Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Desecration War

Although less common now than in the past, Hrulvirian nobles have traditionally settled disputes through duels.  The types of duels vary, but they are mostly carried out with blades.  Murderous duels are common, but maiming duels are also typical.  When a maiming duel is called for, the duelists employ blades designed specifically to leave nasty scars.  Innovations include jagged, thorny blades that snag, tear, and cling to flesh.  Other blades function as receptacles of caustic poisons which discolor and burn flesh.  While these types of weapons are exceptionally adroit at disfiguring and producing gruesome scars, they are, for the most part, impractical for anyone other than a duelist.

In addition to maiming and killing, nobles commonly desecrate the bodies of their fellow nobles.  While  this practice was inextricably linked to duels, it has, over the centuries, taken on a life of its own.  In the beginning, it was not uncommon for the victor of duel to break into the mausoleum of his or her slain rival and damage the body further.  It was also not unheard of for the family of a slain duelist to break into the victor's family's mausoleum and desecrate the body of his or her interred kin.  In any event, these desecrations embittered families, engendered additional duels, which, in turn, spurned more desecrations, and, ultimately, perverted and prolonged feuds. 

 This was so common at one point in Hrulvir's past that the citizens of the city referred to this period of time as The Desecration War.   During this epoch, mausoleums were broken into and bodies were dragged from their internment and left for the vermin in the streets.  The situation became so dire that The Raven, the city's guardsman, were deployed to the grand concourse of mausoleums known as The City of Tombs to prevent irate nobles from breaking into one another's family plots.  It was not unheard of for entire factions to go to war in the streets. 

It is still customary for the wealthy families of Hrulvir to hire mercenaries to guard their family mausoleums when a loved one has recently died; old grievances are often taken out upon the recently deceased.

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