Major Ruins of Lathuria
The most legendary ruins on Lathuria, Barkarra is the ancient stronghold of the Demons from before the Golden Age. It remains a rallying point for the Demons who are newly returning to the material plain, but it is no longer a stronghold by any means. Thus far, the Demon King Kellemain has made no attempt to reestablish it as a stronghold and has largely ignored it since he and his knights, Styx and Cocytus, and his champion, Rezarcho, returned to the material plain there in GA 1000. His return was heralded by an event that has come to be known as the Blinding Pillar, a bright light that shot out of the ruins and into the sky.
Though it was brought down at the beginning of the Golden Age and has been ransacked and pillaged countless times in the millennium since, adventuring groups still travel there and brave the nooks and crannies. In addition to the remains of the walls and towers above ground which still rise well into the sky, there is a network of underground caves which stretch for dozens of square miles and extend down many levels. Doubtlessly, there are still secret doors and passages that have yet to be discovered.
Located just north of Atoll City, the ruins are a draw to the region for adventurers, historians, and Demons looking to return to their ancient stronghold. There is something of a market in Atoll City for preparing to travel there and delve into the ruins. Adventurers can find maps to and of the ruins at many merchants in Atoll City and many merchants will pay a good price for artifacts and riches removed from the ruins.
Hidden below the city of Maice in the north lies Lathuria's worst-kept secret realm. Nethermaice is an intricate system of caves and dungeon spaces that extends out further than anyone has yet explored. There is treasure to be found there, to be certain, but also danger. Lurking around every unexplored section of Nethermaice, and even around many of the explored ones, monsters and traps of all kinds lie in wait for the unassuming delver.
Stories differ as to how Nethermaice came to be, but the one lauded most loudly comes from the Dwarves. Though there is no evidence to support it, Dwarven legend states that Nethermaice was delved by an ancient Dwarven king in the earliest days of the War of the Young as a place to safely harbor his clan. But the Dwarven king was so paranoid that he felt it was never delved deeply enough. Some Dwarves say that there are still members of his ancient clan deep below the ground in the darkest reaches of Nethermaice, still digging.
As fantastic a story as its creation most assuradly must have been, events surrounding Nethermaice today are just as thrilling. Hastarl Gelsson, the Black Captain, has called together nearly every Black Knight in the region and sent them, team by team, into Nethermaice. These teams of Black Knights enter Maice, enter Nethermaice through the ruined tower in the north east at Ruined Tower Square, and return to the surface with treasure which they promptly carry out of the city and to Hastarl's Keep just to the west of Maice. Many have grown concerned over this practice and some have even made an attempt to find out what the Black Knights are doing in Nethermaice. But, those who follow the Black Knights into Nethermaice typically don't come back alive.
Only recently has this rather unremarkable little ruin come into fame. Located a day's travel east of Zephilia, it was recently the subject of an investigation by the Order of the Lamp into a five-hundred-year-old legend about a wizard by the name of Rixx. The story said that he made a magical orb so great that its white magic could stand up to the Lord of Worlds herself. Some stories also said that it exacted a terrible price, the life of the wielder, and that it was hidden away never to be used because it was such an abomination to the art of white magic.
In the winter of GA 1005, Master Lampwright Lyssa Greymalkin hired a group of seven adventurers to go find the tower and retrieve the orb. Retrieve the orb they did, but they reported back to the Order of the Lamp that they had run into a rival group of adventurers in the process. Lyssa and the Order remain tight-lipped about the outcome of the whole ordeal, but for whatever reason, they allowed the group of adventurers to keep the orb. It is now the namesake of the Crystal Orb Inn which is owned by four of the adventurers. The other three adventurers went on to form the Fellowship of the Ever-Falling Troll only a few months later.
In the meantime, a song entitled "The Ballad of the Tower of Rixx" has appeared in the Bardic Circles and made its way across Lathuria. It details rather more of the story than those involved have been willing to speak of, though no one seems to know how that could be. A side effect, however, has been a sudden interest in seeing the site of this rather strange story and the Tower of Rixx, now cleared of the harpies that used to roost there, has become a tourist attraction.
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