Corpsehaven: A Necropolis
Journal Entry 213
Iulius 13 of the 17th Year of Emperor Slaide IV
Our voyage has taken us far to the north to avoid an inland storm, one where we could not lay port. Jonas, our cartographer is with Bosun Tad, attempting to survey the lands to the south. The captain tells us that we will not be able to go further north, it is a dangerous time of year. He tells me that this time of year is very dangerous, gigantic islands of ice can be found floating. We have yet to see one. It is cold and the rum barely warms my bones.
There is nothing to report.
Journal Entry 214
Iulius 14 of the 17th Year of Emperor Slaide IV
I am writing as fast as my pen can move, our efforts are ruined, we will never be able to map the northern coasts. A strange storm came up, a frenzied wind, blowing us faster than I ever thought a ship could move, something unnatural aided that wind. Everything is calm now and we are now trying to discover if we should attempt to turn around and start where we left off. According to the stars we are an unbelievable distance from yesterday’s reading. Thousands of miles, we believe that something could be wrong with our gear. The wizard, Alestys tells us we are not wrong and that storm was arcane in nature.
The sailors take it as a bad omen and want to make a sacrifice to Ugor, their sea god, I hope it doesn’t come to that.
Journal Entry 215
Iulius 22 of the 17th Year of Emperor Slaide (estimate)
I am not allowed to record our location
We have been taken prisoner. I have been allowed to live to share my knowledge. He has allowed me to live and has let me return to the journal. I am forgetting myself so soon, He… He is a Lich, a master of this city. His name is Karnezikor. I am not sure what has happened to the rest of the crew, other than our Cartographer who offers his information of the world to this abomination. He laughed when I first called him that and he told me that I would understand his life better. I am to chronicle the ways of his city and his life. He said he would let me return to the world of the living when my task is complete.
I am amazed and disgusted at this place called Corpsehaven. A true city of death. I stare now off the parapet onto the plains below. Humans are kept like cattle in small cages, forced to mate like animals to produce offspring. They live on farms, well they call them farms. These creatures are disgusting. In the last few days I have seen Lich’s, Vampires, and all other sorts of creatures. This is a true city of the dead.
Iulius 23 of the 17th Year of Emperor Slaide
Karnezikor is absolute master here, I have seen his bad side earlier today. I had refused to chronicle his tale of this city and his life. He brought a crew member before me and had him disemboweled. Afterward, he told me that many of the rest of the crew yet lived. They would leave with me once my task was complete, if he had anymore trouble their deaths would become more painful and I would be forced to watch, even if he had to remove my eyelids. Other creatures crawl before him when he walks by; I believe he is some sort of king here.
I have been assigned two ghoul slaves. These undead creatures are barely sentient, if at all. They follow me and obey my every command. I have toyed with them a few times, making them do silly tricks, they are so void of dexterity it brings me a little joy to watch them try and hop on one leg.
Journal Entry 217
Iulius 24 of the 17th Year of Emperor Slaide
I have began my task today, the emperor says he will give my journal to me once I am finished, so this could be my last entry for some time. Today I was given human attendants, flesh slaves as Karnezikor called them. There are three women and seven men. It is strange, they do not even seem like people to me, they have the look in their eye like some of the wild animals I have seen in cities at menageries, they look beaten and soulless. I know what the women are for, Karnezikor commented that if I should get bored he can send more, or if I prefer he can send boys. I was disgusted at the thought.
With the new attendants, I was also given a great chamber atop one of the many towers that make up the city, a better view. This city of the dead is strange to me, silent, yet there is much activity, the dead going about their daily business; merchant vampires selling living humanoids to other undead, for food no doubt. There are also merchants selling everything from horses to weapons and armor to clothing. This is a real city, in fact I am intrigued. It is too bad I will loose my journal today, to be replaced with the empty tomes that I must fill for my freedom.
THE CITY OF CORPSEHAVEN
Corpsehaven is easily as large as some of the larger trade cities on the Merchant Coast. The city itself is built into a cliff face and extends all the way to the sea several miles to the north. There are several walled sections and I believe any nation were to invade this city they would have a very difficult time.
The sun never shines here and it almost seems as if the grey clouds above circle around the city always threatening to storm, though the storm never comes, but the clouds remain.
There is almost every amenity in Corsehaven that you would find anywhere else. There are even a few living creatures here; all are necromancers. It seems that they are the only safe mortals in the city.
Corpsehaven has a garrison, a policing force called the Black Eyes, they are part guard, judge, jury and executioner. It seems that this place has no court. Undead caught in a crime is harshly punished, in most cases through dismemberment and fire. There is a strange peace here, but behind that peaceful face are beings of pure evil.
THE GREAT HOUSES
There are several great houses; a better term would be clans. It seems that a large percentage of the population of the city are vampires. But this city is home to countless undead; mummies, ghouls, ghosts, wraiths, and many more.
There are several houses, I have been told there are dozens of them, but only five that really matter, four of those are vampire houses. These vampire houses have members of other undead races, but most are vampires. Houses are not based on family lineage, they are based on an almost rigid knight system. Members of houses are allowed in through servitude to a house, or through siring. Siring is a process where a mortal is brought and turned into a vampire and trained in the ways of the house of their new master. But, most are knighted through a ceremony and then are part of that house until the final death takes them.
House Vindus: The strongest house by far and consuls to the Lich King Karnezikor. This family has a large contingent of mummies at its core. They do not call them mummies, to these creatures the mummies are called Ancients. I have heard that some are over five thousand years old. The rest are all vampires and various servants. There is not a single necromancer in the house. House Vindus is in control of the vast military strength, acting as the Lich King’s Iron Fist should any threaten this city.
House Tegem: This house is a merchant house, another vampire house. They control most of the stock trade; human food farms. They also are literally in control of 70% of the trade in the city. Nearly all are vampires, although this house has the largest concentration of mortal Necromancers.
House Gredam: This is the only non-vampire house in the city. The house consists of a huge number of wraiths and ghosts. I have come to believe that this house is actually responsible for much of the spying and network of secret police in the city. There is a power struggle in the city, you can feel it in the air. These are the Lich King’s assassins and spies among all the houses. Rarely do they take on new members.
House Tremekis: Of all the vampire houses House Tremekis deals with the world outside of the city the most. This house owns and runs most of the mines and other production, much of it to the south. They even steal from some of the southern human kingdoms or even have puppet humans controlling the mines, creating false information for the real human owners and taking what ore is needed, careful not to create too many discrepancies.
House Arkus: House Arkus was once a great house, now a vampire clan it was once primarily lich-ruled. The Lich King came from this house and after spies were found among the lich population he had over half of their phylacteries destroyed and many of them concealed in large sarcophagi forever hidden deep beneath the city. There is still a large contingent of loyal lich’s in the house, at least if they are not loyal they are in fear and refuse to collaborate against the Lich King.
AN UNDEAD ECONOMY
The undead have needs and wants just as the living, although their needs are very, very different. Entire farms full of humans in large cages, I have seen forced mating and these humans are in every sense of the word; domesticated. They have dead eyes and usually just rock back and forth in their cages. I have seen zombies working the mines, unresting and even digging themselves out of collapses to continue, sometimes missing a limb that tore away during a collapse. I have seen zombies on strange contraptions pedaling gears to turn even larger gears that run machinery for all sorts of things from giant looms to strange machines that I still cannot figure out. There is even a dwarven vampire weapon smith, his work unmatched by his living dwarven kin. He has had several thousand years to practice his art. This cities production capacity surpasses any I have ever seen, I would fear to have them invade the southlands, but it seems they are content keeping to themselves.
Journal Entry 218
Iolius 21 of the 19th Year of Emperor Slaide
Today I have been given back my journal. I am to be set free and although I have grown accustomed to this place and the pleasures I have witnessed I am happy to go. I have seen other humans paraded around and ripped in pieces, these humans were usually not domesticated, they were usually captured from the south. Fear it seems is a sport to them. I have been promised fair passage to the south, but I have been told to only deliver this information to let the world know that these undead are ready to begin trade negotiations with some of the southern trade city. They only wish to aquire art and some of the finer things and are willing to pay very well for them. I believe I am going into the trade business after this, I might as well get something from my troubles and wealthier than I have ever dreamed of is something after all.
I have been given my choice of girls to choose from to accompany me, all have been trained in ways of pleasure and while at one point in my life I would be disgusted at such an offer of slavery, I know find myself choosing a few of them with a nod and a smile, after all slavery with me is not so bad as living among these creatures. I think I will keep some of these girls.
I will be more than content in my new life as a representative for trade with the city of Corpsehaven, I think. The others that have accompanied me will not be released, I have been told that they tried to escape and then were given over to House Vindus, I will never see them again. I am happy to be leaving here alive, with a trade offer, a harem, and the knowledge that I will one day be a very wealthy man.
The author of the journal was tried and executed for heresy and treason after attempting to negotiate the trade agreement. The empire now seeks adventures that are willing to negotiate the north and find this city and report its location and any other information that may be gained.