Lychway

And I was, at the foot of the mountain, an ugly crag, wrinkled with the 10,000 poorly carved steps and pocked by catacombs from which poured out the gray mass of draugr, like pus from a boil. A priest once told me that it is the first step that is the hardest. But in that moment, I knew he was wrong- from Gravelight by Brother Donhuldur the Most Blessed

The Lychway is a mountain with a storied past of deep maleficarum that sits at the eastern edge of Frostreach. It was once the burial place of all the kings and thanes of the Reach, where they were entombed in the chthonic tunnels of the mountain that seemed borrowed through the stone by some worm of stupendous size. The bodies were placed there in order to placate the god thought to dwell within the mountain, and now the ritual is still performed, though the Ascendant Church considers the practice pagan and has undergone two attempts to end the ritual, to no avail.

Many roads in the north are marked by lychgates, both standing and fallen, that direct travelers carrying bodies in the way of mountain. During the wars against the north by both The Spring Court and the more southerly human realms, thousands of fallen warriors were brought to the Lychway to be buried, often with their arms and treasures. Centuries of burial filled the mountain to the brim with salted corpses, attracting grave robbers who were dealt with by the holy men of Graveward. Eventually, the site caught the interest of a practitioner of maleficarum, a necromancer then known as Athanasius, now known as The Grave Robber, an Anathem paid homage by necromancers.

Athanasius raised an army of Draugr from the corpses within, showing vast talent with the Warp. he used the mountain as a base from which he conquered the surrounding barony, at first with his undead, and then with the aid of others who swore fealty to the wizard. It was not until the Ascendant Church, then unpopular in the recruited a team of adventurers led by one of their own warrior-priests, to infiltrate and assassinate the necromancer that his exponentially growing horde stopped, turned around, and walked back into Lychway. The priest, Donhuldur, witnessed the rise of the Grave Robber, and described it in the seminal work on necromancy, Gravelight.

It is said that the spirit of the Grave Robber, or whatever dark power he sought there, still lives in the mountain. Entrance to the mountain is restricted by the holy orders of Graveward, and the catacombs are guarded and patrolled by the Lychgaters.

Lychway

Ruengoethe Marching_Hare