Chapter 421 – A Place to Call Home
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“While a good house isn’t a necessity for a happy life, it most certainly helps those living in it feel happier for sure.” - Leander el-Hawaz, sociology student from the Caliphate, circa 692 FP.

“You can use this place whenever you’re staying here in Tohrmutgent, it’s all yours, no charge,” said Aideen as she showed Celia to a house in the temple district nearest to the Palace of Bones. Due to the larger number of Tohrmut worshipers in the Lichdom, the clergy dedicated to the Deity of Death was also the most numerous, and as such the section they occupied was the largest in the area.


Of course, since the unliving that flocked to Tohrmutgent in the years past was also housed in the same district, there had been some rearrangements needed to fit them in, though given the low number of the unliving – barely a couple thousand in total so far – it wasn’t difficult to fit them in. In fact each of them were given a house for their usage, while most tried to make themselves useful members of the Lichdom to repay the kindness of having accepted them in their time of need.


Aideen herself still owned the same house she used to live with Artair in, over a century ago, and used it as her residence when she was in town. The house was left unbothered despite the century-long vacancy, but from the clean state it was in, Grandpa Aarin must have sent people to clean the place every once in a while even when she was away.


The house lent for Celia’s use was a similar place to what Aideen was used to, a rather simple and relatively small two-story build, with a kitchen and a general use living room dominating the lower floor, with a large bedroom – enough for a whole family, if needed – taking up most of the upper floor, with the rest of the space taken up by the bathroom.


It wasn’t a big house, but it was plenty for a family to live in, and was in far better shape than what many in the world could lay claim to, so it was not a bad place by any means. Celia was surprised mostly because she didn’t expect to be given a house to live in just shortly after arriving in Ptolodecca, despite how Aideen had explained to her beforehand on how things would likely go.


“I thought you were just boasting on our way here,” said Celia somewhat dreamily as she looked at the house. The place was furnished with simple, but sturdy furniture of good quality. What had surprised the younger woman the most was when she noticed that the bathroom only took up such a small space because it included enchantments that allowed the water – either heated or cold – to shower down upon her when she needed. 


Seeing enchantments on such mundane functions merely to allow people to live more comfortably was not something Celia had seen anywhere else in her travels. To her knowledge, enchanted items were the providence of the rich and powerful, not something used so openly and freely for things like what she had seen them used in the Lichdom.


The Lichdom did indeed make heavy use of enchantments to make life more convenient. Even the plows and other tools that the farmers used were typically enchanted to make them more durable or otherwise do their job better. It was so prevalent in mundane ways that unless one actually paid attention, they would have failed to notice the enchantments that were nearly omnipresent in the everyday lives of the people of the Lichdom.


While necromantic constructs differed from enchanted items, they still serve similar functions, taking roles which enchanted items were incapable of fulfilling, like heavy labor and transportation. The greater flexibility of such constructs – when under the direct control of a necromancer – also allowed them to be used in a greater variety of usages, which the locals were quite creative in.


The usage of undead constructs to take the place of carriages – though mostly only for important guests so far, as Celia saw more common carriages simply being drawn by undead beasts instead – and to replace beasts of burden on the farms was one thing. It was another to see pristine-looking skeletons that walked around while bringing one’s order of food while dressed like a waiter in restaurants, however.


Of course, those were more successful restaurants that had enough leeway to employ some necromancers as part of their staff, but still.


Even though Celia was no genius, it had also not taken her long to notice that Ptolodecca had several major advantages compared to its neighbors due to its liberal use of enchantments and necromancy as part of their daily lives. 


For one, the Lichdom prospered, their fields were better cared for and produced more food by the area compared to their neighbor. Starvation was something unheard of in the Lichdom, and even those who were lower on the social ladder lived lives where they had little to worry about. That in turn meant that the populace of the Lichdom – which was numerous despite the relatively small size of the place – was strongly loyal to their country.


Many would be considered fanatical by most, even, people who would have happily given up their lives if the command came from the Bone Lord.


All things considered, despite the large and mostly fanatically loyal populace, should there be any war that involved the Lichdom, what its enemies needed to worry about were not the living, but the dead. The Bone Lord was widely agreed upon to be the greatest necromancer to have ever lived, and he reigned over bones that have been collected in his Lichdom over millennia on end.


Nobody had ever seen the Bone Lord truly bring everything he had to bear, but Aideen had little doubt that Grandpa Aarin could have literally drowned the continent in undead, if he so wished it. It was just that he never saw any need or reason to do so.


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