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 Where do the Dales stick their dead?
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2018 :  22:19:26  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So I am mapping The Dalelands again ATM (a side-project off of a side-project off of a side-project, etc...), and I am actually digging into the nitty-gritty of specific settlements (mostly looking for juicy geography tidbits), and I noticed something weird - no crypts, mausoleums, graveyards, etc. Do they just burn their dead?

Launch them into space? Sell them to hungry orcs?

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2983 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2018 :  23:00:00  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Good question.

There is the Vale of Lost Voices. Isn't that more Elven?

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep

Edited by - Brimstone on 12 Mar 2018 23:05:15
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7145 Posts

Posted - 12 Mar 2018 :  23:12:55  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Given the propensity of Zhents and other moonse inhabitants to create undead, I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they burned their dead. They do have the wood handy.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2018 :  00:16:26  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
To be honest, I don't know why cremation isn't mandatory in just about any fantasy/horror setting.

And yet, there is also no crematoriums. I guess the local baker serves double-duty.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 13 Mar 2018 00:16:47
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
3593 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2018 :  01:46:25  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So many areas of the Dales being "nature" oriented, they may leave out their dead.

After being picked clean, the bones may simply be ground up by the family and then scattered in the fields.

AD&D for me!
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Brimstone
Great Reader

USA
2983 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2018 :  02:21:20  Show Profile Send Brimstone a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Probably burn them, or buried in the forests. I wonder what kind of answer Ed of the Greenwood would provide.

"These things also I have observed: that knowledge of our world is
to be nurtured like a precious flower, for it is the most precious
thing we have. Wherefore guard the word written and heed
words unwritten and set them down ere they fade . . . Learn
then, well, the arts of reading, writing, and listening true, and they
will lead you to the greatest art of all: understanding."
Alaundo of Candlekeep
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6618 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2018 :  04:57:27  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
AD&D 1E Unearthed Arcana has a catch-all ceremony spell. One of the ceremonies available to 1st-level clerics or druids (at least to those of most Good-aligned faiths) is burial (effectively a long-term protection from evil which wards off worldly and otherworldly violations), another ceremony is eternal rest (which "hastens the soul/spirit of the creature to its final resting place" and makes the body immune to raising, resurrection, undeath, and pretty much any other magical violations wimpier than a wish). I suppose it is the power of living faith (and/or a beneficent deity) which consecrates these corpses against bodily and spiritual violations.

AD&D 2E brought ceremony back in the form of an orison (a priest's counterpart to a wizard's "0-level" cantrip), so it was probably less powerful than the 1E version.

I imagine that most communities in the Dalelands have access to a cleric or druid of at least 1st level. And I imagine that elves must have their own version, perhaps something which "hastens the spirit's return to Arvandor and hastens the body's return to nature". Not sure what happened to all the corpses of orc marauders (and other monsters) which apparently have been slaughtered in vast numbers throughout this region.


Another possible answer to Markus's original question is that there are few places filled with dead bodies because most of them have already been reanimated as undead bodies. Grave-robbing in the night is, after all, a time-honoured profession (even practiced by Professional Adventurers!), and in the Realms it could be taken to the final extreme where even the dead bodies themselves are valuable commodities - Zhents happily pay for living slaves, they might just as happily pay for unliving slaves, never enough corpses to go around.

Or - quite the opposite - there are indeed many such burial places. But the people of the Dales have learned to keep them well-hidden, secret groves, cairns, and other burial sites which aren't advertised to strangers and aren't found on any maps. It is even conceivable that some Divine/Elven/Harper/Chosen/Mystra meddling or forest ward or mythal-like effect actively obscures the presence of all such sites from predatory mortals who would seek to desecrate them.

[/Ayrik]
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5147 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2018 :  09:22:01  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

To be honest, I don't know why cremation isn't mandatory in just about any fantasy/horror setting.

And yet, there is also no crematoriums. I guess the local baker serves double-duty.



Everyone gets cremated in Impiltur.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3166 Posts

Posted - 13 Mar 2018 :  22:58:32  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Thayvian exports.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
459 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2018 :  22:22:09  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my realms people of Dalelands bury their dead in forest to unmarked graves. Funeral pyres are also common and hidden caves and such might be possible based on faith of the family. There are plenty of elven crypts around and possibly some more for human nobles like Dordrien crypts.
Priests have different bural rituals that protect the dead and anybody can also pay for additional protection. Graves in hallowed grounds are less prone to disturbances and spontaneous rising from the grave and at least clerics of Kelemvor and Jergal have ritual to protect the body from animation called Sealing.
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1072 Posts

Posted - 14 Mar 2018 :  23:27:48  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed explained Faerūn's funerary customs (using Cormyr as an example) in Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminster's Forgotten Realms.

According to that book, "The written or publicly expressed desires of the dead are considered paramount", so if a man wants to be buried under a tree in the lakeside after he dies, that is what usually happens, unless his surviving relatives have a second opinion about it.

As for other people, most dead people is interred by priests of the local priesthoods in specially warded places to protect the bodies from reviving as undead (or at least make rising into undeath unlikely). The bodies of wealthy people are treated magically to avoid this as well (in addition to being interred in a holy land). This "holy land" maybe a temple proper (the crypts below the temple, I mean) or in a plot on consecrated temple grounds for the less wealthy.

So, for your maps, checks temples.

As for the poor people, they are interred in wastelands not so far from the village/town/city, but well away from streams and marshes. But those places have no magical protection against being turned into undead... so, the usual zombie escorting that fellow necromancer may have been one of the poor who died a few days ago. People with known ties to necromancy, or who died from disease or poison are burned instead, and their ashes are interred in regular graves.

You can check for in-deep info in page 105 of Elminster's Forgotten Realms.

That said, since the Thayan invasion in Neverwinter, the people there cremate their dead for fear of necromancers and stuff. Neverdeath Cemetery its just for the people already interred there nowadays (according to the Neverwinter Campaign Setting).

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 14 Mar 2018 23:45:14
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6618 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2018 :  02:25:10  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Important" characters seem to have a tendency to become ghosts and spectres and banshees, etc. Unfortunate characters can fall victim to wraiths and shadows, becoming one of the very same incorporeal horrors which killed them. Not sure what happens to the physical remains of all these restless spirits.

[/Ayrik]
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7145 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2018 :  11:34:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Lord Karsus

-Thayvian exports.



Lol, only if the undertaker has a Thayvian willing to pay nearby. But, then again, there's always the nearby goblins that have to eat.....

You know, had never really thought about it, but I wonder how many undertakers are secret necromancers. Picturing a cemetery with 3 skeletons with shovels digging a new grave in the middle of the night when no one is watching.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
15675 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2018 :  21:13:09  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

Ed explained Faerūn's funerary customs (using Cormyr as an example) in Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminster's Forgotten Realms.

According to that book, "The written or publicly expressed desires of the dead are considered paramount", so if a man wants to be buried under a tree in the lakeside after he dies, that is what usually happens, unless his surviving relatives have a second opinion about it.

As for other people, most dead people is interred by priests of the local priesthoods in specially warded places to protect the bodies from reviving as undead (or at least make rising into undeath unlikely). The bodies of wealthy people are treated magically to avoid this as well (in addition to being interred in a holy land). This "holy land" maybe a temple proper (the crypts below the temple, I mean) or in a plot on consecrated temple grounds for the less wealthy.

So, for your maps, checks temples.

As for the poor people, they are interred in wastelands not so far from the village/town/city, but well away from streams and marshes. But those places have no magical protection against being turned into undead... so, the usual zombie escorting that fellow necromancer may have been one of the poor who died a few days ago. People with known ties to necromancy, or who died from disease or poison are burned instead, and their ashes are interred in regular graves.

You can check for in-deep info in page 105 of Elminster's Forgotten Realms.

That said, since the Thayan invasion in Neverwinter, the people there cremate their dead for fear of necromancers and stuff. Neverdeath Cemetery its just for the people already interred there nowadays (according to the Neverwinter Campaign Setting).

Thanks for the info. I went looking in that book first, before posting this thread, but I hadn't seen anything about burying the dead in the index. It's put in a peculiar spot.

Anyhow, it still really didn't answer my question; it only accerbated it. If there are places where people get buried, how come I can't find any outside of larger city maps?

Right now I am looking at Essembra. The only actual temple in the place (in canon) is one to Gond, and Gondsmen - particularly that bunch (they are very unconcerned about anything not having to do with Gond and inventions) - don't bother with the dead, AT ALL. If the temple has any 'catacombs' at all they'd be for the clergy (and maybe some very devout followers with DEEP pockets) only. They're surrounded by Elven Wood, so its not like they are carrying the bodies very far into the wilderness, and there are no plots of ground for this sort of thing anywhere.

I think I am just going to go with "They all cremate now". It just makes the most sense. In actual countries (like Cormyr) there might be different customs and laws, but in 'backwater' areas they should ALWAYS burn their dead. No-one wants great-grandma showing up for tea a decade after she died.

So getting back to Essembra - I CAN see the Gondsmen running a crematorium, if for no other reason than a big ol' furnace is precisely up their alley. However, since the temple is smack-dab in the middle of the enclosed (by walls) portion of town, I think they would have had to eventually set up the crematorium some ways away from the temple proper (because depending on how the wind shifts, no-one wants to be smeling dead, burning grandma either). Not sure if I want it gas-powered; RAS had done something along those lines in his novels (including copper or brass piping to move it around), and that would definitely fit the Gondsmen, but that might be pushing the envelope of 'modern' in The Realms. I have to think more on this.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 15 Mar 2018 21:14:35
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1072 Posts

Posted - 15 Mar 2018 :  21:45:26  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, the general topic were Ed talked about how people in the Realms deal with their dead is weird. He just addressed it because he said that grave-digging and grave-robbing are legit jobs for adventurers searching for a name...

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 15 Mar 2018 21:51:00
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