- 1 History
- 2 External Landmarks
- 3 Kao Dynasty Level Landmarks
- 4 Solonese Level Landmarks
- 5 Imaskari Level Landmarks
- 6 Trivia
- 7 Appendix
After the fall of Imaskar, the ancient city of Solon sought to carve itself a new empire from the desert wastes. It succeeded for a time, gaining control of most of the land south of the Raurin Alta. It traded with Ra-Khati and Durpar. Slowly, however, as the desert spread further, Mulhorand took Gbor Nor, and Shou conquerors cut Solon's ties with the lands to the north, Solon lost its grip on its territories. The city temporarily became a part of the Shou empire at some point during the Kao dynasty. After a succession of weak kings over a period of centuries, Solon was only left with the city itself.
A lich by the name of Ambuchar Devayam took power as raja of the city sometime around 1310 DR.  Per a book from the city of Ra-Khati, he attempted to conquer Ra-Khati shortly after, with the help of Gaumahavi; he ultimately failed despite coming close. Later sources state Ambuchar took the city at the head of an army from Durpar, sometime after the eruption of 1360 DR. Per one of the undead trapped in the city, who had come to challenge Tan Chin (another identity of the lich), he was already within the city by the mid-13th century DR.
The nearby volcano had erupted at least twice since the initial foundation of the city, leading to two rebuildings. One of those eruptions left the Imaskari constructions inaccessible and unusable; the Solonese empire built on top of the leveled ruins. A second eruption did the same thing to the new city; the Kao buildings that were buried completely by the eruption of 1360 DR had been raised atop the remains. At least one of the mummies in the city was 2000 years old at that time, give or take 10 years, which would place its raising around the year −640 DR.
On 1360 DR, Ambuchar enslaved most of the population of the city and had them excavate in search of Imaskari artifacts, cutting off all trade. He turned the dead into zombies so they would continue to work after their lives were exhausted. The lich continued these activities throughout the year, until adventurers using four ebony artifacts from Imaskar broke the spell he used to rejuvenate his phylactery. The broken enchantment caused a great volcanic eruption about twenty minutes later, burying the entire city under ash and magma. Some sources blamed the eruption on the Raja's mishandling of an artifact instead.
Survivors from the eruption related that the Raja had unearthed a temple to the Paraelemental power of Ice, and the Quasielemental powers of Ash and Vacuum. The temple itself had survived, encased in a hollow sphere of black stone after the eruption.
One road from the Hordelands led straight to the city of Solon, through an area with dangerously fine sand. The dust was impassable, but a road made of iron, known as the Old Iron Road, lay about 3 feet (0.91 meters) beneath the surface. It was about 12 feet (3.7 meters) wide, and allowed for relatively safe, if not quick, passage through the desert.
Kao Dynasty Level Landmarks
This was the city proper until the eruption of 1360 DR. It was a four-pointed star, with each of its arms pointed in a cardinal direction: north, south, west, east. The entire city had a wall around it, with another wall around its central section.
Pagodas of the Avatar of Light
Two cylindrical pagodas of opaque glass, tipped with a crystal sphere of translucent glass, lay near the center of the city on the eastern and western arms. They were dedicated to the rising and setting sun, respectively. The inside of the pagoda was lit by stored sunlight; its furnishings were comfortable, but dusty. Despite the beauty, the monsters inside avoided them like the plague. These pagodas were trapped with a number of sun and fire related spells. Their entrances were protected against those of evil alignment; healing inside occurred at twice the normal rate. Anyone sitting on the crystal spheres at dawn was healed (eastern) or restored (western) as per the relevant spell.
Twin Towers of Elation and Pain
Two hexagonal towers on the eastern and western arms, one luminous white and one grim black, sat within square, brick-walled courtyards. The white towers were the towers of elation and the black towers were the towers of pain. The towers of Pain had no stairs. Both towers of Elation were held by rakshasas, who masqueraded as good mages in order to trick would-be saviours to the city. Both towers of Pain held blinded unicorns, which made a mated pair. The unicorns knew of the burial site of two paladins, whose magical items were still good.
Each of these three-story buildings, built in the shape of a star, stood in their own brick-walled courtyards. On the inside, the buildings had five triangular rooms and a central one. The center room was full of debris by 1360 DR. These rooms were used to sift through the Imaskari rubble, looking for magical items. A wizard in each of the triangular rooms kept tables of material that might still hold an enchantment, and a neo-otyugh guarded the rubble in each central room. Two ogres guarded the base of the house. Some imaskari items were still there to be found. All that was left was a black obsidian monolith, itself the tip of the Inner Temple.
Triple Palace of Three Earthly Delights
The northern and southern arms of the city held each a set of three ten-story spires, all of them gaudy and overly ornate. In their time, they were dedicated to Beauty, Love, and Peace. As of Ambuchar Devayam's reign, they had degenerated into husks of dank-smelling stone. The middle tower of each construction was neglected so badly it was dangerous to walk on; they might've been inhabited by behir or carrion crawlers. The northern and southern tower of each set served as the quarters of Solonese officials. All that was left was a black obsidian monolith, itself the tip of the Inner Temple.
The Great Pit
Solonese Level Landmarks
This level was revealed by the excavations of Tan Chin in 1360 DR. As it did not interest him, the excavations were sloppy and incomplete. The architecture appeared to be hexagonal but this may have been an artifact of the excavation technique. Tan Chin's undead used the excavations to sleep; there was little clue left as to their original purpose.
Wells of Sorrow and Despair
Labeled as the Well of Despair and the Well of Sorrow with a sign in Ancient Solonese, the stone wells lay on courtyards, and drew water from a different well down in the Imaskari level. The water of the wells was red, smelling of blood, because of the large amount of rust that was dissolved in it.
Several stone tablets were found during excavation. Those provided protection against evil, and contained several spells, one of which turned the target Lawful Good in alignment. Several lamps whose flame could not be extinguished were found with small stone idols around them; each lamp lay atop a scroll with several spells, one of which exerted the previous alignment change. Some rooms had two dozen zombies sitting around a golden cup they were protecting, which cursed anyone who drank from it as per a Periapt of foul rotting.
Imaskari Level Landmarks
Tan Chin had the level protected by throngs of spirit nagas, minotaurs and margoyles. One fresco seemed to show a priest drinking from a pond shaped like a flower of four petals. The Wells of Sorrow and Despair drew their water from fountains on this level, which were heated by geothermal energy. In this level, the water was warm, and fetid; it was accessible through the Wells of Sorrow and Despair from the upper level.
Several shops had been dug out of the eruption by Tan Chin's slaves. They each held one sort of curious item; one of the items was cursed in each shop. The cursed items were a bowl of watery death among grotesque bowls, a hat of disguise among ridiculous hats, a flask of curses among weird bottles, a candle of invocation among twisted candles, a mirror of opposition among colored mirrors, pipes of the sewers among peculiar musical instruments, boots of dancing among floppy shoes, and a stone of weight among some stones.
The Inner Temple was a circular courtyard accessible through a huge pair of tarnished bronze gates. A single obsidian monolith rose within it: the Ebony Temple.
The gate accessed the temple from the east; the entrance to the Ebony Temple was on the west, requiring everyone to go either around the southern or the northern flank of the temple to reach the door. The northern pass was flanked with pentagonal buildings, which would fill the passage with frozen snowballs; a small pool of blood-colored, fetid water provided an easy bypass for the trap. The southern passage had trapezoidal buildings, which would zap anyone entering them with deadly force. Two pools were on the southern flank: on reaching the first pool, a green one, it would make electricity slowly descend on anyone in it. The second pool, upon being reached, would make a wall of smoke slowly descend upon them. Diving into the green pool made the electricity stop; the red pool was full of acid, and the smoke was actually harmless.
The Ebony Temple was actually visible from the Great Pit, as the monolith on its center was actually its tip. It had a square base at the center of the Inner Temple. On each corner of the temple, a building with a diamond-shaped base protected one scroll each; an infrared-beam trap would fill the room with a fireball if anyone triggered it.
The temple's central courtyard held four ponds in the shape of a flower with four petals. Each of these ponds transported the person in question to a location in a different plane, yet held entirely in rooms within the Ebony Temple; one ebony artifact was held within each of those rooms.
The Main chamber of the temple held the bottomless pit of fire, which was full of bubbling lava and connected in fact to an underground chamber full of the same. It was the source of the lava for the 1360 DR eruption, after four ebony artifacts were cast into it.
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