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 Saturninity Hill and the Ainsley Crypt

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The House of Ainsley
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Male Number of posts : 1996
Age : 45
Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

PostSubject: Saturninity Hill and the Ainsley Crypt   Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:51 am

(Having rediscovered this topic from the old CoHGuru site (which appears to be falling faster than the old Mir Station), I've decided to salvage it by copying it here. With my updated Gametable and its expanded assortment of bits and pieces, I shall be rebuilding the chapel and the crypts soon, if only to improve their appearances.)



• The Fountain of the Sorrowing Harp: This fountain rises just inside the entrance yard to the Saturninity Hill cemetery. Lord Dorren Ainsley erected this fountain in the year 1264 to commemorate the arrival of Aelred of the Lyre and his Sorrowing Harp--a lyre, actually--through which Cliath Foaler was brought to justice for the murder of her sister Hekalena. At the fountain's unveiling, Lord Dorren dedicated the fountain to both the memory of his niece Hekalena and the principle that justice in the names of the wrongfully dead must always be served.

A remarkable feat of stonecrafting and engineering, the fountain features six ducts fed by the underground stream which courses beneath Saturninity Hill; These ducts are set equidistantly apart in the base of the basin's statue, a statue of an Angel of Mourning who strums Aelred's famed Sorrowing Harp. Unfortunately, the fountain and its statue--like the rest of the cemetery--have not been well maintained in recent years and have fallen into disrepair. Mud and debris clog the fountain's ducts, the basin's water is shallow, brackish and rife with algae and the statue's finer details continue to show the damages dealt by animals, violent weather and vandals making names for themselves among their peers by setting foot inside the cemetery grounds, an act of blatant defiance against the Ainsley curse.


• The Path of Saturninity is simply the name given to the cobblestone path which runs from the cemetery gates, around the Fountain of the Sorrowing Harp and up Saturninity Hill to the doors of Saturninity Chapel. In absence of groundkeepers, the path has fallen into disrepair; Many cobblestones have been uprooted from the path and kicked around--enough to leave the earth bare in some parts of the path--and visitors walking the path during or after rainfalls must walk through or around a number of mudholes and puddles crossing the path.

The path's state of ruin can be attributed to the fall of House Ainsley. Many visitors came from Bardosylvania's farthest reaches--or even as far as northern Konegheim--to attend the mass funeral. Some were there to mourn, others were there to express relief or concern with House Ainsley's demise. But all of them--numbering into the hundreds--walked the path up to the chapel, then walked the path back down to the cemetery and the crypt. And when the heartless body of Lord Darrovan Ainsley was laid in his sarcophagus, the trees and the grass around the cemetery began to wither and die rapidly, and the hundreds of funeral attendants fled the cemetery very quickly. The groundskeepers quit their post to flee with them; they have never returned, and the path--like the rest of the cemetery--continues to sink further into disrepair.

Though the path and its cemetery now lie neglected, visitors in recent months have reported seeing fresh footprints in the mud around the Path of Saturninity. The rumors of the walking dead persist, but the jaded elders of the citizenry dismiss them readily. Surely it's just the occasional vandal or mournful visitor leaving those fresh tracks in the cemetery.

Isn't it?



• The Ainsley Mausoleums conceal the entrances to the great crypt of the House of Ainsley. Ainsley Mausoleum West is the final resting place of Sir Rigel Fortis, a knight who gave his life defending Lord Bardos Ainsley III from an assassination attempt; With his keen vision he spied the assassin perched among the rafters of the Great Hall of Ainsley Manor, and his selfless act of throwing himself before the assassin's arrows both spared Lord Bardos' life and gave the remaining knights and archers enough time to locate the assassin and put him to death. Ainsley Mausoleum East is the final resting place for Dame Kierre of Bluewood, an errant sorceress who felled the marauding red dragon Veredimalithys at Lord Raskett Ainsley's behest; She did not survive the rain of ice which she herself called forth to slay Veredimalithys, but the dragon perished as well, and the dragon's scourges against Bardosylvania were thus ended.

Symbolically, the two mausoleums--and their contents--stand watch over the gates to the south, ready to serve and defend Bardosylvania and the House of Ainsley in their time of need. To this date, neither Sir Rigel nor Dame Kierre have arisen from death.

After the House of Ainsley fell, the commoners hastily interred the slain Ainsleys and their slain servants in the crypts below, then sealed fast the doubled bronze doors so that no one could get in...or get out. The mass funeral and the sealing of the crypts were both conducted by Abbot Bereghel Menlott, the high-ranking cleric of Wee Jas who had crowned Darrovan Ainsley the Lord of Bardosylvania one year prior. Why the abbot returned to Bardosylvania from his banishment just in time for such a supposedly unanticipated event as the fall of House Ainsley is a subject for much speculation.


• The Lower Yard is the cemetery yard reserved for those commoners and commoner families whose names have been tainted with criminality yet were deemed to be not beyond redemption or worthiness. Remorseless murderers, serial criminals and the like must be buried in the hills and woodlands outside the cemetery...unless they're nobility, of course.


• For those who wish for something more than a simple hole in the ground, the Sepulchers serve as an option to those of greater means. Each sepulcher is dug into the side of the hill and the sepulcher's interior is then lined with either mortared flagstones or baked clay. The coffin is then slid into the sepulcher during the interment, and the sepulcher is then sealed with a large plaque, tile or cut boulder. The seal serves as the sepulcher's monument, and--being much larger than a typical headstone--some seals here feature not only the name and life dates of the deceased but also a long epitaph or a brief life story on the deceased as well.

The upper mantle of the sepulchers is bedecked with a large statue of Lord Wardner Ainsley, clad in a suit of ceremonial plate half-plate armor and embracing Lady Fenne Ainsley at his side. A bereaved Lord Heward Ainsley--son of Wardner and Fenne--had the statue commissioned upon Wardner's fatal defeat in an honor duel and Fenne's subsequent suicide. Though the first of these sepulchers was actually dug, filled and sealed under the lordship of Lord Borogon Ainsley--who preceded his younger brother Wardner in death by roughly three months--the statue atop the sepulchers may lead any less historically savvy passers-by to believe otherwise.


• The Humility Yard is reserved for paupers, vagrants and other impoverished folk. This does not include those who reduced themselves to poverty in service to religious mandate or need, nor does it include nobles who fell from or were cast out of the aristocracy; Those sorts would be interred in the higher yards of the cemetery, wherever appropriate for their social caste.


• The Common Yard is where the majority of commoners are laid to rest, including laborers, artisans and merchants. The province of Bardosylvania does not recognize the practice of slavery, nor are slaves imported from other nations recognized as a lower caste; Slaves who die on Bardosylvanian soil would thus be buried in the Commoner Yard as well, barring the wishes of their "employers" (that is, slavemasters). Slaves emancipated into a state of poverty may be buried in the Humility Yard instead.


• The Noble Yard is reserved for both higher commoners (such as mayors, merchant princes and members of Bardosylvania's military) and lesser nobles (those being knights, lords or baronets not linked to the House of Ainsley by blood or by marriage), most of the latter of whom died on Bardosylvanian soil and were not returned to their homelands for whatever reason. Military officers are buried near the Vault of Helms, while enlisted men and women are buried in the lower Noble Yard further east.

Mausoleums are available for those residents of the Noble Yard with the means to afford them, but the mausoleums must be erected further east, in the lower Noble Yard. The Great Ainsley Crypt lies directly beneath the reaches of the Noble Yard near the exposed vaults, and if too many mausoleums were erected here then the crypt could very well collapse under the excessive weight.


• The Exalted Yard is reserved for heroes and others who demonstrated great valor or honor in their lives...or in their deaths. As Bardosylvania customs have always prized courage and prowess in battle, the Exalted Yard outrates the Noble Yard; Thus, the soldiers and officers of Bardosylvania's army and militias may instead be interred here if they either fell in battle or triumphed through battle and died later.


• The Piety Yard is the burial site for clerics, paladins, saints, paragons of the virtues, recognized prophets and others who have courted the gods. Though the cemetery and its chapel are devoted to Wee Jas, all servants of all gods and higher powers are recognized by Bardosylvania's lordship regardless of their choice of deity or principle.

Further west, the Piety Yard features a separated lot for those deceased who devoted themselves to gods of chaos or evil, and the central monument of this lot serves as the tomb of Lady Avribome Thresh, a master of shrouds in service to Doresain, the god of ghouls and necromancers. Though she led an upheaval against the House of Ainsley and the Order of the Jade Lady--a local chapter of Wee Jas clerics--and was slain by paladins of Wee Jas after a pitched battle at the gates of Dark Grove Hollow, Lord Dorren Ainsley acknowledged her valor in battle and the divine power she wielded, and he hence permitted her remains to be interred in the Piety Yard. She is entombed in the base of a large statue of a cloaked figure clutching a scythe with skeletal hands...a likeness of the dark god Nerull, as both the sculptor and the priestess of Wee Jas overseeing the sculptor's work mistakenly believed that Lady Avribome was a servant of Nerull and were not informed of their mistake until after the statue had been erected. Most fittingly, the statue of Nerull--located directly west of Saturninity Chapel--faces east, and Nerull's head is slightly elevated, as if looking at the statue of Wee Jas which looms from the roof of the chapel.


• The Vault of Eternity is, in essence, the roof of the great Chamber of Eternity in the great Ainsley Crypt. The vault--which protrudes four feet upward from the ground--has been fashioned into a terrace topped with four maplewood benches and a stylized statue depicting two death goddesses--Wee Jas and Evening Glory--back to back and facing west and east respectively, their formless legs twined around each other in a serpentine mass. The edges of the vault's roof used to be crested with stone planters and trellises heavy with flowers and fruit-bearing vines, but the planters and trellises were removed years ago to alleviate upkeep costs.

The terrace consists of layered tile and flagstone braced from below with arches and wooden support beams, and this construction requires vigilant upkeep to prevent the vault's ceiling from crumbling or falling through. The cemetery's groundskeepers performed this duty in previous years, but the decay of the vault's masonry may continue unchecked now that the groundskeepers have quit their duties and fled. A crumbling ceiling could eventually lead to breaches which would permit shafts of sunlight to descend into the Chamber of Eternity below, a most unwelcome structural flaw for any restless vampires wandering the crypt in the hours of light.


• The Vault of Helms is the arched vault of the Chamber of Helms below. The construction of this vault is much sturdier than that of the Vault of Eternity due to the arched construction and the materials comprising the structure. Poured mortar, cement and iron support bars supplement the vault's substructure, and a layer of ceramic tiles and seared wax prevent rainwater from seeping into the vault. Though its aboveground portion has been crafted into a grand cemetery monument, the design does not suffer the labors of supporting statues, planters or visitors, a state of ease which contributes greatly to the Vault of Helms' stability and longevity.



• Saturninity Chapel is a small temple devoted to--and formerly staffed by--Wee Jas' clerics. Priests who have served the chapel or Wee Jas in general may be spared the Piety Yard and are worthy of being interred in the crypt below the chapel instead.

The rooftop features a broad-based granite statue of Wee Jas--arms outstretched and facing west to the setting sun--as well as a small belltower. The interior features a raised dais and another tall statue of the jade goddess, this one in a more mournful pose with the base of the marble statue crafted into a surface which serves as the altar. Pillows on the parishioners' floor were formerly provided for worshippers kneeling during the Hymn of Veneration or similar acts during one of Wee Jas' masses or ceremonies, but the pillows were removed and either destroyed or handed over to Bardosylvania's poorhouses when the chapel was closed roughly two years ago. The rear of the chapel features the priest quarters, the stairs descending into the chapel crypt and a chain near the stairs with which the bell in the belltower may be rung to call the faithful to religious services.

Most previous lords of Bardosylvania have been coronated here, the most recent being Darrovan Ainsley. Lord Darrovan, during his year of reign, ended the House of Ainsley's traditional support for the clergy of Wee Jas, believing that the money "wasted" on tithes and gifts to the Church of Wee Jas would be better spent on matters of the state, the citizenry and the House. Saturninity Chapel was one of the first casualties of Darrovan's campaign against Wee Jas, and he personally ousted the clerics from Saturninity Chapel and closed the chapel to worshippers one month following his coronation. Again, this event has been cause for much speculation and consternation concerning the fall of the House of Ainsley.


(Despite Darrovan's actions, the chapel still retains a quantity of Wee Jas' favor. All clerics, paladins and other empowered servants of Wee Jas may turn or rebuke undead or cast divine spells as if they were two class levels higher, as long as they stand within--or in physical contact with--the chapel or the crypt below.)
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The House of Ainsley
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PostSubject: The Two Crypts   Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:52 am


There are two crypts under Saturninity Hill: The smaller Chapel Crypt to the north and the much larger Ainsley Crypt. The two crypts are detailed below.


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PostSubject: The Chapel Crypt   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:24 pm


The Chapel Crypt lies beneath Saturninity Chapel. As mentioned before, clerics of Wee Jas--chiefly the ones who lived in or served Saturninity Chapel--are interred here. Each burial chamber features a statue of an Angel of Reverence whose wings rise up to merge with the arches forming the vault supports, and each column of burial vaults contains three burial vaults arranged vertically, though some of the vaults remain empty. In the southeast chamber lies the sarcophagus containing the remains of Praetress Urla Bellton, the first cleric appointed to residence in Saturninity Chapel after it was erected by Lord Bardos Ainsley III in recognition of Bardosylvania's providence and growing prosperity despite the land's many troubles, boons attributed to the grace and the favor of the Witch Goddess.


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PostSubject: The Chamber of Dusk   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:26 pm


The Chamber of Dusk is one of two chambers dedicated to the interment of the Ainsley family's lesser house servants, such as cooks, maids, stablemasters and the serfdom's immediate tax collectors. The stairs south of the Chamber of Dusk lead upward into the Ainsley Mausoleum West.

Currently, a number of coffins lie scattered about the Chamber of Dusk in disarray. The burial party was charged with burying or interring scores of Ainsleys and servants who had been killed three nights before, and enough people were gathered with coffins and corpses on biers to deposit over a dozen of the dead in their final resting places simultaneously. The funeral had proceeded normally for the most part, but as soon as Lord Darrovan Ainsley's body was sealed in his sarcophagus, the funeral attendants above ground witnessed the grass and the trees--already dead or bare with the winter cold--blacken, warp and wither before their eyes as the breeze rose into a howling gale and dark clouds descended to blot out the sun. The burial party and the funeral attendants became quite distressed at this ominous occurence and hastily fled the cemetery, even dropping some of the coffins and leaving them where they were, uninterred, as the party ran for the cemetery gates.



This is the western mausoleum and entrance to the Great Ainsley Crypt. The sarcophagus contains the remains of Sir Rigel Fortis, his full-length profile--clad in half-plate armor (with the helm's visor drawn back to reveal his face) and grasping with both hands the hilt of a bastard sword which reaches from his breast to his feet--carved into the sarcophagus lid as a bas relief.


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PostSubject: The Chamber of Dawn   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:32 pm


The Chamber of Dawn is the other chamber dedicated to the interment of the Ainsley family's lesser house servants, such as cooks, maids, stablemasters and the fiefdom's immediate tax collectors. The stairs south of the Chamber of Dawn lead upward into the Ainsley Mausoleum East.

Currently, a number of coffins lie scattered about the Chamber of Dawn in disarray. The burial party was charged with burying or interring scores of Ainsleys and servants who had been killed three nights before, and enough people were gathered with coffins and corpses on biers to deposit over a dozen of the dead in their final resting places simultaneously. The funeral had proceeded normally for the most part, but as soon as Darrovan Ainsley's body was sealed in his sarcophagus, the funeral attendants above ground witnessed the grass and the trees--already dead or bare with the winter cold--blacken, warp and wither before their eyes as the breeze rose into a howling gale and dark clouds descended to blot out the sun. The burial party and the funeral attendants became quite distressed at this ominous occurence and hastily fled the cemetery, even dropping some of the coffins and leaving them where they were, unintered, as the party ran for the cemetery gates.



This is the eastern mausoleum and entrance to the Great Ainsley Crypt. The sarcophagus contains the remains of Dame Kierre of Bluewood, her full-length profile--holding a closed book of magic against her chest and clad in a curling mage robe with her right leg and foot bound in a knee-length sandal protruding from the lower folds of the robe as if walking or advancing--carved into the sarcophagus lid as a bas relief.
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PostSubject: The Chamber of Devotion   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:36 pm


This chamber is reserved for the greater servants of the House of Ainsley--treasurers, stewards, butlers, messengers, jesters, seneschals and the like--who served the Ainsleys for at least 20 years, dying without leaving their service.

A crude tunnel between the Chamber of Devotion and the Chamber of Serenity was dug sometime two generations ago, and the tunnel's mouth in the Chamber of Serenity was spotted by groundskeepers first. Grave robbers were suspected of digging the tunnel at first, but groundskeepers then located the other mouth of the tunnel behind the interred coffin of Egren Horn, a butler who had recently died after serving under Lords Raskett and Borogon for fifty-two years. The rear of the coffin had been torn open and fleshy portions of Egren's corpse had been bitten off and apparently eaten, leading the groundskeepers to conclude that the perpetrator had been a wandering ghoul which had found its way into the crypt. Thereafter, the groundskeepers took better care to seal the bronze entrance doors in the mausoleums--against grave robbers and ghouls alike--every time their duties in the crypts were concluded.
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PostSubject: The Chamber of Hands   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:38 pm


The Chamber of Hands is reserved for those greater servants who either serve for fewer than twenty years or who leave service after twenty years of service and die elsewhere. Fewer servants are interred here than in the Chamber of Devotion; most higher servants tend to serve for many years due to either the prestige of the position, the good pay, a satisfaction with one's duties, a genuine fondness for whichever Ainsleys they serve or--in the cases of the House's less benevolent lords--the fear that one's departure would be interpreted by the lord or his family as an insult to be avenged with severe punishment.
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PostSubject: The Chamber of Eternity   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:39 pm


Presiding over the chamber is a grand water clock, still working after so many generations. Water from the underground stream which runs beneath the cemetery has been drilled and diverted through the water clock's mechanism, giving it function. The water then courses through a small canal--five feet broad and three feet deep--which travels beneath a foot bridge and into a drainage grate at the southern end, through which the water empties back into the underground stream; vampires would do well to leave the canal alone and cross it via the foot bridge. The stone base of the water clock is engraved with a passage in the dwarven tongue, translating to "In the eyes of man, eternal are the mountains. In the eyes of mountains, eternal are the gods."

The intricate water clock--a mechanical composite of bronze, dwarven steel, titanium and adamantine--was a gift from the dwarves of the Gargoyle's Tail Mountains to the House of Ainsley after a war party led by Velda and Weiren Ainsley aided the dwarves by successfully exterminating and driving off a pack of trolls who had settled in the adjacent Swampridge Forest, from which the trolls had been launching frequent raids on the dwarves' caverns and settlements nearby.

Upon his ascension to the lordship, Lord Bardos III exhumed the graves of his grandparents--Bardos and Lebetta Ainsley, the progenitors of the House of Ainsley--from the yard behind Ainsley Manor and interred them in two sarcophagi in the Chamber of Eternity, with Bardos to the west and Lebetta to the east. And there they remain to this day.
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PostSubject: The Chamber of Serenity   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:43 pm


A great number of Ainsley folk end up interred in the Chamber of Serenity, for it is the "catch all" chamber intended for those Ainsleys who were neither coronated to the lordship, distinguished in battle, felled in childhood nor disgraced and cast out from the family. Interment in this chamber should not be seen as a smear against one's name, however, for Ainsleys who served their House and their land through other means--be it service as a diplomat, a scholar, a magistrate, an engineer or even an entertainer--are interred here as well. For the more distinguished Ainsleys laid to rest here, the monuments may herald the deceased one's profession; Turallio Ainsley--who went on to become a prominent engineer and artisan later in his life and who personally excavated and crafted the first artisan wells in the fledgling city of Hope Springs--is interred here, a trio of interlocked gears carved as a relief into his burial plaque.
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PostSubject: Lord Heward's Vault   Sun Oct 07, 2012 5:57 pm


For long decades had the people of Bardosylvania suffered. First came Lord Raskett Ainsley, a self-serving glutton and sluggard who grew fat on taxes and "gifts" extorted from travellers passing through the land. Then came his eldest son, the reviled Lord Borogon Ainsley, a cruel despot and an avid hunter most feared for his habit of turning prisoners (criminal, political or otherwise) loose in the woods only to track them down and kill them for sport. When he met a most fitting reward for his crimes against decency, the throne of lordship was succeeded by his younger brother Wardner, a fair-handed judge yet a lecherous knave who took the unseemly liberty of defiling any juvenile captives who found their way to his dungeon, youths and maidens alike. Fortunately, Lord Wardner's reign did not endure for long; His wife Fenne, duly angered and revolted with his habits, took to seeing extramarital suitors, the last of whom was discovered by Wardner and challenged to an honor duel, a duel which Wardner lost when the suitor soundly ran him through. Grievously disgraced by the entire affair and its scandalous end, Lady Fenne fatally flung herself from Ainsley Manor's parapets within the week after. Her suitor, Sir Miros Larwick--alleged by hearsay to be the secretive Black Knight of Dark Grove Hollow--was pardoned of all wrongdoing by Lady Fenne shortly after Lord Wardner was struck down, though she promptly rejected his attempts at continued courtship and banished him entirely from the Ainsley estate on the morning before her suicide.

Then came Lord Heward Ainsley. At first, Lord Heward seemed to follow in the corrupted footsteps of the three lords before him, imposing heavy taxes and serving the interests of whomever lined his pockets the heaviest. But Heward unexpectedly atoned, mended his ways and came to redemption upon his wife Perinia's mysterious disappearance. Needless taxes were struck from the law books, gifts and donations to his coffers no longer caught his favor and many marriages and land purchases he had previously barred were now permitted gladly. But his most notable change of heart came with his decision to rekindle Bardosylvania's traditional devotion and worship to Wee Jas, by whose hand countless Bardosylvanians had lived and died. Many shrines and a number of temples to the Ruby Goddess were erected with the tithes Heward successfully solicited from the citizenry on the clergy's behalf, and it became more and more clear over the years that long life and prosperity were to be his; he crested sixty years of age without yet showing any signs of disease or infirmity, and the people rejoiced at his good health and the indefinite continuance of his benevolent rule.

But then he unexpectedly took ill and fell into a coma from which he never awoke, slipping away to his final reward three days later. And after his son Darrovan's subsequent coronation, Lord Darrovan publicly declared that Heward had become possessed by a great evil and that no one was ever to disturb Lord Heward's remains. Amid much controvery and consternation directed at Darrovan, a new vault well-removed from the rest of the Ainsley Crypt was excavated and finished. It was here that Heward's remains were interred and sealed away. And sealed. And sealed some more, with any device from barred iron doors to silvered bars to magical glyphs of warding. The mage first charged with laying the glyphs dared to ask Darrovan why the glyphs were to be aimed into Heward's vault rather than outward; Darrovan immediately dismissed the wizard and exiled him from Bardosylvania, then called in a replacement wizard who didn't ask so many questions about his task.
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PostSubject: The Chamber of Laments   Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:04 pm


Only one person is reposited here: Cliath Foaler, to date the only Ainsley legally sentenced to death by a presiding Lord of Bardosylvania. After seeing Cliath hanged at the gallows for the heartless and calculating murder of her sister Hekalena, Lord Dorren--still incensed with Cliath's crime--was in favor of either having Cliath buried in the Lower Yard or barring her from Saturninity Hill altogether. Only after hearing and finally relenting to the persistent pleas of Winna--his younger sister and the mother of both the murder victim and the murderess--did Dorren decide that Cliath would be interred in the crypt with her family yet forever apart from her family; To this end, he arranged for the excavation and construction of the Chamber of Laments, intended to serve as the final resting place for all Ainsleys convicted of cold-blooded murder, found guilty of treason against Bardosylvania and her people or otherwise disgraced beyond redemption. The Chamber of Laments is more of a simple vault than a chamber; It was originally intended to be much larger, but only ten feet into the excavation did Lord Dorren realize that setting aside a separate chamber for murderers and betrayers could be perceived as a reward or an honor for those who would consider partaking in such crimes. The rest of the project was duly abandoned, the excavation was finished with flagstone, corner supports and an arched vault, and Cliath's coffin was placed in the Chamber of Laments as Dorren had intended.
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PostSubject: The Chamber of Valor   Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:13 pm


Bardosylvania has enjoyed a long and proud martial history ever since the robber-knight Bardos Ainsley slashed, hacked and carved his dominion out of the cruel forestlands so many generations ago. Those who draw steel in service to their House and their land are especially prized, and the courageous Ainsleys who have faced their own mortality in battle are interred here--whether or not that mortality was actually realized--beneath the watchful eyes of the statue of the Angel of Victory who, curiously enough, sports the winged helm, body armor, sandals and spear typical to a Valkyrie, one of the Choosers of the Slain from the legends of both Hrothjurgan nations.

Valor and perseverence have seen the House of Ainsley and their vassals through many difficult times in their land's history, and hence these virtues are held in the highest esteem. Barrovik Stern--a young Karkovan warlord who served as one of Bardosylvania's enemies during the Imperial Civil War--was welcomed into the family by marriage after his native tsardom collapsed under Imperial conquest. Lord Darrovan acknowledged Barrovik's courage on the fields of war and declared that Barrovik would always have a place in his family's house, at his family's dinner table and--come the inevitable--within the heroes' vault in the family's crypts.

If only Barrovik had any idea that the inevitable would come so soon.

Through the Chamber of Valor's east wall, a passage opens into a small arsenal. Though the Ainsleys interred in the Chamber of Valor were interred with the weapons, shields and armor which they favored in life, the arsenal was stocked with a variety of armaments, armor and shields and maintained by the groundskeepers over the centuries, out of reverence to the Bardosylvanian legend that the House of Ainsley's dead shall again rise to defend Bardosylvania in her hour of crisis, for better or for worse.
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PostSubject: The Chamber of Innocence   Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:20 pm


The Chamber of Innocence is reserved for all who die in infancy or childhood, be they Ainsley kin or Ainsley servants. The burial vaults are arranged in columns of four here, such is the unforgiving land's child mortality rate. The Ainsley children are interred closest to the statue of the Angel of Innocence who presides over the chamber from the north wall, while the servant children are interred in or near the south wall. The hapless twins Jana and Josia were laid to rest here, as were the infant Turner Ainsley and young Braddeck Ainsley, who went to the Black Earth River for a leisurely outing with his family and drowned miserably in the river at 13 years of age.
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The House of Ainsley
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Location : The Dark Heart of Bardosylvania

PostSubject: The Chamber of Helms   Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:22 pm


This exclusive chamber is reserved for the lords and ladies of Bardosylvania. The two sarcophagi near the statue of the grim Angel of Judgement (sculpted to suspiciously resemble the common idea of Wee Jas' human appearance) contain the remains of Lord Bardos II (with his wife, Lady Gerevalda) and Lord Bardos III (with his wife, Lady Riata Lyrr). The only two lords not interred in the Chamber of Helms are Lord Bardos I--who lies in the Chamber of Eternity--and Lord Heward, whose remains are sealed well away in the vault which Lord Darrovan prepared exclusively for his body. The remaining lords are interred here as well: Dorren, Raskett, Borogon, Wardner and Darrovan, each interred with their wives (though Fenne and Wardner were tastefully separated into two sarcophagi, given their tumultuous history together). The remaining sarcophagi are vacant in endless anticipation of lords and ladies who shall never come.
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PostSubject: A Brief Legend   Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:33 pm


A single coffin.



A column of burial vaults, typically three vaults high. (Notice the light gray slab beneath the coffin.)
A burial vault may be enclosed or sealed with tiles, brickwork or the like.



Another column of burial vaults, albeit deep vaults (in which coffins and biers are loaded into the burial vault lengthwise) instead of broad vaults (in which coffins and biers are loaded sideways).

As a side note, there are few biers in the Ainsley burial vaults; the biers most typically used in the Ainsley Crypt are those which were lowered into the sarcophagi with their more prestigious cargo. The more desirable coffins are quite affordable in Bardosylvania given the province's abundance of lumber, and hence no one with enough wealth and status to be interred in the burial vaults should have to settle for a bier when the departed's funeral arrangements are at hand.


A sarcophagus. Depending on funeral arrangements, a sarcophagus may contain a single corpse or two--husband and wife, either placed side by side or stacked one atop the other, with the biers separated by supports crafted from wood, stone or metal at the corners. Most of the sarcophagi are broad enough to accommodate a single coffin instead of biers, as was the case with Lord Borogon, whose bloodthirstiness and wickedness were so feared that the commoners believed that he would return as a vampire or some other terrible undead monster after his death; with Lord Wardner's consent, his coffin was hence forged from iron and bound together with steel chains and steel bands, then lowered into the sarcophagus, the lid of which was in turn cemented to the vessel.

The last time that anyone checked, Lord Borogon was still in there. And if fortune smiles on the people of Bardosylvania, he'll stay dead.
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