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 Sijan City of Tombs

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yanamari

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PostSubject: Sijan City of Tombs   Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:42 am

Sijan, City of Tombs

The city of Sijan is a quiet place. No festivals mar the silence save those for the dead. Around the city, the Plains of the Dead stretch for miles in every direction, filled with tombs and mausoleums. The city itself is built in shades of black, gray and white, age trapped in time, death frozen and unchanging. Graceful towers rise above low-built tombs and wide empty roads, while taverns and feast falls for the living lie deep beneath the city. Life pulses through the tunnels under Sijan, but death walks its streets and goes about its daily business.

A Brief History
Sijan is so ancient that no one knows when it was first built. Some scavenger lords and scholars of First Age history claim it already stood before the Solars ruled. When the first Solars perished, Sijan arranged their funerals. Other savants deny this and suggest that the city's inhabitants promote the myth of an "eternal Sijan" merely to increase the city's mystiqu. A few crumbling tombs outside the city walls may predate the First Age, however, including mausoleums so ancient that not even the morticians' archives record their age or who lies in them.

Sijan escaped most of the warfare that wracked the River Province through the centuries. The mortuary city remained consistently and prominently neutral, offering its services to all who could pay for them, and aid to none. Only once has a foreign army occupied Sijan, in RY 75, when the Imperial Legions posted a talon of soldiers. The Morticians' Order granted the Realm's request, so long as the garrison did nothing to interfere with the day-to-day business of the city. The garisson vanished in RY 77. Nobody is quite sure what might happen is Sijan were roused to anger and to military action...and nobody is in a hurry to find out.

(For more on history, we can chat in game).

Geography
Sijan lies between the River of Tears to the west, the Avarice River to the south and the shadowed forest called the Black Chase to the north. Two bridges across the Avarice lead to the Plains of the Dead, as the vast cemetaries of Sijan are called. Only the living may cross the Rising Bridge to the east, also called the Bridge of Mortals. Only the dead cross the Setting Bridge to the west, also called the Bridge of the Fallen. Countless hearses cross the Bridge of Mortals, as do parties of young morticians sent to cut back weeds and brush in the Plains of the Dead. The Bridge of the Fallen also sees heavy traffic, but only in the night.

The Plains of the Dead
Across the Avarice, the Plains of the Dead stretch for miles, almost to the horizon (15 miles). Enormous tombs, some the size of small towns, ride up from the earth. Some of these massive structures are built for a single hero or ruler, to honor or appease them. Other mausoleums hold the populations of towns or whole cities, or all the warriors who fell in great battles. From such huge structures, the tombs grade down to villa-sized crypts for noble houses to modest family plots. Sijan offers burial for every income.

The valley of Sijan was once musch deeper and steeper, but millennia of building and overgrowth have stacked tombs, crupts and bones on top of one another in such profusion that the valley floor has risen more than 100 feet. Expert morticians periodically descend into the labyrinthine spaces beneath the crypts to maintain these underground tombs and propitiate the buried ghosts.

The Black Chase
The Black Chase is a Shadowland, an eerie and still forest of dark hued pine and black ash that begins a mile or so north of Sijan. Sounds are oddly hushed in the Black Chase, and it is easy to get turned around or lost in these woods. The paths change and seldom cover the same ground twice. Any attempt to blaze a new trail fails, as marked trees shift to new locations.

Two roads pass through the Black Chase. One follows the eastern shore of the River of Tears and is relatively safe, at least in the daytime. The other road which few mortals willing travel, leads deep into the heart of the forest. If anyone alive knows what lies at the end of the second road, they do not speak of it. Stories tell of those who strayed from the river and road and wandered so deep into the Black Chase that they could no longer see Sija or the River of Tears. The details change with each telling, but all such stories agree that those who enter the forest seldom return.

Ghosts sometimes manage to make their way from the Underworld and through the shadowland to reach the world of the living. Some immediately journey to Sijan, while others have business elsewhere.

Sijan in the Underworld
The Underworld's version os Sijan rises in terrifying glory. Much as in the living world, the living and the dead mingle in the ghostly city. In fact, the chief difference between them in the Underworld's Sijan is larger and grander, while its walls and towers rise much higher.

The Observances rule the Sijan of the Underworld, just as they do the living city. In fact, the living Observances serve their dead elders: careers in the Observances do not truly begin until after death. Through the Deadspeakers, Sijanese ghosts contact their living associates, pass along messages, request offerings and involve themselves in living politics.

The dead throng in Sijan of the Underworld-- not just the ghosts of those buried in Sijan, but immigrants from other parts of the Underworld. The ghosts buy and sell offerings and looted jade, while desperate ghosts from across Creation pay vast sums of funerary gold to have messages carried to the living Observances.

In addition, Sijan contains several shadowlands entirely free of Deathlord influence. The largest is, of course, the Black Chase. Ghosts with enough courage and strength can pass into the living world through the eldritch forest. The labyrinth of catacombs and long-biried vaults that spreads out and down from Sijan also contain a number of tiny shadowlands - single chambers where the worlds of the living and dead intersect.

~ FOR MORE INFO, RP it in game, or ask Lori. ~

Can we visit?
The living are most welcome in Sijan. Daily, the city is extremely busy. Families come with their recent dead to lay them to rest. Some to visit their departed dead on a yearly anniversary. Others to make arrangements for their deaths in the future, sometimes as part of a dowry (very common). There are many fees for just about anything.

When you visit, you are placed in taverns and inns located at the very center of the city. Visitors are given a guide and strict rules. Those who break them, are not heard from again.
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PostSubject: Re: Sijan City of Tombs   Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:13 pm

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