The poetry and stories have a homey simplicity about them, especially those written during times of great stress throughout the world. The frayed edges of the pages upon which these verses are copied is a mute testament to those who read this book before, several times.
The epitaphs are grouped roughly by race. Not all Norrathian races are represented, although the ones most likely to have lived for many generations in Qeynos are listed.
Of Humans and Halflings
Humans and halflings may seem an odd combination for burial groupings, but it proved to be a very practical choice. The humans preferred to be interred horizontally, while the halflings seemed to prefer a vertical burial. That allowed for placement of tombs in very close proximity without wasted space.
Time and again we called your name
Little did we know You’d lost your ears to the trolls — Ezzie Appledore, aged 49
Ezzie Appledore’s neighbors always wondered why she didn’t hear them; they thought she was too proud to associate with them. It wasn’t until her death that they discovered she hadn’t any ears, which would have made hearing a bit of a chore.
There’s a place at the table where you used to sit
Your feet after a long day in the fields That’s the very first thing I polished After your funeral. — Lestin Farmerson, age unknown
Lestin operated a large farm and had large feet that he planted on his wife’s table every chance he had. At first, he did it just to annoy her. Later, he’d gotten into the habit.
The gods welcome you home
Wherever they are And wherever you roam Though, if gods there still be Then I am a gnome — Brenna Marche, aged 89
Brenna’s husband Rusty believed that the gods had forsaken Norrath and that no one would hear from them ever again, while Brenna firmly believed the gods would return. Time will tell which of them was right.
You never returned
From your trip over-sea Oh, how I wish You’d left stuff to me — No Name
It’s not clear to whom this epitaph was written, and the tomb on which it was engraved was robbed many generations past. It seems whoever the person was, they were considered wealthy in their day — evidently moreso in material wealth than friends.
Of Elves and Half-Elves
The elves buried beneath Qeynos often fell in battles of its defense and the residents of the town from its early days wanted to show respect to the elder children of Tunare. While they generally shun the half-elven in life, the choice of burying them together was pure practicality — there were fewer elves being buried and the humans refused to have half-elves buried amongst them, so they moved all half-elven tombs to the section reserved for the elves.
You were my best friend forever
Who listened when no one else would Other elves and the humans reject me I wish they took me and not you — Ferianna Leimi, aged 94
The Leimi family died of one of the many diseases rampant during the War of Plagues. Ferianna was rare among high elves, associating freely with the half-elven and befriending them while others shunned them and called them names. The writer of this epitaph was presumably one of Ferianna’s half-elf friends.
Though fallen in battle,
I hear your voice sing Though your last breath is drawn I still wait for Spring — Meiri Linnarian, ageless
Meiri was a member of the Qeynos Guard on patrols in the lowest level of the catacombs. Her unit was overwhelmed by enemy forces. None survived.
Far out to sea, ships are sailing
And I stand alone at the quay You’ve taken my heart on this journey Hold it within yours, my love — Jarna Greyflower, half-elf
Interestingly, many of the half-elf tombs include not their age but the fact that they were half-elves. It is unclear whether this is a mark of pride in their heritage, or whether they were not accorded the honor of noting their lifespan.
Many who died are unburied
Their bones scattered over the hills Let this song be their remembrance Until the battlefield stills — For the Unsung Heroes
of dwarves and Barbarians
Dwarves and barbarians formed alliances as they came to the city of men, both enjoying hearty meals and gaudy entertainment. After the destruction of the northlands, the dwarves joked that the barbarians could be buried alongside them, if there be any reason to bury a dwarf. The comment had been made in jest, but with so much upheaval in the lands, it was inevitable that many from all the races of Norrath would perish.
Here lies Tammak Brannuck
Who knew how to swing But forgot how to duck — Tammak Brannuck, age unknown
Tammak was a barbarian who would go to the local eateries and challenge the patrons to fisticuffs in the street. One day, someone accepted his challenge and Tammak turned around to leave but forgot the door was much lower than he was used to. He hit his head on the door’s lintel so hard it knocked him backward into a display of deer antlers.
These are the bones of Wallace McWallace
He lived rough, fought hard and ate well Too bad he drank from the well, too — Wallace McWallace, died aged 37
Wallace was slain by lizardmen archers as he drew water from the well outside his farm.
We promised we wouldn’t write you a poem
So we won’t. Don’t let it be said We didn’t do anything you ever asked — Garr Stonehammer
The Stonehammer family was famous for disobeying the rules their patriarch Garr set down. Looks as though he finally got his way.
You didn’t tell me there’d be elves.
— Gruer Hardy
Gruer and his family escaped the destruction of Halas, fighting many brave battles through gnoll territory to reach Qeynos, where Gruer collapsed in shock at the unexpected sight of elves in the city of men.