A Feast Among the Dead, Chapter II

Author (in-game): Severia Quasitto

There were over two dozen in our party, each laden with some manner of goods (an older woman took one look at me and gave me a stack of linens, noting the load seemed “within my ability”). There was much laughing and small talk as the group meandered through the dark and musty catacombs of Necrom, at times in near-total darkness. I must admit I found those periods without light to be alarming. Eventually we reached the end of a hallway with a small metal door, green with verdigris. The oldest of our number, a wizened and gnarled old Dunmer, reached into his vestments and produced a key. He thrust it into the door.

The small door belied the large chamber beyond. It was, while sunless, a well-appointed kitchen as was often found in larger Dark Elf estates. A small fountain of spring water collected in a basin and a gutter of the same water carried kitchen scraps away into dark pits below the city. My hosts told me as they lit oil lamps that the deceased took great pains in the last years of his life to ensure his mausoleum contained all the amenities I saw. The large cooking fire, as it turns out, was also the ash pit where the deceased’s mortal shell had been cremated. My hosts took the small urn that now held his ashes and placed it at the head of a great stone table.

In some small amount of time the room was made warm and pleasant. The bundles carried, including my well-borne linens, were unpacked to turn the room into a hall suitable for fine dining. Wonderful smells perfumed the air as my hosts began to prepare the food they brought with them into tomb. One of the younger descendants whizzed around, bearing a tray of small glasses. I was more than happy to imbibe. It was some manner of spiced sujamma that I found to be most palatable.

Soon we were called to sit, for the meal was to be served. All heads bent down in prayer as my hosts implored the spirit of their honored ancestor to appear and find among the meal some dish satisfactory enough that he may finally pass beyond the mortal plane without regret.

The urn shook and the table rattled briefly as the phantasm appeared before us. The deceased—a strikingly handsome Dark Elf with imperious eyes and wild hair—glowed above the table. With stern words this spirit acknowledged the presence of his family and the meal they had prepared. He demanded we begin eating. To wait any longer, he claimed, would allow the food to become as cold as the grave.

One by one, family members brought the courses to the table, stopping first to allow the spirit of their ancestor to inspect each dish. I found this curious—do ghosts eat?—and took many notes on each dish as it was presented.

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