Research:The Graveyard

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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.

This will be a research page for systematically decrypting the hidden meaning and references in The Graveyard. Theoretical and speculative content on relevant I.C.E. Age category pages will eventually be pushed to this page with a forwarding link. Allegorical and symbolic aspects of The Graveyard are mostly backwards or inverted from their real world counterparts.

Sub-Texts

There are solid arguments for The Graveyard having intentional parallels to other real-life sources. The themes of these sources generally involve the Underworld and blocking out the sun.

Dante's Inferno

The correct sequence of rooms of the two original sections of The Graveyard from 1990 parallel the journey of Dante through Inferno which is the Underworld.

Dark Wood

It begins with Dante lost in a dark woods, unable to find the straight way.

Gate of Hell

The Graveyard gate with all its details included looks like it is on fire with a flame burst when it opens.

River Styx

The bog corresponds to the Fifth Circle, filled with the wrathful and sullen.

City of Dis

The ruined funerary gate dolmen corresponds to the demonically wrecked gate of the City of Dis in the Sixth Circle. Trilithons are Lord of Essaence style portals.

Satan

The actual location of Bandur frozen in ice corresponds to Satan in the Ninth Circle. The portal would originally have been the only way to reach it.

Purgatory

The mockery of the palace hall corresponds to climbing up the back of Satan toward the unfamiliar constellations of Purgatory. The exit tunnel is described as being dug up from below.

Egyptian

The basic story of Kestrel, Bandur, and the nephews is roughly the same as Osiris, Set, and Horus. Kestrels are falcons, playing off the Egyptian falcon gods. The Egyptian death religion is based on the pharaoh reaching Osiris in the Underworld so he can ascend with the falcon sun god Ra to keep the sun moving across the sky. The slab in the crypt is an Egyptian "false door" with an offering formula as the invoking element. This is usually "Osiris Lord of the West", referenced instead in the burial mound, but here was originally "Kadaena Throk Farok" (Iruaric: Kadaena Guardian of the Forbidden).

Medieval England

The purgatory section of the Graveyard is modeled on a medieval manor with subtle word plays on room objects. There are various references to Viking practices (including dragon ships and ship burial), and there are several solid arguments for "Bandur" probably being based on the Norse/Germanic god Baldur who had nightmare omens of his own death and was trapped in the Underworld with Hel.

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.