THE FROZEN TOMBS OF GOURDYNN

DESCRIPTION - LOCATION - FUNCTION - HISTORY

The strange monument of the Frozen Tombs of Gourdynn is a heroes burial ground. Unlike anything found elsewhere, it is a unique enigma to the otherwise simple and barbaric Ice Tribes of the north. It shows a communal spirit of reverence for the fallen, and a degree of engineering not seen in the Icelands except for the Remusians.

Description. The Graveyard of the Fallen is a place of deep reverence for the Eanians, one of the Ice Tribes. Around this area, a wall of ice has been built up to keep out trespassers, both human and animal. This wall is an impressive structure in itself. Close to 9 peds in height, and 5 peds thick, it runs in a rough circle almost 100 peds across! It was built up over time, with ice blocks at first, fitted together then frozen in place, and then water applied to form a rough coat over it. As large as it is, it is not used as a high vantage point, as the walls are kept smooth, and there are no stairs or ladders to the top.

The Forzen Tombs of Gourdynn

View picture in full size Picture description. The eerie sight of the heroes' burial ground of the Eanians, one of the Ice Tribes of Northern Sarvonia. Image by Seeker.

The gate to the graveyard is another piece of ice engineering that is quite remarkable. Two large doors made of ice hang on iron hinges. Although the weight of these doors is immense, the workmanship is so exquisite that a mere child would easily be able to open them. Two heavily armed guards are always on duty, guarding the entrance. Special permission must be granted by the warlord to enter here.

Within these rough walls, one finds himself in a solemn area. The atmosphere here has been described as "haunting", not to add a pun. Very often, a frozen fog can be seen floating just over the ground, licking at ones legs. But, by far, the most amazing sights are found further in.

Towards the center of the walled area, one can make out large objects rising up through the fog. They are arranged in no particular order, almost chaotic, really, and are placed some 4-5 peds from each other, giving ample room to walk between them. Upon closer inspection, they are seen to be large blocks of ice. They are kept polished and in perfect condition, large rectangular blocks of ice. However, it is when you get close to them that their wondrous nature hits you. Inside each of these sixty or so blocks, is the mummified remains of a human. By their dress, they are obviously Eanian, though their dress also denotes them as very old, some of them going back hundreds of years.

The dead found in the Tombs of Gourdynn are the heroes of the Eanian peoples. There are hunters, renowned for their abilities, and warriors, regaled by their deeds in battles with the other
Ice Tribes. Given a place of honour here is what all Eanian men strive for, though very few attain this privilege.

Each of the blocks is large, about three peds in height, two peds in width, and 2 peds thick. Most are standing on end, so that they tower over visitors, while some are laid out on the ground. In each case, the front of the block is polished to a clarity more becoming of glass than ice. It is what makes these monuments so amazing, the way that a visitor can gaze into the mummified face of an ancient hero. Along the sides of each block, geometrical designs are intricately carved into the ice. Into some of these designs, a colouring agent is applied, though the Eanians keep the particulars secret. Return to the top


Location. The Frozen Tombs can be found outside the village of Gourdynn in the Ice Tribes' territory in Northern Sarvonia. The graveyard is located in the territory of the Eanians, one of the Ice Tribes. Return to the top

Function. This graveyard is used to commemorate the greatest of the Eanian heroes. Though, the exercise of cannibalism is sometimes practiced in areas of the Icelands, the Eanians have taken care not to engage in this tradition when it comes to those hunters and warriors of extraordinary ability. Return to the top

History. It is said that many many years ago, an Eanian leader was felled in battle with the Inlerin tribe. His son, who took over the role of warlord to his clan, was stricken with grief. To lessen his aching heart, he kept the body of his father near him, until it froze. In fact, he even brought the body with him when he went on a raid to exact revenge on their Inlerin neighbors. It was a rousing success, and the Eanians drove back the Inlerins, and gained new land for their tribe. To keep the Inlerins from recapturing the land at a later date, the settlement of Gourdynn was created.

The son then had the body of his father placed in a special area outside of his new home. There it stayed, each year building up in layers of ice. As the body was seen as a good luck charm, it became a site of importance, so much so that a small wall was built in ice around the body. Later, requests for other fallen heroes to be laid next to the old warrior were made. Few were accepted, but it soon became clear that this had become a symbol of pride for the Eanian people.

The great grandson of the old warrior had the walls of the graveyard expanded, and made them larger, no longer just a token wall, but a real wall capable of keeping out unwanted people or animals.

It was during this time that the bodies were no longer just frozen and left, but were now encased in ice. It was seen that the older bodies were decaying and sometimes attacked by scavengers. To combat this, one enterprising young Eanian set out discovering how to protect the bodies. He came up with placing the body in a wooden casket. Once the body had frozen solid, then water was poured slowly into the casket. This water from fresh clean snow or ice had previously been boiled then allowed to cool. The Eanians are careful not to disturb the water too much, or the ice will not be clear. The water is added in small amounts, and allowed to freeze, thus creating multiple layers. Eventually, the casket is filled. When this happens, the casket is cut away. The ice is then kept polished, using warm pieces of soft leather. Once finished, the block of ice is as clear as glass. Of course, there is more to this process than is described herein, but attempts at learning the secrets of the Eanians resulted in the threatening of the writer's life [1]. Return to the top

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Footnotes.

[1] About the Writer: Lyrotal Draconall, a Remusian who had traveled extensively while researching entries for the Compendium, disappeared in 1666. He has provided much information regarding the beforehand mysterious Ice Tribes. To him, we owe a great thanks, and our prayers to his safe return one day. [Back]

 Date of last edit 10th Dead Tree 1667 a.S.

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