Belowground, Land of the Everdark

More a confederacy of allied city-states than a unified country, the cities of the Underground have banded together out of necessity to oppose the not infrequent attempts by Arcadia to bring the Underground under their authority. The vast majority of species not native to Ristell dwell beneath the Realm's surface, and have come to call themselves the 'Everdark'.


Country/Area Name(s): Ristell's Underground; Belowground; Everdark

Ruling Species: human

Native Language: Common

Capital(s): Everdark; Kolstead

Monarch(s): Ihsante (NPC), Herald of the Everdark


Cities:

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.

Aberjr:
RACE: human. LEADER: Council of Elders (NPC). TIER: three.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: A low-built, somewhat sprawling town, Aberjr is the Underground's breadbasket. Exotic floating gardens fill the lake nearby, tended almost religiously by the farmers and earth-mages from town. The soil, transported from the surface, is carefully protected. Long, wide, shallow-drafted boats drift easily between the gardens, and into the canals in the town.

CULTURE: Once a year, the town holds a grand harvest festival following the harvesting of all the crops, culminating in the re-dedication of the soil to the gods. During the rest of the year, most of the people are hard at work. The town council is made of up of the elders who are too old to continue working, although many of them still perform small tasks.

Gorow:
RACE: human. LEADER: Lord Nuthrask (NPC). TIER: two.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: Primarily carved from blue-hued stones, this town has a somber look to it, not helped by the low-lying, somewhat plain look to the buildings themselves. Sunstones, set inside intricately cast lanterns, cast shifting patterns of light on the walls.

CULTURE: In stark contrast to the general appearance of the town, the people are cheerful and outgoing, ready to banter with anybody passing through. Primarily fishermen, friendly rivalries between boat captains are common, as are mild practical jokes. Local priests are charged with tending to the nearby Catacombs.

Kolstead:
RACE: human. LEADER: a group of five ministers and five priests (NPC). TIER: four.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: Capitol and largest city in the Underground, Kolstead is arranged around a mighty stone pillar rising all the way from the cavern floor to the ceiling, narrowing as it rises higher. Resplendent with sunstones, the city can be seen from any part of the Underground with direct line of sight. A large temple-palace dominates the highest level.

CULTURE: Five ministers, representing the Ristell Five, and five priests, likewise representing each of the gods, govern the city, wherein the Underground's brightest are brought for education. The best of these are groomed for administrative positions.

Lirvash:
RACE: human, dwarf. LEADER: Lord Ekarn (NPC). TIER: one.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: Much like Milo to the south, Lirvash is more a riverboat waypoint than anything. But since it's off the Merchant's Road, it lacks a large inn. However, thanks to the dwarven presence, the structures overall are sturdier and of finer quality than most settlements in the Underground.

CULTURE: Many of the dwarves of Lirvash head north up the river to work in the Sunstone Caverns, while the humans run the river barges. Hard working and taciturn, they have a reputation as being stoic and solemn, and somewhat grim.

Milo:
RACE: human. LEADER: Lady Enali (NPC). TIER: one.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: A small, evenly laid-out settlement, little more than an outpost along the Merchant's Road. An inn caters to merchants and caravanserai, while a wharf for river craft stands ready. Aside from that, a small shrine is the only other structure that really stands out. Even the town hall is nearly indistinguishable from the rest of the buildings.

CULTURE: Most of Milo's inhabitants are caravanserai, whether drovers, guards, or roustabouts responsible for loading and unloading carts or draft animals. Aside from the frequent caravans, they aren't exceptionally welcoming of outsiders, while maintaining a close-knit community among themselves.

Redwall:
RACE: human. LEADER: small council (NPC). TIER: one.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: As its name suggests, Redwall is constructed from red sandstone. A red stone harbor extends out into the nearby lake, providing anchorage for the small flotilla of fishing ships. Nearby quarries allow for the extraction of the eponymous red stones for shipment to the rest of the Underground. Within the walls, the city is dominated by a large citadel.

CULTURE: A calm, sleepy town, and perhaps the only location in the Underground not hostile towards the sol'tera. Their hospitality is generous, and the people honest and open. The sounds of voices raised in song accompanies the sound of chisels meeting rock as they go about their business. A small council is elected from amongst the people.

Rramksh:
RACE: human. LEADER: (NPC). TIER: three.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: Second largest of the Underground's cities, Rramksh is home to the Grand Archive, and is home to the Underground's military academy. Well-maintained and orderly, the city is carved from marbled stone distinct to their walls. A large merchant's quarter lies within the walls, and the market square is often busy.

CULTURE: Military drills are commonly conducted, and the common-folk have long learned to go about their business and pay the proceedings no mind. Around the clock, business is conducted in the market square, although a strict silence is enforced for several hours while most people sleep.

Volnjrr:
RACE: human, elf, drow. LEADER: Lord Argorth (NPC). TIER: two.
LANGUAGE(S): Elvish, Drowish, Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: The structures here are predominantly cylindrical in shape, with conical roofs carved from a different type of stone, making for two-toned buildings. Some larger structures have as many as three such cones. Sunstones carved into many different shapes provide light for the entire city, and a fisherman's wharf extends out into the nearby lake.

CULTURE: The city's wealthy wear small sunstones carved into a preferred shape by a skilled jeweler on pendants hanging around their necks. Freshly-harvested sunstones are brought to the town for refinement, cutting, and enhancing before being shipped down the river to be spread across the Underground.

Yosh:
RACE: human. LEADER: Lord Yorjin (NPC). TIER: one.
LANGUAGE(S): Common. ALLEGIANCE: Everdark.

APPEARANCE: A small, secluded town carved from the rocky hills surrounding it. Buildings partially emerge from the stone, and the chaotic layout makes it hard for outsiders to find their way around.

CULTURE: Almost completely secluded from the rest of the Underground, and that's the way people like it. Getting their sustenance from lake fish, mushrooms, and water plants, they have little need of any outside commodities. Anyone not content with the insular town more often than not heads up the river to Rramksh.

Landmarks:

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.

The Catacombs

Stone-cut tunnels and passageways carved with niches for the remains of the dead. While the noble, and the wealthy, garner full-sized vaults, most will be interred within stone niches just large enough to hold their remains.

Merchant's Road

A large, smooth-paved road running from Kolstead to Rramksh, running through Milo, guarded by underground sphinx. Thus, those seeking to sell their wares need not fear the beasts of the Underground, under Everdark's protection.

Sunstone Caverns

Sunstones are the source of light in the Underground, and the highest concentration is the Sunstone Caves. Since harvested sunstones grow dim over time, even when tended by a mage, fresh ones are almost always in demand.



About Ristell

The world of Ristell is one of extremes; with only a single continent rendered habitable by the gods, the rest of the Realm is said to be covered in fire or ice, and nothing is known of any lands without. Several suns blaze brightly in the daytime, and a handful of moons at night, carefully watched and controlled by Azcen and Nirni. The Moon That Never Sets hangs ever in the sky, worshiped by the iahake, while the suns are honored by sol'tera and sphinx alike.

Ice covers the northern half of Ristell, accompanied by fierce blizzards that tear at the countries of Nyx and Zaegrim'a Oqh, and at Ristell's heart can be found the vast Arcadia Desert, often too hot for most weaker species to tolerate. South lay the jungles and forests of the Wilds, and to the east lay the Tempest sea, holding the kingdom of Tempest, and the various cloudkingdoms led by the keht'shu in the sky.

The Underground is called Everdark, and is vastly different from the surface world - lit by gemlights and sunstones, the peoples of the Everdark fight fiercely the attempts of Arcadia to gain control. Dark-skinned peoples of the surface are often attacked simply for the color of their skin, and many racial slurs exist against sol'tera, liniah, and keht'shu alike.


Realm Contributors: Fyfergrund, Bagelsworth, Darkeh, and Blazeh (Verridith); base concept (but no content) by Kila