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Author Topic: The Frozen Tombs of Gourdynn  (Read 11649 times)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« on: 27 July 2007, 07:31:00 »

Overview.
This strange monument, 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. 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 of 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 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.

These 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 honor 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 coloring agent is applied, though the Eanians keep the particulars secret.

Location.
The Frozen Tombs can be found outside the village of Gourdynn.  It is located in the territory of the Eanians, one of the Ice Tribes.

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.

History.
It is said that many many years ago, a 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 writers life.


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.

« Last Edit: 10 November 2007, 21:48:46 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 27 July 2007, 15:13:10 »

*haha* Seems that my contemplating of perhaps doing an orcish graveyard somehow had a distant effect in the Sarvonian north up there as well, eh? Great to see such entries written, Altario - will see to check it out this weekend!  thumbup
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #2 on: 27 July 2007, 16:33:41 »

Got five minutes...

That's cool, Altario!

Just a few things.
- I don't think, the injerin (have I read it right?) don't venture this far, just use an internal struggle between the icetribes they are famous for.

- Ice can't be made clear by polishing - it is the way it froze if it is like glass or blurred. They could have made an art out of it, how to do it.

Reminded me of the icefestival in Sapporo, you could well add more sophisticated carvings (a bear, a caracal, a warrior) on top of your icecubes. (your choice of course)

- older tombs might loose its shine due to the weather - are they polished to become nice and clear again or just kept as they are?



A very cool idea, could have been from me ;)


Running...
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #3 on: 28 July 2007, 00:29:15 »

Not Injerin, but Inlerin.  They are another of the Ice Tribes, the neighbors of the Eanians.

I will need to look up ice I guess to find out the best way to make clear ice.  The carving idea I will go with.  It's a good idea.  A personal totem of sorts.

I will mention that the older tombs are kept polished to keep them clear.

Thank you both for the comments. grin
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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #4 on: 28 July 2007, 08:05:35 »

Some random ideas and pictures I gathered this day (forgot half of them though ;)) while doing other things. Just ideas which came to my mind, feel free to take what you like or skip what you dislike.

- I‘m not sure if you call that múmmified, are they not just frozen and conservated because of the ice they are in?

- Did I miss the entrance?

- „Graveyard“ - do the icetribes know or use this expression? I think when hearing it on old stones, tombs etc.. well, it is just a „place where graves are“ , but still.

- The area seems small to me, smaller as my garden and then you have 60 icecubes  „Towards the center of the walled area“? How far are they standing fromeach other?

-  Pic which came to my mind - a huge area (windswept, strong snowy winds blowing etc) where thoudands of these icecubes are standing, remains of a battle long ago? They have a fair distance to each other, say 10 to 20 peds? The blocks could even be bigger. Theey can‘t be looked after however, so the old ones are smaller, for they mighthave experienced the one or other warm summer with a few days with melting temperatures?

- Why have just the Eanian such a „Place of the heroes“ , why did not the tribes other copy it as well?

 - Assuming, every Ice tribe has such a special place and this place is of course very honoured - what would happen, if another tribe would come and destroy it during wartimes? An war over generations or at least hostilities, because the assult was so big?

- Probably the destroying of the grave yard of another tribe would be a tabu, but it could happen nevertheless and cause a 100-year war between two tribes which ended only under the reig of... because .. etc

- Maybe these graveyards are hidden in the width of the area and only sometimes someone finds one per chance. But there are a few (one family) in each tribe which know how to find them?

- What for consequences could it have to be disrespectful regarding these places or in these places?


And now a totally different idea for you:

Stonehenge in ice as a worship place for the icetribes - maybe with astronomical significance? (When to do this or that)
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« Reply #5 on: 28 July 2007, 08:08:15 »

How did all thisinformation come to Santharia? Maybe you have a Remusian travellar?


Do you know Turik of Barsalon already and Minoki Kiuru?? (too late to set links)
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #6 on: 28 July 2007, 08:40:21 »

hmmm...*scratches chin*

I go and fix the ice thing, to make clear ice, and when I step out of edit mode, I find 2000 more comments and suggestions.  And go figure, its from you Talia. ;)  You must get a thrill making me work this hard, don't you?? grin


Ah, you know I love it, and love ya for it. ;)  Ok, so lets look at them.

Mummified.  uhm..Freeze Dried??  I don't know..the Inca have frozen mummies.  Is there a better description??  If so, I can use it, but this seems to describe what is there.

the entrance.  Yes, I should describe that in better detail.  I'll give it some thought and see what I can do.

Graveyard.  Yes, I thought maybe this was a misnomer as well, but was at a loss as to what to call it.  I'll think on it.

I like the windswept area where hundreds of these blocks are....interesting...

As the Ice Tribes are not my area, I try to stay small (under the radar if you will), as I remember the discussions my horse was a catalyst to, and if I make small entries, then they aren't setting precedent for the entire tribe.  The next few suggestions are covered in this.

Stonehenge of ice....another interesting idea..........

Uhm, yeah...a Remusian writer.....

and finally...Turik who?  Minoki where??   uhm, I'll look them up.

Well, thank you Talia.  Now I know what I can do if it rains this weekend. cool

You know I joke with you.  Its what I do. evil
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #7 on: 29 July 2007, 05:40:55 »

I've made some changes.  Let me know what next to work on. grin
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Arceon Barrurbeleth
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« Reply #8 on: 29 July 2007, 22:37:14 »

Just a quick thing I noticed:

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

Too much "pracitce" words in this section, try to rephrase this section a bit.
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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #9 on: 30 July 2007, 05:02:22 »

Very sloppy of me, thank you Arceon.  Changes have been made.
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« Reply #10 on: 30 July 2007, 09:03:26 »

Instead of graveyard, why not "burial grounds", "memorial ground", or "death lands"?

I'll look through it as well, seems very interesting at first glance.  I've just got so much to catch up on right now (looks harried, rushes off madly in all directions)


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« Reply #11 on: 05 August 2007, 06:27:14 »

Overview:
-I think that the Ice Tribes have villages and not towns

Description:
- try doing a little rephrasing here because this sentence is quite unclear in it's current state, maybe splitting into two sentences...
Quote
The the weight of these doors is immense, a child would be able to easily open them, that good is the balance of this gate

History:
If an researcher would research entries for compendium he would surely note the dates so we should have some aproximate dates in the History section

About Talia's comments:
Quote
As the Ice Tribes are not my area, I try to stay small (under the radar if you will), as I remember the discussions my horse was a catalyst to, and if I make small entries, then they aren't setting precedent for the entire tribe.  The next few suggestions are covered in this
If Gourdynn was on land that belonged to Inlerin shouldn't Inlerin try to recover their lands by attacking Gourdynn and shouldn't they then see the Frozen Tombs and try to copy them. Try to think of a reason why won't other tribes copy the Frozen Tombs
-about the name, I suggest "Death Grounds" (something between "Burial Grounds" and "Death Lands" ;))
-and of course the ice polishing thingy

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Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin
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« Reply #12 on: 05 August 2007, 06:47:19 »

I can change to villages, not a problem.

The sentence I will change to make it clearer.

As the Ice Tribes are barbaric, they have no calender, so they would have no idea of dats of their own people, so a stranger would have less idea.  As radio carbon dating has yet to be invented (though i may work on it, lol), a researcher would not be able to ascribe dates to it.

The Eanians defeated the Inlerins, who were never able to take back Gourdynn, or even become a threat.

Why would the Inlerins want to copy the Eanian death rite?  They are enemies.  If it was something that might give them a tactical or strategic advantage, sure, but nothing as rudimentary as a burial practice.

And I changed the context of the ice polishing, but to keep the weather from dulling it, polishing would be required in some form or another

Thank you for the comments.   grin
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« Reply #13 on: 05 August 2007, 07:17:09 »

Quote
As the Ice Tribes are barbaric, they have no calender, so they would have no idea of dats of their own people, so a stranger would have less idea.  As radio carbon dating has yet to be invented (though i may work on it, lol), a researcher would not be able to ascribe dates to it.

Actually an Ice Tribes do count the time, although not by calendar, or how else can they know when is the next Langral Meeting.

Quote from: Ice Tribes of Northen Sarvonia Entry
•The Parginlnag (Icebreaking), when the Ice totem melts. This is a celebration for the coming of summer that allows fishing, farming and intensified warfare.

...

•The Langral Meeting. The Icemen Lanruls once in 12 Parginlnags meet in Langral, a sacred place between Aelhrong and Eanin in order to beg the gods for their benevolence and discuss matters of common interest. During the meeting a cease fire is established among every tribe. The only Ice Tribe that does not participate (but yet respects the cease fire) are the Himiko.
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« Reply #14 on: 05 August 2007, 11:17:23 »

The reason the ice isn't clear by the way is because of impurities in the water, mineral differences etc can all change how clear the water is. Ice melting and refreezing as well, frost coating etc. They would have to tend to the older blocks more often, and the tribe might have an underground aquifer that's used to make the blocks.
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