A Light in Darkness
Cultural Level varies, 3 (Iron Age) to 8 (Chivalric)
Formerly known as Darkon, Necropolis was devastated when Azalin’s doomsday device sent out a wave of negative energy that turned Il Aluk into a city of undead. Very little is known about the present state of the city as no living creature has been able to enter it since that time without immediately being killed. As is the way with the Demiplane, the moment the disaster occurred every inhabitant of the Core knew the land was to be called Necropolis from then on.
Necropolis occupies the entire northern third of the Core from the Sea of Sorrows in the west to the Nocturnal Sea in the east. Necropolis is a heavily populated realm with a wide diversity of races represented. It should be noted that although Azalin himself is gone and presumed dead the powerful defenses he erected to protect his land remain in place and have served to repel the armies of Falkovnia even after the disaster.
The Domain is divided into six different regions, each affected by the doomsday device differently (though none as extensively as Il Aluk).
The Boglands – This vast bog is dotted with many lakes, the largest group called the Great Salt Swamp. These lakes are so salty as to be completely devoid of life. In contrast, Stagnus Lake is so filled with living creatures that it literally writhes and heaves beneath a thick coating of stagnant green scum. Root crops grown in the bog lands are disturbingly misshapen giving rise to rumors that those who eat them will be cursed. The locals refuse to do so and the local food supply is growing dangerously low.
The Forest of Shadows – This formerly lush forest has grown dark and sinister full of skirting shadows, giant spiders and watchful creatures. Several rough circles of large stones have appeared in the forest where werewolves are rumored to perch and howl during a full moon. The Vuchar River directly to the west has become devoid of life, dead fish float on the surface and the water has a sour stagnant smell. The Forest of Shadows has two major towns: Nartok, a cosmopolitan trading center where the merchandise of Necropolis is assembled before being shipped south of Falkovnia, and Rivalis, a Halfling community. The former home of Azalin, Castle Avernus, also lies within this region. Since the lich lord’s disappearance it is presumably empty, but none are brave enough to verify this fact.
The Jagged Coast – The coast is lined with tiny islands and secret coves from which illicit smugglers operate. It is rumored to contain great, trap-laden treasure caches. Most of the coastline is barren rock and scrub except the thriving port of Martira Bay. Other than the area around the city the geography changes constantly. The porous rock is unstable and constantly breaks off and falls into the sea. There is rumor that the coastline is being deliberately undermined by a race of underwater creatures that are jealous of land dwellers. Other rumors maintain the entire region is breaking up as a prelude to the Hour of Ascension, when the living inhabitants will be drowned to make way for the dead. After the disaster in Il Aluk the sea has become gray and restless. Strange whirlpools, some up to a hundred feet in diameter, are wreaking havoc with shipping and no one can offer an explanation.
The Mistlands – The northeast corner of Necropolis has no clear border. Walls of Mist constantly shift by as much as a mile or two and sometimes break off and drift across the region. Some believe that the Mists conceal entrances to the underground lairs of the dark elves and goblins that plague the area. Strange magical sinkholes of silence, which range from a few hundred feet to a mile in width appear and vanish at random subjecting all within to a constant silence effect. The Mistlands contain three major towns: Nublus, the region’s capital; Nevuchar Springs; and Sidnar. Elven culture dominates the region. Since the destruction of Il Aluk, the Eternal Order (official church of Darken) has weakened in this region considerably and a few smaller churches have sprung up. Nevuchar Springs now houses the lawful evil temple for the Church of Ezra.
The Mountains of Misery – Mount Nyid and Mount Nirka, two volcanic cones that have been dormant for centuries dominate this region. Recently thin plumes of smoke and frequent tremors have been making the residents nervous. Much of the jagged foothills is unexplored area home to goblins, kobolds, dark elves and other stranger creatures. Lake Temporus, the source of the Tempe River, is lined with still animals frozen in time with their mouths just touching the water. Ghostly forms circle the two volcanos, rumored to be the ghosts of the dead massing to push the living from the land. Gold, silver and gem mining are primary activities here and the dwarven settlement of Tempe Falls as well as the gnomish community of Mayvin exists to serve that purpose.
The Vale of Tears – The valley along the river Vuchar was once a fertile thriving land known as the Vuchar Valley. Since the devastation of Il Aluk the river carries nothing but ships staffed by the dead when it flows out of the former capital. The farmers watch in sorrow as their crops rot in the fields for want of trade. The river itself has been heaving and flowing with dark blood red silt. The orchards and forest that surround the valley are rumored to be full of lycanthropes and other strange creatures. The human settlements of Karg and Maykle as well as the Halfling village of Delagia still exist and hope for a return to better times.
Darkonese is a complex, somewhat inflexible language utilizing highly precise word meanings. Most grammar is determined by an intricate system of word conjugation and declension. In its purest form, one could theoretically scramble the order of words in a Darkonese sentence without changing its meaning. When spoken properly, Darkonese has a crisp authoritative ring. Pure Darkonese, though, is usually spoken only in court and similar formal functions. In day-to-day use, must Darkonians use a more relaxed dialect. This “vulgar” Darkonese is an expressive mongrel of a tongue, borrowing words and phrases from the ethnic languages of Darkon’s nonhumans and a dozen dialects from across the Core. Many Darkonians pick up a nonhuman dialect to deal with their neighbors, and educated Darkonians are often taught Mordentish in school. In addition, “claimed” new-comers still retian their original languages. Beyond this, however, few Darkonians bother to learn foreign tongues.
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Any resident of Necropolis who has been there for more than three months ardently believes he has always lived there. Despite that, the population is originally from a variety of vastly different worlds. The inhabitants include a mixture of different races, styles and philosophies. Since the undead invasions began many inhabitants of Necropolis have tried to flee to other domains. Lamordia and Nova Vaasa have seen an influx of penniless refugees.
Any character class and most any race is available from Necropolis. Most clerics belong to the Temple of Eternal order, though that religion is slowly dissolving.
Each region of Necroplis has its own political structure and independent master. All are evil creatures and all are unfailing loyal to the domains new ruler, the creature known as Death. Death rules from the ruins of Il Aluk and completely controls all beings within the borders of that city.
Realm Magic Rating
Darkon’s general magic rating is 4 or 5, though some areas such as the Mountains of Misery may have a rating of 3 or less.