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Crypt

This is my underground sanctuary. It's tight, humid, a little cold until you've been in here for a while. This room is really just a nod to my love of caves and my occasional need for time alone. If I were a vampire, I suppose I could keep my coffin down here...

Crypt is an interesting word. It comes from the Greek kruptos, meaning hidden, so it's actually related to terms like cryptography and cryptic. It doesn't have to be a burial chamber (and, come to that, it doesn't have to be underground, but offhand I can't think of any uses of the word that isn't). In medieval church architecture, the crypt is a hidden underground chamber, usually but not always used for burials.

My experience with caves comes from summers spent in the Cumberland Plateau area, where hiking, climbing, and spelunking were fairly common activities. The caves in that area are water-carved limestone, so they tend to be damp (if not actually wet - several have streams running through them). They make interesting curves, and offer strange openings (often small and oddly shaped) to explore.

While I do not recommend caving alone (basic safety requires at least three people, each with at least two reliable light sources), the combination of absolute silence and absolute darkness can be extremely relaxing. It allows you to leave the normal world behind in a way that few other settings can match.