Sunday, 15 April 2012

A - Z Challenge: O is for Ossuary and also for Osprey



        PART I:
        WHAT IS IT?

An Ossuary,  to continue with the rather morbid theme of the Necromancy posting is a site that serves as the final resting place of human skeletal remains.  The body is buried in a temporary grave and then moved after a certain amount of time.  
Because they are not using the coffins or even keeping the skeletons together there is a great deal more  space available. [1]


In and around the churches between the 8th and 12th centuries.  If you've stumbled across one somewhere else then it's  good sign that something untoward has been going on.   That being said the Douaumont ossuary in France contains the remains of more the 130,000 French and German soldiers that fell at the Battle of Verdun during World War 1.

An Ossuary has but one purpose and that is to store bones.  Though it might  be a good place to hide if you were on the run from someone.  Technically the Ossuary would still be storing bones they'd just be a little fleshier then usual.

You might have one if you were studying the effects of a particular item on bone structure or density and you might want to branch out into a body farm which allows people to study the effects of decomposition in corpses under various environments and situations.

As with the Douaumont ossuary it could be that the battle is over and  there is no way to identify the bodies of the soldiers or anyone on either side who is able to properly claim them.


I'll stay away from the magical aspect that might be present since I pretty much covered that yesterday [2] 
  • it could be that  the secret escape passage is located in the ossuary.
  • It would make a delightfully spooky place for a nightly rendezvous or picnic [3]
  • A particular religious observation might see a family spending the day amongst their ancestors where something unexpected  may very well happen.
  • An earthquake or similar disaster reveals a  hidden ossuary that could catapult the hero into action.
  • An ossuary might be disturbed by looters, who then begin to die in a variety of different ways.  Is it a curse or worse? [4]



is also for


Finally!  A series of books that aren't some wizards running around with their wands out and corrupting children everywhere!

But I digress.

The Osprey books cover the field of war with each book focusing on a particular people and period.  They go into meticulious detail about the troop movements, the men in command and the clothing and equipment that was used by the soldiers at the time.

For this reason they are an invaluable tool for anyone doing a history project or needing to know what the general costume for a particular time looked like.

I would recommend these books to writers, students and reenactors [5]

  1. If you are a saint then expect your bones to be placed in a Reliquary rather than in the Ossuary itself.
  2. Why not go back and read it again?  I'll wait. (no I won't)
  3. Presumably the title of your book is Attack of the Goth Clich├ęs
  4. What's worse than a curse?  (5)
    Why don't we create something? (7)
    That uses haikus? (5)
  5. you don't have to be all of these at once.  Trying to write your manuscript in the middle of a fight will not win you any friends.

The Obsequious Ornamental Ostrich,
who wore Boots to keep his

feet quite dry.


  1. Thank you. I've learned two new words. Not sure if I'll ever use them, though. ;-)

  2. I'd say the next couple of posts are going to be more down to earth but I'd be lying. If anything they'll be even more obscure! (and most likely useless unless you are in an intensely specific situation)

  3. Very cool post. An Ossuary would be a great additive to a historical novel..but with lots of debauchery inside!

  4. I see it as being a searing indictment of domestic servitude in the eighteenth century, with some hot gypsies thrown in.