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.
Delvers' Guide: Ruins of Kor, Part 2
The Stained Palace
Nestled amongst the rubble of the fallen walls and towers, rests the largely intact palace of the former rulers of KOR. It has buckled on one side, an entire wing bending at a steep angle to the rest of the building, the rest leaning backwards as if to escape the rest of the ruins. The centuries have worn away at the stone, and the rain, blood and waste blown across the chasm have stained the walls. It's name derives from these stains, but it is also known as the STAINED PALACE because of the stained-glass windows encircling the dome that dominates the palace. The glass has retained its bright colours, is unbroken, but generally coated in a layer of grime. The windows have proven to be indestructible, repelling even spells that unleash destruction in the form of lightning bolts and fireballs. Magi would gladly pay a king's ransom to discover how they were made.
The Twisted Tower
Not far beyond the palace is another mostly intact building, the TWISTED TOWER; so called due to the odd arrangement of its ten stories. Each level protrudes above the lower, creating a step-like line, the direction alternating between levels. Believes to have once been the domain of a powerful mage who enjoyed experiments, the tower is said to be full of traps, puzzles and magical wards. Strange creatures have been spotted inside, and within its vicinity, and treasure both mundane and magical has been looted from within.
On the western side of the ruins is a long, narrow valley formed by walls of rubble. It connects the BONE PIT to the west side, allowing easier passage between the two halves of the city. These walls are pitted with holes, leading into a network of tunnels and caves, which are the lairs of the creatures that made them: giant flesh-eating worms; long, pale-grey, blind, but possessing an uncanny ability to detect prey by the vibrations of their movement, even, so it is said, by the pounding of the heart of a terrified man.
Beyond WORM VALLEY is an open plaza strewn with debris. A square formed by the ruined buildings surrounding it, the plaza is one of the few areas of the city that the SHADES avoid, for as yet unknown reasons. As such it is one of the safer places to explore; which it has been on numerous occasions, each time discovering new chambers and passage beneath the square. This is where most of the treasure has surfaced, looted from the rooms below; and although the treasure found is less than it was, there is still enough to attract adventurers.
Below the square, depending on which entrance you take, there are tombs and crypts, former dwellings, crude passages and caves formed by collapsing rubble, as well as chambers believed to be ancient temples, arcane sanctums, and former barracks for long-dead soldiers. Some of the passages lead under and deeper into other parts of the city, some even connect to the tunnels beyond, especially those few to the west.
The Western Edge
Along the WESTERN EDGE of the ruined city are mounds of rubble, piles of waste, rivulets of blood and water, scree slopes that climb down to the craggy surface of the chasm; beyond this jagged line the chasm is largely unexplored, with fewer tunnels or features than the eastern side.
The edge is noted for the hives that have been built by giant killer bees that have developed a taste for the blood emerging from the walls. Rarely hostile, unless provoked, they have a deadly sting and seldom travel alone.
Beyond the Ruins
Beyond the ruined city of Kor, the chasm gradually begins to narrow, mirroring the eastern half, as it meets the roots of the mountains. There the broken rock has formed folds of stone, giant steps that climb out of the shadowed depths and into the slopes of the mountainside. It's a difficult climb, even without the blood concentrated on the walls; dangerous too, with caves holding the lairs of trolls, wyverns, and owlbears closer to the ground.
Like the east side, the floor of the chasm is made of crushed layers of stone, forming tunnels and caverns, but less numerous and with fewer connections. Most of the blood has merged into one large river, which cascades down a fissure in the rock, falling to unknown and unexplored depths below the surface of the chasm.
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 …