The Mad King and the Spirits of the Zeribian Graveyard Myth in Salan | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

The Mad King and the Spirits of the Zeribian Graveyard

When King Elderoak the Mad was still just a mere boy, he had the habit of escaping his parents to play in the temple gardens. One time the evening was coming already, and he should have gone back to the palace, when a friendly looking Zeribian boy appeared, and wanted to play tag with him. He had fun playing with the mysterious boy, when suddenly the shadows grew long and the summer wind felt surprisingly cold, and he noticed that he had been led right to the Zeribian graveyard. They both stopped there, and when Elderoak was about to tell that he wanted to go back home, the boy dared him to follow him to the cemetery, because he had something exciting to show him.   The future king wanted to be brave, so he swallowed his fear and followed him under the dark trees overshadowing the graves. They came to a fresh-looking, large tombstone that towered high over the small boys. Then the mysterious Zeribian suddenly started to grow. First he looked black and shapeless like he had been swallowed by the shadow of the stone, then he looked like an old man, and then his true form was revealed, and he was a demon terrible to look at. Laughing, the spirit took the boy in his tight hug, and entered into the poor boy's body to possess him.   The boy came back to his senses, and ran screaming as far as he could without seeing a thing, until he bumped straight onto a guard patrolling the street. The guard recognised him, and brought the heir back to the palace. The boy was first mad of fear, and then he fell terribly ill. The king ordered the Republic's best exorcists to cure him, but none could drive the demon out. And that's how Elderoak became possessed with the madness for the rest of his life.

Historical Basis

King Elderoak the Mad was a ruler of the Republic of Free West Island during the late 600's AFS. He was known for his erratic behaviour and disastrous decisions. Now that the embarassing memory of his catastrophic rule has begun to lift, he has become the center of many stories. Many popular ones try to explain why he was so mad, others just make fun of him. He appears also in The Impotent Scribe.
Date of Setting
Around 650 AFS
Related Ethnicities
Related People


The Zeribian graveyard of Çarimbal (New Tower) is a feared location. It was established once the Republic prohibited the earlier Zeribian tradition of burying their dead in boats send to the sea (thinking it was a horrifying form of abandonment). Because the Zeribians don't follow similar rituals to calm the spirits that the Farens do, the graveyard is thought to filled with restless and angry spirits, that can be harmfull for the children and other unwary people.   The cemetary is located on a small hill near the connection between the Zeribian District and the common slums. Planted trees make the cemetery resemble a forest. During the day Zeribians come there to pray, offer food and drink, and receive visions from the spirits. During the night the graveyard is frequented with a surprising amount of cats, dogs, and wild animals feasting on the food offerings.


Please Login in order to comment!