Campaign of the Month: March 2016
Ptolus, City by the Spire
A city several centuries old tends to have a large graveyard, and Ptolus is no exception. The vast Necropolis in the city’s northeastern corner sits on a few rolling hills, now completely covered with mausoleums, crypts, and graves. The entire Necropolis is surrounded by a wall, with guards posted at each of its four gates. These guards’ primary duty is to warn people not to stay in the Necropolis after nightfall and to watch for grave robbers. Most people know that undead roam the Necropolis, but various churches and holy orders, such as the Keepers of the Veil, do their best to contain the menace.
The borders of the Necropolis are very clear—a wall surrounds the entire district. It sits atop a number of small hills at the northeast end of the city, near the cliff edge overlooking the Bay of Ptolus. The sections of the Necropolis are as follows:
- Darklock Hill: Central section.
- Bone Hill: Northeastern section.
- The Quiet: Northwestern section.
- The Waiting: Southwestern section.
- The Howling: Eastern/southeastern section.
Elves typically cremate their dead, and dwarves bury the fallen in crypts deep underground. It’s common human practice to bury the dead. Thus, human cities always have cemeteries. Given the age of some cities, including Ptolus, many cemeteries grow to be the size of small cities themselves and are thus are given the name “necropolis.” Ptolus’ necropolis isn’t the largest of its kind in the world but it is the most dangerous, due to the supernatural elements involved. The Necropolis of Tarsis, for example, might have a few ghoul gangs, but nothing like the veritable legions of undead and demons in the Dark Reliquary. By other cities’ standards, this is not the norm.
The dead are taken into the Necropolis during the day. Priests bless the corpses so they cannot rise as undead, although these religious safeguards seem effective only some of the time. The evil that walks in the Necropolis slumbers during the day, either due to the sunlight’s power or through a sort of wordless détente reached with the city’s protectors.
Noble Family Crypts
Each noble family has its own crypt in the Necropolis, most quite lavish and warded against tomb robbers and body snatchers. Still, about half of the families choose not to use their crypts, or do so only rarely. Instead, they bury their dead on the grounds of their estates or in underground family crypts.