View Full Version : Idea I had: Land of the Dead

2011-11-09, 05:37 AM
Okay, this is based on something I dreamed while dozing. I got up and wrote down as much as I could remember, but dreams have a way of being really hard to hold on to so a lot of the philosophy and stuff behind it, which it seems like I had a fairly detailed grasp on, is now unfortunately gone.

Let me preface this a little bit: This is based on a central American style civilization before Europeans arrived- I don't know very much about them, I just wrote down what came into my mind. Also, this is based on a 'real world' setting where actual magic is unknown.

In the dream I had there was a group of kids exploring these areas (kind of like the Goonies.) I don't remember much besides that there were maybe six kids and one of them was fairly young (around six- way too young to be involved in something like this.)

This post isn't organized very much, I'm just trying to get everything I can remember written out before I forget.

A large circular central plaza. Everything is made of human bones; the stairs, the ground, the seats. The seats are in a single ring around the plaza and set a bit higher, with six sets of stairs leading from them to the center, spaced evenly.

In the center of the plaza is a hidden passage in the floor, maybe opened by a clue in the previous one. The passage leads to a huge series of tunnels, hundreds of them, all tiny (ony large enough for one person at a time) and twisty and snaking around ach other. They never intersect except at the beginning. Only one of them leads to the next plaza- al the rest are dead ends or traps.

The next level is made of very slightly larger bones (which is hard to notice,) but the total size of the plaza and seats remain the same. There is another hidden path in the second plaza leading to the third, with another series of tunnels underneath.

There are a total of seventy levels, and the bones in each gradually grow larger. By the end the peple the bones have been taken from must have been around seventy feet tall. There are some mostly intact seven foot tall skeletons and mummies at the final layer, and it looks like construction was started on the next, but never finished.

The mummies have had their eyes cut out before death, and the deceased had placed them in their mouths and swallowed them- this was ONLY done by the eldery as a sort of euthenasisa ritual, possibly done once a person was seventy years old.

There are also very detailed pictures, very realisticly done, of people trading with mummies and skeletons.

As you go lower you are told or able to learn more about the culture of the civilization that built these. They were very mercantile and a great deal of their society revolved around communicating, dealing with, and venerating the dead. So far nobody else has been able to successfully accomplish communication with the afterlife, and how they did is unknown.

There was also some philosophy involved- there was a group of explorers who had made it to the last plaza, and what they learned down there was so convincing it basically changed their entire worldview, and they burst back up to the surface into a crowd of people who had gathered there declaring that each human being had six souls, and each of those souls had another seventy souls. I'm not claiming this makes sense, it's just what I can remember about the dream.

EDIT: Some additional thoughts now that I've had a few minutes to reflect and remember some of the smaller details:

Okay, so, obviously the numbers six and seventy and the belief (or evidence) or life after death was very important to this civilization, especially for them to have built seventy plazas made of giant bone deep underground. Whether the larger bones came from people who were naturally larger or whether the bone was enlarged somehow is debatable. The bones are consistant with what would be needed for a seventy foot tall biped, and they don't look like they were simply enlarged. They might be the result of bones being ground into a paste and reshaped into larger sculptures of the bones used to make it.

The plazas are all the same size (about 50 meters accross), despite the bones used to built them gradually becoming larger the deeper you go. On the first level the seats ringing the outside are made of ribcages and arm and leg bones, but on the lower levels these are eventually replaced with skulls that have been carved out to make serviceable seats.

The plazas in the center are circular and have six walkways connecting them to the seats on the outer part. The plaza and walkways are paved with leg bones at first, but on lower levels scapula (shoulderblades) are used.

None of the bones used in the construction of these arenas have been deliberately broken- they were somehow fit together without any kind of paste or cement and remain where they were placed without coming loose, with a small handful of exceptions.

In between the walkways are pits of indeterminable depth, as they're filled with more bones, mostly skulls.

I'd really like to come up with the philosophy behind all this, but I can't remember it. Feel free to post any ideas about it you come up with, you might hit on some of the same ideas I had or jog my memory (or come up with something I like better.)