The Cenotaph Vehicle in Barrens' End | World Anvil

The Cenotaph (ˈsɛn.ə.tæf)

Pilgrimages to the site of the The Dark Nova Nova began in the centuries after the event. The remnants of the An-sarra, whose ancestral home world was the epicenter of the tragedy struggled to recon with the loss not of the planet, but the chaos that consumed the galaxy afterwards.   By 48 AN, the A-ra din who adopted the new era calendar, organized annual pilgrimages to the site on the first day of the first month to what they called Ug-mash-di (from the phrase, u-gu mash-ni de, meaning, "lost dream") as they called the nebula.   banded together to construct the Tair Kor class superstation named in the An-sarra Language, Tsufith, from tsufi yith, “empty tomb,” which is better known as the Cenotaph.    

The Purpose of the Cenotaph

  With billions of people dead, the original purpose of the Cenotaph was to build a memorial for people to grieve together and collectively vent the pain throughout the region.   This wasn’t the only reason such a large project gathered the collective resources of the shattered region.   The A-ra din believed that rebuilding their mother temple within the Cenotaph would allow them seek the cause of the catastrophe as well as provide a central location for them to organize and execute plans and events to calm down the fomenting unrest in the remnants of the empire.   During the pilgrimage of 1477 AN, representatives from Junawhills reached out to the Shinari Trade Syndicate, the Sen kiunuan mainintsai, “ wise mountain hall” or Kiunmaintsai, and the Mulin Order of Celestial Concord were invited as representatives of the fallen empire. They agreed to build a monument and museum to the lost world and empire as well as form the Council of Unity to be headquartered in the Cenotaph to facilitate trade and good relations among them.   Construction was finished in 1490 AN. It was supposed to open at that years pilgrimage, but construction delays caused it to open over a month later.   They pitched the Cenotaph as the focus of grief and the symbol of unity that would hold the empire together as the empire collapses.    

The Collapse of Unity

  There is enough blame to go around for the failure of the Cenotaph’s grand dream.   The unrest in the region did not abate as expected, the factions that made up the Council of Unity were still at odds, and the thought of building the temple for the Ara-din was met with fervent resistance from the Kiunmaintsai, who felt an interfaith temple representing the diversity of the region.   The Shinari disagreed, believe that a mother temple for the Ara-din was an integral part of the memorial and the addition of others would dilute the message of the installation. The Mulin didn’t believe a temple was necessary and that the entire structure should be a museum.   The Shinari Trade Company wanted to use the Cenotaph to rebuild the government of the fallen empire, which only added to the tension. The Council of Unity slowly crumbled.   In the end, Sen were the first to withdraw from the Council of Unity on the grounds that they refused to submit to Shinari rule. The Mulin followed soon after.    

Transfer to Trine Governance

  After the signing of the Treaty of Broken Souls in 1499 AN, control over the Cenotaph was transferred to The Trine It is considered an embassy and their sovereign soil so no one state as control over the sacred site and nebula.  

The Prominence of the Cenotaph

  The Cenotaph never achieved its original purpose of uniting the survivors, however, even with its failure it’s still a prominent landmark in the region, serving as a shrine for the dead, a pilgrimage location for the surviving religious sect, and a beacon of remembrance for what was lost in the Dark Nova.   It was the first seat of government for the Trine government before the capital was constructed on Tigrisato. With the ownership transfer, the propaganda value the Cenotaph waned as the Shinari claim to be the natural successor to the An-sarra carried less weight.   After the Ara-din were banned from Shinari space, the Cenotaph Trust maintained the facility without the support of the order or the government.   The Cenotaph stands as a reminder of the power and fragility of unity, but it has also become an important cultural icon for the region. The Cenotaph is home to a collection of art and artifacts from the era of the An-sarra and it serves as a memorial of the past. The Cenotaph is also a common meeting place for tributes, ceremonies, and other events to commemorate the lives lost in the tragedy.
Owning Organization
1500 m
2684 m

Cover image: by C. E. Dorsett


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