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Ilvarandin

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The vault of Ilvarandin is located in Orv, deepest of the levels of the Darklands. The entire cavern is a single, gigantic city that is largely uninhabited, earning it the title of the Mute Metropolis. At the heart of the vault lies a relatively small section that is inhabited named High Ilvarandin, and is the center of intellect devourer culture in the Darklands.[1] It is perhaps best known on the surface world through the poem Ilvarandin by Vumeshki.[2]

History

The city is incredibly ancient—some believe it was built by the Vault Keepers themselves. Its buildings have been built in a number of architectural styles, some of which are apparently unique.[1] It consists of gigantic plazas, small, winding streets, high towers, domes, and arched bridges.[3]

During Earthfall, a group of surface elves took refuge in the western part of the ruins, but fell prey to intellect devourers of High Ilvarandin. A handful of elves escaped to the surface and spread tales of Ilvarandin's horrors. The intellect devourers have since adopted more subtle tactics, spreading word that Ilvarandin is a subterranean utopia in order to try and lure fresh victims to the city.[4] However, they also attracted unwanted attention. The neothelids of Denebrum have resolved to destroy the intellect devourers, and their army is now encamped in the northeastern district. [4]

Geography

The vault of Ilvarandin is hundreds of miles wide, and is bisected by the Irikusk River. To its north lies the vault of Denebrum, the Midnight Mountains are to the east, Doga-Delloth to the south, and the Sightless Sea to the west. In surface-world terms, it is located beneath northwestern Cheliax.[5][6] The entire vault is lit by phosphorescent spores that hang in the high air above the abandoned city.[3]

Districts

As Ilvarandin is a largely uninhabited city the size of a country, it can easily be broken down into nine major districts, each with its own architectural style and varied inhabitants.[4]

Ajamote

The collapsed district Ajamote[7] is inhabitated by Gugs, making this passage to the Midnight Mountains a risky endeavor.

Aumentral

This region is now controlled by the armies of the neothelids. Its varied architecture is a mix of old Garundi styles and primitive stone buildings. Its main features are a vast chasm and a fungal swamp.

The main inhabitants are the minions of the neothelid—seugathi and worms that walk. However, there are also svirfneblin in the chasm, who sometimes risk the dangerous depths to recover gemstones of great quality. They claim the depths of the rift are incredibly hot, and home to monstrous ghorazaghs.[8]

A strange fungal version of the shambling mound can be found in the fungal swamp. These creatures often carry other dangerous fungi, such as yellow mold.[9]

Duskport

The waterfront district of Duskport stands on the Irikusk River where it meets the Sightless Sea. Its inhabitants include drow, duergar, tieflings, mongrelfolk, and humans. There is a temple here to the demon lord Socothbenoth. The district is a gateway to trade across the Sightless Sea, and is ruled by a mysterious figure known as the Rakehell.[10]

Otha-Thola

The district of Otha-Thola also stands on the shores of the Sightless Sea, and is south of Duskport. The architecture here is mainly in elven style and extends into the sea, where Lacedons have settled. Aboleth and enslaved skum live in the shallow water, while free skum live on land. There is a tall plateau in the southern part of the district, which is home to a tribe of mongrelfolk.[10]

Scales

The eastern district is known as the Scales, named after the disease of the same name, which is rife in the district. Much of the architecture is in the serpentfolk style, but there are also massive ruins in the southeast in the style of the cyclopes. The inhabitants of this region are fearsome gugs, led by four large specimens which are actually hosts for intellect devourers.[10]

Urkalla

The architecture of this region is in the troglodyte style. It is currently controlled by urdefhans who have scavenged the buildings for materials to build their fortress of Irith-Arnakian. It is ruled by the warlord Vilthanter, who ensures the safe passage of merchants.[10]

Warrens

The warrens is Ilvarandin's southern mountain district. The architecture varies, but the two most common styles are dwarven and the style of ancient Thassilon. There aren't many intelligent creatures here, but the most common are the derro, svirfneblin, and duergar. Its main feature is the Builder's Mark, a massive crater three miles in diameter. Great stairs lead down to the bottom of the crater, which appears to have nothing of interest. According to legend, there is a secret entrance somewhere down here which leads to the personal domain of one of the Vault Builders. The derro mine the crater floor; their progress is hampered by the strange black sludge that seeps into their tunnels; they cart this away and use it to make clay golems.[10]

High Ilvarandin

In contrast to the rest of the city, High Ilvarandin is full of life. Unfortunately, it is life dominated by the intellect devourers.[10]

Trade

The intellect devourers are avid consumers of luxury goods, and have a thriving trade with the Denizens of Leng; the black ships of Leng are a familiar sight in Duskport (Ilvarandin's main access to the Sightless Sea), and on the Irikusk River. Other races also trade in Duskport, and land trade mainly arrives from the south, via the district of Urkalla.[11]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 James Jacobs and Greg A. Vaughan. (2008). Into the Darklands, p. 49-50. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-140-4
  2. Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 5. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
  3. 3.0 3.1 James Jacobs et al. (2011). The Inner Sea World Guide, p. 61. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-269-2
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 5-7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
  5. Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. Inside front cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
  6. Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 6. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
  7. Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
  8. Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 7-8. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
  9. Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 12. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 8. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2
  11. Tim Hitchcock, Brandon Hodge, Michael Kortes, Jason Nelson, Russ Taylor. (2011). Lost Cities of Golarion, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-272-2