Rooms/ Halls
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ID: 5807


May 27, 2009, 9:10 pm

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Cheka Man

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Tomb of the Prince of Ice


"What you wanna go messin' around up in the mountains for? Ain't nothin' up there but snow, and wolves, and more snow.


Yer lookin' for the old tomb? Take my advice, boys. Let that tomb alone. There ain't nothin up there you ought be messin' with. No money, no treasure, no fame, just ice. And death."

It's not a place one would expect to find anything. But way up where it's always cold, so far away from everything that you think you've come to the end of the world, there's a tiny little village huddled against the tallest mountain in the range. No one remembers who founded it, or why the villagers haven't moved to more hospitable climates. There's not much of interest there: a small collection of ancient houses, a few half-feral sled dogs, some yaks, and a tiny population struggling to hang on. There is but one thing to draw outsiders here, and that is the Tomb of the Prince of Ice.

The Tomb isn't even something that most people would have heard of in the normal way. Just an old, obscure legend that's drifted around, something about a lost tomb in the mountains, that may have the remains of the first prince of the country, or a fabulous treasure, or knowledge beyond any man's imaginings, or nothing at all, if it even exists.

The tomb does, in fact, exist, though the vague legends surrounding it are nearly all incorrect. However, any outsiders who come looking for it will meet with a hostile reception from the villagers, and exactly no help at all. In fact, those who seek the tomb will be lucky if they aren't attacked by the locals. There's a taboo about disturbing the tomb, and the villagers take it seriously.

If one decides to push on, and climb up the mountain, the environment itself seems to want to thwart them. The mountain is a harsh climb, and it stays cold enough to kill. There are packs of hungry wolves that might decide visitors looks tasty. And since no one knows the tomb's exact location, you might look for a long time and never find it.

But if someone does manage to beat the odds, they will eventually come to a carefully carved rockface. It was meant to be a grand thing, once, with elaborate reliefs and columns and a great door made of rock crystal. The door is semi-translucent, and if you wipe away the thick frost that covers it and the light over the mountain is right, you can make out vague shapes within.

There are essentially two ways into the tomb. Either you can find the hidden catch that releases the door's counterweight... or you can smash through the door entirely. Either way, once the way is open, a harsh, cold wind blows from the dark passage beyond. Clearly there is some other breach into the tomb that funnels the mountain wind through it.

The tomb was cut into the solid rock of the mountain, making it incredibly dark once you're a few feet past the entrance. However, if you failed to bring your own light source, there's a small pile of torches lying on the floor. They've been lying there since the tomb was closed centuries ago, but the cold has preserved them, and they'll still burn.

The long corridor is also carved with reliefs, and seems to have a constant theme of a man, presumably the "Prince of Ice" that some legends vaguely refer to, commanding a vast army of what appears to be spirits. Other carvings seem to indicate the same man standing behind a seated boy (perhaps his son?). However, there are no recognizable words and the reliefs are all of the pictoral sort, so what they really mean is anyone's guess.

Sometimes, tiny rooms branch of either side of the passage, revealing small clusters of rough grave-goods: food, jars of water (long since frozen and broken), what appear to be personal belongings. Strangely, there are no weapons, as one would expect from a normal tomb, and at least so far, a near complete lack of treasure. There *are* a few small cut gems lying around, and some coins, though the way they're haphazardly scattered around seems to indicate other tomb robbers got here before.

The tomb is not large, and it will not take long to reach the main room. It's much larger than the other rooms and the corridor, the size of a comfortable dwelling, in fact. It's lined on three sides by niches carved into the walls. The two side walls have ten niches each, and the corridor side has eight. Each niche has what seems to be an exposure-blackened mummy curled up in it, in the fetal position. Though if anyone with sufficient knowledge inspects these mummies, they will find two somewhat disturbing things: each mummy is that of a child no more than twelve or thirteen, and each one has had their throat cut.

The far wall is dominated by a stone throne, so ancient the carvings are no longer distinuishable. A figure is seated in the throne, slumped over, though it is so covered with ice and frost so thick it may as well be ice that it's hard to tell anything about it. If the ice is cleared away, it becomes evident that it is a fair young man. He is in excellent condition, almost indistinguishable from a living person, no doubt a trick of the cold. If more ice is cleared away, one might notice that his wrists are shackled to the arms of the throne by thick iron chains.

 At this point, it becomes apparent that the bitter wind inside the tomb has grown even stronger and colder, perhaps as a result of a storm on the mountain outside? The tomb makes the wind echo and re-echo, increasing to a shriek that almost sounds as if it's human cries and screams. It is so cold it hurts, and so strong it almost seems to push you away towards the entrance.

And if you who have invaded this tomb decide to meddle further, or tamper with the corpse in the throne, you will find out why there is a taboo on this place. Because the young man's violet eyes may suddenly snap open, and the iron chains on his wrists may shatter from the centuries of cold as he lunges for you. And if he catches hold of you, he may freeze you solid, freeze you until you shatter and there is nothing left...

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Comments ( 8 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Murometz
May 27, 2009, 22:09
Quite atmospheric and well described. A location that begs to be used. I know you have more coming in this series, so i'll wait to see the tomb's secrets unfold. Nice touch on the mummified children and the permeating cold.

yay, my first comment in ages! :p
Voted Cheka Man
May 28, 2009, 11:19
I want to know more. Was he chained up alive?
Voted Pieh
May 28, 2009, 18:34
That was quite an enjoyable read. However, I dislike the abrupt ending, while it would make for a great horror tale, it leaves a GM wanting a lot more. Overall, I like the tale, but don't see how, or why, I would use this as a dungeon. There is one puzzle/trap-type thing (the door), there is a bit of a mystery to uncover (but you have not told us the history of the tomb, and the whole set-up is so bizarre I have no idea where you were going with it), and a super-boss that might (if you tamper with him enough) wake up and kill you. I want to use it but I'm going to need the other pieces of the puzzle first.
Ria Hawk
May 29, 2009, 2:40
Ah, I apologize that there's not a lot there. This is one part of a series; when I get the whole thing done, I'm sure it will have more info. I'm going to try to answer the questions this sub raises in the other subs.
Voted RGTraynor
May 29, 2009, 2:52
Only voted
Voted Michael Jotne Slayer
June 1, 2009, 5:44
Solid write-up and all that, some parts really had me nodding and wanting more. Too bad you ended it like you did though in my opinion a submission needs a beginning, middle and end.
Voted valadaar
June 5, 2009, 20:07
Agree with the points so far (favorable and critiques) , and would like to see more structure.

November 20, 2009, 21:35
hey it was a good one, i like the part "any outsiders who come looking for it will meet with a hostile reception from the villagers, and exactly no help at all", it gives it more dread, not sure ifs that is most appropiate word


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