One cannot imagine the horror - no, the revulsion - we felt when we stumbled across those villagers cowering in their Sanctum to
theEveryman. We assumed that they had taken refuge in some half-finished crypt, for its appearance was too refined to be a cave, and too raw to be a temple. I guess we turned it into a tomb - once we had performed our duty. Even now, I cannot fathom why these heathens choose to worship underground, except to make themselves feel closer to the Raven and the warmth of His eternal pit.
In Kredasene society, an Everyman's Sanctum is a religious space built for contempation and reflection. The oldest of these subterranean temples were created in natural caves, with the more modern structures being built in imitation. Smaller Sanctums consist of a single chamber, while the Sanctum of Rykfontein boasts nearly one-hundred chambers as part of the 10 mile cave system that runs beneath the capital.
Everyman's Sanctum at Draakhohen CastleSituated at the heart of The Vuurfelde (The Firefields), Draakhohen Castle is the hereditary home of the Dunheuvelin family. Their Sanctum has eight chambers, which originally linked into the larger cave system beneath the castle. These caves are where the aerial combat unit, the König's Dragons, are said to have stabled their legendary beasts, but the access points were sealed off by Ulrich Dunheuvelin after the Final Battle of 17 SGC. Having been taken to Raskvaeric with his mother to be raised in the Imperial Court, Tiaan Dunheuvelin returned to Kredashmi in 62 SGC, to take up the mantle of Earl of the Vuurfelde and the position of Fourth Judge (see The Ses Regte (The Six Judges)). A devout worshiper of the Holy Chorus of Saints, he transformed the main chamber of the Sanctum into a shrine and blocked off the other chambers. He dedicated it to his Patron Saint, Saint Miron, the first Kredasene König, who had been slain by his father at the Battle of Alahnis in 40 SGC. The cavernous walls were painted with images from the hagiography of Miron Marszalek, famously depicting Gerard Dunheuvelin as a servant of the Raven, with dark feathers interspersed in the man's hair and beard. There is also a fictitious and anachronistic depiction of the Raven forging The Dunheuvelin Blade. Lazarev Dunheuvelin was appointed First Judge of Kredashmi in 115 SGC. To mark the occassion, Dunheuvelin announced that he would tear down the wall to the other chambers, and rededicate the holy space as both a shrine to Saint Miron and a Sanctuary to Everyman.
Sanctuary, Shrine... or Playground?
... In short, I see no good in forbidding my son and nephew their childish games - providing the Sanctuary and shrine are not in use for quiet contemplation or worship. In which case, urge the boys to change their game to Sleeping Dragons. I'm sure your lack of sporting good humour will ensure you are an ineffectual 'hunter'...In recent years, Everyman's Sanctuary became a favoured hangout for Chazley Dunheuvelin and Tiaan Senyavin during their boyhood. The smaller chambers made perfect lairs for make-believe dragons, while the interlinking passages provided a wonderful canvas for chalk drawings and hopscotch. Their antics came under harsh criticism from the Raskvaerii tutor appointed by Tiaan's grandfather, Sigismund Senyavin, the Fourth Judge. He disliked that the Saint's shrine was being used in such an irreverent way, and the Dunheuvelin family papers contain many scathing correspondence between the First Judge and tutor.
There are worse places I could hope to find those boys playing. At least down there, I know they are safe within the confines of the castle. In response to your latest complaint, I reject your argument entirely. I do not think their ancestors would begrudge them their foolery. If my Soul is to be confined to life within a reliquary, hidden behind my stone likeness, then I can think of nothing better to disturb my peace than the sound of children's laughter.
Burials and Effigies
The Kredasene have an obsession with fire that is... unsettling. They speak as if it is matter of pride to have an ancestor whose body was incinerated by dragon fire.The Kredasene have always placed great importance on the cremation of their dead. Traditionally, the ashes of the deceased were kept in painted urns. This practice has changed in the last two generations, with the ashes being stored in an alcove at the back of a deathmask or memorial bust. This is undoubtedly where the Raskvaerii tradition of storing the bottled Souls of their dead in the same manner has come from. This is an understandable occurance, of course, as Kredasene and Raskvaerii religious practices are gradually becoming more blended - although the Raskvaerii would never admit it. Everyman's Sanctum in Draakhohen Castle is unique, because it houses three full-figure tomb effigies. These belong to the Varsii wife of Ulrich Dunheuvelin, Aoife Dunheuvelin, and her parents, Cadfan and Jowcasta Trevithick. As devout followers of the Old Ways, their bodies were not cremated, but were instead entombed in the Sanctuary with full Varsii burial rites. The most notable effigy to be housed in the Sanctum is that of Faustine Anaïs Dunheuvelin, wife of the current First Judge and sister to König Thaddeus II. The placement of the bust and its ashes in Draakhohen Castle was an issue of contention between Ludwig and Thaddeus, as the König was adament that his sister should be returned to rest in the royal chamber in Everyman's Sanctuary at Schwannstryd Palais. It is said to have deepened the already bitter feud between Judge and König; furthermore, on the single occassion the König stayed at the Caslte, it is rumoured that armed guards were placed inside the door of the Sanctuary...
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CoffeeQuills the Coffee Quaffer
Loved reading the letters to the tutor, wonderful details and very easily imagined!
Thank you so much, I really enjoyed writing the letters!
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
Hehe those letters were great. Poor maligned tutor man. I enjoyed the section about the different burial traditions seen in the sanctum. I like that the Varsii traditions were honoured.