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Escribev Corpus

Jzarmillan skeletal inscriptions

When the Vladican steedbeds were uncovered in the mid-1450s, another abnormality having to do with Jzarmillan funerary traditions was simultaneously found. In a separate Vladican 'bed'—this one holding the bones of supposed soldiers—several skeletons were completely covered in runic carvings, and the bones themselves were slightly better preserved.

It took two years to translate all of the runic carvings, which had been written in an orcish variation of Old Cravven, but the assembled writings revealed a number of stories; many are tales of battles or heroic deeds. The stories are thought to be tellings of the individuals' lives, and scholars understand their appearance on a Jzarmillan skeleton, based on the nature of the stories themselves and the carvings' infrequency, to signify the skeleton of someone who was regarded as important in their time.


The Jzarmillan orcs of the age prior didn't keep a lot of written records, so there isn't much known about the culture during that time in general. Thus, the stories carved on certain skeletons suggests an important honor bestowed upon these individuals: their life stories were important enough to be preserved and passed on in written record.


The process of skeletal carving wouldn't have been an easy one to begin with. A scribe would have been hired to actually write out the person's story—no doubt difficult and widely inaccessible in a culture where literacy was a rarity—and then either the same person or a separate 'carver' would've been hired to do the actual bone-carving. Even more, the researcher who originally uncovered the odd funerary tradition suggested the idea that some sort of preservative layer had been applied to the bones afterward as well.

Modern Tradition
The tradition was mostly wiped out during the Northwestern Trades, however many areas in Jzarmille do inscribe individuals' names on their skeletons. This minor inscription isn't only reserved for great and honorable individuals; all Jzarmillans, aside from children and criminals, may have their name inscribed on their skeleton after they die.


Vladican Steedbeds
Building / Landmark | Jan 12, 2023

Warhorse burial grounds just north of Vladica.

Determinants of Honor
There's no clear indication as to what exact traits, skills, or deeds might've enabled an individual to recieve such honor on their burial and skeleton, as the translated stories vary widely. It appears that intellectuals were as likely to have their stories inscribed as soldiers, and one narrative might've dug into a single, niche area of a person while another might've spanned one's entire lifetime.

There's a line in the Doctrine that states, 'when all men are long buried, neither vice nor virtue remains upon those final corpi.' It's meant to say something about how all skeletons look the same no matter whether the man was rich or poor, good or bad. And I couldn't help but think of that line as I was pulling out the bones.
— Essina Pastigarde

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