The Necropolis

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Image Credit: Ingo Mehling [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], from Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s Note: This is one of the early City of Ten Thousand Daggers posts I made on Patreon before I started using World Anvil. Click here for the Necropolis page on WA.

Long ago, the Necropolis was a separate city, but over the centuries the city of Khezvaros has surrounded the city of the dead, which now lies just within the western Imperial walls. The Necropolis occupies an area slight smaller than Old City and is surrounded on all sides by high walls inscribed with ancient magical symbols that contain The Lord of Bones within during his excursions into the living world.

The heart of the necropolis is Griffon Hill, a rocky ridge into whose sides the tombs of the richest and most powerful families in the city are carved. It’s believed that the souls of the dead who are carried to the otherworld by the Griffons of Light are taken directly before Argalak, the Weigher of Souls without having to tarry too long in the Land of the Dead. Since Griffons are flying creatures, people believe that a higher burial increases the chances of their souls being carried away by the Griffons while also offering some distance from the Lord of Bones. Atop Griffon Hill are several elaborate ancient mausoleums (most built for prominent families who died out long ago and now claimed by various Imperials) and the mysterious Tower of Rhalore, better known as the Doorless Tower.

Though it’s less common than it once was, some crypts are still inhabited by tomb servants, who live in the tombs as caretakers and guardians. When a member of the family dies, the tomb servant burns incense and recites magical incantations to help draw the Griffons of Light to the recently departed. In return for their service, tomb servants are allowed to be buried in the tomb they cared for.

Surrounding Griffon Hill are the Fields of Remembrance, which contain mausoleums, sarcophagi, and ossuaries for those who want a chance of being spirited away by the Griffons of Light before the Lord of Bones comes but don’t have the luxury of a cliffside tomb. There are also areas where pyres can be erected for those brave enough to defeat a thousand beasts in order to win an audience with Argalak. Those who fear their meeting with Argalak the Weigher and want another chance can opt to have their bodies weighed down with stones and tossed into the Lethe River, which winds through the southeast through the Necropolis. Their souls will be stripped of all memory and identity and reincarnated.

The truly unfortunate (and the most heinous criminals, who are denied other forms of burial) are tossed into The Pit, a deep chasm at the base of the sheer northern face of Griffon Hill. Since the door to the Land of the Dead is somewhere inside The Pit, those whose bodies are left there are always the first to be claimed by the Lord of Bones when he and his minions enter our world. Those whose souls are claimed by the Lord of Bones are forced into his service for a century before being allowed to stand before Argalak the Weigher.

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