Coffin

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A coffin in Ultima I

Coffins are containers used for the storage and display of human remains in the funerary traditions of a number of cultures. In most practices, the coffins are eventually either interred or cremated after ceremonies commemorating the deceased have taken place.

Description[edit]

Vasculio's empty coffin in Serpent Isle

In early Sosaria, during the age of Ultima I, coffins were a common sight within the dungeons of the land, often containing riches which could be gleaned by a cautious adventurer. It is unknown if these coffins were actually intended to be funerary boxes, and that the possible treasures found within them were robbed from the undeserving dead, or if these caskets were merely storage boxes by another name, with the word used for them perhaps having its etymological roots with the Latin "cophinus" (basket), the term from which both "coffer" and "coffin" seem to descend.

In the later days of Britannia, these coffins no longer appeared in the underground labyrinths of the world, with the solitary exception of The Crypt - an isolated place infested with undead found deep within the dungeon Shame. The only caskets to be seen were used in the funerary trade, which in Britannian tradition appeared to feature embalming and interment practices similar to those of Terran Western civilization, although catacombs with un-boxed remains also appeared in regions such as Moonglow.

Among the denizens of the Lands of Danger and Despair, among the Ophidians, and later among some groups of Serpent Islanders, the ceremonies of the dead appeared to call for coffins and their contents to be stored above ground level, or to be enshrined in tombs. As a result, during the Avatar's adventures in these lands, coffins were frequent sights, although cremation was also a common practice amongst the modern populations of New Sosaria.

Of particular note in these lands was the empty coffin of the undead magician Vasculio, whose necromantic escape from death had long perturbed the magicians of Moonshade, and the coffin of princess Beatrix, daughter of the King of the White Dragon and betrothed of Shamino Salle' Dacil, whose remains had been lost to the frequent goblin raids which marked the downfall of the older kingdoms of the realm.