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"Father rests with Morr now. And we clubbed together enough to pay the Priests to make sure the bastard stays there."
Ludmilla von Thieldorf, Reikland Noble
Gardens of Morr

A patch of Black Roses growing around graves within the Gardens of Morr

The Gardens of Morr, sometimes known as the Temples of Morr are the sacred cemeteries from which all the dead are to be buried in order for their souls to receive the protection of Morr in the afterlife. These gardens are held in sacred reverence by the Cult of Morr and all their followers, for they consider these cemeteries as Holy Temples to their God. Due to its affiliation with the God of the Dead, these cemeteries are imbued with potent protections of faith and magic, particular against those beings that are neither of the living nor the dead, such as Necromancers, Vampires and all those who would defy the certainty of Death.

These temples dedicated to Morr are almost always built of stone, and always feature a broad stone doorway, with no door, always open just as the gates to death and dreams are. Forming the door are a pair of pillars. One is always black and the other is white to reflect the dual nature of the God. Morrian temples are often underground, and are always quiet places, notable for their cool temperatures and excellent ventilation. Other details that concern the layout of the temple generally depend on the particular Morrian Sect that the Garden is currently aligned to.

Temples of the Order of the Shroud are normally rectangular in plan, with several side chambers in which bodies can be prepared for burial. The main altar is at the end of the hall opposite the door, and there is a bier in front of it where the deceased is placed during a funeral. Beyond the altar is a door leading into the Garden of Morr. Large temples have several altars, so more than one funeral can be conducted at a time, and each altar has its own door into the Garden. The doors to the Garden of Morr can be closed and locked.

Temples of the Augurs are typically round and domed, with an oculus at the peak of the dome. The prophetic Augurs sit at the centre of the dome, surrounded by clouds of incense smoke. Subsidiary rooms and accommodation are part of the main building, accessed directly from the main hall of the temple. Temples of the Augurs do not have a Garden of Morr attached, but it is not at all unusual for temples of both main orders to be found close together.

The Garden itself is a black rose garden, tended by the priests, with stone monuments to the dead dotted about. In theory, these monuments are all small, but rich individuals can sometimes convince the high priest to create large masoluemns to bury their dead in. The bereaved may visit the Garden in the company of a priest of Morr, but ordinary citizens are not allowed into the Garden by themselves. To help enforce this, most Gardens are surrounded by high stone walls, and the only entrance is through the temple itself. Accommodation for the priests is normally built along one wall of the Garden. These fortifications are as much to ensure that those buried within are protected from desecration as well as to trap those inside that have since arisen from the dead.

Visiting the Dead

Whilst there is a Garden of Morr in every settlement of any size in the Empire, there are no greater holy sites sacred to the God of Death, and thus no destinations for pilgrimage in his name. Even the Theatre of Ravens in Luccini, the holiest site of the cult, is not considered a fit place for a pilgrimage.[1b]

The priests of the cult have an explanation for this. They say that Morr is the God of the Dead, and that, in that capacity, none of the living are his concern. One of the living making a pilgrimage in the name of Morr would be like worshipping Manann by embarking on a mountaineering expedition. In his capacity as God of Dreams, he can only be venerated by those journeys undertaken in sleep, and as God of the Dead, the living are but those who have not yet awakened to his glory.[1b]

Ordinary folk think of themselves as giving worship to Morr any time they attend a funeral, and a long journey to help put a friend or family member to rest is sometimes called a "pilgrimage to Morr". Some Old Worlders juxtapose the role of active pilgrim, granting it to the deceased. They refer to a body's travels from its place of death to a Garden of Morr as a pilgrimage, such as those carried by the black funerary barques that carry departed to their family. The bodies of important (or infamous) people might be sent on pilgrimage around a province—in the case of notorious criminals, this is to prove their deaths, whereas for important leaders like Elector Counts or bishops, it allows the common folk a chance to pay their respects. Rarely, such elaborate measures are also taken to confuse the spirit of the dead, so that it doesn't haunt the family or other innocents—this is sometimes performed in the case of nobles who have died suspiciously. These many types of pilgrimages can lead to all sorts of confusion, especially when the recently departed is not widely known to be dead.[1b]

"Sir, can you tell me where Herr Reinholt is?"

"Alas, yev jes missed 'im guv'nuh. He'z onner Morr pilgrimage to Altdorf."

"Damn. Did he say how long he'd be gone?"

"A long time, iz me guess!"
[1b]

The more mystically inclined say that the whole of life is a pilgrimage to the holy places of Morr, and that one's reception at those places depends on how one conducts oneself on the pilgrimage. However, since the holy places of Morr are in the realm of the dead, few are in a hurry to complete the journey.[1b]

Those with a morbid sense of humour point out that no one comes back alive from a pilgrimage to Morr, which points at the most likely reason for the God's paucity of holy sites. Most do everything they can to avoid thinking of, or drawing the attention of, the God of the Dead. Why seek him out when he all too often is on his way to meet you?[1b]

Source

  • 1: Warhammer Fantasy RPG 2nd Edition - Tome of Salvation
    • 1a: pg 39
    • 1b: pg. 169

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