"Cerements": Brant Tucker wanders downstairs at the World's End Inn to hear a tale from Petrefax, a denizen of the Necropolis.
- It's important to have places like this. Once the spirit's flown and the spark of life has gone, then the rituals of farewell are needed. All the rituals we go through to help us say goodbye. You have to say goodbye.
- -- Destruction
Appearing in "Cerements"
- Brant Tucker
- Petrefax (Flashback and main story)
- Klaproth (Flashback and main story)
- Destruction (Flashback only)
- Desire (Flashback only)
- Destiny (Flashback only)
- Delirium (Flashback only)
- Billy Scutt (Flashback only)
- Widow Pry (Flashback only)
- Charlene Moody
- Mistress Veltis
- Hermas (Flashback only)
- Mig (Flashback only)
- Scroyle (Flashback only)
- Lystra (Flashback only)
- Polycarp (Flashback only)
- Mount Calamon
Synopsis for "Cerements"
Brant Tucker wanders downstairs at the World's End Inn to hear a tale from Petrefax, a denizen of the Necropolis.
As a Prentice, Petrefax works under his master, Klaproth. One day, after having had a difficult time paying attention in class, Petrefax was required to provide an account of an air-burial for the class by the next day. So, he was sent to a man named Hermas, who conducted an air burial by dismembering and eviscerating a client up on a mountain. They then sat by as the local birds flew down and pecked away the remains.
Over dinner, Petrefax's new companions traded stories. One man named Mig told the story of a town where they executed criminals by hanging, but had no regular hangman. So, the town would offer the position to one of the criminals, provided that before their natural death, their sentence of hanging be carried out at the last. One such man was Billy Scutt, who had been charged for digging up the graves of the recently dead. However, one day he fell very ill, and his death seemed to be on its way. When the authorities came to take him for his hanging, his family used rope to help him stand up, and show that he was well enough to continue. That night, he died in his own bed of natural causes.
Next, Scroyle told a tale of how he met a traveller in the Necropolis who had claimed that the Necropolis that Scroyle knew was not the first one to exist. The old Necropolis had lost its respect for the dead. One day, six strangers appeared there and complained of their dead sister. Seeing the lack of respect for the dead occurring there, the eldest of the strangers brought about the destruction of the Necropolis, and a new one was built in its place.
Hermas told his own tale of how he and Klaproth had Prenticed to Mistress Veltis. She had explained to them that the reason that one of her hands was withered was because she had long ago got lost in the catacombs after trying to hide from the wrath of her master when she broke a flask. She found a room where she was greeted by a booming voice. The voice ordered her away, but she begged to hide. The voice declared that the flask had been fixed, but she had demanded proof. The proof was the withering of her hand. Veltis had returned several times to the catacombs in search of that room, but had never found it again. On the eve of her death, Veltis had Hermas and Klaproth take her back to the catacombs. They waited for her to come out again, and when she did, she died. Inexplicably, her hand had returned to normal.
Petrefax had no story of his own to tell. But since then, he has learned much more. Before he can tell more, Klaproth orders him to be quiet. Brant Tucker complains that they must all be dead, so the story won't matter. None of the others believe his theory that they are dead, and one person claims to have a story of how they have come to be at the World's End Inn.
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