Burial Grounds of Ancient Dead

Next in our series of expanded location descriptions, we’ll explore the unbeating heart of Amasya, a rising necropolis of pilgrims and faithful servants.

Nagaskahip, “Nagash’s Graveyard”

For many centuries, these cliffs and the necropolis at their feet served as the final resting place for thousands upon thousands of saints and sinners alike. The residents of Amasya had their burial places, but by far the majority of those were outsiders- pilgrims, who made their final trek to the city or had their bodies delivered to rest here, close to eternity. It is known that some did not wait for death to usher them into the tomb, and chose to seal themselves away in order to curry the Undying King’s favor, offering themselves prematurely in the hope of a better afterlife to follow.

The highest reaches of the cliffs are also the oldest- although many must have been buried at the cliff’s roots in earlier days, these must have been washed away by newer construction, their inhabitants all but lost to time. Far up the cliff face, the air grows thin and passage treacherous, as paths become worn away through the thousands of feet that came before. If there is any wealth to be had here, it is well hidden or well protected- most of the tombs have been picked clean, but some have a reputation for housing primeval terrors (as well as powerful treasures.) The Shrouded Men who once watched over the graves are long gone… or so it seems… but it still takes a strong heart to risk disturbing these ancient ones’ slumber.

Lower down, the tombs become more accessible, larger and more ornate, housing the dignitaries of a more tangible age. The cliff face itself has been refashioned in the shape of mausoleums, and in places replaced entirely by frescoes showing scenes of gods, champions and monsters fighting across the Mortal Realms. Inside the tombs themselves, there are shrines to the dead, commemorations of their lives and hints of the future each deceased hoped for for themselves.

While Amasya itself was alive, these places were guarded by mortal priests and soldiers- now that the city is dead, so too are they, and yet the wards around those laid to rest are newer and stronger than further up, and hence more dangerous. Too, as close as the tombs are said to lie to the Realm of Death, some whisper that there must be at least one powerful guardian stalking its depths.

Finally, at the foot of the cliff there is a sprawling necropolis- mortuaries, columbariums and field upon field of gravestone mark the humble last testament of those too poor to aspire to a place in the cliff. Walking among them, one gets the inescapable feeling that someone is watching- whether it be the benevolent spirits of the dead or something far more sinister is unknown, but speculated upon by students of this place. Whatever the presence, it pays to watch one’s step- there may or may not be a ghost, but the shadow-weed that thrives in neglect has grown fierce and hungry with its nearness to so much mortality, and is not averse to hastening a particularly troublesome or tempting visitor along that path.

Rahipmezar, “The Priests’ Tomb

The tomb of the Priests of Nagash stands opposite Nagaskahip, and between the two of them they frame the constant Ur-River. This place is- or was- not solely dedicated to the Lord of Death, as the necropolis has always been. Instead, it served as a burial ground for the members of any of the multitude of religions that flourished in the Age of Myth, safeguarding the souls of dead Priests. In latter days, though, as the tide of Chaos grew and the Pantheon fell into ruin the priesthood of Nagash occupied the central areas of the tower solely for themselves.

The grounds of the grand tomb are funereal, but immaculately kept- even abandoned for so many centuries, the passage of time does not rest on them at all, and one new to the city could be forgiven for thinking that their patrons had only momentarily stepped away. This is aided by the fact that there is nothing truly living within the complex- even the ancient yew trees that line the walkway leading to the entrance are, upon closer inspection, fiendishly clever replicas of glass, stone, and steel, and no birds nest within their branches. For all this, though, the berries are just as poisonous as those of the living plant.

The outer chambers of the tomb itself are somber and splendid, the graves of generations of priests of a multitude of gods enshrined with all possible pomp and ceremony. Amid the holy symbols of the entire Pantheon, the walls are lined with hundreds of thousands of tiny figures, lifelike apart from their size. Though few who’ve seen Amasya in its former glory yet live, it’s believed that each of them is a representation of someone entombed here or across the river. What is strange is that each figure looks carved by the same hand- and yet, there are tenfold more than any mortal could have made in all Amasya’s history.

Sealed behind the Great Gate, the inner chambers of the tomb hold only the high priests of the Basrahip and their closest disciples- in the final days of Amasya, this meant that this was exclusively the domain of Nagash’s followers. If one could pierce the ancient seals, if one could walk those deathly halls, the sense of foreboding would be almost palpable. Something stirs here, something ancient and wrathful, and it thirsts for vengeance long-denied to it.

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