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Hutaaka Burial Vaultsby Robert J. Nuttman, Jr.
Some in-progress pictures were posted to the Facebooks, but this is part one-of-three-ish, of Level 5:
Gygar's LabHutaaka Burial Vaults.
Notable features include:
- Webbing. Lots and lots of webbing. And you know what that means!
- Spiders. Lots and lots of spiders.*
- The northmost alcove's ceiling has caved in, and the shaft leads to area 4b in the Wyrm's Lair, above.
- Scenic twin waterfalls, plunging into the misty caverns somewhere deeper below. Why, yes, those are chains of some sort suspended beneath the pillared balcony. Also: more webbing (not pictured)
- A pair of nearly identical, masterfully carved statues of hawk-masked priests, wings extending from their robes. Their hands are outstretched, as though beseeching -- or maybe offering -- something?
*.... but perhaps not as you know them. Also: orcs. Well, orc corpses.**
** That definitely don't seem to move on their own.
Middle of the dungeon, after a trip across an ingeniously rotating bridge. (Or an ill-advised traversing the otherwise web-filled gap above the yawning chasm)
- No railing.
- A fine selection of powders, spices, and dried herbs, maybe even suitable for offering up, that the Immortals may look favorably upon the remains of your dearly departed.
- Two specimens of the priests' finest work, definitely not holding any kind of centuries-old grudge that the work wasn't completed, and they cannot find rest.
- More fine hawk-masked statuary, that greets celebrants' arrival and departure from the ceremonial platform.
Hutaaka Burial Vault, part three:
The final part of the level is carved into a huge column, some hundred or so feet across. A ledge has been carved around the exterior of the column spiraling down from the entrance to the interior temple. Along the wall of the ledge at even intervals are row upon row of burial niches, one at knee-height, another at shoulder-height. Most are sealed over with a stone "plug" mortared into place, etched with what is probably a family rune.
A smaller, final ceremonial temple has been carved into the body of the column itself, niches holding censers, braziers, and shelves of oils, spices, powders, and the like. At the back of the temple, the interior spiral begins, winding down along the wall. At even intervals, sarcophagi stand in recessed alcoves, covered in an age of dust and grit and cobwebbing. At the edge of the path, the interior of the column yawns, the bottom lost in darkness.
Each "section" is separated by a hundred-foot-long bridgework, that pivots from a midpoint. The bridges swing "opposite" each other, so that if one is engaged, the other is turned 90 degrees.