Beneath the city of Jordheim lie the Burial Grounds, a great cavern used for generations not only to bury, but also to honor, the fallen of Midgard.
It has always been said that the beginnings of the great city of Jordheim can be attributed to the bold heroes and brave leaders that came to Midgard so long ago. These leaders were said to have put their bravery, their fierceness, and their determination - the very spirit that drove them to explore and settle a new land - into the foundation of Jordheim. The people of Midgard have always believed that the story of Jordheim's founding were told to inspire that same valiant spirit. What most of them do not realize is that the foundation of Jordheim does literally hold the spirits of the heroes and leaders of the past.
When the different races came to Midgard, they settled in different places. The Norse located an area of land near the water that seemed to provide some safety from the dangers of a new land. Food was plentiful, the area was easy to defend against strange creatures, and there were plenty of trees with which to build their homes. Once a small village had been established, the leaders and adventurers often would head out into the wild, finding new areas to conquer and inhabit. If one of these brave people happened to die while out adventuring, the Valkyries took their spirit to Valhalla, while their body was brought back to the village for a proper burial.
At first, large stone cairns were constructed for the burial of the deceased. In the process of gathering stones for the cairns, a young Norse man named Relder Autansonn made an interesting discovery. As he moved one stone away from a pile, Relder noticed that the stones were arranged in such a way that they concealed a hole. Upon his discovery, Relder fetched his father Autan and his brother Rilden. A quick inspection with a torch revealed that there was a cave beneath the rocks. With their father's permission, Relder and Rilden entered the cave and began to explore.
The brothers discovered a series of tunnels and chambers inside the cave, and immediately realized the potential of their find. Excited, they clambered back to the entrance of the cave and announced their find to the village.. No longer would they have to struggle to build the stone cairns. The cave that Relder had discovered could be used to bury the dead. The leaders of the village ordered the cave's opening enlarged, then went in to look and ended up agreeing with the brothers. Soon after, burials in the caves began.
When one of the leaders or great heroes died, a chamber within the cave system was prepared for them. A person's rank in the village determined the size and location of their burial chamber. When the founder of the village died gloriously in battle against a fierce creature that threatened the village, a magnificent chamber was prepared for him within the caverns. Normally, the dead would be placed upon a small boat and carried into their chamber to be laid to rest. But with the founder of the village, a more elaborate ceremony was necessary.
The longboat that had carried the founder, his crew, and the first round of villagers to Midgard had been preserved as a monument to their bravery for venturing into the new land. Now that the founder had journeyed on to Valhalla, the longboat would be his resting place. Because it was too large to fit through the entrance to the caverns, the massive longboat was carefully dismantled and carried piece by piece into the equally large chamber. Once all the pieces had been brought in, the longboat was carefully reassembled. When it came time for the funeral, the founder was laid upon a bier and carried from the water's edge, through the village and down into the burial chamber below. There, he was placed in the prow of his ship as a symbol of respect.
Typically, a burial chamber was sealed right after a person was laid to rest, but this time the villagers refrained from doing that. As each of the boat's original crew died, they too were placed within the massive longboat as a symbol of respect for their courage and loyalty. When the last crewmember had finally been laid to rest, the chamber was sealed to protect it from looters.
Over time, the other burial chambers were filled until there wasn't any room left. The entrance to the caverns was sealed, and a small building was placed over it to help protect the caves from grave robbers. Soon, another building joined the first, then another and another. Before long, the city of Jordheim was under construction. As generations passed, the burial grounds beneath the city were long forgotten by all but those who still dwelt beneath the surface.