Arbuckle Hill is the home of The Cadaver, the notorious public house. In ages past, it was the site of Arbuckle Abby and Reliquary of the Creator. Prior to that, it was believed to be the center of creation itself. The colorful history of Arbuckle Hill is part of what defines the unique character of Folktown.
The Early Days
When the Creator wiped Ghyll from its finger, there was a small place where the land was lifted as it adhered to the receding digit. When a town formed at this natural vantage point for surveying the surrounding countryside, it was named Folktown. This hill was named Folktown Hill (the early Ghyllians weren't very creative).
The first record of any name similar to Arbuckle as applied to the Hill was in an ancient map manuscript (tentatively dated circa -700 EC) that shows Folktown surrounding an Arbugghyll Manor positioned roughly where Arbuckle Hill would be. Nothing is known of this Arbugghyll person other than judging from the size of the dwelling they were both prominent and prosperous.
In -266 EC, Odgar IV was elected to be the rejah and promptly changed everything he felt needed changing. This included the role of Arbuckle Hill. Over the years, Arbugghyll manor evolved into Arbuckle Abby and Reliquary. In its hallowed halls, priceless artifacts and recipes of the holy prophets of the Creator were stored (along with many parts of the prophets and their ancestral burial tableaus).
The Order of the Sisters of Universal Civic Kindness and Sympathy (SUCKS) had taken a vow to eliminate the vices of drinking, stimulants, tittilating scripts, smut, dancing and generally fun of any kind. They had considered trying to eliminate procreation, but that proved too difficult a prospect, but nearly everything else was proscribed. Life, as they lived it, was to be spent in constant marvel of the Creator and the minimum possible effort to maintain existence. It was a very small order.
Odgar IV heard of this order and made plans to incorporate their philosophies into his post as moral regulator. Wisely, he did this through agents and not directly. The barkeeps and restauranteurs of Folktown staged an uprising in -250 EC and burned the Abby to the ground, beat the sisters of SUCKS and forced them to flee. One of the Sisters, who tried to save the Reliquary and its priceless contents, had her body broken and was left to die on the Hill.
Odgar IV relaxed his standards for moral order after the incident, reasoning "If they are going to be that passionate about it, why not let them ruin their lives?" (Songs of Odgar The Fourth - 'A-Mirthin' We Shall Go'). He did, however, on Baros 14, -250 EC, canonize the sister on the Hill as the Martyr Ursula Sandwich of the Hill, even though that wasn't her name.
The Sign on the Hill
The first restaurant to stand on Arbuckle Hill had no name. They erected the infamous sign of the Arbuckle Hill Martyr on opening day in -248 EC as a warning to any high-pants government or religious official who would seek to shut them down. As a result, they were burned out of business in less than three years.
A succession of bars, restaurants and speakeasies followed, each succumbing to fire. For over 60 years the cycle continued. Each time, the only remaining landmark of prior establishments was the sign. In the year -88 EC, the Cranee Historical Society declared the sign a historical landmark. Since that time, the sign has only been changed once; in -22 EC, the original sign was sent to the archives at the Odlucian Library and a replica was put in its place.
In -188 EC, the building known as The Cadaver was built. It was originally a show-hall, bar, restaurant and vlorm den until it burned in -178 EC. By that time, the combined income of all of those ventures was significant enough that it was simply re-built and business continued.
Over the intervening years the building has been replaced no less than six times. It has been damaged by fire, explosion, spontaneous Ghyllian combustion, riot, lightning, Bindlet Balls and barfights. All told, the 'Daver probably has more battle damage than the Plain of Brahang.
Common superstition owes the 'Daver's longevity to the sign. Of all of the businesses that have stood on Arbuckle Hill, the 'Daver was the only one to affix the sign to its building. It is speculated that if the sign had survived all those years, then any building attached to it should survive as well. History shall determine if the theory holds true.
--Dr. H. L. Ackroyd 13:21, 19 May 2005 (EDT)
I was torn about including more about the Martyr of Arbuckle Hill. There is a passionate speech by Odgar IV on the occasion of the Martyrdom of Ursula Sandwich of the Hill which I'd like to quote here. I found it so moving I couldn't ignore it, even though it was later excised from the entry. I felt that in the notes was appropriate for this material:
From the Speech on Baros 14, -250 EC by Odgar IV
- Fellow Ghyllians, I invite you today to remember this woman who gave her life in the preservation of tradition. When you find the hidden treasure under your nest that you thought you had lost, remember this woman. When you discover the lost utensil that has fallen in the back of a cabinet, remember this woman. When you discover your grandmother has some fondly recalled trinket in her attic, remember this woman. This woman was killed for trying to preserve history, morals, and life.
- Her body, broken, bashed, beaten and mutilated until the remains couldn't be rescued or identified has been lost. The treasures she defended - priceless relics of forgotten prophets who will forever remain lost and forgotten - are reduced to ash. I can only hope that the decadent heathens who would stoop to such act are forever punished for their hubris at deciding her fate.
- I thereby declare that this nameless Sister of Universal Civic Kindness and Sympathy is now to be remembered as Martyr Ursula Sandwich of the Hill. Forever let it be known that this sister of SUCKS has been beaten into MUSH.
Anyone not moved by that is dead inside. --Dr. H. L. Ackroyd 13:37, 19 May 2005 (EDT)
A true scholar would have noted that the "Early Days" are mere mythology as the so-called Creator has no proof of existence and only Ghyllian word of mouth supports this "historical" recollection. Ghyllian scholars should refrain from imparting religious bias into their scholarly texts. --Lisa B. Underhalh 14:13, 19 May 2005 (EDT)
I leave the truth of such statements to be determined by the individual. I merely relayed the legend as it is spoken with reverent tones. Should you find a theoarcheologist who refutes it and cite his work, then I'll be more inclined to accept the legend as mythology and not fact. --Dr. H. L. Ackroyd 19:52, 19 May 2005 (EDT)
I side with the esteemed Dr. Ackroyd on this one. The scholars must be free to include the religious aspect when unavoidable. As all the inhabitants of Folktown believe in this, it is impossible for complete dialog on the subject without the inclusion. All religious facts must be taken with a grain of salt. Besides, any theoarcheologist who disagreed with the legend would be laughed out of the room. --Kalen Firth 22:29, 19 May 2005 (EDT)