Wednesday, 1 February 2012
damned city: lagelido
Dusty winds scour Mezzaluna Pass from the south. The heights of Montaspis, the southern hill of Mezzaluna Pass is the source of this dust. On it's lower slopes, green allotments and narrow streets. The citizens are freed slaves-born, valued by the formiles for their farming, aided by qanat tunnels. The upper slopes are barren, tombs chequering stony inclines. At the peak is Angueviden, a stout keep held by sibilant veiled oracles in concealing habits. They keep asps about their person as pets. Their knowledge is sought by the wealthy and powerful as well as formiles going into battle. The farmers on the lower slopes fear them. At equinoxes, a dozen handsome male slaves are delivered to Angueviden never to be seen again. The southern slope forms the north coast of Lake Abbagiaco. Worn fragments of statues are found on the coast and treacherous rocks make boating difficult around here.
Across the lake is Monturrem. It's shoreline runs south and east, packed with quays, shacks and tenements to the Foroscuro Plaza. Here four towers compass an ancient marketplace. Wares have an unsavoury edge - barbed daggers, love potions and zombies bound to lead amulets. Each tower has it's own legends. The north tower is home to the Matres Notisque, bejewelled coven of vile sorceresses. Necromancers, dream stalkers and illusionists, they enslave their victims. The east tower is home to Lord Mephis, Praetector of Lagelido, saturnine aristocrat, ex-formile and intriguer. The southern tower is sealed by magic and lead mortar, it's wizard owner believed now deceased. Daring thieves attempt entry, usually dying horrific deaths. The western tower is a municipal building with access to qanat tunnels under Lake Abbagacio. Monturrem's south face mines for magnetite and magnesia, lodestone deposits trick compasses and fool certain animals. Monturrem miners are hardy yet obedient.
Lake Abbagiaco is placid by day, perilous by night. Fishing boats bring trout and whitefish to Monturrem's muddy south shore in the day only. After dark it's chill water is haunted by spectres. The unquiet spirits of the drowned and murdered whose bodies are hidden here hunt the living. It feeds the ancient qanat network that irrigates Montaspis and Monturrem. This was built before Lagelido formed. Ancient runes suggest certain tombs in Montaspis may have been around longer than any historian suspects.
The western hill, Hircornuta is untamed land, named for it's spiralling rocks, reminiscent of goat horns. Formiles hunt satyr bands amid ragged rocks. Lagelidans think satyrs drunken maniacs, rapists and vandals while satyrs view Lagelidans as tyrannical, violent slave-mongers. Mephis, the Praetector grants license to hunt here. Yet amid Hircornuta's rocks, a crevasse forms a waterfall fed by Lake Abbagiaco runs through the hill. Behind this torrent is an unexpected passage. The waterfall hides a stair best called perilous which descends into the chasms of Malicoram, in the realm of Manescor.