Originally this was a blog for the setting of a RPG I was running, but after the death of my daughter the game came to an end and I posted about her instead. I doubt I will post anything here again, but I am leaving it open as a kind of on-line memorial.
The City of Bones: Introduction to the Tour
The City of Bones
Welcome, welcome, come closer, don't be shy. Allow me to introduce myself: I am Hamesh, and this morning I shall be your guide.
Our tour begins here, at the start of TEMPLE AVENUE, the main thoroughfare of Godsend; or, as it is better known, The City of Bones. To the North is the TEMPLE QUARTER, crammed full of temples, churches, shrines, and the homes of the clergy. Any god you care to mention, well-known or obscure, has someplace of worship in that quarter; and below lies the extensive network of catacombs and crypts that attract many a treasure hunter. Not that I'd advise you to have a go yourself; aside from the disapproving clergy, there're things down there that'd rip your face off, before you even realised you where in danger.
Why so many temples? Well that you ask, for the answer to that also explains the name of the city, its reason for being, and why the WEEPING CHASM– which we'll get to later– exists.
Several centuries ago, so history tells us, a great battle was fought here; the likes of which were never seen before or since, and hopefully never again. It was a battle between the gods, or to be exact, their Avatars: physical manifestations of their divinity, more powerful than the greatest cleric or magi; and there were hundreds. Some were allies, but for the most part it was every god for themselves, with thousands of their followers, clergy and soldiers, magi, monsters and constructs.
There was a city here long ago, the heart of which was but a few miles west of here, where the chasm is at its widest. No one knows who lived there, for it was lain to ruin during the battle. Such was the might, majesty, and wrath of the gods, that the very land was devastated; thousands of mortals died, their blood staining the land for miles around; which is why the stone here has a reddish cast. Not only mortals died, the Avatars too were slain in their hundreds; laid down by mystical fire, divine might, and powerful magic. At the height of the battle the death of several Avatars, all at once, split the very earth, ripping the ground apart; a great fissure opened, right beneath that ancient city, plummeting it, its inhabitants, and more than a few gods to their death and destruction. The WEEPING CHASM is the result.
When the battle ended, with no clear victor, only handfuls of clergy survived. All of the Avatars had been slain, their corpses scattered across the vast battlefield. To this day no one knows why the gods fought, although many suspect that it was over some artefact kept in the ancient city that once stood here.
The usual carrion-feeders, scavengers and looters soon swarmed to the battlefield, to profit from all that death and destruction. Word spread, attracting others, together with worshippers who came on a pilgrimage to the graveyard of the gods. These faithful quickly laid claim to the land, fought off the looters, and reclaimed the bones and rotting carcasses of their fallen gods. Over time a settlement formed, which was soon absorbed by the expanding kingdom.
Today, this city officially called Godsend, this City of Bones, has become the most holy city in all the realms. It might not be the largest, but it is certainly one of the busiest. We get all sorts here: pilgrims and mercenaries; merchants, artisans; adventurers and tomb-robbers; historians, explorers, archaeologists; rich men and poor. Most end up in either the TEMPLE or MERCHANT QUARTERs; those that live and work here, and can afford it, call the RESIDENTS QUARTER home; we even have a quarter that has been claimed by those with the gold to spare and spend: the NOBLE QUARTER; although it's not just full of nobles– it's also home to the library, the museums and art galleries, and the most expensive restaurants and coffee-houses to be found in the city. Then there's the GREEN HILL– you can see it from here, peeking above the buildings to the West, that fortified, walled hill– that's where the rulers of our city run the place, some even making their homes there. It's also where the council chambers, courts, prison and barracks can be found. The last section of the city, enclosed and walled off from the rest, is where the WEEPING CHASM begins. We'll pay a visit there, when we take a stroll to see the DELVERS' GUILD.
Every quarter is busy, even at night. They say the city never sleeps, and although it is quieter in the dead of the night, its true that there is always something to do, someplace to see, places to eat, drink, fuck, and spend whatever gold and silver lines your pockets. There's something for everyone.
We'll start our tour here, and I'll guide you through each section of the city, ending back here before the end of the day. If we're lucky, we might even finish before midday, just in time for a bite to eat. If not, rest assured, there're are plenty of places to refresh yourselves between now and the end.
I'll take you through the TRADE or MERCHANT QUARTER first, show you the GRAND BAZAAR, and the taverns that sell the best ale; you'll briefly visit the ARTISANS DISTRICT and the STONE DISTRICT, where the dwarves make their home away from home; we'll pass within sight of, but not smell of, the infamous OFFAL PITS, and you might even catch a glimpse of an URBAN ELF, naives of Godsend since the city was founded.
Next we'll take a quick detour through the RESIDENTS QUARTER, but only a brief visit as there's not a lot to see there, it being mainly homes and 'local' shops for the residents of the city. I'll show you the legendary WEEPING CHASM, as well as the DELVERS' GUILD who allow adventurers and the like to enter the ruins and tunnels below. Then we'll take a walk through the NOBLES QUARTER, with its wide tree-lined avenues, fancy houses and restaurants. You'll see the MONKS' LIBRARY, the MUSEUM of ODDITIES, and the TWIN TOWERS THEATRE.
Finally, we'll make our way through the TEMPLE QUARTER, past some of the most beautiful temples and old churches, including the CHURCH OF THE DIVINE FLESH, which I know some of you are curious about. And then we'll end our tour back here, outside the PILGRIM'S INN, where you can dine if you so desire; tell them Hamesh sent you, and they may even give you a discount.
Right, if there are no questions, let's make a start.
The funds we raised to dedicate an acre of ancient woodland and a memorial bench has now been completed, and the bench now sits in a wood near my hometown.
These are the maps of its location and how to get there. We won't be able to visit it for a good few months yet, but look forward to doing so.
Good news, for those who do not know, is that we now have a beautiful boy, my son Rohan Robert Forster, nearly eight months old, healthy and strong and amazing. It makes dealing with the loss of Millie easier.
This is him, from a recent outing to some nearby woods:
Happy Birthday Millie.
Love from you mum, dad, and your brother Rohan xxx
Yesterday was the funeral of our daughter. It started by the two of use viewing her body, which was so much harder than I expected it to be. She looked so different, so very much a body rather than the little girl who left us. Although it was difficult, and there were tears aplenty, I am glad we saw her one last time, if only for the sense of closure. The funeral itself was lovely, and it was nice to see so many of our friends and family in attendance, most of whom had to travel a fair distance in order to be there. Some of them we hadn't seen for years, as we'd lost touch with people with all the trouble of the past few years; so it was nice to reconnect, albeit under circumstances that we wouldn't have wished for. Lorraine wrote a eulogy for our daughter, which I thought I would share here. To our dear family and friends,
I just wanted to say a huge thank you on behalf of Simon and I for the outpouring of love and support you've given us over the last year, throughout my …
It is a year ago today that we had the funeral for our daughter, Millie. It was about three weeks after she died, due to the necessity of an autopsy, and it was on the Friday of my first week at work in my new job.
It was a strange and emotional day. We went to view the body in the morning, which I wish we had avoided, as seeing her lying there in her coffin... well, it wasn't our daughter. I could barely look at the body, and my tears flowed freely. I had thought it would give us closure, but all it did was remind us of what we had lost, and with hindsight I would've preferred to remember her as we saw her at the hospital.
The funeral itself was full of people and relatives we hadn't seen in an age. My childhood friend Phil managed to attend, and I hadn't seen him in years. It felt good to see so many faces, and the support they lent us was beyond anything I could've wished for.
I carried the coffin in. I didn't want anyone else to do it. I had to fight back …