Excerpts Archive | 6/8/2009
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Excerpts: City of the Dead

A silent city of stone houses the people of Waterdeep's past.

Locking them up in crypts, mausoleums, and cages.

The dead don't rest easy in the

City of the Dead

Waterdeep is an old city and many have died there. Most are entombed in the vast, sprawling City of the Dead, a cemetery of stone crypts and greenery that serves as a park by day . . . and the haunted abode of the dead by night, where the living are slain, die of fright, or are driven mad with terror.

All except one family. The Carvers, the clan who tends the tombs and sees to the spadework of burials . . . and of trying to keep the dead at rest in their graves. Generations of Carvers have done this quite well, so the dead who walk can't leave the cemetery to roam the city at will.

Until the day Sophraea Carver makes a mistake.

--Ed Greenwood

Rain and wind rattled the window, waking Sophraea Carver from her troubled dreams. After rolling over twice and punching her lumpy pillows three times, Sophraea sighed and sat up. The last live ember in the bedroom fireplace gave out the faintest red glow. The window shook again as another blast of Waterdeep’s wet winter hit it. The rotting month of Uktar certainly was starting with a roar of watery fury.

Sophraea slid out from under her tangled blankets. Barefoot, toes curling when they encountered the cold floorboards, she padded to the window. Leaplow had promised to fix the loose casement many times, but her brother never seemed to make it up the four flights of stairs to her bedroom. Which meant that once again she had to deal with the noise and the draft in the darkest hour of the night. Grumbling a little under her breath, Sophraea grabbed the edge of the casement, meaning to shove the bolt as hard and tight as she could. But a flicker of light caught her eye.

Her bedroom windows faced east, overlooking the City of the Dead rather than the crowded streets of Waterdeep. It was quieter on this side of the house, gravely quiet as the family often joked. From her room at the very top of the house’s crooked east turret, right under the roof, Sophraea could see all the northern half of the graveyard from the Deepwinter Vault all the way to the Beacon and Watchway Towers.