By Tooth And Claw Dragons
The Darklands, Land of the Unholy

In ancient times, four kingdoms allied together to oppose Kazule and his kingdom, and waged a brutal war against Jes're'en. However, their combined might wasn't enough to gain victory, and they were annihilated, their country left a desolate wasteland, with only scattered ruins left as evidence the land was once inhabited. However, rumors and legends claim that there are cities hidden far beneath the surface.

Country/Area Name(s): the Darklands

Ruling Species: Empyreans

Native Language: Common

Capital(s): Neraka

Monarch(s): Cylene Slithersteel


These are the cities found within this area; each one is marked on the map, and divided by tiers. The larger the tier, the larger the city - tier one may be a small village or town, while tier four may be sprawling cities of grand proportions.

RACE: mixed. LEADER: Adaine (NPC). TIER: four.

APPEARANCE: Once, Apsinth was a sprawling and prosperous fortress-city, crafted by dragonkin in the height of Outre’mer's significant reign, and before the war that plunged the land into tainted desolation. Many of the ancient buildings are constructed to allow dragons to pass among them easily, with wide doors and thick grey stone walls. New construction - though most has been hastily built - is made of the black rock that much of the Darklands is made up of. The ground itself is seeped in corruption which enhances the potency of even the smallest of sparks of evil intent, and shadowy magic may be glimpsed in the visible spectrum wherever the eye may wander.

The bulk of the city is destroyed. Little of the curtain wall remains, and the once-vast towers are nothing more than a crumbling ruin - a tremendous castle now laying in shambles. Older buildings spread in a large semi-circle on the banks of a lake that glitters coldly in whatever light pierces the gloom, collectively called Old Towne, still lived in but often evacuated in the event of an undead uprising or magical mishap. Beneath the ruins lays the Undercity: an underground section of Apsinth where much of the occult activity occurs. Built around the ruined curtain wall is the outskirts, where refugees and vagabonds protected and cared for by the Order of St. Jesaria live in poor health and poverty.

CULTURE: The people of Apsinth run on one of three things: desperation to survive, a desire for power at any cost, or determination to protect the world at large. The citizenry consists of those who are outcast or exiled from other lands, those that are simply too poor to live elsewhere, and those who come to practice and bask in dark magic. And finally, there are those who seek to protect the former and inhibit the latter.

Life in Apsinth is unstable and often chaotic. The Order of St. Yesaria and its tenants are the only ones that cling to some concept of solidarity, and those of the Order are passionate, but disciplined. Those that wish to serve must abide by their strict moral code; however, this is voluntary, as the Order sees force to impose strict honor-law as inherently immoral. They practice strict asceticism, which helps them extend whatever meager rations they can afford.

Otherwise, anarchy rules the day in the ancient city; those that call themselves the Night Wardens are seen as a rowdy, orderless gang of vigilantes who use any means necessary to fight the darkness - including darkness itself. While the Order of St. Yesaria condemns this 'fire against fire' methodology, they do not condemn the Night Wardens, and will tend to their wounded while attempting to convince them that their way will only lead to more suffering. All else is turbulence, as business must pack up and flee at the drop of a hat, as it can be peaceful one moment and a full blown invasion of the undead the next.

RACE: mythkin. LEADER: Nightstriker vi Lilithe'n (NPC). TIER: one.

APPEARANCE: Istu'gan is as much a fortified mine as it is a city. Dwellings are carved from solid rock, and excavated stone is added to the great wall surrounding the town, which is formed to provide defenders an abundance of ambush spots. The town was built around a mythmetal mine, with the protective wall being built as the mine and town were both expanded. The deepest tunnels are carefully watched for signs of openings into underground chambers that may connect to Empyrean territory.

CULTURE: The mythmetal found in the mine provides Istu'gan with an abundance of wealth, usually in the form of trade with other mythkin. It is also not uncommon for some of the mythkin to sneak into Ravekos to steal the bones from human bodies, whether the dead be natural, or failed Empyreans, despite the danger these remains pose. Mythmetal veins are heavily coveted, and it's quite common for claims to change hands rather frequently, due to murder or coercion.

RACE: empyrean. LEADER: Belas (NPC). TIER: three.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Slithersteel.

APPEARANCE: Little exists on the surface of the mighty fortress that once stood there, but the fortress-city beneath the ground is every bit as grand as the one that once stood on the surface. Mighty stone gates ward off any would-be interlopers, and a vast parade ground surrounded by numerous barracks stand near a towering citadel that reached from the cavern floor to its ceiling.

CULTURE: Kadrath is the headquarters for the majority of the Slithersteel military, and frequent military exercises take place on the city's parade ground. Much like Neraka, Kadrath never sleeps, and part of its army stands ready to oppose any invader at a moment's notice.

RACE: empyrean. LEADER: Cylene Slithersteel. TIER: four.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Slithersteel.

APPEARANCE: A massive, spell-blasted spire made of dark stone towers high above the scattered ruins around its base, its top reaching the dark, low-lying clouds that blanket the skies above the Darklands. Within the spire, numerous labyrinthine passageways twist and turn, with many in ruins. However, deep beneath the surface, a vast city lies within a series of vast caverns, hewn from stone, and reinforced with solid steel. Lit by an eerie glow from enchanted gemstones, the base of the spire above serves as a palace.

CULTURE: The heart of the Darklands, Neraka is the capitol city of the secretive Empyreans. Hidden from the light of the sun, moon, and stars, Neraka never sleeps. Metal ore from beneath the Darklands is brought to Neraka for refining, while activity on the surface is closely monitored by scout reports and scrying.

RACE: empyrean, various. LEADER: Immortan (NPC). TIER: two.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Slithersteel.

APPEARANCE: The only Empyrean city that lies on the surface, Ravekos is tucked up against a steep, jagged mountain range, and divided into upper and lower sections. The lower section is reserved for non-Empyreans who hope to one day earn the right to become Empyreans themselves, or who are undergoing indoctrination. The upper section possesses far better housing and accommodations than the lower.

CULTURE: Ravekos is the only city in the Darklands to have non-Empyreans living in it, although most of them are either aspiring to be or are on their way to being Empyreans themselves. Slithersteel indoctrination takes place among those who live in the lower section, and the Empyreans keep them in line by controlling the only clean water in the city, which is pumped up from underground.

RACE: empyrean. LEADER: Kreya (NPC). TIER: one.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Slithersteel.

APPEARANCE: A number of near-intact structures lie beneath the waves, and secreted among the underwater ruins is the entrance to Skaara. The lower halls and chambers of Skaara are underwater, while the upper reaches are dry. Numerous gates and traps serve as strong deterrents to potential interlopers. The city itself is a mixture of carved stone and coral, and gleaming metal enchanted to resist corrosion.

CULTURE: Skaara serves as a secret way for Empyreans to reach the surface of the Darklands, as well as keep a close watch on any approaching vessels. Any vessel deemed to be snooping too close to where it shouldn't be, or carrying artifacts or people that could reveal the existence of the Empyreans is sunk, and its crew and passengers slaughtered. Within the city, artifacts recovered from beneath the sea are examined, and sent to Neraka for further study and use.

RACE: empyrean. LEADER: Adamar (NPC). TIER: one.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Slithersteel.

APPEARANCE: Smoldering pits and scattered stones stand as mute testament to the destruction delivered upon the Darklands in days long past. But beneath the surface, Ungor has been rebuilt. Little more than a series of haphazard structures at the heart of a twisting sprawl of mineshafts and tunnels, this city is the primary source for the raw metals refined in Neraka.

CULTURE: The mines of Ungor are a hotbed of activity. Slithersteel demands copious amounts of raw metals, and the Empyreans toil endlessly to extract it from the stone. When not engaged in mining operations, Ungor oversees expeditions into the various cavern systems that connect the underground domains, and implements reinforcing supports where the rock has been weakened.


These are the landmarks and important places scattered through this area. They can be anything from forests and rivers to special caverns, monuments, ruins, and more.

A deep gorge filled with geysers and vents spewing toxic fumes, and glistening with dark, oily pools. The fumes can incapacitate or kill an unprepared individual in minutes, forcing would-be explorers to take strong measures to protect themselves. The gorge is steep-sided, and difficult to traverse.
Howling Wastes
A large, barren, wind-swept plain. The winds make a mournful howling sound as they whip through the scattered ruins and rocky crags, as if bewailing the destruction that wrecked the land. The sounds range from soft moans to loud shrieking, and can hide the sounds of approaching feet or wings, and the wind often causes raging dust storms, further adding to the difficulty in crossing the plains.
Kurdan's Tomb:
A trilaterally symmetrical dark metal arch extends above a large, black stone mausoleum half-submerged in a dark, oily bog. Little record can be found referencing the tomb, or who might be interred in it, but few can get close due to the malevolent aura surrounding it. Even glimpsing the tomb from a distance leaves people with the feeling that something evil was watching them, and few dare turn their backs on the tomb.
Scarclaw Ridge
A jagged mountain range scoured of all plant life and soil, leaving bare stone exposed to the elements. Treacherous footing discourages casual exploration, and one misstep can mean a deadly fall. Sarka have been spotted in the mountains, adding to the dangers they pose, and other deadly creatures have been reported as well. Numerous caves can be found, often serving as lairs for hostile creatures.
Stygian Slough
A depression in the ground filled with a bubbling, steaming, oily substance. Noxious vapors capable of killing a grown person in seconds occasionally billow out of the rancid muck, and even magic isn't always enough to prevent someone from breathing the vapors. Adventurers and other explorers tend to keep a healthy distance from the Slough.
The Tyrant's Last Stand
The supposed final resting place of the infamous tyrant, King Calighandias, who brought great ruin to Apsinth. It is said that in his death throes, he had buried the knights who had committed treason along with him - his corpse still trapped there along with theirs. There have been multiple attempts to raid his massive labyrinthine underground tomb, which was also the prison where he kept many of his subjects - guilty or otherwise. Very few survive the trek into the buried castle near Apsinth - undead horrors, abominations, and beastly nightmares stalk would be glory-seekers day and night.

About Millirand

Millirand is an ancient Realm, once proud and powerful, and is the original home of the great Dragon Royals. Now however, devastating wars in the past, and the splitting of the Ten, have resulted in a fallen Realm given in to despair. The once-mighty dragons have been reduced to a bare minimum, and the various kingdoms have turned their focus on their own personal matters. However, despite that, Millirand remains a Realm of beauty, mystery, and magic.

Realm Contributors: Verridith, JPG, Bucketorandomness, and Fyfergrund