House of the Honored Dead, Angleport
"Where the dead speak..."
One of the oldest funereal customs of Wyeth involves the creation of plaster death masks of the recently fallen, before they are entombed or placed upon the pyre. Their death masks are then brought to the House of the Honored Dead, where they are "assigned" to either a priest of Ryktuss or Sivashess. On the anniversary of their death and on certain special holidays, the masks are taken down from the walls upon which they are normally displayed, and worn by the priest who claimed it. The mask has been enchanted through a magic ritual performed by a consortium, or brotherhood, of priests of both gods Ryktuss and Sivashess. This ritual imbues the death mask with the ability to capture and preserve a small portion of the dead person's psyche. Shortly before a chosen person (someone of significant social, political, magical or scientific prominence) dies, the brotherhood visits them in order to make their death mask and enact the sacred ritual. Once performed, a sliver of the dying person's psyche becomes infused within the plaster visage. Once complete, the mask is brought to the House of the Honored Dead and displayed upon the walls, labeled with a gold plaque bearing the name and years of the mask's subject. Rooms within the house are organized by the occupation of the subject, with death masks of leaders in one chamber, mages in another, and so forth. Once a mask has been installed, it need only be worn to call upon the fragment within in order to answer the inquiries of those wishing to draw upon the wisdom of the dead. Touching the masks is forbidden, save for the priest assigned to it. Priests are assigned to several (or even many) masks, to keep their own numbers reasonable. The house is open every day, but the masks are only worn on the aforementioned occasions. On those days, anyone may access the knowledge of the dead for free. However, if one desires knowledge on any other day, they may pay a fee (tithe) to the house and the mask in question will be donned by the appropriate priest, in order to facilitate the answers sought. The wearer does not take on the persona of the dead, because the fragment taken by the mask does not include intellect or personality, merely knowledge. Answers are delivered in a flat, emotionless affect, and (while wearing it) the priest may only respond to questions for which the mask has the answers. Despite this limitation, the amount of information held by the more than one thousand masks in the house rivals the greatest libraries, and the halls of the house are rarely empty. Although the Brotherhood priests, sometimes called "The Speakers Of The Dead," are supposed to remain neutral in allowing access to their charges, allegations of priests accepting bribes to obfuscate, misplace or even destroy masks (to keep certain information secret) have been floated on various occasions. These, of course, are only allegations.
Purpose / Function
Established to house the combined priests of Ryktuss (Lord of Death) and Sivashess (Lord of Knowledge), the House of the Honored Dead is the repository of all knowledge once held by some of the greatest minds of the west.
A giant, stone cathedral that also serves as a mausoleum, the house holds no regular service. Rather it's sanctuary is the home of various priests who act out the roles assigned to them.
Established in the early days of the Kingdom of Wyeth, the House of the Honored Dead is one of the oldest structures in Angleport. It is located in Old City.
Speakers House, Speakers of the Dead
Cathedral / Great temple
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