Otherplaces – The Hall of Forgotten Heroes

30 March, 2012

The Hall of Forgotten Heroes

Holding up the roof?The massive double doors at the entrance are made of carved bronze, so heavy with verdigris that the carving are unrecognizable.  The walls and floors are dark grey stone veined with red crystal that glints like fresh blood when the light hits it.  A worn carpet, once bearing a geometric pattern, now so threadbare it is barely visible, runs down the center of the hall.  Huge columns reach up into the darkness, supporting a high roof that cannot been seen.

Along the walls are statues, hundreds of them, made of a variety of materials: stone, bronze, copper, iron, ivory, clay.  A few are composites of materials, some even wore armor or clothing.  They are of all types of people, all races, all sexes.  Nobles in full armor stand beside a common in rags with no obvious rhyme or reason.  Engraved on each of the pedestals, often hard to read in scripts and alphabets no longer common, many faded by time into near illegibility.

What is missing?

One of many

As you move deeper into the hall, the statues start to look incomplete, pieces are missing, they seem unfinished.  Much further on, they are but sketches and forms, only the beginning of statues.  Far down and deep in the hall, the pedestals are empty but obviously waiting for statues to be placed upon them.  The hall seems to go on forever, or at least for as long as anyone wishes to walk.

Even off the worn carpet, the hall seems to absorb the sound of footsteps.  With the shadows and the silence, it is easy to get the sense of being alone in the hall even if others are present.  Indeed, if they hall could be said to have an aura, it is one of loneliness and regret.

The hall was built by the Lord of Secrets and Forbidden Knowledge, as private project parallel to his portfolio, as a reminder of when he did not walk in the shadows but was a god of knowledge and invention.  The hall is a tribute to the lost, the heroes who have been forgotten, the more complete the statue, the more the hero has been forgotten.  The ones at the front of the hall have been entirely lost to the memory of mortals, while the legends of those in the back is just beginning to fade, just enough that their deeds are not widely known.  It is here the Lord of Secrets comes to reflect on, well, everything.  Among those who are equally as lost and forgotten as he.

The Hall exists, in a corner of a not often visited place, such a the land of shadows, or the realm of dreams, perhaps it even moves between them.  But occasionally mortals find their way there (immortals, however, cannot find it unless invited by the Lord) and when they do, the Lord will often appear to give them a tour, speaking of the heroes and heroines memorialized here.

As stories are told of the forgotten heroes, their statues start to become less formed and shift deeper into the hall, but once an image is placed here, they can never fully leave as the Lord of Secrets has a piece of their legend that is his alone.

Notes: One of the strange places I have created for people to visit, it fits nicely into dreamscapes or the land of shadows, haunting and mysterious, even when explained.

Photo of the column by Börkur Sigurbjörnsson and the statue by Paul J Everett, both used under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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