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Book of the King's Coffin
Phantom Books
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Original Name

王の柩の書

Romanized Name

Ō no Hitsugi no Sho

Author

Unknown

Debut

Chapter 2 (light novel 6)

Powers

It has knowledge about preserving someone’s body.

User

Throstur Orlik

Status

Destroyed

For the light novel chapter titled "Book of Coffin", see Chapter 2 (light novel 6).

Book of the King's Coffin or Book of Coffin (柩の書 Hitsugi no Sho) is a Phantom Book used by Throstur Orlik. He borrowed it from Wesley and followed its instructions to build a crypt and preserve the body of his daughter Iris. The Phantom Book is present in the Book of Coffin story.

It’s an old book made of papyrus sheets, written in ancient, forgotten hieroglyphs depicting animals.[1]

Background[]

The Book of the King's Coffin was written by priests from an ancient and lost dynasty. It became part of Wesley’s personal collection. Throstur borrowed the Phantom Book, looking for a way to preserve the body of his daughter Iris, around twenty years before the main events of Book of Coffin. The father hopes that his daughter will be resurrected in the future, when science has developed enough. Influenced by the Phantom Book, the architect built a crypt in Iceland and laid Iris inside an icy sarcophagus. Throstur died soon after. Around fourteen years later, when a financial manager lost the architect’s fortune, the crypt was put up for auction. Kessler, Throstur’s former apprentice, bought the property, without knowing if it really existed.

A few days before the main events of Book of Coffin, four cartographers found the building. Somehow, only one returned. The survivor was found gravely burned, in a state of mental disorder, with a panic of dogs. The man managed to inform the exact location of the house. However, when investigators went to check, they learned that the building had disappeared. The case was reported in the newspapers.

Hugh and Dalian traveled to Iceland to look for the Book of the King's Coffin, since the deadline for its return has passed.[1]

Powers[]

The Book of the King's Coffin has knowledge about how to preserve someone’s body. Influenced by the Phantom Book, Throstur built a self-sustained house with thick walls of black basalt, a large metallic door and no windows. It’s more like a crypt than a house, resembling a memorial hall, a mausoleum or, more precisely, an Egyptian tomb. It’s a small stepped pyramid, each floor smaller than the floor below. Only three floors are seen from outside, while most of the structure is hidden by earth, where there are only small differences in air temperature, making heating easier. Also, there’s no need of cleaning snow when a building is underground.

Its huge interior is poorly lit. The crypt uses Iceland’s rich geothermal resources to maintain itself, keeping the electric lights on, the food cooked, the furniture dusted, and the marble floor polished clean. It can operate for decades. There’s no human taking care of the place, no host to welcome visitors. The property has a large dining room for about twenty people. The nearby kitchen has fresh food. Iris’ room looks like it was barely used. The library is a spacious place with not only books about architecture, but also texts about medicine, pharmacology, resurrection and healing spells. The Book of the King's Coffin is kept on a stand in the corner. When intruders approach, the Phantom Book is burned with a rush of superheated steam.

The house is always surrounded by faults on the ground’s surface, caused by earthquakes which, in turn, are provoked by the building’s movement. The house constantly drifts around tens of meters each day. The crypt uses heat from magma to change its location by melting the layer of ice on the Earth’s crust. The house then moves like a ship in the sea. That way, visitors are unable to find the body preserved inside it.

Irida

Throstur built the crypt to preserve Iris' body.

Throstur’s building exists only to protect his daughter Iris, who’s kept in an icy sarcophagus densely covered in hieroglyphs. The young woman was wrapped with thin strips of white fabric wet with medicine. A sophisticated refrigeration system prevents the ice from melting. The house was built like a maze to prevent visitors from ever finding the coffin. People become confused with the numerous ascending, descending, winding and straight corridors. The sarcophagus room looks like a factory room or a laboratory. It has puddles of oil covering the floor, steel beams supporting the walls, thick electric cables snaking everywhere, lamps blinking above, machines made of bronze and brass operating. The adjacent room is a power plant based on geothermal energy, with giant steam turbines which generate electricity to the house. Magma is explored for its heat, which turns water into high-pressure, superheated vapor.

The walls and ceiling of the library and the sarcophagus’ room are covered with pipes used to transport electrified, superheated steam, which is used to burn intruders. A powerful magnetic field shapes the steam into an invulnerable dog-headed giant, another security mechanism of the house. As the embodiment of Throstur’s wishes, the translucent steam monster reaches three meters, but it can double in size, and has the ability to talk. When the sarcophagus is threatened, the monster becomes more aggressive. When intruders approach the coffin, the giant disappears, as if afraid of damaging it.

All the mechanisms of the house rely on heat from magma. By exploring it, the house exerts pressure against the tectonic plates, which may create a strong earthquake. It may cause a catastrophe suffered not only by locals, but also by inhabitants of other countries along the Atlantic Coast. The mechanisms continue to work even after the destruction of the Book of the King's Coffin. However, everything freezes once the icy sarcophagus is destroyed.[1]

Plot[]

The sarcophagus is surrounded by complex machines. The earth trembles. Iris is placed inside the sarcophagus. Throstur operates a machine, which places the lid of the coffin into place. Around twenty years later, cartographers find the crypt built by the architect. Newspapers report about the deaths of the visitors and the subsequent disappearance of the building. Hugh and Dalian travel to Iceland to look for Throstur’s house. After all, the architect had borrowed the Book of the King's Coffin from Wesley. The Phantom Book must be returned.

Hugh and company explore the house. Magnuson and Erna find some cracks surrounding the property. Although the interior is clean and lit, and there’s fresh food, they find no one. The structure shakes due to an earthquake. The group eventually finds Throstur’s library, a place filled with books about healing and resurrection. Dalian and Kessler see a mysterious figure with the head of a dog, which quickly disappears. Shura finds the Book of the King's Coffin in a corner. She raises her camera to take a photo, but a rush of steam interrupts her. The superheated steam burns the Phantom Book, destroying it.

A dog-headed giant made of steam shows up, saying that it would protect Iris. The group runs to the adjacent room, where they find a body inside a block of ice. The giant follows them and burns Kessler with a swing of his large fist. Hugh and the others run to the next room, which resembles a power plant. They close the door to keep the monster away. Magnuson reveals that the building uses the local geothermal resources to be self-sustainable. The magma is also used to change the house’s location. The building drifts tens of meters each day, explaining why it appears to vanish. All the mechanisms in the house were built to preserve the body inside the icy sarcophagus.

Kessler reveals to be Throstur’s former apprentice. He explains that the young woman inside the coffin is Iris, Throstur’s daughter. Magnuson affirms that the coffin should be destroyed in order to freeze the house’s mechanisms. The building may cause a disaster if it keeps using the heat of magma to operate, since it affects the tectonic plates. Steam pours out from under the door. The giant reappears, this time twice as large. Magnuson throws dynamite at it. The pipes keep releasing jets of steam, as if the giant was trying to revive. However, the creature vanishes for good once Hugh and the others approach the icy sarcophagus. An earthquake shakes the house once again. Erna uses a bunch of dynamite to destroy the coffin. The house’s mechanisms stop. Magnuson and Erna will continue observing the behavior of the Earth, checking if Throstur’s house will cause more earthquakes.[1]

Trivia[]

  • The characteristic of cynocephaly, having the head of a dog or of a jackal, is a widely attested mythical phenomenon existing in many different forms and contexts.[2] Anubis is the god of death, mummification, embalming, the afterlife, cemeteries, tombs, and the Underworld, in ancient Egyptian religion, usually depicted as a canine or a man with a canine head. He's considered a protector of graves.[3] Similarly, in Book of Coffin, a dog-headed giant protects Iris' body.[1]
  • Iris was wrapped in strips of white fabric like a mummy.[1] The mummification was an Egyptian funerary practice to preserve a dead body for the deceased to have a chance at acceptance into the afterlife. Only if the body is embalmed in a specific fashion will the soul return to the deceased body, and rebirth will take place. Wrapping the body in linen cut into strips was part of the process. Prayers were often inscribed on the coffin where the body was placed into. Pyramids were built to keep the tombs of kings.[4]
  • Cryonics is the low-temperature freezing and storage of a human corpse or severed head, with the speculative hope that resurrection may be possible in the future. Cryonics is regarded with skepticism within the mainstream scientific community, generally viewed as a pseudoscience. The first corpse to be frozen was that of Dr. James Bedford in 1967. Most countries legally treat preserved individuals as deceased persons because of laws that forbid vitrifying someone who is medically alive.[5]
  • The chapter mentions Alfred Wegener when Magnuson explains that the house moves the same way that the continents drift.[1] Wegener was a German geophysicist, known as the originator of the theory of continental drift. In 1912, he hypothesizes that continents are slowly drifting around the Earth. His hypothesis was controversial and widely rejected by mainstream geology until the 1950s, when numerous discoveries provided strong support for continental drift, and thereby a substantial basis for today's model of plate tectonics.[6]
  • The most active geothermal resources are usually found along major tectonic plate boundaries where most volcanoes are located.[7] It's the case of Iceland[8], where the Book of Coffin story is set.[1]
    • The use of geothermal resources may cause earthquakes. For example, it happened in 2017, in South Korea, when high-pressure fluid was injected in the Earth to create a network of fractures, where water can be naturally heated.[9]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 2, volume 6.
  2. Cynocephaly. (2020, May 30). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:40, June 8, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cynocephaly&oldid=959751276
  3. Anubis. (2020, June 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:39, June 8, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anubis&oldid=961175063
  4. Ancient Egyptian funerary practices. (2020, May 24). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 23:13, June 8, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ancient_Egyptian_funerary_practices&oldid=958478577
  5. Cryonics. (2020, June 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:54, June 8, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Cryonics&oldid=961154911
  6. Alfred Wegener. (2020, April 17). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:59, June 9, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Alfred_Wegener&oldid=951588910
  7. Geothermal explained: Where geothermal energy is found. (2019, December 5). In Energy Information Administration. Retrieved 23:13, June 8, 2020, from https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/geothermal/where-geothermal-energy-is-found.php
  8. Tectonic Plates. In Iceland On The Web. Retrieved 13:16, June 1, 2020, from https://www.icelandontheweb.com/articles-on-iceland/nature/geology/tectonic-plates
  9. Josie Garthwaite. (2019, May 24). Solving geothermal energy's earthquake problem. In Phys.org. Retrieved 13:16, June 1, 2020, from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-geothermal-energy-earthquake-problem.html
Phantom Books
72 Sacred Notes of the Shem-ha-mephorash - Atargatis Scripture - Book of a Thousand Sorrows - Book of Adventure - Book of Atonement - Book of Avalon - Book of Equivalence - Book of Fairy - Book of Fetus - Book of Gap - Book of Humanization - Book of Hypnosis - Book of Lifetime - Book of Relationship - Book of Styx - Book of the Eleusis Ritual - Book of the House-Elf - Book of Imprint - Book of Meditation of Supreme Cooking - Book of Oblivion - Book of the Outer God - Book of Paradise - Book of Royal Power - Book of the Sage - Book of the Salamander's Seal - Book of Sleep - Book of the Descendant of the Mist - Book of the Feast of the Dead of the Windowless Hall - Book of the Flatterer - Book of the Jealous Girlfriend - Book of the King's Coffin - Book of the Ritual of the Migratory Locusts - Book of the Silver Well - Book of Those Who Want Beauty - Book of Twilight - Book of Wisdom - Catalogue - Collection of Visions - Crastinus Dies Nunquam Sciat - Decorative Plywood of Merneith - Depiction of Mountains and Rivers - Divine Encyclopedia of the Yin Kings - Divine Pattern of Floating Silk - Faceless Book - Fata Morgana - Go in an Instant - Hezār Afsān - Hymn of Hel - Logbook - John Wilkes Booth’s Diary - Kairos’ Dynastic History - Loge - Memories of That Day - Old Bradshaw’s Timetable - Pioneer Book - Phantom Book of Resurrection - Phantom Score - Rahōto Reihō Kaigen - Ritual of Reality - Template Book - The Aggregate of Burning Golden Beads - The Clay Tablet of Ugarit - The Dictator's Book - The Great Queen Poem - The Harlequinade - The Nāgārjuna’s Manuscript - The Ophiuchus Manuscript - The Pedigree of All Creations - The Sage's Slate - The Scent God's Scripture - The World - Vignette of Eternal Twilight

Phantom Book Eggs - List of Phantom Books
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