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During Mapvember, one of the prompts was ‘Ruined’. I ended up ignoring the prompt and drawing a swamp village. So, for the first Monday Map, I went back to that prompt and drew up a ruin.
The foothills of the mountains north of the Vale are honeycombed with small burial chambers such as this one. Part temple, part tomb, bodies are dressed and prepared for burial before being entombed deep within the earth. Forgotten and disused now – the last body was interred centuries ago – a carrion crawler has moved in to the complex, collapsing the main corridor to the burial chamber and tunnelling through the floor in the ritual chamber,
[DM’s map – no grid]
[Click for a full-sized map with 1-inch grid]
A. An antechamber for those that have come to pay their respects. The platform in the center of the chamber holds the body of the deceased on display for three days before the clerics inter it in the tomb in room E. The recently-dead bodies of a number of looters have been tossed around this room. Some have been partially eaten, and bear marks from the carrion crawler’s mandibles and tentacles.
B. The embalming room contains a low work table on which bodies are prepared for burial. Shelves and cupboards around the walls hold powders and roots used in the preparation of bodies, embalming tools, makeup, incense and spices for burning, and broken/defaced holy symbols of the Phoenix. There are dozens of clear glass bottles and flasks of various sizes, each neatly labelled with straight lines and numbers.
A large, round-bottomed flask contains a faintly golden liquid which smells sweet but also strongly of alcohol.
A stiff black apron is made of a material that resembles oilcloth, but is unlike any normal fabric.
Books of medicine and heretical texts stand on bookcases around the room.
A shelf is filled with tiny bottles that contain hundreds of wonderfully bright pigments.
C. This round chamber is used for the final burial rituals, known only to the priests of the Phoenix. The pillars around the altar are carved with images of the Phoenix, of his birth, fiery death, and resurrection, and a brief account of how the dead are transported from death the afterlife and back to their rebirth.
The carrion crawler has tunneled through the ceiling of this room into the earth above, and through the floor into the burial chamber in room E. This room is directly above its lair, and it will be immediately attracted by movement above it.
The altar in the middle of the room still holds the long-dead remains of the last person intended to be interred here, though they are seriously decayed and have been fed upon by the crawler.
D. Impassable from the entrance chamber due to the rockfall caused by the carrion crawler’s tunneling, this short passage descends to the burial chamber.
E. The burial chamber itself. Low, dark, and cold, the ground is bare earth and filled wall-to-wall with low gravestones. The earth has been disturbed all over the room as the carrion crawler has methodically dug up and devoured the bodies buried in the dirt.