeteries and ancient battle grounds. In the modern lore this is closer to mournblooms, and sirenflowers now symbolize prophecy.

Dirge-vaon Vines

[Graveyard]
Through the dense forest, you can barely make out an overgrown trail that leads northeast up a gentle slope.  As the slope rises and levels off, the foliage thins out, changing in hue from deep forest shades and refreshing greens to sere browns and dull, wilted yellows. 
Obvious paths: south

>go trail
[Graveyard]
The trees part to reveal a trodden dirt path.  Along its edges grow scraggly clumps of creeping dirge-vaon vines.  The scant leaves on the few sickly trees that support the vines seem to tremble in some unfelt and disquieting breeze.  A narrow trail leads southwest.
Obvious paths: none

Some dirge-vaon vines creep slowly around, as if groping for something.

A dirge-vaon vine creeps slowly away from you.

(Note: There is resistance here to dragging bodies through the underbrush.)

Dirge-vaon was originally called creeping widow-wort and comes from Quellbourne (1989), pages 6 and 61, and its poison is supposed to cause internal bleeding. It creeps toward any warm object and injects it with the poison. The Elanthia flora lore is slightly different, but similar because of the in-game messaging. Its presence probably symbolizes the garden before the Gates of Oblivion.

Slither Creek

Slither Creek was added significantly later, but has its own references to poisonous bushes. The difference is that here the toxicity is not implicit, but whether it is continuity or coincidence is unclear.

[Slither Creek, South Bank]
Several bushes covered with berries cling to the bank of the creek.  The berries are plump and dark, and very tempting, but as you reach for some you notice the corpse of a small animal beneath the bush.  Several half-eaten berries sit near the body, and you wonder if eating anything from these bushes would be a good idea.  The bank seems solid enough for you to walk into the creek without difficulty.
Obvious paths: east, west
>look corpse
This was likely once a small mammal, although whatever it was seems to have met an unpleasant fate.  The body is twisted, as if it was in pain when it finally died, and several half-eaten berries rest near its snout.

[Slither Creek]
A few dead fish float here, trapped in the dangling branches of a berry bush on the bank.  The smell is noxious, and you briefly wonder what killed the fish only in this area of the creek.  The dirt and rocks beneath your feet are very slick, and you don't care to think about what you may be stepping on. 
Obvious paths: east, west
>look fish
Why would you want to look at a dead fish?  That's gross!

Creatures

The creatures were originally bound to very specific sections of the Graveyard. While rooms such as the center between the crypt and burial mound, and where the nephews are buried, were not sanctuaries they still did not have creatures wandering into them normally. This partly changed around 2000. The creature mechanics changed in the GemStone IV conversion around November 2003. Lesser mummies since 2004 wander outside the burial mound, ghoul masters go down into the tomb wights, and cobras wander into the bog. This obscures the earlier symbolism by location for the major subtexts.

Kelfour Edition volume I number IX dated February 1991 implies that the Graveyard was "early" but did not exist before February 1990, which was the beta test period for GemStone III, but it was released some time before Kelfour Edition volume I number I which has an issue date of June 1990. The higher level creatures were not released yet in mid-1990, the player base was initially all low leveled.

Click to Collapse/Expand Creatures sub-category...

June 1990

These are the creatures that were present in the Graveyard in June 1990. The information is from Kelfour Edition volume I number I. There is a poem implying goblins were originally in the bog before there were death dirges. Greater spiders existed but were not in the Graveyard. It cannot be assumed that the higher level creatures that had not been released yet were not intended until later.

  • Barrow wight (Modern: tomb wight)
  • Cobra
  • Goblin
  • Greater ghoul
  • Lesser ghoul
  • Lesser mummy
  • Skeleton

Kelfour Edition volume I number III in August 1990 still does not mention the bone golems. Lythe has an account of traveling through the crypt to the burial mound, but no indication that there is anything else below ground. The wight lords do not seem to exist yet, and it is unclear if they were there before the assassins, or if they spawned sometimes in the burial mound. There is some artistic license involved. It is unclear if the messaging on saying "Kadaena Throk Farok" was actually different as there is no "ominous chuckle" now, and he implies (erroneously?) he ended up in the ghoul tunnels immediately.

September 1990

These are the creatures that were present in the Graveyard in September 1990. The information is from Kelfour Edition volume I number IV.

  • Barrow wight (Modern: tomb wight)
  • Bloodbeast (*)
  • Bone golem (*)
  • Cobra
  • Death dirge (*)
  • Ghoul king
  • Goblin
  • Greater ghoul
  • Lesser ghoul
  • Lesser mummy
  • Phantom
  • Revenant (*)
  • Skeleton
  • Wight lord

(*) - Marked as "new" creature in September 1990 Kelfour Edition.

The ghoul king is marked as new. The bloodbeast is marked as new. The wight lord is present, but not marked as new. Castle Claedesbrim is not mentioned as discovered until Kelfour Edition volume I number VI from November 1990. Valeria describes the ghouls there as bigger than the ones around Kestrel's burial mound, but she recognized something as a wight lord. This suggests wight lords did sometimes appear in the Graveyard and the bloodbeasts were initially in the Graveyard, though they were at Castle Claedesbrim later, and leaves the ghoul king situation somewhat ambiguous.

The bloodbeasts are a curious point because in the Rolemaster version they are vampiric, with the blood of open wounds streaming out of people toward them. In the mechanical implementation of GemStone III they instead fling caustic blood at targets, which is effectively burning blood. This would be consistent with the Seventh Circle of Inferno with its boiling blood if they were initially in the Graveyard.

"This undead entity is created when a victim dies a remarkably bloody death. It appears as an animate corpse that is completely covered in fresh blood. It is one of the most revolting beings in existence. It usually has 1-6 lesser undead types such as skeletons or zombies with bladed weapons around it to fight foes. All bleeding wounds around it bleed twice as fast, and all the blood is drawn into its body (it receives the hits for its own) as long as the victim is withing 50'. A bloodbeast knows the healer list "Blood Ways" to its level, but it casts the spells in reverse with a 10' range. Again, all blood will fly through the air to the entity and it will absorb the hits. These beings are very intelligent and crave blood even more than a vampire. If it is forced to melee, it does so with a very sharp (+5) bladed weapon."

- Creatures & Treasures II (1989); page 37

(Note: The describe verb for bloodbeasts does not seem to be recorded, so the contrast for them is limited to their behavior. The Seventh Circle reference is punishment of those who were violent to others, living bloody lives.)

November 1990

These are the creatures that were present in the Graveyard in November 1990. The information is from Kelfour Edition volume I number VI.

  • Barrow wight
  • Bloodbeast
  • Cobra
  • Ghoul king
  • Greater ghoul
  • Lesser ghoul
  • Lesser mummy
  • Phantom
  • Revenant
  • Skeleton
  • Wight lord

The bone golem is only listed as being by the tower in Danjirland, and the goblin is only listed as GOrcland. This list only puts one location down for each, so it does not necessarily imply the absence from other areas. The wight lord is listed as the Graveyard but not mentioned in that list for Castle Claedesbrim, though Valeria mentions them in the castle in this issue and the next.

December 1990

These are the creatures that were present in the Graveyard in December 1990. The information is from Kelfour Edition volume I number VII.

  • Barrow wight
  • Bone golem
  • Cobra
  • Death dirge
  • Goblin
  • Greater ghoul
  • Lesser ghoul
  • Lesser mummy
  • Phantom
  • Revenant
  • Shadow assassin
  • Skeleton

This one lists multiple locations for creatures. The wight lords and bloodbeasts and ghoul kings are referenced for Castle Claedesbrim but not the Graveyard. The greater ghouls are in both the bog and the tunnels between the crypt and burial mound. The shadow assassins make their first appearance in the Kelfour Editions, along with the first reference to the cold underground section.

July 1992

These are the creatures that were present in the Graveyard in July 1992. The information is from Kelfour Edition volume III number II.

  • Barrow wight
  • Cobra
  • Death dirge
  • Ghoul king
  • Greater ghoul
  • Goblin
  • Hobgoblin
  • Lesser ghoul
  • Lesser mummy
  • Phantom
  • Revenant
  • Shadow assassin
  • Skeleton

The bone golems were stated as no longer being in the crypt at this point. They were mentioned in February 1991, July 1991, and October 1991. Hobgoblins are mentioned in the Graveyard in October 1991. Greater ghouls are with the dirges in the bog. The describe verb did not exist yet, but the barrow wights would sink their claws into your dead corpse, which does not come from their Rolemaster description. Aegyptia says there were rumors of other creatures in the shadow assassin area, and lower says the wight lords are rumored to be in the Graveyard sometimes, but she had never seen it herself.

                           Monsters of the Graveyard
                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  
   THTS  are  given  against  heavy  hide.   For a description of spells and
abilities, see descriptions at the end of the section.
  
  
BARROW WIGHT (Unlife)                  DEATH DIRGE (Unlife)
=====================                  ====================
Level: 15, medium speed                Level: 9, medium speed
      There are two types of barrow    Attack: Swing (OB 60, THT 99)
      wight; can appear in room at     Special Abilities:
      same time; one uses a broad-           Calm & Fear
      sword and metal breastplate,           Song of Holding
      the other twohanded sword and    Base DB: 75                CPs: 80
      augmented breastplate.           Booty (pawnable price in silvers):
Attack: Claw (OB 165, THT 66)                Dirge skin (35)
      Broadsword (OB 165, THT 84)            Visored helm (6)
      2handed sword (OB 165,THT 79)          Does not carry treasure
Special Abilities:
      Fear                             GHOUL, GREATER (Unlife)
      Immobilization                   =======================
      Life Level Drain                 Level: 3, medium speed
Base DB: 165              CPs: 210     Attack: Claw (OB 40, THT 66)
Booty (pawnable price in silvers):     No Special Abilities
      Wight claw (75)                  Base DB: 20                CPs: 65
      Broadsword (50)                  Booty (pawnable price in silvers):
      Metal breastplate (166)                Ghoul scraping (45)
      Twohanded sword (66)                   May carry silver
      Augmented breastplate (216)
      Wooden shield (3)                GHOUL, LESSER (Unlife)
      Treasure Chests, item, silver    ======================
                                       Level: 1, medium speed
BONE GOLEM (Unlife)                    Attack: Claw (OB 20, THT 66)
(Possibly extinct from Graveyard)      No Special Abilities
=================================      Base DB: 10                CPs: 25
Level: 8, medium speed                 Booty (pawnable price in silvers):
Attack: Swing (OB 100)                       Ghoul nail (45)
      Pound (OB 90)                          Does not carry treasure
      Ensnare (OB 40 or 60)
No Special Abilities                   GHOUL KING (Unlife)
Base DB: 30               CPs: 110     ===================
Booty (pawnable price in silvers):     Level: 16, slow
      Golem bone (35)                  Attack: Bite (OB 125, THT 69)
      May carry treasure                     Claw (OB 120, THT 66)
                                             Fist (OB 90, THT 41)
COBRA (Living)                         Special Abilities:
==============                               Fear & Aura
Level: 2, fast                               Immobilization
Attack: Bite (OB 30, THT 69)           Base DB: 80              CPs: 176
Special Abilities:                     Booty (pawnable price in silvers):
      Poison (3/rnd)                         Ghoul finger (value unknown)
Base DB: 40                                  Double chain mail (166)
Booty (pawnable price in silvers):           Metal aventail (3)
      Cobra skin (25)                        Wooden shield (3)
      Does not carry treasure                Treasure: Chest, items, silver
  
                                                                    More...
                                   -27-
  
  
  
    
  
  
  
GOBLIN (Living)                        SHADOW ASSASSIN (Unlife)
===============                        ========================
Level: 2, slow                         Level: 18, fast, but spends much
Attack: Flail (OB 20, THT 80)                time casting DB spells, and
No Special Abilities                         can be parry tagged. Hint:
Base DB: 30                CPs: 50           make macro to put away and
Booty (pawnable price in silvers):           get weapon in order to avoid
      Goblin skin (35)                       the weapon fire spell. I
      Light hide (13)                        watched Pterelas, a thief,
      Flail (63)                             kill these at level 13 using
      Treasure chest, item, silver           that method.
                                       Attack: Scimitar (OB 150, THT 89)
HOBGOBLIN (Living)                     Special Abilities:
==================                           Weaponfire, Blur, Hues
Level: 3, slow                               Invisibility
Attack: Swing (OB 50, THT 99)          Base DB: 30? (up to 85 with spells)
      No Special Abilities             CPs: 206
Base DB: 25                CPs: 60     Booty (pawnable price in silvers):
Booty (pawnable price in silvers):           Not skinnable, Scimitar (36)
      Hobgoblin scalp (35)                   Treasure chests, item, silver
      Carry only a few silvers
                                       SKELETON (Unlife)
MUMMY, LESSER (Unlife)                 =================
======================                 Level: 1, slow
Level: 7, slow                         Attack: Dagger (OB 25, THT 94)
Attack: Claw (OB 40, THT 66)           No Special Abilities
      Ensnare (OB 10, THT 96)          Base DB: 0                 CPs: 30
No Special Abilities                   Booty (pawnable price in silvers):
Base DB: 30                                  Skeleton bone (10)
Booty (pawnable price in silvers):           Dagger (worthless)
      Mummy shroud (75)                      Woven cloak (worthless)
      Treasure: items, silver                Light leather (26)
  
PHANTOM (Unlife)                       WIGHT LORD (Unlife)
================                       ======================
Level: 2, medium speed                 (Rumor has it that these inhabit
Attack: Swing (OB 20, THT 99)          the Graveyard, but I have never
Special Abilities:                     seen one; stats are from the Wight
      Shockbolt (OB 30, THT 77)        Lords in Claedsbrim Dungeon Lvl 4.)
      Aura                             Level: 17, medium speed
Base DB: 20                CPs: 40     Attack: Falchion (155)
Booty (pawnable price in silvers):     Special abilities:
      None (disintegrates)                   Life Level Drain, Stun Cloud
                                             Fear, Immobilize, Boil Earth
REVENANT (Unlife)                            Wizard Shield
=================                      Base DB: 160          CPs: Unknown
Level: 4, medium speed                 Booty (pawnable price in silvers):
Attack: Broadsword (OB 60, THT 84)           Unknown
Special Abilities:                       _________________________________
      Aura                              /                                  \
      Limb Pain                        |         For a Good Time in         |
Base DB: 45               CPs: 115     |           The Graveyard            |
Booty (pawnable price in silvers):     |                                    |
      Unskinnable (disintegrates)      |    Find the Flower Girl in Town    |
      Broadsword (50)                  |     Give her some silver coins     |
      Reinforced leather (33)          |  Take what she gives you in return |
      Wooden shield (3)                | to the hidden Priest in the Temple |
      Carries no treasure               \__________________________________/

The shadow assassins were listed in the SHIFT verb for the De-ICE conversion (late 1995), but they were replaced with arch wights by the time of Zepath's 1/1/1996 map.

Symbolism

The symbolism of the creatures is covered in detail in the other sections. This is a more concise summary of the points, though they require explanation. Phantoms and cobras do not fit cleanly.

Creature Symbolizes Inferno Circle
Phantom Limbo First
Goblin Blindness Second
Skeleton Gluttony Third
Lesser ghoul Greed Fourth
Death dirge Wrath/Sullen Fifth
Greater ghoul Sullen Fifth
Bloodbeast Violence Seventh
Revenant Suicide Seventh
Cobra Thieves Seventh/Eighth
Wight lord Malebranche Eighth
Shadow assassin Corruption/Lethe Eighth/Ninth

Inside the crypt and burial mound likely follows a different internal logic. The theme is things haunting the tombs of kings, with cannibal nobles guarding them. This is the parallel between the lesser mummies in the crypt and the barrow wights in the mound. The wight lords would also fall under this logic. These are backwards much as the details with Inferno parallel creatures. The bone golems perhaps signify the Egyptian "opening of the mouth" ceremony on ka statues which can be twisted along these lines. The greater ghouls in the tunnels would be the fallen grave robbers the others guarded against.

Prophecy

There are some features of the Graveyard where the symbolism only makes sense if Bandur knew (or anticipated) how things would be thousands of years later. Strictly speaking, the Graveyard gate does not qualify as he would know the corrosion colors of the metals, but the gate would not appear as it does now when he built it. This does imply, however, design based on how things will be much later.

Click to Collapse/Expand Prophecy sub-category...

Human Sacrifice

"Kadaena Throk Farok" is a mocking invocation for a false door leading to Kestrel. This way would not have originally led to Bandur. He would have needed to know the trilithon portal next to the burial mound would be destroyed later, and someone would manage to successfully dig their way up from below. Once this has happened there is a connecting path and the human sacrifice symbolism of the false door connects to Bandur himself. The sun symbolism of the wrecked dolmen applies only later. The ghouls (and other corpses) were probably made from future grave robbers as a matter of design.

Solar Orientation

The elements of the grand design that are implying the real world history of tombs or monuments oriented to the sun, or other celestial bodies, is something that also by its nature is a future oriented aspect of design. The toxic plants may be chosen for their properties of being lethal around the spring and fall equinox (because of Eissa), and the dolmen position would fit that point, and the northeast orientation would instead be about the position of the dawn on the solstice. Regardless of the exact symbolic intent, the burial mound and so on play off this, with the seasonal cycles being future predictions.

Lord High Sorceror

The parallel to the temple's deed ceremony and the Lord High Cleric, which is played off with his "Lord High Sorceror" inscription, is a parallel being made six thousand years prior to its premise existing. This process in the death mechanics mostly does not come from the Shadow World lore, so there is no framing on whether playing off it would make sense as a contemporary reference for Bandur.

Common Language

The inscriptions and writings in the Graveyard, which were made by Bandur six thousand years ago, are in Common that can be read now. There are burial markers in the Graveyard made by others which are "long-forgotten scripts" in the bog. This is problematic as the monuments built by Bandur are older or at most the same age as these tombstones, assuming the room was not altered for the Voln step.

[Graveyard, Bog]
Strangely carved tombstones with fiendish faces and creatures incised upon them bear epitaphs in long-forgotten scripts.  Mute testament to slain heroes and fallen villains, the unearthly silence is broken only by the eerie rustlings of the sirenflower plants growing among the gravesites.
Obvious paths: south, west

Contrast with the writing in Common, which was all done by Bandur himself:

In the Common language, it reads:
In Homage to that which defies Death itself.

In the Common language, it reads:
Bandur Etrevion, Lord High Sorceror, Follower of The Dark Path and devoted brother to Lord Kestrel.

In the Common language, it reads:
Our Lord and Liege, Ruler of the West Country--Never at peace while he lived, and yet to find peace beyond the grave.

In the Common language, it reads:
The Deeds of Kestrel Etrevion, Lord of the West Country.

In the Common language, it reads:
Here lie the sons of Kestrel Etrevion, princes all, who perished in the battle to regain their ancestral land.

In the Common language, it reads:
Servants of the Shadow: Power through Thralldom by Bandur Etrevion, H.S., M.C.L., R.L.N.

>look on manuscript
On the vultite manuscript:
Misc [1]: an official seal
Total items: 1
>look seal on manuscript
It's an official seal; what more is there to say?
There appears to be something written on it.
>read seal on manuscript
In the Common language, it reads:
Property of the Library of Biblia, Reference Department.  Do Not Remove.

(Note: In "Jaiman: Land of Twilight" (1989), page 27, it says "none of the works in this collection is an original" because they would have turned to dust through the ravages of time. Only the research and special collections have original or rare manuscripts, never the public collections. The reference and manuscript sections are separate. The Master Atlas (1989), page 46, also states manuscripts are very large, a few feet wide and absurd to conceal.)

What might undermine this argument is the library seal on the manuscript also being in Common. This might not be a problem, however, as it is allegedly from the "Reference" section. There are no original manuscripts in the Reference section, and nothing rare because it would be too easy to steal. This is a hint that the "official seal" is fake, like the sarcophagus, with some mocking irony. The titles Bandur gives himself on the book might not be real. There is no indication in the legend that he spent time in colleges earning degrees. His "academic" work was inside knowledge to increase his access to relics.

The Shadow World books do not help with this situation as there is not actually a single "common man" language across all cultures, though in the Aranmor book the writing is all in Low or Black Nureti. The archaic Elven on the slab in Wormwood Slough is apocryphal, as that part of the bog was added in 2000. Though the legend refers to "Kadaena Throk Farok" as an Elven phrase for some reason.

Black Hel

The various references to the Black Hel are almost certainly from times and places Bandur himself never witnessed. The false sarcophagus of Kadæna was probably where the Helm of Kadæna was kept when Bandur was alive, while the references to it from the Temple of Burning Night were centuries after his death. He would also need to somehow know the indigenous language Black Nureti.

Bog

The bog did not exist until thousands of years after Bandur was dead, but he must have made the spatial warp in that spot. The symbolism in it is mostly OOC, arguably being Inferno references in the middle circles. If the bog is supposed to be a flooded "circle" with a path bounded on the side by the creek, that would be an element of the grand design that would not come into fruition until much later. If the creek is supposed to be some inverted analog of the River of Life, the small lake would be the Spring of Youth or the Mere of Life near the Gates of Oblivion on Orhan, but the "natural dam" is not that old.

Purgatory

There is a purgatory section of the Graveyard's design. Bandur himself should never have visited Purgatory, because Eissa would have claimed his soul. (Unless Kestrel's soul went to Oblivion and his "yet to find peace" epitaph is irony, and Bandur is warning his priests to not follow him.) Purgatory is described as having a struggle between two "prophecies", the light and the darkness, each vying for your loyalty.

Layout

The orientation of the 1990 parts of the Graveyard are on an overall southwest-northeast axis. This does not include the parts where locals and debased descendants buried people later. The crypt itself is oriented north-south and the burial mound is instead west-east. This is most likely playing off Egyptian death mythology symbolism. In the case of the burial mound the Saxons mostly buried people facing west, which is seemingly the opposite of how the Kestrel coffin is oriented. The symbolism is generally about being unable to sail through the afterlife and denying the dawn or rebirth of the sun.

There are spatial warps in the Graveyard which are in one sense subtle but obvious if considered. The forest approach from the Landing involves hidden magical transport, because the plateau is much further east. The greater ghoul tunnels, the bog, and the shadow assassin area around the ice room (now arch wights) have mazes with impossible directions. When on top of the burial mound the crypt is "southeast" when it should be southwest. Underground the "under crypt" is north of the "under barrow" which is backwards. This is obscured by the 1998 extension that made a path into albino tomb spiders. The steep descent into the earth involving facing one way and walking the other way might refer to the Eighth Circle of Inferno. The punishment of the seers was to walk in a circle with their heads on backwards.

Click to Collapse/Expand Layout sub-category...

Original

The symbolic content of the Graveyard has to be focused on the parts released in 1990. There were probably no expansions until Shadow Valley in 1995.

                        Guided Tour of the Graveyard
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                           by Aegyptia Nyctadaemus

   / \                                                                    \
   |@/____________________________________________________________________/
   |                                                                     |
   |           N                                                         |
   |         W + E                                   -=GRAVEYARD=-       |
   |           S                                      CONTINUED ON       |
   |                                                      MAP 2          |
   |                                                       \|/           |
   |    =============================      GY GATE, INSIDE  A  push gate |
   |    |                           |                       |  go gate   |
   |    |          MAP 1:           |     GY GATE, OUTSIDE  18           |
   |    | APPROACH TO THE GRAVEYARD |                      /             |
   |    |                           |                   go path          |
   |    =============================                    /               |
   |                                                    17               |
   |                                                    /                |
   |                                                go trail             |
   |                                                   /                 |
   |             OUTSIDE                              16                 |
   | K           KELFOUR'S                            |                  |
   | O           LANDING                          THE MAZE               |
   | B     go    MAIN GATE                        OF TREES               |
   | O-1--path--(WAYSIDE INN)                         |                  |
   | L |                                   Heading toward the GY,        |
   | D 2     KELFOUR'S LANDING             keep going northeast and      |
   | S |     RIVER GATE (Not               north until you are out of    |
   |   3     open to foot   -----X         the maze; leaving the GY,     |
   |   |     traffic)            |         keep going south and          |
   |   4                         X         southwest till you are out.   |
   |   |              MINE ROAD  |    go               /                 |
   |   5                  |      13--trail--14--15--THE MAZE             |
   |   |                climb    |                  OF TREES             |
   |   6                 bank    12                                      |
   |  / \           go    |     /                                        |
   | X   7--8--9--bridge--10--11                                         |
   | |                    |                                              |
   | GRASSLANDS        VANTAGE                                           |
   |                    POINT                                            |
   |                                                                     |
   |         ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~         |
   |   MONSTERS:       1-10            11-15           16-18             |
   |                 Torkaans         Usually       No monsters          |
  _|                Wolverines      No monsters                          |
 /@|                                                                     |
 \_/_____________________________________________________________________/

   / \                                                                    \
   |@/____________________________________________________________________/
   |                                                                     |
   |    N                   ====================             A-J         |
   |  W + E       HH        |                  |          Skeletons      |
   |    S        /          |      MAP 2:      |    |   Lesser Ghouls    |
   |           GG           |    GRAVEYARD,    |    |     Phantoms       |
   |           /            |   GROUND LEVEL   |    |      Goblins       |
   |         FF             |                  |    |                    |
   |          |             ====================    |                    |
   |       down/up                                  |         K          |
   |          |                                     |    No monsters     |
   |         EE               V----U----T           |                    |
   |          |              /         / \          |                    |
   |    go dam/go bank      W         /   \         |        L-N         |
   |          |            /|   go gulley  \        |   Lesser Mummies   |
   |         DD           X |       /       S       |    Bone Golem?     |
   |          |          / \|     UU       /        |                    |
   |         CC--BB----AA   Y             /         |                    |
   |            /       |    \           /          |       EE-HH        |
   |       go path      |     Z------Q--R           |      Cobras        |
   |           /        |            |              |                    |
   |    MM---JJ----KK   |            P              |                    |
   |     |\   |\   |    |           /               |        O-DD        |
   |     | \  | \  |    |          O                |     and RR-TT      |
   |     |  \ |  \ |    RR         |                |     Hobgoblins     |
   |     |   \|   \|    |          |                |      Revenants     |
   |     `*   NN---LL   |          |                |                    |
   |           \        |       go trail            |                    |
   |        go trail    |          |                |       JJ-TT        |
   |             \      |          |                |   Greater Ghouls   |
   |             OO-PP-QQ          |                |    Death Dirges    |
   |             /                 |                |                    |
   |            SS       E---------F                |                    |
   |           /        /   LEADS   \               |         UU         |
   |          TT       / UNDER CRYPT \              |     Ghoul Kings    |
   |                  /  (SEE MAP 3)  \                                  |
   |                 D           |     G               ___               |
   |                 |     L--M--N     |            _{(___)              |
   |                 C        |        H--J      __{\{_____}__           |
   |  * From MM,     |     go arch     |       _|\_\{_______}_\          |
   |    south goes   B        |        I     _{ \|~~~~~~~~~~~~~|__       |
   |    one-way       \       K       /     (\_\{_______________}_\      |
   |    to LL          \      |      /     (\(_____________________)     |
   |                    \    go     /      \(     IN MEMORIAM       )    |
   |                     \  crypt/ /      |\=========================    |
   |                      \  out  /       | |          ~~~          |    |
   |                       \  |  /        | |  "Here lie the sons   |    |
   |                        \ | /         | |  of Kestrel Etrevion, |    |
   |                         \|/          | |     princes all,      |    |
   |                          A           | |     who perished      |    |
   |               push gate  |  go gate  | |   in the battle to    |    |
   |                          18          | |     regain their      |    |
   |                         /            ; |    ancestral land."   |    |
  _|        START HERE FROM MAP 1       ^^^\|                       |    |
 /@|                                      ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  |
 \_/_____________________________________________________________________/

   / \                                                                    \
   |@/____________________________________________________________________/
   |                                                                     |
   |            N                  YYY-------XXX                         |
   |          W + E                  |       |                           |
   |            S                    |  CCCC |                           |
   |                                 |   |   |                           |
   |                                 |   go  |**                         |
   |    ==================         ZZZ stair WWW                         |
   |    |                |           |***|  /|                           |
   |    |     MAP 3:     |           |  BBBB |      * sw from VVV is     |
   |    |   GRAVEYARD,   |           | /    \|        one-way to TTT     |
   |    |  UNDER CRYPT   |         AAAA     VVV                          |
   |    |                |           | \   */|     ** n from WWW is      |
   |    ==================           |   \   |        one-way to XXX     |
   |                                 |     \ |                           |
   |                                TTT-----UUU   *** se from ZZZ is     |
   |                                 |                one-way to BBBB,   |
   |                         down/   |                nw from BBBB is    |
   |                   RRR----up----SSS               one-way to WWW     |
   |                    |                                                |
   |                 down/up                                             |
   |                    |                                                |
   |                   QQQ-----go-----PPP                                |
   |                         grating   | (n or go cabinet, same thing/   |
   |                                  OOO      to return, out)           |
   |                                   |                                 |
   |                        LLL-------MMM                                |
   |       VV-WW             |         |                DDD-III          |
   |    No monsters?      down/up     go             Barrow Wights       |
   |                         |       door        (These may roam much    |
   |                        KKK        |         further north, but I    |
   |       XX-CCC            |        NNN       did not see any there.)  |
   |   Greater Ghouls     down/up                                        |
   |   (Found mainly         |                                           |
   |     throughout         JJJ                        JJJ-DDDD          |
   |     the maze.)          |                     Shadow Assassins      |
   |                    go pile/up                                       |
   |                         |      go >                                 |
   |                       CCC-----hole-----DDD--EEE--FFF                |
   |                      /         go <     |           \               |
   |   START            BBB       burrow     |           GGG             |
   |  AT VV:            /                    |           /               |
   |  from N          AAA                   III-------HHH                |
   | on Map 2          |                                                 |
   |   say        go corridor                                            |
   | "Kadæna          |                           CURSES!               |
   |   Throk          ZZ                                                 |
   |   Farok"          |                            `___'                |
   | to return        YY (MAZE) down,n/          = /     \ =             |
   | to Map 2,         |        up,s            ==|  o o  |==            |
   |    go       go   XX                       ===|  ___  |===           |
   |  portal    ramp                          ====   ' '   ====          |
   |          |  /                            ====         ====          |
  _|          | /                             ====         ====          |
 /@|          WW                                                         |
 \_/____________________________________________________________________/

These maps represent the layout of the Graveyard that existed in 1990, as well as the locations where the creatures were found. This suggests the revenants stuck to the north side of the bog, and that greater ghouls (who in Rolemaster lore sleep in the muck of swamps) and dirges wandered out into the southern trail. It is best to be cautious about placing a lot of weight on this being exact for symbolism.

Dante

The path around the crypt, the path around the bog, and the path around the burial mound form three "circles." These arguably correspond to Circles 1 through 4, Circles 5 through 7 (maybe 8), and Circle 9 respectively in Dante's Inferno. The number of rooms in each section of the original 1990 parts of the Graveyard may be intentionally replicating the "9 + 1" structure Dante used for his poem.

Tarot

The layout of the paths around the crypt and burial mound would have existed in the initial configuration of Bandur. These might be forming an infinity symbol over Bandur himself. The center room was one of the spots that was effectively an Unpresence location. There is a room on the first plane of The Rift with a robed man walking on a black path with an infinity symbol over his head. In the case of the Rift it is unquestionably a reference to the Magician card from Tarot decks. It might be in the Graveyard as well from the prophecy subtexts, with the Rift room description possibly playing off the Dark Path.

(1) The Magician

[The Rift]
In the distance walks a tall man.  His robe is grey and tattered, but the frame beneath it remains strong.  Above his head floats the symbol of infinity, black and tarnished as the path he walks.  No matter how rapidly you proceed towards him, you cannot seem to catch him, although he moves no faster than a saunter.  
Obvious paths: northeast, southeast, west

[Under Crypt, Ice Room]
This room is dominated by a giant slab of ice. There is a chill here that transcends the cold you felt elsewhere. Piled in front of the ice slab are the remains of many a grisly sacrifice. Bones and skulls lie piled at the base of the slab as though in homage to something. Your curiosity piqued, you draw close to the slab. Dimly within you can make out a richly robed figure. On one side of the room are some roughly carved stairs. You also see a smaller slab of ice.
Obvious exits: none. 

>look slab
Peering into the monolithic block of ice, you make out a human figure trapped deep within, like a fly in amber. It is the body of an ancient sorcerer, richly garbed. You notice that his eyes, rather than being dried out and shrunken, glitter with an evil vitality that raises the hair on your neck and causes you to recall old prayers forgotten since youth.

In the Broken Lands the giant fog beetles might have lobster claws as a reference to the Moon card in Tarot.

(2) The Moon

[The Rift]
An immense moon the color of drying blood dominates the sky. It sheds ruddy crimson light over the broken world, seeming to swallow every other color in its red glow. Horrible beasts crawl over the ground, looking like giant lobsters which raise their claws in tribute to the lunar glow, while man-wolves raise their eerie voices in a primal tribute.

The giant fog beetle appears to be some sort of giant insect. It looks a little like some misshapen scorpion, but the tail on it is not as long as a scorpion's would be, and it flares like the tail of a lobster rather than ending in a poison sting. The segmented body is wide, supported by six short multi-jointed legs. A dull red chitinous shell covers most of its body, and a broad carapace protects its head. Two massive claws provide the creature with formidable weapons.

Irrelevant

Some parts of the Graveyard were added much later, and are only superficially consistent. These have to be ignored because including them makes the symbolism of the design incoherent.

  • The Burial Mound Extension: There is a case for the May 1998 extension of the burial mound that includes wights, ghoul masters, and albino tomb spiders potentially being consistent with subtexts for Shadow Valley. Shadow Valley itself is from 1995 and has its own mixture of Lovecraft and comparative mythology, but on the surface seems only tangentially related to the Graveyard. However, the details of the in-game events are very poorly recorded, and important information may be missing. But the area seems to be minimally related to the Graveyard's own internal logic.
  • The Crypt Extension: The crypt was extended behind the sarcophagus to include wraiths and more mummies around 1996. This is part of a storyline about the town undertaker, Serenity, with a chop shop and grave robbing. The physical space itself has no meaning with the symbolic design of the Graveyard, though it would probably have to intersect parts of it, and makes the crypt very big.
  • Wormwood Slough: The bog extension is from around May 2000 and probably has no genuine continuity with the symbolic design. It has an underground chamber with a slab that has writing on it about Gosaena, who by that time had her modern lore as a prophet of death. This writing is the archaic Elven language that players never had a glossary for translating.
  • Slither Creek: The original dry river bed with the cobras was only a few rooms past the natural dam. The extension that contains water moccasins has no symbolic relevance. Slither Creek may date to 1996 or 1997, but not earlier. Death dirges started wandering in the dam / cobra area in 1998.
  • Burial Grounds: The room with the pentagram next to the nephew's obelisk, along with the burial grounds on the other side of the wall, were added later (January 1999) and probably do not mean anything. The possible exception to this is that this is a year after Castle Anwyn was added and it has a pentagram chamber with Graveyard parallels.

The Vvrael Quest

The Vvrael quest much later had a lot of hidden references with comparative mythology, foreign languages, and various literary sources. There is a reasonable case to be made for Mount Aenatumgana extending the Dante's Inferno parallel in The Graveyard to his Purgatorio and Paradiso. The Drake's Shrine inverts the Great Dragon of the Book of Revelation, so that it is the god-king figure rather than the Beast. Castle Anwyn has some parallels to the Graveyard, and so does the Chamber of the Dead by Olbin Pass outside Icemule. These will be covered in more detail in Research:The Vvrael Quest.

Click to Collapse/Expand Vvrael Quest sub-category...

Chamber of the Dead

In the Vvrael quest (1997/1998) Lorminstra had tasked the halfling Ardo with guiding the Chosen up Mount Aenatumgana to reach the Eye of the Drake, but he was killed by the Vvrael (probably Terate) before that could happen. Ardo is frozen in a block of ice, like Bandur, which is called a "sarcophagus." He is holding a falcon pin. This would be a bizarre coincidence if it was unintentional.

[Chamber of the Dead]	
The corridor widens into a chamber that is bare except for an object in its center, a sarcophagus made entirely of ice. The panels forming its walls are cloudy and striated with swirls and variegations. Although the chamber is austere, designs cover walls and ceiling on every side, a veritable riot of color and form all possessing a striking sense of movement and vitality. The playfulness of the renderings lends the somber form in the cold, icebound bed a sense of joyful transfiguration.
Obvious exits: out

>look wall
The wall is a kaleidoscope of pattern and color, a jigsaw of intermeshed forms all seeming to compete for space on the busy landscape of their rock firmament. The forms depict a variety of beasts, from crouching felines to hulking mammoths. Something seems strange about the wall -- as your gaze travels across it, the outlines seem to shift and once your eyes leave a particular rendering, it becomes nigh impossible to find it again.

>look sarcophagus
The icy tomb is formed of a solid block of ice. Sealed within the freezing grave, visible through the transparent structure, is what appears to be the frozen body of a halfling.

>look halfling
The body of a male halfling lies in peaceful repose, his silky beard flowing down his chest and tattooed arms crossed over that. On the corpse's face, you can still discern a somewhat mixed expression. It appears to be less than a happy demeanor, but still resigned to a fate that can never be changed. The body's hands are lightly clasped around each other, gently cradling an emerald falcon pin as though it were a fragile and precious egg.

The line about cradling the fragile and precious egg is strange. If the crypt in the Graveyard is supposed to imply the ritual of dream incubation, it could perhaps be playing off "incubation."

Scroll Room

There is language in the room of Castle Anwyn, where the Vvrael scroll was found by the (arguably Lovecraftian) character Norandar, that is clearly taken from the scroll room of the crypt of the Graveyard. Aside from a possible parallel in "The Rats in the Wall", and its cannibalism, Castle Anwyn seems more likely to draw off the Vyonnes stories by the Lovecraft circle writer Clark Ashton Smith.

Castle Anwyn: Scroll Room

[Cavern Niche]
Once past the perimeter of the pentagram, the room narrows into a curved niche.  Mounted on the stone of the back wall is a large mirror, its frame thickly carved with serpentine figures that writhe and curl around each other.  The mirror seems strangely compelling.  You also see an ancient carved chest.
Obvious exits: north, northeast, northwest

>look mirror
The longer you look at them, the sinuous forms along the frame of the mirror almost seem to move.  Gazing into the mirror itself shows you nothing -- its face is a flat black pool of darkness with not even a ripple upon it.

>look chest
The chest is intricately carved with a pattern of writhing snakes covering its entire surface in painstaking detail.  The lid is fastened with a locking mechanism made of rolaren that has weathered the years with little decay.


The Graveyard: Scroll Room

[Graveyard, Crypt]
This room holds niches and chests filled with dusty tomes, yellowing scrolls and brittle manuscripts.  The scrolls are fastened with sealing wax and silk ribbons, while the volumes are bound in rare leathers.  Although fragile from the passage of time, the dry atmosphere of the tomb has preserved them.  The documents arouse your interest but the fear that they may contain evil spells and dangerous knowledge prompts you to leave them be.  You also see a stone niche with some stuff on it.
Obvious exits: east

>look on niche
On the stone niche:
Misc [2]: a vultite manuscript, a strangely compelling volume
Total items: 2

>look volume
The volume is dust covered with a legend in faded gilt upon the tooled leather cover.
There appears to be something written on it.

>read volume
In the Common language, it reads:
Servants of the Shadow: Power through Thralldom by Bandur Etrevion, H.S., M.C.L., R.L.N.

Ivory Throne

The "purgatory" section of the Graveyard has an ivory throne made from human bones. Terate's throne in Castle Anwyn where he slumbered, for perhaps thousands of years until he was rejuvenated by the dark power of the Vvrael, is a chair of bones. It is worth noting that the Castle Anwyn bedchamber is hidden behind a tapestry, and in the Graveyard this is an inversion with Bandur sleeping in the larder.

(1) Castle Anwyn

[Audience Chamber]
A strange, flickering blue aurora illuminates this room.  It has no direct source, but seems to be brightest around a monstrous bone chair, the color of old teeth.  The thing is as big as a throne and its surface is polished to a soft gleam.  Facing the chair is a grisly row of pikes, each one bearing a shriveled, mummified head.  You also see a dark hall.
Obvious exits: none

>look chair
The chair is big enough to be called a throne, and grand enough too, with its carvings and ornamentation.  The pieces of it are formed together so cleverly, it's impossible to guess what kind of creature once owned them.

>look head
The hideous thing has no eyes and most of the nose is missing.  However, worse than the dark, broken windows of the eye sockets, are the open lips, frozen in a silent scream.  It almost seems like you can hear the cry echoing in your mind.

>look pike
The pikes stand erect before the chair, the point of each one imbedded in the flagstone floor.  They -- with their horrible passengers -- comprise an eternal honor guard for the colossal seat.


(2) The Graveyard

[Under Barrow, Throne Room]
This high chamber is a madman's travesty of a throne room in purgatory.  On a dais sits an eldritch throne inlaid with the ivory of human bones.  The walls are carved with gut-wrenching scenes of sub-human figures dancing and gibbering with hellish glee under constellations you have never seen.  Behind the throne is a tapestry whose subject turns your stomach.  You also see a rotted wooden door.
Obvious exits: north, west

>look tap
The tapestry is woven with mad scenes of unspeakable cruelty and terror.  As you avert your gaze from the unutterable insanity it depicts, you notice behind it a rotted wooden door.

>look throne
The bones that make up this grisly seat look as though they were somehow melted together.  They flow and twist like half-melted wax.  You have no idea how it was done and less wish to find out.

False Tombs

These bodies are suggestive of being Terate's parents. They match the descriptions of the bodies of King Arthur and Guenevere in Glastonbury Abbey, a famous archaeological hoax, as reported in "Liber de Principis Instructione" by Gerald of Wales. This in turn is a parallel to the fake royal tomb in the crypt of the Graveyard. The creatures of the Anwyn crypt happen to be arch wights.

[Castle Crypt]
The biers march in stately rows into the darkness.  Between them, the stone floor is forced into a complex zigzag, meandering around the burial slabs with no thought wasted on ease of passage, since the business of the chamber has little to do with comings and goings.  
Obvious exits: north, northeast, west

>look slab
Carved sigils ring the edge of the bier, enclosed in a complex chain pattern that curls and backtracks upon itself like a frenzied serpent.  The figure laid upon the slab is little more than a skeleton, but it still boasts a wealth of long, blonde hair that lies across the cadaverous shoulders like spun gold.

[Castle Crypt]
The crypt's somber atmosphere is punctuated by the occasional scratching of rodents and gusts of cold wind that set the cobwebs to billowing.  A heavy aroma of decay has settled over the chamber like a harbinger of the inevitability of death.  You also see a burial slab with a shrouded corpse on it.
Obvious exits: north, south

>look slab
The slab is heavily shrouded in gauzy veiling, but the body lying upon it was obviously a person of great size.  Glints of gold peek resolutely through the netting, showing the deceased was buried in full armor.

Miscellaneous

The Vvrael quest is basically couched in the concept of prophetic visions or "revelation" of the end times. The Vvrael is literally a collective sentience of "anti-mana", making it effectively equivalent with The Unlife by definition. Castle Anwyn is heavily related to the Grail legend. Glastonbury Abbey was supposedly founded by Joseph of Arimathea, and supposedly is the isle of Avalon, the Welsh equivalent of which is Anwyn. It was much later the final resting place of Saint Patrick, and the castle on Lough Ne'halin with its cracked cavern is probably playing at St. Patrick's Purgatory on Lough Derg.

Castle Anwyn may have subtle word plays on medieval terminology like the Graveyard as well, such as the wine casks being kept in the Keep instead of the Buttery, or the Dungeon being located in the Keep. This will all be elaborated in much more detail on Research:The Vvrael Quest. The hidden subtexts in the Vvrael quest are messier than the Graveyard. It is more difficult to filter intent from coincidences. The thrust of it is playing off the breaking of the seals in the Book of Revelation which is the Last Judgment. The sun was blacked out with the sky raining blood near the climax of the Vvrael quest.