Kezen Catacombs

The Kezen Catacombs are an extensive system of underground ossuaries that run underneath the Kezen capital of Skruj Drae. It's unknown exactly how many people are interred undeneath the city, but it's surely in the millions, as it has been in use for over 1700 years. It is considered one of the Great Architectural Marvels of Kezig.   Although the modern parts of the Kezen Catacombs are upkept by the Ravkan religion, the older parts are not; those that wish to explore those parts (either legally or illegally, detailed below) risk injury or death, especially due to the overwhelming darkness that the catacombs are famous for. In fact, the darkness is the biggest obstacle to explorers, even over rotting infrastructure, as the darkness gets so intense one is unable to see their own hand in front of them. There are legends that people have gone crazy from the utter darkness of the catacombs.

Purpose / Function

The Kezen Catacombs were built after a particularly deadly pandemic in the 2860s that took the lives of thousands of Kezens and devestated Skruj Drae, in particular. (As Kezig had only been founded about fifty years prior, this was a significant portion of the population.) Since it was unknown how the pandemic spread, the population felt that a place underground was needed, both because there was evidence that sealing off the dead led to less spread and also because the city was simply running out of places to bury their dead.   The Kezen Catacombs are still in use: virtually all Kezens are buried there, and it's simply an expectation that someone will join you in the Catacombs someday, if you are both Kezen.


The Kezen Catacombs are being constantly added on to to accomodate the dead of the Ravkan religion, whether they are from Kezig or not: all Ravkans are guaranteed free burial there. (All Kezens are as well, regardless if they are Ravkan, but since most are, this isn't typically an issue.)


The Kezen Catacombs were began in 2870, fifty years after the founding of Kezig as a state. In 2868, a terrible pandemic ravaged Kezig, and the city of Skruj Drae in particular. The rate of death was such that the city of Skruj Drae, as well as surrounding areas, began to run out of room to bury their dead. Because Skruj Drae was the most affected, the catacombs were established there, although it's spread out to include area outside of Skruj Drae's city limits as well.


Tours are offered through the Ravkan religion (although one does not have to be Ravkan to take the tour). General tours are offered daily; some are meant for tourists outside of Kezig, and some are specific to the modern portions of the catacombs: these are meant for modern Kezens to visit the graves of their (somewhat) recently dead. These tours are free, although a monetary donation is expected.   Those wishing to visit other parts of the catacombs are required to hire Excori: only they have the complete records of those buried there, and as such, the knowledge to navigate them safely. Due to being supposedly haunted, as well as terribly confusing and eerie, not many Excori are willing to undertake the job. Money is definitely expected, and bargaining is an important part of the process, as the Excori is required to tithe a portion of their earnings to the Most Sacred and Most Profane, who control the Ravkans' treasury. Some Excori can make a nice side living on this, although they still have other duties to attend to.   Some do break in to explore the catacombs on their own; if they are found by authorities, they are fined heavily. However, many end up getting lost, or in the older parts, being injured or killed by the lack of upkeep. (The Ravkan religion is clear what parts should be avoided, due to their inability to keep it safe, but daredevils love a challenge.)
Founding Date
Approx. 2870
Related Professions

Articles under Kezen Catacombs

Cover image: Catacomb by dimitrisvetsikas1969


Author's Notes

This article is part of my Spooktober 2022 collection! As such, it's minimally edited, and I'll add more when time allows. Forgive the construction dust!

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