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ID: 3423


December 10, 2006, 5:29 pm

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Cheka Man

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Silent Towers


With silent wings may your soul fly to the Spirit Home

The Towers of Silence are built atop hills or low mountains in desert locations distant from population centers or oasis. There are a few in other in forest areas as the Aviansis Kepts ranged beyond their normal borders.

The Kepts (tribes) of Aviansis consider the dead body to be unclean. Their religion prohibits allowing corpses to pollute the pure elements of earth and fire and water and air. Corpses are therefore placed atop the for their flesh to be consumed by Ravens and occasionally Vultures. Once the bones have been bleached by the sun and wind, they are thrown into the ossuary pit at the center of the tower.

The Towers are squat round buildings surrounded by tiny gardens of desert plants, and may only be entered by the Quiet People -a special class of Aviansis bearing the symbol of Merideth. These towers are open to the sky. The roofs have perches for the birds to rest. The bodies are arranged inside the towers in three steps: men around the outside top most ring, women in the second middle ring, and children in the innermost bottom ring. In the center is the ossuary pit. 

Of course some people seach ossuary pits for bits of jewelry and such.  A pity most have poisonous snakes in them - kept alive by the Quiet Ones in the area. 

Some tower have pillars on their roofs. It is there blessed companion birds that died without their companions are lifted to the sky for one more flight.

Note: The Quiet Ones are a small group of people who have been touched by the spirit or their bloodline has been. These people (actually everyone) are prohibited from speaking inside the towers. Outside the towers they still quiet, to avoid bring “spiritual attention” to themselves.. as they have the ability to be heard by the spirits (and hearing them as well). At best, they will speak only in whispers.

These towers are actually spread all througout the lands as Aviantix had quite the confederation of cities (think Rome). Many are in ruins as the time of the Aviontix was long, long ago. A suprising number are still in good shape, being built by the Aviontix master craftsmen. In fact, many cities are proud to have them in their walls (or near by), as it shows that this is an important city since antiquity. This is not true, as these were built away from places where people were living at the time. Cities have either grown up and around them OR new cities have been built here. A few Silent Towers are still in use as final resting places, as older families continue following family traditions. Far from Aviansis, these are often called Soul Towers.

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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
December 10, 2006, 17:28
Only voted
Voted Wulfhere
December 10, 2006, 19:05
A solid writeup of the towers of silence found in parts of the Middle East. A curious detail that I've encountered about these is that in some areas, the vultures that they need to consume the bodies are becoming rare, causing the bodies to sit unconsumed. They are trying to encourage more of the birds to settle in the areas of the towers. Even worse, some of the medicines used in the regions are toxic to the birds.
Voted manfred
December 11, 2006, 9:30
A colourfly minor location for an interesting encounter - what if there is someone hiding here, or the characters need to speak one of the 'Quiet People'? Would they stay quiet, when old superstitions command them to do so?
Voted valadaar
December 11, 2006, 10:29
Only voted
Voted Scrasamax
December 11, 2006, 12:36
A nice brush-up for the Middle Eastern counterparts, and indeed there is a problem as the vultures are now becoming more rare due to contaminants in the boides they consume, be it livestock or human.
Voted Golanthius
June 23, 2008, 13:27
Great idea for a small encounter. There are some minor typo's but other than that, nice job...
Voted Strolen
September 12, 2012, 11:22
Nice quick write-up giving enough to use and plenty to work with.

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Order of the Moonbeard

       By: valadaar

Among the assortment of organized criminals who live in the great city, few command greater fear the Moonbeard Order.

They of course do not call themselves that, but have earned the moniker from their fashion of dying their large beards with lye to produce a distinctive crescent shape running from earlobe to earlobe. This is meant as a taunt for their enemies, for it clearly outlines their throats.

They also wear garb similar to the northern tribesman, carefully tooled leather and showing multiple, colourful glyphs.

They are feared due to the intense discipline that their group maintains, due to their origins as a warrior-sect.

They serve as paid thugs, enforcers and assassins within the city, with the client simply ordering a service from the organization, not hiring an individual. Apart from making the request and providing payment in full in advance, the order completes the assignment themselves.

Their order has many moles through the organizations of the city, and more than a couple of nobles. As such, no organized move has been made against them since their chief activity is directed against other members of the crime world. It is said that their services have been useful for those in power as well, further protecting them from persecution.

Their religion holds that their time in this world is vanishingly brief, and largely unimportant except as training for the Great Battle.

The order is very utilitarian with weapons choice - they simply use the tool needed for the occasion, though not without having trained extensively with it beforehand. Daggers, garrottes, swords, bows, battle axes, polearms, wagons, even siege engines have been used to carry out their contracts.

Encounter  ( City/ Ruin ) | January 24, 2014 | View | UpVote 5xp

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