|“||There, between the city of the dead and the city of the living, I meditated. I thought of the eternal silence of the first and the endless sorrow of the second. In the city of the living I found hope and despair, love and hatred, joy and sorrow, wealth and poverty, faith and infidelity. In the city of the dead there is buried earth in earth that Nature converts, in the night's silence, into vegetation, and then into animal, and then into man.||”|
|— Khalil Gibran, from The City of the Dead|
Within the tempest, the city of Sokkar stretched for miles in every direction. Impressive pyramids dominated the center of the city, stretching upward into the storm-filled sky.
Three main avenues—the Avenue of the Hama, the Avenue of the Sphinxes, and the Avenue of the Baboons—led to the central portion of the city known as the Plaza of Eternity. Here impressive pyramids dominated the cityscape, including the Great Temple of the Undying and the Great Pyramid of Borsippa.
Sokkar was founded by jungle giants long ago when lush jungles covered the Land of Fate. The giants governed with wisdom and the human residents of the city prospered under their rule. However, over time, the female giants began to only produce male offspring, resulting in the gradual decline of the giant population in Sokkar. The remaining males renounced their rulership and constructed large cairns for themselves in a necropolis along the periphery of the city. Eventually only a trio of males remained. The passion these giants held for their dying culture was so strong that even death could not claim them. The trio of rom became known as the Undying. Their names were Noq the Inspired, Arun the Ever-Vigilant, and Merodach the Deprived.
The human rulers of Sokkar deferred to the wisdom of the three rom, traveling to the necropolis on a yearly basis to receive their wisdom.
Eventually the rom were viewed as demigods. The rom reveled in this treatment, allowing worthy citizens to be buried near their mausoleum when they died. Eventually even their towering tombs were surround by lesser structures, creating a veritable city of tombs.
As time passed, the climate of the region became more arid, causing the jungles to give way to deserts. The human population of Sokkar, perhaps distracted by their construction of elaborate tombs, neglected the city as a whole. As Fate would have it, the population was stuck by the same curse that befell the giants in that only male offspring were being born, eventually leaving the city in ruin when the inhabitants died out.
The trio of rom of the Undying were the true rulers of Sokkar, though they left the city to its fate for the vast majority of the time.
During the height of its power, Sokkar was home to over 200,000 humans and giants.
The undead rulers of the city summoned a black cloud of vengeance, called Al-Amzija, to surround the city upon the death of Sokkar's last citizen. Al-Amzija could not enter the city nor could it stray more than a few miles from it, enraging the black cloud of vengeance while it sought a way to escape. Al-Amzija's rage meant anyone attempting to enter the city needed to pass through a lethal barrier of sand and wind.
Al-Amzija was aware when any living creature or item that spent at least one day within Sokkar attempted to pass through the maelstrom. Additionally, mention of Al-Amzija's name summoned the creature within minutes to the location where it was uttered.
Within the city, the Undying could call upon a veritable army of undead from the countless crypts should the need arise. Additionally, the large stone statues lining Sokkar's three main avenues were actually towering stone golems that could be animated if anyone was foolish enough to attack the city.
The population of Sokkar revered their dead, believing that their status in the afterlife was determined by how they were buried. Thus, based on their beliefs, someone buried in a pauper's crypt was doomed to wander eternity in poverty. This belief led the nobility and other wealthy citizens to spend their fortunes on constructing elaborate tombs in preparation for the afterlife, perhaps aiding the downfall of the city as other civic projects were ignored.
Rumors & LegendsEdit
- ↑ Canon material does not provide dating for the Al-Qadim campaign setting. For the purposes of this wiki only, the current date for Al-Qadim products is assumed to be 1367 DR.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Steve Kurtz (1994). Cities of Bone (Cardsheets). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-847.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Cities of Bone: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), pp. 8–11. ISBN 1-56076-847.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Cities of Bone: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 1-56076-847.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Cities of Bone: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), p. 8. ISBN 1-56076-847.
- ↑ Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Cities of Bone: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), pp. 10–11. ISBN 1-56076-847.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Cities of Bone: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-56076-847.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Cities of Bone: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), pp. 9, 10. ISBN 1-56076-847.
- ↑ Steve Kurtz (1994). Al-Qadim: Cities of Bone: Campaign Guide. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 1-56076-847.