Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Murder in Tibet’s High Places

The Smithsonian Past Imperfect history blog is always interesting. A few weeks ago it posted a story about Tibet's Potala Palace, which included this:

The palace itself made an evocative setting for a murder mystery. To begin with, it was ancient; construction on the site had begun as early as 647[....] The structure that we know today mostly dates to a thousand years later, but the Potala belongs to no one period, and the complex was still being expanded in the 1930s. It’s really two palaces: the White, which was the seat of government until 1950, and the Red, which houses the stupas—tombs—of eight Dalai Lamas. Between them, the two buildings contain a thousand rooms, 200,000 statues and endless labyrinthine corridors, enough to conceal whole armies of assassins. Only a few of the Potala’s many chambers, the first Westerners to gain access to the complex learned, were decorated, properly lit [...] illuminated solely by smoldering yak butter.

Add a few Mi-Go and abominable snowmen, and you've got a nice little setting. You can even use the AD&D monk class without too much compunction.

1 comment:

  1. Not only do I love Potala Palace with a great big love, I also have a secret war setting that's been on the backburner for like 20 years called Red Palace, White Palace. It features interdimensional gates generated through speculative architecture (and therefore palaces of potentially endless rooms).

    This may be of interest to you: Earth Door, Sky Door: paintings of Mustang (Tibet) by Robert Powell.

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