The Foundation

The City of Oð was largely destroyed following the Earthquake of 244 HK. The stone walls that had not collapsed were covered by the charcoaled timbers of a city aflame. When the fires died and the smoke cleared, the residents returned to pick-up the pieces and start again. The rebuilding of the city took a strange turn when the High Priest of Roð decreed that structures that had been blessed by Roð could not be destroyed, for they were the works of god. Unable to relocate the holy city, the Pryr Roð outlined plans for building atop the ruins. A massive framework of stone and iron was erected atop the old city, extending outward from the foundations of the Third Temple. The erection of the second tier lasted almost a century, with work finishing circa 331 HK. This holy task was therefore responsible for the creation of the lowest layer: Uçor, the First City.

“Uncomfortably the Dwürden added, “The third layer of the Hole, the deepest I dared travel, is a much different place than those above. The population is more limited. Populated by Yrūn denizens and their like. Here I found the most complete ruins of a City long past, but also more monsters than I cared, and few with names. Uçor, the third layer is less civilized than those above, if they can even be called such. The places seems overrun by the vile Skallog, half-Yrūn half-lizard creatures.

“It is Uçor that opens into the Southswall, but those entrances (or exits if you will) are guarded by the southern Craw whose feathers are red like blood. They lord over that place and keep slaves it is said. It was told to me that the red Craw do not possess the strength of their northern kin but that their evil is equal, if not greater. The Craw of that place are known to be enemies of the Cannis, the hairless hounds that travel the Uçor in their thirsty packs. It is said that the howl of the Cannis can be heard far above in the streets of Oð, but in Uçor the unearthly sound fills the denizens with dread, for it is the call of hunting.

“Now that I think of it, and it is no pleasure to think on that place, there are many to fear in Uçor. There are the Lower Werrid, the White Children (who may or may not be Uren), the Duggàradan, the Shu’d (or at least there used to be), the Lost, and others. But these are just names. Names told to me in whispers from the lips of frightened travelers. They mean nothing to me, and I pray to the mountains that they will ever mean nothing to you. And of course there are the lower layers. Layers to which I’ve heard no names, and don’t care to. In those lowest regions lay the ancient roots of the dark city far above. It is good that the people of the City do not think on what lies beneath their feet too often.

“Also, do not expect the layers to be constant throughout. Those layers to the south of the Run Dul are lower than those to the north and the crossing can be most unpleasant. I probably don’t need to tell you about the Run Dul. I’ve heard it said that the canyon was formed centuries ago when an earthquake tore the City of Oð into two halves. The river, Run Dul changed course along the fissure’s length and found a new passage to the Kre Dùlnar. The walls of that narrow canyon are a cross-cut of the the first three layers of the Lower Streets. It is the easiest place to come and go from the Hole, and its effect has taken its toll on the Barrens above.”

The hooded figure grew silent for a moment before climbing from his chair. “If the coin you gave has taught you not to enter the Forgotten Places, it was the best purchase you could have made. If after this you still intend to ‘visit’…” The Dwürden shook his head and walked quietly from the room. The door closed behind him without sound.

There is some speculation that layers exist beneath Uçor. This is hard to prove since most expeditions into the Lower Streets rarely descend below the first layer, Visháshun. It is possible that these tales stem from observations of “sea caves”along the inner walls of the Kre Dùlnar at low tide, and the belief that they extend beneath the city’s foundations.




Time Line