The Long-Standing Online Campaign, beginning in Germany, travelling through Italy and Greece to the Sea of Azov.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Arnsberg: Gravedigging and Vigils
September 10, 1650, Wednesday late afternoon
Weather: pleasant with sunny conditions and a light breeze
The conditions are as fine as you could wish for in September. It may very well be the last truly warm day in the year; the afternoon is so warm that it's uncomfortable to wear too much clothing. It spat rain for a bit in the morning, but the overcast skies before noon have cleared up and there isn't a cloud in the sky.
Not that the gravediggers are happy. They've been hard at work all day laying bodies into the prepared ground. The Bishop has had a stable removed and the ground prepared, and stone cutters have been busy since Tuesday cutting and chiseling stones as best they can. The more complex work, they say, will be done after - for now the names are being roughed out.
The town has been busy making candles, dressing the buildings in black, washing themselves and praying. Word has come down that in respect for the dead no one should laugh, no one should participate in any games or drink, and that even speaking unnecessarily should be viewed as an act of disrespect. Most people in the town are adhering to this; those who are not cannot be found to be seen disobeying.
Ahmet, Melchior and crew make their way out to the Font to discover the tomb and the ground around has been caved in. There's about 40 feet of collapsed stone, mostly limestone, but the top of the stairs can be seen. The mining skills of both players comes into use; there's a small place where the air from the cavern inside can be marginally detected; with the help of 10 or 20 sappers, plus rope and equipment, a passage might be cleared by Friday afternoon. In the meantime, the blocks are too large for the party to move, and no way inside is evident.
The graves have been undisturbed. There's no emanation of evil that Melchior can detect, which would suggest the two ghouls were the only ones likely to rise here.
What have I forgotten? Ah, the vigil is to begin at sundown, when the lower castle will be opened up to the visitors. They will be allowed inside the Lower Bailey with a bare minimum of clothing; there are to be no weapons, and no food or drink - the vigil is to be a fast lasting the whole night. The guards will be examining those who enter, but its not expected that this will be problematic, as most do not intend to wear heavy clothing or even cloaks.
Here's an image: not the best, but I'll probably improve it over the next few weeks. This should suffice to get a 3-D picture of the place.